(First posted at RealGM)
Brown is one of the best athletes in this class; six-foot-seven, 225 pounds, seven-foot wingspan, fluid running up and down the court, and able to jump off the floor in a pinch.
He can handle and finish at the rim with explosiveness on a straight line in space; in transition, the secondary break, attacking closeouts and going north and south in the pick-and-roll. Through such instances, Brown took 42.7% of his shots at the rim and converted them at a 61.6% clip, according to hoop-math. His large frame invites a lot of contact, resulting in 9.2 foul shots per 40 minutes.
Also of note is the fact that he has flashed the ability to take smaller players into the post from time-to-time, something Joe Johnson (a wing of similar physical profile) showed can be a tremendous asset if well developed. Brown can’t make turnaround, fade-away jump-shots very well yet but shows decent footwork to get around his man while lowering his dribble and lay it up at the rim.
Brown is a battering ram.
His skill level is not as impressive, though.
Brown is a lousy shooter, both off the catch and off the dribble – missing 70% of his 100 three-point shots and 79 of his 113 two-point jumpers, an issue made worst by his horrible shot selection. Every shot he takes looks different, whether the issue is the release, the balance or the footwork.
Berkeley didn’t provide adequate space for him when he handled the ball from the perimeter in the half-court, often playing a seven-footer and Ivan Rabb together. But Brown’s poor decision making against a set defense, often driving into a crowd, and his poor recognition of people left open around him are on him – represent by his terrible 0.64 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Then there is the matter of his defense. Brown has the strength, the length and lateral quickness to become an elite defense – one who offers switch-ability, as he’s proven able to hold ground in the post and box out bigger players.
But he was not that sort of impact player at Berkeley. Other than rebounding, Brown didn’t translate his athleticism into actively helping finish possessions. Despite his ability to leap off the ground in a pinch and his positioning defending close to the basket by playing many of his minutes as a small-ball power forward, Brown blocked just 22 shots in 34 appearances. Moreover, all that length has not yet resulted in him shutting down passing lanes and he has not defended with active hands guarding on the ball, recording just 27 steals all season.
Editor’s Note: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara