Thursday, March 30, 2006

Collins makes mark

KU signee's dunk highlights West's victory


— Sherron Collins spent his first three days in Southern California talking about assists.

In the end, he saved the best one for himself.

The 5-foot-11 point guard put the exclamation point on this year's McDonald's High School All-American Game, tossing a pass off the backboard and throwing down a one-handed jam with one second remaining, capping the West squad's 112-94 victory over the East on Wednesday before a sellout crowd in Cox Arena.

"I'm one of the little ones out there," said the Kansas University signee. "Nobody was expecting that out of me. I just wanted to get the crowd hyped one more time before they left."

Collins' dunk proved to be a perfect end to game night. West coach Harvey Kitani rewarded the Chicago product's hard work in practice this week with a spot in the starting lineup, and Collins immediately made good on the decision, earning one of his three assists on the game's first bucket - a mid-range jumper by Texas recruit Kevin Durant.

The diminutive point man also played a pivotal role during the game's turning point, running the offense as the West used a 17-0 run midway through the second half to seize control.


Denis Poroy/AP Photo

Kansas University basketball signee Sherron Collins leads a fast break in the McDonald's All-American Game. Collins had 11 points in the West team's 112-94 victory over the East on Wednesday in San Diego.

The West trailed by as much as 20 points in the first half.

Collins' final line read 11 points, the three helpers and two rebounds in 16 minutes.

"I'm basically satisfied," Collins said. "There's a lot of great scorers, but I wanted to come out and make a difference."

While the highlight-reel dunk will be the lasting memory for any KU backers who caught the telecast on ESPN, Collins was more concerned with the impression he left on two particular fans who found their spot among the announced crowd of 11,900.

Collins' brother, Steven, a freshman at Bakersfield College, made the four-hour trip south from California's Central Valley to see his little brother. Meanwhile, his mom, Stacey Harris, did that one better, cashing in her vacation time to fly to San Diego.

"It means a lot because my mom, she doesn't really get a chance to get out and see me," said Collins, citing her night-time work schedule. "She's just overwhelmed right now."

The second All-American with a KU tie - ongoing Jayhawk recruit Darrell Arthur - had a much quieter experience than his West teammate. Arthur came off the bench to score seven points and pull down three rebounds, showing little of the explosiveness that was on display during practice this week.

"I think he was just in with the wrong four guys," Collins said about the 6-9 forward out of Dallas.

On the other hand, Durant, the player who started ahead of Arthur, showed he could be a force for KU to deal with throughout the duration of his career in Austin. The lanky 6-10 forward scored a game-high 25 points and added five boards, sharing MVP honors with local favorite Chase Budinger, an Arizona recruit who chipped in 11 points, four assists and three rebounds for the West.

"We played within ourselves. We played good defense. We just played good as a team like we did all week," Durant said.

Duke recruit Gerald Henderson scored 16 points to lead four East players in double figures.

Next up for Collins is his final all-star appearance of the season. He'll officially close out his high-school career April 22 in the Jordan Classic at Madison Square Garden.

Then, it's off to Lawrence come August.

"I just want to tell them that we're going to get over the hump," said Collins, leaving his final message from San Diego for his soon-to-be hometown fans.


RonBurgandy 16 years, 3 months ago

Yes, because all good basketball players never make mistakes.

Big deal, you want to sit here and critique every little thing, go ahead. Doesn't make a good bball player a bad one.

chaggs 16 years, 3 months ago

The author forgot to mention the great steal and pass from his butt to trigger a bevvy of 3s.

Or, how about this. The shortest guy on the court blocking (though it appeared more like he just ripped the ball off the hand of the shooter) a shot?

We have to remember that for most of these high schoolers, it's the first time they played on national TV. Jitters can be expected. Stupid mistakes are the norm for every all star game.

mariofan11 16 years, 3 months ago

Isn't it sad that phog has nothing better do then come on EVERYDAY and bash on the Jayhawks? You think someone would have more of a life then that. Well, I guess phog is probably an insecure high schooler or something and this is probably the highlight of his day.

Jealous isn't a good trait Lil Phog.

Collins looked good last night. He wanted to make so many good plays he got out of control a couple times, but I am glad he is coming to Lawrence. He should be a great compliment to Mario and RussRob.

weterica 16 years, 3 months ago

I agree with phog! We should focus on the negatives of a high school basketball player--especially one who is coming to KU. In fact, why even mention the good plays?

High schoolers coming to KU need to realize that KU fans are bitter, spoiled fans that can't enjoy an allstar game for the fun highlights that an allstar game is supposed provide.

kuj007 16 years, 3 months ago

and just like FOX news, you're neither

craigers 16 years, 3 months ago

I wish I had a chance to see this dunk that they wrote about. This freshman will be fun to watch and could be deadly early on. Hopefully Arthur will follow along with Morningstar.

TGI_Stu 16 years, 3 months ago

I heard that Phog is actually Micah's father, Steven Downs.

Listen Phog, just because your son didn't get any PT last year doesn't mean you need to rain on the parade!

speedy 16 years, 3 months ago

congrats to collins. nice entertaining game. the nay sayers always put up junk. the beauty of unselfish players having fun is what makes mcdonalds a great game to watch. thank you all

clintt 16 years, 3 months ago

Loved Sherron's defensive effort in the second half. I think he'll fit in great. I couldn't believe how built he is for his size. A player with his speed and strength is going to be very tough driving to the lane, even if he does throw up an airball or two from behind the arch. When we need a clutch three, we have Mario. Did anyone else catch one of the announcers saying he thought Chalmers was coming out in the draft this year?

jjhawkhawk 16 years, 3 months ago

Interesting thread. Phog has a point -- that Collins came out of the gate completely pumped up -- too pumped up. He got blocked badly, made terrible passes, and shot a 3-pointer that barely made it to the paint. But he looked much better as the game wore on. He just needed a little time to settle, as was mentioned.

