By Kevin Sweeney
Since taking over at Northwestern, Chris Collins has consistently landed higher-rated recruits than his predecessors. Vic Law got the ball going in 2014 as a 4-star prospect, and Collins made waves last summer by landing a pair of top-150 recruits in Pete Nance and Miller Kopp.
An even-higher ranked recruit chose to make his verbal commitment to Collins and his staff Monday, when consensus 4-star forward Robbie Beran committed to the program. The news was first reported by Evan Daniels of 247Sports. Beran, ranked as high as #46 nationally in the class of 2019 by 247Sports.com, is the highest-rated recruit in program history. His commitment comes after taking an official visit to Evanston this weekend. Beran chose the ‘Cats over a final three that also included Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech, and he also received offers from Louisville, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Maryland, Xavier, and a slew of other high-major programs.
Beran, a 6-9 combo forward from Richmond, Virginia, was one of the nation’s biggest stock-risers this spring and summer. His recruitment took off in July and August during the summer evaluation period while playing for his AAU program, Team Richmond-Garner Road. Beran told Richmond.com that at one point, he received 80 texts and 30 voicemails in a 2-day span while his many suitors attempted to sway him.
Beran’s versatile offensive game makes him a perfect fit for Northwestern, especially with recent reports of Collins and his staff attempting to embrace “positionless basketball”. He is athletic, can really shoot the ball, and has great instincts. The scariest part is that Beran may still be getting better as he grows into his body––he has grown about three inches in the last two years.
After a slow start, this is shaping up to be another outstanding class for Northwestern. Beran’s commitment comes just a day after the Wildcats landed high-upside big man Jared Jones, a fringe top-150 recruit out of Georgia. Northwestern also has a 2019 commitment from Daniel “Boo” Buie, a late stock-riser at the point guard position. In all, the 2019 class is currently ranked #25 nationally and #5 in the Big Ten by 247Sports. Collins and his staff still have at least 2 scholarships to work with for the 2019 class, with Pennsylvania guard Maceo Austin (ranked 244th in the 247 composite) expected to announce his decision soon. Austin is also considering Penn State, Duquesne, and VCU, and Jones said that he planned to recruit both Beran and Austin to the program after committing last night:
Northwestern also has an official visit with Maryland wing Yavuz Gultekin (#162 in the composite) scheduled for October 12. He’s also considering Minnesota, Nebraska, TCU, and Georgetown, among others.
A core of Beran, Nance, and Kopp with a host of other well-regarded recruits filling out the supporting cast has limitless potential. If developed over the next several years, it could bring the Northwestern men’s basketball program to new heights.