It’s hard to find another 21-year-old American below the pro level as accomplished as Jalen Brunson.
The six-foot-two lead guard accumulated 3,351 minutes of college basketball experience over his four years at Villanova. After redshirting the first year, he went on to run point for two teams that won the National Championship.
Most recently, Brunson averaged 23.8 points per 40 minutes on 60.4% effective shooting and posted a 24.6 PER in 40 appearances on his way to win National Player of the Year honors last season.
Villanova played the sixth-toughest schedule in the country and had a +27.8 pace-adjusted point differential in Brunson’s 1,272 minutes.
On top of that, he has under his belt 293 minutes defending the United States National Team at the 2014 U18 FIBA Americas and at the 2015 U19 FIBA World Cup, where he was the MVP on a team that had Jayson Tatum, Josh Jackson and Harry Giles on it.
Having played a lot of high level games in his career, Brunson is a savvy point guard who knows how to control the pace of the game, regularly finding the right mix between passing ahead to speed up the tempo and walking it up to run half-court offense.
He was the triggerman of an offense that attempted some early possession ball movement but was usually burdened with creating against a set defense midway through the shot clock – posting 26.3% usage rate and assisting on 26.6% of Villanova’s scores when he was on the floor last season.
Most of his work was done in middle high pick-and-roll and in isolation off ball reversals but Brunson is best known for his post game, as Villanova inverted the offense often.
On the other end, the native of Lincolnshire, Illinois is strong enough and tough enough to guard bigger players, which he did quite a bit in college because Villanova switched aggressively on all screens. But he struggles in individual defense against similarly-sized players due to lack of great quickness and lacks length to create events or contest shots effectively.
(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)