When you close your eyes and think back on the last 12 years of Kentucky basketball, the overwhelming theme of the Calipari era has been attracting top talent to Lexington.
Coming off of an embarrassing 9-16 season, it would be low-hanging fruit to dismiss that notion at this very moment. But if we’re being fair, there is no doubt that Calipari has thrived on assembling teams that are heavily loaded with young five-star talent.
The reason I draw attention to this is because in 2021, Cat fans will get to meet Daimion Collins — an absolutely elite athlete.
Rated at the top player in Texas by 247 Sports, when he arrives on campus, he will be yet another gift to the Big Blue Nation from the Lone Star State.
The best way I can try to describe Collins’ game is that he’s like a pogo stick. If you haven’t seen any of his jaw-dropping highlights, then make pulling those up a priority. I’m predicting multiple SportsCenter Top 10 plays in his future at Kentucky.
His unbelievable vertical leaping ability and sheer athleticism are going to quickly have fans eagerly ranking his stature among the top athletes to play at UK in recent memory.
Collins, a power forward, stands 6-feet-9 inches tall attached to a slender frame that boasts just over 200 pounds. Adding more muscle will be a key point for the Kentucky coaching staff to prepare him for the physicality of SEC play.
Men’s basketball head strength coach Rob Harris has proven time and time again that he can assist players in transforming their body. Now that Collins is on campus, he’ll also be able to stay on a more tactical nutrition plan which should help accelerate adding pounds to his slender frame.
That being said, you can’t learn in a weight room what Collins already knows, and that’s jumping out of the gym and having the natural ability to block shots.
There’s been some incredible shot-blockers to play in Rupp Arena during the Calipari era, some of the best in the history of college basketball in fact, so Collins will have his work cut out for him to make his mark defensively.
Kentucky signee Daimion Collins with the block of the year #BBN pic.twitter.com/AZskYrdaN8— Cats Coverage (@CatsCoverage_) December 6, 2020
Other than his leaping and shot-blocking prowess, Collins is also considered to be a powerful finisher whose raw offensive game is continuing to evolve. Facing up to the basket is something that he’ll need to work on before becoming a legitimate scoring option at the Division-I level.
Still, cleaning up the glass and living on the offensive boards should be something that Collins can do extremely well right away.
The Atlanta (TX) native is currently listed just outside of the 247 Sports Composite top-10 prospects in the class of 2021. He sits at 13th on that list while being named the fourth best power-forward in the class.
It goes without saying that anyone connected to the Kentucky basketball program has high aspirations of drastically improving on what was one of the worst seasons in school history.
Wins and losses aside, I believe that Daimion Collins is poised to bring back some of the feel that the earlier Calipari era had.
Get excited for some high-flying alley oops and highlights that will have you jumping out of your recliner.
That’s exactly what Daimion Collins aims to bring to Kentucky with him.
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