SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As Devin Collins considered his options of playing college basketball, the Chapmanville product thought back to advice he’d consistently received along the way.
“People always told me not to sell myself short,” Collins said.
So Collins, a 6-foot-8 standout on last season’s Class AA champion, accepted a walk-on opportunity at Marshall to prolong his career at the Division I level.
Collins had strongly considered attending West Liberty or Fairmont State and prep school was also an option for the Class AA first-team all-state selection.
“I wanted to weigh my options as long as I could,” Collins said. “I went down to Marshall about a month ago and they talked me about some stuff. I ended up signing a couple weeks later.”
Collins made major improvements between his junior and senior seasons and led the Tigers in scoring at 15.8 points per game last season. His versatility and ability to play away from the basket were key assets to the Tigers, who finished 26-2 and were unbeaten for a second straight season against in-state competition.
In three games at the state tournament, Collins scored 47 points, including 17 to go with seven rebounds in the AA title game against Fairmont Senior.
Collins culminated his Chapmanville career last Friday by playing for the South in the North-South All-Star Basketball Classic at the South Charleston Community Center. He roomed with Webster County guard Dorian Groggs and got to play with and against familiar faces in his last game as a high school player.
“It was awesome,” Collins said. “We came down (Thursday) morning. Dorian and I were in a room together and we had joining rooms with (Fairmont Senior’s) Zyon (Dobbs) and Jalen (Bridges). We hung out, went to a Power game and went out to dinner and stuff. It was awesome.
“I’d rather play competitive, but it was a lot of fun.”
Collins will redshirt next season as he tries to add muscle to his 180-pound frame. Down the line, however, he hopes to earn a scholarship and become a part of the Herd rotation.
“I’m working on my strength of course and my speed,” Collins said. “I’ve been working out and playing open gym.
“It’s going to be fun. I’ll be (at Marshall) for about month and a half before school, so it’ll be a lot of fun with the guys.”
Marshall’s recent string of success on the hardwood helped Collins settle on the Herd, which is 48-25 over the last two seasons and won its first NCAA Tournament game in school history in 2018. Last season, the Herd won 10 of its last 11 games and claimed the CIT championship.
But Marshall is losing arguably its best senior class in school history, headlined by guards Jon Elmore and C.J. Burks.
“They’re definitely a winning program. I’m excited to get down there and work with the guys,” Collins said. “Of course Jon and C.J. just left, but hopefully we can pick that slack up.”