"Just A Team Player"

Point guard Jarmon Collins, who signed a letter of intent last Friday to play at West Virginia University, appears to be a good fit for head coach John Beliein's offense.

"He's very good at running the offense and getting everyone involved," said Rick Darnell, a volunteer at Westbury Christian School in Houston, Texas, where Collins signed his letter last Friday. "He passes the ball and handles the ball well."

Collins did those things well enough to lead Westbury to a 69-11 record during his time with the Wildcats. That record wasn't compiled against light competition or pushovers, either, as Westbury regularly travels the country in search of opposition.

Collins, who returned to Houston recently after completing a postgraduate prep season at Redemption Christian Academy, is used to facing big time players and teams. Westbury averaged four trips per season to big prep tournaments across the country, including stops at the prestigious Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the Gonzaga D.C. Classic and the American Press tournament in Louisiana and the Coal Classic in Beckley, West Virginia.

"We came to the Coal Classic and had a great time," Darnell said of Collins trip to West Virginia. "We though we were going to get a chance to play Oak Hill Academy, but we lost to a New York team in double overtime."

Collins, therefore, has had some exposure to the Mountain State, and that brief time has only whetted his appetite for more, according to Darnell.

"He can't wait to get there and get started. He is hoping to come up and enroll early so he can start working out at WVU. He really loves being in the gym and just playing ball."

Collins did not receive any major Division 1 offers out of high school, but Darnell believes that was due to some unfounded doubts about his scoring ability as well as a higher than normal talent level in Houston during Collins' senior season, which included such players as T.J. Ford (now at Texas) and Kenny Taylor (Baylor).

"I think he was overlooked with all the great talent we had in Houston last year," Darnell observed. "He didn't put up big offensive numbers, but he didn't need to shoot much during his career at Westbury. We have a lot of good players, so he concentrated on running the offense. It's not that he couldn't shoot the ball, it's just that he didn't need too."

That assessment is supported by Collins' 18 point per game scoring average at Redemption this past season, where Collins played shooting guard rather than the point. That move was by design, to show recruiters that Collins could indeed shoot and score. Collins rang up 28 points last season against future foe Darryl Hill, a guard who committed to WVU last year but recently signed with St. John's.

Collins also has shown he has the defensive skills necessary to play in Division 1, as he shut down UConn recruit Ben Gordon during one tournament game at Westbury. Collins held Gordon to only six points duirng the contest.

Collins signs his letter of intent with West Virginia

Photos courtesy Westbury Christian School

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