As a lead guard with excellent athletic ability, Graham shows the balance between being a facilitator who is thinking about setting up his teammates and being a scorer. His basketball IQ is what stands out; he understands spacing and flow within his floor game, or he can turn it up a notch and play at a faster tempo. He can be trusted by his coaches because he is more of a decision-maker versus a risk-taker, and has vision and passing accuracy to connect with his teammates. He led his Brewster team in assists (171 in 33 games) and his assist-to-turnover ratio was terrific at 5-1.
As a 3-point shooter, he shines by knocking down shots on a fairly consistent basis, which complements his floor game so well. Once inside the arc, watch out for his dribble pull-up game and floaters, as he is equally adept in those areas. Defensively he levels the drive well as he stays in front of his man and will step in and take charges off the ball, which is uncommon for most high school players.
…With Graham’s shooting prowess, his man cannot leave him to double Cliff Alexander or Perry Ellis inside or Graham will make them pay. He was the main reason Brewster Academy won the prestigious NEPSAC title and national prep school championship, and that fits Kansas' winning tradition just fine.
“Devonte’ can facilitate and run a team,” Brewster coach Jason Smith said. “Defensively, he’s outstanding and he’s able to shoot the ball well from the perimeter. He’s as a good as any point we’ve had at Brewster.”
"I hit it off with the coaching staff and the players," Graham said. "I could see myself fitting into their style of play."
The Jayhawks will return starters Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden Jr. and will add two of the top freshmen in the nation in big man Cliff Alexander and wing Kelly Oubre. Graham said he's looking forward to playing with an abundance of talent.
"I'm someone who can run a team and also can score," he said, "but I look to get everyone involved and try and be a leader as a point guard."
Brewster point guard Devonte Graham has signed his National Letter of Intent and scholarship paperwork with Kansas. #KUCMB #RockChalk #KU
Comparison that the Brewster Staff uses a lot for Devonte Graham is former Xavier point Semaj Christon — if you're familiar with his work.
Devonte Graham will be in the mix to start from day one for Kansas
Devonte Graham (@im_dat_kid_dtae) may just be the piece that Kansas needs. Chose Jayhawks over NC State today
I would not be surprised at all to see Devonte Graham win spot as Kansas starting point guard at some point next season.
Bill Self gets the point guard he needs to make a run next season. Graham will compete for starting spot right away.
By the way, how badass is Bill Self? Breaks up with his starting PG on May 1st. Upgrades on May 2nd.
Based on my multiple viewings of Devonte Graham, I think he's a good passer & leader, but also can score when he needs to. No. 41 overall.
Video: 2014 National Prep School Invitational Devonte Graham highlights
ROCKCHALK JAYHAWK !! #KUCMB
Everybody show the new addition to the family some love. Congrats on committing bro @im_dat_kid_dtae
Everybody show @I'm_dat_kid_dtae some love, he just became apart of the family. #KUCMB
Everybody welcome my bro @im_dat_kid_dtae to the Jayhawk Family !#KUCMB
@im_dat_kid_dtae Yea, my boy! Congrats and welcome to the family
"We've had our fair share of guys from Brewster over the years, primarily Naadir (Tharpe) and Thomas (Robinson)," Self said. "We're very familiar with that program. We certainly solidified our situation in the backcourt by bringing in a quality guy and I think Devonte' is one of the premier point guards in the country. Jason Smith is not a good coach, he's a great coach. He's been at Brewster for a number of years and has coached many, many great ones. He definitely made me feel Devonte' is as good as any he has had in the backcourt."
Graham averaged 17.2 points and 5.0 assists per game and led Brewster to the national prep championship and New England championship in 2013-14. Following being released from Appalachian State, Graham's stock immediately rose as he went from being unranked to No. 36 in the final 2014 rankings by Rivals.com.
"I think Devonte' will be an immediate impact guy for us," Self said. "That's not to take away from the other guards we have but this is a situation that we just got a lot better. He comes from very good high school and prep school programs and an exceptional AAU program in Gardner Road. After he and his mother (Dewanna King) came here on their recruiting visit, it was a situation we felt like he and she connected with everybody here and I think he will be a great leader for our program."
