After winning Tuesday’s news conference, Chris Collins no doubt believes he improved to 2-for-2 on Friday by retaining Tavaras Hardy.
Northwestern’s longtime assistant is the program’s strongest link to Drew Crawford, who continues to ponder whether to transfer or remain in Evanston for a fifth season.
In a telephone interview, Collins said he puts heavy value on Hardy’s experience as a standout forward for Northwestern from 1998-2002.
“This is more than his job; it’s his home,” Collins said. “The fact he wore that jersey will make it mean more to him as we build this program.”
Hardy joined Bill Carmody’s staff seven seasons ago and was elevated to associate head coach in 2011.
Collins does not plan to designate one of his assistants as associate head coach. Instead they all will be deemed equal.
Collins declined to discuss other staff possibilities, but Brian James could be a strong candidate if he leaves the 76ers, where his father, Doug, is coach. James coached Chris Collins at Glenbrook North and has been an assistant for five NBA teams.
Former Duke and Glenbrook North star Jon Scheyer also could be in the mix. Former Duke guard Greg Paulus is less likely to join Collins’ staff.
Collins cannot comment on New Jersey guard Jaren Sina, who will decide before the April 17 signing deadline whether to stick with his NU commitment or choose among a group that includes Seton Hall, Alabama and Indiana.
Collins is likely to visit Sina and Nate Taphorn, the sharpshooter from Pekin, on or after April 11. Until then, there is a recruiting dead period.
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