Have Jaren Sina and Nate Taphorn laid the groundwork for Northwestern’s future?


After narrowly missing another NCAA tournament in 2011-12, it was debated after the season whether Northwestern head coach Bill Carmody would get another shot in Evanston.

He was granted that time and, so far, he’s capitalized.

After grabbing a commitment from Top 75 guard Jaren Sina, Carmody reeled in another recruit this past week with a commitment coming from 6-7 forward and Illinois native Nate Taphorn.

Sina, formerly an Alabama commit, becomes perhaps the Wildcats’ biggest recruit in a decade, while the John Shurna comparisons for Taphorn won’t end any time soon.

With these two guys set to be in Wildcats uniforms for the start of the 2013-14 season, it seems that losing John Shurna to graduation won’t necessarily hurt the Northwestern program long-term as much as once thought.

Credit not only goes to Carmody, but to the staff around him, as well.

Were it not for assistant Fred Hill, formerly the head coach at Rutgers and a guy regarded as one of the Northeast’s elite recruiters, Sina would be elsewhere. As detailed in this article from The Hoop Group, Hill tirelessly wrote handwritten letters to Sina to lure him to Northwestern.

Taphorn is an elite shooter and, though most of his other offers were from Missouri Valley-type schools, he fits as well into the system at Northwestern as a forward as Sina does at the point guard position.

While Taphorn and Sina play out their final high school years in 2012-13, the Wildcats will bring in four recruits from the Class of 2012, led by Kale Abrahamson, a 6-7 native of West Des Moines, Ia.

The toughest task will be replacing Shurna, whose 19.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game were both team-highs.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_