On Monday, Canyon Barry (Northwestern's top transfer target) committed to Florida. Canyon Barry was the last known target on Northwestern's transfer list for the 2016-2017 season. Northwestern was pursuing three guards and Canyon was the last one on the list that had not committed.
Canyon had narrowed his list to three schools: Northwestern, University of Florida, and the University of Miami. Of the three schools he was looking at, the University of Florida was the only school that offered a Master's in Nuclear Engineering, which he was intending to pursue his degree in. Northwestern was pursuing a transfer without an open scholarship available.
However, this week, Northwestern added two walk-ons for the 2016-2017 season. They added two guards: Tino Malnati and Samm Jones.
Tino Malnati is a local player. He is from New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois. And yes, he's the grandson of Lou Malnati, who started Lou Malnati's Pizzeria in Chicago in the 1970's. Tino had Division II and Division III offers, but declined them and took the opportunity to walk on to the team at Northwestern. Malnati averaged 12 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists per game as a senior. Tino Malnati is son of Fenwick High School Coach, Rick Malnati. Rick coached Tino's soon-to-be teammate, Scottie Lindsey in high school.
Samm Jones is a point guard out of De LaSalle High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is famous for this video after winning the 3A state championship in Minnesota.
Samm Jones was a starting guard for his team as a senior in high school.
Although Northwestern missed out on a transfer, adding this depth to the backcourt should help Chris Collins and his squad heading in to next season. Malnati and Jones will be behind guards Bryant McIntosh, Scottie Lindsey, Jordan Ash and incoming freshman Isiah Brown. Northwestern will look to fill the scoring output of their star guard Tre Demps, who is graduating from Northwestern this spring. Demps had an up and down senior year, but finished off his career with the Wildcats averaging just under 16 points per game. Bryant McIntosh, Demps' partner-in-crime on the court finished the season averaging 13.8 points per game.
Isiah Brown will join the Wildcats from Lakeside High School, in Nine Mile Falls, Washington. Brown had quite a senior season. He became the all-time leading scorer in the Metro League and will look to make an immediate scoring impact for Northwestern next season.
Chris Collins and his staff are currently working on their 2017 recruiting class. Following the 2016-2017 season, two forwards, Nathan Taphorn and Sanjay Lumpkin, will graduate. Northwestern has extended offers to Kyle Young, Savion Flagg, Justin Smith, Tomas Murphy, and Nathan Reuvers. Tomas Murphy played with current Northwestern forward, Aaron Falzon in high school. Northwestern has also extended offers to 3 guards : Nojel Eastern, Kellan Grady, and Jordan Goodwin. Kellan Grady has committed to Davidson University. Northwestern offered center Luke Garza, a highly recruited center out of Washington D.C.
According to 247Sports, out of all of the offers Northwestern has extended, none of the players have expressed that they are favoring the Wildcats at this point. Northwestern is competing with other Big Ten schools for every player with the exception of Savion Flagg, who has not received any other Big Ten offers yet.
The addition of Tino Malnati and Samm Jones will add much-needed depth in the backcourt. Their contributions will help Chris Collins and his team continue to work towards Northwestern's first NCAA tournament appearance.