From nationally unknown to a first round prospect, meet Montverde product Harlond Beverly. The 6’5” guard quickly burst onto the scene during his lone season with the Golden Eagles. Beverly has been skyrocketing up the rankings, but it wasn’t always that way. For aspiring prospects, the summer leading up to their senior year of high school is a big one. We saw Collin Sexton go from being unranked, to a McDonald’s All American and a member of USA Basketball before getting picked in the top ten of the NBA Draft. The list of late bloomers goes on, but Beverly’s case is still different than most. Sexton, along with the majority, used the sneaker circuit as a platform to show they could go toe-to-toe with the best in the country. Beverly spent his final summer playing for the R.E.A.C.H Legends, his hometown AAU team that isn’t featured on any circuit. However, Beverly was still able to catch the eye of legendary coach, Kevin Boyle. The rest is history, as he made the move to Montverde for his final year of high school ball. The Golden Eagles play a national schedule, with games in Washington DC, Honolulu and everywhere in between. Due to their historic track record of NBA players, Montverde is must see TV for evaluators. When they came to DeMatha for the National Hoopfest, I was excited to see five-star prospects Cade Cunningham and Precious Achiuwa. Then, I stumbled upon Harlond Beverly. It was my first time seeing him play, and Beverly played a perfect game, literally. He was 9/9 from the field and poured in 20 points, leading the Eagles over local powerhouse Paul VI in a very hostile environment. From that point on, I was a fan. Beverly kept the strong performances coming, and his stock rose with it. By the end of the season, he checked in at #54 in the 247composite rankings. Obviously Beverly’s senior campaign was very successful, but I think he’s just getting started.
In today’s NBA, specialists come at a premium. Defending multiple positions and shooting the three ball are two of the most useful skills a prospect can have. The label “3&D” gets thrown around a lot when evaluating prospects. I ranted on twitter a few weeks ago about deciphering the difference between legit 3&D potential, and a very good defender with no offensive arsenal. While it’s true that shooting indicators matter more than percentages at this stage, the likelihood of a prospect making that jump to the point where shooting is one of their two selling points, is extremely rare. None of that applies to Harlond Beverly. I’m going to tell you why I’m very optimistic about his two-way potential, and why his stock can’t rise fast enough:
One of the most crucial aspects of Beverly’s long term projection is his catch and shoot ability. While I would’ve liked to have seen some more shot diversity, his routine footwork/shot preparation and consistent results leave me very optimistic about his skill from deep. Beverly often benefited from the gravity his teammates drew, Cunningham in particular, and was given open threes on a platter. However, it wasn’t always that simple. One of the things I picked up on with Beverly is his off ball awareness. On the surface it might look like a wide open catch and shoot three, but they were often created by simple and effective movements by Beverly. Whether it was sprinting his lane in transition, rising up the wing or fading to the corner to create a better passing lane, he always found his spot. While all of that is very impressive, getting to the open spot is only ⅓ of the battle. I love Beverly’s attentiveness and shot prep, and it’s a huge part of why he’s such a consistent shooter.
This is the trickiest facet of Beverly’s game to evaluate.
This is where Harlond Beverly is going to make his money. Listed at 6’5” with textbook technique, he is comfortably able to guard 1-3. He excels in so many different ways on the defensive end. First, Beverly is a wicked on ball defender. He rarely gets blown-by and as I mentioned above, his technique is perfect.
I haven’t watched enough of him to get a great feel for how great of an athlete he truly is, but he has shown some very impressive flashes so I figured I would add it in here. As I mentioned above, Beverly has elite lateral quickness. He can change directions in a split second and effectively goes from slide to sprint very quickly. While he isn’t jacked, I do think he is functionally strong on the court. The Montverde product often took bumps to the chest from players who are bigger than him, but he never got bumped off his spot. When slashing to rim, Beverly drives with a purpose. He attacks hard downhill and uses his strides effectively. When he gets to the rim, he has impressive body control.
At the moment, I haven’t seen Beverly’s name in the first round of any mainstream mock drafts. However, I think if Beverly performs to his potential under Jim Larranaga, he can hear his name called by Adam Silver on draft night. His most likely draft range is the 20s, which is a perfect fit for his pro outlook. As I wrote in the beginning, his median outcome as a 3&D guard is a very useful one that could help a playoff team from day one. I love Harlond Beverly’s game, but I’m also aware that he probably doesn’t have top 10 potential. I’m selling him as a safe pick who can shoot, defend and understands the game. Yes, that’s my type of prospect, and it’s also someone who is very valuable with the way the NBA is trending.