UNLV Basketball recruiting power of the package
Photo Credit: AZ Desert Swarm

4-Star 2021 Local Point Guard Zaon Collins Commits to UNLV

 

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On March 27th, 2019 TJ Otzelberger was hired to be the Runnin’ Rebels’ next head basketball coach. On March 28th he arrived on the UNLV campus in a gaudy helicopter with an Iron Man paint job. Two days after that he was in a gym watching Zaon Collins get in some run. Ever since then, Collins became Otzelberger’s top priority recruit. On August 23rd, 2020, the standout from Gorman pledged his commitment to be a Rebel. 

 

UNLV basketball
Photo Credit: Twitter

The UNLV staff has done a tremendous job of keeping locals local. It started with players like Nick Blake, Jhaylon Martinez, and Donavan Yap for the 2020 class. Then they kept the momentum going for the 2021 cycle by landing tough-nosed Durango point guard, Keshon Gilbert. 

All of those players were highly recruited. Kansas State heavily pursued Blake, and Yap had drawn the attention of Jay Wright and Villanova. Martinez had a wide selection of upper-tier schools to choose from. He selected UNLV over the likes of LSU, Arizona State, St Mary’s, and Northwestern. But as good as these locals are, there was still doubt among those following the UNLV program that Otzelberger could land the truly elite in the city of Las Vegas. 

That resounding question was answered emphatically by the commitment of Zaon Collins. Collins is the quintessential definition of a blue-chip prospect. His finalists were UNLV, Arizona State, USC, and Arizona, but he really could have gone anywhere he wanted. His other offers were from Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Washington, Colorado, Vanderbilt, and TCU. Schools like Gonzaga and Baylor were interested as well. That’s the kind of heavy lifting Otzelberger had to do in order to win this recruiting battle. 

 

Why did Collins have those kinds of eyes on him?

 

Photo Credit: Twitter

The short answer is he’s a killer. It’s extremely rare in this day and age that you get a true to form two way player. Collins is an absolute menace on the defensive end of the court. He takes pride in locking up the opposition’s best guard, and he’s got the mindset and mentality that he takes those kinds of challenges personally. That kind of player is a dying breed, and that’s just one of the reasons UNLV has an invaluable treasure on their roster now. 

On offense, Otzelberger is getting a genuine floor general. Not too many players have the kind of bag that Collins has. His vision and IQ are on another level. He’s used to playing with a bevy of talented players. Whether it was in AAU with Vegas Elite or in high school with Gorman, he shares the ball and knows how to get his guys easy buckets. Collins averaged 8 assists per game as a junior, and those numbers will go up as a senior. 

In terms of his scoring ability, Collins can do just about anything. Playing the role of facilitator at Gorman, he still averaged almost 15 points per game. His floater is pure and unguardable, and his athleticism is next level. His speed is unmatched, and he can and will sky in for a jaw-dropping dunk that can shut down the gym. He does possess a solid midrange game, as well as a 3-point shot that needs to be respected by anyone trying to guard him. His trajectory is 100% an NBA trajectory.

 

Robert Smith, Greg Anthony, Dedan Thomas, Mark Dickel, and Marcus Banks. Those names are synonymous with greatness at UNLV. Collins hasn’t suited up in scarlet and gray yet for the Rebels, but those are the expectations he will be living up to in the minds of UNLV fans. Some might think that’s unfair, but that’s the reality of the situation when you’re this coveted. It’s also completely fair because Collins can live up to that kind of hype. 

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Zaon Collins      Zaon Collins      Zaon Collins      Zaon Collins      Zaon Collins      Zaon Collins      Zaon Collins      Zaon Collins      Zaon Collins      Zaon Collins      Zaon Collins      Zaon Collins      Zaon Collins      Zaon Collins      Zaon Collins      Zaon Collins      Zaon Collins      Zaon Collins      Zaon Collins      Zaon Collins      Zaon Collins      Zaon Collins      Zaon Collins      Zaon Collins     

rd U    UNLV BASKETBALL Point Guard U    UNLV BASKETBALL Point Guard U    UNLV BASKETBALL Point Guard U    UNLV BASKETBALL Point Guard U     

-Jeff Waddilove – Franchise Sports Media

Follow me on Twitter @JeffWaddilove

 

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