With the way Connor Niego played this summer and with added interest from college programs since, the Lyons Township star could have simply played the recruiting game out a little longer.
There were more suitors warming up to the 6-8 Niego, a City/Suburban Hoops Report top 20 prospect in the senior class. But even with the possibility of more options on the horizon, he didn’t see any need to wait. Niego committed to Holy Cross and coach Bill Carmody.
“Even if I had waited longer it was going to be Holy Cross,” says Niego of the timing of his decision to commit. “So I didn’t see any reason to wait. I couldn’t pass it up.”
Niego visited Holy Cross last fall on an unofficial visit. He enjoyed his time on campus and the beauty of the school. Carmody and his staff kept tabs on Niego’s progress as player, watched him throughout July and offered the skilled 4-man in late July.
“It’s gorgeous,” says Niego. “I loved the campus feel at Holy Cross and the area it’s in. It’s 30 or 35 minutes outside of Boston, which is a great city. I fell in love with it.”
In addition to the high academics Holy Cross offers, Niego also could see himself playing in Carmody’s system.
“I think my overall game is a great fit for their system,” says Niego, who also had offers from Winthrop, Wisconsin-Green Bay and Evansville.
Carmody, the former Northwestern coach, led Holy Cross to a NCAA Tournament berth in his first season last year. Now he adds a forward with size, skill and versatility as Niego has matured physically and added to his overall game.
With an improved inside game and added strength to go with his blue-collar approach, Niego has evolved into a multi-faceted 4-man with room to grow.