Leading up to the NBA Draft we will be analyzing scouting reports for various players who have entered their name in this year’s NBA Draft. The focus of these articles will be on prospects who we find most intriguing and feel readers need to become more familiar with. Please let us know if you want any players specifically @edupridepress. All stats and videos are via KenPom, ESPN, DraftExpress, and YouTube.
John Collins – PF/C – Sophomore – Wake Forest
Weight: 225 lbs
Age: 19 years & 7 months
Projected: 14 (DraftExpress) 14 (CPP Big Board) 13 (CPP Mock Draft)
Background: Can you remember the last time Wake Forest had a big man be named to the All-ACC First Team? You will have to think all the way back to 1997 to find the man you are looking for. A man by the name of Tim Duncan, maybe you have heard of him. The year that the historic Tim Duncan was elected to the College Basketball Hall of Fame, John Collins not only was named All-ACC First Team, but was named the ACC’s Most Improved Player. Collins was barely a 4-star recruit coming out of West Palm Beach, Florida. He entered a Wake Forest program that had struggled in the ACC since the departures of Chris Paul and Jeff Teague, John Collins knew there would be opportunities for him to shine. In his freshman season, Collins averaged 14.4 MPG, 7.3 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 0.7 BPG, and shot 54.7% from the floor. After a summer of hard work in the gym, John Collins had a breakout sophomore year and became one of the most dangerous players in the ACC. This past season with the Demon Deacons, Collins averaged 26.6 MPG, 19.2 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 1.6 BPG, and shot 62.4% from the floor. On top of all of that, he tallied 17 double-doubles in 33 games. Compared to some of the other big men in this draft class, Collins is about average for height with a wingspan of 6’11 ¼”. John Collins is a very hard working big man that can be molded into any type of defensive and aggressive big man that an NBA team wants. Unlike other big men in this draft class, Collins stands out with his footwork. On the offensive and defensive end, John Collins’ footwork is very impressive. Not only does this contribute to his explosiveness, but makes him a threat every time he gets the ball in the post. John Collins is a player to watch in this year’s draft because he can immediately make an impact on any team he gets drafted by. Wake Forest is known for producing some big names in the NBA and John Collins could soon become one of those names!
Strengths: Much like former Wake Forest alumni and one of Collin’s idol’s, Tim Duncan, John Collins short game offensively in the post is his biggest offensive strength. As a result of his impressive footwork, Collins shows no struggles with his back to the basket and has a very smooth release. Collins has proved he has a mid-range game and can easily get to the rim with two dribbles. As the “go-to” big man at Wake Forest, Collins was often designated to being in the paint and as a result, was not seen at the top of the post a lot. On the defensive end of the floor, John Collins does not disappoint, racking in rebounds over everyone. He plays very physical and aggressive in the paint and will not be out bullied by his opponents. There are no clear struggles with running the floor for Collins and protects the rim with ease. John Collins, as a result of having a tremendous amount of potential and his improvements this past season, has become a quick riser on a lot of Draft Boards and Mock Drafts.
Weaknesses: Although Collins dominated his opponents in the paint, he was often times larger than them. Against the ACC’s two largest teams in North Carolina and Florida State, Collins scored a total of 8 points and totaled 6 rebounds in the two games. There is a lot of questions circulating whether or not Collins can compete as a true center in the NBA because he will definitely be facing taller opponents than the ones he dominated in college. John Collins will also have to improve his court vision if he is to be successful in the NBA. Being a power-forward in the league, teams will be asking for Collins to survey the floor and be a second passing option behind the team’s point guard. According to DraftExpress, Collins ranks as the second-worst passer among their top 100 with a assist percentage assists per 40 of 4.5%. As a stretch four, NBA teams will also look for and ask for Collins to improve his shooting range. Already having a reliable, close-range jumper, teams will have to improve his distance to become more than just a threat in the paint. As a result, this will allow teams to respect John Collin’s shooting range and open up opportunities for him to become a better passer. There is no doubt that John Collins is a very intriguing prospect, but does have some things to work on this summer with his new team in the NBA.
Comparison: A mix between LaMarcus Aldridge and Marreese Speights
With his physicality and polished game with his back to the basket, John Collins is a smaller, but more athletic version of LaMarcus Aldridge when he came into the league. Both players exhibit no problem with their back to the basket and like to utilize their pump fake and jumper to their advantage. Both players almost play “mind games” with their opponents, forcing them to either respect the drive to the paint or their mid-range jumper. Aldridge is a better shooter than Collins, but John Collins has the tools and potential to start developing a perimeter game. As a shot blocker and rebounder, John Collins can show his versatility and strength in the paint. Aldridge has always been a very solid defensive player in the league and Collins can follow in his footsteps. As for “Mo” Speights, Collins shows the smoothness and elusiveness that Speights has in his own game. When Speights releases his shot, it is always so smooth and he looks comfortable shooting from anywhere on the floor. John Collins plays like this a lot and looks very relaxed on the floor. Being comfortable with what you can do can help a young player like Collins go a long way and can help him not try and do too much on the floor.
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