Similar to Dylan Ennis, senior Elijah Brown is prepared to play for his third program. After a brief stint at Butler, Brown starred at New Mexico the last two years before deciding Oregon was the place he wanted to finish his collegiate career.
Let’s take a look at the 2017-18 roster with our individual player profile series. After placing you in an intro class to Oregon’s five new freshmen last week, this week we profile the entire 2017-18 roster before we get serious next week (tip-off week).
UNFOLDING THE 2017-18 OREGON ROSTER
MiKyle McIntosh (Nov. 5)
Paul White (Nov. 6)
Keith Smith (Nov. 7)
Roman Sorkin (Nov. 8)
Evan Gross (Nov. 9)
“IT’S GOTTA BE THE SHOES”
Brown is listed at 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds with a smooth left-handed jump shot. His dad is current Golden State Warriors assistant coach, Mike. The Orange County native played his high school ball at the legendary Mater Dei, where Bol Bol currently plays. Brown led them to back-to-back state championships in 2012 and 2013.
“He’s the one proven scorer we have,” said head coach Dana Altman. “Elijah offensively, every time he shoots you feel pretty good. He’s been doing that in practice, also.”
Elijah should be the starting shooting guard. He could lead the Ducks in scoring this season. Additionally, Altman has been pleased by Brown stepping into a leadership role like he did with the Lobos. The sky is the limit when Brown is efficient from the floor.
Oddly, Brown’s minutes and scoring went DOWN in 2016-17 at New Mexico. He averaged 18.8 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 3.1 APG and 1.3 SPG in 32.2 MPG a year after breaking out with 21.7 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 3.1 APG and 1.1 SPG in 33.7 minutes a night. He was a 2-time All-Mountain West honoree and led the conference in scoring in back-to-back years.
There is a reason he transferred. Brown can fill it up with the best scorers in college basketball, as he illustrated with a season-high 33 points last year. During his sophomore season, Brown tallied a career-high 41 points vs Fresno State.
As stated earlier, Elijah is the son of current Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown. The same Mike Brown that was the head coach of LeBron James during his rookie season with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
A great deal of ‘experts’ overlooked Steph Curry and his family bloodline when he was a senior at Davidson. Now, of course, you get trolled for saying anything remotely disrespectful about Steph. I’m not saying Brown will be the next Curry, but he’s being severely undervalued by the national media. Talent + Basketball IQ = Elijah Brown.
LEGEND...WAIT FOR IT
When watching Brown play, I’m constantly reminded of Manu Ginobili from the San Antonio Spurs. Sometimes, a bigger Stephon Marbury comes to mind. Elijah toys with defenders, seemingly driving inside and outside until he finds a spot he likes. He’s a triple threat with the ball in his hands, creating constantly.
THE BOX SCORE
Brown is already a starter for Altman and won’t have to worry about minutes like he did with New Mexico. PREDICTION: Elijah will return to the 20’s in 2017, as he’ll average 20.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 4.4 APG, 1.3 SPG in 34.3 MPG. With his notable season, the Pac-12 will recognize him with 1st Team honors. He will finish third in Pac-12 POY voting.
THE SOCIAL NETWORK
His teammates enjoy his demeanor. Brown is not always as serious as he appears. I would say a better way to describe him is he possesses a heightened sense of focus. Yet, he still knows how to clown around with his teammates which is very important for the rock-solid chemistry that has already been built.
“We get along with each other so well off the court, so it makes it so much easier,” said Troy Brown. “It’s coming along pretty nice. You kind of know who can do what with our personnel on the court. We have guys that can do different things.”
ELIJAH, THE MENTOR
I asked Elijah if Troy Brown was further along than most freshmen he’s seen over the course of his career. Here was his response:
“Obviously, Troy is a special talent. One thing I noticed with all our freshmen (Kenny, Abu, Troy, VJ, Will) there is still that gap between high school and college that you have to learn. You got to adjust to the speed of the game, physicality of the game. As far as his attention to detail, he wants to be good. So that part doesn’t worry me, it’s still early in his career. But the one thing that’s encouraging, putting myself back in their shoes four years from today, they are just so much more mature. They’re willing to learn and know what it takes to be good. It’s going to come, they’re freshmen.”
When he wasn’t dazzling Mountain West Conference fans, Brown was pushing himself to improve last season. He has a killer instinct, similar to what we saw with Dillon Brooks the last three years. The only difference is Elijah’s a southpaw. Let’s take a look back at his high school mixtape. This is how good he was BEFORE five years of college basketball.
The next six days at ATQ will be jam-packed with Oregon basketball prep, including player profiles, predictions, previews, interviews, breakdowns and a few history lessons. Every day, we will have something new as we count you down to opening night.
Ready or not? Oregon basketball is set to return soon. The regular season gets underway at Matthew Knight Arena on Friday, November 10 against Coppin State. You can catch opening night on the Pac-12 Network at 9:00 p.m. local time.