"His sophomore season he only scored about a point a game, but you could tell back then that he had a different type of athleticism," Collins said. "Last year he was our leading scorer."
The 6-foot-9, 217-pound Madsen may be a late bloomer, but his remarkable improvement over the last 18 months has allowed him to draw a surprising amount of attention from some big-name schools. The senior post star made an official visit to Vanderbilt for the long Columbus Day weekend, and appears to have narrowed his finalists down to Clemson, Penn State and the Commodores. A decision could be forthcoming as soon as this week.
Collins described Madsen is a rangy player who doesn't mind playing a physical game, but who has also recently added a high-percentage 3-point shot to his arsenal.
"He really worked on his perimeter game this spring and summer," Collins said. "He can shoot the 3. He did most of his work from the post last year, but now he's doing more stuff off the dribble from out on the 3-point line.
"When he makes the transition into college, where he will almost certainly be a 4-man, Kyle also has a pretty strong ability to block shots. His timing with that is really good. For a big guy he's pretty agile, pretty athletic.
"He's solid. He's got good feet, good quickness and jumping ability. Just picture an agile kid at 6-9, and that's what he is."
When it comes time to get physical, Madsen doesn't shy away, Collins said.
"He does not mind contact at all, and that's one thing we really like about him. In the college game, of course, he's going to have to put on a little bit more weight. He's 217 right now. 217 isn't terribly thin, but it's thin for college. He will probably be about 15 pounds heavier by the time he's a freshman, but strength will probably be his biggest issue."
Last year Madsen averaged 12.5 points per game for a Coffman team that advanced to the Sweet 16 in the region, where it was eliminated by perennial power Columbus-Brookhaven. After a nice tournament run, his team finished 14-10. Madsen also averaged around 5 rebounds and 2 blocked shots per game as a junior.
"He's got a tremendous amount of upside right now," Collins said. "We moved him up [to varsity] as a sophomore. He couldn't really score, but you could see he had a little bit of bounce that big kids don't usually have.
"Then somewhere between his sophomore and junior year, he started to develop a lot of post moves. And this past summer he's focused on his perimeter game."
After his performance at summer camps, Madsen began to receive offers from major universities. USC, Cincinnati, Penn State, Clemson and Vanderbilt were the big schools who got involved, as well as Ohio, Miami (Ohio) and a few other mid-majors.
Madsen made a September official visit to Clemson, and returned Monday from a Columbus Day weekend visit to Vanderbilt.
After looking at some other things besides basketball, Madsen has narrowed his choices down to Clemson, Penn State and Vanderbilt.