In the coming days, and hopefully, not too many weeks, many names will surface as to who will be the man to replace Rick Stansbury at Mississippi State. So far my colleagues have profiled many head coaches that could be rumored to come to coach the Bulldogs.
I'm going a different path. Check out this list: Dan Mullen, Vann Stuedemann, and Vic Schaefer. They are three of the more recent major program coaching hires at Mississippi State, and none of them came to the Bulldogs with head coaching experience.
That is why I am going to toss my pick to the assistant ranks. Here is the case for Chris Collins, Duke's associate head coach, to become the new leader of the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
Collins may be an assistant, but he would come to Mississippi State with a wealth of experience. He has been a part of the Duke bench since 2000, and in 2008, Coach Mike Krzyzewski promoted him to the Associate Head Coach position for the Blue Devils.
Collins has been on the bench for over 300 Duke victories and two national championships. He has experience working in a program that succeeds at the highest levels of college basketball. He is also an assistant that works during recruiting, practice, and in the game. Most importantly, he wants to be a head coach. During the season, Collins works with the back court players for the Blue Devils. In case you have forgotten, the following players have played in the guard spot for duke since 2000: Jason Williams, Chris Duhon, J.J. Redick, and Mike Dunleavy.
He also served as an assistant on the 2008 Olympic squad and the 2010 FIBA World Championship teams, both of which won gold. He also would have extra credibility with players in the fact that was a McDonald's All-American. He can relate to those at the top of the game coming into MSU.
Before coming to Duke, Collins also served as an assistant at Seton Hall and for the Detroit Shock after he ended his professional career in Finland.
Collins fits the mold for the new hires at MSU. He is an associate head coach with many responsibilities. He is young (even though this does not apply for Schaefer), and he is even on twitter.
Collins is going to be a hot commodity, and honestly, it is a little surprising that he has not taken a head coach position. Many speculate that Illinois will give him serious consideration for their opening. I hope the Bulldogs strike first.