Next season, the frontcourt comprises Jeremiah Kreisberg, Alex Olah and true freshman Gavin Skelly. Even Skelly functions more as the "stretch four," with an interior presence necessary for NU to be in NCAA Tournament contention.
It makes sense, then, that NU's recruiting board consists of these power forwards and centers. Though it is early in the process—and the list can change at any point—these are the major immediate targets to focus on.
Henry Ellenson, 6'9 power forward
The Rice Lake (Wis.) power forward visited Northwestern in February. The four-star prospect holds other offers from schools including Duke and Michigan State. Ellenson will likely play for someone else, but Northwestern can send an important message: Collins wants to fight the big boys.
Derek Pardon, 6'7 power forward
Northwestern entered his recruitment early in the process—extending an offer by December 2013. Since then, Pittsburgh, Xavier and Dayton have all offered. Pardon is friends with 2014 commit Gavin Skelly, which could be an interesting factor in the process.
Ray Spalding, 6'9 power forward
Spalding earned his NU offer at the beginning of March, with Collins still pursuing difficult targets. The head coach wants to try for a power forward with offers from Indiana, Clemson, Vanderbilt and others. This one seems feasible if the staff connects with him.
Aaron Falzon, 6'7 power forward
We wrote about Falzon yesterday. The Massachusetts native raved about Chris Collins and his reputation. With the Wildcats his latest offer, Falzon could be a reasonable bet to join the 2015 class depending on outside interest.
Joe Schneider, 6'10 center
Schneider could be their sleeper. The Wildcats began recruiting him earlier this year, with Patrick Baldwin reaching out to him. Schneider is the true "wild card." He holds an offer from Notre Dame, but NU might do what others have: Sit and wait.
Jonathan Nwankwo, 6'9 power forward
Once under-recruited, Nwankwo blew up in recent months, collecting offers including Tennessee and Boston College. Northwestern has monitored him throughout the process, with Nwankwo a potentially solid fit.
Elijah Burns, 6'8 power forward
The Albany native re-classified to 2015 and saw interest pick up from schools including Georgetown, Seton Hall and Northwestern. In search for another big body, the Wildcats could make a quick push before the evaluation period.