The Vanderbilt nation received some welcome news on Monday when 5-star guard Darius Garland announced he would wear the Black & Gold of Vanderbilt. Garland announced that he has committed to Vandy at 2:45 pm on Monday at a school assembly.
Just who is Darius Garland? Most Vandy fans already know but for those who aren't familiar with him, here you go.
Garland, who stars at Brentwood Academy in Nashville, is a player that some compare to former Indiana star Isiah Thomas who starred for Indiana in the 1980s. He's quick as a cat and can make crisp, misdirection passes with the best of them. He's not a cocky, flamboyant player; he's soft-spoken and humble, a team player.
While most services list him as a point guard, he is more described as a "lead guard". DraftExpress.com discussed Garland's performance at one of their camps.
Outside of the Next Generation action, Darius Garland was sensational once again, scoring 13 points on just 8 shots. His skill level, quickness and creativity with the ball have stood out in a major way through the first two days of the EuroCamp as he's made a strong case for consideration as the top guard in the class of 2018, at least as far as future college production is concerned. He is extremely poised and confident for a 17-year old guard, especially one who is as small and slight as he is.
247Sports.com rates Garland the No. 3 national rated point guard and the No. 10 overall prospect. They also rate him as the No. 1 prospect in Tennessee. Scout.com also ranked him No. 1 in Tennessee and the No. 7 national point guard.
ESPN ranks Garland as the No. 2 point guard and 11th overall nationally. They also peg him as the top prospect in the Commodore State.
In addition Vanderbilt, Garland had offers from Indiana, Kentucky, UCLA, Arizona State, Auburn, Baylor, Duke, Florida, Illinois, Iowa State, Kansas, Louisville, Memphis, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Tennessee, USC, Virginia, Wake Forest, Western Kentucky and Xavier. UCLA, Kentucky and Indiana were his other three finalists.
Some of Garland's many basketball accomplishments are listed below.
- Attends Brentwood Academy (Tenn.), where he has started 63 of 67 games played in his three-year varsity prep career, while compiling 978 points, 286 rebounds, 206 assists and 102 steals.
- Is a two-time state, regional and league champion (2015, 2016).
- As a sophomore in 2015-16 he averaged 18.6 ppg. and 4.3 apg. in leading the Eagles to a 29-3 record and the 2016 Tennessee Division II-AA State Championship.
- As a freshman in 2014-15, he averaged 13.7 ppg. and 3.0 apg. in 2014-15 as Brentwood Academy finished with a 28-4 record and claimed its first Tennessee Division II-AA State Championship since 2006, as well as the regional title.
- USA Today Tennessee Player of the Year and All-Tennessee first team (2016).
- MaxPreps Sophomore All-American honorable mention (2016).
- Tennessee Division II-AA Mr. Basketball (2016).
- Tennessee East/Middle Region MVP (2016).
- All-Midstate Team (2015, 2016).
- Finalist for Tennessee Mr. Basketball (2015).
- All-conference (2015, 2016).
- All-region first team (2015, 2016).
— Justin Beasley (@JBeasleyWSMV) November 13, 2017
VANDERBILT OFFICIAL RELEASE ANNOUNCING GARLAND's SIGNING
Darius Garland signs NLI with Vanderbilt
6’2 point guard out of Brentwood Academy inks NLI and is the highest rated recruit to ever sign with the Commodores.
Vanderbilt head men’s basketball coach Bryce Drew has announced the signing of Darius Garland, a 6’2 point guard from Brentwood Academy, to a National Letter of Intent. Garland will be eligible to compete for the Commodores in the 2018-19 season, and joins 6’5 wing Aaron Nesmith from Charleston, S.C., in this year’s recruiting class.
“Darius is a program changer,” said Drew. “Rated as the best point guard in the country and a top ten player in his class, Darius’ playing style and personality are electrifying. He possesses the unique ability that only the great ones do in that he can take over a game by making others better or by scoring. The whole Garland family is simply terrific and we cannot wait to get them here next season. His decision to attend Vanderbilt is a defining moment for our program showing that the time for Vanderbilt basketball is now.”
Garland, a unanimous five-star recruit and a consensus top-10 player in the class of 2018 according to numerous recruiting services, chose the Commodores after taking official visits to Indiana, Kentucky, and UCLA. A two-time Mr. Basketball for the state of Tennessee, Garland averaged 23.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.1 steals in his junior season at Brentwood Academy, where he helped lead the Eagles to a 30-2 record and a third consecutive Division II-AA title. As a sophomore, Garland averaged 18.6 points, 4.3 assists and 2.5 steals for the Eagles.
Garland becomes the second five-star prospect to sign with the Commodores, joining John Jenkins when he signed in November of 2008.
"This was the best fit for me and my family,” Garland told Paul Biancardi of ESPN.com. “I can have the best of both worlds in academics and basketball at Vanderbilt. Someday the ball will stop bouncing and I want to prepare myself for that situation. My family put me in position to be successful so I want them to see me play as much as possible.”