Heading into this season – one filled with promise– many expected Northwestern to make the long-awaited NCAA Tournament appearance. Despite several backbreaking injuries to key players, the switch was made.
With his renowned Princeton offense, Carmody became the face of this team – for better or for worse. He arrived in Evanston, taking over a then-dormant program. The process required quite the climb. In his first eight seasons, the Wildcats finished with a winning record just once.
But in recent years, teams led by in-state prospects John Shurna and Michael Thompson found success. The team reached the NIT in 2009, before reeling off 20 wins in consecutive seasons. Last year – in Shurna's last chance – NU nearly broke through but lost several close games and fell short of the NCAA Tournament yet again.
It was no surprise that this year's team struggled given the losses of Drew Crawford (shoulder), Sanjay Lumpkin (wrist), Jared Swopshire (knee) and Jershon Cobb (academic suspension). The new coach will inherit a roster loaded with talent, searching for that elusive postseason appearance.
Phillips will address the move at a 5:30 press conference.
On the recruiting front, 2013 commit Nate Taphorn told Purple Wildcats he will attend Northwestern despite being unhappy about the decision.