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USF's Collins hones basketball game at summer events

TAMPA — A year ago, Anthony Collins was limited by injuries during the summer. But now healthy, the USF point guard has been busy over the past month, working out at two prestigious national events in preparation for his junior year.

In June, Collins went to New Jersey for the Nike Guard Skills Academy, hosted by Nets star Deron Williams. He worked with some of the nation's premier point guards, such as Ohio State's Aaron Craft, Connecticut's Shabazz Napier and Arizona State's Jahii Carson.

"It was a good experience. I got to meet a lot of point guards from around the country," said Collins, sitting in a video room at USF's Muma Center practice facility. "It was good just interacting with them, learning, taking bits and pieces from other people's games and adding it to yours."

While there, Collins worked with former NBA coach John Lucas, who he'd worked with while in high school in Houston. Collins had played against several of the other guards, such as UConn's Napier and Ryan Boatright, and Georgetown's Markel Starks, but said he picked up a lot in a short amount of time.

"I'm a basketball fan. I like watching everyone play," he said. "If you're a basketball player, you can learn something from everyone. (I liked) the different type of NBA things and techniques you learned in different drills."

Collins and USF senior forward Victor Rudd went to Los Angeles to work as counselors for the three-day Undeniable Grind Session, an invitational gathering with top high school players. They worked with other counselors from schools such as North Carolina, St. John's, Ohio State, Massachusetts and Georgia Tech.

"There were only 10 of us, but it was a good experience because everybody could interact and get closer," Collins said.

Coming off a season in which USF dropped to 3-15 in the Big East after making the NCAA Tournament his freshman season, Collins has worked this summer to round out his game as more of an offensive threat after establishing himself as an elite distributor.

"Just working on a bunch of shooting. Everyone already knows me as a passer, driver, getting everyone involved," he said. "My body feels so much better. I feel I'm getting bigger. I'm working on my conditioning. I want to focus on shooting a lot and becoming a leader. In the past two years, our team has changed dramatically."

Rudd is the only other Bull remaining who played in USF's NCAA Tournament run, but Collins is excited about the season ahead, especially with the addition of a six-player recruiting class, including four already on campus. Collins has been encouraged by their humility and desire to listen to the experienced players.

"That's what basketball is all about anyway, who can jell together and play as a team," he said. "Some high schoolers come in thinking they know it all because they did good on the high school level. Thankfully, these guys are all humble. They just want to work hard and be good. They all listen. They can't talk back, because they've never been through this experience."

Collins' career

USF point guard Anthony Collins seeks more scoring in 2013-14:

Per Game 2011-12 2012-13
Points 9.0 8.6
Assists 5.2 6.5
Rebounds 2.0 2.3
Turnovers 3.4 2.7

USF's Collins hones basketball game at summer events 07/10/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 8:49pm]
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