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Chris Collins faces uphill climb at Northwestern

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04:34 AM ET 04.06 | There's always a risk involved whenever a school hires a new coach. For Northwestern, the decision to hire Chris Collins as coach appears to be a gamble, as Collins has never been a head coach at any point in his career. The son of NBA Hall-of-Famer and current Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doug Collins, the longtime Duke assistant under Mike Krzyzewski will finally get his first opportunity as a head coach as he takes over a struggling Northwestern program looking to, once and for all, make the NCAA Tournament. There's no doubt that Collins, a 38-year-old native of north suburban Northbrook, brings a winning pedigree to a program that desperately needs it. Well-known for the infamously strict academic standards set upon its student-athletes, Northwestern holds the dubious distinction of being the only school from a power conference to have never made the NCAA Tournament. The program came close to getting over the hump in recent years under Bill Carmody by making four NIT appearances in the last five seasons, but close was no longer good enough for athletic director Jim Phillips. Yes, Carmody led the Wildcats to unprecedented success over 13 seasons, but attendance at Welsh-Ryan Arena was consistently abysmal and the facility had become outdated. After a trying 13-19 campaign this past season, the administration felt it was time to move in another direction.

Da Windy City

Chris Collins, AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast Chris Collins, AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
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April 6, 2013  04:05 PM ET

Good luck to coach Collins at Nerdwestern. The B1G is a tough shooty hoops conference, even if Sir Charles thinks it's overrated.

April 7, 2013  05:40 AM ET

If Northwestern is SERIOUS about making the NCAA Tournament for the 1st time, this is a bad hire. I know he had scandal but they needed to go after Bruce Pearl or even Larry Eustachy at Southern Miss to really try to upgrade the program.

 
April 7, 2013  06:19 PM ET

Pretty decent hire... Maybe he can take some of that eliteness and smear it on his program... Good Luck...

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