Bruce Brown – Miami
CPP Big Board Ranking: #43 Overall (#14 PG/#18 SG)
Weight: 200 lbs
Age/Birthday: 21 (8/15/96)
Hometown: Wakefield, MA
High School: Vermont Academy
(Grant Kobrin – 1/27/18)
Bruce Brown is a sophomore shooting guard for the Miami Hurricanes. He played solid minutes as a starter in his freshman campaign and returned back to school for his sophomore season, despite being a possible first round pick last year. He is a part of a dynamic set of young guards for the Hurricanes, including Lonnie Walker, Ja’Quan Newton, and Chris Lykes. Bruce Brown is a solid two-way guard who has the potential to be a solid combo guard at the NBA level. He is putting up very similar numbers as he did last year, so he is going to want to finish the season strong in order to show NBA scouts that it was, in fact, worthwhile for him to return to college this year. He should be a first round pick in this year’s draft and will be a steal, talent wise, if he slides into the late twenties or even into the second round.
Strengths: Bruce Brown is a tough, two-way guard who can really make a strong impact when the ball is in his hands. He has a pure shot, despite poor shooting percentages this season and questions surrounding his inconsistency with his shot. He has a smooth, high and quick release, so it is unclear what the issue is with his shot. I believe that it will be cleared up in his first year in the NBA. Regardless, he has shown the ability to shoot the ball well at times and is known as a big time shooter at the end of games. Brown has advanced ball handling skills for a college shooting guard, which should allow him to play some point guard in the NBA. This will also help his draft stock considering he is undersized for his position. Bruce Brown’s ability to use his hands and quickness to get into the lane with ease is one of his stronger traits. He has a great build and is strong, which naturally makes him an above average finisher over bigger defenders for a guard. Brown has shown great court vision as well, and is really good passing off the pick and roll and in fastbreak situations. He always looks for the big man inside, which is a great habit for him to already have as a college player on a guard-heavy Miami team. Bruce Brown also excels on the defensive end. He plays tight defense and is solid on the ball. Additionally, he is great off the ball and this is where he is able to cause most of his turnovers defensively. Brown averages about 1.5 steals per game which is great for an off the ball guard. He tends to be a solid rebounder for a guard and is good at pushing the tempo of the game and the ball in transition off of a defensive rebound. Overall, Bruce Brown is a solid prospect who has shown the ability to score and has the potential to be a great playmaker, while also being an above average defensive player at the next level.
Weaknesses: Bruce Brown has a nice looking shot with great mechanics, but it hasn’t fallen this season for some reason. He is shooting poorly from all three area: 42% from the field, 27% from the three-point line, and under 62% from the free-throw line. All of these numbers are significantly down from his freshman season, which certainly raises questions about his consistency and possibly even his shot getting worse. I believe he will find his shot again, hopefully before this season ends though for his sake. He tends to be a streaky shooter though, even when his shooting percentages are higher. Additionally, Bruce Brown oftentimes plays too passively on offense. He is averaging around 11 points a game, and that number should be closer to 15 points a game considering his role on this young hurricane basketball team. The major concern for Bruce Brown is the fact that he is undersized for the shooting guard position, which would indicate that he may need to assume more of a combo guard role in the NBA and even be ready to play point guard at times. He has advanced ball handling skills and playmaking abilities, but he is definitely not a natural point guard. He will need to show scouts that he can distribute the ball with more comfort if he is going to end up being a lock for a first round pick in this year’s draft.
Player Outlook & NBA Comparison: Dion Waiters/Tyreke Evans
Bruce Brown is a strong, tough minded guard, like Dion Waiters and Tyreke Evans have shown in the NBA. While Brown is clearly closer to Waiter’s size, he has a similar game to Tyreke Evans as well. Dion Waiters and Tyreke Evans are both strong, competitive combo guards who have excelled in the NBA. Both players were picked a lot higher than Bruce Brown will end up being selected, but similarities definitely exist between each of their games.
Bruce Brown has the potential to be a great combo guard in the NBA. Who knows, maybe he will just play shooting guard. Bradley Beal is only 6’3” and is an all-star, so it is possible to be a bit smaller at the shooting guard position. The biggest questions lie in his consistency in his shot and his lack of growth between his freshman and sophomore season. Bruce Brown has the talent of a lottery pick, but will most likely be a late first round pick, given these concerns. Let’s hope he can play like Donovan Mitchell has with the Jazz in his rookie campaign.
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