Men’s basketball preview: Collins ready to take reins of Archers basketball Saturday

Men’s basketball preview:  Collins ready to take reins of Archers basketball Saturday

Terry Collins is ready for another fresh start.

In his first year on the job at St. Louis Community College and admittedly with plenty yet to see from his personnel, the STLCC head men’s basketball coach will begin his era Saturday against Lewis and Clark Community College. 

“I think talent is one of those things that will become evident as we go through the season,” Collins said. 

A veteran coach with a myriad of previous stops, Collins took the job at STLCC after discussing it with athletic director Shawn Summe. Summe and Collins previously worked together at Ave Maria University, where Summe was the head baseball coach and athletic director, and Collins was the assistant men’s basketball coach.

 Collins will not be given the opportunity to settle in easily schedule-wise, as his team will open the year against a Division I opponent in Lewis and Clark, the beginning of what figures to be a season of stiff competition.

“If you look at the schedule, there really aren’t a lot of soft touches throughout,” Collins said. “It’s pretty nitty-gritty throughout. These are all division one teams or highly-ranked division two teams. Lewis and Clark will certainly be a major test for us right off the bat.”

Collins, who received the job in June, long after many of his counterparts at nearby colleges had wrapped up their recruiting season, has taken advantage of a number of second-chance transfer prospects in filling out his roster this winter. Among them are former NJCAA Division I players Andrew Weaver (Maplewood-Richmond Heights High School) and Marcel Lee, who appeared on the court for Three Rivers Community College last year.

“When you get a job in June, you’re getting players that for whatever reason, have come back to St. Louis,” Collins said. “The question is how do they respond to the opportunity that they get here.  The question is if they can improve on whatever area of weakness they may have, and we’re giving them opportunities to do that.” 

Collins hopes the change of scenery is not only a benefit for his transfers, but also one for himself, as he moves back into the head coaching role.

“When I was at Ave Maria, I had a different role, and I could really enjoy that role. The situations changed when Shawn came here, and I just felt like let’s take one more run at trying to win a national championship. Nothing has surprised me. The challenges that I typically enjoy, I’m enjoying. “