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Northwestern Appears Set To Hire Duke's Chris Collins As Men's Basketball Coach

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Mar 27, 2013 5:40PM

When Northwestern parted ways with men's basketball coach Bill Carmody last week, there was one name many placed head and shoulders above the rest on their wish list. And it appears that Northwestern has been been able to land that first choice, current Duke assistant coach Chris Collins.

Northwestern athletic director interviewed Collins on Monday, and the interview went so well the two sides reportedly spent Tuesday working out a deal. Sources confirm Collins is set to accept the position, which could be announced as early as Wednesday.

Collins' Duke Blue Devils play their Sweet 16 game against Michigan State on Friday, and Northwestern might like to make the hiring official before then to capitalize on the additional exposure for the Wildcats during NCAA tournament coverage.

We think that Collins is the perfect coach for the Wildcats. We even speculated he would be a better fit for the Northwestern job last year, when his name was bounced around among those who might have interest in replacing Bruce Weber at Illinois, while Carmody was already on the hot seat.

Growing up in north suburban Northbrook as the son of former Bulls coach Doug Collins, Chris was Illinois Mr. Basketball in 1992 before playing at Duke. He joined Mike Krzyzewski's coaching staff after graduating and has remained at Coach K's side since. Given Duke's similarly high academic standing and sub-par basketball facilities, Collins knows exactly what he's walking into at NU -- and knows how to win despite those constraints.

While his predecessor was an indifferent recruiter, Collins has been a strong recruiter nationwide and in the Chicago area. He has helped land a number of Chicago area talents at Duke, including Corey Magette, John Sheyer, and recently named Illinois Mr. Basketball 2013 Jabari Parker. Given that Northwestern is a member of the Big Ten, Collins should be able to land the type of top ranked recruits needed to build the program into a contender. And earn the Wildcats their first ever invitation to the NCAA tournament. When our brother went to Duke, t-shirts were sold that billed Duke's academics as the "Harvard of the South." Now, with Collins taking over the Wildcats, fans hope he can turn Northwestern basketball into the "Duke of the Midwest."