Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Northwestern hires Duke assistant and former Glenbrook North Spartan Chris Collins

There you have it. Northwestern is set to hire Duke assistant Chris Collins, per basically everyone on the Internet, less than two weeks after firing longtime head coach Bill Carmody. Here's Jeff Goodman reporting the above:
Duke associate head coach and Illinois native Chris Collins will become the next head coach at Northwestern.
Collins met with the Northwestern administration on Monday and a deal is expected to be finalized on Wednesday. Collins will continue to coach withthe Blue Devils until they finish the postseason.
This was not unexpected, and, on the surface, it all makes pretty perfect sense. Collins is from nearby Northbrook, Ill., from a high school (Glenbrook North) that has produced players like Jon Scheyer. Insert verbiage about new blood, the ability to recruit the area, "Northwestern is basically Duke waiting to be unleashed," etc. etc.

To be honest, this seems to me like if Michigan had hired Brady Hoke back in 2007, i.e. a slightly early homecoming. Collins has been an assistant at Duke since 2000, and was also an assistant under Tommy Amaker for a couple of seasons. However, he's never been a head coach; is it better to hire a guy with Collins' profile (local guy, yada yada yada) or make a play for one of the countless mid-major guys out there? I'm obviously not privy to the details of Northwestern's coaching search, but I suppose we shall find out in the coming years. It's entirely possible that Northwestern felt that it wouldn't be able to snag a guy like, say, FGCU's Andy Enfield.

Whatever the case may be, the Wildcats needed some change. Carmody's efforts can't be discounted, as he left Northwestern basketball in better shape than he found it despite never being able to cross the river into tournament land.

A quick Rivals search shows that there aren't any Glenbrook North college prospects on the current squad. The question is, can Collins recruit outside of the Evanston/north suburbs? As always, it will be a tough road, but it doesn't hurt to have coached under Coach K for over a decade while also having Doug Collins for a father.

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