Wojnarowski: Marquette Is Targeting Duke Associate Head Coach Steve Wojciechowski

Kevin C. Cox

Well, that certainly changes the conversation.

With the unconfirmed reports scattering around the internet seeming to gain speed and foolishness on Saturday and Sunday, I have to say I was glad to see Adrian Wojnarowski throw a solid log on the Marquette coaching search fire.

On Sunday evening, the Yahoo Sports NBA writer reported that longtime Duke assistant coach Steve Wojciechowski has joined Tennesee head coach Cuonzo Martin and former UCLA and Pitt coach Ben Howland amongst the forefront of coaches that Marquette is eyeing.  Here's the exact wording from Wojnarowski that explains Marquette's interest:

Marquette has been impressed with the impact former Duke assistant coach Chris Collins had in his first season at Northwestern.

Here's the thing: Collins went 14-18, only one game better than the 13-19 that Bill Carmody accomplished in the 2012-13 season that got Carmody fired.  With that said, the Wildcats were 7-17 against KenPom.com top 100 teams, so it's not like they were playing lousy teams and losing.  In fact, on February 2nd of this season, Northwestern was 12-11 on the season and 5-5 in the Big Ten with consecutive road wins over Wisconsin and Minnesota.  Then they lost their next seven games.

Wojciechowski has been an assistant under Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski since 1999 and was promoted to associate head coach in 2008.  In his time on the Duke bench, Wojciechowski has contributed to a total of five regular season ACC championships, nine ACC tournament titles, and two NCAA national championships.  According to his bio on the Duke website, Wojciechowski's primary player responsibility lies with Duke's big men.  It seems that he's doing something right, because I'm pretty sure we've all heard of the exploits of Miles Plumlee, Mason Plumlee, Ryan Kelly, Kyle Singler, and this year, Jabari Parker.

The obvious catch to Wojciechowski is that if he were to have a successful first few years at Marquette, he would be a strong candidate to replace Krzyzewski.  The NCAA's all time wins leader is already 67 years old and while he has committed to coaching the 2016 USA Olympic team in Rio, it's unclear as to how much longer he will continue to remain the head coach at Duke.  The obvious flip side to the obvious catch is that Duke will have their choice of coaches to replace Coach K, and choosing a long time Krzyzewski assistant may not be a priority for the Blue Devils.

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