I like him and I was inclined not to when he got that job. Thought it was probably another K pedigree move that would fail but I’ve been really impressed with what he’s done there. They have some grit now.
I liked Carmody and think he did a decent job there, but Collins has changed the culture and the look of that program during his time there. In the long run, if you’re going to compete in this league, it’s tough to win gimmicking (the 1-3-1 stuff he insisted on playing, though I’m not wild about the offensive end either over the long haul) your way there and God bless Carmody but that’s what he did. I’m sure his rationale was that you can’t get the kind of kids at NU other Big Ten programs get so you have to out-clever them. Collins is recruiting guys other Big Ten teams wanted. Yes, he has to do it on the court but last year they were as good as the best of the Carmody seasons in the league and I think there’s plenty of reason to believe they’re going to get better from here. If Northwestern is serious about becoming competitive in the sport, Collins’ approach is the superior one IMO.
HOWEVER, if he became the successor and had success at MSU, then you’d better hope Coach K’s successor does well at Duke, because if he doesn’t, then they’ll be coming after Collins if he has success at MSU (theoretically). I like him a lot as a candidate. I wouldn’t like the potential for him leaving because I have to believe that he is one that would leave for the Duke job.