As far as self-evaluations go, De’Ja Collins was only keeping it real.
Heck, she didn’t think twice of holding back as it pertains to her overall display this past season for Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas.
“I had an on and off season where as I played spectacular in some games and some games I didn’t execute, though I never gave up in a game,” Collins told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview.
To get a full understanding of why Collins essentially has been rather forthright about her performance this past season, look no further than what the former Forrest City High standout has labeled her list of weaknesses.
By all accounts, such an unsatisfactory list outweighs her strengths, as far as she’s concerned.
According to Collins, her sophomore campaign wasn’t particularly successful, in large part because the 5-foot-6 combo guard admittedly wasn’t as efficient in a number of key fundamentals, most notably her ability to refrain from frequent hand check fouls on defense, her ability to take open or decent shots, displaying the right energy during pivotal stretches, let alone her ability to show aggression in rebounding or, as she tells it, “overthinking” plays and finishing tough shots.
Talk about keeping it real.
Regardless, amongst the things about which Collins had done as a result to what obviously was a challenging season was keeping a leveled head.
In a nutshell — for a lack of better words — she kept it real by refocusing her focus, particularly on the attributes that could greatly enable her to atone for what was a lethargic season, of sorts.
“I worked out at least two hours a day, five days a week, Monday through Friday,” Collins said. “And I played ball on Saturdays.”
All in all, all wasn’t lost in a season in which Collins had the luxury of starting a few outings.
Although her being installed in the starting rotation was short-lived, what proved beneficial for her was the fact that she was afforded with the golden opportunity to witness firsthand crucial game situations.
As a result, she managed to fine-tune such mechanics as passing, shooting, dribbling and penetrating, as well as cutting on offense.
All of which, to her credit, gave way to her adopting a brighter perspective on next season for a Lady Panther team that finished the 2015-16 season with a 15-12 mark.
“I will spend this summer working on my weakness and continually improving my strengths in the gym as much as I can,” said Collins, a Business Administration major who added that she will seek an internship. “I will also lift weights to get stronger and be able to finish tough shots when I get bumped.”
After all, as far as self-evaluations go, Collins is only keeping it real.
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Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.