Chicago Colleges: Bill Carmody

Source: NU to interview Duke's Collins

March, 21, 2013
Northwestern is expected to interview Duke assistant Chris Collins for its head coaching job next week, according to a source familiar with the situation, who described Collins as a leading candidate to replace Bill Carmody.

Read the entire story.

Potential Northwestern coaching candidates

March, 16, 2013
Here's a look at potential candidates for Northwestern, who fired Bill Carmody on Saturday after 13 years at the school:

Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker:
Amaker has won and recruited well at Harvard. The Crimson are headed to their second consecutive NCAA tournament under Amaker, who has a 111-64 record in six seasons at the school. He also has Big Ten experience with six seasons as Michigan’s head coach.

Duke assistant coach Chris Collins:
Collins’ name has been thrown around a lot if Northwestern’s job ever opened. This could be the ideal first head position for him. He has been on Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s staff since 2000 and was promoted to associate head coach in 2008. He grew up in Northbrook, Ill. and is the son of NBA coach Doug Collins.

Valparaiso head coach Bryce Drew: Drew has succeeded quickly at the Valparaiso. The program is headed to the NCAA tournament in his second season as head coach. The Crusaders are 48-19 overall and 27-7 in conference in the past two years. He’s recruited the Midwest and comes from a coaching family.

Northwestern assistant coach Tavaras Hardy:
Hardy is a longshot, but he fits the mold of what Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips likes in his football coach Pat Fitzgerald. Hardy is a former Wildcats’ player and a longtime assistant. If he doesn’t get a shot at the job, he could be retained on the staff.

Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson:
Henderson, a former Northwestern assistant, is in his second season as Princeton’s head coach. The Tigers were 17-11 overall and 10-4 in the conference this season.

Richmond coach Chris Mooney:
Mooney’s stock may have cooled off a bit since Richmond’s back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances in 2010 and 2011. Richmond has remained competitive in the Atlantic 10 and is still only 40 years old. He did sign a 10-year deal with Richmond in 2011.

Bucknell coach Dave Paulsen:
Paulsen was able to turn Bucknell’s program around. Bucknell was 7-23 in Paulsen’s first season, and he’s since coached the Bison to two NCAA tournaments in five seasons at the school.

Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson:
Robinson, another former Northwestern assistant, would have been a more likely candidate the past few seasons. The Beavers have struggled this season with a 14-18 overall record and 4-14 Pac-12. He has been at Oregon State for five seasons and has recruited the Chicago area.

VCU head coach Shaka Smart: Smart wasn’t interested in any openings last season, but the idea of leading Northwestern to its first NCAA tournament could be enticing to some high-profile coach. It’s worth at least a phone call.

Wright State head coach Billy Donlon:
Donlon has Wright State moving in the right direction in his third season. The Raiders lost in the Horizon League tournament championship game and finished third during the conference season. The 36-year-old Donlon is originally from Northbrook, Ill. and has recruited the Chicago area.

Lehigh head coach Brett Reed:
The 40-year-old Reed has developed Lehigh into a consistent winner in his six seasons there. The Mountain Hawks have won 20-plus games three of the last four years and been two NCAA tournaments. Lehigh shocked Duke in the tournament last season.

Offense falters in Northwestern's loss

March, 15, 2013
CHICAGO -- On what could have very well been the last game of Bill Carmody's Northwestern tenure, his Princeton offense flunked.

The Wildcats went scoreless for the first 7 1/2 minutes of their 73-59 loss to Iowa in the first round of the Big Ten tournament on Thursday night.

For the Wildcats (13-19, 4-14 in Big Ten regular season), it was a fitting swan song to a lost season and for Carmody, a 13-year tenure that resulted in zero NCAA tournament appearances. Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips is expected to make a decision soon on Carmody's future. He has one year remaining on a two-year contract extension.

Northwestern missed its first seven shots and had three turnovers as Iowa went ahead 11-0. Nikola Cerina's layup put the Wildcats on the board with 12:32 left in the first half.

