Erron Collins and Trevor Zacher are as inseparable as twin brothers. They have different mothers, however.
The pair met when they were in high school while playing AAU basketball together. They’ve been like borthers ever since.
They signed letters of intent with South Dakota Mines and played last season at the Rapid City, S.D., school. It wasn’t a good fit for either athlete, and they missed their respective families. They came to Bismarck State together, of course.
“He was thinking it. I was thinking it,” Zacher said. “We didn’t even talk about it together. One day, and I don’t know who said it first, and the other is like, ‘You too?’”
Collins recalls that the decision came when the pair were traveling back to Rapid City after a weekend at home.
“We were dreading coming back,” Collins said. “We wondered if we did leave, where would be go?
Collins and Zacher were roommates at South Dakota Mines and share the same quarters at BSC. They are both majoring in premed and share the same class schedules.
The duo will begin its sophomore season of hoops on Friday when Bismarck State visits Blackfeet Community College at Browning, Mont. The Mystics go to Miles on Saturday.
BSC finished last season 14-13 overall and Collins and Zacher hope to help make the Mystics more competitive this winter.
“They give us a good base,” BSC coach Joe Mueller said. “We have two guys returning that played for us last year. It’s nice to get some guys with college experience. They were both (North Dakota) Mr. Basketball candidates, and they are from the area so people know them. They give us a good foundation, and we just filled in from there.”
Guard Tanner Purintun and guard Trey Harrison return to BSC with extensive playing from last season.
Collins and Zacher made an impact last season at South Dakota Mines — an NCAA Division II school — as true freshmen. Collins, a 6-foot point guard from Mandan, played in 24 of 25 games, starting 11. He averaged 17 minutes a contest while scoring 3.8 points and snagging 1.8 rebounds a game.
“Erron knows the game very well,” Mueller said. “He’s a good shooter. He’s been on teams where he’s had to score. When he was younger, he was on some Mandan teams where he was a distributor.”
Zacher, a 6-foot-5 forward from Beulah, saw action in all 25 games. He played 17.3 minutes an outing while scoring 7.2 points and ripping down 1.7 rebounds a game.
“Trevor is versatile,” Mueller said. “He shoots it well, is aggressive and can score in the paint. He can set screens. He’ll stretch the floor for us a little bit. He’s going to be a tough guy to take off the floor because of his versatility and athletic ability.”
BSC seemed like the perfect fit, especially for Collins, whose dad has been an assistant coach with the men’s and women’s teams for several years. Collins grew up attending BSC games.
“He would be my tie,” He said pointing at Collins.
Collins said the Mystics play a brand of ball that he enjoys — fast paced. He spent his high school career scouting it when Mueller coached at St. Mary’s.
The key for success will be blending in with new teammates. That doesn’t seem to be a problem.
“We have a bunch of guys who know what they are doing,” Collins said. “Everybody is starting to fit in. From two weeks ago to now, it’s like night and day. Everyone is getting on the same page.”
For Zacher, BSC’s motion offense is a replica of what he played in high school.
“The terminology was the biggest thing for me,” he said. “The chemistry is there. We are all starting to jell together.”