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2018 NBA Draft Player Profile: Bruce Brown Jr.

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All-around Miami Hurricanes guard decides to enter draft despite injury-truncated, somewhat disappointing sophomore year

NCAA Basketball: Miami at Florida State Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Bruce Brown is considered a potential late first-round pick in the upcoming 2018 NBA Draft. Unfortunately, Brown had relatively a disappointing sophomore season that ended in January after 19 games because of a left foot injury that required surgery. As one of the oldest players in the sophomore class (22 years old by the tipoff night of the 2018-19 NBA season), there are questions surrounding his upside, but his role as the lead guard both offensively and defensively for a decent Miami Hurricanes team (22-10, 3rd Place ACC) leave some NBA potential. Most draft analysts see him as a borderline first round pick, ranging from 24 (CBS Sports) to 41th (NBADraft.net), with most projections around the 30th slot.

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Miami Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

College Stats

  • Per game: 33.7 minutes, 11.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.8 blocks.
  • Per 40 minutes: 13.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.9 blocks.
  • Percentages: 48.4 2PT%, 26.7 3PT%, 62.9 FT%
  • Advanced: 102.7 ORtg, 97.5 DRtg, 16.9 PER, 48.8 TS%, 1.9 win shares, 6.6 Box Plus Minus.

Statistics per www.sports-reference.com

Measurements

  • Age: 21 years
  • Height: 6’5” (with shoes), 6’3.5” (without shoes)
  • Weight: 195 lbs
  • Wingspan: 6’9”
  • Standing Reach: 8’2.5”

Measurements per stats.nba.com

Strengths

Brown led Miami this past season with 4.0 assists and 7.1 rebounds per game, both slight increases from last year. Combining that with his 1.3 steals and nearly a block again gives him a very good overall game that is excellent for a combo guard role in the NBA. His great frame, long wingspan, and strong base will give him the ability to switch easily between the one through three in the NBA, and possibly taken on some fours a la 6’4” Marcus Smart. You can see his wide skill set in the highlight reel from his 2017-18 season below.

Weaknesses

Despite expectations that Brown would have a breakout season after returning to Miami, he ended up shooting worse from the field (41.9% vs 51.3%), beyond the arc (26.7% vs 34.7%), and from the free throw line (62.9% vs 74.4%). His continuing streaky shooting and tendency to sometimes force the issue led him to end up with fewer points per game in his truncated sophomore year compared to his freshman year. His rebounding and defense should translate to the NBA, but he needs to become much more consistent on both ends of the ball in order and ensure his “high motor” is used all the time when playing in the NBA.

Utah Jazz Fit

He seems to be quite comfortable in the pick and roll, being able to usually make the correct read, pulling up, getting to the rim, or finding his teammates (if not the flashy Ricky Rubio cross-court passes). He looks to be decisive with the ball, with no hesitation to shoot or drive off of a kick-out pass or to initiate the offense, which should fit great into Quin Snyder’s advantage basketball offense. Questions surround his scoring ability and his consistency, which limit his upside, but he would be a decent all-around combo guard to have off of the bench. Whether the Jazz need that with Donovan Mitchell, Ricky Rubio, Dante Exum, Royce O’Neale, Alec Burks, and Thabo Sefolosha on the team is another question, but don’t put it past Dennis Lindsey to draft another guard if the timing is right.

Additional sources / sources of reading: Sports Illustrated, Miami Herald, The Stepien