HEADER DARREN MICHAEL COLLISON Point/Shooting Guard University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Bruins #2 6:00.2-166 Rancho Cucamonga, California Etiwanda High School
OVERVIEW If Collison's goal of playing in the NBA fails to materialize, he might consider a career in coaching. For the second consecutive year, a youngster he mentored at UCLA is expected to be an early first-round draft pick.
Collison took Russell Westbrook under his wing from 2006-08 and he was the fourth player selected in the 2008 draft. Last year, frosh sensation, Jrue Holiday learned while playing alongside Collison and could also be a lottery choice if he decides to remain in the 2009 draft.
Collison's speed is a product of his bloodlines. Both of his parents were standout track performers, earning All-American honors in that sport at Adelphi University. Darren's father, Dennis, was a 200-meter runner, as he represented Guyana at the Pan-American Games with personal-best marks of 10.1 (100m) and 20.3 (200m).
His mother, June (Griffith), in 1979, was ranked 10th in the world in the 400-meters and placed second at the Pan American Games. She also represented Guyana at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and her personal-best time in the 400m was 51.37/1979 (indoor 52.88/1982).
At Etiwanda High School, Collison was rated the second-best point guard in the West by Scout.com. He was selected to the Parade and McDonald's All-America teams. He added All-CIF Southern Section I-AA Player of the Year honors and was a Los Angeles Times All-Star as a senior. That year, he led Etiwanda (31-2 record) in points (20.7 per game), 3-pointers, steals (2.1 per game), assists (4.0 per game) and added 4.0 rebounds per game. He also won MVP awards in three regular-season tournaments (Oceanview Tournament of Champions, the Los Angeles City Classic and Desert Heat Invitational.
As a junior, Collison led Etiwanda to a 31-3 overall record (No. 23 in the nation), including a 10-0 mark in the Baseline League, and to the southern California regional final. He was named the Division 1-AA All-CIF Southern Section co-Player of the Year, as well as an All-Area selection in 2004, averaging a team-high 15.6 points and 5.4 assists per game.
After his high school junior season, Collison competed for the West team (1-4) at the 2004 USA Men's Basketball Men's Youth Development Festival in Colorado Springs. He played in five games, making two starts, while averaging 21.6 minutes, 9.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.2 steals per game.
As a true freshman at UCLA in 2005-06, Collison played in all 39 games, starting two, and averaged 5.5 points and 2.3 assists per game. He was credited with 35 steals. As a sophomore, he started 35 games, missing the West Virginia game with a shoulder injury. He was named to the 2007 All-Pac 10 Conference team and was a second team All-American choice.
Collison ranked in the top 10 in the league in five statistical categories, including leading the Pac-10 in steals with 2.2 steals per game (22nd nationally) and in 3-point field goal percentage (.447, 51 of 114). He also ranked second in assists (5.7 assists per game, 18th in the nation) and in assist/turnover ratio (2.0) and 19th in scoring (12.7 points per game).
Collison started 32 games in 2007-08, missing the first six contests with a left knee strain. He still finished fourth on the team in minutes played with 1,144 on the year, as he averaged 14.5 points (2nd on the team, 12th in Pac-10), 2.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists (8th in Pac-10) and 1.9 steals per game (third in Pac-10, 75th nationally). He shot 48.1 percent (161-for-335) from the field and 52.5 percent (53-for-101) from 3-point range (led the Pac-10 and a UCLA season-record).
Collison earned All-Pac-10 Conference and league All-Defensive Team honors as a senior. He started all 35 games at point guard, ranking second on the team in points scored (504) while leading the squad with 175 field goals made (344 attempts, 50.9 percent), free throws made (113 of 126, 89.7 percent), assists (166, 4.7 assists per game) and steals (57, 1.6 per game).
2008-09 SEASON All-Pac-10 Conference first-team and Pac-10 All-Defensive Team selection...2009 recipient of the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, presented annually by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the nation's outstanding senior male collegian 6-feet and under who has excelled both athletically and academically...Finalist for the Bob Cousy Award for the third consecutive year, given to the nation's top point guard...Named the Most Outstanding Player of the Pac-10 Conference Tournament, becoming just the second Bruin to win the award (Tyus Edney, 1995). ..Ranked second on the team in scoring with 504 points (14.4 per game) while starting all 35 games at point guard, despite being hampered in early March with a tailbone bruise...Led the Bruins with 175 field goals made (344 attempts, 50.9 percent), 113 free throws made (126 chances, 89.7 percent), 166 assists (4.7 assists per game) and 57 steals (1.6 steals per game)...Averaged 2.4 rebounds (84 total), 0.1 blocked shots (five) and 2.5 turnovers (87) per game...Scored in double figures 29 times, producing six 20-point performances and totaled 10 assists once (vs. Louisiana Tech).
