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Kentucky Basketball Player Preview: Daimion Collins looks to take sophomore leap

Collins is expected to be much improved headed into his sophomore season.

Isamu Haynes-Sunayama - Sea of Blue

When Daimion Collins joined the Kentucky Wildcats, he was filled with potential, but needed time to work on his body and adjust to the college game.

After a freshman season where he had some big moments but his share of struggles, it looks like Collins is set to take a big leap going into his sophomore season.

Sadly, Collins will look to do so with a heavy heart. Prior to the season starting, Collins lost his father, Ben Collins, who tragically passed away in Lexington less than a week before the regular season begins.

All of our thoughts and prayers are with the Collins family.

Daimion Collins

  • Height: 6-foot-9
  • Weight: 220 lbs.
  • Class: Sophomore
  • Position: Forward
  • Hometown: Atlanta, TX
  • Recruit Rankings: 5-star recruit ranked No. 16 overall and No. 4 among power forwards in the class of 2021 via 247 Sports Composite.

The tape on Collins coming out of high school revealed a lot to like. A forward with great length, a ton of athleticism, and shot blocking ability who could be a real difference-maker, particularly on the defensive end.

But it also revealed that Collins could use some time in a college weight room and a dedicated strength and conditioning program, as well as some work honing his offensive game.

In his freshman campaign, Collins did just that, showing glimpses of what his potential could be. He had a nice showing at Alabama with 10 points and 6 rebounds, as well as a four-block performance against Robert Morris.

But going into his sophomore season, Daimion Collins is set to show the country just how much he’s improved and figures to be a key player on a Kentucky squad that hopes to contend for a national title.

We got our first glimpse of the sophomore version of Daimion Collins down in the Bahamas, where he had a mini-breakout.

Collins put his athleticism on display with an array of dunks and blocks that made fans jump out of their seats, but it wasn’t all spectacle. Collins showed improved ball handling and an improved shot as well.

For reference, here’s a little bit of what we saw from Collins in the Bahamas.

Over the course of the trip, Collins averaged 10 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game in the Bahamas. The human pogo stick also threw down multiple SportsCenter Top Plays, and he figures to do that plenty this season.

If Collins can continue to work on his jump shot, he provides some great versatility in the front court for John Calipari and the Kentucky coaching staff as a guy who can play the 5 to give Oscar Tshiebwe a break or play the 4 in a front court alongside Oscar which could be really intimidating to opposing teams.

Collins could be, in my opinion, one of the breakout players of college basketball this season. You don’t see many players who are 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-4 wingspan and a 46.5-inch vertical.

And if we continue to see more of what he showed in the Bahamas with his shot and ball-handling, he creates a lot of matchup problems. I think we should expect a big year from Daimion Collins.

But most importantly, here’s to hoping Collins and his family are able to find peace as they grieve his father’s passing.