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Top 30 Seasons Under Bill Self: #10 Sherron Collins 2009

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Texas Legends Media Day 2015 Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images

2009 was Sherron Collins’s coming out party. After making the most important pass of the season (and maybe in KU history) the season before, he came into his own as a go to guy as a junior, doubling his points per game from 9.3 to 18.9, while going from playing around 23 minutes per game to over 35. He was efficient at scoring those points as well, posting an effective field goal percentage over 50 with a usage rate at a whopping 28 percent. At the time, that was the highest usage rate a KU player had ever posted under Bill Self, and it’s still the highest for a guard under Self. It’s no secret Self loves his combo guards and point guards who can score, and no one embodied that recruiting philosophy better than Collins.

In 2009, Collins attempted a whopping 521 field goal attempts. It’s the only time under Self a guard has taken more than 500 attempts. Only five have taken more than 450 (good luck getting all of them without cheating).

Probably the most notable performance in 2009 came at Oklahoma in a game Kansas needed to win in order to extend the then four year Big 12 title streak. Collins scored 22 points in the second half as Kansas won 87-78, and he hit multiple deep threes in a memorable back and forth with Oklahoma guard Willie Warren that still gets brought up today.

Collins was also an exceptional “pure” point guard in 2009 as well. His assist rate of 29 percent coupled with a turnover rate under 20 percent means he would have had one of the better point guard seasons under Bill Self without his prodigious scoring.

But prodigious scoring he had. Collins is one of just four guards under Self to score more than 600 points in a season, and he did it in the fewest minutes of all of them. (the others: Frank Mason, Devonte Graham, and Tyshawn Taylor).

In terms of PRPG, Collins’ 2009 season ranks 4th among guards under Self, and while he ranks a bit lower in box plus minus, there’s no doubt that his ability to score efficiently while carrying a huge portion of the load on offense and being able to both pass well and take care of the ball was insanely valuable. His efficiency could have been even higher because of the number of late shot clock attempts he had to take despite not really being in position to do so.

And yet, a lot of KU fans remember him being outdueled by Michigan State’s Kalin Lucas in the final minutes of the 2009 Sweet 16 loss. That’s not quite as fair as his 2010 performance, as Collins had an efficient 20 points against the Spartans, but he did have six turnovers, tied for his second most in a game that season, in the Sweet 16 loss.

Collins though gets credit for being the first of what has become a KU staple over the last decade or so: an efficient guard who can both pass and score, is great with the ball in his hands, can score from inside and outside, and is an efficient volume scorer. Collins shot 37 percent from three as a junior, and only one KU guard has ever taken more threes in a season (more on him later). Collins deserves a ton of credit for being the first guy to do all that, and frankly he probably helped show Bill Self that he could win a lot of games with a guy like him at the helm despite his size limitations. For that, he clocks in at 10 on this list.

Previous entries:

11. Perry Ellis 2016

12. Dedric Lawson 2019

13. Jeff Withey 2012

14. Tyshawn Taylor 2012

15. Brandon Rush 2008

16. Joel Embiid 2014

17. Sherron Collins 2010

18. Darrell Arthur 2008

19. Cole Aldrich 2010

20. Ben McLemore 2013

21. Markieff Morris 2011

22. Andrew Wiggins 2014

23. Jeff Withey 2013

24. Josh Jackson 2017

25. Marcus Garrett 2020

26. Travis Releford 2013

27. Perry Ellis 2015

28. Udoka Azubuike 2018

29. Wayne Simien 2004

30. Devonte Graham 2017

31. Malik Newman 2018

32. Wayne Selden 2016

33. Keith Langford 2004