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Northwestern Basketball Coaching Search: Bob McKillop

SoCon Champs, so what? It may be a reach to bring this Carolina low mid-major czar, but he's certainly got the cred.


Among the names that have been bandied about on the various boards, one of the intriguing names that has caught my eye is Bob McKillop, the HC at Davidson. As the Southern Conference champs, they swiped a 13 seed line to dance with Marquette in the round of 64. While that may merit a shrug, here are a few reasons he's worth a gander.

The Case for Coach McK:

He's won a bunch: They've cut down the nets as SoCon regular season champs 8 times in the last 10 years. The highest flying squad was the '08 outfit that ranked 20th per and featured uber-gunner Stephon Curry. While the team had a down '10 and '11, he's kept the team in the kenpom 50s-60s in recent years which is pretty impressive given that they play low mid-major. They also skedded tough in '13 with a kenpom 16th toughest non-con sked - beating Vandy, West Virginia and Richmond while dropping games against Duke, New Mexico and Gonzaga.

He gets academics: Per wikipedia, Davidson has a respected academic profile having been ranked top 10 in liberal arts colleges by US News and World Report, and has admissions considered "most selective." In addition to kicking out 23 Rhodes Scholars, it also has a unique campus culture where the students adhere to the honor code as freshman and take "self-scheduled un-proctored final exams." Against this backdrop, Coach McKillop has graduated 95% of his lettermen.

He likes to put points on the board: Well, admittedly, I haven't seen a bunch of games - but I'm assuming that any school that unleashed a gunner like Stephon Curry embraces a more open offensive style. In 2013, they ranked 40th in PPP Actually, looking at their 4 Factors, they're eerily Carmody-esque: 28th nationally in eFG, 23rd nationally in TO%, 252nd in OREB%. ("G'euh" *loosening collar with hands gesture* on that last stat.) While their FTA/FGA was better than average - 38.4% vs. nat'l avg of 36.0%; they made hay by and leading the country in Free Throw percentage (80.1%!) .

The case against Coach McK:

He's not necessarily the fresh face. File this candidate under veteran savvy. He's about the same age of Bill Carmody.

Not from the midwest: His Carolina recruiting connections may not be as useful in the cold, tundra-like midwest. Given that NU is already starting from a deficit in its home-state, this may be a significant factor.

He may not want to come here. You gotta think that this guy has already had compelling offers to move up the conference chain, yet he remains at Davidson in the SoCon. Barring that this dude has a messiah complex, I can't really see why he'd want to lose that warm Carolina sun in January.

In terms coaching record and gravitas, he's apparently got it. However, in terms of being that "Chris Collins" type fresh-face, this one's out of that sweet spot. Just based on a cursory glance (checking out and other internet sources), this guy meets my "X's and O's" and "can recruit to academics" check-list. And, he could get you by in the next 5 years to steady the program before turning it over for the candidate who'll benefit from the new floating basketball arena we're building on magnetic superconductors. Besides, he already coaches the Wildcats (of the Davidson variety). So he's already got that ending-conversations-with-"go-cats!" thing down.