What if I were to tell you there is a player in this draft who averaged 20 points a game in the ACC.
Who did so while leading Wake Forest back to the tourney for the first time in seven years.
And is not a senior but rather a spry sophomore.
John Collins. The 6’10 230 Forward from Wake Forest has been criminally underrated.
Look this year’s draft class is loaded I understand. However, a player with as multi-faceted an offensive game as Collins should be garnering a lot more conversation as a lottery pick.
Collins put up 30 against Duke, 25 on Louisville..this was no case of a player taking advantage of weak competition. In fact, he tended to rise to the level of his opponent.
Collins is a dominant interior scorer and easily the best big man scorer in this class. He has an array of moves in the mid-range area and a nice touch on his jumper evidenced by 62% shooting from the field.
Defensively there are some concerns. The first thing many draftniks will point to is the lack of length he has, with only a 6’11” wingspan on his 6’10” frame. However, with his mobility, he should be able to curtail this issue at the next level.
The defensive factor I am concerned about, effort. Now, the excuse given to a lot of guys who have to carry the load offensively is that they don’t have the energy to produce similar results on the defensive end. While that may be fair, Collins didn’t show consistent effort on that end of the court. He also demonstrated a propensity to commit silly fouls, which may have also limited his defense activity as he would then have to avoid foul trouble.
Look, I think 10-15 years ago this guy is a surefire top-10 pick as an NBA Power Forward. The shift to “positionless” basketball has hurt guys like Collins who’s not quite a Center but doesn’t fit into today’s Forward position either.
This leaves two options, either increase your shooting range to the 3-point line or become a more sturdy defensive presence. I think with time Collins can and will do both, but only time will tell.
Until next time,
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