Nevada’s addition of AJ Bramah solidifies the Wolf Pack as a legitimate MWC contender.
Steve Alford and the Nevada men’s basketball staff landed one of the biggest transfers of the college basketball offseason Friday with the addition of Robert Morris transfer AJ Bramah.
Following a 16-win campaign and fifth-place MWC finish, the Wolf Pack are positioned for a potentially special 2021-22 season. Bramah should serve as the team’s final major pickup after a flurry of recent roster moves.
Let’s check out what Nevada is receiving in the former Robert Morris star.
Who is AJ Bramah?
AJ Bramah is a 6-7, 210-pound guard/forward and Robert Morris transfer. Bramah originally committed to Arizona State in March but decommitted and made his options available again on Monday.
A native of San Leandro, Calif., Bramah spent his first two collegiate seasons at Sheridan Junior College in Wyoming before joining Robert Morris. In his first season with RMU, Bramah started in 13 of his 33 appearances, tallying 13.4 points and 8.2 rebounds per game in 28.8 minutes of action.
This past season, Bramah appeared in 12 of RMU’s 19 contests. He finished the year as one of just three players nationally to average over 20 points and 10 rebounds per game.
What does Bramah bring to Nevada?
Given Robert Morris’ severe lack of size the past two seasons (ranking 332nd nationally in KenPom’s average height metric in ’20-21), Bramah played the majority of his minutes at the 4-spot with the Colonials.
But although Bramah is 0-of-3 from 3-point range as a D-I player, he is a capable mid-range scorer. According to Hoop-Math, 44 percent of Bramah’s 175 field-goal attempts this past season were 2-point jumpers. He converted 42.9 percent of his 2-point jumpers and 57.3 percent of his at-rim attempts.
Given Nevada’s frontcourt size, Bramah won’t be pigeonholed into a post role and will enjoy more offensive versatility as a small-ball 4 or even on the wing. The Wolf Pack bring back 7-0 Warren Washington and 6-10 KJ Hymes while adding 6-11 Texas transfer Will Baker and 6-10 freshman Nick Davidson.
On the defensive end, Bramah isn’t much of a shot blocker but makes up for it with a knack for rebounding activity. He logged 10.3 rebounds per game and his 26.4 defensive rebounding percentage ranked 32nd nationally. With Nevada checking in at No. 40 nationally in defensive rebounding percentage in ’20-21, Bramah’s addition should solidify the Wolf Pack as one of the nation’s best rebounding groups on the defensive end.
How does Bramah fit in the lineup?
Because of the aforementioned frontcourt size, Nevada has some flexibility with how it can approach Bramah’s role. Bramah, FAU transfer Kenan Blackshear and sophomore Tre Coleman will likely alternate playing time at the wing positions with Washington, Hymes and Baker operating the post.
Projected Nevada starting lineup:
- G Grant Sherfield
- 6-2/190; 18.6 ppg, 6.1 apg
- G Desmond Cambridge
- 6-4/180; 16.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg
- G Kenan Blackshear
- 6-6/215; 9.4 ppg, 1.5 spg (Florida Atlantic)
- G/F AJ Bramah
- 6-7/210; 21.0 ppg, 10.3 rpg (Robert Morris)
- C Warren Washington
- 7-0/215; 10.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg
Bramah will see his usage rate decline now that he will be playing alongside a much better offensive supporting cast. All-MWC point guard Grant Sherfield might have the best mix of scoring and distributing abilities in the nation while Desmond Cambridge is a pure shooter who hit 34.8 percent of his 3-pointers and 89.9 percent of his free throws last season.
How good will Nevada be next season?
Bramah’s commitment solidifies Nevada as a Mountain West title contender next season. While the Wolf Pack will almost certainly start the season outside of the AP Top 25, a strong nonconference performance could propel Alford’s squad to the national stage sooner than later.
Nevada, Colorado State and San Diego State have solidified themselves in the MWC’s upper tier for the 2021-22 season.
Projected Mountain West standings:
- San Diego State
- Colorado State
- Utah State
- Boise State
- Fresno State
- New Mexico
- San Jose State
- Air Force
Image courtesy of Robert Morris Athletics.