The 2007-2008 season has been a frustrating one for 5-11 sophomore Sherron Collins. Injury after injury resulted in a reduction in points and minutes played. After coming out of the gates strong in the first two games of the season any momentum Collins could gain came to screeching halt after a stress fracture and most recently a deeply bruised right knee.
His head coach recently said, “Sherron is just a shell of
himself”. And he was.
But Wednesday against Iowa State, Collins showed signs of improvement
and appeared to be moving more fluidly on that right knee. Though he
played just 18 minutes and scored only seven points, there were reasons
“He’s feeling a lot better. He actually moved
better against Iowa State. We gave him off that week and he moved
terribly against Oklahoma State and was no factor. He was a little bit
more of a factor against Iowa State but the last two days
he’s moved better,” said head coach Bill Self.
Kansas fans and coaches have been waiting to the see the qualities a
healthy Collins brings to the court. He’s a tough defender
with quick hands and a nose for the ball, he brings energy,
he’s a terrific ball-handler, a decent shooter, and most
importantly – gets to the rim and creates better than any
other player on Bill Self’s roster.
Saturday against Kansas State all these traits were on display.
Collins showed no ill effects of any pain and admitted energy and
adrenaline can make you forget about injuries at times. As a result
Collins blistered K-State for 18 points, including 3-7 from deep. He
had lift on his jump shot, quickness off the dribble, and he stuffed
the stat sheet with Sherron-like numbers -- four assists, four steals,
just one turnover, and three rebounds. The best news for Self and Co.
was his ability to play 29 impactful minutes almost pain-free.
“I could feel it Wednesday it was getting better. I was able
to do stuff I wasn’t able to do earlier in the week in two
days it turned around,” said Collins who admitted he felt
pain twice on Saturday.
“Doctor just says he’s going to keep getting better
and the bruise is going to continue to heal and he’ll be
where his pain-free here real soon. I thought he was great
tonight,” Self told reporters. “That’s
what we’ve been missing for the most part for the entire
year. It’s just to have somebody that was that explosive that
could change a game and he certainly was a great spark
The Collins’ swagger appeared to return and so did the bounce
in his step. After the game KU strength and conditioning coach Andrea
Hudy said, “that was Sherron”. And it was.
He had that determined look in his eyes on defense and got down deep in
a defensive stance embracing the idea of moving laterally to stop his
man, and for the first time in a long time, he fashioned a smile.
Several times after timeouts he ran to the bench nodding his head and
smiling as if to say, “This is what I’m talking
Collins fed off the crowd and also got a huge lift from family members
who arrived in Lawrence Saturday including his mother and his son
“My mom came down, my son came down so I mean everything was
happy for me. This game took my mind off my knee. I wanted to beat
K-State but it was a plus to have my mom here.”
If Collins continues to play at this level it will be a huge plus for
Kansas in March. Sherron thinks he may have turned the corner and feels
as good as he has in “months” which could be
troubling news for the opposition.
Collins Comes Back
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