Only a sophomore, Brentwood Academy (TN) point guard Darius Garland has drawn high praise from some major college coaches.
“They said I remind them of Steph Curry,” the 6’1”, 165-pound prospect said last Saturday at the Nike EYBL in Hampton. “I really like that.”
This season is Garland’s first on the EYBL 17U circuit. He has played in two of three EYBL Sessions, helping the St. Louis Eagles (8-3) to five wins in seven games in that span. Garland has averaged 13.4 points per game while making 20-of-48 3-point attempts. He is also averaging 2.1 rebounds and two assists per contest.
“I’m playing with a great team, so they help me out a lot,” Garland said. “I’m used to playing with older kids, so I got used to [playing on the EYBL 17U circuit] quick.”
Asked what he sees his natural role being in high school and later on in college, Garland said: “I’d say a true point guard, but I can score the ball, too. If we need a bucket I’ll score it, but I like to get my teammates the ball and lead the team.”
This offseason, “I’m starting to get more athletic,” Garland said.
Garland is well known by high-major coaches. Memphis, then led by new Georgia Tech head coach Josh Pastner, offered in May of 2015. Vanderbilt, Baylor, Tennessee, Louisville, Wake Forest and Arizona State then came through before Virginia offered last September 2. The star backcourt prospect has since received offers from Indiana and UCLA and is hearing from Arizona, Harvard, Kansas, Kentucky, Notre Dame and Ohio State.
Garland has built a solid relationship with head coach Tony Bennett to this point in the process.
“He’s a great guy. I like coach Bennett a lot. Christian man, faithful… ,” Garland said.
Brentwood’s star has not yet visited UVA – he says he hopes to do so this summer – but did catch the Cavaliers on television this past season. His thoughts?
“I watched them a lot this year. It’s a nice tempo to the game. A lot of pick-and-rolls, so I like that a lot,” Garland said.
Garland, who hopes to make his college choice the summer before his senior season, has visited Indiana, Louisville and Vanderbilt so far.
“I went to Indiana for their senior night. They showed a lot of love to Yogi Ferrell. I liked that,” Garland said.
“Education” and “how I connect to the coaches and the team,” Garland said, are big factors in his college decision.
Of all the players I saw in Hampton this past weekend, Garland was one of my favorites. Humble off the court, Garland displayed fire on it. He showed competitiveness, high basketball IQ, the ability to set up his teammates and the ability score. I expect Garland to be a high target of UVA’s in the class of 2018. There is a lot of competition and I expect more top schools will offer, but he seems to like coach Bennett and UVA’s style of play. The next step is getting Garland on Grounds for a visit.