UNLV basketball wants to build its future around Zaon Collins, and the program may find out soon whether the Class of 2021 prospect shares that vision.
Collins, a rising senior at Bishop Gorman, has not yet announced his college decision, but with the end of summer rapidly approaching, some with knowledge of the process believe he could be close to making up his mind.
UNLV would welcome Collins with open arms. The 6-foot-1 point guard has been the program’s top recruiting target since T.J. Otzelberger took over as head coach in the spring of 2019, and the staff has since developed a strong relationship with Collins.
Collins announced his top four schools on July 6, when he narrowed his list to UNLV, Arizona, USC and Arizona State. He has remained relatively quiet since then, tweeting only five times (three retweets of his own highlights and two retweets of Gorman athletes announcing their commitments).
Collins did not respond to a message from the Sun.
Though Collins has not specified a timeline for announcing his college choice, circumstances may conspire to accelerate the process. As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to impact sports, players in the Class of 2021 are coming to accept that in-person visits are likely not going to be possible this fall. That means recruits already have all the information they’re going to get in regards to their college options.
Collins is the No. 40 prospect in the country, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings. Of the top 40 players, 16 have already committed; last week saw four players in the top 40 announce their commitments.
Adding to the importance of Collins’ decision, UNLV is also recruiting Class of 2021 forward Arthur Kaluma, the No. 36 player in the country. Kaluma and Collins are close friends, and UNLV is optimistic that Collins could sway Kaluma to follow him to Las Vegas. Landing the talented duo would undoubtedly give UNLV the best incoming class in the Mountain West next year and position the program for sustained NCAA Tournament contention.
Collins averaged 14 points, eight assists and three steals last year at Bishop Gorman.