There is no one assistant bigger than any college basketball program.
But the loss of assistant coach Tavaras Hardy is certainly a blow, albeit temporary, to Northwestern and first-year coach Chris Collins.
According to sources, the City/Suburban Hoops Report has learned that Hardy, a fixture at NU, will be headed to Georgetown to join the staff of coach John Thompson III.
Hardy, who was a four-year letterwinner and three-time MVP as a player at Northwestern, just completed his seventh season on the NU staff -- all under coach Bill Carmody. Under Carmody he was given the associate head coach tag two years ago and has been recognized as a top-notch recruiter and rising coach in the business.
Hardy was pivotal in the recruitment of several of NU's key pieces over the years, including Northwestern's all-time leading scorer John Shurna, JerShon Cobb and current star Drew Crawford of Naperville Central. He also played a part in Crawford remaining in Evanston as opposed to the 6-5 senior transferring to another school as a fifth-year senior.
In addition to his past work, Hardy was instrumental in the recruitment of current prospects in high school, including Marian Catholic's Tyler Ulis, who recently included NU in his top seven schools, Morgan Park's Josh Cunningham and Decatur MacArthur's Marcus Bartley.
Even with the firing of Carmody and the hiring of Collins this past spring, Hardy was expected to be a part of the continued revival of Northwestern basketball. The Georgetown opportunity arose and Hardy is set to join a program that won 25 games this past season and has reached the NCAA Tournament each of the last four seasons.
The fresh approach and excitement surrounding Collins as the new head coach, however, should offset the sudden loss of Hardy.
Follow Joe Henricksen and the Hoops Report on Twitter @joehoopsreport