Forum Forum Lehigh Sports Lehigh Men’s Basketball Northwestern

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    ESPN’s Andy Katz floated Dr. Reed’s name for Northwestern’s head coaching vacancy.

    Will he go? Well, he’s one of a lot of names under consideration.

    The knock on Chris Collins? He never has been a head coach.

    The knock on Bryce Drew? He has been Valparaiso’s top guy just two seasons, and though successful, how hard can it be to win in the Horizon League?

    Northwestern intends to interview Collins early next week, and Drew is too logical a target not to draw NU’s interest.

    ESPN analyst Bruce Pearl, the former Iowa assistant who won big at Tennessee and Milwaukee in the Horizon League, said he has no doubt that Collins or Drew would thrive at Northwestern.

    “Both would be really good gets,” Pearl said. “I would not have made the change (dismissing Bill Carmody) because his system was perfect for that program. But with the way these guys recruit, they would get Northwestern a different kind of player.”

    Neither Drew nor Collins was available for comment Wednesday as they prepared their teams for NCAA tournament games.

    There is no shortage of accomplished mid-major coaches for Athletic Director Jim Phillips to consider, namely Bucknell’s Dave Paulsen, La Salle’s John Giannini, Northern Iowa’s Ben Jacobson, Davidson’s Bob McKillop and Lehigh’s Brett Reed.

    If you believe this, it seems more now like Reed is “one less-than-sexy-pick” behind guys like Collins and Drew. However, Andy Katz said Collins and Reed are the only two candidates on Northwestern’s radar, and he was the one who broke the story on their head coaches’ firing.

    There’s also this:

    There’s no doubting that Reed has done a really strong job at Lehigh. Five years, two NCAA Tournament appearances, after only three appearances in the entirety of Lehigh history – and of course, the one big 15-2 upset the Mountain Hawks pulled over Duke. It’s worth noting that almost all that success is in some way attributable to C.J. McCollum, who was in Reed’s first recruiting class for Lehigh. McCollum was a zero-star recruit as a 6’1 freshman out of Canton, Ohio, not even drawing scholarship offers from MAC schools. But he soon showed the potential Reed apparently saw in him, and surpassed it tenfold: He was the Patriot League player of the year as a freshman, again as a junior, and is the conference’s all-time leading scorer, despite missing most of his final season after breaking his foot. McCollum could have been a first-round draft pick after dropping 30 on Duke, but made the risky decision to come back to Lehigh,citing a desire to finish his education – something that speaks well to Reed’s ability to sell recruits with high academic standards on the value of completing a degree at a quality school like Lehigh. (Without McCollum, Lehigh made the CBI this year.)

    Hard to see what to make of all this. Certainly I wouldn’t begrudge Reed jumping to a Big 10 school if he has the opportunity, especially the top academic dog in Northwestern. But the latest reports don’t seem to have him as the guy.



    In my opinion, Northwestern, nationally, is not a great job and an almost impossible place to win.  You are going to be the doormat of the Big 10 every single year.  For that reason, I don’t think a hot commodity assistant from a major program, or a hot commodity coach at a solid program would jump to go there.  For that reason, I think guys like Collins and Tommy Amaker, may have better options in power conferences, where you could actually win.  At NW, you are most likely setting yourself up for failure, due to the conference and the academic requirements.  All that being said, it is a huge, huge, huge step up for a guy like Reed.  No brainer, he’s on the next plane.  But, my point in all this, is that a school like NW probably can’t get the hot coaching commodity, so they may have to move down their list, to a guy like Reed.  Geographically, it would also be a great choice for Reed if he wants to get back to the Midwest.

    The natural progression for a guy like Reed would be A-10, MAC, or even perhaps Metro Atlantic (although that jump would be questionable).  If you can skip that intermediate step and jump to the BCS level, you have to jump at it.


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