You’ve heard the old adage “win the press conference.” Yesterday when Northwestern University officially introduced Chris Collins to the media as the 24th head coach of NU college basketball…He definitely “won the press conference.”
First of all, Wildcat basketball had the full attention of the Chicago sports media as the presser was held in the larger, wide open area of Welsh-Ryan Arena instead of in the small, cramped media conference room. It was actually on the hardwood court itself. The press conference was broadcast live nationally by the Big Ten Network and locally by Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
Journalists and reporters from all the local television stations and newspapers were there, and they saw Chris Collins wear his heart on his sleeve because that’s the kind of guy he is. He got choked up a bit when talking about his family, in one of the press conference’s most powerful moments. His father, former Chicago Bulls coach and current Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doug Collins, was in attendance.
And Collins the Younger is excited to get his new regime in place. “I had an opportunity last night to have dinner with the current players. My first goal was to build a connection,” Chris Collins said.
And he’ll be able to constantly tap a great basketball mind in Collins the Elder.
“We talk daily. As I have gotten older, it has been more give and take,” Chris Collins said of his Dad.
Chris Collins was Associate Head Coach at Duke University until the Blue Devils were eliminated by Syracuse. As he’s a native of Northbrook, today was his unofficial homecoming. Chris Collins had been on Mike Krzyzewski’s staff since 2000. And he learned from one of the best when it comes to media relations. Coach K. is always smooth when making public statements. Chris Collins certainly was Tuesday as well.
Northwestern Athletic Director Dr. Jim Phillips went on WSCR yesterday to discuss the hire, and the two co-hosts agreed with Phillips that Collins did indeed win the press conference. Next Collins has to win the recruiting battles in his new backyard. Chicago is a very fertile recruiting area.
“Chicago is the best basketball city in the country. I will recruit Chicago but I also want guys who are the perfect fit,” said Collins, a former Illinois Mr. Basketball.
Chris Collins is a skilled recruiter. When Bruce Weber was at the height of his powers with the Illini, he went after a blue-chip prospect at Glenbrook North named Jon Scheyer; who was coached in high school by Dave Weber, Bruce’s brother. As you obviously know, Chris Collins was instrumental in getting Scheyer to leave the state and family allegiance behind, and instead come to Durham. Scheyer was a big star of the Duke Blue Devils 2010 National title team.
And one very prominent member of the media, NU alum Mike Wilbon, is also very fired up about the new era in Northwestern hoops. The Co-Host of Pardon The Interruption, ABC/ESPN NBA Analyst, and columnist for ESPN.com and ESPN Chicago tweeted
Chris Collins isn’t just the right fit for the head coaching job at Northwestern; he’s the perfect fit…Damn excited to have Chris at NU…
— Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) April 2, 2013
Watch the whole press conference here
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of visitors. He’s an author who also contributes regularly to MSN, Fox Sports , Chicago Now, Walter Football.com and Yardbarker
Banks has appeared on Comcast SportsNet and the History Channel, as well as Clear Channel, ESPN and CBS radio all over the world. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@PaulMBanks)
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