College of Charleston four-year starter Jarrell Brantley can turn heads as one of the most underrated prospects in this draft class.
After taking home First-Team All-Colonial Athletic Association, Brantley earned a trip to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament for the NCAA’s top seniors. While participating, he averaged 21.1 points and 10.1 rebounds per 36 minutes. He was 5-for-11 (45.5 percent) from three-point range at the PIT, finishing Top 5 in Real GM’s Floor Impact Counter catch-all statistic.
He had the most defensive win shares of anyone in the conference three of his four years in college and finished third-overall in box plus-minus among all players in his conference last season. Brantley finished with the fourth-most points per game scored in transition and would fit in well with a fast-tempo offense.
The 6-foot-7 forward has a 7-foot-2 wingspan and scouts have reportedly been impressed with his “shooting, motor [and] rebounding” during the pre-draft process. Here is what he told HoopsHype about how he will make it to the NBA.
What are some of the things you’ve done to help prepare yourself for the NBA draft?
Jarrell Brantley: I’ve been working out with my “shot doctor” Joey Burton in Indiana. It’s all been fun. It’s been a good process. I’m coming from a mid-major but my name has a good buzz, which is great. I’m blessed for the opportunities I’ve been given.
What are some of the challenges coming from a mid-major school before the draft?
JB: I want my name out there. When I was against high major programs, I wanted to make sure I focused on my confidence and made sure I allowed people to see I was good enough if not better. It’s tough but it’s not too bad. Scouts and NBA teams do a good job that if you’re good enough to play, they can and will find you. I try not to dwell on it too much and I go out there and enjoy the game. A lot of the people I know don’t get these opportunities. It does not matter who I’m going against, though. It’s about me getting better every day and showing who I am as a basketball player and as a person. It usually comes with a good outcome when I do that so I love to cherish every moment.
What is some advice you would tell a young prospect who is considering a mid-major and wants to go to the NBA?
JB: I would say it doesn’t matter what team you go to as long as you put in the work. Nobody can take away your journey and destiny. It doesn’t matter what jersey you wear. If you’re as good as you think you can then go and help whatever team and make them better.
How do you describe yourself and what are some of the things you want teams to know about you?
JB: I’m easy to be around. I love to joke around. Off the court, I just love to laugh and joke and enjoy people. But when I’m playing, a switch turns on. I lock in and get the most out of my teammates and just be a great teammate. It’s a grind, honestly. When I play with my passion on the court, you can see my story and everything I’ve been through. It shows.
What are some of those key elements in your story you want folks to really understand?
JB: I want them to understand my process. I’ve been a lot of different places, traveled to so many different schools just to get here. I went to prep school. I went to Montrose Christian School where I was teammates with players now in the NBA like Allonzo Trier and Patrick McCaw. Then I went to school in Massachusets after that. A lot of people go through it which allowed me to stay encouraged. I liked everything I did and it allowed me to get here now. I know I’m able to show my skills to everybody, which is so cool to me. Hard work pays off, even though I’m not in the door yet but my time will come.
Tell me about your relationship with Trier and McCaw and some of the best advice they’ve shared.
JB: They both tell me to believe in myself. Never doubt what you do. We try not to talk about basketball too much but I do try to pick their brain whenever I can.
What are some of the best experiences you’ve had as a leader in college?
JB: Every year has been a learning process. But I think between my coaches and my teammates, I’ve become a better leader and a better teammate. My coaches allowed me to be who I am. They allowed to me scream if I needed to scream and laugh if I needed to laugh. They put a lot of things in my hands and it worked out in my favor. I wasn’t always the only leader. We had a lot of older guys so we led by committee. I played an important role in how we attacked the game, so that was important for me to be strong.
What was your relationship like with the support staff at the College of Charleston?
JB: They were all amazing. We had a lot of good times. We’ve been through the good and the bad. The coaching staff always allowed me to be in the gym as much as I wanted. I had a great trainer. I probably irritated him trying to get in more and more often. They have families they have to get back to but if I asked, they were in there every day. Academics were the same way. It was great for me. I got the most out of every situation in every way that was possible and it allowed me to get this far.
What are some of the accomplishments that have made you proudest?
JB: Winning. I fell short my senior year but a lot of kids dream about going to March Madness, which we did. Especially for mid-major teams who don’t get automatic bids, it was a big deal. That team went through a lot so it was so fun to go through that. I was a big part of helping turn the program around at the College of Charleston. I left it in a better spot than I got it. I feel like I left a legacy and put their culture in good hands. That’s what I want to be able to take wherever I go.
When you look back at playing in the NCAA Tournament, what will you always remember about that trip?
JB: The whole process was dope. Our team went through some injuries. I got an injury that year. We dealt with a lot of adversity. I think getting there was a testament that if you stay strong and just keep cooking and good things will happen.
Describe your game to me and how you will fit on an NBA court for both sides of the ball.
JB: With the way that the game is going, guys like Draymond Green and PJ Tucker and Marcus Morris are paving the way for guys like me. We can be versatile and stick in the league. My niche will be versatility and I’ll be able to guard multiple positions. I’ll be able to help out offensively, I can push the break and space the floor. I try to make plays. I can bring intangible character traits, too. I’m passionate about it and enjoy the game and that will rub off on my teammates.
What kind of feedback have you been getting from NBA teams about your fit?
JB: Honestly, it’s all been positive. They all like my size. I can make shots and I can guard. It’s been good feedback. They all tell me I have the chance to be a mid-to-late second round pick. That’s a blessing, you dream about it. It doesn’t matter what happens, though, no matter what I am going to grind. People are intrigued but I need to prove my capabilities.
What else do you like to do when you’re not playing basketball?
JB: I’m a pretty simple guy. I love to play video games. I’m probably one of the best 2K players out there in my opinion. [Laughs] I’ve dreamed about playing as myself as long as I can remember in that game! That’s a big deal for me! That’ll be amazing. I’ll be in the starting lineup! I might not finish the game but I’ll be in the starting lineup. I love using my basketball IQ for the game in a sense. I hope my 2K game travels well against other NBA players. But yeah. I like chilling with friends. I like listening to music. I listen to hip-hop and gospel. My favorite artist is J. Cole and I listen to Meek Mill a lot. I just finished Game of Thrones so I can finally get my life back.