Darius Garland: Hustle
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.
As is typical for an offense-oriented prospect, Garland tends to play with a higher motor on offense than defense. He puts a lot of pressure on the defense throughout the game, running pick-and-roll after pick-and-roll. Off the ball and on defense his engagement is more hit or miss, sometimes taking plays off to save energy.
Some guards are able to contribute a little bit on the offensive glass, but Garland is not one of them. His tendency is to get back in transition rather than following up his own shots.
Garland does a reasonably good job on the defensive boards considering his frame. He does well at tracking down long rebounds and turning them into transition opportunities. He also manages to win 50/50 rebounds against other guards at a high rate. However, his positioning while the shot is in the air is poor and he doesn’t box out effectively.
With good top-end speed and a tight handle, Garland does an excellent job creating 4-on-3 and 3-on-2 situations in transition. He makes smart decisions with the ball in his hands, and is capable of pulling off dribble moves while maintaining enough speed to blow by defenders. His shooting ability will likely make him a dangerous threat sprinting to the corner when another player is handling the ball.
Garland is consistently among the first players back on defense, and does a good job slow-playing the ball to limit scoring opportunities. The majority of his impact in this area is preemptive; if the opponent does manage to get numbers in transition he has a tendency to get lost in the chaos that ensues. His poor technique on his closeouts in the half court does not bode well for the difficult situations that regularly occur on the break. Likewise, his poor frame makes it difficult for him to make an impact when forced to pick up a larger player.