Prior to Brewster Academy, Graham led Broughton High School in Raleigh, N.C., to the state championship game where he averaged 15.7 points and 5.4 assists and a 26-6 record in 2012-13. Graham, who was coached by Jeff Ferrell while at Broughton, averaged 14.8 points, 4.3 assists and 2.2 steals per game as a junior.
KUAD Press Release
Graham was described as an in-state hidden gem on the recruiting trail after he committed to Appalachian State in November 2012 because he played exceptionally well at the prep school Brewster Academy last season. He then began to receive interest from established basketball programs like Butler, Wichita State and University of Connecticut – the latter of which won the NCAA Tournament this year.
Devonte’ Graham can’t wait to lob the basketball to, say, Cliff Alexander for a resounding dunk off the fast break next season at Kansas University.
“I’ve seen him play. It’s going to be great. I’m going to feel like Chris Paul throwing the ball to him,” said Graham, a 6-foot-2 point guard from Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, who on Friday signed a letter of intent to play for Bill Self’s Jayhawks.
Graham, who is originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, chose KU over runner-up N.C. State. A true playmaker who averaged 17.2 points and 5.0 assists last year for national prep champion Brewster, Graham describes his game as, “being a leader, being able to control the team, being able to control the tempo of the game, being able to facilitate and get players shots that they need, also being able to score.”
He was his team’s top three-point shooter at 40 percent beyond the arc.
…Graham just might start from Day One.
“If I’m not mistaken, Tyshawn Taylor started (as a freshman). If I’m not mistaken, Aaron Miles started at point guard as a freshman. We’ve had some inexperienced point guards on some really good teams. I’m not saying who will start. Of course, you’d rather play with juniors and seniors at certain positions. These guys will play beyond their years,” Self said.
Graham would love to be opening-day starter.
“Of course,” he said. “I’m not going to come in and say, ‘Ooh, I’m the starter.’ I’m going to go in and compete for a starting spot. I think we have a chance to do something very special next year with the players coming in (Graham, power forward Alexander, wing Kelly Oubre) and the players already there. I’m looking forward to having a great season,” Graham added.
…“The deciding factor was talking to my family and my mom and figuring out which school was the best for me. (The main factors were) winning, the opportunity to play right away, the school I felt would develop me as a person and player,” Graham said.
…Graham told the Journal-World he definitely prefers an accent over the E in Devonte’.
…Brewster coach Smith to Rivals.com: “He’s as good as any point guard we’ve had during my tenure at Brewster. He’s kind of a combination of a few different guys. He’s explosive like Semaj Christon (Xavier). He runs the team and makes decisions well. He guards like Dogus Balbay, who played at Texas, so I knew once Devonte’ received his release, he’d be recruited by the highest level programs. He’s a little bit of both (point guard/shooting guard). Devonte’ can score if you need him to score, but he really shoots the ball well and he can defend. He was our leading scorer this year, but he still shot over 50 percent from the floor, 40 percent from behind the arc and nearly 80 percent from the foul line.”
Key Riser: Wayne Selden -- The big, strong wing never quite looked completely comfortable as a freshman, but now he'll have a year of experience and should be more assertive and effective. Don't be shocked if Selden makes a significant jump and even becomes the Jayhawks' leading scorer.
Analysis: It won't be easy to replace Wiggins and Embiid, but Bill Self will bring in a couple of freshmen who are plenty capable. Alexander is big, strong, physical big man who will bring a toughness that was lacking a year ago -- and Oubre is a long, athletic forward who may be able to slide right into Wiggins' spot. The key for the Jayhawks once again will be point guard play. Naadir Tharpe has transferred out, but KU will have three options: sophomores Mason and Frankamp, along with recent addition Graham -- who may be the best fit for the program. He can run a team that will have no shortage of weapons.
Summer Buzz: Kansas is looking at a bunch of frontcourt options: Ivan Rabb, Diamond Stone, Stephen Zimmerman, Cheick Diallo, Thomas Bryant, Chance Comanche, Skal Labissiere, Chase Jeter and Carlton Bragg. The Jayhawks are also in pursuit of several guards: Malik Newman, Jalen Brunson and Jawun Evans.
ESPN ($) Goodman’s Top 50
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