UNC Basketball: The defense Garrison Brooks provides

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 09: Garrison Brooks
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 09: Garrison Brooks /

With his defensive play this season, Garrison Brooks shows fans he’s not suffering from a sophomore slump.

With his defensive play this season, Garrison Brooks shows fans he’s not suffering from a sophomore slump.
Sixteen games into his second season at the University of North Carolina, Garrison Brooks has been great defensively for the Tar Heels. Last season, Brooks played in all 37 games, starting in 16 and was more of just a hustle guy in his freshman year.

This year his role has expanded and Brooks has been the anchor to the Tar Heels’ interior defense.

Brooks has already surpassed his season averages from a year ago and has started every game for the Tar Heels thus far. Let’s dive in to see what makes Brooks should a great defender for the Tar Heels.

According to Sports-Reference, Brooks is averaging 11.6 total rebounds per 40 minutes. He’s one of 18 players in the ACC to do so, and the only other Tar Heel on that list is Luke Maye at 13.7.

This time last year Brooks was averaging 9.5 total rebounds per minutes. As a team, UNC is second to Duke in total rebounds, and rebounds per game.

The biggest change with Brooks this season is his defensive rating per 100 possessions. The defensive rating per 100 possessions is an estimate of points allowed 100 possessions, and right now Brooks is at 93.3 which is the best rating on the team of anyone who has played 250 minutes.

Brooks also has an offensive rebounding percentage of 12.2 which is second on the team to Brandon Huffman. For the number of minutes Brooks is on the floor, he doesn’t allow opponents to score at a high rate, boxes out well enough to secure the rebound or let a teammate grab it, and plays exceptional help defense.

There’s a reason why Roy Williams has kept Brooks in the starting lineup, and award him with four defensive player of the game awards.

Overall, Brooks does a lot of things that no one will see in the box score. He communicates on defense, puts his hands up to effect shooters and hustles for the ball.

NEXT: UNC Basketball vs. Notre Dame: Preview, game info

For what it’s worth, Brooks started off conference play with 10 assist to zero turnovers, but committed two against the Cardinals on Saturday. He might be limited offensively, but it’s hard to imagine UNC with the same record if Brooks wasn’t playing.