The up-and-coming coach and program landed the fastest rising senior in Illinois as Fenwick's Scott Lindsey is headed to Northwestern.
Lindsey committed to coach Chris Collins and the Wildcats Sunday night over Iowa, Vanderbilt, Nevada and a host of others.
"I really thought from the beginning that Northwestern would be a great fit for me," says Lindsey. "I look at Northwestern almost like an extension of my high school, where they put academics first and on top of everything else. That's the type of environment I am use to and one I wanted. I just loved the fit."
But for a student-athlete who really does put academics first, the basketball fit had to be perfect as well. Lindsey hit it off with Collins and had a previous relationship with assistant coach Armon Gates.
"It's an up-and-coming program," says Lindsey. "He's been under two great coaches in his dad [Doug Collins] and Coach K. He's a great guy who I'm comfortable with."
There was no other player in the Class of 2014 who raised their stock more in Illinois than Lindsey, a versatile 6-5 perimeter threat who showed this past summer he's just beginning to put all his valuable pieces together. Lindsey is a multi-faceted perimeter player with terrific size and a skill level that allows him to put the ball on the floor, slash, get to the rim and really shoot the ball from the perimeter.
With his still developing body and game, Lindsey is one of those high-ceiling recruits who appears far from maxing out. When watching Lindsey in July with his Old School AAU team, it was easy to see it was all coming together after an up-and-down junior campaign at Fenwick. Always capable of making shots from the perimeter, Lindsey diversified his game while becoming more capable and confident in putting the ball on the floor.
"When I first saw him, he was a shooter rather than a scorer," says first-year Fenwick coach Rick Malnati. "Now he's scoring in a variety of ways. He's handling the ball better and with more confidence. A lot of this is his maturation from his junior to senior year, but he has a young guy's body still, and his confidence is still growing."
Currently, Lindsey is in the process of recovering from a broken leg he suffered while on an unofficial visit to Vanderbilt in late August. He's expected back in December for a Fenwick team that hopes to challenge for a Chicago Catholic League title.
Lindsey, who has vaulted up the Hoops Report's player rankings in the Class of 2014 and is now among the top dozen prospects in the class, joins an impressive first recruiting class for Northwestern. St. Rita senior star Vic Law, a 6-7 forward, committed to Collins in early July, while the Wildcats were also able to nab out-of-state talents in point guard Bryant McIntosh out of Indiana and 6-8 Gavin Skelly out of Cleveland.
"I think the recruiting class we have coming in is pretty special," says Lindsey.
And the sleeper in the class may just be Lindsey, a player Northwestern zeroed in on following the July evaluation period and was able to secure with both Vandy and Iowa lurking.
Collins, who brought instant name recognition to the Chicago area with his hire last spring, has shown the ability to keep Northwestern relevant locally while branching outside the state as well.
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