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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Collins ‘pulse’ of KU men’s basketball team

Kansas guard Sherron Collins gets the crowd going in the final minutes of Saturday's game against Nebraska.

Kansas guard Sherron Collins gets the crowd going in the final minutes of Saturday's game against Nebraska.

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Sherron Collins says the most memorable game of his four-year Kansas University basketball career — besides the obvious 2008 national title game against Memphis — is an 80-77 home victory over Missouri his freshman year.

Jan. 15, 2007, is the day Collins scored 23 points in 26 minutes and believes he finally showed he could contribute on the major-college level in a big way.

“I hit a big three at the end of the game. It probably meant the most to me. I knew I could score. I hadn’t had a chance to show it,” said Collins, KU’s 5-foot-11 senior McDonald’s All-American out of Chicago’s Crane High, who will play his last home game Wednesday versus Kansas State.

“After that game, I was one of the best guards in the conference the whole month of February. The confidence coach showed in me was unbelievable. I was so young, I didn’t think I’d have a chance to do that. I did it, and it was perfect.”

Teammate Brady Morningstar joked that he remembered that game as well, because Collins lost his shoe and hobbled down the court to try to play defense on one leg.

“That was pretty funny,” Morningstar said.

Sophomore Markieff Morris also has a fond memory of Collins on the lighter side.

“(I remember) him running with only his compression shorts on. Taking his shorts off and just running,” Morris said of a KU practice session last season.

Remember, Darrell Arthur was the first KU player to strip down to compression shorts while totally exhausted at KU’s preseason Boot Camp.

“It was a day when we shot free throws, and if you missed, the whole team had to run,” Morris said. “It was one of those days. I just remember Sherron doing it. Everybody was getting a kick out of it.”

Junior Cole Aldrich can’t talk about his buddy Collins without getting a tad sentimental.

“This is a little heartbreaking for me,” Aldrich said of Collins’ upcoming Senior Day. “I know how much he’s gone through for four years. He is the pulse of our team, a guy everybody looks to in tough times and easy times.”

Aldrich bets that Collins “probably will cry (Wednesday). I might shed a tear myself, just because of all the memories. That’s what will come out of his college experience, all the memories fans created for him and guys on the team.”

Wednesday could also be the final home game in the careers of NBA prospects Aldrich and freshman Xavier Henry.

Aldrich was asked if he was thinking of it as his own Senior Day.

“Not really,” he said. “I’m just looking forward to getting Sherron through it and getting through a fun game.”

Health update

Collins was asked how he’s feeling physically as his senior year winds down.

“100 percent healthy,” he said. “Everybody’s body is a little tired and banged up this time of year, bumps and bruises. I’m a little sore. Everything else is fine. I’m ready to roll.”

KU coach Bill Self was asked if Collins was as explosive as he was in high school.

“He used to dunk on people in high school in the halfcourt offense. He didn’t need a running start to do it,” Self said. “He’s not quite as explosive, but he’s a better basketball player.”

Slam-dunk choice

Collins recalled his recruitment to KU on Monday in Allen Fieldhouse. He chose the Jayhawks over Illinois and Iowa.

“I was kind of set on coming here. It was between Kansas and Illinois, but after Late Night, it was sold. I was ready to commit immediately (after visit to Late Night in Phog),” Collins said. “My coach (Anthony Longstreet) was, ‘You’ve got to give it a little bit of time.’ Not the first day after Late Night, but the second day I committed.

“It was perfect. The crowd was crazy. Every time I walked off the court, they clapped for me. Every time I came back on the court, they clapped for me. They yelled my name and wanted autographs. I knew Julian Wright, and that was a plus,” Collins added of the fellow Chicago native. “We played for the same AAU team and coach. It was a given pretty much. I wanted to get away from home, so it was a perfect scenario.”

Comments

Timmay97 12 years, 2 months ago

Hey Sherron.......very wise choice! Gonna miss you my man!

