Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Keegan: Collins one fine finisher


— Coaches always say it, and in some cases it's true. Sometimes it really doesn't matter who starts games. It matters more who finishes them.

Kansas University freshman guard Sherron Collins is a finisher. He finishes drives to the hoop. He finishes games. And he has finished a very talented team that needed more aggressiveness, more toughness, more leadership, more swagger, to be considered a bona fide Final Four contender.

Once he finishes himself as a basketball player, once he finishes taming the wildness that sometimes gets in the way, he'll be rich and famous.

After a first half in which he made a lot happen, not all of it good, Collins could have gone into retreat mode, except that he doesn't know how to do that. His next passive move in life will be his first.

The muscular 5-foot-11, 200-pound blur of a point guard from Chicago played in as hostile an environment as he'd ever played basketball in. Funny how that so often brings out the best in young men who didn't have a lot given to them in life.

Collins was given the gift of athleticism, and he has done amazing things with it. He took the game over and that, more than anything, is why Kansas finished off Kansas State, 71-62, in an intense battle witnessed by 13,340 Bramlage Coliseum loudmouths, most of them dressed in black.

Audio clips

2006-07 Feb. 19 KU-KSU Hoops

Backed by a wild crowd, Kansas State pulled even at 43 with 11:14 remaining. Then the best player in the game showed why he is the best player in the game. Collins pretty much did as he pleased with the ball.

He started by hitting a three-pointer 11 seconds later, and KU led the rest of the way. He didn't even need eight minutes to score 12 of his career-high 20 points. His jumper with 3:13 left put KU up, 63-53. He punctuated hard drives with reverse layins. He switched the ball from his right to his left in mid-air and swished a runner.

"Collins is special," K-State coach Bob Huggins said. "Collins is a really good player."

In the first half, Collins scored six points and had two steals. He also turned it over four times. He didn't turn it over once in the second half.

"He's got such a strong base," the sick Huggins said between coughs. "If you get on the side of him like we let him get, he's not going to let you get back in front of him. He's a little bit like the kid I had (at Cincinnati), (Steve) Logan. Logan had such a great base. Now, Logan didn't have Collins' explosion. He couldn't run up and down like that, but he could put you on his hip, and he'd get any shot he wanted, and that's what Collins does. You've got to stay in front of him. If you get on the side of him, he's going to take you wherever he wants to take you."

KU continues streak over K-State

In the history of Bramlage Coliseum, K-State has never tasted victory over the Jayhawks, and tonight was no different, as KU took home the tough victory, 71-62.

Collins traced his emergence to the Texas Tech game, a day when KU lost the battle but found a leader.

"From there on, I was doing a lot of penetrating and getting in there," Collins said. ": When I started to do that, the game came much easier to me."

And easier for those who play with him, such as freshman Darrell Arthur, whose muscles seemed to grow in Bramlage. He contributed 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Remember it as the night it became evident the two most talented basketball players the current Jayhawks coaching staff has recruited were the two freshmen who led them to victory.


jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

Tom, You have to be demented to say that Collins and Arthur are more talented than Rush, Chalmers and Wright. Collins and Arthur are good. But Rush can routinely get you 20. Collins just about peaked at 20. Collins probably never will be the defensive player that Chalmers or RR are. And Wright can explode for 33 points. Arthur probably never will score 30 points. Arthur is a better big than Wright, but he's not a better basketball player.

Can't we be delighted with Collins and Arthur without making bizarre claims.

justinryman 11 years, 3 months ago

Did I read the first post corectly?? Darrel Arthur will probably never score 30?? Cmon the kid has range to about 17 feet and this is only his freshman year, and not a lot of playing time...Im guess in his sophmore year that 33 is very reachable for Shady.

Eliott Reeder 11 years, 3 months ago

Or making us read the same assertions over and over again. Keegan has one idea per game. It's amazing.

chitownjayhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

Jaybate, your comment that Arthur will NEVER score 30 is just as ridiculous as Keegan's claim that Sherron and Arthur are more talented than anyone else on the team. You're both wrong! Go Hawks!

deepind 11 years, 3 months ago

I agree with jaybate that it is a BIZZARE claim by Keegan! Plus, I can't believe someone would make such a claim... the last thing we need in this team is an ego clash between the sophomores and the freshmen.

