It's no secret that in Chris Collins has ramped up recruiting in his first three years at Northwestern, with many of his younger players (i.e. Bryant McIntosh, Vic Law) making an instant impact in the beginning of their college careers. This year's class of men's basketball freshmen appears to be no different:
Hailing from Newton, MA, Falzon is Collins’ most prized recruit this year. A six-foot, eight-inch 213-pound power forward, the four-star recruit was ranked 75th in the nation and 17th at his position by ESPN. Falzon can shoot the lights out, and Collins has raved about his ability to stretch the defense. Look for the hybrid forward to make an immediate impact, as Falzon will be put in position to catch and shoot often.
Collins on Falzon:
“Aaron brings that element of shooting that just cannot be understated. His ability to shoot the ball at 6’8” is a huge thing, and he brings a good basketball IQ. You can play him with a lot of different players and different types of lineups. He really helps stretch the defense because he needs to be guarded at all times. I feel he’s as good a catch and shoot player coming into college as there is in the country, he’s that good of a shooter.”
“It’s exciting to play your first college season. I’ve been working on adjusting to the speed of the game and the level of play; especially defensively, it’s a lot faster and more physical. Also in the offseason I’ve put on 15 pounds with our strength and conditioning coach so it’s been a process, but you continue to get better.”
“I think I can come in and score some points for us and be a versatile player. I can play different positions whether it’s small forward, power forward and just kind of do whatever they ask of me.”
Along with Vic Law and Scottie Lindsey, Ash is Collins’ third commit to come out of the Chicago Catholic League. A three star six-foot three-inch, 190-pound recruit, Ash is a feisty, explosive and physical guard. The ‘Cats will look for Ash to contribute with his energy, athleticism and defensive abilities as a third guard behind Bryant McIntosh and Tre Demps.
Collins on Ash:
“Jordan brings a toughness, a winning mentality – he’s a dirty work guy. He’s not afraid to be physical with other team’s guards, he’s a tremendous defender and he can score a little bit too. He provides us with a good third guard behind Bryant and Tre, he can play with either one of those guys and be effective.”
“We’ve got one of the better backcourts that I’ve seen in the league with Bryant and Tre. They are going to score a lot of points. We’ve got a lot of scoring threats, so when I come in, obviously I’m going to shoot open shots and be aggressive on the offensive end, but I feel like I can really help this team on the defensive end.”
“Just being a strong defender, my quickness, my strength, my athleticism, that’s something I can bring to this team. When we step on the court I want to be that guy that can try and take [the better guards in the Big Ten] out of their game, get in their heads and make it difficult for them on the offensive end. When I’m in, I just want to amp up the pressure.”
A three-star recruit from Cleveland, Pardon is listed at six-feet eight-inches, 230 pounds. But with a seven-foot three-inch wingspan, the ridiculously lanky Pardon plays like a seven-footer. An incredible shot blocker, Pardon is athletic, long, and has a soft touch for a big man. Although playing behind veteran Alex Olah and transfer Joey Van Zegeren, Pardon’s potential is immense. While he may not make an immediate impact (he will redshirt this season), his future is undoubtedly bright.
Collins on Pardon:
“Dererk has an enormously high upside. He can really run the floor and he’s an outstanding shot blocker. He’s a different kind of big guy that we’ve had – he’s very mobile, very active on the boards, relentless, a hard worker. I think he sees that there are two seniors ahead of him, but I think Dererk has a great attitude about it. I feel Dererk has an enormous future here and he’s even better than I thought he would be coming out of high school.”
“I’ve learned a lot from [Olah and Van Zegeren]. They are both two different players, Alex is more of a skilled guy and Joey is more of a bruiser down low. They really mentored me and took me under their wing.”
“[I would like to] develop an all around game on the offensive and defensive side. I think when I came in here I was more defensive-minded. I’ve been trying to develop my post game more and my offensive decisions.”