Sherron Collins (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Sherron Collins is chasing history tonight, and he can’t stop. Not now, not after helping Kansas win 123 games during his storied career and tying Raef LaFrentz, C.B. McGrath and Billy Thomas for first place on the all-time wins list at KU.
LaFrentz, McGrath and Thomas were part of teams that went 123-17 from
1995-98. Sherron Collins and teammate Brady Morningstar (he redshirted in
2007-08), meanwhile, have gone 123-16 the past four years.
With a victory over Oklahoma at Allen Fieldhouse,
Collins and Brady Morningstar will become the winningest
players in KU history.
In a tradition-rich school boasting such four-year legends as LaFrentz,
Darnell Valentine, Danny Manning, Kirk Hinrich and Nick Collison, that
in head coach Bill Self’s words, is "a remarkable deal.”
Collins credits the “teams and teammates that I had before me to help
me get this.”
“It’s going to mean so much,” the 5-11 senior guard said. “It’s a big
accomplishment. I never thought I’d be in this position. Like I’ve
always been saying, it’s all the teams and coaches put together. A lot
of guys (have bought) into his (Self’s) system. That’s one thing he’s
been preaching since I got here is winning. That’s all we’ve been
“There’s a lot of names, a lot of greats who’ve played here. It’s
special to be on that list.”
Collins’ teammates are thrilled he’s about to make history.
“I think that would be huge,” junior center Cole Aldrich said. “Sherron
and I have gone through a lot together, winning it (national title) two
years ago and coming in (last year) with a team that (people) didn’t
think could do anything to making it to the Sweet 16 and almost beating
“He definitely deserves it. He’s really worked his butt off to put
himself in position to do that, and the guys around him have kind of
rallied around because he’s our leader.”
The best leader Self has ever coached. The guy who impacts the game
more than any player Self has ever coached. And the winningest player
(along with Morningstar) Self has ever coached.
“He’s going to get it (record) by far,” freshman swingman Xavier Henry
said. “We just help him out every day. We try to push him to the limit.”
And Collins is quite thankful.
“That’s why I’ll get it,” he said, “teammates like that.”
Self is extremely proud of Collins and Morningstar, too. But he can’t
help look down the road for Collins. With 11 more victories, he would
surpass Shane Battier and his fellow Duke seniors from the Class of
2001, who hold the NCAA record for most wins with 133 against 15
‘He’s a long way from this, and we’d have to get hot down the stretch
... (but that’s) the next one he needs to get,” Self said.
Tonight could be extra special for Collins with a KU victory. That
would clinch Kansas a share of its sixth straight Big 12 championship.
“It’s real hard for a school to do, especially in a tough conference
like we got,” Collins said. “Winning four would be special. I’ve never
lost a conference championship here. It would be great.”
The Chicago native is certainly feeling “great” these days as the
leader of the No. 1 Jayhawks. And why shouldn’t he? After all, he’s
winning on and off the court. Collins, who already has a son Sherr’mari
(he’ll be 3 in April), became a proud father again to a baby girl named
Sharee’, who was born on Feb. 15, just before the KU-Texas A&M
game. He’s also set to graduate after this semester and become the
first male in his family to earn a degree.
And contrary to some observers looking for reasons for Collins’
shooting slump, he said he's feeling 100 percent health-wise. He
actually showed signs of breaking loose by scoring 13 points and
hitting 3 of 7 shots from downtown in KU’s 94-74 victory over Colorado
Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse.
Collins hopes to keep rolling. With just two home games left in his
career, Collins is savoring each moment, each breath, each shot, and
And all the cheers.
“It’s almost like you don’t want it to end, but you can’t stop it,”
Collins said. “It’s a little sad, but happy at the same time. I just
don’t want to leave. ... I cherish every time I run out of the tunnel
and hearing 16, 3(00) cheering for you. It’s incredible. I don’t have
many chances to do it again.
“The fans are great.”
Self can sense Collins soaking it all in as Senior Night approaches on
March 3 against K-State.
“I think he’s embracing it a lot,” Self said. “He’s talked a lot to me
about, ‘God, I only got six more (home games), I only got four more.’
Now with only two, it’s a big deal to him. It would be a big deal to
anybody, but it’s a big deal when the winningest player in the history
of the school plays his last game. Certainly, he’s played a huge role
in the majority of those wins.”
Indeed, he has. For Collins, the wins first started on Nov. 11, 2006 in
his freshman debut game with a a 91-57 victory over Northern Arizona in
Allen Fieldhouse. He scored 14 points with three assists and one steal
in 23 minutes.
The wins have kept on coming. KU went 33-5 and advanced to the Elite
Eight during Collins’ freshman season, recorded a 37-3 mark and won a
national championship his sophomore year, posted a 27-8 record and
earned a Sweet 16 berth last year, and is now 26-1 (12-0 Big 12) and on
the brink of clinching a conference championship.
Of course, Collins is also one victory away from becoming the
winningest player this school has ever seen. Sure, that’s all great.
But Collins isn’t ready to rest and stop now, not until the Jayhawks
cut down the national championship nets at Lucas Oil Stadium in
Indianapolis on April 5.
That’s his goal, his dream.
“That’s what I came back for, that’s what me and Cole came back for,”
Collins said. “That’s what our team is striving for, pushing for. We
want to win it all. We know we have to take one game at a time, we got
steps to still take.
“But we want to be there at the end.”
Looking for more inside scoop on the Kansas Jayhawks? Click Here!
Want more inside the locker room access? Click Here and choose your favorite team.