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More insights into Chris Collins from Duke players

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I 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 university."

Then I asked what Collins is like during practices and games.

"He's definitely, 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 Michigan State.

"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."

I asked Amile Jefferson what makes Collins different. 

"His 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."

Jefferson is from Philly and was recruited to Duke by Collins. I asked --- again --- what makes him unique as a recruiter.

"Just 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."

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on March 28, 2013 4:17 PM.

Duke's NCAA run will likely influence announcement was the previous entry in this blog.

MSU coach Izzo says NU must make "total commitment" is the next entry in this blog.

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