Michigan point guard Frankie Collins enters transfer portal

James Hawkins
The Detroit News

One day after a grad transfer guard joined the Michigan men’s basketball program, a promising young guard left.

Freshman Frankie Collins, who was expected to be the team's point guard of the future, announced Saturday that he’s entering his name into the transfer portal and will look to continue his college career elsewhere.

Frankie Collins averaged 2.8 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 11 minutes per game in 31 appearances this past season.

“I want to give a huge shoutout to the Michigan staff, players, Maize Rage and fans,” Collins wrote in a social media post. “Playing for this university was amazing and I can’t thank you all enough for the love and support.

“After talking with my family we thought it was best if I explore my options and enter the transfer portal.”

Collins’ departure comes after the Wolverines received a commitment from combo guard Jaelin Llewellyn, a transfer from Princeton, on Friday. It also comes one day before the May 1 deadline for student-athletes to enter the portal and be eligible to play next season. 

More: 'More to prove': Hunter Dickinson explains decision to stay at Michigan

Considering Michigan has to replace fifth-year seniors Eli Brooks and DeVante’ Jones, the team’s starting backcourt tandem last season, the move raises some eyebrows. Collins, a former top-50 recruit, was in line to receive increased playing time as a sophomore and was viewed as the front-runner to take over Jones’ starting role at point guard.

Though his contributions were modest much of the 2021-22 campaign, he provided a glimpse of his potential in the NCAA Tournament. With Jones sidelined due to a concussion, Collins shined in his first start with a 14-point, six-rebound performance in the opening-round win over Colorado State that sparked excitement about his future with the program.

“I’ve been trying to tell people the whole year he’s a great player,” Jones said on Michigan’s “Defend the Block” podcast earlier this month. “I’m excited that he got to show his talents on the biggest stage in college basketball. I feel the sky is the limit. He’s definitely going to have a lot of eyes on him this year and I guarantee he’s going to take care of Michigan basketball for years to come.”

Instead, Collins becomes the third guard the Wolverines have lost from this past season’s rotation, with Brooks exhausting his eligibility and Jones pursuing a professional career. Michigan’s backcourt for next season now consists of sophomore-to-be Kobe Bufkin, incoming freshman point guard Dug McDaniel and Llewellyn.

Collins made 31 appearances and finished the season averaging 2.8 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 11 minutes per game. He was a fearless ballhandler and was crafty as a facilitator and finisher around the rim, but he struggled as a shooter from 3-point range (16.7%; 3-for-18) and at the free-throw line (44.1%; 15-for-34).

Collins is also the third Michigan player to enter the transfer portal this year, joining guard Zeb Jackson and forward Brandon Johns Jr., who both committed to VCU.

jhawkins@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @jamesbhawkins