Since joining the Sun Devil men's basketball team, sophomore transfer point guard Frankie Collins has made his presence felt, and he's set big goals and expectations for himself.
"First off, I want to win because if we don't win, none of these goals I want will happen," Collins said. "But maybe like first-team All-Pac-12, defensive player of the conference, things like that. Point guard of the year. Those kinds of things. I'm mostly focused on the team goals, though."
Despite coach Bobby Hurley struggling to single out just one standout player during the season, he pointed to Collins as one of the players who has been "very consistent."
Collins said he came into the season with a chip on his shoulder, a common theme in this year's roster stemming from dissatisfaction with preseason projections.
Collins played on an AAU basketball team with sophomore forward Marcus Bagley in the third grade. Collins said he played a "huge role" in his decision to transfer to ASU, and he's "loving" Tempe thus far.
Bagley has raved about Collins's immediate presence on the team, praising their chemistry on the floor together. Collins described their chemistry as "second nature." Bagley feels that's a testament to the off-the-court relationship they've grown since they were kids.
"It's pretty great to have him. He's a great guy off the court, (and) he's a great guy on the court," Bagley said. "He's going to definitely be a leader for us at the point guard position."
Regarding the point guard position, Collins has already built a strong rapport with Hurley, whom he studied and said played a role in his decision to transfer to ASU.
"We talk basketball. We watch film together," Collins said. "Just the way he sees the game and understands the game helps me a lot."
Collins averaged 2.8 points in his first year at the University of Michigan, and he played in 31 games, but on reduced minutes.
"I've got a bigger role. So everybody is expecting me to step up and be the guy, be a leader, and that's what I'm going to do," Collins said.
Last season the Sun Devils leaned on junior point guard DJ Horne, who, along with Bagley, was named to the preseason Pac-12 All-Conference second team.
Collins cited Horne as one of the players who had impressed him most since arriving in Tempe, praising his shot-making ability and how their playing styles complement each other.
"When we talk, we just find different spots, say, for instance, if I came off a screen and I made a play, if I missed him and he was open, he would tell me. And I want him to tell me because I want to get him the ball to make sure he shoots the shots he needs," Collins said.
That's a display of leadership he has verbally embraced and his teammates have praised.
Collins eagerly awaited his chance on Monday to compete in Tempe in front of Sun Devils fans.
"They've kind of been supporting me since high school because they were recruiting me out of high school. So I got a lot of people on my side," Collins said of the fans, adding that he lived in Arizona as a junior in high school. "Going out there for the first time and playing for them and in front of them will be great."
Collins showed his leadership early in Monday night's season-opening win against Tarleton State, leading huddles between possessions and making defensive plays and offensive plays in the lane and perimeter. Collins started hot and knocked down two three-pointers, which sparked a run that cut Tarleton State's early 12-point lead to zero.
Collins attempted three-point shots without hesitation, shooting 4-11 for the night. Last year, he attempted 18 total threes. At Michigan, he shot 16% from three at low volume.
Collins led all scorers at the half and continued into the second half, scoring a career-high 21 points, adding three rebounds and four assists, sending ASU to its 62-59 victory.
Edited by Kathryn Field, David Rodish, Piper Hansen and Grace Copperthite.