Chris Collins has made it clear in his first month as Northwestern's head coach that he wants to make his mark in the Chicago area. NU recently offered a scholarship to Marian Catholic's Tyler Ulis and got a visit from Whitney Young's Paul White. Collins also extended a little bit out of the Chicago area to offer Decatur's Marcus Bartley.
The latest Chicago-area player to come to campus was Fenwick High School's Scott Lindsey, who has yet to grab an NU offer, but came to Evanston on Thursday to see the campus of the school that has only recently started recruiting him. Lindsey has offers from just Indiana State and Hampton, but is stating to get more interest from high-major programs like Northwestern, which started to show interest after Collins was hired.
Even though Lindsey has just started hearing from NU, he decided to take a trip to Evanston to meet the coaching staff — he talked with Collins, assistant coach Tavaras Hardy and some other staff members — and see what the school was like.
"First of all, the campus, I liked it," he said. "It was great, it was big. They have a huge (football) stadium, and the football stadium is really nice. And then I saw the court and I loved the court. Everything is great. I already know about how good the school is. I talked to some of the guys and they said it’s really challenging, but they said it's worth it."
Ultimately, NU is the kind of place Lindsey wants to go — a school with "top-notch" academics and a rising basketball program. It's far too early for Lindsey to compare NU with other schools, since he doesn't even have an NU offer yet and thinks the earliest one could possibly come is July. However, what's important for the program overall is that Lindsey noticed the program's rise in recruiting ever since Collins was hired.
"The baskeball program, I think it’s on the up-and-up," he said. "With Coach Collins coming up, the program has a lot of buzz."
Given its current state, NU can't expect to come in and have its pick of the top recruits in the Chicago area. However, by creating a buzz by recruiting so many Chicago kids, Collins is advancing the program more into the public eye. His connections don't hurt, either, when trying to woo recruits, from his dad, a former NBA head coach, to Jon Scheyer, who led Duke to a National Championship while Collins was there. Scheyer was at NU to meet with Lindsey on his visit, which was a nice perk for Lindsey, who grew up watching Scheyer play.
"I think that’s great for the program, for him to have the connections that he has," Lindsey said. "It will give NU an edge over other people, and with his dad, he has a great knowledge of the game."
School: Fenwick (IL)
AAU: Illinois Old School
Other offers: Indiana State