Notes: Chris Collins Embraces Recruiting

This Purple Wildcats Insider update provides notes from the Chris Collins introductory press conference.

— After firing Bill Carmody, an emotional Jim Phillips took the podium in Trienens Hall. Much of his discussion centered on recruiting, and finding the correct coach with "broad-based" ties in that department. Today at Welsh-Ryan Arena, Phillips was the right kind of emotional, and restated his opinion that recruiting was the "lifeblood of every program." The former Glenbrook North HS standout – who helped to recruit several Chicagoland players as Duke associate head coach – appears the perfect candidate to bring this program along. Despite improving the NU program, Bill Carmody did not have the passion for recruiting that Collins clearly does.

— Collins understandably sidestepped the direct question involving similarities between Duke and Northwestern academic requirements. He offered, though, that he appreciated this attitude. Collins insisted there are several excellent players who meet lofty academic standards. This issue arrived at the forefront when NU denied admission to 3-star guard Mislav Brzoja – who would have been an excellent addition to the 2012 recruiting class. He maintained a 4.0 GPA at Traders Point Christian Academy (IN), but it was too late to salvage poor test scores in his native Croatia. Collins was undeterred by any limitations in recruiting, and expressed his enthusiasm to hit the trail.

— In an interesting note, Collins said he hopes to cement his assistant coaching staff earlier. After NCAA-imposed "dead periods," the recruiting process will intensify. As we've thoroughly addressed, Collins faces a difficult task in retaining Jaren Sina. The 3-star guard from Gill St. Bernard's (NJ) enjoyed his introductory 40-minute phone conversation with Collins. Still, the new head coach needs to win over his entire family to secure his commitment. Collins expressed enthusiasm about leading recruitment, stressing the need to pitch academics, location and the ability to build a new-look program. Fans should be excited about his expected willingness to go after top prospects, and bring NU recruiting to new levels.

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