Darius Garland had high hopes as he stepped onto Vanderbilt’s campus to usher in a new era of basketball with fellow five-star recruit Simi Shittu. Through the first five games of the season, Garland was backing his hype. However, a knee injury in his fifth game sidelined him for the rest of the year.
At the time it was widely expected that Garland’s time playing for Vanderbilt was over. Although, he remained enrolled at the school and around the team. That changed Tuesday afternoon as Garland declared his intentions to leave school and focus on the 2019 NBA Draft.
Next Chapter?? pic.twitter.com/nK4b1qdox3
— Darius Garland (@dariusgarland22) January 22, 2019
Garland is viewed as one of the best point guards in the 2019 NBA draft class. Having been on lottery radars since last summer, his recovery will be scrutinized heavily. The freshman has made his name off being an elite shooter both off the catch and the dribble. Throw in his 6-foot-3 height with long arms, and he fits the mold of a modern point guard, even if he does lack elite athleticism.
In the five games before the injury, Garland was averaging 16 points per game while shooting a 48 percent clip from deep. With today’s technology, a knee injury is not a death sentence anymore, and Garland’s stock has not been terribly hurt by this. Look for Garland to garner big buzz come May and June.