KANSTUCKY 12 years, 2 months ago

The football team could use an extra hand if you want to stick around another year.

d_prowess 12 years, 2 months ago

The Fieldhouse crowd needs to be ready on Wednesday night. This should be the best "crowd" game of the year because we owe it to Sherron to take him out in style.

jhox 12 years, 2 months ago

Sherron isn't the most physically gifted Jayhawk ever, but he's the toughest I've seen here, and I've been watching KU basketball closely since around 1971. I've also never seen a player at KU who so hated to lose (I'd rate Hinrich a close second.)

We're going to miss him. What a great leader he's become. On one of the recent televised games one of the announcers compared him to Tim Tebow in terms of leadership qualities. What a well deserved compliment.

FSUJHAWK 12 years, 2 months ago

Sherron Collins is LEGEND!!!

RCJHGKU!!!

jhawkroger 12 years, 2 months ago

If Sherron is the pulse of the Jayhawks we could be in trouble or visiting the local cardiologist to see if we can get the pulse regulated. Sherron played like a true lion when he did not think that he was the main man on the team. Since he has taken over the leadership role (his words not mine) he has had way too many turnovers, erratic shooting and less than stellar defense. All of this I attribute to a head that has become way too large for the hat. If KU is going to go deep in the Dance, he is going to have to come back to earth and play like he is capable. A little less hot dogging and a whole lot less mustard.

Ron Prichard 12 years, 2 months ago

It never ceases to amaze me that people will take every chance they get to tear down a player. Has Sherron been perfect this year? Absolutely not. Personally, I think he is putting too much pressure on himself and not playing as free as he has in the past. But there is no way this team would be anywhere close to where it is without him. His greatest value isn't always in scoring or creating assists, but in what he does for the psyche of the team.

From everything I have ever read or heard, this entire team has unshakable confidence in Sherron. When we need a basket the most, Sherron takes over. In OT at KSU, was there any question who was going to take the shot? Still, with everyone knowing Sherron was the one, he comes through. Remember last year at OU? Three for three with Warren? Unbelievable. Sherron makes mistakes and is occasionally going to make an unfortunate turnover or miss when we really need a basket, but more often than not, he will lead this team through adversity. He knows how to stop an opposing team's run. He knows how to create--or kill--momentum when needed. Perhaps most importantly, he knows how to win when it is all on the line. When this team needs someone to calm them down and point them in the right direction, they look to Sherron.

I get tired of hearing comments saying Sherron is hotdogging or has a big head. I am interested in hearing other people's answers to this question: If you could have anyone on this team with the ball in their hands with 10 seconds to go and down one point, who would you want to have the ball? Along those same lines, if you could have anyone in the country in that scenario, who would it be? Other than maybe John Wall (I haven't seen anyone able to stop him from driving when he puts his mind to it, although I wonder what he would do in a really big game), I can't think of anyone I would choose over Sherron. Even saying that, I don't think Wall has a very good jumpshot. I am sure there are others that deserve consideration, but knowing how badly he wants to win, his ability to drive and score or pass to the open player, and the ability to pull up, I will put my faith in Sherron.

Sherron wants to win as much or more than any Jayhawk I can remember in the last 15 years. That is his true value to this team.

David Reed 12 years, 2 months ago

roger: could not disagree more with your comments.so SC went into a bit of a funk....it happens to ALL players in every sport.if Sherron is leading this team then I could not be more confident that he will do whatever possible to bring home the 2nd NC in 3 years

greg robinson 12 years, 2 months ago

Prediction: jhawkroger's opinion won't be well received.

jhawkroger 12 years, 2 months ago

moorobs5 Your prediction could not be more on the money. I didn't figure it would be. It is my opinion and just that. As to rap, I am confident that Sherron wants to win but you will never convience me that he is the only one that I want to have the ball with one shot left and one point down. I can think of several on this team that I would feel very comfortable with in that position. Morningstar, Reed, Henry, The Twins, and even Taylor can step when necessary. I guess we will find out if he is fishing or cutting bait tomorrow.

