Clarke’s averaged over 12.5 points while shooting 66.4% from the field this playoffs. He’s also grabbed seven rebounds per contest.
SPOKANE, Wash. — Geno Crandall is currently playing basketball in England.
Jeremy Jones is playing in Japan.
Josh Perkins just returned from Turkey.
No matter what though, they’ve kept tabs on their former teammate Brandon Clarke, as he lights up the most important basketball stage in the world this postseason.
“To have played with a guy like that and to see the success that he’s having in the NBA and in the playoffs, essentially doing the exact same stuff that he did when we were together at Gonzaga, is exciting,” said Jones. “Obviously, we love to see our brother having that kind of success.”
“At the perfect time he’s playing like the BC we know,” said Perkins. “Similar stuff, hitting the floater that he never misses, big time dunks. Like, just playing his A word off, you know what I mean? We’re not surprised. We’re just glad he got the opportunity to show the world who is.”
“It’s been cool going to practice and guys are like, ‘Man, that Clarke guy’s real good,’ and it’s like, ‘Yeah, I know, he made me look good. You could just throw the ball anywhere on the backboard and he’s able to get it,'” said Geno.
Clarke is averaging 10.4 points per game this season but has been at a different level during the playoffs.
Coming off the bench, he’s averaged over 12.5 points while shooting 66.4% from the field and averaging seven rebounds per contest. He’s also had multiple 20-point games.
“Being such a young team, probably one of the most exciting teams to watch in the NBA, and it’s just because of the athletic, electrifying plays that obviously BC is a huge part of,” said Jones, who also noted during the interview that Clarke used to end every Gonzaga shootaround hitting 360 windmill dunks.
However, things didn’t always come this easy on the NBA level for Clarke.
Last year during the playoffs, he fell out of the Grizzlies’ rotation entirely, scoring only two points in the postseason and playing a total of ten minutes.
“I think it just kind of shows the character that he has. A lot of guys kind of land in the NBA and as soon as something goes wrong, they seem to not stick, or some guys bounce around and whatnot. When he saw his minutes kind of go down, he was able to just keep his head down keep working and when his number was called, when the opportunity was there, he’s shown his ability to perform,” said Crandall.
It’s not surprising though, because this is what Brandon’s done his whole career.
He was barely offered by DI colleges out of high school and initially went to a San Jose State program that didn’t have a winning record either of the years he was there before transferring to Gonzaga.
Yet here he is, holding his own in the NBA.
“A lot of coaches dropped the ball on that one. That’s all I’ll say,” said Crandall of Clarke being under-recruited in high school. “I feel like that type of athleticism don’t just come along in one year. I feel like he always had it, so if that many coaches watched that and didn’t think they could do something with it, we need some reevaluating.”
There’s no reevaluating required for Clarke anymore, especially for this group of former Zags who learned everything they need to know about him years ago.
“He brings out the best in his teammates, and he’s a winner,” said Perkins. “There’s nothing negative you can say about that guy. He’s showing the world, and we’re super proud of him, for sure.”
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