"I think at the beginning we weren't executing our offense very well," said senior guard Reggie Hearn, who led Northwestern with 19 points and 10 rebounds in his final game. "We had some guys out of position, we weren't communicating well about what the play was and our offense was kind of stagnant and I felt at times when we're not going on offense, it affects our defense. And we obviously weren't playing defense well initially and we just got in a big hole."

The Wildcats never led, but got their deficit down to 15-9 before Iowa answered with a 14-2 run.

The undermanned Northwestern team had a rough season after preseason expectations of finally making the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history. Northwestern lost two key players to injury, Drew Crawford in December and Jared Swopshire in February, and one to an academic suspension before the season in JerShon Cobb. The remaining players would've been more at home in the Ivy League.

"It was really difficult, especially for the senior class," senior guard Alex Marcotullio said. "But that's basketball. You're going to have to deal with injuries and it's really tough for us being our last year and having all these little fluke things happen to us. But it's no excuse."

Give the Wildcats credit for making it hard on Iowa in the second half. The Hawkeyes had a 36-22 lead at the half, but shot only 28.1 percent in the second half as Northwestern sank into a 2-3 zone.

The Wildcats cut their deficit to single digits a handful of times in the second half, getting as close as 50-43 with 8:27 left, but Iowa never let them make a serious run.

"We knew we had to give it our all," Marcotullio said. "We had one last run in us, maybe a couple. We just said to each other, are we going to leave it all out here or are we going to give up? And it seemed like we came together for a few minutes there and we brought it back to seven.

"And a couple missteps here and there and then they increased the lead. So that was kind of deflating. But I'm proud of the way we fought. Just a few things that we needed to clear up and we didn't take care of really early."

Rapid Reaction: Iowa 73, Northwestern 59

March, 14, 2013
Here's a quick look at Iowa's 73-59 Big Ten tournament win over Northwestern at the United Center on Thursday night.

How it happened: The undermanned Wildcats didn't have a chance. Northwestern went scoreless for the first 7½ minutes, going down 11-0, and never got closer than within six points after that. Northwestern shot 32 percent from the field in the first half and 36.7 percent for the game. The Wildcats kept it interesting in the second half, trimming the deficit to single digits several times, but couldn't save their season. Iowa plays Michigan State on Friday.

Player of the game: Reggie Hearn, a former walk-on, scored 19 points and added 10 rebounds and three blocks.

What it means: Northwestern coach Bill Carmody might be fired after 13 seasons, none of which resulted in an NCAA tournament berth. This team was promising before JerShon Cobb was suspended in September and Drew Crawford had shoulder surgery in December. The Wildcats finished 13-19 with a 4-14 record in the Big Ten regular season, their first losing season since 2007-08.

What's next: Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips likely fires Carmody and begins a "national search" for his replacement. Whether that hire works out is anybody's guess.

NU's Hearn reflects on inspirational career

March, 13, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. -- What senior guard Reggie Hearn did at Northwestern on the court, which recently culminated into an all-conference honorable mention selection, can be attributed to the countless hours he put into his game.

[+] EnlargeReggie Hearn
Gregory Shamus/Getty ImagesReggie Hearn's hustle and motivation have made him a senior leader at Northwestern. Hearn earned his spot as a starter his junior year; Wildcats coach Bill Carmody now wonders if he should have started Hearn as a freshman.
How he ended up here and ever saw the floor during his four years with the Wildcats was more by chance.

Leading up to Northwestern’s first-round Big Ten tournament game with Iowa on Thursday, Hearn recently reflected on his journey from being barely recruited to becoming a Northwestern walk-on to now being the team’s leading scorer.

It’s a tale Hearn doesn’t mind sharing, and it’s one he certainly doesn’t take for granted. While he never doubted he had the ability to play in the Big Ten, he does understand it was only by chance he was able to prove that.

“To be honest with you, I reflect a lot on my good fortune,” Hearn said. “I think a lot of people of will say, ‘It’s a great story. He worked hard and everything.’ I remember a quote coach [Bill] Carmody said about me at the beginning of the year about Malcolm Gladwell’s book ‘Outliers,’ about a lot of successful people attribute to their hard work and everything, but the opportunities they had are really what get them there.

