In my short time writing for this site I have noticed that there are lots of concerns at point guard. As a fan of the team I liked Raymond Felton and was sad to see him go; he was not great, but he was good enough.
I’ve noticed that many of you that participate in the forums are skeptical of D.J. Augustin; having Shaun Livingston as his back-up does not help either. The bad thing is that the Bobcats are within reach of becoming a perennial playoff contender if the right pieces can be found and then kept on the team.
In a previous post I reviewed the coming crop of point guard talent that the team can look to pick up in case Augustin and Livingston do not work out this year. However, what I should have done is looked at a young player that the team just signed, Sherron Collins.
Before you click off this post and curse my name for being an idiot just bear with me. Yes, I am fully aware that he went undrafted in the last draft and was forced to sign as a free agent. Conventional wisdom says that this guy must not be that good otherwise someone would have drafted him. I would like to suggest that maybe he was simply overlooked.
Most of the big name talent in college does not stay in the NCAA for long. Too many of these guys are so eager for their payday that they do not get the benefit of honing their craft in college before trying to be a pro. I am sure that most of these players simply think that they are talented enough to make a roster and get paid so they might as well and just hone their skills in the NBA.
While there are some guys that can get away with that each year, I think that the majority of them flop succeeding in getting a nice paycheck, but then diluting the game with their sub-par talent.
Then you have guys like Sherron Collins. We know he is talented; no one plays for Kansas one year let alone four without being one of the best. Prior to going to college, Scout.com had him ranked as the No. 2 point guard in the nation.
Plenty of talented players go to college every year and never pan out or even play. Collins was not one of those guys. From his freshman season (2006-07) till his final year (2009-10) he was heavily decorated and recognized often for his stellar play and leadership on the court. You name the award and he was probably nominated for it if he did not win it.
Tack on being a part of the 2008 National Championship squad and winning 130 games and you have a young man that is no stranger to winning and playing at a high level.
However, the slew of awards and all the victories are not what impress me most about Collins. He’s a smart kid. One of the many things that he was recognized for in college was academic achievement. Being willing to study in class can definitely translate into studying his game as a professional.
Staying in college can work for anyone if you use it to your advantage; I think Collins did. Gaining the experience in higher pressure games with the Jayhawks (of which he saw plenty over four seasons with the team) will only benefit his game at the pro level. Being coached by one of the better coaches in college basketball for four season dos not hurt either. In fact, I would say that not only does it show that he want to improve his game, but that he can be coached (unlike some of these guys that enter the NBA early and think they are God’s gift to the hard court).
Collins has shown that he cares about the game and wants to excel at a high level; perhaps with the right tutelage that desire can be used to mold him into a starting point guard in the NBA.
There are plenty of guys that get drafted and flop as well as go undrafted and excel (and vice versa). If Augustin and Livingston struggle early we may find out which one Sherron Collins is.