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Northwestern Notebook 7/3

by Kevin Trahan (@k_trahan)

It was a crazy day in the Northwestern sports world, so we're putting out our July 3 notebook a little early to recap the day that was on July 2. Enjoy!

Sina Commits to NU

Of all the news for Northwestern fans to celebrate on Monday, but the biggest news of all was the commitment of four-star point guard Jaren Sina. He chose the Wildcats over Rutgers, Seton Hall and Alabama and Scout ranks him as the No. 82 player in the 2013 recruiting class and the No. 18 point guard in the country.

Sina was recruited by Fred Hill, the former Rutgers head coach — he offered Sina the scholarship to Rutgers — who is now a Northwestern assistant. That relationship seems to be what put NU over the top, at least judging from this excerpt from Scout.com:

"My first offer was Rutgers as a freshman from Fred Hill,” Sina said. “He’s now an assistant coach Northwestern. I’ve known him from the beginning. It’s been great with coach Hill. He’s been there for a while.”

When Hill was hired at Northwestern, he made it clear Sina would be targeted.

“He told me right away, you are our no. 1 guy,” Sina said.

This is a huge get for the Northwestern program and for Bill Carmody, who has suddenly gone on a massive recruiting streak that has included picking up center Alex Olah (6-10 to 7-0, depending on who you ask), 7-2 center Chier Ajou and Louisville transfer Jared Swopshire. However, Sina is the first major recruit Carmody has landed in a long time and possibly the best he's gotten to commit to NU during his tenure.

It's hard to say where Sina will fit in right away — he still has a year of high school to play — but he is certainly talented enough to play right away and become a star at NU. This could also help bring other top targets to Evanston, as players start to view NU as a legitimate program. The Cats are after a number of Chicago prospects in the 2013 class, so if Sina's commitment helps persuade one of those players to come, NU could be in the NCAA Tournament sooner rather than later.

NU Inspiration for Under Armour

Northwestern released this video today, as Under Armour looks for inspiration in putting together NU's new uniforms. Nothing was really revealed about the uniforms, but it was an interesting look into how things are coming together.

Adam Clement, the senior design manager, noted that, while the jerseys for each of NU's 19 sports will be different, there will be "consistent design language" throughout.

NU fans will certainly be happy about the "reclaim the stripes" part of the video and Clement said that on his trip to the Northwestern campus, the gothic architecture and arches stood out to him, and the uniform designs will reflect some of that history.

The biggest thing that stood out to me was the business side of things, which should make athletic director Jim Phillips happy — he has a marketing background. Clement said that Under Armour will build in "brand awareness," which is something that Adidas didn't offer. These uniforms can help NU build a recognizable brand, which will be huge for all aspects of the program, from selling jerseys to helping recruiting.

Our own Chris Johnson wrote more on the subject here.

2011 Football Recap Video

It was a busy day for the Northwestern video department, as another NU video came out today, this one a recap of the 2011 football season.

The 2012 season is now less than two months away, as the Wildcats are set to kick off the season at Syracuse on September 1.

More NU reading

Scout.com's Chris Emma broke the news that a $300 million lakefront practice facility may be coming to NU soon.

Our own Chris Johnson looks at what to expect from the Big Ten's 2012 NBA draftees.

A recruiting update from Inside NU and Scout.com.

ESPN.com's Eamonn Brennan has a good take on just how big a pickup Sina is for Northwestern.

Northwestern football season tickets are up 58% from last year. Crain's Chicago Business has a nice article on it, as well as this quote from NU associate director of external affairs Mike Polisky that I thought was pretty funny, but a good tactic:

"We are OK with being your second favorite team," he says (of Chicago Big Ten football fans). "If you wear purple for six games and then cheer for your school when they're in town, that's fine."

Good read from Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago on Sina's commitment, including this quote from Sina's dad. Sina's commitment could lead to a domino effect that gets other top recruits to commit to NU.

"Northwestern got Jaren," Mergin said. "I know it's a start. Once you get a player with Jaren's talent -- I'm not saying Jaren is going to be the Derrick Rose of Chicago -- but other people may follow him. People who really want to be student-athletes. There will be some players who will follow us."