Many people view former Wake Forest Demon Deacons guard and current associate head coach Randolph Childress as one of the greatest players ever to don the old gold and black, and with good reason.
And many say that his son Brandon Childress isn't nearly as good, and shouldn't be the leader of an ACC team. But the numbers would beg to differ, and in many ways Brandon’s junior season numbers are just as good as, if not better than, his fathers.
In his junior season in 1993-94, Randolph Childress had senior forward Trelonnie Owens, junior forward Travis “Scooter” Banks, senior guard Charlie Harrison, senior guard Marc Blucas, sophomore guard Rusty LaRue, and some skinny freshman center named Tim Duncan complementing him on the Wake Forest roster. The average years of experience on that roster weighted by minutes played was 1.8.
Brandon Childress in his junior year has sophomore guard Chaundee Brown, sophomore center Olivier Sarr, freshman forwards Jaylen Hoard and Isaiah Mucius, freshman guards Sharone Wright Jr. and Michael Wynn, graduate student center Ikenna Smart, and graduate student guard Torry Johnson. The average years of experience on this years roster weighted by minutes played is 1.2. Childress is the only player on the roster with more than one season of significant ACC basketball experience.
In his junior season, Randolph Childress averaged 19.6 points, 3.9 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 1.6 steals, 2.6 fouls, and 3.7 turnovers per game in 35.1 minutes per game. He shot 41.5% from the field, 36.8% from three, and 78.9% from the line.
In his junior year, Randolph had 567 points, 114 assists, 99 rebounds, 45 steals, 5 blocks, 74 fouls, and 107 turnovers.
So far during his junior season, Brandon is averaging 16.6 points, 4.1 assists, 3.6 rebounds, 1.7 steals, 2.4 fouls, and 2.4 turnovers in 36.7 minutes per game. He is shooting 44.6% from the field, 43.1% from three, and 78.4% from the line.
Brandon has 298 points, 74 assists, 65 rebounds, 30 steals, no blocks, 43 fouls, and 43 turnovers through 18 games.
Randolph averaged 13.1 field goal attempts, 5.4 made field goals, 6.1 2-point field goal attempts, 2.9 2-point field goal makes, 7.0 3-point field goal attempts, 2.6 3-point field goal makes, 7.7 free-throw attempts, and 6.1 free-throw makes per game in his junior season.
Brandon is averaging 10.2 field goal attempts, 4.6 made field goals, 4.2 2-point filed goal attempts, 1.9 2-point field goal makes, 6.1 3-point field goal attempts, 2.6 3-point field goal makes, 6.2 free-throw attempts, and 4.8 free-throw attempts per game so far this season.
Randolph made 75 threes in his junior year, and Brandon has made 47 so far this year.
In comparing the two, Brandon actually averages more assists, rebounds, steals, and minutes per game this season than Randolph did in his junior season, while Randolph averaged more points, fouls, and turnovers per game.
And for those that claim Brandon shoots too much, he actually shoots a higher 3-point percentage than his father, does not take as many shots per game, and does not shoot as many threes per game. He takes better care of the ball than his father did, and has a much higher shooting percentage.
Now this isn't to say that Brandon doesn't take some shots that make you smack your head and yell “NO, NO, NO!!!” at times-he wouldn't be a Childress if he didn't.
But for all of the criticism that Brandon gets, his numbers are actually on par with his father’s. It’s just that Randolph had a rotation with three seniors, another junior, a sophomore, and a freshman who was eventually one of the greatest players ever in the history of basketball, not just Wake Forest. So he had the wins to go along with his stats, and received less criticism as a result. He also had one of the greatest coaches in Wake Forest history in Dave Odom on the sidelines.
Sure, Randolph had more points than Brandon. But there are so many other aspects of the game than scoring. If Brandon had the kind of help that Randolph had his numbers might look more like his father’s, except that Brandon shares the ball more than his dad did.
So let’s stop comparing every little move Brandon makes to Randolph, appreciate the great season that he’s having, and realize that in many ways he is having just as good of a junior season as his father did.
Here’s to a great rest of the season, and an even better senior season for Brandon. Go Deacs!