2007-08 SEASON Third-team All-American selection by The NBA Draft Report, the Associated Press and CollegeHoops.net...Bob Cousy Award Finalist...USBWA All-District IX first-team choice, adding second-team All-Pac-10 Conference honors from the league's coaches, in addition to being selected to the Pac-10 All-Defensive Team...Named the Most Outstanding Player of the Pac-10 Tournament...Started 32 games at point guard, missing the team's first six contests with a left knee medial collateral ligament strain...Still finished fourth on the team in minutes played (1,144), averaging 34.7 minutes per game...Averaged 14.5 points (12th in Pac-10), 2.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists (eighth in Pac-10) and 1.9 steals per game (led the team, third in Pac-10, 75th nationally)...Shot 48.1 percent (161-for-335) from the field and 52.5 percent (53-for-101) from 3-point range (led the team, led the Pac-10, UCLA season-record)...Also shot 87.2 percent (102-for-117) from the free-throw line (led the Pac-10, 20th nationally, sixth on the UCLA season list)...His 1.70 assist-to-turnover ratio was the second best on the team and seventh in the Pac-10...Became the 48th player in UCLA history to score 1,000 points and ended the season with 1,135 points.
2006-07 SEASON All-Pac-10 Conference first-team selection, as he started 35 games at point guard, missing the West Virginia clash with a left shoulder sprain...Scored 443 points (12.7 points per game) on 149 of 312 field goals (47.8 percent), 51 of 114 3-pointers (44.7 percent) and 94 of 116 free throws (81.0 percent)...Had 79 rebounds (2.3 rebounds per game) with three blocked shots and 78 steals, the second-best season total in school history...Recorded 199 assists (5.7 assists per game), the seventh-best season total by a Bruin...Added a career-high 102 turnovers...Ranked in the top 10 in the Pacific-10 Conference in five statistical categories, including leading the league in steals with 2.2 steals per game (22nd nationally) and in 3-point field goal percentage, as he also ranked second in both assists (18th nationally) and in assist/turnover ratio (2.0) and 19th in scoring.
2005-06 SEASON Played in all 39 games, starting two, as he averaged 5.5 points (215 total) and 2.3 assists (88) per game...Made 78 of 194 field goals (40.2 percent), as he shot 32.8 percent from 3-point range (19 of 58) and 78.4 percent from the charity stripe (40 of 51)...Collected 71 rebounds, two blocked shots, 77 turnovers and 35 steals.
CAREER NOTES Collison holds the school record for games played (142), topping the previous mark of 130 by Mitchell Butler (1990-93)...Ranks 15th in UCLA annals in scoring with 1,639 points (11.5 points per game), connecting on 563 of 1,185 field goals (47.5 percent)...Ranks seventh in Pac-10 Conference history by making 43.5 percent of his 3-point attempts (164 of 377)...Ranks third in school annals with a free throw percentage of .851 (349 of 410), topped by Rod Foster (309 of 351, .880, 1980-83) and Don MacLean (711-0f-827, .860, 1989-92)...Ranks second in school history with 231 steals, surpassed by Earl Watson (235, 1998-2001)...His 231 steals also rank ninth in Pac-10 Conference history...His 577 assists placed fifth on UCLA's career-record list...Set the school season-record by making 52.5 percent of his 3-point attempts in 2007-08, breaking the previous mark of 50 percent by Tracy Murray (78 of 156, 1991-92)...His free throw percentage of .897 in 2008-09 rank fourth and his 87.2 percentage for 2007-08 rank eighth on UCLA's annual record books...Handed out 199 assists in 2006-07, tying Darrick Martin (1989-90) for seventh on the school's annual record chart...His 78 steals in 2006-07 are topped only by Cameron Dollar (82 in 1996-97) on the school season-record list.
HIGH SCHOOL Attended Etiwanda (Rancho Cucamonga, Cal.) High School, playing basketball for head coach Dave Kleckner...Rated the second-best point guard in the West by Scout.com. and was selected to the Parade and McDonald's All-America teams...Added All-CIF Southern Section I-AA Player of the Year honors and was a Los Angeles Times All-Star as a senior, as he led Etiwanda (31-2 record) in points (20.7 per game), 3-pointers, steals (2.1 per game), assists (4.0 per game) and added 4.0 rebounds per game...Also won MVP awards in three regular-season tournaments (Oceanview Tournament of Champions, the Los Angeles City Classic and Desert Heat Invitational...As a junior, Collison led Etiwanda to a 31-3 overall record (No. 23 in the nation), including a 10-0 mark in the Baseline League, and to the Southern California regional final...Named the Division 1-AA All-CIF Southern Section co-Player of the Year, as well as an All-Area selection in 2004, averaging a team-high 15.6 points and 5.4 assists per game.
INJURY REPORT 2006-07: Sat out the West Virginia game (2/10) with a left shoulder AC joint sprain.
