Collin Mangrum: A fierce competitor
Published: Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
A fierce competitor, Collin Mangrum alternated between three-pointers, field goals and free throws, never stopping to take a break before calling it quits.
Hitting nothing but net with each three, Mangrum never let his confidence sway when he missed a shot, but simply moved along the court and tried again.
One thing stood out though. Practice has ended nearly 30 minutes ago and all other members of the SMU men's basketball team had already left the court and gone through the showers and departed for to class.
"I'm a competitor so I love to play," Mangrum said. "I've been playing since I was probably four or five. I love it. To me, there's nothing like basketball. It's the greatest sport. I love it."
"He beings tremendous energy to our team," head coach Matt Doherty said. "He can drive the basketball, he's a tremendous athlete and he has a spirit about him that's contagious."
Mangrum, in his first season at SMU after transferring to the Hilltop after receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of North Texas, has become an integral part of SMU's basketball team.
Despite getting off to a slow start and averaging under five minutes per game the first half of the season, the Howe, Texas native has become a staple in the Mustang's starting lineup, playing at least 30 minutes in the team's last six games.
"It took me more time to get accustomed to SMU's spread offense because it was unlike anything I'd ever done before but I'm finally comfortable with it now and it's really working for us and hopefully it can get us to the next level," Mangrum said.
Despite a 79-70 loss to Tulane University in early January, Mangrum played his first full game as a Mustang, going for 30 minutes with five points and one steal. That game, according to Mangrum, was the turning point in his career with the Mustangs.
Over time, the 6-foot-5-inch point guard has developed into a clutch field goal shooter, averaging 4.8 points per game in addition to his 13 steals and performance from behind the arc.
"When he's catching the ball and he's open, look at our bench when he has the ball and you see our guys stand, knowing that the ball has a great chance of going in," head coach Matt Doherty said.
Growing up, Mangrum played basketball and football and ran track in high school, before a series of injuries and surgeries sidelined him off and on for half his time at UNT.
"I had two [surgeries] on my knee, one on shoulder, one on my hip and two on my nose," Mangrum said. "In 2007 was my first surgery, it was my shoulder. I can't remember where it was from there. It was a rough go around but I'm just happy I'm playing again."
Seven surgeries later, Mangrum, who says he has also broken his nose five or six times, relies on his faith more than anything to carry him through the tough times.
When it came down to deciding where he would play college ball, Mangrum turned to his faith to help guide him to the right decision.
"The reason I play is for Christ," Mangrum said. "I understand that any gift I have is for his use. "I just try to follow His will for my life. Right now I'm supposed to play basketball and I do it in His name."
After graduating from Howe High School in 2006 as the No. 38 player in the state of Texas by TexasHoops.com, Mangrum attended UNT on a basketball scholarship, but always kept the idea of playing for SMU in the back of his mind.
As part of the Mean Green, Mangrum helped lead his team to their first-ever Sun Belt Championship as a freshman before going on to play Memphis in the NCAA Tournament.
During his junior year, Mangrum became the first player in UNT history to play in multiple NCAA Tournaments after redshirting his sophomore year to recover from an off-season surgery.
The only player on SMU's roster with NCAA Tournament experience, Mangrum transferred to the Hilltop to get his Master's degree in Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management and fulfill a lifelong dream of playing for SMU and Doherty.
"I actually got to meet [Doherty] when I was in 7th or 8th grade when he was the head coach at North Carolina. North Carolina was my team back when I was younger and it's just kind of ironic now that I've come full circle and I've gotten to play for him," Mangrum said.
Growing up just 45 minutes from the university, Mangrum always wanted to attend SMU, but another injury prevented scouts from seeing him play, and his junior year, committed to UNT.