He might not be a robot from the planet Cybertron or the receiver Calvin Johnson from the NFL’s Detroit Lions, but UTA has its own “Megatron,” senior forward Brandon Edwards, who is taking this season by storm.
Edwards is working the small forward position, averaging a double-double so far with 18.8 points and 10.6 rebounds per game, eight games into the Mavericks’ schedule. His average number of rebounds ranks him No. 13 in the NCAA among his peers through Tuesday.
Johnson, the original Megatron, received his nickname because of the way he is built and his ability to make catching passes look easy. Edwards says he got the nickname one day in the weight room.
“Drew [Charles] actually started it. I think we were in weights one day, and I was doing a bunch of weight, like lifting, more than everybody else,” Edwards said. “And then Drew was like, ‘Yeah, Megatron!’ It just stuck after that.”
The Forth Worth native’s signature game came against the No. 4 team in the nation at the time, the Kentucky Wildcats, in which he posted 24 points and 10 rebounds. Edwards’ performance included a dunk on one of the best players in the country, freshman forward Julius Randle, who also averages a double-double.
Head coach Scott Cross said Edwards’ natural athleticism and ability make him a “freak” athlete like Johnson.
“They’re superior athletes that can run, jump, strong and do so many different things. I think it’s very fitting,” Cross said about Edwards and Johnson’s athleticism. “He rebounds out of his area, kind of like Megatron catches footballs out of his area, so, yeah, I would think it’s a fitting name.”
Edwards said that along with his natural attributes, it also took some time in the gym to round out his game by adding a jump shot to his arsenal and waiting for his time to step up.
Edwards’ coaches credit the senior with adding shooting ability and keeping the opposing defense honest in guarding him. So far, he’s made 10 of 32 shots from beyond the arc compared to last season’s 6 of 25.
Edwards’ overall game has improved. Last season Edwards made 26 starts and averaged 7.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in 24.5 minutes of work. To further show his improvement this season, the 6-foot-6 forward only recorded five double-doubles in all of last year. This season, Edwards has already racked up five double-doubles.
Assistant coach Andrae Patterson attributes the change in Edwards’ game having transformed into what it is now to experience.
“We gave him the tools and the techniques that he needed to work on, and he’s worked hard at it, and now it’s paying off for him,” Patterson said.