“You see, with me starting last year, we had two guys ahead of me get injured. Do I see the floor much last year if they don’t get injured? I don’t know. It was just a matter of me being able to capitalize on very fortuitous opportunities that came up for me.”

(Read full post)

Northwestern hopes first loss won't be costly

November, 28, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Once the question began to unfold, Northwestern Wildcats sophomore point guard David Sobolewski began shaking his head in disapproval.

His squad had just been routed on its home floor, losing 77-57 to the Maryland Terrapins in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday. The query was whether Northwestern’s loss was anything more significant than an early-season defeat, considering the Terps were the first major-conference opponent the Wildcats had faced after starting the season 6-0.

[+] EnlargeDezmine Wells
David Banks/US PresswireAfter starting the season with six wins, Northwestern was pummeled at home by
Maryland, its first major-conference opponent.
Sobolewski jumped on the question as soon as it was finished.

“No, it wasn’t,” Sobolewski said. “It was a November game against an ACC team. It’s not the end of the season. We got a lot of work to do for sure, but we’re not going to stop working. If anything, this will make us hungrier to improve in practice. So it was nothing more than a loss in November.”

Some would debate that.

Whether the Wildcats like it, the question that will be associated with them from November until March is whether they are an NCAA tournament-caliber team. They’ve never been to the tournament ... and that, more than ever, is the measuring stick for the program after four consecutive NIT appearances. The question won’t disappear until the goal of an NCAA tourney berth is realized.

From that standpoint, Northwestern didn’t look much like a tournament team on Tuesday. The Wildcats were outscored 49-31 in the second half and outrebounded 47-19, shot 6 of 25 from the 3-point range and allowed 44 points in the paint. And their bench was outscored 23-7.

Northwestern coach Bill Carmody understood how one-sided the second half was and got that the Wildcats have to compete with teams like Maryland. But he also remained optimistic they’ll get there.

“We have to be able to play with these guys, especially at home, so I think we’re all disappointed. And we’ll come back out and work hard and get this thing turned around,” Carmody said.

ESPN college basketball analyst Stephen Bardo, who called the game, was more critical of the Wildcats.

“There really wasn’t one thing they did well,” Bardo said. “I think this was a game where anything could go wrong went wrong. It wasn’t necessarily that Maryland is a dominant defensive team; Northwestern just couldn’t get into anything.”

What Northwestern does have in its favor are upcoming games with the Baylor Bears (Dec. 4 in Waco, Texas) and home against the Butler Bulldogs (Dec. 8). The Wildcats’ Big Ten schedule will decide their postseason fate, but both these nonconference games could play a big part, as well.

Baylor has had some early bumps, but it is still a respected program. The Bears will face the Kentucky Wildcats just prior to playing Northwestern. Butler had a strong showing at the Maui Invitational, with wins over the Marquette Golden Eagles and North Carolina Tar Heels.

Bardo thought it was a necessity for Northwestern to defeat Butler and at least compete with Baylor. Last season, the Wildcats lost to Baylor by 28 points in Evanston.

“They’re going to have to do some things if they want to improve their national view,” Bardo said.

While all is certainly not lost with one game in November, the Wildcats now face more of an uphill battle if they’re to reach their ultimate goal.

Jared Swopshire, NU a perfect match

November, 26, 2012
[+] EnlargeJared Swopshire
David Banks/US PresswireTransfer Jared Swopshire is averaging a career-high 12 points in his first season with Northwestern.
EVANSTON, Ill. -- "Perfect storm” is how Northwestern associate head coach Tavaras Hardy described the meeting of Northwestern’s basketball program and Louisville transfer forward Jared Swopshire.

Northwestern had lost its all-time leading scorer in small forward John Shurna, and there wasn’t a logical replacement on the roster.

The 6-foot-8, 210-pound Swopshire, who was a redshirt junior last season, was looking for a new school after he was told there wouldn’t be a spot for him on Louisville’s roster during the 2012-13 season. He was on pace to graduate from Louisville, so he had the chance to take advantage of the NCAA’s post-graduate transfer rule and play somewhere immediately.