David Reed 12 years, 2 months ago

really roger?you'd want it in Brady's hands with the game on the line?cause I sure don't

kranny 12 years, 2 months ago

The steal and the shot against Memphis and the shot against KState this year is all the convincing I need to put the ball in Collins' hands when the game is on the line.

melrank 12 years, 2 months ago

roger - I appreciate your confidence in our team, but seriously, has any of those guys ever and I mean ever hit a game winning basket as a Jayhawk? Perhaps, but I'd need some help remembering it.

Other than a couple of the huge shots Tyshawn made last year against OU, how many really clutch buckets have any of these guys made in serious crunch time in a big game? Still not a lot.

FYI There's a reason Sherron has the ball at the top of the key when seconds are ticking down . . . he's a creator and has nerves of steel. Coach knows he's our best chance to get points with the game on the line in the last few seconds. This is almost ludicrous to discuss any other option.

Lance Hobson 12 years, 2 months ago

Don't forget the big 3 he made late against Davidson. That saved us.

Mike Kendall 12 years, 2 months ago

Sherron is the man, folks! As ESPN would say on Selection Sunday--- "considering his full body of work, he's done well."

Dan Cook 12 years, 2 months ago

It hasn't been as easy for Sherron this season as he, and others, probably expected. But that means nothing in the grand scheme of all things Jayhawk. This guy has been more important over 4 seasons in Lawrence than possibly anyone not named Danny Manning.

Do you remember how special this guy was as a freshman? Do you remember there would be no "Mario's Miracle" without the unbelievable plays by #4 leading up to it? Can you imagine what last year might have been like without #4?

And the best part, regardless of how it ends up, is he has a chance to lead this team to another Final 4. I don't remember the last time there was such a clear cut team leader as Sherron Collins at KU.

I admire the kid and I hope he gets the chance to have a very special Senior Night. Thank you Sherron.

jhawkroger 12 years, 2 months ago

Raister, I am glad that you consider yourself Jayhawk Faithful and will drink the Kool Aid because it is blue. But because I don't believe that Sherron is the do all, end all for the Jayhawks does not exclude me from being one of the faithful. I would dare say that I was faithful to the Jayhawks prior to you being a twinkle in your mothers eye but that is not the point of this discussion. Sherron Collins has done many many wonderful things for the Jayhawks and probably will do more before his season comes to an end. If you believe that his performance has been above comment that is fine, I don't. But please, because someone questions the lad, don't tell someone to get off the train. I would bet that probably believe that the current state of affairs in the United States is great and the leaders of this land have everything under control. Hope to see you in Indianapolis.

jhawkroger 12 years, 2 months ago

Raister, Ever been in Allen when the floor was dirt?

Ron Prichard 12 years, 2 months ago

roger,

Your posts are missing the point. You are entitled to your opinion, but you yourself said you expected your post would not be popular. The reason I have a problem with it is not because you expressed your opinion, it's that you spent half your original post simply dogging Sherron.

A head that has become way too large for the hat ...come back to earth... A little less hot dogging and a whole lot less mustard.

Exactly what do you base these comments on? Is it hot dogging when Sherron hoists a three that maybe isn't the best shot? Is his head way too large for his hat when he claps his hands, yells and runs off during a timeout and jumps against another player in excitement? I'm pretty sure he feels some self-imposed pressure to lead this team to a Bix XII title and a national championship. Because of that I think Sherron has a tendency to press things occasionally and make a poor decision. However, he almost always makes up for it.

Not once this year have I seen anything I thought was hot dogging, and I would like you to tell me what he has done that you consider hot dogging.

Do you seriously want the ball in Tyrel's or Brady's hands with 10 seconds down two?

By the way, the Kool Aid is blue and red.

Ron Prichard 12 years, 2 months ago

Well said, ralster. At least with the KU stuff. I'm not going down the road of commenting on politics.

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