When Chris Collins went back to Sweet Home Chicago to take the Northwestern job, everyone understood it was going to be very, very tough. Northwestern has virtually no tradition of success and, prior to Collins, only NIT banners.
And despite one joy ride to the NCAA Tournament, it has been tough: after two mediocre years to start with, he won 20 games in his third season and 24 in his fourth.
That was the NCAA year.
Since then, partly due to injuries, Northwestern has slid back. The last three seasons, including this partial one, the Wildcats have been 15-17, 13-19 and, so far this season, 6-14.
So is Collins on the hot seat?
Well not necessarily, according to Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune:
“Collins has gotten unlucky with injuries, ranging from Ivanauskas’ shoulder to Aaron Falzon’s knee to Vic Law’s toe to this season’s ailments — Anthony Gaines’ season-ending shoulder injury and Boo Buie’s stress fracture that came shortly after he tore up Michigan State and DePaul for a combined 51 points on 62 percent shooting...Fortunately for Collins, Jim Phillips is the kind of athletic director who would have stuck with Mike Krzyzewski after Coach K went 11-17 in his third season at Duke.“
So he may get some patience. But clearly he needs to get the program moving.