With the early signing period just a couple of weeks away, this recruiting run that John Calipari has been on just keeps getting better.
The latest commitment for next season’s Kentucky basketball team is Texas power forward Daimion Collins, one of the most intriguing and highly rated frontcourt prospects in the country, the third member of UK’s 2021 class, and the third commitment for the Cats in the past several days.
Collins — a 6-foot-10 prospect with a 7-3 wingspan from Atlanta, Texas — picked Kentucky on Saturday night.
develop me for the next level? Somewhere that I can see myself going and playing and getting me ready for the NBA?’ ” Collins said of his decision process. A few moments later, he unzipped his jacket, revealed a blue UK shirt and announced his commitment: “Go Wildcats!” Collins said.
He joins Seattle point guard Nolan Hickman, who became UK’s first 2021 commitment in August, and Chicago small forward Bryce Hopkins, who announced for the Cats on Monday night, as the program’s third addition for next season’s roster. UK also landed a commitment from class of 2022 point guard Skyy Clark last week, though it’s possible Clark could eventually reclassify and play for the Cats next season, as well.
Collins is the highest-rated player yet for Kentucky’s 2021 class, and his commitment pushes UK to No. 2 in the 247Sports team rankings, behind only Florida State. Collins is the No. 19 overall prospect, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, though Rivals.com ranks him as the No. 10 overall recruit in the 2021 class.
Several 247Sports analysts were in Texas this past weekend for the much-anticipated Wootten Camp, arguably the deepest collection of top high school prospects in one place since COVID-19 precautions scrambled the recruiting calendar last spring.
National analyst Eric Bossi, after watching Collins play at that showcase, called him “a legitimate top-10 prospect” noting his continued and rapid improvement. He’s expected to be slotted as a top-10 recruit when the rankings are updated. Fellow 247Sports analyst Brandon Jenkins told the Herald-Leader that Collins was one of the top performers at the Wootten Camp.
“He’s a long, athletic, mobile hybrid ‘4,’ ” Jenkins said. “He once would have been considered like a straight center, but he’s evolved his game over the summer — as far as his jump-shooting and ball-handling — to make himself a legitimate ‘4’ man. Now, he might play the ‘5’ at Kentucky, just due to his ability to run rim to rim and protect the basket at an elite level. But he projects as a hybrid ‘4’ man at the highest of levels.
“He’s painfully skinny, but, at the same time, he gets a lot done with his length and athleticism. He’s extremely talented, and he’s just starting to scratch the surface of what he can become.”