What's next for Northwestern hoops?

After landing Bryant McIntosh, Northwestern can't stop with its strong recruiting efforts. How will Chris Collins and his staff follow? Some Insider notes and thoughts in this PurpleWildcats.com update.

Scott Lindsey

Contrary to some very poor message board assumptions, Northwestern continues to pursue Fenwick (Ill.) shooting guard Scott Lindsey. After picking up other offers from Iowa and Vanderbilt, this figures to be another competitive recruitment. And it might work: Lindsey should operate best alongside a solid distributor at point guard. He's not a likely four-year starter, but seems like a dependable role player given his consistency and high basketball IQ. This offer remains on the table, and they'd almost certainly accept his commitment today. Again, it's not really about landing four program-turners, but the goal is instead to create solid class after solid class. Lindsey would be yet another impressive piece—regardless of whether this class ends at four.

Chris Egi

Well, Northwestern entered late in the game, but has made a strong pitch to the Canadian power forward. Egi picked up an offer from the Carmody era, and Patrick Baldwin opened his file once again last month. Egi is widely expected to officially reclassify to 2014, which shortens the timeframe. It's a difficult chase, but sources indicate that he's been receptive to Baldwin and Northwestern. With Egi having four official visits scheduled, NU needs to become the fifth. If that happens, the Wildcats could make a serious case for another four-star talent. It's a longshot for now, though the ambition indicates one thing: this Northwestern coaching staff refuses to settle.

Grad Transfer?

Don't rule it out. Should everything fall through–or should another scholarship open up–Northwestern will pursue a transfer big man (likely a center). Collins found his first stretch four in the form of Westlake (Ohio) prospect Gavin Skelly. But it's important to note that NU offered Texas center Ben Lammers—indicating that they're still focused on finding someone to back up Alex Olah. With early returns on Mike Turner and Chier Ajou less than encouraging, Collins knows that he needs to shore up the 5-spot to compete for tournament berths. It takes the process.

Figuring out the long-term pieces

This is of primary short-term importance. If Nate Taphorn turns out to be a capable stretch-four, then he and Skelly should suffice at the position. From every account, Taphorn had an excellent offseason, proving his worth in early practices. He might fit into the Collins system even better than he would have under Carmody's Princeton offense. His perimeter range and willingness to rebound should serve him well. After that, who works? I'm more optimistic about Sanjay Lumpkin than Kale Abrahamson, but the new coaching staff could see that differently. They're sold on Alex Olah as a four-year center, and I am too, but some backup centers like Ajou might somehow surprise the fan base.

The role of McIntosh

Yes, I'm sold on McIntosh being the four-year starter in Evanston. I've seen the words "respect" and "senior" associated with one another, but keep in mind that Collins never recruited Dave Sobolewski. That's not to discredit Sobolewski and his many accomplishments in Evanston; he's simply not as good as McIntosh. With some coaching, the newest commitment could immediately stun fans with his upside. Sobolewski will maintain a leadership role–and seems like a very solid backup–but this McIntosh commitment is a huge one. NU's fortunes are tied to him these next four seasons, and McIntosh is more than ready to lead a tournament run. I believe him.

Stay with PurpleWildcats.com, your leading source for all Northwestern basketball recruiting coverage.


Purple Wildcats Top Stories