Pretty much anybody who follows basketball recruiting closely knows that the class of 2006 has been much ballyhooed for it’s plethora of multi-dimensional big men. So far, the class has lived up to the hype and one of the premier guys has to be six-foot-nine Brandan Wright from Nashville (TN) Brentwood Academy.
A thin and rangy lefty, the 203 pound Wright is capable of hitting jumpers out to the three point line or taking the ball to the hole. He can also be a tremendous shot blocker when he wants to thanks in large part to his nearly unsurpassed quickness off of the floor and long arms.
While he still has plenty to work on -- most notably getting stronger, and becoming a more dominant rebounder -- Wright has also been improving at a steady rate.
“I think I’ve improved my free throw shooting, last year I was like a 72% free throw shooter and this year I’m up to like 80%,” says Wright. “My outside shooting has improved too, but mostly my low post moves have gotten better. I’m still working on my strength too.”
Because of his length, athleticism and versatility Wright is the kind of guy capable of causing match-up problems all over the court. He’s quick and agile enough to defend the wing and is too long around the basket for wings to defend. Put another big man on him, and Wright is capable of blowing by him with a few hard dribbles to either convert at the rim or pull up for soft mid-range jumpers.
Skills like that have drawn the attention of some of college basketball’s elite schools and Wright has some early favorites.
Unlike many kids who say that they don’t pay attention to who is out watching them, Wright says that he pays close attention and feels like the Tar Heels have been out to see him the most. However, he’s noticed Kansas’ interest as well.
“Kansas has been out a few times and checks up on me,” said Wright. “I’m kind of into those running teams which they are starting to do more. I’m starting to build more relationships with their coaches and I’ve been working with Tim Jankovich.”
Much the same as other players in his class like Greg Oden, Derrick Caracter, Vernon Macklin, and Darrell Arthur, the NBA is often mentioned when discussing Wright. Rather than run away from the discussion, Wright admits that it could be a factor down the road and he’ll take his time in the recruiting process so it isn’t as much of a distraction.
For now though, he’s leaning towards college until he can gather more information and see how much he matures and gets stronger over the next year.
“As far as the NBA is concerned, right now I’d say it is about 50-50 and it depends what I’m hearing,” said Wright. “If I get the opportunity to go lottery or top five or something like that it would be hard to pass up, but right now I’m leaning towards going to college.”