22 - Malaki Branham

6-5, 195 Shooting Guard/Small Forward
Ohio St. Freshman
05/12/03 (20.6 yrs)
Akron, OH
High School
St. Vincent-St. Mary
Team Site Profile
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Ball Handling

NBA Comparison:  Khris Middleton

Strengths: An athletic three-level scorer who can create points on his own and off the ball … Good body control on drives in the lane … Shot 41% from the perimeter on nearly three attempts per game and his 83% FT suggests that his shooting success should continue at the next level with solid mechanics and a great shooting stroke … Excellent cutter with good court vision on and off the ball … Great ball-handler and finisher at the rim (70% at the rim) … Drives with speed to his right to get around defenders and power to create room for himself when he doesn’t turn the corner … Can also drive to his left, but not with the same speed … Possesses an elite mid-range jumper and can stop on a dime off the dribble at his spots to knock down these jumpers … Good vertical and long arms allow him to score over defenders in the lane and grab rebounds on the wing … Plays with a head on a swivel on the defensive end and knows how to get out in transition … Sees the floor well and uses long strides to get to the other side of the rim on drives to avoid defenders and finish reverse layups because of this vision … Great size for someone who can initiate the offense at 6’5 with long arms, in the range of just under 7′ … Gained confidence as the season went on and seemed to play his best in big games …

Weaknesses: Shoots smoothly as a spot-up shooter, but looks less in rhythm shooting off the dribble from the perimeter with a slower motion … Branham is at his best when he doesn’t have time to think and just trusts his mechanics and abilities whether that is shooting before contesting defenders arrive or pulling up in front of on-ball defenders … As efficient as he is as a mid-range scorer, he can tend to settle in this area when he can get to the basket instead where he is a more efficient scorer … Struggles to stay balanced and with his man going around screens on the defensive end … Long arms and athleticism should lead to more disruption defensively and more than just 0.7 steals per game and 0.3 blocks per game … Could struggle with contact-seeking wings as the on-ball defender in the post and on drives …

Notes: 2022 All-Big Ten Third Team, Big Ten All-Freshman Team and Big Ten Rookie of the Year as a freshman … Attended St. Vincent-St. Mary and became the school’s first and only winner of Ohio’s Mr. Basketball aside from three-time winner LeBron James … Fourth all-time leading scorer in SVSM history … Scored a career-high 35 points against Nebraska in January … Declared for 2022 NBA Draft while maintaining his college eligibility …

Derek Bast 4/11/22

Notes: Measured: 6’4.0” barefoot, 6’5.5” in shoes, 8’6.5” standing reach, 194.8 lbs, 6’10.00” wingspan at the 2022 NBA Draft Combine …

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