Northwestern coach Chris Collins had some big shoes to fill following the departure of assistant Tavaras Hardy, who was a fixture at Evanston, both as a player and a coach, before moving on to Georgetown.
Collins has filled them nicely.
The Hoops Report has learned through sources that Loyola assistant coach Armon Gates will be named an assistant coach at Northwestern and will round out the staff, joining Pat Baldwin and recently named Brian James as assistants. Gates has spent the last two-plus years working under coach Porter Moser at Loyola.
Collins landed the ideal fit as he tries to raise the Northwestern program to a championship level.
Gates is a fast-rising assistant coach who has been prominently mentioned for several jobs this spring and summer at the high-major level. He's well connected throughout Chicago as he was born and raised in the Chicago area. Gates began high school in the Chicago Public League before transferring to and graduating from Hillcrest.
From his days as an assistant coach at Kent State and Texas Christian, Gates also has ties throughout the Midwest and in Texas.
He's sharp, polished, well respected and will fit perfectly in Evanston and the Northwestern community. And he's exactly what Northwestern basketball needed to complete its staff -- a young, energetic coach with a strong recruiting acumen who is held in high regard by those in the profession and among high school and AAU coaches.
Collins and the entire Northwestern staff will continue to make several Illinois players high priorities between now and the November signing period, including Marian Catholic's Tyler Ulis, Whitney Young's Paul White, St. Rita's Vic Law, Decatur Eisenhower's Marcus Bartley and Morgan Park's Josh Cunningham.
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