WildcatReport - Cats land a big one in four-star, Rivals150 guard Ty Berry
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Cats land a big one in four-star, Rivals150 guard Ty Berry

Ty Berry
Ty Berry (https:/rivals.com)

Four-star guard Ty Berry's commitment to Northwestern on Wednesday night signaled two things.

One, the Wildcats landed the No. 118 player in the nation to fill a critical combo guard need in their backcourt. And two, the program seems to have gotten some of its mojo back, at least in recruiting.

The 6-foot-3 Berry was the Wildcats' top target after four-star commitment Joe Bamisile flipped to Virginia Tech in late July, so landing the versatile scorer represents a big recruiting win for the Wildcats.

Berry, from Bel Aire (Kan.) Sunrise Christian Academy and the KC Run GMC AAU program, chose Northwestern over Big Ten rival Minnesota. He took official visits to both schools in August and picked the Wildcats over the Gophers for the most part because of the relationship he has with head coach Chris Collins and his staff.

Iowa State, Oklahoma State and Iowa were other schools that offered Berry and were in the mix at one time or another throughout his recruitment.

Suddenly, the Wildcats have a solid, if not formidable 2020 class after entering the fall without a single commit and still feeling the sting of Bamisile's decommitment.

First, three-star, 6-foot-11 big man Matt Nicholson of Clarkston (Mich.) jumped on board with his commitment on Sept. 22. Now, the Wildcats have Berry, the player they feel can lead the offense for the future, either on or off the ball -- their Bryant McIntosh, if you will.

And, like McIntosh, don't be surprised if Collins hands over the keys to Berry as a freshman.

"He thinks I'll be able to come in and make an impact right away," Berry told WildcatReport back in August, after his official visit.

Northwestern thinks that Berry has the ball and decision-making skills to run the point, as well as the shooting and defensive ability to play as a two guard. With Berry joining Anthony Gaines, Boo Buie, Ryan Greer and Chase Audige, Northwestern will have good depth at the guard spots after having very little last season.

Berry said that he felt a connection to both the coaching staff and players during his official visit, and that is what ultimately made the difference in his decision. He told WildcatReport that he liked Minnesota's campus and facilities, but what stood out the most about his Northwestern visit was the bond he had with the people in the program.

Rivals' basketball recruiting expert Corey Evans likes what he saw from Berry this summer and thinks he is just the kind of shooter who can lift a Northwestern offense that often had trouble putting the ball in the basket last season, when they finished last in the Big Ten in scoring.

"Ty is a well-rounded guard that can play on and off of the ball," Evans said. "He is a decent athlete that has improved as a finisher around the basket but, most of all, is valued for his shot making.

"He can really get it going out to 22 feet and does not lack for confidence. He is a more than capable playmaker but he is best used in a scoring capacity. In all, he is a very solid pickup for Chris Collins and someone that should immediately help in the backcourt."

Coming off of a disappointing 2018-19 season and picked to finish last again in the Big Ten this season, Northwestern badly needed a jolt to get its recruiting back on track. The addition of Nicholson and Berry gives the Wildcats some hope for the immediate future.

Plus, the 2021 class is already off to a strong start, as the Wildcats hosted a trio of Rivals150 players last weekend for official visits: Jaden Akins, Pierre Brooks and Julian Roper.