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Archive for 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.

March 2, 2010

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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

danemary 4 years, 9 months ago

Collins must quit thinking about all the crying he's going to do (after the game) or else he may get something to really cry about!

amesn 4 years, 9 months ago

Collins has ben a great asset to the team in his four years and will be remembered as one of the best! Will miss his enthusiasm and 'take charge' confidence when he's gone! I'm still trying to explain to my four year old why he won't get to watch Sherron Collins play anymore in Allen Fieldhouse after tonight! Graduation and the NBA draft are a concept we haven't quite learned yet!

Armen Kurdian 4 years, 9 months ago

One could argue that he sometimes makes bad decisions, but when you look at it from further away, he does tend to deliver when he makes a risky play. I think he woke up from his slump in the 2nd half of the OSU game. He single-handedly won the Cornell game, and if not for his ballsy steal (pun sorta intended) & follow-on trey on Memphis' inbounds w/under 2 minutes to play, we would have lost that game. He's earned a spot in the rafters. He's got that refust to lose mentality that is going to help us down the stretch.

So we weren't the second team to 2,000 wins. I plan on living long enough to see 3,000 wins. So if we can just win 30 games a year every year for the next 3 1/3 decades, I'll be happily retired and enjoy it, unless I have died of a heart attack or embolism after watching another KU thriller somewhere down the line.

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