Collins a Draft Sleeper?

Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich, and Xavier Henry are all counting the moments until the NBA Draft at Madison Square Garden in New York on Thursday. As the draft nears, speculation has run rampant as to where these former Jayhawk standouts might be selected.

To help break down the draft madness, Phog.net spoke to one anonymous NBA scout, who offered his candid opinions about their draft prospects and future pro careers. We'll lead off this three-part series heading up to draft day with this scout's take on Collins. For the purpose of anonymity, we'll refer to this scout's name simply as "Scout."

After a legendary career at Kansas, where Collins became the winningest player in school history, he enters Thursday's draft with many question marks. First off, will he even be selected?

"I would say he's probably in between (No.) 45 (Minnesota Timberwolves' second-round pick) and maybe undrafted, if I had to guess," Scout said. "I would say it's probably 50-50 (if he'll be drafted)."

Scout said one of the primary concerns with Collins is his weight. The 5-11 guard weighed in at 217 pounds at the NBA Draft Combine in May in Chicago, and Scout said Collins most recently reported in "about 222."

"It's fluctuated a little bit," Scout said. "He had a little groin injury where he couldn't work out for a little while. That can hurt a guy weight wise because they can't do any cardio and they gain a little weight during that period. I think he needs to get down to about the 210 and below range to get some speed and quickness back in his game."

Scout said Collins' individual workouts with NBA teams have "been OK. I don't think he's blown anybody away simply because he's had this grown injury. He hasn't been 100 percent. (But) we've seen enough of him. A workout isn't going to necessarily tell the whole story."

Scout praised Collins' abilities and toughness.

"He's obviously a little small for a point guard, but I think he has a tremendous heart and I think he has a lot of intangibles," Scout said. "He's tough. He kind of thrives on the big moment. Basketball wise, he's a good shooter, he makes good decisions with the ball, high IQ. He's going to have to overcome not being super fast or quick player for being as small as he is. His weight and body are going to have to be something he keeps close tabs on and monitors closely because he's going to have to defend some awfully quick guards in our league."

And that excess weight won't help him there.

"When you're as small as he is, you got to have speed and quickness, and the more weight he has, the less of that he's going to have," Scout said.

"People want to see him trim down a little bit," Scout added. "He's got to be committed to doing so. He's not the quickest or speediest guard, and most small guards his size are in our league. But he's got intangibles to overcome it, I think. He does have to get with a coach who can appreciate what he is because some coaches aren't big fans of small guards. But some are."

Being the winningest player in KU history is certainly a plus for Collins.

"He's a winner," Scout said. "His teams win. That doesn't always translate to the NBA level, but it definitely works in his favor. No doubt about it."

Collins has been compared by some to Orlando Magic starting point guard Jameer Nelson, the 6-0, 190-pounder who has succeeded in the League despite his small stature. Scout offered his take on the comparison.

"Jameer has got a little more speed and quickness than Sherron, but comparable in size," Scout said. "Sherron is a little bulkier. I don't think he's as talented as Jameer, though, overall."

For Collins to make it in the NBA, Scout said "he's going to have to get in the right situation. But if he is, I think he could be a possibly backup point guard in our league. It's all going to depend on his health and weight for him."

Could he ever become a starter?

"It's going to be tough," Scout said. "You got to have some special athletic traits when you're as small as he is."

Scout said Collins could turn out to be a sleeper in the draft.

"I do. I definitely do," Scout said. "I wouldn't bet against him. I'm a fan. I like Sherron. I don't know if the rest of the league does quite as much."

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