Former Wake Forest star John Collins is third among rookies in rebounding this season, averaging 10.6 points and 7.3 boards in only 21 minutes a game for the Atlanta Hawks.
Fansided’s George Jeliazkov believes the 6-10 forward can grow into a very effective NBA player.
“There’s no reason to doubt that over the course of the season he can turn into a player that puts up around 15 points a night and grabs 10 or 12 rebounds,” wrote Jeliazkov. “Some have him labeled as a double-double machine that will be an invaluable bench piece for the team in [the] future. A sixth man that can come in and absolutely turn a game around with his post play and high energy tempo.”
“Others see him graduating past the bench and making the starting spot his as soon as next season,” added Jeliazkov.
Collins prides himself on doing the dirty work around the basket.
“That is what I do, being an athlete, being around the basket, trying to get extra possessions, offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, put-backs, dunks,” Collins told AJC.com “That’s what got me here.”
Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer loves Collins’ work ethic.
“He’s been all about working and getting better.” said Budenholzer. “He’s got a great desire to improve and get better each day and he’s done that.”
Collins, the No. 19 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, led Wake Forest in scoring and rebounds last season as a sophomore, averaging 19.2 points and 9.8 boards, when he was named to the All-ACC First Team.
He also was tops in the ACC in field goal percentage at 62 percent, and his 17 double-doubles were the most by Wake Forest player in a season since Al-Farouq Aminu had 19 in 2009-10.
Draftexpress loves Collins’ game.
“John Collins blossomed into one of the best offensive players in the NCAA during his two years at Wake Forest, ending his sophomore season averaging 28.8 points and 14.8 rebounds per 40 minutes on a 67% true shooting percentage, ranking #1 in PER among all college basketball players,” reads the website’s analysis.
ESPN’s No. 36 ranked power forward in the 2015 high school class, Collins averaged 20.3 points and 10.2 rebounds as a senior at Cardinal Newman HS (West Palm Beach, FL), when he was the Florida Class 4A Player of the Year.
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