Coaching Search Notes: Assistants in limbo

This Purple Wildcats Insider article updates the NU head coaching search, and offers some predictions moving forward.

— No one dismissed Tavaras Hardy. By all accounts, the Northwestern associate head coach is still highly regarded within the program. But with all of the uncertainty that surrounds this coaching search, it is difficult not to sympathize with him. Hardy – with strong recruiting ability – could serve as an asset to the incoming lead man. Or that coach could pursue different vision and remove himself from any links to the Carmody era. I have no doubt that athletic director Jim Phillips will be there to assist Hardy regardless of the situation. While I don't consider him a viable head coaching candidate for NU – at this point – he's done some excellent work. He played a large role in recruiting Nate Taphorn, who said he hopes the associate stays in Evanston.

— Meanwhile, it seems more likely that the new coach will have incentive to keep Fred Hill — though this is all speculation. The former Rutgers head coach boasts especially important ties to the New Jersey pipeline and even worked with Chris Collins at Seton Hall. There's an extremely strong chance that Jaren Sina would play for Hill, which does seem meaningful in this situation. As well, Hill seems to fit more of the prototypical "assistant" mold as he builds up his reputation in search of another head coaching position.

— Andy Enfield? Please, no. While many of the recent NCAA Tournament success-based suggestions are purely in jest, it is important to keep in mind this program's values. The Duke assistant Collins would understand this. And Bucknell head coach Dave Paulsen – perhaps the best candidate from any mid-major school – can maintain the important academic tradition surrounding this program. Have no doubt: with the right fit, this team can still win. But Phillips will no doubt conduct thorough character (and "fit-based") evaluations of the next man on the sidelines.

— Someone asked me to evaluate the current chances of top NU coaching candidates. It led me to this analysis – based on rumors, other articles and what I've heard: 50 percent Collins (and building with each day), 20 percent Paulsen (strong connections to NU President Morton Schapiro), 10 percent each for Brett Reed and Bryce Drew, and 10 percent for the field. I'm sensing that Collins is the perfect fit, and the number one choice. It never seems that the favorite ends up winning the job, though. Stay tuned to Purple Wildcats for extensive updates during NCAA Tournament time.

If he builds it, they will come
Coach must fight for Sina
Search Notes: Mar. 23
Head Coach Hot Board
Chris Collins the Favorite
Taphorn stays loyal
"No Leader" for Jaren Sina
Jeff Capel the Ideal Candidate?

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