Northwestern basketball coach Chris Collins is clearly triggered by the media coverage of his team this season. Meeting the media right after NU’s biggest win of the season, 61-52 over #20 Michigan, one would have expected the fifth year head coach to be in a bubbly mood.
Instead he was extremely sarcastic and substantially prickly, and although he did not name any single outlet or individual media professional by name, he focused on coverage which he found to be unfair and negative. Interestingly enough, this was not even the most bizarre press conference that Chris Collins has held this season.
The strangest presser, after the loss at Purdue, featured Collins opening the session in a very aloof, dismissive and condescending tone. He then told a very blatant and quite easily fact-checked lie, doubled down on it when pressed, and kept the entire press conference extremely brief.
That was December 3rd; here’s what he had to say last night, after the most triumphant victory of the season for the Wildcats.
“I think it’s amusing that we’re .500 in (league play) and 15-10 (on the year) and it’s a disaster of a season,” Collins told a room of assembled reporters.
“I’m not sure how many Northwestern teams have been 6-6 after 12 (B1G) games in the program’s history, but it’s quite a disaster whatever is going on.”
The dictionary defines the word “defensive” as “very anxious to challenge or avoid criticism.” For synonyms it lists: “self-justifying, oversensitive, prickly, paranoid, neurotic.”
Obviously, Collins doesn’t care for some of the things that have been written or said about this Northwestern basketball team this season. Also, he wasn’t done commenting on the #covfefe.
“I know we’re dead, I know we’re bad and I know we have all these problems, but we’re going to keep playing our games,” Collins said.
“Everyone is writing our obituary, but I’m not quite sure I’m seeing that.”
Northwestern is currently 1-8 against the RPI top 100, with that one win coming tonight. They are currently #99 in RPI, #53 in Sagarin, #72 in KenPom. With metrics like these, obtaining even a NIT berth, let alone a NCAA at-large, will require lots of work, and there’s only six games left.
Chris Collins also managed to throw in more snark during a sequence when he was praising his own players. After lauding some of the things that his roster has accomplished in their careers, Collins said: “they have accelerated the program to where 15-10 is a disaster.”
Last season, we saw an excessive amount of media cheerleading for Northwestern basketball. Although we witnessed wave after wave of journalists shedding all objectivity and professionalism, this behavior was rarely called out. This Chris Collins press conference tonight is clearly a by-product of that media purple pom pom waving in 2016-17.
The Northwestern head coach seems to have issues adjusting to media coverage changing in accordance with the results of his team. To his credit though, he did end the session on a very positive note, by telling reporters: “hey, thanks for coming out!”
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.
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