On Monday afternoon, news broke of Jaylen Brantley's commitment to Maryland. Brantley, a 5'10" junior college point guard, can play for the Terps starting in 2015 and will have three years of eligibility.
For Brantley, playing at the major college level has been years in the making. Originally a 2012 prospect, Brantley played at the Wilbraham and Monson Academy in his home in Massachusetts. After reclassifying to 2013 and playing for Notre Dame Prep (Fitchburg, MA), Brantley committed to play college ball at Marshall.
However, Brantley wouldn't see the floor at Marshall. After a year marked by grade issues and an eventual head coaching change, he took a step back, joining Odessa (TX) Community College for the 2014-15 year. With a fresh start and most of his Division I eligibility remaining, Brantley saw renewed interest from college teams. After joining big-time prospects such as Diamond Stone for a visit to Maryland Madness, Brantley committed to Mark Turgeon's team on Monday.
By all accounts, Brantley brings a diverse skill set to the Terps. Brantley is highly regarded as a distributor, but his shooting ability makes his game even more deadly, and could even allow him to switch between the 1 and the 2 in Maryland's rotation.
Barros was career 41% from 3 in NBA RT@AdamZagoria Leo Papile says MD commit Jaylen Brantley & Dana Barros were best shooters he's coached.— Andrew Emmer (@AndrewEmmer) October 20, 2014
For Maryland, the addition of a JUCO point guard is not at all surprising. Before adding Brantley, Maryland had a whopping six scholarships open for 2015. While putting together a giant freshman recruiting class would generate some excitement, Mark Turgeon saw that his class was empty and that he'd need experience on the floor next season. Now, Brantley will have the chance to share minutes and lesson the pressure on Melo Trimble and Dion Wiley, who will be joining the Terps this season.
Moving forward, Brantley's commitment makes the recruiting picture a little more clear for Maryland. With Brantley's commitment and high interest from 2016 prospect Anthony Cowan, Maryland can now consider the point guard position one of promise, not worry. For 2015, Maryland will now likely focus on forwards and big men such as Diamond Stone, whom Brantley met on his official and will try to lure to Maryland.
I'll leave you with some of Jaylen Brantley's high school highlights. For Brantley, it's been a long wait, but let's hope the best things are worth waiting for, and Brantley gives us some new highlights in 2015.