Similar to their big league counterparts, each of the twenty-eight G League teams spend each day of the season focusing on doing what they can to win on a game-by-game basis. However, the league separates themselves by how the pursuit of victory combines with a need to develop their players so they can eventually reach an improved destination, whether that’s the NBA or more lucrative overseas deals.
A recent example of that is evident from Atlanta Hawks two-way guard Brandon Goodwin. Like most players on that type of contract, he started the year out in the G League playing with the College Park Skyhawks. The second-year guard was fantastic with that team as he averaged 19.1 points, 7.5 assists, 5.7 rebounds, and 2 steals on 44% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc on 6.5 attempts per game.
His production led to him being an Eastern Conference reserve on our G League All-Star teams. After a solid 17-game run with College Park, Atlanta called his number on December 27th for their game against the Bucks. Since then, he hasn’t played a second of G League basketball.
Following Goodwin’s promotion to the NBA, College Park needed players throughout the roster to step up and share the load that was left by the departure. The collective has done an excellent job as they’ve gone 8-7 since December 27th. Although the likes of Cat Barber and Nick Ward have pushed their games to the next level during that time, there has been one player that has shined brightest.
That man is rookie guard Armoni Brooks, who entered the G League this year after a three-year run with the University of Houston. After starting the year playing limited minutes within the 2nd unit, his role with the team increased in January, where he averaged 29 minutes per game. During that month, the rookie was incredible by averaging 17.7 points, 4 rebounds, and 1.8 assists on 51% from the field and 48% from beyond the arc on 8 attempts per game. Those fantastic numbers allowed him to maintain an excellent 68% True Shooting Percentage.
In addition to putting up incredible numbers, Brooks’ play on this end has proven to be beneficial for College Park’s offense. During January, the Skyhawks were seven points per 100 possessions better when he was on the court (106.4 per 100) compared to when he was sitting on the sidelines (99.9 points per 100).
That fantastic offensive performance has been mostly due to him catching fire from beyond the arc. The 48% three-point percentage that he maintained in January stood as the sixth most efficient percentage during the month.
The rookie’s phenomenal efficiency from beyond the arc becomes even more impressive when you watch him play. Because from that perspective, you see a player that is never afraid to put up threes, no matter if he has a hand in his face, working off the dribble or standing on the logo. Although that type of confidence could make Skyhawks head coach Noel Gillespie tear out the few hairs that remain in his head, it paid off in huge ways during January.
Currently, that steady perimeter undeniably stands as his most utilized offensive trait, as 63% of his 152 shot attempts in January came from beyond the arc. That extreme reliance doesn’t lead a lot of room for him to shine in other areas. However, Brooks has shown an ability to score points as a post-up threat, on-ball driver, and mid-range shooter.
Although a tremendous month of basketball may not be enough to warrant him receiving a 10-day deal, it’s shown that the 21-year-old guard is a talented young prospect. Because in addition to him being a phenomenal outside threat, Brooks has excellent basketball IQ for someone his age, which is evident in the play below, where he instructs teammate Marcus Derrickson to set a screen on Skyhawks point guard Cat Barber.
If you combine that with his stance as a solid on-ball defense, the rookie guard stands as an exciting young prospect that fans should keep an eye on for the rest of the G League season.