This is Malcolm Brogdon, redshirt junior guard for (my squad) the Virginia Cavaliers.
There is no other player that is more college basketball than Malcolm Brogdon. Malcolm Brogdon is the most college basketball you will see this season. Below is an overexplained list demonstrating why.
1) Malcolm Brogdon is good at basketball.
To be the most college basketball, you need to be, you know, good at basketball. And Malcolm is! Last season, the ACC coaches voted him first-team all-ACC. The media voted him all-ACC second team. He made the KenPom all-ACC team. He was the leading scorer for a team that very nearly went undefeated in ACC play and won the ACC tournament as well.
His per game stats are relatively pedestrian: 12.7 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 2.7 APG. Obviously, he suffers from his coach's preferred pace (adj tempo 60.9 poss/game, 346th in the country)
But let's do a comparison, shall we? Let's compare him to North Carolina's Marcus Paige, consensus all-ACC pick and National Player of the Year contender. In terms of raw counting stats, Paige blows him out of the water: 17.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 4.2 APG. But again, Carolina plays at a breakneck pace (70.8 adj poss/game, 19th).
Advanced stats, though, bear out that Brogdon and Paige were very close in production last year. Both have a player efficiency rating of 20.8. Paige is a superior shooter - his TS% was .592, while Brogdon's is .545.
However, Brogdon was one of the best rebounding guards in the country with a def reb% of 17.3%. Paige is at 8.2%, but, admittedly, Roy Williams doesn't ask the diminutive guard to rebound much. Paige's ORtg was 120 and Malcolm's was 117, though at a higher usage (22.6% versus 23.5%).
Defensively, Brogdon remains in a whole other class than Paige. He's a stopper and is relatively sneaky on steals. What (poor) metrics we have bear this out: Brogdons DRtg is 91.1, while Paige's is 102.2. Both teams were top 25 in adj def rating per KenPom, so it's not like Paige was playing with a bunch of sieves either.
We could look at conference-only stats, but Malcolm simply shined too bright for Paige. And don't give me that "unbalanced schedule crap" because Virginia's and Carolina's schedules were ranked 15th and 14th hardest in the conference, respectively.
2) Malcolm Brogdon plays basketball like the white-haired guys at the 5AM game at your local Y.
From his Draftexpress profile,
While he has nice size, the rest of his physical tools don't leap off the page, as he doesn't have elite speed or explosiveness. He may have trouble matching some of the elite athleticism you see at the shooting guard level in the NBA, so he will have to find other ways to prove himself to NBA scouts.
Basically, he can't jump over a phone book. His blowbyability is meh. He's sort of burly. Kind of.
Which means, of course, he's perfect for college basketball. I can think of no superlative better to describe the ideal college basketball player than: can't really jump or isn't that quick, but he's sort of burly. He has big hands, so there's that.
3) He's good at school AND WANTS TO STAY THERE.
Note: I don't honestly care about this. College athletics is a sham - providing a college education to those who don't want it is a bogus endeavor. Pay them, please.
HOWEVER, some people want to maintain that college basketball is really about the academics and getting an education. For those people, MALCOLM IS YOUR GUY.
And Macolm Brogdon is good at the learnin' too. From this Washington Post profile on him,
He is also simultaneously pursuing an undergraduate degree in history and an accelerated master's degree in public policy at the university's Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, intent on remaining on campus through next year, even if the NBA comes calling, because of a family steeped in educational accolades.
He's getting two degrees! He's shrugging off NBA calls (no one is calling)! WHAT A GREAT STUDENT-ATHLETE!
4) He celebrates like an old lady winning a bingo tournament.
Versus Pittsburgh on Super Bowl Sunday last year, Brogdon hit a game-winning three. Watch his reaction.
5) He's an elder statesmen already; his teammates call him "Uncle" Malcolm
Even though he's only a junior in college, he talks like he's 57. He possesses a high basketball IQ. From Streaking the Lawn,
After he spoke at the ACC media day, the ACC Digital Network's Jeff Fischel commented on his eloquence and started campaigning for Brodgon's future "Governor of Virginia" role.
He's a young Grant Hill! (he even had to sit out a year with a foot injury!)
Of course she was! Here's how it would've gone down in my house.
RMJ=H: Mom! I got a scholarship to Virginia.
Mom: [Moves all of RMJ=H's worldly possessions to curb]
7) Jack of all trades, master at none.
On an off the court, he does everything well, but nothing great. He shoots pretty well (not as well as Marcus Paige), he rebounds well (not as well as Akil Mitchell), he plays defense well (not as well as KJ McDaniel). Heck, he's only got a 3.1 or 3.2 GPA. YOU NEED A FEW MORE A'S IN THERE MALCOLM.
I can think of no other trait that personifies college basketball, a sport that really values academics, than that. He's a basketball player, sure, but he truly is the most college basketball player.
All stats, unless otherwise mentioned via basketball-reference.com.