Many readers on this blog don't seem to care too much for Brandon Childress.
But as the junior leader of the team and the starting point guard, Childress is proving that he is more than capable of stepping up, and has been arguably the most consistent and best player on this year’s Wake Forest basketball team.
No he’s not his father Randolph, but to put those kinds of expectations on him would be simply unfair and unreasonable.
All stats below are through the first eight games of the season and are courtesy of wakeforestsports.com.
Childress is the unquestionable leader of this team, averaging 36.8 minutes per game, a whopping 6.7 minutes more than second place Jaylen Hoard. He leaves it all on the floor, and never seems to complain about being tired.
Brandon leads the team in scoring with 16.9 points per game, is shooting 52.1% (38-73) from the field, 83% (39-47) from the free throw line, and a whopping 47.6% (20-42) from three. In spite of being only 6 feet tall, Childress is also averaging 3.6 rebounds per game. He has 35 assists to his 20 turnovers, good for a 1.75 assist-to-turnover ratio. He averages 4.4 assists per game and 1.9 steals per game.
Along with his increased role, Brandon’s decision-making has also seemed to improve, as he no longer pulls up for threes with 25 seconds left on the shot clock, instead opting to drive first or kick the ball to an open teammate. His threes have been more of the open variety, as he seems more patient and content to wait for a better shot off of a pass from a teammate.
While it is still early in the season, both his field goal percentage and three-point percentage are significantly improved over his first two seasons. He has also cut down on his fouls despite playing many more minutes than he did his first two seasons.
Childress’ current three point percentage would rank fifth in Wake Forest single season history behind Gary Clark (55% in 2010-11), Ricky Peral (51% in 1995-96), Cal Boyd (50% in 1988-89), and Marc Blucas (47.7% in 1993-94).
Randolph Childress is viewed by many as the greatest shooter in Wake Forest history. His career 3-point percentage was 39.5%. Brandon’s current career percentage is 38.7%. That’s pretty close for a guy whom many viewed as not being deserving of a high major scholarship.
So yes, Brandon Childress isn't Randolph, but it’s time we all cut him some slack and recognize him as the leader of this team and a player who truly belongs in the ACC.