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2019-20 Preseason Profile: Darius Garland

Cavs Top Pick Looks to Break Out After Abbreviated College Career
by Joe Gabriele
Cavs.com Beat Writer

2019-20 Preseason Profile:
Darius Garland

Cavs Top Pick Looks to Break Out After Abbreviated College Career


There’s absolutely no mystery about the first two players on our list of preseason profiles – Jordan Clarkson and Matthew Dellavedova.

Clarkson – the top-scoring reserve in the East – has missed exactly five games in the past four years. And Delly is … well, … Delly.

But our third installment features a player who only a handful of fans have seen in action over the past year – rookie Darius Garland.

The fifth overall pick of this past June’s Draft, Garland enters the Association having played only four full games of collegiate hoops. He made an impression in those contests – (and obviously in the workout he put on for the Cavaliers brass) – but will come to Camp having not played a meaningful game since November 19 of last year.

Garland – who won four straight Tennessee high school state championships – shot the lights out in a private pre-Draft workout for a Cavs contingent in California. That was good enough for Cleveland to tab him with the first of three first round selections on June 20, taking Belmont senior Dylan Windler with the 26th overall pick and USC freshman Kevin Porter Jr. at No. 30.

”I think I shot the ball really well in the private workout, and I think that’s what caught coach’s eye,” said Garland at his introductory press conference. “There was a little bit of pressure, because the whole (Cavaliers) staff came. And that really meant a lot to me, that they were really interested. I knew I had to come put on a show for them.”

Coach Beilein expounded: “He was shooting from back in Nashville and we were out in California.”

The Cavaliers were abundantly pleased with their first rounder from a season ago – Collin Sexton, who closed out his rookie campaign in stellar fashion, posting freshman numbers on par with Larry Bird and Steph Curry. The knock on him coming out of Alabama was his outside shooting, and all the Young Bull did was set a franchise rookie record with 119 triples.

The possibility of Sexton and Garland – a kid known for his flawless shooting stroke – in the same backcourt is an intriguing scenario with Training Camp rapidly approaching.


Darius Garland won four consecutive Tennessee high school state titles before committing to Vanderbilt.
Photo: Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images


LOOKING BACK -- Garland – the son of former NBA player, Winston Garland – was a five-star recruit out of Brentwood Academy and, primarily through his family’s relationship with Bryce Drew, committed to Vanderbilt as the top recruit in school history.

The 6-2, 175-pounder got off to a scorching start – leading both teams with 24 points in a win over Winthrop in his Vandy debut, going 9-for-15 from the floor to go with four assists in his debut. In his next game, against Kevin Porter’s Southern California squad, Garland paced the Commodores with 19 points, going 3-of-5 from long-distance in the win. (Porter finished with 14 points, four boards and a pair of blocks for USC.)

After a clunker against Alcorn State, Garland bounced back with a vengeance in a win against Liberty – going off for 33 points, canning 12-of-18 shots, including 5-of-8 from beyond the arc, adding four board, four assists and a steal.

But that would essentially be the end of his collegiate career. Less than three minutes into his fifth game – a home matchup against Kent State – Garland suffered a meniscus injury in his left knee and was lost for the season.

Garland didn’t play in either of Cleveland’s two Summer League stints, giving himself a little extra time to get healthy heading into his rookie season.


BY THE NUMBERS: .537, .478, .750 … shooting percentages from the floor (29-54), from beyond the arc (11-23) and the free throw stripe, respectively, for Darius Garland in his truncated freshman season with Vanderbilt.

Excluding the one game he struggled in – a 22-point win over Alcorn State – those numbers improve to .574, .550 and .785, respectively.


LOOKING AHEAD -- With Garland’s limited college experience and the decision not to play him in either Salt Lake City or Las Vegas, not much is known about the young point guard or how exactly Coach Beilein intends to utilize him.

Collin Sexton was the model of durability last year; he was the only Cavalier to suit up for all 82 games. But Cleveland had a revolving door at the other starting guard spot – with Alec Burks, Rodney Hood, David Nwaba, Matthew Dellavedova, Brandon Knight, George Hill, Nik Stauskas and JR Smith all rotating in and out of the backcourt rotation.

There are obviously size – and thus, defensive concerns with starting both Sexton and Garland together. Which one will handle the primary playmaking? Are there enough shots between them – and the rest of the starting five? How will they break down assignments defensively? Can they finish games together?

The Cavs new coaching staff has been working on those possibilities all summer long. And in just over two weeks, they’ll see exactly what they have with Darius Garland and their new dynamic duo.


Wine & Gold Winners Powered by ENGIE

The Wine & Gold defeated the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on November 10th, 2019, behind a 31-point performance by Collin Sexton.

