Maryland basketball kicks off its season against American on Nov. 11. Until then, we’re profiling every member of the team.
Jaylen Brantley, guard
Weight: 170 pounds
High school: Notre Dame Prep (Ma.)
Jersey No.: 1
How Brantley got to College Park
Initially a Marshall commit, Brantley spent a year at Odessa Community College in Texas before coming to a four-year college. That time allowed Maryland to make a strong play for Brantley, and he committed about two years ago. Brantley also had a connection with former Maryland forward Jake Layman from their days playing AAU basketball for a Massachusetts powerhouse that won two national championships.
Brantley's first season with Maryland was not the greatest but he did have his moments when given the opportunity. Last December, Brantley played 12 minutes against Princeton in Baltimore and showed out. The point guard was 6-of-7 shooting from the field including two three-pointers to finish wih 14 points. Brantley added two rebounds and two assists in an efficient performance.
Due to his size, Brantley's only playing time will come at point guard, but Melo Trimble and Anthony Cowan are almost certainly ahead on the depth chart. It is Trimble's team and year to play 30 minutes a game, while Cowan has been raved about by many within the program. Brantley may see playing time during the non-conference portion of the schedule, but it will hard to see him crack the rotation during Big Ten play without an injury and/or significant improvement in his own level of play.
Even if Brantley does not see much more than his 8.4 minutes per game from last year, he can still improve his game for the future. If Trimble leaves for the NBA in the Spring, Brantley will have a chance to compete for a starting spot with Cowan next Summer. In the meantime, Brantley will be relied upon to be a solid practice player to make Trimble and others better.
What a dream season might look like
Brantley steps up and provides valuable offense as a backup guard, while also improving his passing abilities.
Next player in the series
This upperclassman big finally should finally receive enough minutes to make meaningful contributions.
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