NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Zach Collins

by Jonah Ballow
NYKnicks.com
@jonahballow

The Path
Zach Collins experienced success at the high school level with four straight trips to the state championship in Nevada.  As a Las Vegas native, Collins elevated his profile at Bishop Gorman High School before committing to Gonzaga University despite some interest from several west coast schools.  While Collins backed up big man Prezmek Karnowski, he managed to increase his NBA stock at Gonzaga.  During the NCAA Tournament, the 19-year old played a major role in helping the Bulldogs upend the defensive-minded South Carolina Gamecocks.  Collins posted 14 points, 13 rebounds, and six blocks in just 23 minutes of court time in the Final Four victory.  At the conclusion of the season, Collins decided to depart from Gonzaga and place his name in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Strengths
Collins is a prime example of the modern day big man.  He’s a 7-footer with the ability to run the floor and play both the 4 and 5 spots in the frontcourt.  Since Collins played a role off the bench behind Karnowski, we only received a small sample size of his all-around capabilities.  However, the NBA frame is visible and the upside is undeniable.  To gain a clearer picture of how Collins projects in the league is to examine his Per 40 numbers.  Collins Per 40 averages are impressive:  23.2 points, 13.6 rebounds, 4.1 blocks, and 1.1 steals.  The athleticism and fluidity he possesses is also seen on the defensive side of the court where he can challenge stretch bigs and challenge frontline forces in the paint.

Next Level
One would assume NBA scouts hoped to see more tape on Collins or as a starter at Gonzaga.  His big-time performance against South Carolina and significant upside will most likely place Collins in the top 15 of the NBA Draft where most mock drafts project him at the moment.

Statistically Speaking
Collins’ PER at Gonzaga was a whopping 31.5.

What They’re Saying
“He has most of the elements you want in a modern center, and his consistently focused play in March offered a wildly impressive glimpse into his two-way potential.” – Jeremy Woo, Sports Illustrated