• Tirdod Behbehani

NBA Scouting Report: Darius Garland

Photo: Joe Howell

Darius Garland

Position: Guard

Year: Freshman

School: Vanderbilt

Measurables: 6’3”, 174 lbs, 6’5” wingspan

Speed: 7.50

Nice acceleration, quick first step. Can turn the corner in an instant, smooth and fluid mover. Good lateral quickness, which is vital for his defensive projection

Athleticism: 6.00

Plays below the rim. Doesn’t really flash natural athleticism. Does generate good amount of space on stepbacks

Ball Handling: 7.50

Dribbles with the ball on the string, in addition to having elite dribble moves, such as a fantastic hang dribble and a deceptive crossover. Shows good understanding of when to employ which move, as well as knowing how to keep his man behind him after he's beaten him. Good dribbler in traffic, although needs to show better awareness of surroundings when he does this, susceptible to help-defenders stealing ball

Passing: 7.00

Can be a great passer when he wants to, knows how to use fakes and other tricks to move the defenders away from where he wants to pass the ball, which leads to some high-level finds. Additionally, he does a great job of hitting the roller. However, he can telegraph passes and be a bit careless with the ball. Evidenced by 15 TOs to 13 assists (Note that his assists should be way higher given the quality of looks he provided for his teammates)

Free Throws: 7.50

Gets to the line decently often, modest FTr of 29.6. Great free throw shooter, 75% from the line, albeit only on 16 attempts. Given his shooting prowess, this should not be a concern for him

Outside Shooting: 8.50

Keeps defenses honest with his strong outside shooting, shot 48% from 3 on his 23 attempts. Can hit deep shots in a variety of different ways, with hang dribble pullups and sidestep 3s in his arsenal. Good balance on moving shots too. Additionally, offers a lot of potential as an off-ball catch and shoot player, shot 66.7% on catch and shoot 3s, despite only nine attempts. Clearly has the ability to be a quality shooter at the next level

Mid-Range Game: 6.00

Nice floater, which is an important shot for him considering he doesn't possess the size to consistently finish at the rim in traffic

Range: 8.50

Capable of hitting shots several feet behind the NBA 3 point line, in a variety of different ways such as pullups, stepbacks, off screens, and off the dribble. Shot 47% from NBA range

Decision Making: 6.00

One of his bigger question marks. Tends to try to force things at times with overly difficult deep pullups and overzealous pass attempts. Needs to trust teammates more, which should come at the next level with higher quality teammates. Occasionally favors tough, contested layup as opposed to finding the open man. Lack of an awareness of surroundings hinders him in this regard. Needs to improve here

Finishing: 5.50

Possesses the dexterity to finish with both hands, but fails to do so consistently. Struggles to finish amongst pressure from opposing bigs, and can miss some easy layups after blowing by his man. Yet, has some impressive finishes in traffic.

Controls Tempo: 7.00

Can run the offense well, especially the PnR. More than capable playmaker

Transition Offense: 6.50

More of a half-court offense player. Still makes good reads, can suck defenders in and make the play. Small sample size

Runs Set Offenses: 7.50

Great basketball IQ, can run the PnR well and take what the defense gives him. Understands how to react to hedges, and will pull up if his man goes under a screen

Playmaking: 7.50

Score-first guard, very capable playmaker, and can make the players around him better through his passing and creating space. Can be a bit ball-dominant and try to force things at times, but this can be fixed

Defensive Effectiveness: 5.50

Actually, a pretty good on-ball defender, does a good job staying with his man, evidenced by his fighting through screens and nice closeouts. Overall is a pesky and active on-ball defender. Off-ball, however, he struggles to remain engaged and is susceptible to lapses in concentration and losing his man. He also won't be able to switch on ball screens due to his physical limitations. Projects to be a below average NBA defender

Steals/Disruptiveness: 4.50

Moderately disruptive on-ball defender. Shows active hands. Doesn't seem particularly adept at stealing the ball, only 1.6% Stealr in college (albeit small sample size). Helped by decent 6'6" wingspan

Rebounding Skills: 3.00

Poor rebounder, likely will struggle to rebound over bigger players due to size limitations

Versatility: 6.00

Offensively, he possesses a ton of versatility. He has the capability to initiate offense while also being able to play off-ball as a spot-up shooter. Defensively, however, he will be limited by his size disadvantage, which will likely inhibit him from being able to stop bigger players

Leadership Ability: 5.00

Difficult to assess due to lack of game time. Teammates did look to him to create offense

Intangibles: 5.50

Has a swagger about him, highly confident player


Shooting, dribbling, passing ability, high basketball IQ, quick acceleration


Consistently finishing in traffic, patience, trust in teammates, off-ball defense

Overall Analysis:

Darius Garland is a highly talented and intriguing score-first combo guard. He possesses the ability to both initiate offense through his shooting and passing, while also being able to find space and spot up from the perimeter. Coupled with his ability to read the defense, he should be able to get to his spots and wreak havoc on opposing defenses. His poor decision-making will worry scouts, although I think that he has the potential to overcome this at the next level. Defensively, he will be a bit of a mismatch, but I think his pesky on-ball defense will allow him to not be a complete liability. It is also imperative that his medical evaluations check out and don't scare off NBA teams. Overall, Garland is one of my favorite players in this year's draft and I truly believe that he has star potential. He should be locked in as a top ten prospect, with the potential to go even higher in the draft.

Pro Comparison:

CJ McCollum

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