Blog Entry

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Darren Collison, UCLA

Posted on: May 29, 2009 2:06 pm
Edited on: May 29, 2009 3:36 pm
 

Darren Collison: 6-1, 165, PG, Jr. (University of California, Los Angeles)

Draft Rank: #21

PG Rank: #9

Strengths:

Great floor general. As good as any point guard in the nation defensively. Loves to pressure the other team's point guard. Gets a lot of steals and uses his long arms to harass defenders. Shoots the ball above his head, which allows him to make up for his lack of height. Extremely efficient point guard who doesn't force passes or take bad shots. Very steady and consistent. Likes to drive left and pull up at the left elbow for a jumper, which he makes with ease. Tough to defend because he is deceptively quick. Runs the pick and roll very well by rubbing off his picker's hip, leaving the defense scrambling. Puts passes right where they need to be for a shooter to be able to score. Doesn't pick up his dribble and knows how to be shifty to get separation from his opponent. Understands how to control the pace of the game. Uses the hesitation move to get the defender on his hip. Very good free-throw shooter. Great basketball IQ.

Weaknesses:

Not very strong. Has college range, but I don't think he will be able to consistently knock down the NBA three. Swings his right foot into his shot which makes him take longer to get his shot off. Struggles against bigger and more physical guards. Needs to get stronger or craftier so that he can finish when taking the ball to the hoop. Doesn't have great upside.

Mental:

A great leader on the floor. When things become erratic he understands how to push or slow the pace down to what's best for his team. Likes to be the "quarterback" and point people to the right direction on the floor. From an intangible and mental standpoint Collison is right where you want him to be. He is selfless enough that he won't mind backing someone up, but is confident enough that he can start. Is willing to sacrifice his statistics for the betterment of the team. Has a great understanding of the game and a terrific basketball IQ.  
Extra info:

Would be a good fit for: Utah Jazz, New Orleans Hornets or Sacramento Kings

Comparison: Anthony Carter, 6-1, 195, PG

Conclusion:

He is probably the least flashy top-tier point guard in the draft. He won't wow you with unbelievable quickness, passing ability or creativity, but he knows how to play the game. He will have a long career due to his smarts, his defensive abilities and his understanding of how precious the basketball is. As a result, I think Collison will make a very effective backup point guard.

He is extremely efficient with the ball and knows how to lead a team, which is exactly what teams look for in a backup point guard. He may be able to start in the prime of his career, but I see him as a backup in the beginning and a backup toward the end of his career. I envision him in a Brevin Knight/Anthony Carter role for most of his career.

Comments

Since: Apr 21, 2008
Posted on: June 2, 2009 4:23 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Darren Collison, UCLA

Hey, Brian:

Thanks for being so gracious with your responses, whether or not folks agree with you. This comment is on Collison's speed:  he's the product of 2 All-American sprinters from Guyana who were Pan Am Games competitors (Mom was a 400m runner in the '84 Olympics), so, yes, the guy is fast -- it's all they talked about his sophomore year during the Final Four. 



Since: Apr 29, 2009
Posted on: May 29, 2009 6:35 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Darren Collison, UCLA

I actually disagree with you on his speed.  Besides Lawson, I think Patty Mills is definitely faster than him with or without the ball.  I would also bet that Flynn, Teague, Jennings and even AJ Price are all faster with the ball than Collison is.  I do agree that Oklahoma City would be a nice fit for him, but I think he would be better off behind a true point guard like Paul or D. Williams.  Those teams also showed in the playoffs that they really needed backup's for there stud Point Guard's.  I actually agree with the Jacque Vaughn comparison. 

Thanks for the feedback!

-Brian



Since: Apr 21, 2008
Posted on: May 29, 2009 5:37 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Darren Collison, UCLA

Rather generic scouting report for a guy you've seen for 4 years.  You mentioned his "[deceptive] quick[ness]", but no mention of his sprinter's speed (only Ty Lawson may be faster with the ball)?  Yes, he will be a perennial backup, but is more to me like Jacque Vaughn than Anthony Carter.  Could start for a horrible team, though, and could go to OKC late in 1st round and work well with former backcourt buddy Russell Westbrook.


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