Northwestern did its research. Swopshire and his family did their research. It take didn’t long for either to realize they were a match.

“I took a visit here, loved the coaches, loved the players, the system,” Swopshire said prior to Tuesday’s game ACC/Big Ten Challenge game with Maryland. “I’m here.”

(Read full post)

Carmody: Fate not tied to 1st NCAA bid

October, 25, 2012
ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Entering his 13th season, Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said Thursday he doesn't feel any extra pressure for the Wildcats to reach their first-ever NCAA tournament this season.

Read the entire story.

Is this finally THE YEAR for Northwestern?

July, 20, 2012
Jared SwopshireAndy Lyons/Getty ImagesThe addition of transfer Jared Swopshire gave Bill Carmody a much-needed replacement for John Shurna on the roster.
Everything that could go right has gone right for Bill Carmody since another heartbreaking ending to the elusive NCAA tournament quest.

Carmody got a vote of confidence from athletic director Jim Phillips and has multiple seasons left on his contract. The announcement on March 22 meant he would return for his 13th season. Carmody could have easily been sacked after the Wildcats finished 8-10 in the Big Ten, 19-14 overall.

Then, as if a gift had been placed at their Evanston doorstep, 6-8 Louisville senior Jared Swopshire (3.4 ppg, 3 rpg in 13.1 mpg) decided to transfer and play for the Wildcats immediately since he could seek a waiver as a graduating senior with a year left of eligibility.

Click here for the story.
There's a reason the best programs in the country compete for national titles every year, and a reason the Northwestern Wildcats are still (still!) looking for their first NCAA tournament berth of all-time: recruiting.

The North Carolina's and Kentucky’s and Duke’s of the world land the elite recruits most every season. The mediocre programs often recruit the guys bigger programs would recruit if something else fell through.

Northwestern hasn't even had that luxury. Thanks to its academic rigor and a dash of self-imposed failures, the program has traditionally found itself confined to “Moneyball”-style market inefficiencies -- an undersized but effective point guard (Juice Thompson) here, a forward with a funky but deadly shooting motion (John Schurna) here. Northwestern coach Bill Carmody has gotten awfully close to cracking that NCAA tournament barrier with these kinds of players in his tricky Princeton system, and it’s hard not to admire the program’s pluck. But at some point, over the course of a 30-game season, you have to have to talent. It’s the incontrovertible law of the sport.

Which is why long-suffering Northwestern fans should be so excited about Monday night’s news out of Lake Hopatcong, N.J. ESPN Chicago’s Scott Powers has the story:
ESPNU 100 point guard Jaren Sina committed to Northwestern on Monday.

Sina, who is 6-foot–2, 175-pounds, is from Lake Hopatcong, N.J. and attends Gill St. Bernard’s School. He chose Northwestern over Alabama, which he had previously committed to.

Sina is ranked No. 75 overall in the Class of 2013 and No. 13 at point guard by ESPN Recruiting. He is Northwestern’s most highly-rated recruit since ESPN began its rankings in 2007.

Yes, you read that correctly: In the five years since ESPN has been tracking and ranking collegiate hoops prospects, Sina, the No. 72-ranked player in the class of 2013, is the highest-ranked recruit Northwestern has landed.

Does that mean Sina will be a program-changing player? Not so fast. As we discussed about a month ago, we as fans (and writers) tend to overrate top–100 prospects, because the shorthand is easy to use and the expectations easy to slip into. As Basketball Prospectus’s Drew Cannon revealead in his postseason rankings of last year’s top 100 players, many players ranked near the bottom of the list take a year or even two to make major impacts on the college level. Not everyone is one-and-done, that’s for sure, and few -- 30 or 40 players a year, give or take -- are ready to make the transition right away.

That said, there are some good signs that Northwestern will be able to integrate Sina right away. His father Mergin Sina (I don’t know, but I love that name) is the head coach at Gill St. Bernard’s, the high school where Sina plies his trade. And Northwestern’s style -- cut-heavy Princeton offense, stretchy 1–3–1 zone defense -- is similar to what Mergin Sina’s teams already play:
“There was obviously location; it’s a great place,” said Sina’s father Mergin, who coaches Gill St. Bernard’s. “Academically, it’s one of the top programs, and the kids can play at a high level. Coach (Bill) Carmody and (assistant Fred) Hill and staff, we’ve been attracted to the way they played all year. It’s a similar style we play in high school. I think it’s a great transition for Jaren.”

