Big Ten

Who's Northwestern's best shooter? Chris Collins says he is

Who's Northwestern's best shooter? Chris Collins says he is

"The best shooter on the team right now, you included, is who?"

Dan Patrick set Northwestern head coach Chris Collins up for a little self-promotion during an interview Monday on "The Dan Patrick Show," and Collins took full opportunity.

"Me," he said.

The head coach of the tournament-bound Wildcats was not too long ago a sharpshooter at Duke. And though he admitted to not being able to play much anymore, Collins fully recognized that he's still got the shooting touch, a better one in fact than any of his current players.

"Look, I have a thing in my family, and my kids and my wife get really mad. I always tell them when we compete at home, whoever gets second place in the board game or the competition or the video game actually wins because I always win.

"I always mess with the guys. I never had great foot speed so I can't really play anymore anyway, but I can still outshoot them. Hopefully there'll be a day when some guys on the team can outshoot me. That would mean that we're a pretty good team."

He's got the numbers to back it up, too. During his senior season with the Blue Devils, Collins shot 46.7 percent from the field and 44.1 percent from 3-point range. He'd rank in the top 10 in the Big Ten in 3-point percentage this season.

Patrick focused a great deal on Collins' history at Duke — he did spend four years there as a player and 13 more as an assistant coach — and at one point jabbed him for his lack of defensive intensity as a player.

"How do you teach defense, for somebody who didn't play defense?" Patrick asked, getting some laughter out of Collins.

"That's a good question, I get that often," Collins responded. "I never got in a stance much when I played. My viewpoint of defense was outscoring my man. I felt if I outscored my man, then I played good defense. But it's something that we've had to hang our hat on as we've built our program because quite frankly we hadn't had the firepower, especially in our conference, to match up with the likes of the Wisconsins and Indianas and Michigan States and so on and so forth. So we had to become a hard-nosed defensive team to be able to be competitive. I think it's become part of our identity. Like you said, the people who know me best can't believe we're like a defensive-minded team. But I'm going to keep fooling them while I can."

Whatever he's doing is working for Northwestern. The Cats rank second in the league in scoring defense, holding opponents to 64.9 points a game, and second in field-goal percentage defense, limiting opponents to 39.8-percent shooting.

Check out the full interview below:

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

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USA TODAY

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.

Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.

As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.

Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.

The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Weeks will separate a perfect 10-year anniversary where Northwestern will play at Wrigley Field for one of its regular season games in the upcoming years.

Back on Nov. 20, 2010, the Wildcats battled it out with Illinois, known as the “Wrigleyville Classic,” which saw the Illini take a 48-27 win.

Even though it’s still two years out, Northwestern still planned ahead and announced its opponent for its game at Wrigley Field on Nov. 7, 2020, against Big Ten rival Wisconsin.

“Obviously an exciting opportunity for our football program to come back to Wrigley Field, one of the Cathedrals of sporting venues in the world,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “When I announced it to our team, they were absolutely ecstatic.”

“The opportunity to play at Wrigley field is unique to us, being Chicago’s Big Ten team, and to have the chance to come down and play in an atmosphere like we did a few years back was a bowl game type atmosphere, and I look forward to this special opportunity.”

This game though will be a little different than it was back in 2010. Both the Wildcats and Illini played toward the west end zone due to a tight squeeze near the right field wall due to box seats that were added down the third base line.

Now, Northwestern and Wisconsin do not have to worry about that problem because the bullpens have since moved to the outfield.

Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney spoke at a news conference earlier on Tuesday at Wrigley.

“So excited to welcome back Northwestern to Wrigley Field to talk about football again,” Kenney said. “We had an incredible experience with them back in 2010."

Kenney also mentioned new seating is on a temporary platform that can all be removed and the dugout tops can be removed as well, and the field will expand west, to allow for a longer field.

With a sellout crowd in the last go around for the Wildcats, don’t be surprised for another sellout at the Friendly Confines.