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Monday, March 18, 2013
Northwestern expected to release PG

By Adam Finkelstein

Only two days after firing head coach Bill Carmody, Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips flew to New Jersey on Monday to meet with four-star senior point guard signee Jaren Sina (Lake Hopatcong, N.J./Gill St. Bernard's), one of the best recruits Carmody had been able to land during his 13-year tenure.

As a result of the meeting, Sina is now expected to be released from his letter of intent with Northwestern within the next two days, according to his father and high school coach, Mergin Sina.

Jaren Sina
Uncommitted senior point guard Jaren Sina is one to watch this spring signing period.
“We’re going to get the release because they might bring a guy in that’s not a great fit with Jaren,” Mergin said. “But we love the school.”

While Sina will still consider Northwestern, the decision is likely going to come down to fit with the head coach, just like it did when he originally committed to the Wildcats. As such, a lot will depend on who Phillips ultimately selects to replace Carmody.

This will now be Sina’s third time going through the recruiting process. He initially made a verbal commitment to Alabama during his sophomore year, only to reopen his recruitment in early October of his junior year. He later committed to Northwestern just prior to the beginning of last July’s evaluation period.

In each of those situations, the respective head coaches and coaching staffs spent a considerable amount of time watching Sina play. According to his father, it was only after “they saw the good, they saw the bad, and they said, ‘I want him,'” that he committed.

The key for both father and son is that a coach have a complete understanding of who Sina is as a player before committing to him.

“I know a lot of these guys have doubts,” Mergin said. “But if you have a doubt, that’s not a good thing for a player because you’re going to go back to that doubt if things don’t go 100 percent right.”

But with Sina’s high school career now a thing of the past and the late signing period only weeks away in mid April, there might not be the same opportunity for evaluation or courtship there was in either of the last two times through this process.

While Sina won’t be permitted to speak to college coaches until he receives his release, one school that is already gaining traction is Seton Hall. The Pirates have seen plenty of Sina over the years by virtue of their close proximity and have a need at the position following Monday’s announcement that sophomore point guard Aaron Cosby will transfer.

Also don’t rule out possible reunions with either Northwestern or Alabama. Sina continues to be enamored with Northwestern as a school, as well as the opportunity to lead the Wildcats to an NCAA tournament. Meanwhile, while neither father nor son has ever lost their affinity for Alabama or coach Anthony Grant, despite Sina's decommitment from the Tide.