It's summertime. Which means there is a lot of AAU league play taking place in cities all across America. That also means there are a lot of high school players committing to play basketball in college. Which also means many schools are starting to get commitments for their roster in 2017. Some schools haven't received any commitments for the 2017 class yet. One of those you may ask? It's Northwestern.
So what does this mean? Why doesn't Northwestern have a 2017 commitment yet? Well, there are a lot of possible answers to that question.
Many of the players they offered have had multiple Big Ten offers and they've chosen to commit elsewhere, which is why in the recent weeks, Chris Collins has begun extending more offers to players. Last year, Northwestern had verbal commitments from all three players in the 2016 class by July 6th. This year, July 6th came and went, and Northwestern didn't receive a commitment.
Brad Davison, Northwestern's top point guard target, recently announced his commitment to Wisconsin via Twitter.
After lots of Thought & Prayer with my Family, Im very excited to become a Badger ⚪ Thankful for this Opportunity pic.twitter.com/HrzS0Tk3Jk— Brad Davison (@braddavi34) July 11, 2016
Following Davison's commitment, Northwestern began to extend more offers because both of the point guards in the 2017 class they had offered committed elsewhere. Their other offer was to Kellan Grady, who announced his commitment to play at Davidson College on April 12th 2016.
So where does this leave Northwestern, after offering an extensive list of players and not receiving any commitments? Is it time to panic?
No, not yet.
Here's the good news:
Many of the players on Northwestern's list have not committed to other schools yet
Chris Collins and his staff are active on the recruiting trail and they are looking for the best players that would be a good fit for Northwestern- and they're not just handing out offers to players. All of the players they have extended offers to, they've talked to before and watched them play.
But here's the not-so-good news: the announcement $110 million dollar renovations of Welsh-Ryan Arena has not had an immediate impact on recruits like it was expected to.
Like he has done with his other recruiting classes, Chris Collins has set the bar high with this class. The players he and his staff have offered are getting attention from other Big Ten schools and top programs across the country. For example, Savion Flagg, a high four-star small forward, also holds offers from multiple NCAA Tournament teams including Stephen F. Austin, Maryland and Louisville. Justin Smith, a four-star power forward, also holds offers from the defending NCAA Tournament champions, Villanova. He also has an offer from Virginia, another NCAA Tournament team as well as offers from Big Ten rivals Indiana, Wisconsin and The University of Illinois.
Here's the other piece of the recruiting puzzle: because of the academic standards of Northwestern, Chris Collins is limited in who he can even begin to look at. Other Big Ten schools don't necessarily face this, making it even trickier to lure in top talent as some players may have difficulties qualifying academically.
So here's the bottom line
It's still early for 2017 commits. There are a myriad of players who have not committed yet and plenty of options for Chris Collins and his staff for the 2017 class. So no, don't panic yet. The Wildcats are going to get commitments. It's only a matter of time.