2007-08: Missed the first six games of the season vs. Portland State, Youngstown State, San Bernardino, Maryland, Michigan State and Yale with a left knee medial collateral ligament strain.
2008-09: Bothered in early March by a bruised tailbone.
OTHER TOURNAMENTS/TEAMS USA BASKETBALL: After his junior high school season, Collison competed for the West team (1-4) at the 2004 USA Men's Basketball Men's Youth Development Festival in Colorado Springs. He played in five games, making two starts, while averaging 21.6 minutes, 9.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.2 steals per game.
PERSONAL History major...Collison's speed is a product of his bloodlines, as both of his parents, June and Dennis Collison, were standout track performers, earning All-American honors in that sport at Adelphi University...Father was a 200-meter runner, as he represented Guyana at the Pan-American Games with personal-best marks of 10.1 (100m) and 20.3 (200m)...Mother, June (Griffith), in 1979, was ranked tenth in the world in the 400-meters and placed second at the Pan American Games. She also represented Guyana at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and her personal-best time in the 400m was 51.37/1979 (indoor 52.88/1982)...Born Darren Michael Collison on 8/23/87...Resides in Rancho Cucamonga, California.
SCOUTING REPORT Positives: Lacks the size and bulk of an NBA-ready lead guard, but is a very intelligent player off the court who is not prone to turnovers and his decision-making is ideal for an open, fast-paced offense...He shows very good ball-handling execution and passing skills to generate pick-and-roll plays and has a true point guard mentality...Despite giving up considerable bulk, he has a good feel for positioning when playing defense with the footwork, lateral agility and court speed to mirror the opponent in man-to-man situations...Shows a good work ethic and an unselfish presence on the court...Lacks a great wingspan (6-foot-3), but compensates with good leaping ability (8-foot standing reach) and very good floor vision...Needs to take better advantage of his long-range shooting ability and displays the range needed to make NBA 3-pointers (43.5-percent shooter from 3-point range)...Thanks to his bloodlines -- son of two All-American track performers -- he plays with excellent quickness and displays a great burst to easily get by a lethargic opponent...Keeps the ball low to the ground and kicks it out with crisp passes, resulting in an impressive almost 2/1 assist/turnover ratio as a senior (166 assists/87 turnovers)...Has the suddenness and drive needed to attack the basket and has a good handle with the ball, as it is rare to see him make foolish decisions, whether shooting or dishing the ball...Has a good feel for using cut-off drives and taking proper angles on the way to the rim, doing a nice job of drawing contact, as he is an 85.1-percent shooter from the free throw line...Knows when to slow the game down in half-court action or push the ball to generate the fast break...His numbers were a bit off as a senior compared to the previous year (52.5 percent as a junior, 39.4 percent as a senior), but he has that high, quick release and good extension to consistently make his shots from behind the arc...While his long-range numbers decreased a bit, his added strength during the offseason saw him have better success inside the arc, increasing his two-point shooting success to 50.9 percent from 48.1 percent the previous year...Has good ability to create space for his shot, especially with his off-the-dribble attempts...Scrappy defender who has a knack for reaching around and taking his man off the ball in the passing lanes, registering 231 steals in 142 games (1.6 per game)...Knows he lacks the bulk to fight through screens, but his balance and change of direction agility allows him to stay in front of the perimeter shooters...Can shake a defender with fakes, along with a quick hesitation move when breaking down defenders on screens...Elevates nicely when attempting to shooting over defenders...Can also fool a defender with his stop-and-go action, as he can easily stop in an instant and fire off a jumper from mid-range.
Negatives: His obvious lack of size and bulk causes him to struggle fighting through screens, which prevents him from finishing at the basket...Improved his inside game as a senior, but by absorbing so much punishment, his outside game suffered, as his 3-point efficiency dipped from 52.5 percent as a junior to 39.4 percent last season...Has a slow release, allowing the defender time to come out and disrupt his perimeter shot...Has been criticized for his inability to step up in pressure situations and big games (seems to play passively vs. better competition and this could lead to a role as a reserve, rather than a starter at the next level)...Does not have the bulk or strength needed to consistently finish around the basket, especially in transition...Has good lateral quickness, but will lose his handle on the ball when he tries to get too creative vs. double teams and try to slash to the basket...Will pass on taking his shot if it is contested...Also backs away from contact when the defense sags out on him in catch-and-shoot situations...While he has not had any major injuries, bumps and bruises have become commonplace each season and he has worn down late in the campaign the last two seasons.
Compares To: CHRIS DUHON, New York -- Collison should make a nice living in the NBA as a role player. He is a highly intelligent point guard, but his obvious lack of size and strength will be a detriment if he tries to rely on his inside game. His outside game suffered a bit last season and even though he has the range, he gets passive when his shot is contested and needs space to operate to be comfortable shooting from 3-point range. He has the speed to push the ball up the court, but his history of disappearing in big games might scare off a few teams thinking about letting him control their offense.