Mernagh: SINA AND LYLES MAKE BIG CALLS
Jaren Sina’s commitment to Northwestern yesterday evening was fantastic news for Bill Carmody and his staff. Sina is a high-scoring guard who has unlimited range on his jumper and can also find people or break his defender down off the bounce. Sina has a fantastic chance to step in and assume Jon Shurna’s role as the next four-year standout for the Wildcats. Sina should be a big part in what continues to be Northwestern’s struggle to finally break through and earn an NCAA Tournament berth. It’s apropos that Sina committed in July of 2012 because it was a hire that Carmody made in June of 2011, just about exactly a year prior to Sina’s announcement, that made the commitment possible.
Fred Hill had a rough time of it at Rutgers but that didn’t stop fellow Jersey guy Carmody from hiring him last summer as a full time assistant — a role that Hill excelled in for many years before getting his chance at Rutgers.
And make no mistake about it when it comes to the recruitment of Jaren Sina to Northwestern.
Fred Hill was the key.
“Freddy Hill got this done,” a veteran of the New Jersey prep scene told me, saying that Hill was at a ton of Sina’s games and really did a great job building on the trust and relationship that he had with both Jaren Sina and his father and coach at Gill St. Bernard’s Mergin Sina.
Sina was down to Alabama and Northwestern, having dropped Seton Hall after they accepted a commitment from Aquille Carr last December. Sina will bring a New Jersey flavor to his new city of Chicago. And a lot of the credit for that can definitely go to another Jersey guy in Fred Hill.
Lyles Pops for VCU
Another big commitment came a day or two before Sina’s when DeMatha guard Jairus Lyles popped for VCU and Shaka Smart. Lyles impressed us multiple times last season as a high major scoring guard with big play potential. Lyles’ commitment is just a shot across the bow of anyone who thought Smart and VCU were somehow going to slow their roll as they enter the A-10 a year ahead of schedule. The Rams will compete and contend from day one in the new league. They bring back a ton from last year’s successful squad, and adding Lyles, a top-100 kid in his class, shows that VCU intends to build on the plethora of talent they already have at their disposal.