Monday, May 14, 2007

Carmody, Northwestern make recruiting waves

POINT #1 .... The recent commitments from Glenbard West's John Shurna and Batavia's Nick Fruendt is obviously huge for a number of reasons. First, it's simply a great tandem to start building a program around. Now will this make Northwestern a Big Ten contender? No, but it's a huge step forward in trying to land the first NCAA Tournament bid this program covets.

POINT #2 .... Another big factor in this recruiting tandem is that it not only opens more doors for area players to consider Northwestern, but it comes off a year in which the Wildcats landed two supreme athletic prospects in the 2007 class. Lincoln Park's Michael "Juice" Thompson and Glenbard East's Mike Capocci will be freshmen at Northwestern this fall. These two players add a dimension Northwestern has lacked--speed and athleticism. Thompson is a jet-quick point guard while Capocci is a 6-7 versatile athlete.

Now you add Fruendt, a terrific all-around scorer, and the 6-8 fast-rising Shurna to the mix and Carmody will now have the best collection of talent he's had in Evanston since he's been there. You are talking about four players--Thompson, Capocci, Fruendt and Shurna--who are consensus top 15 players in their respective classes in this state. It can be argued that at least three of them--Thompson, Capocci and Fruendt--are top 10 recruits in Illinois, while Shurna may have the highest ceiling of them all.

POINT #3 .... This says a lot of about the recruiting ability of assistant coach Tavaras Hardy and academic lure of Northwestern. In the case of a lot of these players, the academic part is too difficult to pass up. Just as it is the case with other schools trying to take their program to another level, the fact other top prospects have committed to Northwestern only makes it easier for other potential recruits to also take the plunge.

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