St. Joseph’s Jordan Ash commits to Northwestern
BY JOE HENRICKSEN AND SETH GRUEN Staff Reporters March 19, 2014 6:00PM
Westchester, 3/7/14--St. Joe's Jordan Ash drives toward the basket around Timothy Christian's Robert McGivney during Friday's IHSA class 3A regional championship at St. Joseph High School in Westchester. | Jeff Krage/For Sun-Times Media ORG XMIT: CST1403072114464355
Updated: March 20, 2014 10:06AM
As a hot shot eighth grade basketball prospect heading to a high-profile basketball program like St. Joseph, Jordan Ash was recruited by college coaches at a very young age.
“I’ve heard a lot of recruiting pitches,” said Ash.
There was no need to hear anymore after listening to what Northwestern coach Chris Collins had to say.
Ash ended his recruitment on Wednesday, committing to Collins and Northwestern after being recruited and offered by the likes of Iowa, Purdue and Boston College among others.
Although Ash was recruited by the previous Northwestern staff, he admits his view and perception of NU basketball changed when the new staff took over and the direction and style of the program changed.
“It was just a different feel than what I had before,” says Ash of his perception of Northwestern. “I felt comfortable. Coach Collins and his staff just seem to really relate to their players, seemed to know, understand and relate to what I’ve been going through in the recruiting process. So I knew when I evaluated everything that Northwestern was it.”
With the commitment of Ash to Northwestern, the transformation from what was and what Collins envisions for his program continues.
Ash, a 6-2 guard, brings yet another and much-needed athlete to the stable for Collins and a program that improved in that area with its five-man Class of 2014 recruiting class. Ash becomes the first member of Northwestern’s Class of 2015, which figures to include at least two more prospects.
Ash has been a recognizable name on the prep basketball scene throughout his three years in high school. His strong academics, high character and maturity that he brings to the table fit the Northwestern profile, but it’s his athleticism that will help change the basketball dynamic in Collins’ program.
In addition to his athleticism, Ash plays hard and brings a level of toughness. Positive strides continue to be made when it comes to Ash’s improved shooting, ballhandling and perimeter instincts.
“They don’t talk about me being a point guard or a 2-guard,” says Ash of how Collins and the staff view him. “They want me to be a basketball player.”
The change in style and personnel from previous coach Bill Carmody to Collins wasn’t going to happen overnight, particularly finding the right players to fit the style Collins wants to play. The Ash commitment, however, is another step in the continued development of Northwestern basketball under Collins. The challenge of changing the NU basketball culture was attractive to Ash.
“I love challenges, and I love getting past those challenges,” says Ash of wanting to be a part of the first Northwestern team to reach a NCAA Tournament. “This is a place where we can make history, do the unexpected. We can do that at Northwestern. That’s exciting to me.”
Ash and future Northwestern 2015 commitments will follow up a solid Class of 2014, which includes St. Rita 6-7 forward Vic Law, Fenwick’s versatile 6-5 Scott Lindsey, 6-3 point guard Bryan McIntosh out of Indiana, California point guard Johnnie Vassar, and 6-8 Gavin Skelly from Cleveland.