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Close to two weeks after firing head coach Bill Carmody, Northwestern has “zeroed in” on Duke associate head coach Chris Collins and could hire him within 36 hours, David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com is reporting.
According to the report, Northwestern has conducted a handful of interviews and Collins has emerged as the favorite of athletic director Jim Phillips.
If Collins were to be hired, he would reportedly remain on the Duke bench through the end of the Blue Devils’ run in the NCAA tournament, then join Northwestern. Duke beat Creighton on Sunday in the Round of 32 to advance to the Sweet 16.
Kaplan highlights a comparison between Northwestern’s two premier athletic programs and how it helped to draw Collins to the front of the pack of prospective hires:
He is very much in the mold of Northwestern’s football coach Pat Fitzgerald — who is approximately the same age as Collins — and he is considered a similar personality to Fitzgerald, who is beloved on the Northwestern campus.
Northwestern finished the 2012-13 season with an overall record of 13-19, including 4-14 in the Big Ten. Since Carmody’s firing, Top 100 guard and Northwestern commit Jaren Sina has reopened his recruitment and is considering schools that include Seton Hall and Alabama. It is yet to be seen whether one of the biggest recruits in recent memory for the Wildcats will ever set foot on the floor in Evanston in a Northwestern jersey.