Darius Garland: Defense

Our scouting grades represent the composite opinion of at least three different scouts. Each category is graded based on how we view a player’s current ability level relative to NBA players at the same position (guard, wing, forward or big). A grade of 1 indicates replacement level, a grade of 5 indicates NBA average, and a grade of 10 indicates historically elite. Our composite scouting notes help provide context for our grades.


On-ball defense

Lack of viable competition and zone defense make this a tough read, but Garland seems to have solid instincts as an on-ball defender. He has strong lateral speed and quick hips, but needs to improve his technique as relying on his athleticism alone won’t cut it at the next level. He is quick enough to play under and around screens and recover in time to contest shots. His motor seems to decline throughout the game, with blow-bys more common in the second half.


Off-ball defense

Garland has shown decent positioning away from the ball, knowing how to zone up and split shooters on the back side. He has the quickness to cover ground and challenge shots on closeouts, but often displays poor technique when doing so. His motor tends to dip into first and second gear when off ball, but he does react quickly when ball movement brings him back into the play. He is somewhat vulnerable to backdoor cuts.


Help defense

Garland’s help defense tends to be ineffective. He often arrives too late when helping on drives, unable to get in front of the ball-handler. His frame and length limit his impact even when he does manage to get in position. He is limited to making simple rotations within the defensive scheme.



Garland is a one position defender with little hope of becoming anything more in the future. The team that drafts him will need to scheme around his limitations.


High impact plays

Garland has quick hands and can generate steals both on the ball and as a double-down defender. He tends to turn steals into transition opportunities using his end-to-end speed with the ball in his hands. There were also several examples of him pressuring the ball handler into attempting tough passes.