The only assessments Scott Lindsey can make about his recruitment are grounded in anticipation and speculation. He wholeheartedly believes he has the talent, size and skills to play at a high major program, but to date has only received offers from Indiana State, Hampton and IUPUI. By the end of summer, he hopes to be speaking in absolutes about some of the power conference schools – Vanderbilt, Oregon State, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Northwestern – that will be watching him this July on the AAU circuit.
“That was always been a goal,” Lindsey said Tuesday afternoon of the idea of playing for a major conference school. Among the schools he will be trying to impress this summer, Northwestern ranks near the top. For Lindsey, the Wildcats offer an attractive mix of both basketball upside – Lindsey believes Northwestern is “on the rise” – and local comfort. The opportunity to play Big Ten basketball close to home, where his parents can see him play, is an important point of interest. “Being able to stay close to home is definitely a factor,” he said.
Schools like IU, Vanderbilt and Iowa didn’t start reaching out to Lindsey until recently, a rise in general recruiting interest he attributes to a string of strong performances throughout the spring, as well as his efforts in the Oak Park and River Forest High School Summer League, which he and his team, Fenwick, won outright.
“Schools have been calling me since,” Lindsey said.
His recruitment with Northwestern began well before Lindsey’s rise in the Chicago recruiting scene. Northwestern coach Chris Collins is a longtime friend of Illinois Old School AAU owner Scott Lidskin, who recommended in May that Lindsey take a visit to Northwestern’s campus. Lindsey’s interest in the Wildcats took off from there. He liked everything Collins had to say about his “vision” for the program, his plans to replace the Wildcats Princeton offense with an up-tempo offense and his designs on getting a long-middling program over the NCAA Tournament hump.
The point that resonated most strongly with Lindsey was Collins emphasis’ on trying to build a strong foundation for his program with local players.
“I would like to be a part of something where I could say, ‘oh, we started this legacy’,” he said.
More memorable than the conversation with Collins was a scrimmage Lindsey participated in with several current NU players, including point guard Dave Sobolewski. “I felt like I held my own,” he said. Lindsey also had the pleasure of meeting former Duke guard and national champion Jon Scheyer, now an assistant with the Blue Devils.
In Collins’ motion-style offense, Lindsey, who stands 6-foot-5, 180-pounds, says he could play shooting guard, the same position most major conference schools are recruiting him at. Lindsey believes he also has the length and versatility to play small forward.
No matter what position he plays this summer, the Wildcats – along with several other schools – will be watching. Lindsey has three Tournaments planned for the summer: the Adidas Invitational Tournament in Indianapolis (July 10-14), The Under Armour Summer Jam in Milwaukee (July 17-21) and a GRBA event at Spiece Fieldhouse in Fort Wayne, Indiana (July 25-28).
At the end of his summer gauntlet, Lindsey plans to evaluate his list of offers, take a few visits and -- “depending on how many offers I get” – even make a final decision as early as August. The Wildcats could be one of those offers; if so, Lindsey plans to take another visit.
The status of Lindsey’s recruitment underscores the importance of the July evaluation period. A few strong Tournaments, a continuation of the performance major coaches took note of during his eyebrow-raising run with Fenwick in the Oak Park league, and Lindsey’s options could greatly expand.
Whichever schools do offer Lindsey, the Wildcats will have two unique advantages. First, they were the first high-major program to get Lindsey on campus for a visit, before he became a well-known among prospect surrounding schools. They also have Lindsey’s geographical preference in their backpocket. “Staying close to home would be cool,” he said.
Those qualities cannot be overlooked.
School: Fenwick (IL)
AAU: Illinois Old School
Other offers: Indiana State
Notes: Under the radar guard; Took unofficial visit to NU and liked momentum of the program