|Unsuccessful attempt at the People's Eyebrow|Markel Brown
, Oklahoma State, Senior, 6'3 190lbs2013/14 stats:
35.3 mpg, 17.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.0 spg, 1.0 bpg, 2.5 fpg, 1.6 TOpg, 47.3% FG, 37.9% 3PT, 76.8% FT
Brown's athleticism is as good as anybody's. He is a cannon in transition, a seriously dynamic player who absolutely flies down the court and who isn't afraid of contact. Brown runs the court at every opportunity and has learnt how to use this athleticism - by leaking out, cutting off the ball and playing defense, rather than by trying to do everything with the ball.
This is important, because in terms of ball skills, Brown is lacking. Despite all the athleticism, he doesn't have the greatest first step when driving with the ball, in large part because his handle is not good enough to keep up with his feet. He lacks advanced ball handling skills in terms of hesitation dribbles, changes of direction and the like, and although he is developing in this area, Brown lacks the handle that a 6'3 guard would ideally have. At that size, one would expect a guard to be able to play some point, but Brown rarely does - forced into doing so in the absence of Marcus Smart, Brown was not especially reliable at getting the ball over half court, and showed little in the way of playmaking ability other than to start the endless series of perimeter passes.
Brown's abilities and upside lie elsewhere. As a defensive player, he has every physical tool required; recovery speed, strength, long wingspan and, pleasingly, a penchant for blocks. These tools also allow him at times to be able to get to the basket without using a pick, and he has developed over the years an understanding of the timing and angles involved in when to make such attacks. He also has some projectable ability as a shooter. Utilising a good shot fake and with an incredibly high leap on his shot, Brown has improved his catch-and-shoot jumper to being perfectly adequate, and is already a good mid-range shooter. He rarely shoots off of curls or screens (despite often using both for getting to the basket), which if developed would be a new string to his bow.
At times, Brown drifts and gets lazy on defense, undermining his physical prowess. And at times, despite his increased offensive IQ and skills, he forgets the fact that he's the kind of player who can split double teams, dive off the ball, attack the basket and finish through contact, and instead tries to shoot through everything. But on his game, Brown is an NBA player. And if he can develop the defense to an elite level, whilst also developing enough of a handle to fill in at point or enough of a shot to be a capable higher volume shooter - or both - he might stick around for a while. He hasn't the ideal size for Tony Allen's job, but then many of these same things were once said about Tony Allen, too. Allen learnt his role and embraced it. So must Brown.