Brandon Wallace is listed at 6'9" and 203 lbs and is a 22 year old undrafted senior out of USC. He went to Silver Bluff High School in Jackson, South Carolina. In his senior year, he averaged 21.9 points, 15.7 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 4.3 blocks per game. He led his team to a 24-7 record, clinching the state title on a last second basket and was named the best defensive player.
He chose USC over Maryland and Auburn. In high school, he had played at small forward, but when he got to USC, they moved him to center. As a slender center for the Gamecocks, Wallace averaged 9.9 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists in his senior year. He was the SEC Iron Man. He played 40+ MPG in 7 games and started every game. In spite of being an undersized 5, he set the school record for career blocked shots (249) and finished number 9 in SEC all-time play. He was number 5 in career bpg (1.84 bpg) and number 6 in career rebounds (775).
But, at barely more than 200 pounds, he didn’t project to the NBA well at that position and he slipped though the cracks during the draft and went undrafted. Several teams, included the Celtics had worked him out but he was projected to be a 4 in the NBA and just didn't have the bulk to survive at that position. Here is what Doc had to say in the Herald on him:
“We may have gotten really lucky here,” said Rivers. “We thought he might be able to be an active 4, but then seeing him in our league with all the strength I was thinking he won’t survive at that spot. Then at the morning coaches meeting, I said, ‘Guys, I think he’s a 3. Let’s just throw him at the 3 and see what happens.’ And he looked phenomenal. It’s amazing. “He’s smart, he makes great decisions, he can defend and he’s a bitch on the boards. He was one of the top 10 players coming out of high school, and the reason he slipped through the cracks is because they played him at 5. That’s what all of us would have done. We threw him in at 4 and he was OK there, but when you put him at 3, now all of a sudden he’s the best athlete on the floor. It might work out. It’d be a good addition, a guy that can guard the 3s. And he’s a cerebral player.
He impressed at the Portsmouth International, but again, he was projected as a 4, since he had played center in college. At Portsmouth, he scored 17 points (8-12), pulled down 5 rebounds, and had 2 blocks. Jonathan Givony of Draft Express had this to say of his performance at Portsmouth:
This was another intriguing showing by South Carolina’s raw power forward Brandon Wallace, doing a good job using his athleticism to the fullest on both ends of the floor. He clearly looks better suited for the up and down tempo we find here rather than the stagnant half-court offense he played in at South Carolina, and as a result has improved notably from game to game here. Wallace ran the floor extremely well today and did a nice job presenting himself around the rim for easy finishes. He is a very frail power forward who can’t finish very well if being contested excessively, but his length, terrific athleticism and excellent activity level help him out tremendously in this area. Wallace also stepped outside on one occasion and knocked down a very good looking 3-pointer.
During the Summer League games in Vegas, Wallace showed a distinct knack for getting to the offensive glass, which is particularly impressive when considering how underdeveloped he is from a physical standpoint. Wallace is in dire need of a strength and conditioning regimen that can put about 20 to 25 pounds of muscle onto his long and lanky frame, but it would be time well-spent on his part. Wallace moves very well without the ball and knows how to get into rebounding position while other players are standing still and watching the ball while it’s in the air. Offensively, Wallace shows a very promising stroke from 3-point range. He shoots with his arms above his head and squares up to the basket nicely using a short wrist-driven follow through on his release. During summer league, he averaged 6 points and 5 rebounds.
But still, the knock was that he was too frail to play the 4 and needed to add bulk. The Celtics worked him out twice during pre-draft workouts and must have seen some promise in him then, even though he was still thought of as a 4. Doc may not always make the best decisions in games, but he nailed this one to give Wallace a look at the 3. Physically, he reminded me of Tayshun Prince. But time will tell whether his game will approach anywhere close to that of Prince's.
He signed a 2 year partially guaranteed contract with the Celtics and with the signings of Esteban Batista and Dahntay Jones, it remains to be seen if he can stick with the team. Although 3 inches shorter, Jones offers much the same attributes that B Wallace does but Jones brings experience that Wallace doesn't have. Batista should definitely make the team because he fills a need and so the last spot will probably come down to Wallace or Jones, depending on what they see from each in training camp.