Just filed to ESPN: Sources: Northwestern has fired Bill Carmody. AD Jim Phillips meeting with the players at 11 a.m. CST.
— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) March 16, 2013
The Big Ten is as strong as it has ever been on the hardwood — at the top of the conference. In 2013, however, Northwestern filtered down to the very bottom of the league with a 4-14 conference record and abrupt exit from the Big Ten Tournament.
Thus, and after 13 years at the helm of the program without a single berth in the NCAA Tournament, the Wildcats have fired coach Bill Carmody.
The move was one that Northwestern brass did not want to make. The school’s basketball arena needs an upgrade, and badly. Its practice facilities are practically nonexistent. Carmody had led the ‘Cats to the NIT in each of the four years previous to this one, and should he have managed to keep the team at .500 or better in 2013, he may not have found himself as the first Big Ten coach kicked to the curb following the season.
Carmody originally came over after spending four seasons at Princeton and compiling a sparkling 92-25 overall (50-6 in-conference) record. However, his time in the Big Ten was not nearly as successful, and he finishes his long tenure in Evanston with a 191-204 overall record and a 69-148 mark in the league.
The odds-on favorite to replace Carmody is Chris Collins, the son of current Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug. The younger Collins attended nearby Glenbrook North High School while Doug coached the Chicago Bulls back in the day. He played his college ball at Duke and has been an assistant with the Blue Devils for years.
Bill Carmody is out as Northwestern basketball coach per @daveeanet who just reported it. Chris Collins is the obvious choice.
— David Kaplan (@thekapman) March 16, 2013
No matter who is brought in, however, the fact of the matter is glaringly obvious: Northwestern’s facilities look like a high school gym compared to those around the Big Ten.
Chicago is literally a stone’s throw from the Evanston campus, but the elite prep talent coming out of there goes anywhere but Northwestern.
Until the money is committed to bringing Northwestern basketball up to an acceptable level, any coach at the head of it will be behind the eight ball from the start.
Stay tuned, but remember: Northwestern in the only major college basketball program to have never — not once — earned an NCAA Tourney berth.