Wake Forest big man Collins headed to draft, hiring agent

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

One of the country’s top big men is turning pro.

Wake Forest’s John Collins will enter his name in the NBA draft pool and hire representation, the sophomore announced Wednesday evening via Twitter.

“After long conversation with my family, I have decided to enter the NBA draft and also hire an agent,” Collins wrote. “I would like to (thank) everyone at Wake Forest that was instrumental in my progression to the young man I am today!

“I will always bleed black and old gold, and do my best to represent the university in the most positive way possible.”

The 6-foot-10 forward had a breakout sophomore season, averaging 19.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game, more than doubling his production in both categories from his freshman year. Collins shot 62.2 percent from the floor and blocked 1.6 shots in 26.6 minutes per night.

Collins projects as a first-round pick in a draft that’s considered deep and talented, but isn’t stocked with a ton of frontcourt players.

The loss is a significant blow to Danny Manning’s Demon Deacons, who otherwise are set to return the bulk of their core from last year’s First Four NCAA tournament team.