We continue our Wake Forest basketball player profiles by taking a look at sophomore point guard Bryant Crawford. Crawford, the former Washington D.C. Gatorade Player of the Year, had a very good debut season and as a result was named to the All-ACC Freshman team. What kind of sophomore campaign will he have?
Bryant Crawford was a starter from day one last season and assumed ball handling responsibilities immediately because senior guard Codi Miller-McIntyre broke his foot and missed the first third of the season. He struggled with turnovers early on, and that was an unfortunate trend throughout the season, but he did not back down from big moments. He was a monster in the second game of the season against Bucknell, and dropped 21 points in an exciting comeback effort. He also had a monster final few moments in an upset bid over Indiana, as well as against
Ben Simmons University LSU.
He also displayed a nice shot from the perimeter, and made 35% of his threes, though that percentage peaked around 40% midway through the season. He was able to utilize his explosive athletic ability to get to the rim, but he struggled to convert at times, and made only 43% of his shots from inside the arc. He has improved his body over the offseason and that should lead to more finishes around the basket.
Crawford played out of control at times, but there was no denying his level of talent. In many ways, he was Wake’s most talented player on the court last season, though Devin Thomas was the most productive. His talent allowed him to average 13.8 points, 4.4 assists, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game, but him playing out of control at times is why he had 106 turnovers on the season. As a result, he finished with an offensive rating of 94.8. His aggressiveness on defense led to a lot of steals, but it also caused him to be out of position at times. I expect him to be more selective this season, have better team defensive positioning, and play better on-ball defense.
If Wake Forest is going to take another step this season, then that will depend on Crawford’s improvement. I firmly believe that he’s capable of being one of the better point guards in the league, but that will require an improved floor general game. He now has more shooters around him, and I thought he was more in control of himself during the Bahamas games. Those were clearly against lesser competition, but his mindset and court awareness seemed better.
I’m very bullish on Crawford to have an excellent sophomore campaign. His improvement will come from improved decision making (i.e., fewer turnovers), better conversion around the basket, and better defensive positioning.
What are you all expecting out of Bryant this season?