Is this real life? Are we allowed to write about this? Taking a look at a Cal target who is, arguably, the NUMBER 1 Basketball Prospect in the COUNTRY?
Jaylen. Brown. Arguably the #1 player in the country has visited Cal, and we are currently within the group of schools that he is considering. The hype around this potential recruit is insane, so let's take a look at what he bring to the program and team.
Name: Jaylen Brown
Weight: 200 lbs
School: Wheeler (Marietta, Georgia)
AAU: Game Elite
Rank: #2 (Rivals, ESPN), #1 (Scout)
Currently Considering: Cal, Kansas, Kentucky, Georgia, UNC, Georgia, Michigan
Jaylen's news came out of thin air, after a report came out that he was visiting Cal after his visit to Michigan. No one knew about this after his visit and no one knew the staff was even recruiting him. This puts Cal on the map from association alone. Landing him would elevate the program to a completely new level. So what has him so highly touted? Let's take a look.
- Elite Athleticism/Strength - We have already added one elite athlete in Davon Dillard. Now we get another one in Jaylen Brown. The difference is that Jaylen has built up his physical strength to go with his athleticism. Watching him drive to the basket or body up defenders in the post just goes to show the physicality he has built with his 6'7" frame. At the same time, his quickstep, turnaround and ability to create space goes to show his natural athleticism and quickness as well. His combination, of strength and speed, is rare and will help hasten his development as a player.
- Slashing/Finishing Ability - To go with his athleticism and strength is his ability to finish at the rim. Despite only being a HS Senior, Jaylen is as good as it gets when it comes to absorbing the contact and still getting a shot. He has an uncanny ability to be able to split two defenders, drive into the lane and create for his teammates or finish the drive himself. More often than not, you will see him finish off a drive with a spectacular dunk. He does use his strength and speed when he attacks the basket but he also surveys the defense as well. Its evident that he plays off what the defense gives him and is not adamant about finish a play a certain way. He'll lower his body and out muscle you to the basket, if he feels that your giving him no space he'll spin off you to create an open shot. Jaylen has clearly surpassed his competition at the HS level.
- Elite Defender - Not much to be written about here except that he has all the tools and attributes to be an elite defender at the college level and beyond. His frame allows him to guard 3 or 4 positions. His athleticism allows him to stay in front of any play he is guarding. His strength allows him to body up with any player that decides to post up against him.
- Transition Game - His strength/athleticism/finishing allows him to create havoc when running in transition and his defense allows him to create turnovers to start them. Jaylen's game still flourishes in the transition game and is where most of his strengths are on display.
- Jump Shot - His mechanic and form seem to change just a tad bit depending on how/where he is shooting from, but it's more about his consistency, particularly from beyond the arc. It looks like he is more comfortable slashing to the basket, but it may also be because he can get his way when he slashes. It'll be interesting to see how his jump shot is, when defenses test him to settle for jumpers.
- 3-Point Shooting - This is something that he will have to grow into. His natural strengths as slasher and post-up player have defined him as a player, but to become the superstar player he wants to become, Jaylen will need to keep defenses honest by shooting at a decent rate from beyond the arc. This is tied in with his other weakness. Starting from about 18 feet and longer, Jaylen's jump shot turns inconsistent, but he still shoots with confidence which bodes well for his continued development in that part of his game.
How He Fits with the Bears:
Jaylen Brown and his status as a Top 2 High School player influences not only the team but also the program. Being able to beat out top tier programs, such as Kentucky, Kansas and UNC, alone paves the way on the recruiting trail for future elite players to consider our program. But on the court, he changes the way our team will play. Jaylen gives Cal a offensive threat that can create for himself on the wing or on the blocks, no longer will we be dependant upon the guard play of Tyrone Wallace, Jordan Mathews or Jabari Bird. Instead of focusing on perimeter play (low probability shot) to open up mid-range/close-range (higher probability shot), we can now attack and play our drive-and-dish game that was so effective midseason. By having Jaylen and Ty able to drive/dish/finish/rebound it opens up a whole new offense to create around them and also for some particular post players. The future could be bright, and the hype will only grow as April 15th approaches.