So … how did a program that so rarely lands notable recruits land the No. 13-ranked point guard in the class of 2013? The presence of former Rutgers coach Fred Hill, who began recruiting Sina three years ago, when he was still the head coach at Rutgers. Hill was the first to offer Sina a scholarship during Sina’s freshman year, and the connection carried over to Hill’s new job as an assistant under Carmody:
“Coach Hill is a great guy,” Mergin said. “Northwestern is very lucky to have coach Hill. The tie was there with Coach Hill. Once we knew he was at Northwestern, we knew he would follow Jaren and do a great job of recruiting him.”

Anyway, big, big news for the Wildcats. It should be tempered with realistic expectations; this doesn’t mean Northwestern is suddenly going to dominate the Big Ten, nor does it mean it will suddenly start recruiting like Ohio State. But it does mean Northwestern landed one of, if not the, most talented players in the recent history of the program, a 6-foot–2 point guard who pretty much everyone agrees can really play.

With all due respect to the solid players that have come through Welsh-Ryan Arena in recent years, there is no misfit aspect here, no Scott Hatteberg-playing-first-base quality to the commitment. Sina’s just … good. Like any other program, those are the kinds of players Northwestern needs to win – good ones.

It really is just that simple.

Northwestern actually has bigs now

April, 26, 2012
You already know about the first. It's Louisville forward Jared Swopshire, who transferred out of Rick Pitino's program this spring in search of more playing time -- a scarce quantity in a frontcourt that already includes Chane Behanan, Gorgui Dieng, Wayne Blackshear, and a mix of talented reserves.

Swopshire found that playing time at Northwestern, where he'll immediately raise the level of athleticism in the Wildcats' program. And his transfer comes at a perfect time, as coach Bill Carmody searches for frontcourt talent to replace leading scorer John Shurna.

Northwestern also announced the signing of 7-foot center Alex Olah Wednesday. Olah originally hails from Romania, and though he isn't an ESPN top 100 talent by any stretch, his CV does come with some rather impressive notches: He averaged 18.5 points, 13.1 rebounds and 4.6 blocked shots per game as a senior at Traders Point Christian Academy in Zionsville, Ind., and he put up 16.7 points, 14.0 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game in the 2011 FIBA U18 European Championships.

Those numbers are almost surely inflated by the competition -- you can watch (hilariously edited) YouTube videos and decide for yourself -- but there's at least an outside chance Olah can enter Evanston, Ill. and contribute immediately. At the very least, he has size. If there's any quality the Wildcats need, it's size. Northwestern was one of the worst rebounding teams in the country in 2012; per, they ranked No. 319 in offensive rebounding rate and No. 327 on the defensive end. Time and again, the Wildcats -- who started John Shurna at forward and the let's-be-polite-and-say-not-very-good Luka Mirkovic at center -- were manhandled in the paint by bigger, stronger, and just plain taller Big Ten foes.

Shurna was an excellent player, an efficient, lanky shooter perfect for Carmody's Princeton style. But he simply couldn't compete on the boards. Swopshire can. Olah is a mystery, but at least he stands 7-feet (and appears, judging by the videos, to have some ball skills to go with the size). And at least the Wildcats, forever in pursuit of that elusive first tournament berth, will bring something on the interior.

So: Is 2013 the year? In this Big Ten, probably not. But the Wildcats' chances look considerably better today than they did just a few weeks ago.

Rapid Reaction: Carmody back for No. 13

March, 22, 2012
Will No. 13 be a lucky or unlucky one for Northwestern coach Bill Carmody?

Carmody was provided Thursday the security of another season, his 13th, at Northwestern. The Wildcats likely will have to reach the NCAA tournament next season for him to see No. 14.

Northwestern’s program has been on the rise in the last four years under Carmody, making four consecutive NIT appearances and being deemed an NCAA tournament bubble team this past year. But expectations have grown at Northwestern, and simply being in the NCAA tournament discussion is no longer enough.

