A nation is only a few hours removed from yet another outstanding performance from NBA draft hopeful, and Vanderbilt Commodores guard, Darius Garland.
The freshmen scored 33 points on 12-18 shooting, including 5-8 from three. He’s played great this season, but has had his days with less impressive counting-stats. Prior to scoring his career-high Monday night against Liberty, Garland scored only three points against Alcorn State. Highlighting how he’s not just a guy who gets buckets though, in that three-point game, Garland notched seven rebounds and four assists.
“We’d like him to score more, but he does so many things out there,” Vandy coach Bryce Drew told the media.
Although he only averages around four assists a game, he’s an excellent rebounder, which you wouldn’t usually expect out of most point guards. “I think the beauty of him is that he can control the tempo by scoring or not scoring. That’s a very special trait that he has,” Drew said.
Here’s a three play breakdown of Garland’s offensive game against USC:
Play 1: At the 0:46-second mark you see Garland reading the screen from his teammate perfectly. He goes around the screen, drives through and has the ability to know what’s going on behind him. He caps off the play by finding an open teammate who faded. In turn, you have a Commodore three-pointer.
Play 2: At the 1:05 mark Garland makes a spectacular play. Splits the D with a quick first step and crossover, then he hits the big with a little hesitation and a finesse finish to cap it off. Excellent driving ability from Garland.
Play 3: At the 1:15 mark he shows his shooting ability, receiving the pass and shooting off a quick release a few feet behind the three-point line. The shooting ability and range, plus how fast he got the shot off, could be deadly if he does it consistently. As a guy who’s more of a drive to the rim guy and playmaker, plays such as that look good on his resume.
As for his defense, he’s active on the floor defensively. He’s been great at reading passes and closing gaps at the top of the key.
As for his NBA draft status, you’d expect a former five-star guard of Garland’s caliber to be a one and done option.
My prediction will likely change as the year goes by because there have been many prospects who have surprised us with top-notch performances. As for now, I’ll project Garland as an end of the lottery guy. Most likely would land from 10-13. There’s too much talent ahead of him right now, but Garland will prove he belongs as this season goes by.
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