Avery Brown reacts to NCAA dead period extension, says three schools working hardest | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Wednesday / February 24.
  • Avery Brown reacts to NCAA dead period extension, says three schools working hardest

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    By JACOB POLACHECK

    Avery Brown, the 6-foot-3, 180-pound point guard from Northfield Mount Hermon (MA) and the PSA Cardinals, says that Indiana, Missouri and Nebraska are the three schools in contact the most.

    He broke down each school for ZAGSBLOG Wednesday by phone.

    Indiana: “I talked to their coaching staff a lot of the time and I’ve been watching a lot of their games, following their journey in the Big 10 this year. They won some big games and competed with the best of them. It’s most definitely exciting when you see those schools who are heavily recruiting you and you watch them play. You watch their guards, how they move and you try to see yourself doing what they’re doing and even better. That’s how I’ve really been looking at it, watching them play and seeing where I would fit in their system under coach [Archie] Miller’s offense and the IU program.”

    Missouri: “They’ve been great this year, top-25 in the country, latest, they were at 20. They’re doing well this year. I think they have a good chance to win the SEC this year, especially when they get their big man [Jeremiah Tilmon] back. It’s definitely exciting to watch them play because they play so fast. Coach [Cuonzo] Martin really lets their guards go and they play so free. They like to have fun and compete. They play hard, most definitely, and that’s one takeaway I have from them. They play hard and scrap. That’s what I like to do.

    “I watch Xavier Pinson and see how he controls the game. I like to compare my strengths to his and see where I would fit. He’s really the star of this team. I look at him and see where I could fit at that level.”

    Nebraska: “They’ve been kind of struggling this year because of COVID. They were out for a couple weeks. They’re struggling to find their flow again. It’s been a real hectic season for them, but coach [Fred] Hoiberg really needs a point guard for this 2022 class. They’re doing a really good job of recruiting me, getting on multiple Zooms and film sessions. I like their fast-paced style of play. Being a former NBA coach and player, you can really see that NBA style in their play. Not a lot of colleges do that. I think, in terms of preparing for the next level and learning from a guy like him, it really can’t get any better. That’s really their pitch.

    “My play style fits right in with them. That’s what they tell me every time. They talk about my play style, how they play as a program and they see me fitting right in.”

    Brown also mentioned three schools showing new interest: Georgia, Xavier and Northwestern.

    He broke down each school:

    Georgia: “They contacted me way back on June 15, when coaches could contact the junior class. They really love my game, the fast pace I play, how I control the offense, score at will and really get my teammates involved. That’s really his pitch to me, really to come in there and lead the team, to be a point guard for their system. I’m most definitely interested in their program to see what they have to offer.”

    Xavier: “I was supposed to do a Zoom with Xavier. More details with that will come later this week, but they’re a real high academic program. They play in the Big East, so it’s a good mixture of academics and basketball. You really can’t ask for any more. Travis Steele and coach [Dante] Jackson, those are the coaches that I’ve talked to. I’m looking forward to what they have to offer, seeing where I fit in and building a relationship with them.”

    Northwestern: “They called me a few weeks ago. They were saying how I’ve been on their radar for a while. They really need a scoring guard in that 2022 class and they want me to be it. They play in the Big 10, which is a really tough conference, as you know. Great, great program. They have great academics at that school and they play in the Big 10, so it’s most definitely a great mixture. I’m excited to see what they have to offer, in terms of where they see me fitting.

    Brown says he’s currently ‘trying to build relationships with coaches’.

    “I’m watching a lot of their games and seeing where I can fit in,” he said.

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Brown has not played a live game since March.

    “I’m waiting to play again, get in front of these coaches so they can watch me play live,” he said. “Who knows what the recruitment and where it will take me once coaches are able to see me play again. 

    Brown says it’s been ‘pretty tough’ not being able to play his junior season.

    “I haven’t really put too much energy or effort into the recruiting process just yet,” he said. “I have a good support system, so that’s who I really lean on.”

    In the meantime, Brown is spending time perfecting his craft, he says.

    “I’m up at school, getting a few workouts in a day, getting stronger,” he said. “I’m playing five-on-five with my teammates and working on my craft.”

    In addition to not being able to play, Brown has also had to adapt to a virtual recruitment.

    “With the Zooms and watching film, watching their games, it hasn’t been too bad,” he said. “I’d say the only negative part is them not being able to see me in-person.”

    That negative aspect of the process was magnified minutes later.

    As Brown was breaking down his recruitment for ZAGSBLOG, news broke that the NCAA recruiting dead period was being extended through May 31.

    “Oh really? The dead period was extended through the 31st?” he asked. “Sheesh. May 31st? That’s crazy.”

    Brown says the biggest difference in his game since last March is his ‘competitive nature’.

    “I really want to win,” he said. “There’s been a lot of life changes and as life goes on I really get tougher.

    “I think that’s probably the strongest aspect of my game now, willing my teammates to want to compete and win games. I want to get everyone around me better. That’s what I want to be known for, especially as a point guard.”

    Brown also laid out the ways in which he’s improved his offensive skillset.

    “I’ve been getting better shooting off the dribble, catch and shoot,” he said. I’ve really developed in that area. I think that’s the most important aspect of the game, being able to shoot the ball and be a threat at all levels.

    “I’m really attacking downhill, using my speed and length to attack the basket and finish above the rim. That’s really the strongest aspect of my game right now.”

    With the improvements in his game, Brown says he’s ready to show the world his talent.

    “I’ve got a lot to prove to myself and really the country.”

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