Source: NU eyes Chris Collins

Northwestern is expected to interview Duke assistant Chris Collins for its head-coaching job next week, according to a source familiar with the situation who described Collins as a leading candidate to replace Bill Carmody.

The search is in its early stages after Carmody was fired March 16 following 13 years without an NCAA berth.

Collins, who has been an assistant under Mike Krzyzewski since 2000 and played for the Blue Devils, is interested in the Northwestern job, according to the source.

There is also interest from the Northwestern community, including boosters and alumni, in Milwaukee Bucks director of scouting Billy McKinney, but it's not known if McKinney would be willing to leave his NBA job. McKinney is a Northwestern alumnus whose playing career and front-office background includes stints with the Bulls.

Collins is a native of the Chicago suburb of Northbrook, Ill., where he starred as a McDonald's All American at Glenbrook North High School. He expressed his ambition to be a head coach last year before Illinois hired John Groce to replace Bruce Weber.

"I definitely want to be a head coach," Collins told ESPNChicago.com at the time. "For all of us who have been players and assistants for Coach K, he wouldn't want us around if we didn't have aspirations to have our own program. I'm looking for the right fit for me and my family, a place I can go and believe in that school and what they're trying to accomplish and have fun doing it."

Collins has recruited the Chicago area for Duke and helped land Jon Scheyer and Sean Dockery for the Blue Devils.

When talking last year about Illinois, he mentioned the familiarity of the area as an attractive feature.

"It's my home. It's in the Big Ten. There's talent in the state," Collins said last year. "Of course, you have aspirations to be a head coach in an area you really love like Chicago, so of course there's going to be interest. I haven't talked to them."

Duke is a No. 2 seed in the Midwest region and plays Albany on Friday in the first round of the NCAA tournament.