Even as Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips gave Carmody his vote of confidence in a statement on Thursday, he made sure to include two important words -- not satisfied.

“We had another solid season competitively, but let me be perfectly clear: we are not satisfied,” Phillips said.

As in the past, Northwestern is far from being a lock for the NCAA tournament team next season. The Wildcats weren’t able to get there the past two years under the senior leadership of Michael Thompson in 2011 and John Shurna in 2012. Both will go down as two of the program’s greatest players.

The Wildcats will graduate Shurna, who is the school’s all-time leading scorer, but return four starters -- freshman guard David Sobolewski, junior swingman Drew Crawford, junior guard Reggie Hearn and sophomore guard JerShon Cobb. They will also bring back sixth man Alex Marcotullio, a junior guard, and will have TCU transfer 6-9 junior forward Nikola Cerina eligible after sitting out this past season.

Northwestern’s recruiting class includes 6-7 small forward Kale Abrahamson, who has been touted for his shooting ability, 6-6 small forward Sanjay Lumpkin, a versatile forward, and 6-11 center Alex Olah, who should help the Wildcats immediately on the glass.

Carmody to remain at Northwestern

March, 22, 2012
Bill Carmody will remain Northwestern's coach after athletic director Jim Phillips gave him a vote of confidence on Thursday.

Read the entire story.

Bardo: Carmody deserves another year

March, 20, 2012
ESPN college basketball analyst Stephen Bardo said Monday he believes Bill Carmody should remain Northwestern’s coach for at least one more season.

“I would keep him,” Bardo said. “I think he’s done enough to warrant that. The trajectory of the program is in the right direction.”

Northwestern struggled during Carmody’s first eight years and experienced one winning season. He’s since had four consecutive winning seasons and coached the Wildcats to a school-record four consecutive NITs. The Wildcats have gone 179-191 overall and 66-136 in the Big Ten in Carmody’s 12 seasons

(Read full post)

Carmody hopes NU makes long NIT run

March, 12, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said Monday he will discuss his future with athletic director Jim Phillips after the Wildcats have completed their play in the NIT.

“We just do it at the end of the year every year, so I hope it’s not for a couple of weeks,” said Carmody, who is in his 12th season at Northwestern.

[+] EnlargeBill Carmody
Stephen J. Carrera/US PresswireBill Carmody was surprised Northwestern only received a No. 4 seed in the NIT.
The Wildcats were not selected to play in the NCAA tournament on Sunday. They were invited to their fourth consecutive NIT. The Wildcats will host Akron on Tuesday.

Carmody was disappointed not only that the program failed to reach its first NCAA tournament, but also that the Wildcats were given a No. 4 seed in the NIT. Northwestern was considered a NCAA tournament bubble team heading into Sunday.

“I was surprised,” Carmody said. “I thought we were a higher seed than that. I thought we were at worst a two seed.

“There was disappointment yesterday, but the real disappointment was Thursday [losing to Minnesota in the Big Ten tournament.] You have five days. I think that was the disappointment. As it turns out, the way it looks to be, even if we had beaten those guys, we weren’t getting in. That’s what it seems. It looks like we would have had to beat Michigan.”

Carmody had improved Northwestern’s non-conference schedule this season, which included hosting Baylor and traveling to Creighton. But he said he would further examine how the Wildcats scheduled based on which teams were selected to the NCAA tournament on Sunday.

“We’re going to have to look at everything,” Carmody said. “It’s like bad losses didn’t seem to hurt teams as much as good wins helped them. Some teams had some real bad losses, but they were in December, so they didn’t seem to matter as much. We’ll definitely look at the aspects of it in our schedule.

“I will sit down with my staff and Jim Phillips and look at everything what we can do from a scheduling standpoint that will help us. We had done that, but maybe we have to do a little more, think about it a little differently.”

Carmody is confident Northwestern has a strong non-conference schedule next season with the Wildcats hosting Stanford and traveling to Baylor. He also said Northwestern still had a few openings on its schedule.



Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/27
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12