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Archive for Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ready for the rafters? Collins hopes to have jersey hanging in Allen Fieldhouse one day

Kansas senior Sherron Collins discussed his career as a Jayhawk during Monday's presser at Allen Fieldhouse on March 1, 2010.

Kansas senior Sherron Collins discussed his career as a Jayhawk during Monday's presser at Allen Fieldhouse on March 1, 2010.

March 2, 2010

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Sherron Collins, who promises to give a heartwarming speech after Wednesday’s Senior Day/Sunflower Showdown clash against Kansas State, just might be back for an encore presentation in, say, 2015.

Collins, who enters the 7 p.m. home battle between No. 2-ranked KU (27-2, 13-1) and No. 5 KSU (24-4, 11-3) as the Jayhawks’ winningest player of all time (124 victories) as well as the school’s seventh-leading scorer and seventh-leading assist man, figures to see his jersey No. 4 hanging high in the Allen Fieldhouse rafters sooner rather than later.

“Coach said something to me about it. I have the most wins here. I think my resume is pretty solid here. I’d love to get it retired. It’d be a big thrill,” said Collins, who has been part of four league titles and one NCAA crown, with the 2010 postseason still to come.

“To be up there in the rafters with so many greats, it’d mean so much,” Collins added.

There are no longer any official requirements that have to be met for jersey requirement, such as being named consensus first-team All-American, college basketball player of the year or MVP of the NCAAs. The only certainty is a player won’t be so honored until out of school five years, apparently so it’ll mean more to the player, his family and his fans.

“I would say the chances are probably pretty good,” KU coach Bill Self said. “The best player on the winningest teams ever (in four-year span), I think, is a pretty good reason it could be hung up there.”

Self — he and Collins both held 20-minute pre-Senior Day news conferences Monday — answered in the affirmative when asked if he’d place Collins on an all-time, five-player KU team.

“I’d put him there. Of course, I’m biased,” Self said with a smile. “I’d put maybe Wayne Simien as our power forward and maybe Brandon (Rush) as our small forward.

“I don’t think there have been five players that have played here whose teams have performed as well as they have in large part because of his performance and leadership. He’s had some good players to play with, but he hasn’t had the same number of McDonald’s All-Americans to play with as maybe some others. He has elevated everybody else’s performance.”

One thing is for sure: Collins goes down as one of Self’s favorites.

“He’s meant as much to me as any player I’ve coached,” Self said. “I think that’s a pretty bold statement because we’ve had some pretty good ones. I don’t know if you could say he means more (to KU history) than (Kirk) Hinrich or (Nick) Collison meant or Raef (LaFrentz) or Paul (Pierce) or Jacque (Vaughn). But to me personally, I can say that without hesitation.”

Self has a place in his heart for players who overcome adversity. Collins — who will graduate in May — came from a poor upbringing on the rugged West side of Chicago. Self remembers how touched Collins was the first time he attended a team gathering at the Self’s Lawrence home.

“It was such a big deal to him because he’d never been in an environment like that,” Self said. “For him to feel that something so trivial was so important to him, I think that was something I realized right then we had something special if he could just stay the course.”

Collins admits his upbringing was, well, challenging.

“I feel lucky. A lot of times I could have been in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Collins, who recalls spending a lot of time at the Boys and Girls Club of Chicago, sometimes sleeping there rather than heading home down the mean streets of Chicago. “I chose to not be with some people and be in the gym. You can get in a lot of trouble — being victims, being mistaken for one person, gunshots hitting the wrong people. I took that to heart. I didn’t want to be one of those mistakes.”

Collins credits his mom, Stacey, for working two jobs to support him and brother, Steve, as well as uncle Walt for being a father figure with Sherron’s dad out of his life for the most part until the past couple of years.

Collins credits Self and his staff, as well as the Morningstar family, a group that befriended him and helped him adjust to Lawrence.

Self provided words of wisdom for Collins when his son Sherr’mari was born almost three years ago.

