Five-star power forward and top-10 Daimion Collins has committed to the University of Kentucky Wildcats basketball program. He chose the Cats over four other programs — Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech and Kansas.
Collins joins Nolan Hickman and Bryce Hopkins as the third player committed to play for John Calipari in the class of 2021.
For the last few weeks, it was rumored that a favorable decision for Kentucky was on the way, but today it was formally announced, and now the Cats have officially added a big-time piece for this recruiting class.
The 6-9, 210 pound springy athlete is ranked as the 10th-best player in the country by Rivals, and most experts agree that Collins is one of the more intriguing prospects in the entire class. He has a very nigh ceiling with room for expedited improvement before arriving on campus next year.
The Atlanta (TX) native is a freakish athlete who can run the floor and finish strong. Many experts believe he is just scratching the surface of how good he can be offensively. All the tools are there for Collins to develop into a well-rounded prospect on both ends of the floor.
Here is how 247 Sports’ Director of Basketball Scouting Jerry Meyer breaks down his game:
“Quite thin but has long arms and is quick off the floor as an explosive leaper. Highly mobile with good hands. Finishes with strength around rim and can score facing. Has potential to greatly improve as a face up player. Defensively, is a high level shot blocker who can also move his feet on perimeter. Can also rebound outside his area. Raw offensively in general but has great potential.”
Collins resembles your typical Calipari frontcourt player who possesses that unteachable explosion around the rim. After watching just a few seconds of Collins’ highlight film, you will quickly understand the caliber talent that is coming to Lexington.
Collins also considered to be a willing defender and natural shot-blocker. In fact, some regard him as the best shot-blocker in the 2021 class.
At this stage in his development, blocking shots might be his biggest attribute. Collins’ length and foot speed make for a potential lock-down defender on the perimeter — which could prove to be the most important part of this commitment.
Senior Daimion Collins is no longer just about potential. Production is there and he is such a freak athletically. Future dominant defender, such quickness and instincts doesn’t come around often. #Wootten150— Eric Bossi (@ebosshoops) October 24, 2020
2021 PF Daimion Collins @CollinsDaimion showed off his freakish athleticism and ability to time shots on the defensive end to block/rebound the basketball. He also showed improvement offensively in his jumpshot and attacking from the wing. #WoottenTop150Camp pic.twitter.com/Kie0SyPSuX— Andre’ Powe (@AndrePowe11) October 24, 2020
I reached to Rivals recruiting expert Travis Graf and he gave this breakdown of Collins game.
“Collins is probably the best jumper out of any Kentucky big man under John Calipari. He out-jumped the max vertical test at the Team USA Combine and he puts his head at the rim on every block or dunk attempt. The five-star big can play on the perimeter some, handling the ball and possessing a decent jump shot for his size, which will only get better. While his offensive post game is still developing, Collins’ rim protection will be some of the best that Kentucky’s program has ever seen.”
If you followed this recruitment at all, then you understand the role that Kentucky assistant coach Jai Lucas played in getting Collins to commit. The former Texas assistant was the lead recruiter for the Longhorns’ pursuit of Collins, so the Cats became an immediate contender as soon as Lucas accepted a position with UK back in late August.
From there, Lucas was able to be a bridge to the entire coaching staff at Kentucky, and Collins liked what Calipari had to offer. It was obvious that Lucas would make a major impact on the recruiting trail, and it only took a few months to see it come to fruition.
A few weeks ago, Collins went on he Sources Say Podcast and commented about what it was like seeing former Wildcats dominating the NBA bubble.
“That shows me how Coach Cal can develop players and get them to where they need to be, to go to the next level, It’s been pretty good to be able to see them on TV because it lets me know what I need to know.” Collins said.
It was obvious that Lucas would make a major impact on recruiting and it only took a few months to see it come to fruition.
Daimion Collins is a terrific piece to build around with Nolan Hickman and Bryce Hopkins in the class of 2021.
Now, sit back and watch some dunks coming to a Rupp Arena near you.