Five-star guard Darius Garland talks recruitment, Peach Jam berth

  • 06/03/2017 8:17 am in

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Five-star Darius Garland continues to showcase why he’s the top-ranked point guard in the class of 2018.

The Brentwood Academy (Tenn.) floor general averaged 16.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.1 steals per game on 53 percent shooting and 85 percent from the free throw line for Bradley Beal Elite, who endured a major shakeup in the middle of the Nike EYBL regular season. At the halfway point of the season, five-star 2019 forward James Wiseman left to join Team Penny.

“We still have to be aggressive, we just have to play our game,” Garland said. “We get up and down a little bit quicker now and have been doing really well.”

Bradley Beal Elite went a perfect 8-0 without Wiseman, ending the regular season with a 13-3 record, tied for the best on the Nike EYBL circuit. In the regular season finale, Bradley Beal Elite took down Team Penny, with Garland scoring 12 points and dishing six assists in the 71-60 victory.

It marked the conclusion of Garland’s second regular season on the 17u circuit, with his squad advancing to Peach Jam both times.

“This year has been really great,” Garland said. “Just having the knowledge of the game, the speed of the game. Being able to bring my team together, having played a 17u season before.”

The top schools in the country are after Garland’s talents. The lead guard has offers from Duke, Indiana, Louisville, Ohio State, Kansas and countless other major programs.

Garland visited Indiana while Tom Crean was the head coach, but hasn’t been to campus since.

“I talk to coach (Archie) Miller all the time,” Garland said. “He’s on me too. They contact me a lot, actually. Almost every day.”

Garland appears to be intrigued by the prospect of playing alongside four-star class of 2018 point guard Tre Jones at Duke under coach Mike Krzyzewski. The two were teammates in 2016 during Team USA U17 World Championship training camp, and Garland said they’ve been close “ever since.”

“Coach K, he likes me and Tre (Jones),” Garland said. “He said that we’re going to be really young if we come there our freshman year. He needs two good young guards that are really mature.”

Garland isn’t sure whether he will be a one-and-done player at the collegiate level.

“I haven’t really decided yet,” Garland said. “If I have the chance to go one-and-done, I’ll take it. If it takes me two, I just want to get there. That’s my ultimate goal.”

Although Garland does not have a firm timeline on his recruitment, he said it’s possible he cuts his list down to six or seven schools in the near future.

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  • TomJameson

    I would like to get Garland, but it almost sounds like he wouldn’t be playing for the school as much as playing to showcase himself. I understand the goal to get to the NBA, and he will definitely make it, but there should be a pride in the school as well.

    Probably nothing and I’m overreacting, and maybe it’s just because it’s so hard to show tone in a story like this. But can’t disguise his talent.

  • We’reAllForYou82

    Well said. I am not feeling like we have much of a shot right now which I am ok with, there are other point/lead guards to get (that position is a big need next year, imo).

    Things can change and change fast though. Arch will get the recruiting momentum going soon I believe.

  • HoosierHeel

    In my opinion, that pride doesn’t come till after you commit. Everyone comes from a different situation, but I know for me, when I was considering 8-10 schools, I didn’t have passion for any one of them. I was reviewing my options, considering where I would have the most fun, get the best education, be the happiest, etc. After I sent in my deposit and got my IU hoodie from the IMU though, that all changed, and I would think/hope the same would be true with him and all one and done type recruits we go after moving forward

  • He’s my top recruit in the class, even more than Romeo. I’d love to get both, but preparing myself for neither.

  • TomJameson

    That’s either optimistic pessimism, or pessimistic optimism. 🙂

    I just don’t want the chemistry to go bad for the team. Like I said, probably reading waaaaay too much into the interview.

  • TomJameson

    I’m with you on the recruiting momentum. Once Archie gets his systems in place, and they’re winning games, and there’s consistency in the program again … The recruits will be coming.

  • TomJameson

    I really do understand what you’re saying HH, and what you’re describing is becoming more of the way of it because recruiting is nation-wide now, not just state or region wide. I’m just an old dog and don’t like that “new trick” feel to the recruiting.

    Recruiting is becoming too business like. Nothing wrong with taking care of yourself and your career, just wish there could be both that, and pride, co-existing. 🙂

  • There’s really no reason for a top recruit to prioritize anything over improving NBA draft stock. That will be their career, and the school choice is part of a career decision. But I don’t think showcasing skills and helping a team win are always opposing qualities. Troy Williams hero ball more often than not hurt the team and his draft stock, but Yogi hero ball helped the team. Darius is the type of guard who will make others better, similar to Lonzo Ball and Yogi.

  • I have a feeling that Archie is dialed into these kids’ mentalities, at least as much as possible. From what he’s said so far, I suspect that if a kid doesn’t have the right winning mentality, then he won’t be recruited. There seems to be a certain kind of one-and-done player that Archie isn’t interested in, and if he stays on a kid, then there’s probably good reason to think he’s not in that category.

  • HoosierDom

    I’m optimistic too, but I feel like people around here don’t seem to want to acknowledge the other possible track. We have a lack of scoring and a lack of height: it could be a long year. Couple that with a late start on the class of ’18 and it could be a less than spectacular haul; then the loop starts the other way.

  • SCHoosier

    That’s a tall order the absolutely correct one. Winning breeds pub…pub creates attention and spin…IU becomes a must consider school etc etc. Long way to go in that regard vs. the “true blue bloods” and current elites.

  • inLinE6

    It’s hard to let a freshman point guard run the show for a year then leave. In most cases freshman point guard is a recipe for failure. But he does have talent, and he has Indiana tie.

  • TomJameson

    Man, there are tons of things that can go wrong, you are correct about the couple you mention. But although I’m optimistic, I’m also trying to keep my expectations in check. I would love to see consistency and getting better every day. I do think they’ll make the NCAA this year, and that they’ll be playing pretty good at the end of the season.

    It all depends on when they make that turn to playing well together under the new system. So I’m really just basically looking for consistency in play, and consistency in learning the system.

  • TomJameson

    Maybe Darius has that kind of talent, and maybe he doesn’t. Probably a two year guy (IMO).

  • Justin Beard

    There’s a wealth of talent at the Guard position in 2018. Romeo, Phinesse, Carmody, King and maybe one more, those are on my want list, as of now.

  • SeeingRed

    Agree. I’m OK with his honesty, but would just love to see this one and done nonsense and the resulting attitudes come to an end.

  • TomJameson

    I guess it’s the product of changing times. The loss of regional loyalties, the expansion of recruiting to a truly global audience, and the business end of taking a top-flight recruit to the pros.

    The resulting attitudes, yes indeed. Most of these kids probably really do have great attitudes, but it’s hard to gauge the true attitudes by written articles which don’t carry the tone, so we’re stuck with our first impressions.

    So like I said, I’m probably overreacting on Garland’s attitude. I’ll trust that Archie is a good judge of character and will weed out the bad chemistry type of guys, no matter how talented they are.