We all know Cal hoops is in desperate need of some big men to join the fray in the coming years. Ivan Rabb is likely headed to the NBA after the 2016-17 season, plus, Kingsley Okoroh, Kameron Rooks, and Marcus Lee will all leave after the 2017-18 season. That leaves a huge hole in the big man department for the 2018-19 season.
That’s where Jordan Brown hopefully enters the picture.
Brown is a consensus five-star prospect from Roseville, CA, and he is the top target for Cuonzo Martin and the coaching staff as far as the 2018 recruiting class goes. I’ve written about him before, and you can read that article here for some more background on him.
What this article is going to do is break down some highlights to see what Cal would be getting if the Bears can reel him in.
This highlight reel is from USA Basketball, with whom Brown has been a standout in the youth system. On the first play Brown is able to catch the pass cleanly after getting basket-side of the defender. He is able to finish quickly with a right-hand hook.
Next, Brown faces up his opponent from mid-range on the baseline. Brown shows his opponent the ball (a risky move for sure), but Brown is able to spin away from his opponent and get to the hoop. Brown adjusts to the closing defender and smoothly finishes the layup.
We’ve seen Brown in the post and we have seen Brown face-up the defender from mid-range before driving to the hoop, but here we get to see another aspect of his game. Brown receives a pass on the wing in the triple-threat position. He backs the defender off and pulls up once the defender drops too deep. Brown demonstrates good athleticism to stop and pull up before the defender can react and close the distance.
On the next play we see Brown drain a jumper from deep. It is a wide open jumper, but you have to make those when you get them and that’s exactly what he did. Solid form on the jumper, particularly for a big guy like Brown.
Brown receives a pass at the elbow-extended area and draws a double team. He dribbles a bit before eventually splitting the double team and banking in an awkward jumper. It certainly isn’t the most high percentage shot one can take, but not every play goes according to plan on the basketball court and sometimes you have to take and make those sorts of shots.
On the next play we finally see Brown on the defensive side of things. He draws a matchup with the ball-handler at the top of the key. Brown shows to the ball-handler’s right, but he still decides to dribble left. Brown is able to turn his hips quickly and stay with the opponent. The shooter rises to take a jumper over Brown, but he cannot avoid Brown getting a piece of the ball. Brown’s combination of length and athleticism can provide problems for opposing offenses.
After a play during which Brown pulls down a rebound strongly with two hands before finding an outlet, we see Brown drive to the hoop once more, but this time he stops and spins away from the defender while putting up a shot all in one motion. He gets the shooter’s touch and it goes in. The footwork required to do this move as quickly as he did is impressive.
Here is an interview Brown does with Kicx TV during which he talks about his pride in winning gold with USA Basketball at the U-16 and U-17 level, the Roseville community and how his parents impact him on and off the court.
Lastly, here is an interview from the summer with Rivals. Brown talks about which programs have offered him and what he is looking for from the program he will eventually choose.
Brown remarks that he is looking for a family atmosphere out of his eventual destination “because when people aren’t playing as a family, and they’re looking out for themselves then they don’t really get the job done like they should. When everyone buys into their role and trusts it that’s when you really have a chance of winning.”
Brown talks about buying into your role in both of these interviews, so you can tell that is something he really believes in. In the earlier video he talks about the differences between playing for his high school and for Team USA. He talks about how he scores a ton for his high school team, but that you have to expand your game to find your role when playing for Team USA. It seems like Brown is willing to be the star of the team if that’s his role, but he’s also willing to do the little things to help his team win.
Brown is the type of player that can make an immediate impact for the Bears if he commits. He would be a huge get for the program. For now, the Bears are competing with Arizona, Oregon, Kansas, Nevada, St. John’s, and Stanford.
For what it’s worth, Cal is the only team on Brown’s list of interested teams on 247Sports which has the ‘warm’ designation. All of the other teams are listed as ‘cool.’ Like most things that predict interest and eventual commitments, it should probably be taken with a grain of salt, but i’ll take it as a good sign anyways.
What do you guys think about Cal’s chances at landing Brown? What do you like most about his game?
Sound off in the comments below! Go Bears!