Let’s revisit Michigan’s timeline with point guard Frankie Collins:
March 17, 2022: Collins steps in for injured senior point guard DeVante’ Jones and shines in the first-round win over Colorado State in the NCAA Tournament. Collins scores 14 points, rips down six rebounds, dishes two dimes and pokes away a steal. Juwan Howard praises Collins’ mental toughness and preparation in the postgame press conference.
March 19, 2022: Collins plays 30 minutes to help Michigan upset Tennessee and earn a Sweet 16 berth.
April 12, 2022: Princeton transfer Jaelin Llewellyn commits to Clemson.
April 19, 2022: Jones gushes over Collins and says he is going to “take care of Michigan for years to come.”
April 19, 2022: Llewellyn decommits from Clemson.
April 25, 2022: Llewellyn visits Michigan.
April 29, 2022: Llewellyn commits to Michigan.
April 30, 2022: Collins enters the transfer portal.
May 4, 2022: Collins commits to Arizona State.
Are we all caught up now? Fast-forward to January, and Collins has taken the Year 2 jump Jones Predicted – just this time it’s at Arizona State, not Michigan. Collins is averaging 10.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
Michigan wanted to have Llewellyn, Collins, sophomore Kobe Bufkin, freshman Dug McDaniel and freshman Jett Howard form one of college basketball’s Deepest backcourts. But Llewellyn started slow and suffered a season-ending injury, McDaniel has been up-and-down and now Howard is down with an ankle injury. Michigan’s guard depth went from a major strength to a big concern in a heartbeat.
Would Michigan pursue Llewellyn if it knew Collins would immediately leave? I think everybody knows the answer to that question because it’s clear Juwan Howard initially planned on riding with Collins, Llewellyn AND McDaniel and playing multiple lead guards at the same time just like he did the year before with Eli Brooks and Jones.