More than half of the players on Northwestern's 2014-15 roster were not the team last year. Collins added six freshmen, including one walk-on, and a senior transfer. The Wildcat program is rapidly changing, and the team will look a lot different in the coming years, so let's take a peek at the Northwestern scholarship chart:
|1||Jeremiah Kreisberg (Sr)||Tre Demps (RS Sr)||Sanjay Lumpkin (RS Sr)|
|2||JerShon Cobb (RS Sr)||Alex Olah (Sr)||Nathan Taphorn (Sr)|
|3||Dave Sobolewski (Sr)||Sanjay Lumpkin (RS Jr)||Vic Law (Jr)|
|4||Tre Demps (RS Jr)||Nathan Taphorn (Jr)||Bryant McIntosh (Jr)|
|5||Alex Olah (Jr)||Vic Law (So)||Scottie Lindsey (Jr)|
|6||Sanjay Lunpkin (RS So)||Bryant McIntosh (So)||Gavin Skelly (Jr)|
|7||Nathan Taphorn (So)||Scottie Lindsey (So)||Johnnie Vassar (Jr)|
|8||Vic Law (Fr)||Gavin Skelly (So)||Dererk Pardon (So)|
|9||Bryant McIntosh (Fr)||Johnnie Vassar (So)||Jordan Ash (So)|
|10||Scottie Lindsey (Fr)||Dererk Pardon (Fr)||Open|
|11||Gavin Skelly (Fr)||Jordan Ash (Fr)||Open|
|12||Johnnie Vassar (Fr)||Open||Open|
Chris Collins wasted no time in revamping the Northwestern basketball program. Three players transferred out last season, opening up more scholarships for Collins, and he took advantage by rounding up a six-player recruiting class, including four-star small forward Vic Law. Senior transfer Jeremiah Kreisberg from Yale was also a huge addition, considering the Wildcats' lack of size in the post. Not listed is walk-on freshmen Nick Segura. Segura may find himself on this chart in several years if he works as hard as James Montgomery III did for NU.
Some of NU's freshmen are expected to start right away in their first year. Law will attempt to fill the shoes of Wildcat great Drew Crawford, and Bryant McIntosh and Johnnie Vassar will compete with Dave Sobolewski for time at point guard. 2014-15 will see an interesting mix of veterans and youngsters for Northwestern, and the lineup will likely fluctuate throughout the season. Depending on how quickly the freshmen develop and how the team gels, NU could win anywhere from 10 to 20 games this season.
Expectations for 2015-16 are a bit higher. It will be Collins' third season in Evanston, and his first recruiting class will have had time to learn the college game. However, the roster isn't quite complete. Collins has two more open scholarships, at least one of which he wants to use, and he's targeting several bigs to take the spots. If he can't land Aaron Falzon or his other four-star targets, Collins already has three-star power forward Dererk Pardon locked up for 2015-16.
Most of the player movement should be over. All of Northwestern's upperclassmen can expect significant minutes on the floor, except for Nathan Taphorn, who will have to prove he can rebound and defend the post to get time at the four spot. With so many incoming freshmen, Collins could redshirt someone this year, perhaps Lindsey or Vassar. And he probably won't use all of his 2015-16 scholarships since he would only have four offers at his disposal for the following two recruiting classes, which is when NU's program could really blossom. In any case, one thing is for certain. The future in Evanston is looking much better than the past.