Jordan Collins: The 2002/03 edition

I have a habit when it comes to NC State. I always arrive at least an hour early for basketball games (two for football) to observe the warm-ups. I continued this habit for the Garner Road game last Friday and was able to catch the 6:30 game and a very good player. I thought I recognized the face but I was unsure. I even asked my TSW scouting partner, who the heck is that guy?

He looked to be around 6'10", had very good hops, ran the floor like a deer, and showed me some three point potential. This guy was built with all the pectorals and deltoids that you want to see on a basketball player. I am not talking a wirery bean poll, some big jelly type, or even some steroid freak, but a 6'10" player with a well constructed basketball body that has the potential to dominate challengers.

After a quick look down the TSW roster for Chavis, I was surprised to see it was indeed, Jordan Collins. The last time I saw Jordan, I remember seeing a guy that was a ways away from competing effectively against Baxter and Boozer. I saw a player who was a bit soft in tone, who had no outside shot. Sure he could get up court, but nothing that really set a pace for an opposing center.

Out with the old, in with the new! Jordan Collins will surprise more people than myself, including opposing coaches and players. He was a monster on the boards grabbing 6 rebounds. He had a steal while in defensive transition. He also had a flair for the pass, chalking up 3 assists. He had a slam and showed a mid-range jumper where he went 2 for 3 from about 15 feet out. He missed two threes, but the form and the shot selection was there (has showed he can make them in previous Chavis games).

All the stats aside, the thing that really struck me about his game is how swift he has become. He now glides when he runs the court. He works his way around opposing players with ease. I guess that was why I was confused for a bit. I really thought I was looking at a small forward who stood 6'10" yet had the muscle to compete inside.

After the glowing season that NC State had last year, it is hard for me to remember that Jordan Collins, Illian Evtimov, Josh Powell, Julius Hodge and Levi Watkins were just freshmen. Hardworking freshmen get better and thats my witness for Collins. It also makes me wonder about the other improvements I have heard of during this summer, including a rehabilitated Levi Watkins, Marcus Melivin and Julius Hodge. The 2002 team was great in their own youthful way. If the improvements by others are as marked Collins, look out! The 2002/03 version will be great in a special way.

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