Dwayne Collins flirted with the idea of going pro after his junior season. The flirtation is officially over. Collins withdrew his name from the upcoming NBA Draft Thursday and will return to for his senior season.
The 6-8 senior forward had workouts with the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat, but had not hired an agent to retain the option of returning to the Hurricanes. “I’m really glad I took this opportunity,” Collins said in a statement released by the school. “I got to talk to some NBA personnel about what I need to do so I can reach my goal of playing professional basketball. It was a really good experience and will help me next year. I appreciate Coach [Frank] Haith and the staff’s support of me in all of this.”
“I think this was a positive experience for Dwayne,” added Miami head coach Frank Haith. “He will be able to use the feedback he received as he continues to develop his game. He is an important player for our team, and I absolutely believe he has the potential to be one of the best big men in the ACC this season.”
For the second-straight summer, Collins also spent two weeks in Houston working out with former NBA coach John Lucas. Collins was UM's second-leading scorer for the second year in a row with 10.6 points per game, while shooting a team-high 56.5 percent form the field and adding a team-high 7.3 rebounds and 1.0 steals per outing. He ranked fifth in the ACC with 3.1 offensive rebounds per game and 11th in overall rebounding.
Collins – who has played in all but one game in three seasons as a Hurricane with 71 career starts – posted 16 double-figure scoring and six double-figure rebounding performances last season, including a 16-point, 14-rebound effort in the Paradise Jam semifinals versus UConn. In 2008, he scored a career-high 26 points on 12-of-14 shooting in Miami’s upset of Duke en route to National Player of the Week honors by ESPN.com and Rivals.com.
Collins will be among four seniors on the Hurricanes’ 2009-10 squad, which will also welcome a recruiting class ranked among the nation’s Top 25.
Underclassmen who declare for the draft have until June 15 to remove their name and maintain college eligibility. The NBA Draft is scheduled for June 25.
Teammate Jack McClinton is the only Hurricane from last season who could possibly get drafted.