2019 NBA Draft Profile: Darius Garland
Darius Garland is a skilled scoring guard with deep range on his pull-up jump shot coming of a 6-game freshman season cut short by a meniscus injury. A McDonald’s All-American who staked his claim as the top point guard prospect in the high school class of 2018 in a variety of settings, Garland finished his career at Brentwood Academy ranked as a consensus top-15 prep prospect. The Gary, Indiana native figured to make an instant impact at the college level under Bryce Drew and got off to a hot start guiding Vanderbilt to four consecutive wins to open the season before getting hurt early in the team’s fifth game. Averaging 16.2 points and 2.6 assists per game, Garland was not afforded the chance to showcase his game in SEC play but displayed the jump shooting ability and offensive instincts that separated him as the prep level in his brief time with the Commodores.
Father, Winston Garland, averaged 9.4 points and 4.7 assists per game over 7 seasons after being selected in the second round of the 1987 NBA Draft out of Missouri State.
- Grew a bit late in his high school career listed last season at 6’2 with a 174-pound frame to go along with a 6’5 wingspan. Not the most physically imposing point guard, but combines the threat of his jumper with polished footwork, quick feet, and dynamic ball handling ability.
- Served as the clear focal point of Vanderbilt’s offense in limited action scoring dynamically out of the pick and roll while working to develop as facilitator.
- Found much of his success operating out of ball screens using his craftiness with the ball and ability to get into his jumper to score in a variety of ways. Changes speeds and directions in impressive fashion picking apart defenses to create space. 60% of his possessions came on Pick and Rolls or Hand Offs. Scored a remarkable 1.000 points per Pick & Roll possession [41st percentile] showing the ability to hit shots from NBA range with quick, compact mechanics, use his first step to take what defenders gave him at the rim, and even split defenders with great speed and timing. Seldom turned the ball over creating for himself.
- Scoring chops are clear, but ability to read the game as a facilitator is still developing. Threads the needle at times and shows some unselfishness when probing the lane but is still figuring out how to harness his ability to get to spots and manipulate ball screens to make plays for others.
- Mechanics and touch translated well on the rare occasions he slid off the ball in catch and shoot situations both on the move and in spot up situations.
- Scored 1.400 points per shot around the rim in the half court in limited attempts with less than 30% of his shots within Vanderbilt’s half court sets coming inside. Was not as effective in transition. Creative finisher who uses both hands but plays primarily below the rim.
- Ranked 8th in the NCAA and 1st in the SEC in Pick & Roll scoring (6.8 ppg)
- Ranked 1st in the SEC in Hand Off scoring (1.4 ppg)
- Attentive defender with strong intangibles. May not be especially versatile, but competes guarding the ball, has very good lateral quickness, and quick hands. Chips in on the glass and has some natural improving to do as he gains experience and continues to get stronger.