April 2, 2013
Individuals from throughout the basketball world weighed in with their thoughts on new Northwestern head men's basketball coach Chris Collins. Here's a sample of what they're saying.
Kobe Bryant--Los Angeles Lakers/Member of 2012 USA Basketball Olympics team
"Chris has a brilliant basketball mind and is a great communicator. I'm sure he'll do a great job at Northwestern, and I wish him the best of luck."
Kyrie Irving--Cleveland Cavaliers; 2012 NBA Rookie of the Year/Former Duke Blue Devil
"First and foremost, I want to congratulate Coach Collins on a tremendous opportunity. I'm very excited for him. He has been a great mentor of mine. This is a great chance for him to really show why he was a great coach at Duke. Northwestern got a steal. He has worked alongside Coach K for a number of years now and he has learned from the best. Now he's ready to head a tremendous, prestigious program like Northwestern. I wish him all the best and I love him to death."
Dick Vitale--ESPN college basketball analyst
"Chris Collins is a terrific hire for Northwestern. He is enthusiastic and has a great technical knowledge of the game. He is an outstanding recruiter who will be able to bring blue-chip athletes to Northwestern. He is the perfect hire for getting Northwestern to that magical moment of reaching the NCAA tournament."
Mike Krzyzewski--Duke University head men's basketball coach
Mike DeCourcy--Sporting News and Big Ten Network college basketball analyst
"I'm so excited for Chris. Northwestern provides an opportunity to be at a great school, a private institution with an A.D. and president who are totally committed to building a great program and upholding the standards of their school. It's just perfect for Chris...He'll be great there. He hasn't just worked for me at Duke, but for the seven years that I've been the national coach for our country, Chris has been with me every step of the way. He has worked with the greatest players on this planet and has earned the respect of those players too."
"Chris has the right combination of talent, enthusiasm and work ethic to be a terrific success. He isn't just a guy who was sitting close to Mike Krzyzewski on the bench. That provides a heck of an education, obviously, but he has proven to be an excellent position coach with Duke's backcourt players, an eager recruiter and an important aide to Coach K."
J.J. Redick--Milwaukee Bucks/Former Duke Blue Devil; 2006 National Player of the Year
"I've known Chris since I was 16 years old and have witnessed first-hand his passion, work ethic, and knowledge of the game. Chris will be a tremendous representative of Northwestern University and I look forward to watching him build the program into a great success."
Jay Bilas--ESPN college basketball analyst
"Chris Collins is a basketball lifer, and a great young coach. He has the experience of a longtime head coach and tremendous credibility with players at every level. I've known Chris for a long time, and I'm a believer. He's the real thing, both on and off the floor. Chris Collins is a great hire for Northwestern."
Jeff Goodman--CBSSports.com college basketball analyst
"I'm not sure there will be a better offseason coaching addition than Chris Collins at Northwestern. He's got the entire package--he can coach, recruit and connects with the players. That's a rare combination these days. Honestly, this was a complete no-brainer. I'd be shocked if Collins doesn't get this program to the NCAA tournament. He just gets it. In every way. Period. This wasn't just a home-run hire. I think it'll prove to be a grand slam."
Mike Greenberg--Co-host of ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike in the Morning; Northwestern alum
"Chris Collins is exactly what Northwestern basketball needs. Young, energetic, local ties, he could be the hardwood version of Pat Fitzgerald, which would be terrific. I wish him great luck and really look forward to watching his team play."
Jerry Colangelo--Chairman of USA Basketball Board of Directors
"I couldn't be more excited for Chris to get this opportunity. I'm thrilled to see him have this chance in Illinois, where his roots are. He comes from a college program that showed him what it takes to win, the infrastructure that needs to be put in place to have success. Watching him over the last seven or eight years with USA Basketball has been revealing. He earned the respect of some of the game's greatest professionals with his knowledge and presence. They recognized that this was a young man that knew exactly what he was doing. It's been wonderful to see his growth as a coach and as a person. I think he's primed to be a very successful head coach."
Grant Hill--Los Angeles Clippers; Former Duke Blue Devil
"Chris has an incredible basketball pedigree and is an intelligent coach with a great basketball mind. He was successful as a player and coach at Duke and I expect that he will be a strong and confident leader for the program at Northwestern."
Be the first to know what's going on with the 'Cats -- Follow @NU_Sports on Twitter, become a fan of Northwestern Athletics on Facebook, subscribe to the NU Sports Express e-newsletter and sign up to receive promotional text alerts for the latest news, schedule updates and video and to interact with NU. For more information on following specific Northwestern teams online, visit our Social Media page!