Brandon Better’s Emergence

Brandon Better has been an absolute beast over the last week. His offensive game has emerged as one of the cornerstones of this SUU Basketball team.

Better averaged a clean 25 points per game in last week’s three game stand and he’s been more efficient than ever. Excluding a flukey three point performance against Idaho, Better is shooting 48% from the field and 48% from three over his last four games.

Last season Better got stronger as the year went on. He was named to the Big Sky All-Tournament Team following his outstanding performance in Reno at the Big Sky Conference Championship Tournament.

When starting guard Jason Richardson went down two games into conference play the starting role fell to Better. His role at the start of the season was an off-the-bench scorer who could make plays and lead the second unit.

Now Better is the offensive catalyst for the starting five and has been making good on his chances. He’s quick enough to get in the lane and get to the hoop, but his floor spacing has been crucial.

The senior guard has been an absolute marksman from three, both off the dribble:

And in the catch and shoot department too:

Especially in clutch moments:

You just can’t leave him an inch of space or he’ll punish you. He’s been great coming off of screens, shaming defenders that help on pick and rolls, and has been the most reliable free throw shooter in the Big Sky.

Better is shooting 87% from the charity stripe and hasn’t missed more than one free throw in a game all season. When he approaches the line, you can put two points on the board.

The knock on Better has always been that he is only a scorer, and that’s true. He’s averaging one rebound per game, isn’t offering much on the defensive end and holds a negative assist to turnover ratio. None of that matters though.

The T-Birds don’t need Better to be any more than what he is. They can play defense around him and Dre Marin and Cameron Oluyitan can handle the playmaking duties, but no one on the team creates instant offense better than Better (you know that pun was coming at some point).

The final clincher for Better would be consistency. He looked unstoppable against Eastern Washington, putting up a career high 35 points on 8-14 shooting. In the next contest against Idaho he couldn’t buy a bucket and went 1-9 from the field.

You’ll take some of those rough games with his offensive outbursts though. The last three weeks the T-Birds have needed scoring, and Better has stepped up to the plate and provided it.

Story by: Connor Sanders
Photo courtesy of SUU Athletics Strategic Communication