talked to many players and assistants coaches about Chris Collins during Duke's
open locker room session Thursday in Indianapolis. Here are some of the things
I learned that did not make it into my 900-word story.
Here's a transcript of my
conversation with Duke freshman Alex Murphy:
"He was the
assistant here at Duke that recruited me. We have a very close relationship so
yesterday was a bittersweet day. Obviously, I'm so happy for him and his family
and the opportunity he has but at the same time I'm upset because me and him
have a great relationship and it will be tough to see him go."
I asked Alex what made
Collins an effective recruiter.
"He played in college.
He's always honest. He won't try to get around things. He'll give it to you
straight whether it's what you want to hear or not and that's something that's
real important in a relationship, especially a relationship with a coach, who
is obviously someone you want to be able to trust while you're at a
Then I asked what Collins
is like during practices and games.
definitely animated. He's so passionate about what he does that he gets very
excited. He'll get on you for sure but he has a unique way of using tough love.
He will get on you then minutes later he'll have his arm around you letting you
know how great you are and what you've done and what you need to do."
Quinn Cook said Collins'
departure won't impact Duke's preparations for Friday night's game against
"He's still all in with
Duke for the season. This is his last run with us. We want him to go to
Northwestern with a national championship."
Cook said Collins is
ready for a head-coaching job.
"He has put in the work
here. He has put in the time. He deserves a head-coaching job at a big-time
school and I'm sure he's ready for it."
asked Amile Jefferson what makes Collins different.
enthusiasm, the energy he brings every day, his ability to teach us in a unique
way. He's showing us where to be. He still plays a lot. It's like having a guy
who has been through Coach K's system who is helping mold the younger guys and
teach us. He's an amazing coach. I've loved learning from him."
is from Philly and was recruited to Duke by Collins. I asked --- again --- what
makes him unique as a recruiter.
him becoming personable with you and making you feel comfortable, being really
transparent, letting you know the things you need to do to get better, the
things you need to work on, when he recruited me I definitely got familiar with
him and the program."