Ryan Greer joins the 2018 squad having foregone his senior year of high school in favor of joining the Wildcats. He was an important pickup for Chris Collins considering the departure of fellow point guard Jordan Lathon from the 2018 recruiting class, as well as Isiah Brown’s departure.
Who he is:
Freshman; point guard; 6-foot-2; 185 pounds; Atlanta, Ga.
Averaged 12.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game in his junior year of high school. Earned a NEPSAC AAA championship and led the team to the final of the Prep School National Championship.
Greer is a solid all-around point guard. In describing Greer, Collins likes to emphasize the intangibles that Greer possesses.
“Ryan brings great toughness, a high basketball IQ and a top-notch work ethic that will fit in well with our program,” Collins said. “He’s a proven winner.”
Greer’s intangibles translate into his playing style. He doesn’t excel in any specific field, but he’s solid everywhere. Offensively, he has the ability to shoot efficiently and effectively, knocking down 49% of his three point attempts last year. He’s also able to spread the ball around and is active on the offensive glass, averaging just shy of two offensive rebounds per game, albeit against shorter opponents.
Defensively, Greer has the capability of containing the opposing ball handler. He produced 2 steals per game in his junior year, He had a .76 steal to turnover ratio, meaning he is able to take the ball on defense more than he gives it up on offense. If he can translate the efficiency and productivity that he displayed in high school to the college game, he’ll have a great shot at filling the shoes left by B-Mac.
The most glaring weakness with Greer comes in the form of his youth. He enters Northwestern as an 18-year-old who only played three years of high school basketball. Clearly Collins is comfortable bringing Greer in despite his inexperience, but it’ll be interesting to see how this factor influences his development in the early stages of his college career.
He also is limited in his ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the hoop. When faced with tight man defense, he may struggle to rely on his pull up jump shot. On the defensive side of the ball, he’s never had the chance to face off with elite guards that can attack the rim. In college, he’ll have to defend elite ball handlers each and every week.
In usual circumstances, I wouldn’t expect Greer to get much time in his freshman season. However, Northwestern severely lacks guard depth this year, especially in terms of ball handlers. With Jordan Lathon’s exit from the program before the season, and Isiah Brown’s transfer, Northwestern is limited in who can run the offense.
Anthony Gaines, Jordan Ash, or A.J. Turner should get most of the minutes at point guard. Still, if Greer can establish himself early in the season, he’ll have the opportunity to garner plenty of minutes quickly. It’s tough to place lofty expectations on a freshman that reclassified from 2019, but Greer might be tasked with leading Northwestern’s offense for a significant portion of the season, whether that be coming off the bench or starting.