After a year of sitting on the bench at Illinois, Brandin Podziemski found a home that was able to play to his strengths, allowing him to earn WCC Player of the Year honors at Santa Clara. His sophomore season should truly be viewed as a redshirt freshman year, given how little he played at Illinois, and how few true opportunities he was given. As a sophomore at Santa Clara, Podziemski averaged 19.9 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 3.7 APG, 1.8 SPG, 0.5 BPG, and 2.3 TOPG on splits of 48/44/77. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Brandin Podziemski
Wingspan/ standing reach: 6’5 ½/8’0 ½
Hand size: 10
Position: Combo Guard
Pre-Draft team: Santa Clara
Tools: Playmaking, feel for the game & intangibles, rebounding
- Outstanding , advanced passer
- Strong understanding of the game; clearly has mastered the little things to make the bigger picture easier and more natural
- Has a smooth stepback jumper
- Strong motor
- Comfortable with both hands
- Moves well off-ball
- Big hands helps him with ball security
- Solid P&R operator
- Doesn’t force passes in tight spaces
- Excellent rebounder
- Short arms
- Can struggle to get meaningful contests due to short arms
- How he overcomes getting exploited from lack of length
- Scaling up from WCC
Brandin Podziemski is an extremely intelligent guard that can create his own shot well, give teammates easy looks, and he overall makes his teammates better offensively by timing his correct decisions to give his teammates the best timing and spacing to maximize matchups and scoring opportunities. He also is capable of playing off the ball and efficiently running the most complex and routine NBA plays as the play initiator.
Defensively, Podziemski has the footspeed to stay with quicker guards, but will struggle to get meaningful contests against jumpers and to be able to impact as many shots as some of his peers. However, games like the one vs San Francisco in the WCC Tournament showcase how he can use his intelligence to his advantage, as well as his strength. He was able to manipulate and bait defenses without gambling one spot of the court. Like his offense, Podziemski’s intelligence and feel for the game will make up for physical shortcomings in the NBA, especially as he is surrounded by star defenders.
Overall, Podziemski has a great collection of skills with and without the ball, combined with an outstanding understanding of the game and ability to apply his understanding of the game. What he lacks in size he quickly makes up for in other areas, by simply reducing the number of mistakes in a game for both him and his teammates. Look for Podziemski to blossom in Golden State now that Jordan Poole is gone, and they may need minutes from him right away.
Similar to: Desmond Bane, Quentin Grimes
Expected role: Combo guard off the bench.
Unplayable if: Unlikely to be unplayable, but when the team needs defensive stops they may go another route over Podziemski.
Exceeds expectations if: Combo guard skills fully translate, and his defensive intelligence makes him a positive defender.