ESPN No. 11 ranked high school senior Darius Garland has committed to Vanderbilt.
The 6-2 point guard averaged 23.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.4 steals last season for Tennessee’s Brentwood Academy, leading the team to a 30-2 record and a third straight Division II-AA state championship.
Garland poured in 30 points with 7 rebounds and 4 assists, while draining 4 threes, in the 74-42 title game win over McCallie.
“It was the best fit for me,” Garland told brentwoodhomepage.com of Vandy. “The pros: staying at home, of course, being around family, just having the ball in my hands. [I’ll be] getting my teammates involved and he’s [head coach Bryce Drew] going to let me play my game.”
247Sports’ Jerry Meyer said Garland’s deadly shooting combined with his playmaking skills make him unique.
“In my opinion he’s the best point guard in the country in the [senior] class,” Meyer told tennessean.com. “One thing that kind of separates him as a point guard is that he’s such a great shooter. He puts a lot of pressure on the defense and can also play the shooting guard.”
“He’s a very versatile guard and he’s got upside,” added Meyer. “He’s still developing physically, he has the genetics, and so he’s kind of what you look for in a prospect.”
Garland, who grew 2 ½ inches since a season ago, is getting better and better.
The previous year as a sophomore he was the state’s Mr. Basketball and the Tennessean Player of the Year, again leading Brentwood to the Division II-AA state title.
But despite his incredible season in 2015-16, Garland was even better last year as a junior.
“I would say he’s the most improved player on our team — by far,” said his Brentwood Academy head coach Hubie Smith. “To me, it’s unbelievable the difference in him this year compared to last year.”
“He’s much better at attacking, he handles better, he shoots it better, he understands better, he guards better,” Smith added. “He’s just better all around — a better rebounder, better finishing around the goal. He’s just a terrific player and he’s so coachable.”
The Commodores beat out finalists Indiana, Kentucky, and UCLA to land Garland.
At Vanderbilt, Garland will join fellow 2018 recruit, shooting guard Aaron Nesmith.
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