First-year Northwestern head coach Chris Collins will reportedly add a familiar face to his coaching staff, hiring current Philadelphia 76ers assistant Brian James according to Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
While James isn’t a familiar face to Northwestern he is to Collins, as he was Collins’ high school coach at Glenbrook North (Ill.) in the Chicago suburbs.
James has spent the last three seasons on Doug Collins’ staff in Philadelphia and has 13 years of coaching experience at the NBA level.
James will be the second hire that Chris Collins has made since taking over at Northwestern. Collins made the decision just over a week ago to retain Northwestern alumnus Tavaras Hardy, who was a member of Bill Carmody’s staff for the last seven seasons.
A formal announcement of James joining the staff at Northwestern may not come until later in the week, as the 76ers complete their season Wednesday night.
Currently Northwestern is due to return key contributors such as guards Tre Demps and Dave Sobolewski and forward Kale Abrahamson, and veteran guard JerShon Cobb (academics) is expected to return as well after missing all of last season.
The biggest question is the status of senior wing Drew Crawford, who played just nine games (the exhibition against Chicago doesn’t count in the calculation) before being sitting out the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury.
Playing in nine of Northwestern’s 32 games would work out to a percentage of 28.1%, falling just below the NCAA’s 30% threshold for a medical redshirt (a player cannot receive a waiver if they play in more than 30% of their team’s games).
If both Crawford and Cobb return to the rotation, Northwestern has a chance to improve upon its 13-19 record in 2012-13.