I also agree with justinryman that Shady can easily explode for 30 on any given night. He's got a sweet shooting touch, the body to post-up with anyone in the nation and just now getting his confidence back up.

JayCeph 11 years, 3 months ago

"He didn't even need eight minutes to score 12 of his career-high 20 points."

Career high? Didn't Collins score 23 against Miz-zero @ Allen?

canuckhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

I'd just like to say that I saw this coming in Collins...but I thought it would happen late in his sophomore or junior year. I know Keeg's is getting annoying with his Collins crush but I'm siding with him on this one. Sherron's got a special combination of confidence, determination, and an ability to get open that really gets the other guys rolling.

Give Self a 5-year extension. The man knows how to develop talent. Come on.

justanotherfan 11 years, 3 months ago

At the beginning of the year I told a bunch of my friends that by the end of the year Sherron Collins would be the better of the two freshmen.

Out of these current Hawks, though, the one with the most upside has to be Arthur. Think a more athletic Wayne Simien.

As for Collins, there is nobody in recent KU memory that can compare to him. More explosive than any KU guard, but stong, too. He's a hybrid of other Bill Self recruits - Dee Brown, Luther Head and Deron Williams. Fast like Brown, strong like Williams, stroke like Luther Head. Wow. Sky's the limit for both freshmen.

scottku1 11 years, 3 months ago

5 year extension for Self. I think not. Lets get past the 1st round before we get crazy. He can recruit, not doubt about that. But winning in March is what makes you the $$ and brings on extensions. Not losing to the B's the last 2 years. Elite 8 this year no excuses. Not with all this talent that we see night in and night out.

What was with those k staters, chanting "Dead beat dad" to Rush everytime he so much as looked at the ball? Does he have some kids that I have not heard about?? Come on I hope he is better than C.J. Giles.

halvhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

jaybate...i dont necessarily agree with you when you say rush can routinely get you 20...he has totaled 20 just 4 times in 28 games this season, while collins (who plays about 11 less minutes has 2 times against mizzou and kstate) jarrius jackson and kevin durant consistently get 20 (on less talented and less balanced teams)...does that make sherron better than rush, no, but i think with time he could be. also, to say sherron will never be the defensive player rr mario are is also a bit out there, who was it last night wreking havoc for the ksu guards at the three point line? numerous times sherron forced them to pick up their dribble early or even tipped the ball away, its just about finding that consistency on D for him, but i would take him offensively over the other two any day

and if you want to compare julian and darrell, shady is actually further along in his devlopment than julian was a year ago averaging 2 more points and about a reb. more in comparable playing time.

in summary i think the most important thing is that the team is winning with incredible balance...but also last night in the most difficult env. of the year to date, the two freshman took over, not the 3 sophmores, i still think b rush is the best player on the team, and i give everyone who plays all teh credit...but i also think that with time , as much as it hurts to say, keagan could be right and those 2 could be the best players self and co. have recruited to date

Kaberline24 11 years, 3 months ago

Sherron has now proven to me that he should be in the starting 5. Hes quicker then any one on the court, and his stroke is just amazing. Hes got a good shot next year in leading them to a National Championship...if not this year.

Roadkill_Rob 11 years, 3 months ago

Sherron Collins pretty much rules! I loved to see RR, Chalmers, and Collins in at the same time. Great win, Hawks!

milehighhawker 11 years, 3 months ago

Speaking of next year, lets talk about who we know is coming back, RR, Chalmers, Collins, Case is coming on. great guards. Stewart, should be better, Wright, Brady Arthur, DJ, Sasha, Aldrich I wouldn't be suprised to see a starting lineup of RR, Chalmers, Collins, Wright, about speed and athleticism...that is the Illini team that almost went undefeated right there but better

jcsmith 11 years, 3 months ago

milehigh, you think Mr. Rush is gonna go draft? Why?

missKU 11 years, 3 months ago

Go vote for Russ!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is one of the finalist for the 2007 Cousy award. Acie Law has 74% of the votes right now so we need to show up for Russ.

