Trent Johnson has done a strong job on the recruiting trail in his first two years at TCU, and he believes he has found an underrated gem in Chauncey Collins from Oklahoma City.
Collins, a former Pete Maravich award winner, has posted several 40 point games this year, and he also poured in 50 points on the second-rated 6A team in Oklahoma.
As he is finishing his senior year of high school basketball, Collins cannot help but think about the excitement he feels about his future at TCU.
“I can’t wait honestly,” said the 6’0 point guard. “This year, I feel like it’s no reflection on what the team will look like next year. I’m almost more excited because of this year, the tough road of this season and the way they are doing. We’ll come in next year and flip it around. It will be a total shock to the Big 12 and to everyone.”
Collins has impressed many with his ability to score in a variety of ways. Whether it be off the dribble, at the rim, or well behind the three point arc, Collins has found a way to put the ball in the basket. However, the soft-spoken Collins gave the nod to his facilitating as the skill that he has most improved.
“Probably my point guard skills as well as my scoring ability,” Collins said regarding the ares of improvement in his game. “I’ve been able to dish the ball in tough situations, make tough passes or knock down the tough shot. I mean I’m a better catch and shooter, but I don’t get a lot of that because the ball is in my hands in most situations.”
Collins will be one of at least five players to play for TCU next year that did not play a minute in 2013-2014. It was the coaching staff that convinced Collins to come to Fort Worth.
“The coaching staff is really what got me to TCU,” Collins explained, “Trent Johnson as well as Kwanza Johnson. I feel that if you don’t have a connection with the coaches, it’s bad. These are the coaches of my future. When I get there it’s just work hard, and everything else will come. You know if I work hard, I’ll be able to play and make an impact next year.”
To become a shooter as good as Collins, one must put in hundreds, if not thousands, of hours in the gym. Collins said sometimes he will shoot for so long, he has to stop because his arms get too tired.
“Hundreds,” Collins said regarding the number of shots he takes per day. “You catch and shoot ‘til your arms hurt. Good shooters shoot a lot. You’ll start off at 400, go to 600, and then before you know it, I’ll be shooting for hours.”
Collins hopes he can be instant offense for the Frogs next season.
“Just scoring ability,” Collins said. “I wanna catch and put the ball in the hole and any time and then get to the rim and finish through contact.”
Before he arrives in Fort Worth, however, Collins has several marquee games left on his high school schedule. Next week, Collins and his OKC Storm team will take on two highly ranked squads.
“We have played an extremely tough schedule this year, so our record won’t reflect how skilled we really are,” Collins said. “We have tough games coming up next week against Prime Prep from Dallas and against Sunrise Christian from Kansas who has a point guard going to Michigan State. I’m just ready to compete. Those games will be played where the Thunder play.”
Facing point guards like Emmanuel Mudiay, a five-star SMU signee, and Lourawls Nairn, a Michigan State signee, gives Collins more chances to show why he is one of the most underrated players in the country.
“We’re very fortunate,” TCU head coach Trent Johnson said of having Collins. “People may question his length and look at the homeschool, but he has proven himself over and over again.”
Johnson said he believes there is always politics involved in how young prospects are ranked.
“A lot of that is, make no mistake, when you commit to TCU versus somewhere else, it hurts you on the political side of [the rankings],” Johnson said. “From a rankings standpoint, they go off of the summer.
“Chauncey has what we call the it-factor. He can play with the ball in his hands; he’s explosive. He can shoot it. He’s a really really good, borderline great high school player. He shoots an NBA three like a 15 footer.”
Johnson explained that the key for Collins over the summer will be adjusting to the speed of the college game.
“The key thing for him is once he makes an adjustment to this level is the speed of the game, the length of the game,” Johnson continued. “He’s got to learn to play without the ball.”