“That’s what really woke me up,” Collins said. “When I had my son, coach told me, ‘Everything you are doing for yourself at this point doesn’t matter anymore.’ It’s not for me, it’s for my mother and my son. My mother made sure I kept up with everybody else, getting me the Jordans (shoes) and the name-brand things, which right now I don’t even want a pair of Jordans. My mother wanted to give me everything I wanted, to be like all the other kids,” added Collins, who also has a daughter, Sharee’ Monea, in the Windy City.

“I owe so much to my mother and tell her that all the time. She hurt her back and couldn’t work a year. It’s been hard on her. It’s time for her to rest.

“My son ... I wanted to be there for him like my father wasn’t for me. I talk to my dad a lot now. He reminds me to not make mistakes like he did. I’ve got a little sister in Minnesota. I’ve got to take care of her and make sure he (dad) is on the right track doing that.”

Self remembers the day he counseled Collins about fatherhood.

“I told him he’s no longer a kid,” Self said. “The thing is, when you have the responsibility of being a father, life is no longer about yourself. So much of that is what kind of role model will you be for him down the road and what you want your child to look at you and see. I don’t know if that had any bearing on him, but certainly I think he spun some negatives into some real positives. To see how this place has changed him and how he’s allowed this place to change him, it’s a neat story if you study it.”

Collins — he says he believes he’ll achieve his dream of playing in the NBA and make some much-needed money to support family members — will take first things first.

First up: Senior Night, then a hard push toward winning his second national title in three years, all leading up to the June draft.

“I can’t run from it. I wish I could,” Collins said of his time at KU coming to an end. “I wish I had more time to play here, but it’s got to end. It’s been great, though. It’s been great.”

Comments

Ace_Ventura 4 years, 1 month ago

What a great player with a great heart! I have watched him grow as a player. Great job!! now take the Jayhawks to the end!!!!!

Keep up the great work and I can't wait to watch you in the NBA!!

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7texdude 4 years, 1 month ago

Sherron has done great things at KU - winning games is No. 1 - but we do need to hold off on all this until the season is finished. Self loves him and that's good enough for me. But top 5 in KU's history?

Wilt, Manning, Clyde Lovellette, Pierce have to be on the list. The 5th is a tossup between Vaughn, Hinrich, White, Sherron, Valentine and what about Al Kelly: he won a national title and won a gold medal. But I guess you're not eligible unless you played during the ESPN era, eh?

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Catbacker 4 years, 1 month ago

jayhawkframer - Really, because I'm not the one who brought it up. It has been talked about and celebrated in many a recent article and KUAD news release.

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kanshawk 4 years, 1 month ago

while hes been extremely important to the team in his tenure, best all time is a bit much. and no he did not have better shooting numbers than Hinrich. Hinrichs shooting numbers are better and he had a much better 3 point %. I'd argue that thre real difference in success when comparing Collins to previous players is that Coach Self is a better game time coach, especially compared to Roy.

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ferrislives 4 years, 1 month ago

Best point guard ever? How about Jerod Haase?

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jayhawkframer 4 years, 1 month ago

Nice catbacker. It would take a complete dirt bag to bring in someone's personal life. When talking about play on the court. Collins has been the back bone of this program since his sophomore year. He's going to be hard to replace. Good luck Sherron!!!

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Armen Kurdian 4 years, 1 month ago

When are we going to retire TJ Whatley's jersey?

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JustNoticed 4 years, 1 month ago

It is unseemly and premature to be discussing this. And if I were superstitious, I'd believe the Jayhawks were now hexed by this stupid story.

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scrambledeggs 4 years, 1 month ago

Hope ku avoids the upset on senior night

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jonas_opines 4 years, 1 month ago

Actually catbacker, classiness aside, one of the sports writers ran the actual numbers, and figured that if he averages a liitle less than he's actually producing now, he'd be right up there with the all-time bests.

But yeah, illegitimate children. Nice

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jonas_opines 4 years, 1 month ago

Yes, Manning over Wilt. Based on collegiate production and results, not on professional career. Much like why Jordon generally doesn't make the list of top NCAA players.

