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Monday, August 13, 2012

A Quick Look At Alec Brown

I have been seeing Alec Brown mentioned as a lottery pick on multiple sites so I wanted to give my thoughts on him real quick. I don't want to do a complete scouting report on him right now because I don't see him as a guy who will declare this season. Brown is way too scrawny at this point in time to be effective in any kind of role at the next level - in Europe or the NBA. Guys who are over 7 feet tall and weight around 215 pounds generally don't have a good track record. 215 poinds isn't a weight you say a guy is skinny and just needs to put on some weight. No, 215 for a 7 footer is a huge problem. If you look at the Draft Express database, it is basically a death sentence. I don't want to close the door on Brown as he does have a good skill set, but he has to put on weight. I am talking about finishing this season up above 230 pounds. And even then, that just provides hope. He still would have a ways to go strength wise before declaring after this season.

I am usually all for guys leaving early if they want to and heading to a pro team where they can make money and practice more often with better coaches and players. But for sticks like Brown, they are so far behind physically that they won't even be able to play down low to work on their games. The lack of strength will prevent them from being able to play their games at all. Sure a pro strength program will help more than in college, but teams don't have a lot of patience nowadays. Unless he was drafted in the first round, which I completely doubt at this point, Brown would have one year to prove himself to a team. Brown would end up bouncing around from team to team, unable to establish himself and ultimately kill his confidence. Coming from a small school and watching him play, Brown can't afford to wait in limbo for a few years with his confidence shot. His confidence has been built off good play, and you can see it increase as he makes baskets, but all of his confidence can be taken away over a year of being beat up in NBA practices with absolutely no hope of countering.

Guys like Alec Brown were sexier 10-15 years ago. There were the Euro movement of tall, skinny, and heavily skilled guys. They phased out after way too many bust. There was also the movement to more physical freak types at center instead of guys who knew how to score to their back to the basket. In the late 1990s, I think we look at Brown and consider him a first rounder. Not anymore. Just look at the centers in the league today.

As I said, I am not going to write off a guy who is only a 20 years old and heading into his junior year in college. But he does not deserve any of the lottery hype so lets temper expectations. If you do happen to catch some games of Brown, you can expect to see a talented player who is somewhat of a unique talent. Rarely do you see guys with the feel and the size that Brown has in the post. Brown has great counter moves and good touch with either hand. He uses the glass, can hook the ball over both shoulders, drive to the hoop, and spin quickly towards the hoop with his back to the basket. He has a very good feel in the post and is able to figure out what is the best move out of his bag of tricks for each situation. He also is a good passer and does a good job feeding the ball into his fellow big, Brenna Cougill. He has a smooth stroke at the free throw line and his success there is reiterated with his ability to stretch the defense by hitting jumpers.

Defensively, it is obviously the strength that hinders him. Cougill, who is a huge body weight-wise, actually covered most of the centers while Brown would cover mid-major power forwards, which in a lot of cases, were undersized PFs who would play on the perimeter. Brown has gotten comfortable out there and moves pretty well laterally. He understands how to play pick and rolls as well so he could become a good pick and roll defender. He does a good job helping off the ball and has fairly quick hands. He blocks shots at a good rate, but nothing that you wouldn't expect from an able bodied 7 footer playing against lower level competition. I wouldn't call the guy a rim protector or much of an imposing threat. Adding weight would help for sure, but he has below average explosiveness even without added weight holding him down.

The status quo on Brown for me isn't going to change anytime soon. I like his offensive game, but its a moot point at his current physical stature. We will see how his body looks heading into this season, but a ten pound gain isn't going to garner my attention. The guy is weak, skinny or not. He isn't a wiry strength kind of guy who also has toughness and refuses to be pushed around. Brown gets thrown around like a rag doll and has a long way to go.

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