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Northwestern’s Chris Collins excited about first recruiting class

Chris Collins picked up his first head-coaching wNU Saturday relying his bench overcome “monster foul trouble whole game.” | Nam

Chris Collins picked up his first head-coaching win at NU on Saturday, relying on his bench to overcome “monster foul trouble the whole game.” | Nam Y. Huh/AP

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Updated: November 13, 2013 10:42PM

For months, the hype surrounding the Northwestern basketball program and first-year coach Chris Collins had been hard to gauge.

There was a system change and a cultural overhaul that might have been refreshing to an NCAA tournament-starved fan base, but nothing that indicated true progress.

Until Wednesday. That’s when Collins received letters of intent from forwards Vic Law (St. Rita) and Gavin Skelly (Westlake, Ohio) and guards Bryant McIntosh (New Castle, Ind.) and Scott Lindsey (Fenwick).

Those four players, Collins’ first signees, make up the best recruiting class in school history. And it started with the commitment of blue-chipper Law.

‘‘It was very important for us to kind of get the class started with a marquee player, someone we could build the class around,’’ Collins said. ‘‘He’s the one who set the stage for the whole recruiting class. I think he was excited about being — forever — that first guy as part of my tenure at Northwestern. So I think it’s a bond that he and I share.’’

What Law represents is an inroad into Chicago recruiting that hasn’t been available to the Wildcats before. As soon as he gave his verbal commitment, others followed.

All four players could play a role for NU next season, particularly McIntosh. The Wildcats are in desperate need of an athletic point guard, such as McIntosh, who can run the up-tempo motion offense Collins is trying to employ.

‘‘He’s got the whole package as a guard,’’ Collins said. ‘‘He’s going to be a key guy for us as a freshman, and I expect him in his four-year career to have a chance to be one of the top guards in the Big Ten.’’


Twitter: @SethGruen

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