Chris Collins

Forward Derek Pardon becomes Northwestern’s second 2015 commitment

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Northwestern head coach Chris Collins and his coaching staff have done a good job on the recruiting trail since arriving in Evanston last spring, signing a solid¬†five-member 2014 class that’s expected to help the Wildcats this coming season. With that group, led by wing Vic Law, set to arrive on campus this summer, the focus is now on Northwestern’s 2015 recruiting class.

Saturday the Wildcats landed a second verbal commitment in the class, with 6-foot-8 forward Derek Pardon making his pledge to the Big Ten program. He joins guard Jordan Ash, who verbally committed to attend Northwestern in mid-March. Pardon’s decision was first announced by his high school coach, Babe Kwasniak at Villa Angela-St. Joseph HS in Cleveland, Ohio.

According to Evan Daniels of Scout.com, Pardon picked Northwestern over Pittsburgh and Dayton. As a junior Pardon posted averages of 11.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, leading his team in the latter category.

Among Pardon’s high school teammates is fellow forward Carlton Bragg, a five-star recruit in the 2015 class who has received attention from many of the nation’s best college programs. Pardon plays his grassroots basketball for the King James Shooting Stars program, which now has three verbal commitments in the 2015 class.

Shooting guard Kyle Ahrens verbally committed to attend Michigan State earlier this weekend, and center Nate Fowler picked Butler in late-May.

VIDEO: Marquette’s Henry Ellenson shows off his versatility

Marquette's Henry Ellenson is fouled by Providence's Ben Bentil as he drives to the basket during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
(AP Photo/Morry Gash)
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I’m on record saying that I would consider Marquette freshman Henry Ellenson if I had the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft, and while, at this point, I think that Brandon Ingram is probably going to end up going No. 2 — (Maybe No. 1???) — I still believe that Ellenson is going to be one of the best players from this draft class.

Why?

Well, just take a look at these highlights from the 26-point, 16-rebound performance he had in a win over Providence last night.

Then remember that Ellenson is 6-foot-11:

POSTERIZED: Pensacola State’s Jamal Thomas dunks through block attempt, makes coach go nuts

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A solid poster dunk went down in the junior college ranks last night as Pensacola State sophomore Jamal Thomas finished a dunk through a block attempt against Northwest Florida State.

The 6-foot-3 Thomas used his power and momentum to go through the opposing shot blocker and the play made his head coach, Pete Pena, go nuts with an over-exaggerated fist pump. The video is short, but be sure to watch for Pena’s reaction near the logo at the top right of the screen.