Gonzaga’s Zach Collins becomes unlikely one-and-done, declares for NBA draft

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Zach Collins held a modest recruiting ranking that suggested he’d spend multiple seasons in college. He played one season — in the West Coast Conference. He never even started a game.

Yet…

Gonzaga release:

Freshman center Zach Collins has declared for the NBA Draft, he announced Tuesday. He is exploring his options without hiring an agent at this time, but intends to hire an agent at a later date.

Collins is one of the biggest surprises for the upcoming draft — not that he declared, but that it’s so obvious he should. He’s got a solid chance of going in the lottery and shouldn’t slip past the middle of the fist round.

The 7-footer looks like a nearly complete center. He has nice touch near the basket and a solid stroke from mid-range and occasionally beyond the arc. Not always billed as the greatest athlete, Collins played like one, moving well to block shots and still get into rebounding position.

The catch: Collins isn’t that strong and sometimes got pushed around at Gonzaga. He has never played more than 23 minutes in a game, so even more fatigued foes outmuscled him.

The learning curve for the NBA could be steep. Bt it seemed Collins would take longer to adjust to college basketball, and he thrived immediately.