But Phog, are you kidding about Giddens, Downs and Padgett? Do you really think any of them will do well going forward? Padgett played fairly poorly for a mediocre UL team; you could argue that one of the best things for KU this year was the departure of Giddens (compare him with Wright or Rush if you don't believe me); and Downs would have seen his last important minute of KU ball whether he left or stayed.

Bottom line, with Collins (and with or without Arthur) this team should be pre-season top 5 going into next year.

JJHawq 16 years, 3 months ago

He was forcing things early, but did very well once he let the game come to him.

Durant was a beast. So was Hawes. I also enjoyed seeing Oden. Among all those 7 footers, he was still a man among boys when he was in there.

It's funny, I watched that dunk about 12 times. Durant thought Sharron was going to toss it to him, as he was setting himself up to jump up an jam it, but Sharron decided he could throw it down on his own....

jchief40 16 years, 3 months ago

phogs a b-tch. Micah's a p-ssy crybaby. So long.. that attitude wont fly round here. Other people stepped up in practice and too much talent on the team. We dont need Downs. So long pucks.. bad parenting. Phog go watch FOX news and p-ss off.

David Reed 16 years, 3 months ago

WOW for a 5'11 guy that was a jaw dropping slam

jayhawkox 16 years, 3 months ago

I am excited to see Sherron come here and play. He seems like he will be a solid, hard-working upgrade to the 'Hawks' backcourt. I'm sure that his test scores will come along fine, and he will be a substantial contributor next season. I'm anxious to hear more news about Arthur, though. But for now I'm content to sit back and remember the good things that our mostly 18 and 19 year old players did over the season and look forward to them growing even more into their potential next season, instead of sitting around constantly bothering actual KU fans with my fickle, constantly negative BS about who-knows-what somebody did wrong one time. I wonder what it's like to never mess up and have farts that smell like roses.

suzifrye 16 years, 3 months ago

Phog, Giddens was pretty much asked to leave, gee I wonder why??? Downs was to worried about what his girlfriend was doing back home, calling him everyday fighting about how far away he was; crybaby, crybaby!!! And Padgett well what daddy says sonny does. If I am not mistaken he has seen more bench then floor, boys not all that good anyway. So answer to your question no I really don't see a trend or that you have a point about anything.

WhataRush 16 years, 3 months ago

Did anyone else catch one of the announcers saying he thought Chalmers was coming out in the draft this year?

Ya I did, they also said he was going to go last year instead of going to college. Maybe they should do a little research on what player it was that was going to do that.

They also were wondering if with collins coming in would they move chalmers to the 2 postion. Last I checked that already happened

Jeremy Bolinger 16 years, 3 months ago

yea, did anyone else see collins' block on oden? I sure did, and before phog wants to talk about a 7 foot tall player blocking a 5'11" player, he needs to to think about the opposite. Oden should be able to block his shot, he is however over a foot taller than the guy! By the way, Chalmers isnt going anywhere......especially with his dad on staff at Ku. He is nowhere near NBA ready, as well as all of the other hawks. They are all going to be great college players, but Rush would be the only NBA ready play in a year or 2.

newsh80 16 years, 3 months ago

fiiiinally someone who knows what they are talking about chalmers was moved to shooting gaurd in the middle of the season to take pressure off him so he could shoot better. But Rush ready for the NBA? Sure thats what everyone talks about, but no. Brandons oldest brother went to college one year and he is doing horrible in his basketball career. Kareem went 2 years and is doing a lot better. Now when do you think Rush will leave college for the NBA.

newsh80 16 years, 3 months ago

by the way sherron is the best thing that could happen to ku...we need an explosive player who can be a true point gaurd and works as hard as he does

rcaltrider 16 years, 3 months ago

Collins is an immediate upgrade to Hawkins. His outside shot may not be as good (although Hawk was inconsistent), but he is much quicker, more athletic, and more explosive. He is a better penetrator, ball handler, and passer. He has quicker hands and looks to be more intense on the defensive end. We didn't get to see much from Arthur but he is definitely a talent that would be nice to have. However, he seems to play the same spot as Julian so I don't know where he fits in. But the same could be said for Collins and RussRob.

jchief40 16 years, 3 months ago

9/11 was an inside job.. remember Building 7 wasn't hit by an airplane.. it was demolished by Silverstein's own admission - he had it "pulled"..smoking gun.. CIA connection baby!

WrightStuff 16 years, 3 months ago

Sherron reminds me of a jarret jack or stephon marbury, he is undersized height wise but he is incredibly strong once he gets in the lane (nobody is going to take it in on Oden best player in the country last 2 years according to experts, and I'm conviced)and I was soo impressed with his hustle, to me besides the sick jam to finish the game, his next best play was diving on the floor and launching it down to an open teammate off to start the break all in one motion (part of the 17-0 run). I dont think we'll have a problem with effort or defense from him.
P.S. Brady Morningstar is going to come in as ready to play as anyone...been at prep school doing nothing but bulking up and hoopin, he might come in under the radar but I expect him to find some playing time pretty quickly This team is ALL SELF so I'm really looking forward to next year...esspecially with a much improved Big XII North (at least coaching wise)

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