2016 forward Braxton Key verbally committed to Avery Johnson and Alabama, he told Scout.
“Next year I’ll be attending the University of Alabama,” Key said. “I really just love the coaches there. Coach Johnson, coach Scott [Posphical], coach [Antoine] Pettway and then coach [Bob] Simon has been recruiting me since freshman year. We go way back. That helps a lot. I feel comfortable with their team.”
Key, who transferred from Nashville (Tenn.) CPA to Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy for his senior season, picked Alabama over Texas and Vanderbilt. He took official visits to both schools, as well as Alabama, which he visited the weekend of September 19th.
“It’s just hard to say no to a guy that played in the NBA and won a title and made it to the title game as a coach,” Key said. “If you make it that far you have to know what you’re doing. Playing for coach Johnson is a no brainer for me. He’s a man of God, which is great for me. That’s huge for me.”
Alabama now has their second top 100 pledge of their 2016 recruiting class. To go with Key, five-star wing Terrance Ferguson and Junior College standout Ar’Mond Davis are also on board.
“We are trying to do something different with me and Ferguson,” Key said. “We hope to be one of the top recruiting class coming in.”
Which player will Key turn his attention to now that he’s on board with Alabama?
“[Marques] Bolden,” he said immediately. “We need Marques bad. We feel like we are one step from achieving our goals. We are going to work hard to recruit him.”
At 6-foot-7, Key is known for his versatility and Johnson has mapped out a plan to utilize his ability to fill different roles.
“They see me as a Joe Johnson,” he said. “He coached the Nets and he sees me like him. A guy that use the pick and roll, create own shots and is very versatile.”
Breaking Down Braxton Key
Evan Daniels: This is another good pick up for Alabama. Braxton Key is a versatile forward prospect that can fill multiple roles. At 6-foot-7, Key will likely played both the power forward and small forward positions at Alabama. He likes to play with the ball in his hands and is skilled enough to attack defenders off the dribble. He played with good effort, makes good decisions and is a quality passer. Improving the consistency in his jump shot is one of the next steps in his offensive development.
Josh Gershon: Braxton Blackwell projects as a good four-year player for Alabama. He's an undersized four that can potentially play some three who plays hard and impacts the game in multiple ways. On offense, Blackwell is comfortable facing the basket or posting up. He's got a good feel and is a talented passer for the position. Blackwell's motor and instincts make him a productive rebounder. He's not necessarily a super high ceiling guy, yet he's a winning player whose versatility and basketball IQ should help make him an important piece to the puzzle in Tuscaloosa.
Brian Snow: Blackwell is someone who can play in a lot of different roles. In this age of positionless basketball Blackwell is a kid who can really thrive. He is almost a point power forward who isn't a great athlete and isn't a great shooter, but has the ability to positively impact the game in a lot of different ways. I see him as a kid who has a very productive college career and helps his team win a lot of games before possibly having a shot in the NBA or making a lot of money in Europe.