Five-star point guard Darius Garland updates recruitment

  • 07/17/2017 9:14 am in

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – One of the summer’s most intriguing recruitments is continuing to heat up.

Darius Garland, the all-everything point guard that led Bradley Beal Elite to a 6-1 record in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) Finals at the Peach Jam, rattled off a who’s who of college basketball’s elite still involved in his recruitment following a 78-66 pool play win over Oakland Soldiers.

Duke. Kansas. Indiana. UCLA. The list goes on.

Don’t forget Vanderbilt, the local favorite in Garland’s current hometown of Nashville, which many believe has a real shot to win the battle for one of the nation’s top point guards.

And if all that weren’t enough, on Sunday afternoon, Kentucky entered the fray per a tweet from Garland. A bunch of schools, just as many pitches.

For Vanderbilt, it’s playing hometown hero.

“They say I can make my own legacy,” Garland said of the Commodores. “I’m from Nashville – Nashville school. And they’ve never had that big name come to Vanderbilt. That’s what they’re pitching to me.”

For Duke, it’s the amount of playing time likely available and the idea the Blue Devils may be able to accommodate a package deal, which Garland says he is strongly considering. He specifically mentioned Marvin Bagley, the No. 1 overall player in the country, who he says has been his “best friend since sixth grade” and fellow guard Tre Jones, ranked No. 12, as possible ingredients in a package deal.

“Coach K wants to get both of us because he thinks that a lot of the guys will be gone next year,” he said of himself and Jones. “So he needs an intelligent 2018 class. That’s his pitch right now. Me and Tre have been talking about it a lot. We all talk about it a lot. Every time we see each other, we ask ‘what school are you going to? It’s a big deal right now. Everyone’s on the clock, but most of us are taking our time with it.”

As for Indiana, the message has been based on playing time and the Hoosiers’ need at point guard, as well as his roots in the state. Garland was born and raised in Gary prior to his family moving to Nashville.

“Come in and have the ball right away,” Garland said of Indiana’s pitch to him. “Lead the team and the show and make plays for others.”

It’s a lot to think about for a teenager, which is why Garland says he is just trying to focus on playing well and helping his team win – and he has been doing just that. In six games at the Peach Jam (excluding a DNP), the 6-foot-1 floor general averaged 15.5 points, 4.2 assists, and 3.7 rebounds per game and shot an efficient 19 of 20 from the free throw line.

One of the tournament’s highlights for Garland was having Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, the team’s namesake, on the bench throughout Peach Jam. Garland said Beal provided him plenty of advice and encouragement.

“Just to keep my head in the game and stay with my shot,” he said of Beal’s message. “Just little things. But he’s always a good support and always on the bench clapping and cheering for us when we do something good and he’s on us when we do something bad.”

Despite going 5-0 in pool play, Garland and Bradley Beal Elite fell 64-63 to Team Takeover in the Peach Jam Quarterfinals, ending the team’s championship and concluding the latest stop in a whirlwind summer for the Brentwood Academy (TN) product. Garland recently competed in the adidas Eurocamp in Treviso, Italy, where he was the event’s leading scorer.

“It’s been crazy,” Garland said. “I’ve been everywhere – adidas, Nike – it’s been really great.”

As for the remainder of what will no doubt be a hotly contested recruitmen, Garland says he isn’t ready to start scheduling any visits quite yet, but that Indiana is still in a good position when the time comes.

“I’d love to visit Indiana,” he said. “I’m from Indiana, so it would be great.”

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  • bball at nick’s

    I prefer a mature 4-star like Race to a 5-star who wants to go play somewhere with his “best friend”. Sorry, but I’ve always found those “we want to play together” package deals infinitely annoying. Part of the experience of college should be for kids to step out of their comfort zones and meet new friends and people and just grow into their own men. Also makes me annoyed with Coach K. He’s Coach X as far as I’m concerned. LOL.

  • calbert40

    Not happening, especially if those three potential one-and-dones want to play together.

  • Ole Man

    Those deals rarely happen.
    And I’d take this kid in a heartbeat for one year!

  • bball at nick’s

    Exactly, they rarely happen, but the “intent” for them to happen sets the recruitment on the wrong path, a path that rarely leads to IU. And that’s why I hate them, LOL. Of course I won’t turn this kid down if he wants to come to IU, but he won’t.

  • “Part of the experience of college should be for kids to step out of their comfort zones and meet new friends and people and just grow into their own men.”

    It’s not uncommon for high school kids to go to college with their best friends and also make new friends. This is his preference, and there’s nothing wrong with it.

  • BannerOrBust

    Don’t you remember Miles Bridges and Curtis Jones who played together in High School wanted to play together in College. IU was in Bridges final 3. We all know how that played out.

  • BannerOrBust

    I’d love for him to come to Indiana, however we will be in his final 5 and he will not select the Hoosiers.

  • 11th and Done (Dunn)

    What if Mathew Hurt (5 star power forward) who is great friends with Race wants to come to IU? Still not interested in package deals?

  • bball at nick’s

    At that point I’ll just swallow my pride and keep my opinion to myself, lol.

  • Steve Dubiak

    Agreed I dont think we have much of a chance.

  • IU_theoracle

    All this talk about a package deal, here is a very realistic package deal that Garland should consider which is Romeo Langford and himself to IU. Obviously this is wishful thinking but both have IU on their final lists and are ranked top 5 in the country.

  • Lance76

    Might have happen with Jones and Bridges but Bridges originally from Flint Michigan where Izzo recruits very well. Lets hope we are that fortunate with Langford.

  • millzy32

    Absolutely. Need a couple one and dones now that we have a solid core of top 100’s coming to Bloomington. Things are shaping up nicely. Just need to add this kid or Langford or I pray both.

  • Outoftheloop

    Coach K is mirroring Coach Cal. Is this smart for Duke? It didn’t work this past season.

  • Bill Graham

    Theres a reason why we are recruiting Phinisee so hard….we dont have a chance with this kid or Romeo

  • Dialogos68

    Not true….

  • Outoftheloop

    They are 1 year apart in reality, but 2 years apart actually as Hurt is 2019 and Race is 2017 with a redshirt for his first year (2017-18).

  • Ole Man

    IU crushes it out of the park and you’re on here being negative. Why?

  • Ole Man

    Exactly! Championships are rarely won these days without a one-and-done on the roster.