Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski on Chris Collins leaving for Northwestern

acarter@newsobserver.comMarch 27, 2013 

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Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, right, is congratulated by assistants Chris Collins, center, and Jeff Capel, left, as the buzzer sounds and Krzyzewski becomes the winningest NCAA Division l basketball coach of all time with 903 wins. Duke played Michigan State University at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011.

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— It’s not officially official yet, but Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski didn’t hesitate on Wednesday to praise Chris Collins, the Blue Devils assistant who is reportedly set to become the next head coach at Northwestern.

“I hope that’s what it turns out to be,” Krzyzewski said. “That’s not a done deal. But I hope that it will be, and that will be terrific, and I’ll comment on it if that’s what happens.”

Krzyzewski was willing to comment, though, on what kind of coach head coach Northwestern would be getting in Collins.

“Well they’re getting a great coach,” Krzyzeweski said. “He’s been a great coach here. I’ve said that at press conferences so far in the NCAA tournament. I said it at the Olympics, I said it at the World Championships in Istanbul. My guys are terrific.

“And he’s been with me for a decade and he’s been terrific. Not good. He’s got a great basketball mind, a competitive personality, team guy – he’s a great guy. But he’s a great basketball guy, too. Anybody who would get one of my guys would be good.”

Mason Plumlee, Duke’s senior forward, said he learned on Wednesday afternoon that Collins would be leaving for Northwestern. Plumlee said Josh Hairston, the Duke forward, informed him of the news.

“My first question,” Plumlee said with a smile, “was is it like the football coaches, who just bounce?”

Collins, though, will not “bounce,” to use Plumlee’s word, until Duke’s season ends. The Blue Devils will play Michigan State on Friday night in Indianapolis in the NCAA tournament Midwest Regional semifinals.

“I think that’s a great fit for him,” Plumlee said of Collins and Northwestern.

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