Dadrian Collins is in his final year of eligibility at the University of Saskatchewan and is leading one of the top ranked basketball teams in the country in scoring.
Collins is a sociology major and plans to use that degree to become an entrepreneur. Although this year is his second year with the Huskies, Collins’ first three years of college eligibility were spent with the NCAA Division 1 Howard University Bison in Washington, D.C.
While the Dogs continue to climb the standings, Collins is averaging 32 minutes, 15 points and four rebounds a game. Collins began playing basketball at the age of six. He grew up in Williamsburg, Va. and played his high school ball at Montrose Christian Academy, former home of NBA star Kevin Durant as well Toronto Raptors’ Terrence Ross and Greivis Vàsquez.
Notable NCAA programs such as Virginia Tech University and George Mason University recruited him but he eventually decided to commit to the Howard Bison to play for coach Gil Jackson at the start of the 2009–10 season.
After a solid year of coming off the bench where Collins averaged nine points a game, he broke out in his sophomore season averaging 35 minutes, 11 points and four rebounds a game. Unfortunately, that would be his peak in minutes as the following year a new head coach, Kevin Nickelberry, came in and shook things up.
Nickelberry “began rolling in his own recruits and things began to change,” said Collins.
Collins played the 2011–12 season coming off the bench, but he played limited minutes and only averaged five points and two rebounds per game. That would be the end of Collins’ career at Howard as he sat out the following season to prepare for transferring schools.
Many schools were interested in gaining him as a transfer, but in the end he chose the U of S. Collins spoke about how Division 1 schools aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be.
“A lot of D1 schools are overrated because they don’t have good programs,” Collins said, adding that the coaching, culture and great teammates at the U of S have all made coming to Saskatchewan well worth it.
All those were key factors in him choosing Huskie Athletics. Collins’ first notable experience in Saskatchewan was the harsh winter, saying that the winters in Virginia “were very mild” and the cold was “definitely a wakeup call.” Collins also spoke about Saskatoon being a city that is “far out from many other places” compared to what he was used to growing up in Virginia.
In his first year with the Huskies, Collins turned in a great season as he put up 16 points and five rebounds a game while helping the Huskies make it to the CIS Men’s Final 8 Tournament.
Finally Collins spoke about what he will remember most about his time at the U of S once he is gone.
“Well first the weather, but I will remember that I just enjoyed myself with my teammates and my time at this basketball program and just overall enjoyed myself while I was here.”
What Huskies fans will remember most about Collins is his seemingly endless range on the floor and his aggressive defending, which was on full display when he went 8–8 from three-point range in a 95–70 victory over powerhouse University of Victoria Vikes in late November.
With only four games left in the year and the Huskies tied for first in the Pioneer Division, they need strong performances from Collins down the stretch against Lethbridge (6–10) and Calgary (12–5) to secure the top seed and gain the right to host the Canada West Final Four tournament.
Photo: Katherine Fedoroff/Photo Editor