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Brew Hoop Community Draft Board - #19, Malaki Branham

Another Ohio State product

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament Second Round-Ohio State vs Villanova Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

For the second time during our Community Draft Board process, Ohio State gets another callout for one of their key players from last year. As a UW alum, it makes my skin crawl, but I’m not about delegitimizing the voice of the people, so we’re now going to talk about Malaki Branham, a shooting guard out of Ohio State.

He’s definitely ranked higher in most draftniks ranking than where he landed here, and Milwaukee Bucks fans will appreciate that The Ringer lists Khris Middleton as someone he has shades of. He doesn’t quite have the same size though, listed at 6’5” in shoes with a 6’10” wingspan. With just one year under his belt at Ohio State, as a freshman he showcased an impressive shot, hitting 41% of his 89 3-point attempts as well as 83% from the line. Everyone seems to be calling out his scoring and shooting first and foremost.

That’s certainly not something the Bucks front office should be overlooking after their meager Playoff output, but if he lacks playmaking and is still “making strides” as a defender, I am a little bit wary. But, with his age, he seems like he could be worthy gamble if he somehow fell to 24. I can’t say he’s been my favorite among all the prospects we’ve seen thus far though.

Here’s a helpful summary from Givony following the first weekend of the NCAA tournament:

Where they rank after first weekend of the NCAA tournament) — Branham looked like the best player on the floor against Villanova, despite only being a freshman. Ohio State has gradually shifted most of their offense to run through him as the season has progressed, and he did a great job of making shots keep the game close before the Buckeyes eventually bowed out. Branham’s size, frame, length, scoring instincts and shot-making prowess off the dribble (44% FG%) and with his feet set (43%) make his game look seamlessly translatable for what the NBA is looking for at his position. He got to his spots in the mid-range and rose up beautifully with his high release point, and showed he can do a little more than that too by facilitating for others and showing competitiveness defensively one-on-one. While he has some things to work with as a ball handler and off-ball defender, the fact that he’s 18 years old, has made such impressive strides as the season moved on and plays with a unique combination of aggressiveness and poise could put him in lottery conversations

Here’s our list so far:

  1. Chet Holmgren
  2. Jabari Smith
  3. Paolo Banchero
  4. Jaden Ivey
  5. Keegan Murray
  6. Dyson Daniels
  7. Shaedon Sharpe
  8. Bennedict Mathurin
  9. A.J. Griffin
  10. Jalen Duren
  11. Johnny Davis
  12. Jeremy Sochan
  13. Ousmane Dieng
  14. Ochai Agbaji
  15. Mark Williams
  16. E.J. Liddell
  17. TyTy Washington Jr.
  18. Jalen Williams
  19. Malaki Branham

And here’s the usual spreadsheet from Adam Spinella. Let’s vote for 20.

Poll

My pick for #20 on the community draft board is...

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Tari Eason, SF, LSU
    (20 votes)
  • 10%
    Kennedy Chandler, PG, Tennessee
    (6 votes)
  • 10%
    Jaden Hardy, SG, G League Ignite
    (6 votes)
  • 7%
    MarJon Beauchamp, SG, G League Ignite
    (4 votes)
  • 16%
    Nikola Jovic, SF, Mega Mozzart
    (9 votes)
  • 19%
    Dalen Terry, PG, Arizona
    (11 votes)
56 votes total Vote Now

This poll will close at 8 am central, June 15.