2019 NBA Draft Profile: Brandon Clarke
Brandon Clarke is a somewhat undersized but extremely athletic power forward who led the nation in scoring efficiency and blocked shots at a tremendous rate in his only season at Gonzaga. The Vancouver, Canada native was lightly regarded prospect in the high school class of 2015, but averaged 8.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game as a true freshman at San Jose State before earning All-Mountain West 1st team honors averaging 17.5 points and 8.9 rebounds per game as a sophomore. Transferred to Gonzaga to play for Mark Few sitting out the 2017-18 season before teaming with Rui Hachimura to form one of the best mid-major frontcourts of all time this season. Averaged 16.9 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 3 blocks per game bursting on the national scene showing well throughout the Bulldogs grueling non-conference schedule to earn All-American nods from several outlets.
- Possesses average size for a forward measured at 6’8.25 in shoes with a 6’8,25 wingspan. Emerged as a difference maker around the rim on both ends of the floor despite his lack of length thanks in large part to his tremendous combination of quickness and leaping ability.
- Had a sensational year scoring inside in a variety of ways with his energy, explosiveness, and floor game. Played a lot of center last season proving to be a major mismatch. Finished the season as the most efficient volume scorer in the country despite attempting very few shots from beyond the arc.
- Does the majority of his scoring as a finisher. Stays active moving off the ball and crashing the glass. Got 18% of his offense from Cuts, 15% on Put Backs and 11% on Rolls last season. Scored 1.545 points per finishing opportunity in the half court [98th percentile] proving to be an excellent lob threat, flashing crisp footwork and touch to score over defenders, and able to use his dribble to drive the ball from the mid-post.
- Talented inside-outside scorer who could continue to evolve as his range expands. Got 18% of his possessions are Post Ups which he converted for 1.140 points per Post Up possession [96th percentile]. Scores a lot of his points in the post on quick duck ins, but also flashed some touch and great elevation on his hook shot as well as a knack for using his athleticism facing up. Speed proved problematic for true centers all season. Plays a simple, decisive style seldom trying to do too much with the ball.
- Got only 9% of his shots on Spot Ups averaging 1.196 points per Spot Up possession [92nd percentile] but 0.971 points per jump shot in the half court [61st percentile]. Has explosiveness to attack closeouts off the dribble, but has room to improve from the perimeter. Has steady, but not especially fluid mechanics that give him more upside as a shooter than he showed at the college level. Attempted only 24 three-pointers over three college seasons on teams that played a lot of small ball.
- Does some little things running the floor hard, showing good instincts as a rebounder, and moving the ball decisively as a passer.
- Ranked 1st in the NCAA and 1st in the WCC in scoring efficiency among players using over 10 possessions per game (1.252 ppp)
- Ranked 1st in the WCC in Put Back scoring (3.0 ppg)
- Ranked 4th in the WCC in Cut scoring (3.2 ppg)
- Ranked 4th in the WCC in Roll Man scoring (1.8 ppg)
- Ranked 5th in the WCC in Post Up scoring (2.6 ppg)
- Among the most promising, versatile defenders available in this draft. Not the longest forward, but tremendous athleticism makes him a factor as a fearless shot blocker, multi-positional defender, and rebounder. Had several very impressive stretches guarding opposing teams’ top wing scorers, let alone after switches.
- Allowed only 0.786 points per Post Up possession [57th percentile] and 0.741 points per Isolation possession [55th percentile] while also producing blocks and steals at a very high level without fouling. Has no shame hunting blocks going up and trying to use verticality even when offensive players get a head of steam attacking the rim.