Yesterday, when I wrote about the possibility of Chris Collins leaving Duke to become Northwestern's head coach, the question wasn't so much whether or not Northwestern would have Chris Collins, but whether or not Mike Krzyzewski's top assistant would be willing in coming to Northwestern. Today, we have two different reports that he would, in fact, want be interested in taking the job - music to Northwestern fans' ears.
The lead news in Chris Collins speculation Saturday was that Andy Katz' sources said he was interested. Now, Chicago's two biggest newspapers add their names to those reporting Collins' interest.
First, Teddy Greenstein at the Tribune, in a story on Collins and other potential replacements:
And an industry source told the Tribune that Collins would be "very interested" in the job and is not angling to succeed Krzyzewski.
Not just interested - very interested! The Krzyzewski succession thing would be a big reason to assume lack of interest on Collins' part - there was word he was being groomed to do so - but he's presumably in charge for as long as he wants to be there, and Collins might not want to wait.
From Joe Henricksen on the Sun Times' blogs:
Collins is still expected to be a target and, according to a source with knowledge, the 13-year Duke assistant is still very much intrigued by the job.
"If Northwestern decides that Chris Collins is their guy and they are fair with him in the [negotiating] process, Chris would definitely be interested," the source told the Hoops Report.
According to Hoops Report sources, the son of former NBA all-star and current Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins welcomes the academic rigor at Northwestern and targeting a certain type of recruit that a school and program like Northwestern attracts.
The idea that there's a coach not out there that not only would take on a tough academic recruiting job at Northwestern, but would actually look forward to it is pretty much the best thing a Northwestern fan can hear at this point in the process. Henricksen adds that sources indicated Collins would have been interested last year. The quote about being fair in the negotiating process is a key here - NU would have to shell out some cash for Collins, which they might as well. If the school can't or won't pony up for facilities improvements, perhaps ponying up for a hot young coaching prospect would be the next best thing.
There was some concern in the comments about the failures of the Coach K coaching tree, but I don't think that's a huge concern for me. They're all different guys with different skills, and besides, some of them have had success at their schools, like Mike Brey at Notre Dame and Tommy Amaker at Harvard. (Yes, he failed at Michigan first.) I don't think their failures should kill Collins as a candidate.
Regardless, I think we have a frontrunner, here.