Why Stanford’s Anthony Brown Will be a Top 50 Wing Next SeasonPosted by KDanna on October 25th, 2012
In what is starting to become a trend on Rush The Court, we have another response to a CBS Sports preseason list. Yesterday, CBS Sports released its ranking of the top 50 wings in the country, which revealed five guys from the Pac-12: Shabazz Muhammad as the top-ranked wing, Allen Crabbe at No. 16, Solomon Hill at No. 21 (personally, I’d flop Crabbe and Hill, but that’s neither here nor there; both are very good), J.T. Terrell at No. 31, and C.J. Wilcox at No. 46. This post isn’t to argue the credibility of their choices — they look pretty sound to me — but rather to state the case for why one Pac-12 wing in particular may be on a similar list next year; that player being Stanford’s Anthony Brown.
After a decent freshman season where he garnered Pac-10 All-Freshman Team honors, Brown experienced a slight production dip in a disappointing sophomore campaign of about a half of a point per game and two percentage points in field goal percentage. While there were some factors that led to these results — nagging injuries and struggling at times to find consistent minutes in a rotation that sometimes expanded to 11 men — the bottom line is that Brown didn’t progress at the rate that many thought the No. 41 overall recruit in the Class of 2010 would.
However, all is not lost with Brown; in fact, far from it. If there was ever anyone who could have used a few extra postseason games to figure some things out, it was the Cardinal swingman. His stats jumped significantly during the NIT title run, a five-game stretch in which he averaged 11.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. What was more striking — or, relieving — about those stats was how he got those numbers by becoming the player most thought he would be on the collegiate level. In the first round of the NIT against Cleveland State, Brown had his most complete game of the year with a 15-point, 12-rebound effort. In that contest against the Vikings, he consistently hit what a friend described as “league jumpers” — two-dribble pull-ups, beating defenders off the dribble and creating separation to elevate and hit shots and draining multiple field goal attempts with a hand or two in his face. Say what you want about Cleveland State (a team not too far removed from advancing to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament), but Brown looked like an all-conference player that night. His good play continued at Madison Square Garden, where Brown hit some clutch shots against a feisty UMass team en route to a season-high 18 points. In a game where the Cardinal had a 4-28 stretch from the floor, Brown helped his team out of a massive slump by scoring 10 points in a five-minute stretch late in the second half to turn a one-point deficit into an eight-point lead, capped off by a dagger of a three from No. 3 (who will be wearing No. 21 this year).
The guy has the tools become one of the top-50 wings in the nation; his athleticism, length, want-to and jump shot are all there. While obviously staying healthy is a key for the Fountain Valley, California, native, he also needs to play with that aggressiveness and confidence that was so evident during last year’s NIT run. Now that he is officially one of the elder statesmen of the team, some of that physicality and swagger will come with his experience. If he can do that, Matt Norlander, Jeff Borzello, Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman will surely find a slot for the Ocean View HS product as he enters his senior season in 2013-14.