2017 Player Profile: John Collins

Forward/Center | Wake Forest
by Christopher Dempsey
Nuggets Insider

Class: Sophomore
Ht: 6-foot-10
Wt: 225 pounds
2016-17 Stats: 19.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.6 blocks


John Collins is a unique combination of a couple of types of players. He’s got the low post game of an Al Jefferson. Yet, he’s got the lightning quick feet of a guard. Put it all together, and you have the foundation of a player that was a first-team All-ACC selection. Collins led the ACC in field goal percentage (62.2 percent) and was one of the most improved players in the nation. Collins’ scoring average went from 7.3 points per game as a freshman to 19.2 as a sophomore. His rebounds jumped from 3.9 to 9.8. His field goal percentage went from 54.4 to 62.2. His blocks went from 0.7 to 1.6. And his free throw percentage went from 69.1 to 74.5. It was across-the-board improvement from a player that helped Wake Forest get back to relevancy in 2016-17. Now, he takes his skill set to the NBA.

Offensively, Collins stays in his lane, and that lane is around the rim. He posted up a whopping 46 percent of the time, his most-used action, and his feet were as smooth as a ballerina’s as he navigated his way around the paint. He was deft at getting big when sealing off his defender. Once he caught the entry pass, Collins could do almost anything he wanted and was a workhorse in the post. He finished mainly with his right hand. Despite knocking down a few very short baseline jumpers, Collins was not a jump shooter. In fact, according to Synergy stats, he took just 11 jump shots against man-to-man defenses all season long. Collins was very effective in both transition and diving to the rim in pick-and-roll situations, which makes sense given how well he moved around the court.

Defensively, Collins was great in two areas – defending in space and in coming off of his man to block shots. In screen-roll situations, Collins was good at hedging and then quickly getting back to his man. He slides his feet well and is able to keep smaller players in front of him, and profiles as being able to guard stretch bigs without many issues. In addition to his help side blocks, Collins was good at sticking to his own man and then blocking the shot at the end. He’ll look to improve his post defense. Collins gambled and many times found himself on the wrong side of player posting up, leading to easy attempts at the rim for the offensive player. He’ll look to get more physical and stay solid on the block.


Collins can immediately fill a scoring role off the bench for any team looking for added punch in the front court. And he’ll be good enough defensively to help a team keep an overall solid defensive posture. His best fit is with a team that has available minutes and will allow him to grow.


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