When College of Charleston coach Earl Grant went to scout Brevin Galloway in high school, the first thing he noticed about the former Seneca High School basketball star was his shooting touch.
At Seneca and earlier at T.L. Hanna High School, Galloway was one of the top 3-point shooters in the state. During one 21-game season with T.L. Hanna, Galloway set the school’s single-season mark with 81 3-pointers.
“The first thing that kind of jumps out at you about Brevin is his shooting and scoring ability,” Grant said. “He’s always been able to shoot and score. He’s got great range on his shot and he’s confident that every shot he takes is going in.”
Defense, well, that was a different story for Galloway.
In high school and even at the AAU level, Galloway was almost always the featured scorer on his team. Playing defense was an afterthought for the three-time all-state player.
“I think in high school Brevin just wasn’t asked to play a lot of defense,” Grant said. “He didn’t have to do it as much in high school because he was just more athletic than everyone else on the floor and could get away with it.”
At 6-3 and more than 200 pounds, Galloway was normally the biggest, fastest and strongest guard on the floor. His athletic ability more than made up for poor fundamentals.
“Defensively, I had a lot of bad habits in high school,” Galloway said. "In high school, it's about outscoring the other, not getting stops defensively."
When Galloway stepped onto the College of Charleston campus in the fall of 2016, he quickly realized that playing defense was going to be a requirement under Grant.
“From the first day of practice coach Grant stresses defense and rebounding,” Galloway said. “If you don’t play defense, you don’t play. That became pretty clear my freshman season."
The Cougars backcourt was already crowded with talented upperclassmen when Galloway arrived. Joe Chealey, Cameron Johnson, Grant Riller and Marquise Pointer were firmly entrenched in the Cougars' rotation.
It was one of the reasons Galloway decided to redshirt his freshman season. But it wasn’t a wasted year for Galloway, who watched and learned from his older teammates.
“I was like most freshmen, I wanted to come in and play right away,” Galloway said. “With Joe and Cam and Grant and Marquise, it was pretty obvious I wasn’t going to get a lot of playing time, so I redshirted. I think it was the best decision for me. I tried to soak up everything I could from those guys, especially Cam, he was my role model.”
The Cougars went 25-10 during the 2016-17 season, advancing to the Colonial Athletic Association’s tournament final against UNC Wilmington and making it to the NIT Tournament.
“I watched the way Cam and Marquise played,” Galloway said. “I knew that if I wanted to play, I needed to play like they did, especially defensively.”
Galloway worked tirelessly to improve his defense before his sophomore season.
“I think Brevin has always had the tools to be a good defender, it was just a matter of putting in the effort,” Grant said.
Galloway hoped to get more playing time last year and was working his way slowly into the rotation before a hamstring injury sidelined him for the better part of a month.
“We still had a lot of depth in our backcourt, so we kept telling Brevin to continue to work hard in practice and his time would come,” Grant said.
With Johnson and Chealey graduated and Pointer out of the lineup with an elbow injury during the preseason, Galloway was thrust into a starting role from the opening game this year. He has made the most of the opportunity, starting all 17 games and scoring in double figures nine times, including a career-high 17 points Thursday night in the Cougars' 78-77 loss to Drexel.
Galloway has become a legitimate scoring threat and is helping to ease some of the pressure off Jarrell Brantley and Riller. Galloway is third on the team in scoring, averaging 9.1 points a game and leads the team with 30 3-pointers.
"He makes me a better player," said Riller, who leads the team in scoring with a 22.3 points per game. "He opens up the floor for me because defenses have to respect his shot."
And his defense?
Galloway leads the team with 24 steals.
“He’s done a good job defensively, he’s very active, he takes pride in his defense now,” Grant said.
The Cougars will need that on Saturday when they take on Delaware at 4 p.m. at TD Arena.