This weekend was the first evaluation period of a crucial spring and summer recruiting season for Northwestern, and Chris Collins and his staff were busy watching and connecting with some of their top 2018 targets in the first Nike EYBL session of the year in Hampton, Va.
Here’s an update.
Ryan, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Milton, MA, is quickly becoming the hottest name in Northwestern basketball recruiting circles. Collins watched Ryan and his NY Rens team play multiple times this weekend, and the lanky sharpshooter didn’t disappoint, averaging 16.5 points per game over four contests and drawing positive reviews.
Love everything about 2018 Cormac Ryan's game. 6'5 W can handle pressure, shoot it and is an underrated athlete that doesn't back down #EYBL— Jack Herron (@jwherron10) April 22, 2017
For those that loved Kevin Huerter, Cormac Ryan is sort of a similar player. 6'5 combo guard that can create off the bounce and shoot. https://t.co/4GXIdvYyGe— Dean Francis (@OttosWorld365) April 22, 2017
Ryan was offered by Northwestern back in July and has taken multiple visits to Evanston since then, the most recent one to watch the Wildcats beat Indiana on January 29. His impressive offer sheet includes the Hoosiers, Florida, Michigan, Notre Dame, Stanford and Villanova.
Despite those impressive offers, there is plenty of momentum that suggests Northwestern is firmly in play, if not leading, the Ryan pursuit. Last Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein published an article detailing Ryan’s background and NU’s recruitment of the four-star wing.
So the question is this: Will the greatest season in NU basketball history help net the program's highest-ranked recruit?
What's clear is Ryan would be the most important addition in NU hoops history. He is expected to announce his college destination by the end of May — and it could come as early as this week.
Although Greenstein’s description of Ryan as the potential most important recruit in NU history is debatable — Ryan has a 0.9375 composite ranking on 247 Sports, solidly behind Vic Law, but Ryan is currently ranked higher than Law was by ESPN, Rivals and Scout — it’s worth reading the entire article, which is interesting and potentially noteworthy.
This is entirely speculation of course, but the mere fact that Greenstein decided to write the article could be a sign that he may have heard positive news from someone in Ryan’s camp or within Northwestern’s program.
The hype grew louder on Sunday when Rivals analyst Corey Evans, who was in Hampton this weekend, predicted that Ryan would be headed to Northwestern in a recap of Saturday’s action.
His day: Cormac Ryan is a straight baller. He is a no nonsense type of guy that can score the ball from all three levels but also create for others. He ended the night with an efficient 21 point outing, leading his New York Rens squad to a win.
Quote: “In terms of a timetable, I wouldn’t say I have one. The schools that I visited, I really liked. When I am confident with when I want to make a decision, I will make it.”
Prediction: The idea of reclassing into the 2017 has been presented to him but it looks as if he will remain within the 2018 class and select Northwestern when the time presents itself.
Obviously, all of this could mean nothing, but Ryan seems like the leading name in the 2018 class to keep your eyes on going forward.
No, nobody has predicted that Dosunmu will end up at Northwestern. But Collins and Co. are firmly entrenched in the recruitment of the star point guard from Chicago’s Morgan Park High School. If you aren’t familiar, Dosunmu is a top-40 player in the country who is considered a five-star recruit by 247 Sports and Scout. He dominated in Hampton this weekend for the Mac Irvin Fire, putting up 33, 25 and 25 points in his last three games.
Ayo Dosunmu with a cool 33 points today. Not many as competitive and wired to win than the top-30 junior guard— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) April 22, 2017
Northwestern offered Dosunmu last summer and he has taken multiple visits since then. Unsurprisingly, the rising senior has plenty of offers, but some experts speculate that the Wildcats are right there among the current leaders.
Per Roy Schmidt of Illinois Prep Bulls-eye on Twitter:
Folks--the current schools watching Ayo Dosunmu @ EYBL: Illinois, Northwestern, Xavier, Missouri, Creighton. Probably his top 5 right there.
In the same article I linked to about Ryan earlier, Evans predicts Dosunmu will end up at Illinois, whose new staff offered him on Saturday (John Groce had done so previously). Dosunmu also recently picked up an offer from NC State, and similar to the Mark Smith situation, it may only be a matter of time before traditional powerhouses like Kentucky get involved. Still, Northwestern is absolutely in the running for a five-star recruit, which is groundbreaking in and of itself. Dosunmu would be a game-changer.
Horton-Tucker, a four-star forward from Simeon High School in Chicago, is a teammate of Dosunmu’s for Mac Irvin Fire and also a Northwestern target. Luckily for Collins, he was able to watch both play simultaneously this weekend! In the same game that Dosunmu went for 33 points, Horton-Tucker recorded a triple-double with exactly 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He too was offered by Brad Underwood and Illinois on Saturday, and is also looking at Iowa State, Xavier, Creighton and others.
Collins also spent time watching Finke, a four-star shooting guard from Champaign, as he averaged over 18 points and 6 rebounds per game for the Nike Meanstreets this weekend. Finke is the brother of current Illinois player Michael Finke, so his local school is obviously in play, but he’s also interested in Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, Oregon and others.