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bsn BSN: Confidence making it click for Colorado’s Collier

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Dec 16, 2015.

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    25 points, 15 assists, five steals, 8-for-8 from the line and just five turnovers. Those are sophomore point guard Dominique Collier’s stats over the last three games for the Colorado Buffaloes.

    He’s looked calm, he’s looked smooth, he’s looked comfortable, he’s looked in control, he’s looked like the Dom Collier Colorado fans were hoping for when he committed to the Buffaloes out of Denver East High School.

    “He’s definitely made strides, there’s no doubt about it,” Buffaloes head coach Tad Boyle told BSN Denver. “I don’t know about ‘clicked’ or ‘the lightbulb went on’ I don’t know about that, I just know he’s progressively gotten better. I think he played a really, really good floor game the other night against BYU. Again, we want him to be a threat on offense but he’s also kind of that pass first, get-everybody-involved point guard as well so there’s always a fine balance there with that kind of player, but I’m really pleased with Dom. I think he’s getting better defensively, as well.

    “Again, we want him to be a threat on offense but he’s also kind of that pass first, get-everybody-involved point guard as well,” Boyle added. “There’s always a fine balance there with that kind of player, but I’m really pleased with Dom. I think he’s getting better defensively, as well.”

    Collier was willing to say it “clicked” for him recently.

    “Definitely. I think the main thing is just confidence,” he told. “I’ve gained confidence in the last few games. I’m more comfortable out there just leading the team, running the offense and getting others involved. I think the CSU game helped a lot, we faced adversity, we were down 13 at halftime, we had to make that comeback, doing so really helped.”

    The Colorado kid was a big part of that comeback. The Buffs were rolling early before Collier had to take to the bench for the rest of the half after two quick fouls, the Buffs trailed by 13 at the half, but as soon as he returned to the game Colorado picked up right where they left off and erased the deficit in just over two minutes. When all was said and done, the Buffaloes were +27 with Collier on the court in Ft. Collins.

    On thing that was talked about extensively in the offseason was Collier’s leadership. As a point guard, it is imperative to possess leadership qualities, you’re the quarterback, you orchestrate the offense. Collier has never been the vocal type, but his teammate, who has become the unquestioned leader of the Buffs, says he is coming along there as well.

    “Dom doesn’t have to be the only leader and we don’t want him to shoulder the whole load,” said senior forward Josh Scott. “Being a point guard is tough, it’s the toughest position in basketball. He’s doing a good job, he’s talking, being more vocal, he’s stepping up defensively and offensively. He just gets better every day.

    “I think he’s just comfortable,” Scott added. “That’s kind of what happens when you got from your freshman to sophomore year. The game moves slower, the first few games you’re trying to get used to it, but then you just get into your comfort zone.”

    We’ve seen Collier move into that comfort zone right before our eyes this year. Since a six-turnover game in the season opener against Iowa State, the point guard has had a two-to-one turnover ratio and has improved that to three-t0-one in the three games mentioned at the top of the story. He’s running the offense with ease and his defense is coming along well too.

    In the first five games of the year, defense without fouling was an issue for Dom, averaging 3.2 fouls per game. But in the four games since, he’s brought that down to two.

    “It’s not about adjusting to the new rules, I’ve known about these new rules for a while now,” he said of fixing the fouling issue. “It’s just about me getting my hands off them and beating them to the spot. I think I did a better job last game, but I do need to avoid those quick fouls.”

    Whatever the adjustment was, Collier has seemed to make it and it’s allowing the quarterback to stay on the court more. Last game, the colorado native played his most minutes of the season (30) and it allowed him to have one of his best games, notching nine points, seven rebounds and four assists.

    It seems the light has officially clicked on for Dominique Collier, it seems the Buffs are once again in good hands at the point guard position.

    Ryan Koenigsberg
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