Kentucky basketball lands No. 24 ESPN 100 prospect Daimion Collins

Sunil Kumar
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Top-25 senior Daimion Collins committed to Kentucky on Saturday, yet another piece of good news for John Calipari and the Wildcats.

Collins chose Kentucky over a final five that also included Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech.

“They will push me to be my best,” Collins told ESPN. “I like how their players have developed. Me playing with and against great players, hopefully it will make me a great player. I am ready for the challenge.”

A 6-foot-10 power forward from Atlanta High School (Texas), Collins is ranked No. 24 in the ESPN 100 for the 2021 class. He’s the No. 6 power forward in the country.

Collins has an NBA frame at 6-foot-10 with a 7-foot-4-plus wingspan. He’s an elite shot-blocker and rim protector. What makes him special is he can impact the game without scoring. His offensive game is developing at a steady pace. Collins displays 3-point range, which gives him a valuable tool to complement his post-up game. Consistency is the next step for his face-up game. At the same stage, you can see similarities between him and Anthony Davis. Calipari’s best teams always had an elite big man; Collins fits that bill.

In the past two weeks, Kentucky has received waivers for immediately eligible transfers Olivier Sarr (Wake Forest) and Jacob Toppin (Rhode Island), and landed commitments from five-star junior Skyy Clark, top-40 prospect Bryce Hopkins and now Collins.

Collins was once considered the target of a major recruiting battle between Texas and Oklahoma, but Kentucky jumped into the mix when the Wildcats hired assistant coach Jai Lucas away from the Longhorns. The Wildcats immediately emerged as the favorite for his commitment.

“Coach Cal knows what he is doing,” Collins said. “He has been in the game for a long time. He’s always hyped up when we talk. He is a great coach.”

Kentucky now has three pledges in the 2021 class, with Collins and Hopkins joining ESPN 100 point guard Nolan Hickman, who committed back in August. Clark can potentially reclassify into the 2021 class, as well. The Wildcats remain in pursuit of five-star recruits Jaden Hardy (No. 4), Hunter Sallis (No. 19), Patrick Baldwin Jr. (No. 2) and Moussa Diabate (No. 7), and recently offered Wisconsin native Brandin Podziemski.



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