Strengths: Hands, strength, surprising
agility for size, ability to run the floor, power, shotblocking
perimeter game and ballhandling, may be a tweener, potential weight problems, sometimes
too passive, passing out of double teams
Scouting Report: Elton Brand ran away with the national player of the year awards in
'99, yet his numbers were relatively modest and there was a sense that he won because of a
lack of competition, not because of his overwhelming dominance. Still and all, he proved
one thing: he could not be guarded one- on-one at the college level. Despite not being
able to go to his left and not possessing any true go-to move, he was nearly unstoppable
in the paint. This was because he was strong enough to overpower most of his opponents,
and quick enough to simply go around his bigger opponents. There were times, especially
when he was playing against lesser opponents, that he would play passively, especially on
the boards. He didn't always react well to being played tough physically.
Early in the season, he looked especially out of shape and weak with the ball. After
his celebrated benching by Coach K, he became a dominant player, earning three straight
player of the week awards in the ACC. The main difference was in his rebounding and
defense. He dominated the Kentucky and Maryland front lines, posting up at will and making
it difficult to score. Brand's defensive presence made up for the mediocre job done by its
backcourt, because he and Shane Battier could erase a lot of mistakes. Brand prospered
with Will Avery at point guard because he knew Avery could penetrate and deliver the ball.
He also benefitted from Trajan Langdon's shooting, because it made him harder to
double-team. Elton improved at using the relocation pass to find Avery and Langdon
spotting up as the season went on, but there were still times that he stubbornly went to
the basket in the face of heavy opposition with no good shot available.
Brand's best individual move was using his power to back opponents in, and then either
try to spin around for a layup, or turn around for a short jumper. He became very
effective from two feet and in. There were times when he showed a little more range.
Against Kentucky, for example, he showed off a 17' jumper when the game was on the line.
Against Clemson, he popped 15' jumpers in the early going. He will need to develop this
much further to succeed in the league.
Brand's best asset is his uncanny agility. Allowed to play the passing lanes, he
frequently darted in front of passes and started (and sometimes finished!) breaks. His
nice footwork in the post is what got him so many easy baskets, especially without a
particular go-to move. Brand's hands are a literally huge asset; the number of time he
snagged a one-handed rebound were numerous. I project his initial big impact in the league
as a rebounder and defender.
Brand usually has no problem with huge opponents if they lack footspeed. It's the tall,
rangy players like Alvin Jones who have given him some problems. Extremely physical and
athletic players can give him problems, too.
I see him as top-five pick who probably won't really blossom until his third year in