NBA Draft Spotlight: Brandon Clarke

Brandon Clarke is one of the premier athletes in college basketball with the energy and defense to be an immediate role player. As the year has gone on, his draft stock continues to rise as he shows up night after night. Some team in the first round will be overjoyed to add a player with his impact.

Position: PF From: Gonzaga Class/YOB: Junior
Height: 6’8 Weight: 210 Wingspan: N/A

Strengths:

  • Big-time athlete. Arguably the best leaper in college basketball. Runs with the speed of a wing. Should be an above-average NBA athlete from day one
  • Constant motor on both ends. Sprints the floor, leading to a lot of easy buckets on the break. Crashes hard to create second opportunities for the offense. Gives max effort on the defensive end, regardless of the matchup
  • Efficient finisher off dump-off passes. Springy around the rim. Does a good job separating when guards penetrate to be an outlet. Good footwork and a solid spin move that he loves to use in the lane
  • Elite rim protector, despite lacking great height. Among the top shot blockers in the country. Multi-dimensional interior defender, creating problems on the help side and adjusting shots on the ball
  • Has the reactions to guard more on the perimeter. More of an understanding of angles than a physical problem. Will benefit from more reps outside. So far, he’s done a nice job on switches
  • Very underrated passer. People are so blown away by his dunks and blocks that his feel as an interior passer often goes underappreciated
  • Stays within himself. Not a player to try to venture out of his bag. Going to excel in his role

Weaknesses:

  • Not defended outside of 10 feet. Made some mid-range shots this season and works on threes in pregame. Has a fairly low shot that may need some fine-tuning
  • Post game is mostly choosing a shoulder and elevating over defenders directly or via spin move. He is consistent with his hooks and short turnaround but doesn’t have advanced moves down low. Since he displays good feet and IQ finding openings in the post, I’d expect this part of his game to grow
  • Limited handling ability restricts him flexing as a wing. Exploits creases to attack in straight lines but that’s the extent of his creativity right now. He is doing more attacking from the wing than he was as San Jose State, which is promising
  • Plays 100 miles an hour all the time. Love the energy but it can lead to problems. Foul prone as a shot blocker. Leaves his feet early sometimes to try to contest shots. Has to pick his spots. When forced into counter moves on offense, he goes to that spin move a lot, which can lead to charges and strips from players coming when his back is turned

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