Duke Assistant Coach Chris Collins talks Duke Basketball

Singler and Scheyer were really good against Purdue …

I think they were quietly looking forward to seeing how they stacked up with Hummel and Moore.  Both of those kids are very confident players with what they can do and they’re unbelievable competitors – they fight for everything.

Duke Assistant Coach Chris Collins instructs freshman Mile Plumlee in practice.
Duke Assistant Coach Chris Collins instructs freshman Mile Plumlee in practice.

We did actually.  When we recruited Kyle he was one of the best players in America.  He’s now made another big jump and has become an elite player.  Jon has always had that warriors mentality.  Now that his body is catching up with his mind he’s able to put it all together.  I’ve always thought he was an underrated player.  People who follow the game or coaches follow the game know what kind of value he has.



The team will have a big break after the Michigan game.  As a staff what will you focus on at that time?

During the exam break you have to keep your conditioning up.  You’ve got to try to keep getting better.  It gives you a little bit of a break to let your body rest.  We’ve had eight games early on which takes a big toll on your body.  We’re going to continue to take the long view with this team.  It’s a long season and we’re a long ways from March.  We have to continue to do what we can to get better not only for the rest of the season, but for the ACC.

Elliot seems to be pushing it a bit …

I think with both of our freshmen, Elliot and Miles, we think both of them are going to be outstanding players.  What you are seeing with them is that they are on a team that’s loaded with great veteran leadership and players.  It kind of reminds me a little bit of the olden days when I was in school in the late eighties and early nineties you can in a learned contributing while getting better as the season went along trying to improve upon your role.  Both of those guys have great attitudes.  We have high hopes for both of them.  It’s kind of just when it clicks.  They have great role models with the upper classmen on this team and their attitudes have been great.  We’ve just got to continue to stress to them it’s a process.

Gerald has been struggling a little bit on the offensive end …

I think with Gerald has been a little off.  When you are a good scorer and things aren’t going as good for you, the best thing you can do is concentrate on other areas of the game.  He rebounded well against Purdue, got some steals and really put his stamp on the game.  If he can continue to do the things he did against Purdue, when his offense comes you are going to have a real dynamic player.

How is Greg coming along?

Greg’s coming along well.  Nolan got in foul trouble against Purdue but Greg came in and did well.  That’s the great thing about having two capable point guards.  He ran our team and made a big basket late in the game with a lay up.

You grew up loving the NBA and are a hoops aficionado probably watching every game that’s on the air when at home … do you find time for other things?

I am probably going to get kicked out of the house by my wife and kids.  I have such a passion for basketball.  My earliest memories as a kid were going into the locker rooms after games and being around it and watching it …  I’ve been a junkie my whole life.  Now, being able to play with my son, go out in the yard with him and shoot around is great.

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