Bryant Crawford was the first player in the 2015 recruiting class to commit to Danny Manning. His commitment helped create a domino effect that ultimately allowed Wake Forest to land fellow 4-stars, John Collins and Doral Moore. From that standpoint, he was our most important commit from the 2015 class. As far as productivity, I think he will also lead the trio in that aspect.
Crawford was a rated as a 4-star and top 100 recruit by nearly every recruiting service. During his senior season, Crawford's play led to him being named the D.C. Gatorade Player of the Year. He averaged 13.1 points, 5.5 assists, 3.7 rebounds, 2.2 steals, and led his team to a WCAC Championship, which is one of the best high school basketball leagues in the country. How will that translate into production this season?
Crawford better be in excellent condition, because he is going to be getting plenty of minutes for at least the early portion of the season. According to several reports, he excelled in Wake's "secret scrimmage" against Georgia. That's exactly what Wake Forest will need early on this season, given that senior Codi Miller-McIntyre will miss several games with a foot fracture. What are Crawford's strengths?
Bryant Crawford's passing ability and vision are exceptional. To be honest, saying he's exceptional is probably selling him short. His style of play will fit perfectly into Danny Manning's up-tempo system. If the other players on Wake's team can get just a bit ahead of the defenders, then Crawford will find them in transition. He can make the passes that do not initially appear to be there. I'm sure that it will take some time to adjust to the speed of the college game, and that he may have some bad turnovers early on, but we should be patient. He has a great feel for the game, and will learn from his mistakes.
Manning's offensive system also utilizes a lot of ball screens, and Crawford is very effective in pick-and-roll situations. I can easily see scenarios where Crawford and Devin Thomas are involved in a lot of screen-and-roll action, as well as Dinos and Crawford using pick-and-pops.
Crawford is not an elite shooter, but he's certainly good enough. Admittedly, this is the area he needs to improve the most. His biggest offensive strength, besides his passing, is his ability to slash, get into the lane, and finish around the hoop. He is very athletic, and crafty with both hands, which will be necessary come ACC play. He has the potential to throw down some nasty dunks and be on a few Vines this season. Nobody gets posters anymore, right?
On the defensive end, he utilizes his athleticism and is a very good shot blocker for a guard. I also expect him to pick the pockets of opposing guards, and play solid on-ball defense.
I firmly believe that Crawford will have an excellent career at Wake Forest, and has the tools necessary to one day play in the NBA. For this season, I see Crawford averaging about 8 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists. This is mostly due to CMM being so productive once he returns, that he will take away stats from Crawford.
I know that I probably sounded like his agent, older brother, or former coach with my scouting report, but that's what I truly believe. I was ecstatic when I saw that he committed to Wake. It looked as though Crawford was set on Georgetown, but Manning and his staff got a huge recruiting victory. I urge you all to watch his highlight videos. It will make you excited for Wake Forest basketball again.
I've given my opinion. What are your thoughts on the freshman?
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