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March Madness Prospect Watch Day 1: Zach Collins

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An under appreciated prospect on an elite college basketball team, Zach Collins could be the next steal of the draft.

NCAA Basketball: West Coast Conference Tournament-Gonzaga vs Santa Clara Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Collins - Gonzaga

Projected draft spot: 11th in 2018 (Draft Express), 28th in 2017 (CBS Sports), 21st in 2017 (ESPN)

Stats: 17.1 minutes, 10.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 65.3 FG%, 44.4 3PT%, 75.4 FT%

Strengths: Height/wingspan, shooting touch, shot blocking instincts, athleticism

Weaknesses: Strength, low minutes/small role, turnover rate

Game Time: V.S. South Dakota State @ 12:00 PM MST

What to watch for: One of the most under-the-radar players in college basketball this season, Zach Collins plays a complementary role on what is statistically the best team in the country, according to KenPom rankings. In just over 17 minutes per contest, Collins is one of just two players in the entire country to post his combination of points, rebounds, and blocks in less than 20 minutes per game. He’s also one of just six players in college basketball with a true shooting percentage of 70% or greater. His height and wingspan help him shoot over guys on the offensive end and block a variety of shots defensively.

As Gonzaga enters tournament play, the question remains: will they rely more or less on Collins in the front court? To this point, he’s played very little, and on a 32-1 team, he hasn’t had to play. If he plays more in the tournament, how will he perform?

Collins has the ability to completely alter his draft stock during the tournament run. Gonzaga is a good enough team to make a deep run and give scouts the opportunity to watch him perform against the best competition possible. If Collins handles it well, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him not only be on the radar for the Denver Nuggets, but to potentially crack the lottery.

Watch for Collins to put off Kristaps Porzingis vibes in this tournament run. It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if he reaches that level of impact.