It's official. The Jaren Sina saga is over. Sina tweeted that he would be attending Seton Hall next year, joining former Northwestern assistant coach Fred Hill, who was his lead recruiter at NU.
When you consider the Fred Hill factor, the fit into the Pirates' system and the home-state factor, it makes sense. While many Northwestern fans are undoubtedly disappointed by the news — after all, Sina was NU's highest-ranked recruit in, well, ever — there is actually a silver lining to this. The circus is over, and that's exactly what this whole saga was: a circus.
I'm not going to blame Sina for leading NU, Alabama and Indiana on for so long, because I'm not in his position. I'm sure it's a tough decision to make, especially having already been committed before and having the decision examined under a microscope. However, this was a tough situation for NU and the other schools involved in the circus. It left the future uncertain, and after so much uncertainty this past season, NU needed stability once again.
So no, the Wildcats won't get their "best recruit ever" this season, but now NU can finally move on to the future with a cast of players — a pretty good one, I might add — that is fully committed to the university. Well, that's not exactly true, as Drew Crawford could still transfer, but he's participating in offseason workouts and has always been more likely to be a part of next year's team than Sina.
In terms of future rosters, this isn't all that bad. For one, NU already has three solid guards next year in JerShon Cobb, Tre Demps and Dave Sobolewski. Sina likely would have cracked the rotation, but no three-star recruit is ever a guarantee for greatness, especially immediately. It also leaves another scholarship open for a 2014 class that has the potential to be special. Chris Collins has already made some strides in recruiting Chicago's 2014 class — that group should be great — and got four-star Paul White to campus. He's also pursuing solid players like Vic Law and Marcus Bartley.
People made a big deal about NU retaining Hill to keep Sina, and that could have been a factor — this was clearly about the coaching staff more than the school — but building the foundation for the new coaching staff had to be about more than keeping a three-star who's never played in a college game. Sina could have helped NU, but losing him isn't as big of a deal as it might seem. More importantly, NU can finally move on. The picture for the future of NU basketball just got clearer.