Freshman Collins Expected to Make Big Impact

Expected to make the biggest contribution of all the freshmen on the 2006-2007 University of Miami men's basketball team, power forward Dwayne Collins is looking to make an immediate impact on the front line.

He's the local player from Miami High who won a state championship as a junior and posted some great numbers as a senior so he surely has some great expectations from those in Miami-Dade County.

But as with any freshmen coming onto the scene, particularly one who thrived on athleticism throughout and not actual skills, Dwayne Collins has a lot to learn.

"Right now I am still learning the plays, but I'll be more comfortable once I start learning the plays," Collins said. "I am feeling comfortable, but I'm learning to play and hoping to contribute."

Considered the best dunker on the team by some of his teammates, Collins is working on post moves that he didn't have in high school. For the 6-foot-8, 240-pound power forward that has the wingspan of a 7-foot-4 tree, that is imperative in him becoming a dominant force in the ACC.

The best part is he knows it.

"Compared to high school where it was kind of easy, but here, everyday you've got to take it hard, you've got to work everyday," Collins said. "No matter how your day is, you've got to go hard.

"I am coming along. After practice, I work on my hook shot everyday."

That is something that starting center Anthony King said is the most important thing that's come along in his game. For Collins, it is the same story because Collins has an even longer wingspan than King.

Collins is well aware that he's got work to do, but also sees this team being one that can compete with just about anyone, particularly up front.

"We are going to be pretty good," Collins said. "We are going to have a really good front court. I'm young, so working with Anthony King and Jimmy Graham, they are more experienced and stronger than me, so I am learning a lot."

Rudy Rodriguez-Chomat can be reached at rudy@canestime.com

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