With only 12 days left until the 2010 NBA Draft, we’ve looked at who is projected where and weighed in on who we’d rather have. Basically, we’re asking Who Ya Got? Is it the proven performer, or the younger player with bigger upside? Do you want a stretch four or a banger in your front court? Here, one of our writers took each player and made their case. The conversation doesn’t end with our opinions though, so in the comments let us know: Who Ya Got?
Mikhail Torrance — Guard | 6’5″ | 207 lbs
The last time a guard with the size of Mikhail Torrance entered the NBA draft that player, Shaun Livingston, was the fourth overall selection. In this year’s class there isn’t a clear cut number two point guard after John Wall, and when it’s all said and done Torrance could be better than Eric Bledsoe, Willie Warren, Terrico White, and all the other combo guards currently projected ahead of him.
With his impressive frame, he’s a great candidate who could sneak into the bottom of the first round, or a second round steal for a team willing to take the chance on him. Standing at 6′ 4″ without shoes, Torrance has the height and length to be a truly dynamic point guard in the NBA. His length allows him to finish in transition, guard both positions on defense, and make passes when penetrating over and around defenders.
Compared to Sherron Collins, there is a lot more upside in selecting Torrance. While Torrance’s physical makeup is his biggest strength, it’s probably Collins’ biggest weakness. He doesn’t have the height to defend two guards at all, but he also will struggle guarding most NBA point guards. Against faster guards he lacks the speed and agility to stay in front of his man. A bigger point guard will be able to take him into the post and use their height advantage to shoot over him. He does have great leadership, but in the NBA each team usually has a leader, and it isn’t usually a rookie point guard.
This year’s draft class has a very high number of college seniors, most with strong collegiate resumes, and Collins is no exception. However, his potential is limited, he doesn’t have the build of an NBA point guard, and his shot selection is questionable.
I strongly believe that Torrance will go ahead of Collins on draft night. There are a lot of teams in the top ten picks of the second round that could use a point guard. The Knicks have two picks in the beginning of the second round and Torrance has versatility that would fit very well into the Knicks current backcourt. He could handle the ball and let Toney Douglas play off the ball, and if they bring in another true point he could slide over to shooting guard. Indiana also is in need of a point guard and reports have them looking into Eric Bledsoe or Avery Bradley with number ten overall, but if they go another direction they should consider Torrance with the 40th overall pick.
Sherron Collins — Guard | 5’11″ | 217 lbs
Sherron Collins may be small, but he packs a mighty punch. Standing only 5’ 11″ may be a cause for concern against the bigger and stronger players in the NBA, but after watching Sherron play four years at Kansas, that concern quickly goes away. Playing under head coach Bill Self in the Big 12 conference has given Collins the experience needed to succeed at the next level.
When it comes to the NBA Draft, the majority view seems to be that a four-year player has had too much time to be picked apart by scouts, causing his draft stock to slide. However, with Collins, you may want to think again. He was a contributor on a team that won the National Championship in 2007-08, his sophomore season. When you get playing time on a team with future NBA players Mario Chalmers, Darrell Arthur, and Brandon Rush, as Collins did, you know that player has the coaches respect and the talent to play at the next level.
Big time players make big time plays and Collins showed just that in the Championship game, making two clutch plays in the finals minutes, helping to propel the Jayhawks to a win over Derrick Rose and the Memphis Tigers.
Mikhail Torrance certainly is physically more suited for the NBA than Collins. There’s no doubt Mikhail will likely have an easier time handling the big guards in the NBA, but he lacks something that has proven to be a hot commodity these days in the league, speed. Collins is extremely explosive in the open floor and will be able to push the tempo and get a team out in transition as quickly as any guard in this draft, including John Wall.
Currently projected somewhere in the mid to late second round, Collins probably fits best on a team with a veteran guard to learn from. The Phoenix Suns select 46, and with Steve Nash taking a beating year after year, he could definitely use a back up. Yes the Suns have Goran Dragic, who has been very good, but most teams carry three point guards and if Dragic is having an off night it’s good to have a reliable option, like Collins. Most rookies don’t have the experience to lead an NBA team, but Collins and his four year pedigree from Kansas make him one of the few that does.
If not the Suns, then expect the Spurs to take a chance on Collins. The Spurs have made a habit of taking productive college players with great success, even if the selected players “potential” isn’t that of other players left on the board. This year the Spurs have the 49th pick in the draft and with trade rumors swirling around Tony Parker, Collins would be a great addition. George Hill has the ability to handle the ball, but can also play off the ball, so Collins would likely serve as either the backup or third point guard for the time being, but Collins has been a role player before. In fact, the last time he was called on to be a supporter at Kansas, his team won the title, and what team wouldn’t want that?