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Recruiting: Chris Collins Lands a Big Piece in Aaron Falzon

In his second season Chris Collins is looking to mold the program to fit his vision. How will Aaron Falzon help him do that?

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Last year in head coach Chris Collin's first season Northwestern finished 15-17 overall and 6-12 in the Big Ten. The thought process is that Collins has the pedigree to elevate a program like Northwestern. While Northwestern isn't the easiest place to recruit for, thanks to the universities academics, it's similar to Duke University so Collins understands the challenges associated with building a basketball program at a school that stresses education over athletics.

Aaron Falzon (Northfield-Mount Hermon School - Newton, MA) is a 6'7", 190 pound, power forward. He's a 4-star recruit (according to ESPN), who'll hopefully be a key piece for Northwestern. Collins had some competition for Falzon, with Boston College, Georgia, Notre Dame, Penn State, Providence and Rutgers all offering scholarships. The addition of Falzon was a big acquisition for Collins, but how will he help Northwestern in 2015?

Scouting Report
Falzon is an elite shooter. He has deep range, forcing defenders to contest his shot and stick with him beyond the three point line. He can shoot in a variety of scenarios: catch-and-shoots, off screens and off the dribble. His quick release allows him to get shots off with minimal space. Falzon's size is also an asset on the perimeter as he can shoot over smaller defenders.

If a direct line drive presents itself, Falzon can take it. He's not dynamic off the dribble, but it'll be enough to keep defenses honest. He shouldn't have much trouble getting off his shot, but if he does, he can put the ball on the floor a bit. Falzon's a good athlete too, so he can finish creatively around the basket with either hand or above the rim.

His shooting will make Northwestern's offense more dynamic. Traditionally, they've struggled to score and are in need of playmakers and (more importantly) shotmakers. Falzon will certainly help.

Areas for Improvement
Falzon's listed as a power forward, but he clearly plays more on the perimeter like a wing. It'll be interesting to see what position he guards in college. Guarding wings may be challenging because he'll be bigger and not as quick as other perimeter players. He'll add strength and that'll help him defensively and on the glass. But physically he'll need to mature a bit more, especially if he's going to bang with power forwards. If he can improve his quickness he'll be more equipped to exploit mismatches.

Offensively, if he could develop a little more dynamic game off the dribble, it'll take the pressure off his shooting and perhaps afford him more opportunities beyond the arc. Defenders will try to chase him off the three point line with hard closeouts, but they won't be bale to close so hard if he shows the ability to drive to the bucket.

At his size, could he develop a post game? If he's going to play more on the perimeter, he will most likely have larger and more athletic wings guarding him. At 6'8" he may often have the advantage over a smaller defender, though he may lack the speed to guard smaller wings on defense. Exploiting those mismatches on offense will open up looks for teammates if double teams flow to him.

Wildcat fans ought to be excited about Falzon. He's a terrifying shooter and it looks like he'd be the guy to hit three or four in a row before the opposition knew what happened. Having that shooting will impact everyone on the floor. It also means more space for interior players and clearer driving lanes for wings. Defenders will be reluctant to help off him because it could mean devastation by three point shot.

Northwestern has a few pieces, but they're young. There's a lot to like about Aaron Falzon and he's already elite in one aspect it'll just be a matter of improving slightly in other areas to become a program game-changer.