Now that the Indiana Hoosiers men’s basketball team is searching for a new head coach, it is pertinent to take a look at some of the key names and how they have fared on the recruiting trail. Next in this series is current Northwestern coach, Chris Collins.
Collins just completed his fourth season as a Head Coach and became the first person in history to lead Northwestern to the NCAA Tournament. In his time in Evanston, Collins has certainly raised the profile of Northwestern basketball, and has made the Wildcats a contender in the Big Ten.
Not surprisingly at this point Collins hasn’t gotten into many big time recruiting battles for top players, but still he has definitely made Northwestern a school to worry about on the recruiting trial.
In his first full class, Collins landed Bryant McIntosh over Purdue and four-star Vic Law over VCU and Dayton.
Those two were huge recruiting wins for the Wildcats and have paved the way for a lot of success within the program.
Since then Collins has really focused on the borderline top 100 type of players. To this point Law is the only four-star recruit that he has landed in Evanston, but he has picked players just outside of that range and made it a focus to go after them, and has won battles fairly regularly.
One thing about Collins is he shown a Midwest focus, but then has also gone to the East Coast as well. Obviously McIntosh is a kid from Indiana, but he has gone to Ohio for a pair of players, including very promising big man Dererk Pardon. Also he has recruited Illinois pretty well, so he knows the Midwest footprint.
Beyond that he has proven to be capable of going to the prep schools and being a factor. Landing Aaron Falzon was a big recruiting win, and he has shown potential to be a dynamic stretch power forward when healthy, and then most recently he landed Anthony Gaines, a tough as nails forward who should complement the current roster well.
It does seem that Collins is currently trying to swim in deeper waters. He is going head to head with top programs for five-star Ayo Dosunmu in the 2018 class, and was seriously involved with borderline top 50 prospect Savion Flagg, who ultimately chose Texas A&M in the 2017 class.
As an assistant obviously Collins recruited the best of the best while at Duke, so it isn’t like he would be unfamiliar with how the recruitments of big time college basketball prospects go.
Overall as a head coach we have a solid resume of recruiting good players against lower high-majors, and as an assistant there is a long track record of recruiting to the elite high-major level.