Chris Kurtz 11 years, 3 months ago

The first Rush stayed at UCLA two years and wasn't drafted. Kareem stayed three years and is already out of the NBA. Brandon will stay a third year for sure, maybe a fourth. In the NBA you need a quicker release. Right now Rush would be more valuable for his rebounding and defense. He needs to work on his driving to the basket a little more to be a lotto ball pick.

scottku1 11 years, 3 months ago


You forgot about Tyrel Reed. A SG from Burlington, KS. He should be solid.

I say the Rush chances are at 50/50 right now.

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

To everyone who agrees with Keegan that Shady is now our best big, and who disagrees with me about Shady's likely not scoring 30 in his career,

I admit: its not an open and shut case on how good Shady can be. Thank god! Determinism is so 17th century. Early on I thought DA was going to be one of the all time greats. Now I think he's going to be very good, but I'm no longer sure he has that something extra. The jury's out. I figure right now he could go either way, which is a GREAT situation to have.

And I did not say Shady will never score 30. I said he probably will never score 30. Why?

First, because there are alot of good bigs who never score 30.

Second, for a big man to score 30, he has to take about 30 shots (or the equivalent of shots and making most of his free throws when fouled) on a normal night, which Shady will never get with Self's offense and Self's talent pool, or he has to have a night like Wright had, where he makes almost every shot and is running the floor like a guard getting slams. IMO, DA doesn't run the floor as well as Wright, who does run the floor like a guard (in fact is really a natural wing playing a big), so DAs chances of getting 30 the way Wright did are even less than Wright doing it.

Third, the beauty of DA's scoring is that he's very efficient and can score in many ways from as far out as 17 feet, but no big scores 30 by shooting from 17 feet out. They do it scoring repeatedly in close and getting fastbreak and alleyoop slams, so DA's shooting range in my opinion is not something that's going to predispose him to getting 30. Now if he becomes a threat from three, then he'll get 30 some night for sure. Collison had that skill by his last year. Without the trey skill, his 17 ft. range might even decrease his chances, because Self may eventually let him start shooting from farther out where his efficiency goes down to free up other players in the middle at times. Again you have to get 30 shots from 17 to make 15. Probably won't happen. Or you have to have a Bill Walton perfect game where you make everything? Many bigs don't have the perfect game happen.

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

But who's the best player is hardly about scoring 30. I look at Wright and see someone almost unprecedented in his combination of physical abilities. I look at Shady and see a an excellent natural 4 like many, many others before him. That's not a slam on Shady. Very good natural 4s are in huge demand at every level of the game. Wright just seems to me to be one of those players who's talents transcend positions. Wright's limitation is his shooting and it may keep him from ever achieving more than Shady, despite his remarkable physical talents. I don't think so, but it could happen. If he had Shady's touch, Wright could score 40. If he had a three point shot like Rush, he could score 40 almost any night! But if ifs and buts were candy and nuts...the point is that even with his shooting limitation, he is an amazing talent. He's turning into a great defender, too. The guy handles bigs AND he goes out and shuts down a wing like David Hoskins. And he rebounds. And he runs the floor like a guard. And he is a heck of a passer. And he improved his FT shooting. If he can get it to 70% by next season, he's going to become a much bigger threat.

Frankly the keys to our winning were shutting down Hoskins (6-7 points under his average), playing good team defense to prevent any one else from going off above their average, and KSU's Martin missing a bundle of free throws.

If Hoskins made an additional 6 points (his average) and if Martin had made 4 more FTS (8-10 was something he could easily have done); that would be ten points and a one point victory for KSU. And that's with KSU only hitting 32% on FGAs!

To reiterate, the real reason we beat KSU is not so much Sherron having a wonderful game, which he did. Someone or other usually has a wonderful 20 point game for us), but that 6'10" Julian Wright bound and gagged 6'4" David Hoskins. Hos got 9 pts. on 2-15 shooting. And they missed some FTs.

The real reason we didn't blow KSU out was that we shot 23% from trifectaville.

What amazes me is that KSU was able to make it a game. When you look at their roster, they just don't have the horses to be staying close at all against KU. This guy Huggins is a seriously good coach to wring what he did out of them.

We're going to have to watch out next year, when Beasely and Walker and whomever else he drags in starts playing.

