Kentucky’s Daimion Collins a ‘blank slate’ with a limitless ceiling – The Athletic

John Calipari has signed a staggering 49 five-star recruits at Kentucky, but never one quite like this. The word “alien” gets tossed around a lot with freakishly long athletes who can jump out of the gym. That term fits Daimion Collins, though, like a pair of the size-15 cowboy boots he slips into the stirrups attached to one of his two horses, DJ and Future. He’s not from around here. In fact, aside from his Texas accent, it sometimes seems as if he’s not from anywhere at all. As if somebody built a basketball machine with all of these crazy features, designed it to dominate, then forgot to program the thing and just dropped it out of the sky, into the winningest college program in history.

“It’s almost like coming from somewhere with no Internet and no television and moving to New York City,” says Jai Lucas, the assistant coach who recruited Collins. “He was a top-10 player in the country who has never really played basketball. And that’s actually an ideal thing for us. You’re not having to rewire ideas that may not translate. For his basketball life, he’s just been out there playing, so now we have a blank slate with all of this talent and we get to kind of develop it and help him become the best version of himself.”

That will be a mutually beneficial endeavor.

Imagine a ceiling. Really tall one. Vaulted all the way to the roof. Now imagine you need to reach that lofty ceiling, perhaps to hang something in the rafters. Collins might be a good guy to ask. He’s 6-foot-9. His wingspan is 7-5. He has a 42-inch vertical leap. He looks and acts like a Pogo Stick, never on the ground long, bounding higher with every bounce.

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