The 2019 NBA Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2019 NBA Draft. Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland was injured for most of his one year in college basketball, but still might be drafted early.
Position: Point Guard
2018-2019 stats: 16.2 points per game, 3.8 rebounds per game, 2.6 assists per game, 0.8 steals per game, 0.4 blocks per game, 53.7% field goal, 47.8% 3 point
Size: 6-foot-2, 175 pounds
Garland was one of the best recruits in the country and was named a McDonald’s All-American. He could’ve played at any college, but he chose to go to Vanderbilt and play for coach Bryce Drew for his one season of college basketball.
His college basketball career started off great, as Garland averaged 16.2 points over the first five games of the season. Garland’s best performance came against Liberty, when he dropped 33 points to help the Commodores win. Unfortunately the next game against Kent State, Garland suffered a meniscus injury and had to miss the rest of the season. The injury effectively ended his college basketball career, as not long after that he declared for the 2019 NBA Draft.
The road back from injury has been tough for Garland and he didn’t participate in drills or scrimmages at the NBA Combine. He is rumored to have left the event with a promise to be selected by a lottery team, which would make sense given his draft range.
Garland is one of the best ball-handlers in the draft class. He can put defenders on skates and attack the basket as a result. It helps create good looks on offense as Garland can get an open shot or the defense has to help, which leaves another player open.
To go with his ball-handling, Garland is a good shooter. Even though it was a small sample size, Garland shot 47.8 percent from three-point range. In his five college games, he made 11 three-pointers. He may not be able to hit as high of a percentage of his threes in the NBA, but Garland should develop into a good shooter.
He finishes well at the basket as well, which is important given that he will be relatively short in the NBA at 6-foot-2. Garland takes contact well and can finish through it. He also makes adjustments at the rim to finish around defenders.
Garland will be one of the least tested prospects in the 2019 NBA Draft because his season at Vanderbilt got cut short. With that, there is some risk involved in selecting him. He proved he could score at the college level with a few big performances, but he also only scored three points against Alcorn State in 28 minutes of play.
He may never be a great defender at the NBA level. Garland is limited by his size, but also didn’t make many plays on the ball in his short time as a Commodore. He had just four steals and two blocks in his college career. His quickness will be a good tool for him to use, but it may not be enough to help his overall defense.
His athleticism will come into question a little bit during the draft process. He isn’t a terrible athlete, but lacks the explosiveness of a lot of the players at the position in the NBA. Garland won’t be an above the rim player and may have trouble keeping up with some of the best athletes at the position.
Projected Draft Range: Top 10 Pick