Is Chris Collins destined to replace Coach K at Duke?

Is Chris Collins destined to replace Coach K at Duke?
May 28, 2014, 2:30 pm
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Vinnie Duber

Is Chris Collins destined for the head-coaching job at Duke?

Rumors have surrounded Collins since he took the head-coaching job at Northwestern, wondering if and when he would be the top candidate to replace his old boss, Mike Krzyzewski, at Duke once the legendary Coach K decided to hang up his suit and tie.

ESPN college basketball Insider Jeff Goodman wrote Wednesday, handicapping the favorites to take over for Coach K when he does eventually retire — it should be pointed out he's "not thinking about retirement" — and Collins made the list. That shouldn't come as much of a surprise given past rumors as well as Collins' successful tenure as an assistant working under Coach K. Goodman set 5-1 odds of Collins taking over for Coach K.

But don't freak out just yet, Wildcats fans, as Goodman gave better odds to two other former Duke assistants: current Harvard (and former Michigan) head coach Tommy Amaker and newly named Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski.

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Here's what Goodman had to say about Collins:

"He has a year’s head start on Wojo after taking the reins at Northwestern before last season. Collins has the pedigree, with his father, Doug, a longtime NBA head coach — and, if he takes the Wildcats to the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history, he could vault ahead of Wojciechowski, his former co-worker on the Duke bench."

Collins is just one year into his head-coaching career after an up-then-down season with the Cats. After a shaky non-conference portion of the schedule, Collins shocked many by following up three conference-opening losses with wins in five of the next seven games, including victories at Indiana and Wisconsin. That was followed by a run of seven consecutive losses, however, which dashed any tournament hopes.

Still, Collins' first season in Evanston was viewed by many observers as a positive one.