High major college basketball coaches don’t make evaluations and offer scholarships based on stat lines.
If they did, Indiana head coach Archie Miller would have likely taken a wait-and-see approach with Connecticut based class of 2022 point guard Avery Brown.
Brown averaged 6.6 points, 4.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game for the 2019-20 season at Northfield Mount Herman in Massachusetts. That’s a perfectly fine sophomore season for a good player in one of the country’s toughest leagues, the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC).
NMH reached the Final Four in the National Prep Championship, while winning the NEPSAC Class AAA championship.
But the Indiana offer did come over the weekend, and Brown’s trainer, like Miller, knows those sophomore stats don’t tell the whole story.
“That’s what they needed from him at the time, but that’s not at all what he is capable of,” Ta’Quan Zimmerman told The Daily Hoosier.
A professional player himself, Zimmerman has been working out Brown for three years. He has seen the progression to this point, and he knows the potential.
What does Zimmerman see from Brown that would appeal to high major coaches like Miller?
First and foremost, it is Brown’s work ethic.
“He’s locked in,” Zimmerman said. “He’s a really hard worker. He gets his work done at a very high and efficient level. There is no time wasted.”
Brown already has Ivy League offers from Yale, Penn, Brown and Columbia, and Zimmerman sees a uniquely cerebral player as well.
“He learns quickly. Most guys don’t pick things up like he does,” Zimmerman added.
Of course it takes more than brains and hard work to earn high major college basketball offers.
Young for his grade, Brown reclassified from the 2021 class into 2022, and that decision appears to be paying off.
Indiana was one of the first high major programs to offer, along with Penn State, St. John’s and Missouri. Several other high majors are involved with Brown, who is rated No. 101 overall in the class of 2022 and the No. 18 point guard by 247Sports.
UConn, Kansas State, Georgia, Ohio State and Stanford are some of the other high major involved with Brown right now.
— Avery Brown (@_averybrown3) June 12, 2020
Brown speaks to Miller regularly. He was highly impressed with an IU virtual visit over the weekend that preceded the offer.
Miller’s history at Indiana suggests that scholarship offers are relatively rare. He is typically patient and likes to see a player live before jumping in. Even though Brown hasn’t had a leading role to this point in high school, his attributes, intangibles, film, and high praise from others were enough to win over the IU head coach.
What are Miller and the other schools that are recruiting Brown seeing that has piqued their interest?
“You look at a guy that plays the point guard and is 6-foot-3, that’s an NBA-sized point guard already as an incoming junior, Zimmerman said.
“He moves like a professional already. He moves laterally and has great length. He takes care of his body. He trains daily and there is no time wasted. We barely even joke around. It’s business.
“A kid with that kind of mindset, the sky is the limit.”
It isn’t clear what Brown’s true limit is yet, but it does seem clear that he is just scratching the surface.
If the talent is there, the stats will eventually follow.
Even with his muted sophomore numbers, there were signs of what is to come.
Brown had three double-digit assist games, including a school record 17 against Loomis Chaffee. He is a true facilitator that can break down defenses. Brown can also score at all three levels and shot 39 percent from three-point range on the season.
Playing against some of the best competition in the country, Brown landed on the Zero Gravity Prep Classic All-Tournament team in December.
Like the high major coaches that are recruiting Brown, Zimmerman is confident that any remaining doubts will be erased over the next two seasons of high school play.
“He’s got a big time breakout coming, for sure,” Zimmerman said.
Brown is being patient. He knows what is coming too.
“My role on next year’s team is definitely going to be bigger. I know my numbers are going to go up dramatically, Brown said in a recent interview.”
Just how big will the jump be? Brown has set the bar high.
“I want to be Gatorade Player of the Year in Massachusetts,” Brown said.
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