Meadowlands: The Wow of Wright

By David Scott - March 24, 2007

It is a question that Brandan Wright did not have to hesitate to answer. He knows the number as cold as he knows his own birthdate (10/5/87) and probably better than he knows his season averages (14.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and almost two blocks per game).

"It's 7-feet-5-inches," said the soft-spoken freshman from Nashville, Tennessee of his otherworldly wingspan. "I think at the Nike camp they really take pride in those numbers. That's the first time I started to look into it."

The rest of college basketball is starting to look into the Wright Wingspan and the Wright Way with more intensity as well, especially as he leads his Tar Heels into a date with Georgetown on Sunday in the Elite Eight. At 6-foot-9, 205 pounds, Wright possesses freakish speed, freakish jumping ability and the freakish wingspan that allows almost every ball to be within his reach. So much so that his teammates each have their own Wright "Wow Moments."

"Probably my first wow moment was when we played against Maryland and the ball came off the rim and Brandan, I don't know how he caught it," said Ty Lawson, shaking his head. "But I think he caught it with his left or right hand and dunked it on or two people. Something like that. That was my first moment."


"A couple of games ago, the game where, I don't know, Brandan I think was driving baseline, maybe caught a rebound on the baseline," said Macrus Ginyard. "I just felt like he was all the way underneath the basket and somehow he got around the front of the basket and ended up dunking it with his head behind the backboard."


"I think it was our second game of the year against Winthrop," said Tyler Hansbrough. "He had a block that was really nice. The guy tried to dunk on him and he blocked it. It was pretty nice."


"I think it was when - a couple of games ago when he went up for a lay-up and he missed and put it back himself and he dunked it," said Wayne Ellington. "I think there were two people in the lane. That was pretty impressive to me."


"I'm waiting for my wow moment from Brandan," deadpanned funny guy, and Wright's coach, Roy Williams.

Coach Roy may be the only one waiting for the Wright Wow moment of merit. The freshman with the braces on his teeth and hops in his heels has been wowing Tar Heel fans and NBA scouts to the point where he could be a Top 3 NBA pick should he decide to enter the Draft this season (a question that Wright has been busy swatting away all weekend in the Meadowlands)

"All my teammates always tell me about the things they've seen me do that they didn't think I could do," said Wright. "t's pretty funny to hear them. Things just kind of happen, it's not anything I plan, I just go out and play ball. I'm not really amazed by that kind of stuff."

Still, Wright does admit to one of his own personal "Wow" moments in a game against Florida State earlier this season.

"Probably the only thing I was kind of shocked at was when 'Q' (Quentin Thomas) threw me a pass at Florida State," he said. "It was pretty high, I didn't think I had an opportunity to dunk it. I caught it one handed, well off the block and tapped it in and (6-1 guard) Isaiah Swann was right in front of me. That's the only thing that really amazed me this year.

"I just try to use (my wingspan) to he best of my abilities," he said. "I try to use it to my advantage."

On Sunday, with a trip to the Final Four on the line, Wright will attempt to use that wingspan to help neutralize both Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert of the Hoyas.

"I don't know what Roy Hibbert's wing span is, I would like to know," said Wright.

"When we get to Georgetown, they measure all that stuff," said the 7-foot-2, 278-pound Hibbert. "Mine is 7-foot-4. So he's got me."

That fact along ust one more reason to say "Wow!" in regards to Mr. Wright.

Posted by David Scott at 04:04 PM on March 24, 2007

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