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Chris Collins turning around Northwestern recruiting in Chicago

Updated: November 27, 2013 6:12AM

Among Northwestern’s biggest failures under previous coaching regimes, aside from never making the NCAA tournament, was the inability to make inroads with top-tier Chicago talent.

Then the school hired Chris Collins this offseason, and immediately Northwestern received a commitment from St. Rita’s Vic Law and gained interest from other area players.

Having played at Glenbrook North, Collins arrived with established relationships in the city. But he acknowledged that his counterparts have a similar pedigree.

Loyola coach Porter Moser played at Benet Academy, Chicago State coach Tracy Dildy at King and UIC coach Howard Moore at Taft. Like Collins, who spent 13 seasons as an assistant at Duke, Moore was an assistant at Wisconsin before taking over at UIC and had success recruiting the Chicago area with the Badgers.

Along with DePaul coach Oliver Purnell, the coaches spoke at the Chicago Hoops Luncheon on Friday.

“Everybody’s a Chicago guy,” Collins said. “Everyone played here in high school. Everybody loves our city. Everybody has great relationships in this city. I think we all have a great affinity for players in this area also because that’s where we came from and it makes it fun.”

Of the five coaches, only Purnell isn’t from Chicago.

The Collins hire has made it more difficult for the other four coaches, especially considering the buzz he has generated among the area’s recruits.

“You see them around,” Moser said. “Everyone’s out there recruiting hard. You’ve got a lot of guys that are passionate about getting players. So it is competitive, and it’s probably one of the most nationally recruited areas. So not only are you fighting local guys, but everyone comes to Chicago to recruit.”

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