Despite not playing his freshman year due to a leg injury, Gonzaga College (D.C.) High School point guard Bryant Crawford has nabbed a number of high major offers already.
Crawford has received offers from nearly a dozen major programs, including Penn State.
The 6-foot-2, 173-pounder was among the top 44 freshman and sophomores in the country invited to the USA Developmental National Team Mini-Camp last month in Colorado Springs, giving the underclassman an introduction to USA Basketball.
“All of those kids get a better feel for the international play, I think for him it was a good eye-opening experience for using the pick-and-roll and running an offense more ball screening action,” said Gonzaga head coach Steve Turner. “Just having an opportunity to go up against the top peers in his class is another positive of the camp.”
Crawford dislocated his kneecap in the first scrimmage of the 2011-12 season and missed the rest of the campaign - one during which he would have seen significant playing time despite the presence of 2013 North Carolina commit Nate Britt - but was back on track with Team Takeover this summer.
“He’s a gym rat. He’s always in the gym whether it’s with us and our program or with Team Takeover and their program,” Turner said. “Where he definitely improved this summer was his physical aspect of his body. He’s taking time to lift weights and work on that; you can see it continuously developing.”
With Britt having transferred to Oak Hill Academy for his senior season, Crawford will now take the reins of this Gonzaga program and try to keep the team running smoothly through what is always a tough Washington Catholic Athletic Conference.
“We’re going to need him to be a guy who leads the show, and really do what he does, making everyone else better,” said Turner, whose Eagles finished 26-7 last season. “Directing the guys on offense, getting them the ball where they need to be and putting his teammates in positions to score.
“He’s a true, to the truest sense of being a pass-first point guard. He does a tremendous job of making guys around him better, a true floor general for me. He’s a guy who can facilitate and make things happen on the court.”
Already regarded as one of the top point guards in the class of 2015, Crawford has received offers from the likes of Indiana, Georgetown, Rutgers, Penn State, Texas, Seton Hall and South Florida. The sophomore has taken a couple of visits recently, including one to Penn State.
"It was fun the stadium was packed, there was lots of noise from the fans before the game," said Crawford, who attended the game with Turner.
Head coach Patrick Chambers talked with Crawford about his game and why Penn State would be the right fit for his game.
“They are going to be showing more interest. They offered me; they're going to follow my season and keep checking in," said Crawford.
Crawford also made trips to Indiana and Georgetown for the team's respective Hoops Madness events.
“Indiana was a nice atmosphere. The arena was sold out, lots of noise, I liked it," said Crawford. "It was my second trip Georgetown's midnight madness, it was a fun time also.
On the defensive end, Crawford is a player who disrupts opposing offenses with his defense. He takes one-on-one matchups personally. He’s also very good off the ball and gets his hands in a lot of passing lanes.
Gonzaga has the rigorous WCAC schedule to deal with in addition to some tough out of conference matchups. We’ll be tracking the progress of Crawford as the season progresses.