Finally, NU will commit to recruiting a series of big men. All 11 — seven of them 2015 prospects — are taller than 6-foot-7. Eight are power forwards or centers.
Patrick Baldwin continues his busy recruitment season. Last year, he led the pursuit of Northwestern commit Gavin Skelly—a former sleeper whose signing was widely praised.
Another of his targets is Longmeadow (Mass.) center Joe Schneider, who spoke to PW on Saturday afternoon.
Schneider picked up interest from several schools after his performance on the AAU circuit. He joined the New England Playaz, allowing him to receive attention from Division I coaches.
That led to an offer from Notre Dame, and additional interest from NU and almost every Ivy League school.
"This last AAU season in Vegas and in Springfield, I was blocking a lot of shots," Schneider said. "I was getting a lot of shots up and playing a lot."
That exposure proved he was an able post-up player, someone who perfectly fits into NU's vision. The Wildcats want guys to work on the interior, looking for one transfer and several long-term projects.
Baldwin began to contact Schneider, with the two exchanging frequent phone calls and text messages. Baldwin alerted him to NU's midseason run, which included five wins in seven games—including wins at Wisconsin and Indiana. Schneider cited that without being asked.
He started basketball late (in his freshman year), but already landed an impressive offer. He's due for many more if his game continues to develop.
"They just want me to keep improving," Schneider said. "Just running the floor and blocking shots."
Northwestern badly needs big men. The program, historically, lacks significant interior presence. And as Alex Olah develops, they could use to replenish the ranks.
The Northwestern season is one or two games away from ending. Then, the coaching staff can focus on finally landing bigs.