Garland Preview Playlist

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Wine & Gold Winners Powered by ENGIE

The Wine & Gold defeated the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on November 10th, 2019, behind a 31-point performance by Collin Sexton.
Jun 30, 2020  |  01:42

Garland Crosses Up the Sixers

Darius Garland shows off his handles with a sick crossover on his way to the hoop for two.
Jun 1, 2020  |  00:22

Cavaliers Players and Coaches Visit Grafton Correctional Institution

Recently, the Cleveland Cavaliers roster, coaching staff, and members of the front office visited Grafton Correctional Institution to host a roundtable discussion and a basketball game.
Mar 18, 2020  |  04:46

Top Plays of February presented by Lexus

From dishes to dunks check out the top plays of February presented by Lexus.
Mar 2, 2020  |  04:56

Garland Hesitates, Hits Reverse Lay-Up

Darius Garland breaks out a great hesitation move to lose his defender then drives baseline for a reverse lay-in.
Feb 29, 2020  |  00:10

GAME RECAP: Pacers 113, Cavaliers 104

TJ Warren had a game-high 30 points in the Pacers win over the Cavaliers.
Feb 29, 2020  |  00:01

Darius Garland Converts Tough Floater

Darius Garland gets inside and scores a tough floater in the lane.
Feb 29, 2020  |  00:11

GAME RECAP: Pelicans 116, Cavaliers 104

Brandon Ingram scores 29 points and 7 assists as New Orleans beat Cleveland, 116-104.
Feb 28, 2020  |  00:01

Cavs Ball Movement Leads to Garland Bucket

The Cavs display their passing as the ball moves from player to player before Darius Garland hits a lay-up.
Feb 28, 2020  |  00:13

DG Weaves to the Hoop and Scores

Darius Garland goes in and out of the New Orleans defense to get to the hole and score with the left hand.
Feb 28, 2020  |  00:09

Garland's Teardrop in the Pain is Good

Rookie Darius Garland gets inside and with a nice hesitation move and hits a floater in between Pelicans defenders.
Feb 28, 2020  |  00:09

Darius Garland Flies in for Lay-Up

Darius Garland cuts to the hoop and converts an easy lay-up early against the Pelicans.
Feb 28, 2020  |  00:08

GAME RECAP: Cavaliers 108, 76ers 94

Collin Sexton scores 28 points to beat Philadelphia on Wednesday night, 108-94.
Feb 26, 2020  |  00:01

Cavs vs. Sixers Shootaround: Darius Garland

Darius Garland spoke with the media following shootaround at Cleveland Clinic Courts on Wednesday in preparation for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Feb 26, 2020  |  04:18

What a Move By Garland for Clutch Bucket

Darius Garland uses a pump fake to get his defender to fly by him and hits a floater in the lane in the overtime.
Feb 24, 2020  |  00:08

GAME RECAP: Cavaliers 125, Heat 119

Kevin Porter Jr. scores 30 points, Kevin Love posts a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds as Cleveland comes from behind to beat Miami in overtime.
Feb 24, 2020  |  00:01

Garland from Way Outside

Darius Garland shoots and scores from way outside the three point line in the third quarter.
Feb 24, 2020  |  00:11

Garland Knocks Down Baseline Floater

Darius Garland drives baseline around the defense and hits a tough floater against Miami.
Feb 24, 2020  |  00:08

Top 5 powered by ENGIE

Check out the Wine & Gold's Top Plays from the eighteenth week of the 2019-20 campaign.
Feb 24, 2020  |  01:13

GAME RECAP: Heat 124, Cavaliers 105

Kendrick Nunn leads Miami past Cleveland Saturday night. 124-105.
Feb 23, 2020  |  00:02

Garland Hits 100th Three Pointer of the Season

Darius Garland hits a transition three in the fourth quarter for his 100th three pointer of his rookie season.
Feb 22, 2020  |  00:10

Garland Hits Triple as Shot Clock Expires

Darius Garland nails a three pointer in the corner as the shot clock expires early in the third quarter.
Feb 22, 2020  |  00:09

Garland's Entry Pass Leads to Drummond's Dunk

Darius Garland finds Andre Drummond inside with a nice entry pass as Drummond finishes the play with a dunk.
Feb 22, 2020  |  00:09

Garland's Pass Leads to Sexton's And-One

Darius Garland threads the needle with a pass to Collin Sexton who gets a three point opportunity.
Feb 22, 2020  |  00:17

Garland's Nifty Dribbling Leads to Basket

Darius Garland gets to his spot in the mid-range and hits in the first quarter.
Feb 22, 2020  |  00:09

Cavs at Wizards: Darius Garland

Cavaliers guard Darius Garland spoke with the media following Friday’s 113-108 win over the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena.
Feb 21, 2020  |  02:25

Exum, Garland, Sexton Hit Shots to Extend CLE Lead

Dante Exum hits a runner in the lane, Darius Garland knocks down a mid-range jumper, and Collin Sexton cans a triple to extend the Cavs lead in the fourth quarter.
Feb 21, 2020  |  00:30

Garland's Three Ball Gives Cavs the Lead

Larry Nance Jr. assists Darius Garland on a three pointer to give the Cavaliers their first lead of the game.
Feb 21, 2020  |  00:13

Garland Lobs to Thompson for Strong Ally-Oop

Darius Garland finds Tristan Thompson for a nice ally-oop connection in DC.
Feb 21, 2020  |  00:11

Garland Hits a Big Time Three Ball

Darius Garland hits a contested three pointer in the corner in the fourth quarter against the Wizards.
Feb 21, 2020  |  00:12
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