During the first part of his freshman season, 2006 prospect Brandon Wright dominated the defensive end of the court. He impacted every shot taken within ten feet of the basket.
During the second part of his freshman season, the lefty dominated both ends of the court. While earlier in the year he only scored around the basket, during the second half of the year he was knocking down jumpers out to 17 feet and taking rebounds coast to coast.
At 6-foot-8 that season, he often went behind his back on the way to the basket. In Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy’s first playoff game that year, Wright won the tip, received the first pass, put it on the floor, wrapped it around his back, and finished at the goal with a reverse lay-up.
Wright was beginning to show the ability to play every position on the court.
This year Wright does play every position on the floor.
As a post player, Wright needs to post up stronger. Wright can certainly post up, but when a strong defender decides to move his feet and really fight for position, Wright too easily gives up position. Time and work will soon take care of these problem as Wright gets stronger and tougher.
There are much more problems, however, for the opposition when Wright is down low. For one, he has a wingspan of 7-foot-3 and he can make the one hand catch. His go to move is an unblockable left hand jump hook. He can drop step and effectively cover ground with a power dribble, and he can spin and kiss it off the glass. When the double or triple team comes, he has the uncanny ability of locating and delivering the ball to the open man.
Defensively, he is a shot blocking machine. Wednesday night he finished with 8 blocked shots, along with 20 rebounds and 31 points. Yet what is so impressive about his shot blocking is that the majority of the time he captures the ball of his block.
Again, his lack of strength can be exposed by players strong enough to attack his body and drive him under the rim. After frustrating 2005 prospect Tyler Smith (No. 19 in the Rivals75) with his shot blocking ability in their first match up this year, Smith attacked the body of Wright on his perimeter drivesin their second match up. Even though Wright was staying in the lane playing off Smith, Smith would take that extra dribble when Wright was preparing to jump and drive Wright under the rim or knock him of balance.
On the perimeter, Wright is now hitting three pointer and pulling up for mid-range shots off the dribble. As a passer, he can easily see and pass above the defense. His passes have a nice touch on them just as his jumper does.
Most impressive is the fact that Wright moves to the point guard position down the stretch of games and when his team needs a tough or quick basket. When they have a lead late, he runs four corners. When behind and at other times, they will clear all four other players to the baseline.
Although Tyler Smith picked Wright once down the stretch of their second encounter on the clear outs on top, Wright pulled up twice at 15 feet and knocked down jumpers, once going right and once going left. On the other possession of the four clear outs, he made an assist pass for a lay-in.
There are not many players that can play all five positions, much less can play all five well. Wright is one player that can play all five well and will play all five well at the high major level.
It is this versatility that has Wright as the top 2006 recruiting priority for five schools he is listing- Duke, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, and North Carolina.