Huggie is a force. Fortunately, KU is a bigger one.

milehighhawker 11 years, 3 months ago

Yes I did, I didn't put Rush in that not because I think he will go pro but because I was not sure, the others I am very certain will return. Sorry for forgetting Reed, I don't hear anything about him because I don't live in KS. Is he really that good or what. I remember another kid being pumped from kansas name Criter or something like that who sat the bench and transfered. Is this kid going to be any different? Thoughts?

halvhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

the reason kstate was in the game had nothing to do with thuggins. our 16 to's to there 9 helped keep them in it. us shooting 59% from the free throw line kept them in it. and the fact that they were able to to knock down a couple 3's everytime we started to pull away kept them in it.

if anything huggins cost the team with his technical, yes the refs blew a call, but if you watched him (and he was hard to miss) everytime kansas screened, got a rebound, got a steal, or even cut off a cutting wildcat he would throw his arms up and stand 5 feet onto the court screaming "the f word." the tech wasn't just because of that one time down the court, he had it coming all game.

scottku1 11 years, 3 months ago


From what I have seen and heard he is alot better than Jon Crider ever thought about being. Last summer and the summer of '05 I saw his AAU teams play in a tourney in Allen Fieldhouse and in Shawnee KS. He is pretty solid with the ball. I believe he is 6'4. He has or at least had some nice moves and a good looking game for a small town white boy.

He was heavily recruited by UCONN and UNC among others. I know Roy had been to some of his high school games.

Patrick Bryant 11 years, 3 months ago

The reason KSU hung with the Hawks was because Rush struggled and Wright didn't show up. If they would have had a normal game (for them) it would have been another 20 pt. blow out. I wouldn't be surprised if Collins is the national 6th man this year and by his junior year an All-American (1st team).

Robert Greenwood 11 years, 3 months ago

This team is crazy with basketball talent. Period. It is great to see a plan come together like this.

jayhawker_97 11 years, 3 months ago

Collins should be a starter. Period. Rush and Wright have just roughed night, that's all. Arthur is still improving. He'll be there SOON. Go Hawks! Don't let the Clones get away with a win this time! Beak the shy Clones in their butts!!!

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago


i didn't overlook the TOs. Instead, I attributed them to KSUs physical defense, just the way people attribute KU's strips to KU's sticky defense. What's good for the goose, as the saying goes. So: I'm not sure we can say KU was keeping them in the game with TOs. KSU was keeping themselves in the game with muscle defense that gave KU fits at times. KSU sure wasn't playing great defense because of superior talent. If you watched them closely, they were pushing and shoving and poking everywhere on the court most of the time. Its true that they did not start doing some of the flagrantly violent stuff that UCinn used to do, but rough they were. When you play a team that roughs you up as much as KSU roughs up opponents on defense, there just are going to be quite a few TOs, when the refs don't call the game tightly (and they didn't). You also get alot of TOs when you start relying on a young PG like Collins who still makes several bad dishes each game after dribble penetration. I'm not knocking Collins here. He's doing exactly what the coach is asking him to do. Rush can't put the ball on the floor and create much right now, because his off hand is still so weak. RR can penetrate, but he's just not quick enough to be a threat to score inside very often. Chalmers has to play the two guard, because we don't have one. Collins IS a godsend to this team. He gives it exactly what it needs. Some one to disrupt all the dense pack defenses we were running into. He allows us to spread the court a little on offense, let him penetrate and then collapse to take dishes and rebound Collins misses. Collins is Jacque Vaughn with a J. :-) Collins is Jeff Boeshee with dribble penetration, quickness and springs. Collins is Bobby Hurley with talent. :-)

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

What will be interesting to see is when an opponent rigs its defense to stop Collins. How will we respond. Its going to happen and soon. Maybe not the rest of the way in the B12, but there's going to be a great defensive guard and helping scheme that's going to deny Collins his lane dancing. Collins could of course fire away from trey, but that doesn't really get KU's other players involved and so keeps us from running on all cylinders. My guess is that Self will just jam it in to the big men, but you never know. Frankly I hope Texas has a very good, tall guard (some one like Acie Law) that forces KU to deal with this problem once more before the Madness. I'd hate to see them run into one in the Madness without having solved how to deal with it. Frank Williams gave our guards fits when Self was at Illinois; that's the kind of guard I'm worried about.

