PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- A name that is about to start appearing all over the recruiting world is 2018 Southmoreland (PA) big man Brandon Stone. A little known prospect outside of his region, the big fella should blow up during this AAU season. He dominated this season, averaging 26 points, 14 rebounds, and 5 blocks per game as one of the best players in the WPIAL (Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League), a league consisting of Pittsburgh and its surrounding areas.
There are not many big men in the country with the skillset of Stone, who moves like a guard and rarely looks uncomfortable running the floor. He has great hands on the interior and finishes around the rim. His handle is above average for a big man and on a miss, he loves to push the ball after a defensive board. The mobile post can step out and knock down open 3s.
Brandon can get pushed around at times due to his thin frame, but that should change as he gets older and puts on muscle. He knows there’s work to be done, “I need to improve defensively, my ball handling could get a lot better, I need to get stronger, and my shot needs to get more consistent.” This big man has great upside and will be even more a problem once he begins to shore up the holes in his game.
Already sporting offers from Duquesne, Robert Morris, Mt. St. Mary’s, Appalachian State, Youngstown State, and Stony Brook, there are plenty of schools knocking on the door of his recruitment. Brandon mentioned Butler, WVU, Pitt, South Carolina, Purdue, Auburn, Davidson, Dayton, Missouri, Tennessee, Maryland, and Wichita State as schools he has interest from. The big schools look like they will quickly be getting involved.
Heading into AAU season with Bridge City Basketball, an Adidas Gauntlet Silver team, his goals are simple. “I want to get better every game and tournament and end up with the offers I feel like I deserve. I don’t want to lose a game.”
He took a few visits this year, making stops at Butler, South Carolina, Davidson, West Virginia, Maryland, Dayton, and, of course, the hometown Pitt Panthers. From those visits, his trips to Butler, Maryland, and South Carolina stood out.
On Butler: “I was there for the game against Villanova and the crowd was indescribable. It was by far the best environment I’ve been in. The coaching staff was great. I got to tour the campus and facilities and the campus was somewhere I could definitely see myself living for 4-5 years. Hinkle Fieldhouse was incredible.”
On Maryland: “Maryland’s fans and arena were amazing. You could tell that they love the basketball team. The facilities were really nice and the coaching staff was very excited to have me there and told me they loved the way I play”
On South Carolina: “South Carolina's campus was by far the best one I’ve been on. I got to tour the whole campus and talk to a lot of the players. Coach Martin is a great guy. We sat in his office and talk to him for 45 minutes after their game against Mississippi State. He's a really funny guy and I love the way that he gets in his guys.”
He will likely head to a prep school this fall, with the end goal to enroll in college as a class of 2019 recruit. He has not decided where he is heading yet, and we see his recruitment as just beginning. There’s not many players like him in the country and he will be looked at long and hard by a lot of high major schools.
Stay tuned for more Brandon Stone coverage on Next Up Recruits.