Wake Forest fans have been waiting for Brandon Childress to represent the Black and Gold for quite a while now. There was always the potential that the highly touted son of Wake Forest legend Randolph Childress would someday join the Deacs, and that potential turned into reality on October 24th, 2014. Brandon Childress’ commitment was on the early side of the entire 2016 class and got Danny Manning’s second full recruiting cycle off to a very strong start. Almost two years later to the day, Brandon is just a few weeks away from officially following in his father’s footsteps and playing his first collegiate game for the Demon Deacons. Let’s take a look at how he might contribute this season.
you can't tell me anything anymore Season is here now— Brandon Childress (@Agent__0) October 26, 2016
First and foremost, let’s start with where Brandon finished in terms of his overall recruiting rankings. For the bulk of the 2016 recruiting cycle, Childress floated in the 150-225 3* recruiting range across the primary sites. However, it should be noted that oftentimes recruits can rise in the rankings prior to their senior years simply by picking up more offers in the summer AAU season.
Yet due to the fact that Brandon was firmly committed to the Deacs nearly 9 months before these showcases and there was little hope of another program luring him away from Wake Forest, those additional offers understandably never came. That undoubtedly kept his offer list fairly stagnant throughout 2015 and may have played an impact in his overall ranking placement. Ultimately, ESPN chose to upgrade Childress to a 4* and just outside the top 100 in their final 2016 rankings, which was certainly deserved after a strong senior season at Wesleyan Christian Academy.
Of course, rankings only mean so much when it comes to how you perform at the college level. Due to him growing up in the area and being closely associated with the program throughout high school, Brandon was able to informally play a number of times with the team prior to officially arriving on campus. This type of contact can only help in terms of familiarity with teammates, the staff, and facilities, and that familiarity I think was evident in his strong performances during the Deacs’ Bahamas tour.
My very early hot take is that Brandon Childress was vastly underrated.— Riley Johnston (@BSD_RaJohnston) August 16, 2016
Childress finished the three games averaging 6.0 PPG, 4.3 APG, and shooting a red hot 57% from 3. He also tied Bryant Crawford for the most assists overall while producing an A/TO ratio of 2.15, good for best on the team throughout the tour. Of all the freshmen’s performances in the Bahamas, Childress stood out to me as the main guy who will be able to step in and contribute significantly from day 1. The combination of talent, program familiarity, and limited options to play PG other than Bryant Crawford puts him in a great spot to get minutes early in his career.
Personally I like Crawford more as a 2 and a scorer, and if Brandon gets acclimated quickly I see Danny Manning using that backcourt setup frequently by the time the ACC rolls around. Early on I expect to see a ton of Crawford/Wilbekin and Crawford/Woods, but Childress’ minutes should grow from 7-8 MPG to 11-14 MPG by the end of the season if all goes according to plan. Confidence and composure as a PG in the ACC is key, and fortunately those are two qualities I don’t think Brandon is lacking at all heading into his first season. Let’s all hope this is the start of a new Childress lighting up the Joel for four years.