“He’s going to be a guy that will have multiple games this year where he’ll get over 20 shots a game off,” Self said. “If that’s the case, he’s got to be in unbelievable shape. For him to be a first-team All-American, he’s going to have to clip off close to 20 shots a game.”
If KU’s first two games are any indication, Sherron Collins
is on his way to All-American glory. And he’s not even come
close to clipping off 20 shots a game. Collins is averaging 20.5 points
on just 12.5 shots per game entering Monday’s game (9 p.m.)
against Washington at the Sprint Center in Kansas City in the
semifinals of the CBE Classic. He’s shooting a sizzling 60
percent from the field (15-25 FG) and 50 percent beyond the arc (5-10)
in 33 minutes per game.
And how about his shooting in KU’s two exhibition games,
where he averaged 22 points while ripping the nets at 71.4 percent
The sophomore point guard certainly looks in midseason form and become
quite an efficient scorer.
“Coach wants me to take 18 or 20 shots a game,”
Collins said. “I don’t really count my shots or pay
attention to them. I’m just hot right now,
Collins blistered the nets for a career-high 25 points in
KU’s 85-45 victory over Florida Gulf Coast on Tuesday night
in Allen Fieldhouse. He was 9 of 14 from the field and 4 of 6 from
three-point range. He even scored 18 points in a dominating first half.
Thus far, Collins looks in complete control on the court and dazzling
Jayhawk fans with a variety of breathtaking shots and moves. In the
waning seconds of the first half against FGCU, Collins dribbled the
ball passed the top of the key while waiting for the last shot. He
seemingly toyed with the defender, did a deadly Tim Hardaway-like
crossover dribble, and then penetrated the lane before making a wispy
pass to freshman Quintrell Thomas, who got fouled and made both
When he wasn’t penetrating the lane, Collins was taking
step-back jumpers, driving the baseline for a reverse left-hand layup,
or taking a few hard dribbles before making a running eight-foot leaner
off the board.
The Chicago native has the total package. Self just wants his teammates
to do a better job of helping Collins score so he doesn’t
have to do it all alone.
“Sherron’s fine,” Self said after the
Florida Gulf Coast game. “But we’re still not
helping. He got 25 but we didn’t help him. We got to be able
to free him up in different ways. Our staff needs to do a better job
and I need to do a better job of getting our guys to understand the
different spots on how we want him to score.
“Right now, he’s good. He’s confident and
we got to play to that. Certainly our guys should play through Cole
(sophomore center Aldrich) and Sherron. When we understand that and
when we understand how we pick out spots and are still aggressive and
looking to give those guys at least a chance to score in different
areas, then we’ll get a lot better offensively.”
Freshman guard Travis Releford, for one, knows Collins is the go-to
“Sherron is the best player on the team,” Releford
said. “Coach has been telling us about getting him shots,
getting him open looks and just playing together as a team.”
Watch Collins play right now and you notice a difference than previous
years. He’s smiling more, laughing more on the court, and
having fun. After suffering through constant injuries his first two
seasons, Collins is finally injury free and in great shape.
“I’m 100 percent. Nothing is bothering
me,” Collins said. “I’m 100 percent and
just happy to be there. It’s a big relief, it feels good.
I’m kind of speechless about my health at this time. Knock on
wood. I just pray I stay this way.”
And you can bet he’ll keep on smiling.
“That’s my personality,” Collins said.
“I like to smile. I think if I’m having a bad game,
I got to keep (smiling). If I start to give bad body language and
pouting out there, it follows over. I try to keep a smile and stay
He wants to stay positive and get his teammates involved in the game.
“Coach pretty much gives me the freedom to get my own shot
and do what I want,” said Collins, “but I try
sometimes to get my teammates going because I know
I’m going to get going. I’m not really rushing to
shoot the ball.”
But when Collins does unleash his offense, watch out. He’s
become a more dangerous scorer this season.
Take that new step-back jumper that’s given NBA scouts much
to rave about this early season.
“That was something I worked on,” Collins said.
“Coach (Joe) Dooley did a really great job with me this
summer trying to get different moves because I have to score in
different ways and do a lot of different things. There’s just
different things I worked on all summer.’
Self has certainly noticed Collins’ work. He’s
quite happy with Collins and how he’s become a true leader
for the defending national champions.
Not to mention having the most fun of his college career.
"I think he just feels better about himself, in large part because his
body doesn't hurt,” Self said. “He’s gone
through a lot of stuff since he's been here. But he does look good out
there to me. His mindset is good, and he knows he has a great
responsibility with everybody here, and he’s liking the
“I'm very pleased with him because he's doing all the things
you would expect the leader of a team to do. When you do those things,
you feel better about yourself. I think it will continue.
He’s focused. I see him getting on guys one possession. I see
him praising them the next. He’s got a good balance going on
With KU prepared to hit the Sprint Center against Washington on ESPN
Monday and then either Florida or Syracuse on Tuesday night in the
finals or consolation game, the nation will get their first look and
the new and improved Sherron Collins.
Collins could soon become the darling of the national media and
mentioned in the same breath with some of the nation’s best
point guards like Ty Lawson (North Carolina), Darren Collison (UCLA)
and Steph Curry of Davidson.
Heck, he may become the best point guard in the country and a
first-team All-American if he continues his scorching shooting.
“That would be nice to be recognized as that,”
Collins said. “I think I work hard and I think I’m
a solid point guard. But I don’t worry too much about those
accolades because I got a lot of stuff going on here and I got to lead
a group of young guys.
“There’s not too much time to look at all
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