Vanderbilt head men's basketball coach Bryce Drew has announced the signing of Darius Garland, a 6'2 point guard from Brentwood Academy, to a National Letter of Intent. Garland will be eligible to compete for the Commodores in the 2018-19 season, and joins 6'5 wing Aaron Nesmith from Charleston, S.C., in this year's recruiting class.
"Darius is a program changer," said Drew. "Rated as the best point guard in the country and a top ten player in his class, Darius' playing style and personality are electrifying. He possesses the unique ability that only the great ones do in that he can take over a game by making others better or by scoring. The whole Garland family is simply terrific and we cannot wait to get them here next season. His decision to attend Vanderbilt is a defining moment for our program showing that the time for Vanderbilt basketball is now."
Garland, a unanimous five-star recruit and a consensus top-10 player in the class of 2018 according to numerous recruiting services, chose the Commodores after taking official visits to Indiana, Kentucky, and UCLA. A two-time Mr. Basketball for the state of Tennessee, Garland averaged 23.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.1 steals in his junior season at Brentwood Academy, where he helped lead the Eagles to a 30-2 record and a third straight Division II-AA title. As a sophomore, Garland averaged 18.6 points, 4.3 assists and 2.5 steals for the state champion Eagles.
Garland becomes the second five-star prospect to sign with the Commodores, joining John Jenkins when he signed in November of 2008.
"This was the best fit for me and my family," Garland told Paul Biancardi of ESPN.com. "I can have the best of both worlds in academics and basketball at Vanderbilt. Someday the ball will stop bouncing and I want to prepare myself for that situation. My family put me in position to be successful so I want them to see me play as much as possible."