A disappointing season for Sherron Collins
came to an even more disappointing conclusion this past weekend, as top-ranked Kansas was shockingly knocked off by Northern Iowa in the second round of the NCAA tournament, behind a forgettable performance by their star guard.
Following up from where our last scouting report left off, Collins production dropped off notably this seasoneven when adjusting for minutes played--as he not only scored at a worse rate than last year, but also saw his efficiency numbers slump as well, as they have in every season at Kansas. Bill Self decided to reduce Collins role in his offense substantiallydropping his usage rate (the percentage of his teams offensive possessions he shoulders) from 25.1% to 19.6%. Collins got to the free throw line less this season, dished out fewer assists and rebounded worse, but managed to cut his turnover rate slightly.
Comparing the Synergy Sports Technology data available to us from the past two years, it appears that most of Collins struggles on the offensive end this season stem from his inability to convert shots as effectively from mid and long-range distancesparticularly off the dribble--as well as a huge drop-off in efficiency in isolation situations..
The reasons for Collins struggles are likely two-fold, mostly revolving around some combination of shot-selection and conditioning issues. Collins has yet to commit to maximizing himself from a physical standpoint, sporting a noticeable amount of baby fat and looking exceedingly heavy as the season moved on-- something that has been an issue for him throughout his career. This becomes even more of an issue for him in the offseason, as we noticed when we saw him this past summer in Chicago, looking a good 20-30 pounds heavier than he normally does.
Already severely undersized for his position, and not terribly explosive to compensate for that, Collins has had his fair share of problems finishing around the basket this season, something that wont get any easier for him at the NBA level. Once considered a superb athlete earlier on in his career, its difficult to describe him as such at this pointsomething teams surely will want to study further. Collins typically gradually gets into better shape as the season moves on, but this year he seemed to move in the opposite direction.
An extremely talented shot-creator and overall scorer thanks to the tremendous talent he brings to the table, Collins uses his strength and instincts to get to the basket very effectively, even if he doesnt always get the lift needed to finish plays around the rim. His ball-handling skills are superb, as he has a terrific knack for getting his man off-balance and attacking him at the right timea skill that is even more coveted at the NBA level. Collins can drive in either direction, has terrific footwork and loves to take big shots, showing the confidence and aggressiveness of a true go-to guy.
Also known as one of the best shot-makers in college basketball, Collins jumper mostly abandoned him mid-way through the season. He made just 34.6% of his total jump-shots this season (according to SST) compared with 39.6% last season, with his off the dribble jumper taking the biggest hitgoing from 41.8% to 28.9%. These are extremely inefficient numbers any way you slice it, which helps explain why he was relied upon less heavily than he was last season. Getting into better shape and not having to shoulder such a heavy offensive load may help Collins revert back to being the excellent shooter he was known as in the pasthe did make 41% of his 3-pointers already as a freshman after all, and converts nearly two of them per game on average.
As a playmaker, Collins has been reined in somewhat this season, spending most of his minutes playing off the ball next to the steadier and more fundamentally sound Tyshawn Taylor
, who has no problem crossing over and defending shooting guards on the other end of the floor. This may indeed be his optimal role in the NBA as well, as hes clearly more comfortable looking for his own shot than he is running a half-court offense.
Capable of finding players in transition, off the pick and roll or on simple drive and dish plays, Collins will rack up a decent amount of assists thanks to the quality of teammates around him and the way Kansas executes their half-court offense. His court vision is clearly underdeveloped, though, showing clear-cut tunnel vision and missing open teammates on a regular basis, being very prone to running into brick walls and being a very average decision maker in general. Hes not really the type of player who is going to make his teammates better, as hes far more of a scorer than a playmaker, and commits more unforced errors than you would hope.
Defensively, Collins is clearly undersized, and not exceptionally quick laterally, but he seems to be putting in more effort on this end than we gave him credit for in previous reports. Hes capable of being an absolute ball-hawk with his ability to put pressure on his matchup, getting down in a low, fundamental stance and smothering his opponent when he puts his mind to it. He has incredible natural strength, which he uses well to body up, deny angles and get his man off balance with his wide frame.
Hes not immune to getting beat off the dribble from time to timeespecially when he loses his focus, which happens a bit more than youd likebut after four years of playing for Bill Self, its safe to say that he knows how to play good defense when he wants to. His potential on this end of the floor remains somewhat limited for the NBA, though.
The winningest player in the history of Kansas basketball, Collins surely did not expect to be sitting at home at this point in the season. This definitely is not the way he wanted to go into the draft process either, with no momentum to speak of. Already 23 years old, undersized, not really a point guard, coming off a disappointing season and with red flags surrounding his intangibles, its really anyones guess where Collins will end up being picked at this point.
Its possible some team takes a liking to him late in the first roundshot-creators in his mold are very much en vogue in todays NBA, and this years crop of point guards is incredibly shallow--but being selected in the second round surely isnt out of the question at this stage.