Last Updated: Mon Mar 14, 2022 - 4:16PM
After the Southmoreland boys basketball program had struggled for years, the Scotties enjoyed a resurgence that coincided with Brandon Stone’s arrival. Stone helped the Scotties become annual playoff participants and guided them to the quarterfinals during his time with the team. Although he finished his high-school career in North Carolina and initially played collegiately at La Salle, Stone is back in Western Pennsylvania as a key contributor for Robert Morris University. He’s featured on the latest edition of the Westmoreland Alum Q&A.
As a 6-foot-7 freshman in 2014-15, Stone played on the varsity team at Southmoreland, helping the Scotties go 18-6 overall, including 10-4 in section play. The team qualified for the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs, and defeated West Allegheny in a preliminary-round game before falling to Hampton in the first round.
The next year, the Scotties went 14-9, including 8-4 in the section. Back in the playoffs, Southmoreland lost to Laurel Highlands in the Class AAA preliminary round.
As a junior, Stone had grown to 6-foot-11 and established himself as one of the best players in the entire WPIAL. That season, he averaged 25.3 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game, earning Pennsylvania Class 3A All-State Second-Team honors. The Scotties overall went 10-2 in the section, and defeated Avonworth to reach the Class 3A quarterfinals for the first time since 1987. From there, the Scotties came up short against Shady Side Academy, finishing the campaign at 19-5.
Stone then transferred to The Christ School in North Carolina and reclassified, allowing him an extra year before beginning his college career. In his first season there, Stone averaged approximately 16 points and 11 boards per game, and helped lead his team to the state semifinals.
Garnering offers from a bevy of programs, Stone opted to begin his college career at La Salle University in 2019-20. As a freshman, the forward played in 25 games, including two starts, and averaged 3.0 points and 2.6 rebounds, along with 13 blocks. La Salle went 15-15 that season, including 6-12 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Explorers’ matchup in the conference tournament was cancelled as a result of COVID, however.
The next season, Stone played in just four games with the Explorers before transferring to Robert Morris University for the second semester.
This season, Stone played in 23 games with Robert Morris, averaging 6.5 points and 3.5 rebounds, along with 11 assists, 12 steals, and 16 blocks. The Colonials went 8-24 overall, with a mark of 5-16 in the Horizon League. In the conference tournament last week, RMU defeated Youngstown State in the first round, but fell to Cleveland State in the quarterfinals to conclude the season.
Brandon took time to field questions about the adjustments to playing at a new school, his relationship with former coaches and players from Southmoreland, and his favorite vacation spots.
Q: How did you evaluate your play this season?
A: I would say that I've improved a lot as far as rebounding and defending. I've really focused on attacking the glass and trying to get extra possessions for my team.
Q: What is your best attribute on the court?
A: Probably my versatility; I can score from all three levels and guard multiple positions. I also think I have a high basketball IQ and can make a lot of reads and decisions quickly.
Q: What have been the biggest adjustments to playing at a new school?
A: Trying to learn different offensive and defensive formulas has been the biggest adjustment. I was taught to do things differently at my last school, so I've had to try to change the way I do certain things on the court.
Q: What team and individual goals did you set for the 2021-22 campaign?
A: Our team goal was to win the conference and get a bye in the first round of the conference tournament. Some of my individual goals were just to improve my production on both sides of the ball, such as scoring, rebounding, and defending.
Q: What led to your decision to transfer to Robert Morris?
A: The main thing was being close to home, so my family would be able to see me play more often. My family was only able to make it to a couple games while I was at La Salle, so I wanted to be able to play in front of them.
Q: What is your major, and ideal future profession?
A: I am majoring in organizational leadership, and I have a minor in business. I want to get into coaching when my basketball career is over. I would also like to work in marketing or management for a company.
Q: What has been your most challenging college course?
A: The most challenging courses for me have been accounting. I wasn't a fan of taking accounting, although I definitely think after taking the course it will help me in the future.
Q: You played the majority of your high-school career at Southmoreland. What was your fondest memory there?
A: My favorite memory was making the playoffs every year while I was there. It was very exciting to get our first playoff win against Avonworth my junior year.
Q: Do you still keep in touch with any former coaches or teammates with the Scotties?
A: I still keep in contact with my coach, Frank Muccino. I still get together with a lot of the guys who were on my teams at Southmoreland to play pick up during the summers. It's always great getting together with those guys.
Q: What were the most significant benefits of transferring to the Christ School?
A: The most significant benefit was definitely the exposure that I received. It put me in a position to be recruited by many high-level college programs. We played a lot of high-level competition, which I think prepared me for the college level.
Q: If you could change one rule about college basketball, what would it be?
A: I think I would rather the college game be four 10-minute quarters instead of two 20-minute halves.
Q: Who is your celebrity dream date?
A: Growing up, my celebrity crush was always J-Lo, so I'd have to go with her after my girlfriend, Lizzy.
Q: If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A: My favorite meal is steak, potatoes, and mac & cheese. I could eat that every day.
Q: What is your favorite vacation spot, or a place you've always wanted to go?
A: I always enjoyed playing in Las Vegas every summer. I have family that lives out there, so it was always nice to be able to play in front of them. My dream vacation would be in the Bahamas or Hawaii.
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