Six-foot-8 Brandon Brigman appeared to grow three inches in the first half of Tuesday’s game against Providence, after he took the place of 6-foot-11 center Will McDonald, who got into foul trouble less than two minutes into the game.
During 14 minutes of playing time Brigman went 4-of-7 from the field, along with 1-of-2 from the free throw line, surpassing his personal best of eight points.
Along with the near double-digit scoring, Brigman posted six rebounds and two blocks, contributing what he could while McDonald sat out most of the first half because of the two personal fouls he committed early.
“I knew after the second foul, my number was going to be called,” Brigman said. “I was just ready to play, and I could do my job.”
As a freshman last season, Brigman saw little playing time, averaging less than 5 1/2 minutes a game.
After playing 10 minutes or more in only four games last year, Brigman relished the extra time, which gave him a confidence booster.
“You’re out there, you score a couple points, get a couple rebounds, block. If you’re in the mix, you are going to automatically feel better about yourself,” said Brigman.
If being part of the mix boosts one’s confidence, than this is the second week in a row that Brigman has experienced a rise in self-assurance. His numbers in last Friday’s game were just as impressive as Saturday’s. In 14 minutes of competition against NSU, Brigman scored seven points, grabbed 6 rebounds and had one steal.
Although Brigman will never be mistaken for McDonald, the numbers he posts off the bench deserve attention and more than likely lessens the concerns of a McDonald-less team. Brigman’s ability fills the void when McDonald is on the bench, giving the Bulls confidence in their post play whether Brigman or McDonald is on the court.
“He did the same thing I would have done,” McDonald said. “He played to my ability.”