Regardless, I still say the decisive factors in the game were:

Wright shutting Hoskins down.

Team defense that prevented anyone else from going off above their averages.

And Martin missing FTs.

And to reiterate, KU shooting 24% from treyland kept it from being a blow out. If KU shoots 40-45% from trey that's 4 more treys, or 12 points. Add 12 to the actual nine point winning margin and that's a 21 point win.

And if we'd have had a 21 point margin, KSU would have had to shoot alot more treys and forcing treys always lowers your trey percentage. So: they actually shot 35% from treyland and would likely have shot nearer 30% while forcing them; that would have lowered their total scoring another 3-5 points at least; that would have made it a 26 pt. margin of victory, assuming they didn't make a ton more TOs from forcing it, which they would have. Take away 5 pts from them for more TOs and you've got a 31 point margin.

Hey, this is why you really want to rough KU up at all costs. You can't let KU get ahead. Everyone who has done well against KU has roughed them up, except maybe ORU. I didn't see that game.

halvhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

well said not taking anything away from KSU's D, and remember everyone is always fired up when the hawks come to town, just as it is when Texas or Neb come to Lawrence for fb

one thing i am getting tired of however is the lack of nat'l respect we are getting right now...espn is making me sick...i dont understand the "excitement" of north carolina and how kansas isnt receiving any consideration for a 1 seed at this point

UNC at this point lost to a bubble team in gonzaga by 8, vtech twice and got handled basically for 35 minutes by nc state

KU on the other hand has lost to ORU (19-9) by 7 in the 2nd game of the season, depaul (who has beaten UConn, Marquette, and ND and played within 10 at UK and "Cuse), and lost to Tech on the road and A&M in a game we blew

...i guess its just that god ol' east coast bias

kcmostwanted 11 years, 3 months ago

Yep, I get what you're saying halvhawk....

Everytime i hear about the seeding from ESPN they're always talking about Florida, Wisconsin, N. Carolina, UCLA, Ohio State..... Shoot even Duke gets a whole bunch of publicity and they Suck this year...

I mean those teams are talented but i believe that KU is just as Talented and of all those teams i think Wisconsin and UCLA are the most overrated teams in the nation. Don't get me wrong they're pretty good but still...they haven't really impressed me much...maybe individual players but not as a team..

Wisconsin has hummmmm....Orlando Tucker and nobody else (one man show)..oh and 2 very tall white guys

UCLA.. Aaron A. and Collison...but their bigs are horrible.. they'll have major problems if they run into a a team w/ decent gaurds and a big guy...

Oh well half the things we see/hear on ESPN is trash anyways

Robin Smith 11 years, 3 months ago

Alando Tucker...

Wisconsin and UCLA are for real and I would not call them overrated. I would call Pitt overrated however.

Anyways KU has 5 guys averaging double figure pts. The only other team this well rounded is Florida also with 5. Some have 4, but I'm tired of hearing about inconsistency. The opposition is always trying to neutralize our players - any and as many as they pray they might. To me the fact that Rush had 3 fouls in the first and still ended up with 11 is a good thing. The opposition must choose somebody to be guarded by their best defender, but it doesn't matter because KU is loaded.

The last two games have shown a promising trend in which Arthur and Collins are factors together. I definitely think that they have a special chemistry and will be amazing to watch.

If KU continues to play as they have and are able to finish like they did last year, then they will most likely end up with a 1 seed. Other teams have lost since KU fell early in the year. The tournament better be ready to see KU put up some triple digit scores.

A Cool Stat:

On the dailyrpi at it shows the offensive quotient and defensive quotient and KU is the most balanced of all teams(except Florida). They on average score 10.4 pts more than their oppostion usually allows and deny the opposition 10.0 pts more than they usually score. for reference:

UNC's numbers are 18.3 and 5.9 Florida's numbers are 12.4 and 9.9. A&M's numbers are 7.7 and 13.2 KU numbers are 10.4 and 10.0

These are the only teams that have an adjusted scoring margin of 20+. KU and Florida are the ones who blow you out by getting it done on both ends.

CasperCorps 11 years, 3 months ago

Did anyone catch that last comment in the article above? The guy thinks Collins and Shady are the best players on the team.. I bet that'll cause an uproar..

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