Breaking: Gonzaga freshman Zach Collins will declare for the NBA Draft, intends to hire an agent— Lindsay Joy (@SWXLindsayJoy) April 11, 2017
It is the sign everyone in Spokane has been waiting for, and luckily it didn’t take too long to come. Collins has slowly made a name for himself this season as one of the best players on a team full of great players, and that was on display in the NCAA Tournament.
“This was a significant decision for my family and me," Collins said in a press release. "It was definitely one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make. I just want to thank everyone at Gonzaga, especially the coaching staff and my teammates. This season was special and something I will never forget. It was the most fun year of my life. I want to thank all of the Zag fans for all of their support and passion. I'll always be proud to be a Zag.”
Collins averaged 10 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks in just 17.3 minutes per game this season. Translate that to 40 minutes per game, and the freshman was at 23.2 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 4.1 blocks per game.
Collins has been rising up all the draft boards the past couple of months, and for good reason. The 7’0 center plays exactly how you need to play in the NBA. He is fleet of foot, has great length, and phenomenal defensive instincts. The case and point of Collins future NBA career came in the Final Four, where he scored 14 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and blocked six shots against South Carolina.
He is the highest-rated recruit to ever come to Gonzaga. Collins was the team’s first McDonald’s All-American, yet no one could quite expect the performance they got this season. He’ll need a little bit of bulking up to do for the NBA, but some team is getting a center with an incredibly high ceiling.