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Catbacker 4 years, 1 month ago

Well if there were an all-time KU team for producing illigitimate children, Sherron would certainly get the nod...but his numbers do not warrant a place on any all-time basketball team.

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MrMEtoo 4 years, 1 month ago

Keep your purple BADBOY, you dont 'know more' you just recite old biased opinions.

I grew up with Jacque Vaughn and Hinrich, great floor leaders. Neither have a national championship, and I don't think neither could take control of a close game the way Sherron has. They have the advantage as far as being a general floor leaders and probably better passers, but Sherron is a much more effective shooter and driver than ANY of the players you mentioned (yes, more than Hinrich, better numbers), much better in the clutch. Sherron has a strength and toughness combo that the other guys never had. He could be KU's running back!

Oh, and as far as passing goes he made the most famous pass in KU history.

Sherron's body of work at KU is one for the books. I am glad to honor some of the legendary guards we've had, but I know my history.

My all time KU team C - Wilt Chamberlain F - Danny Manning F - Nick Collison G - Kirk Hinrich G - Sherron Collins

... can't wait to see the kitties with their tails beneath their legs scampering back to Manhattan

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Nurnberg 4 years, 1 month ago

There are great players (talent and pro success) and there are great Jayhawks. These are not mutually exclusive but also not exactly the same thing.

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Thinking_Out_Loud 4 years, 1 month ago

jonas_opines wrote: "Danny probably captures the Player of All Time award for the Jayhawks." Danny over Wilt? I'm not so sure.

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Nurnberg 4 years, 1 month ago

A point guard is measured by wins and national titles. He is top three in KU history, if he lead us to another title he is the best in KU history.

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BABBOY 4 years, 1 month ago

Really?

Best point guard ever at KU?

What are you about 10 years old?

Jo Jo White Darnell Valintine Kirk Hinrich Jaugue Vaungn

All better and played in the pros

Heck, I rather have Cedric Hunter, Aaron Miles, or Adonis Jordon over Collins.

You know what is funny? I prefer purple and I know more about KU then most of you do...........

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Jock Navels 4 years, 1 month ago

you probably need at least 20 spots on a roster for the top 5 ku basketball players...you could probably form a 12 team league of former ku basketball players that would be better than the nba. hold a spot for clyde.

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2002 4 years, 1 month ago

In my opinion, the best point guard ever at KU.

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AlligatorMama 4 years, 1 month ago

Give it a rest people - it's a nice article about a player who has done some amazing things for this school and program. He has faced unfortunate circumstances and managed to do something positive with his life. This has nothing to do with the k-state game, the big 12 or a national title - it's a nice piece about a guy who means a lot to this team. He fully deserves to have his Jersey retired...he is the reason we even have the national title. Without his 3 pointer and then the pass to Chalmers, we would have walked away with a loss.

Way to go Sherron!! You will be greatly missed!

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Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 4 years, 1 month ago

Self and Collins better have their prima donnas ready for the K-State game instead of worrying about hanging jerseys, because Martin will certainly have his people ready. This may be the end of the win streak and the win streak on senior day if the same shows up that played Oklahoma State. Sames goes for the tournament, the prima donnas show up in their tutus instead of basketball uniforms ready to play and they'll be out in the second round.

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jonas_opines 4 years, 1 month ago

raoulduke: Only a fool would exclude Manning from an all-time Jayteam, and Bill's no fool. Danny probably captures the Player of All Time award for the Jayhawks.

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tanaumaga 4 years, 1 month ago

now we've got guys thinking about getting there jersey retired before they're even done...not saying he doesn't deserve it....how long did it take to retire wilt's? i'm just sayin'.

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raoulduke 4 years, 1 month ago

All-time Jayhawk team according to Coach Self...what about that tall guy in a suit on the same bench? Danny Manning was a pretty decent player.

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rooster 4 years, 1 month ago

You go sherron. I believe you will be eternally remembered in the rafters at the fieldhouse.

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