In a class where plenty of freshmen near the top have underwhelmed, Kendall Brown has been sensational for the defending champion Baylor Bears.
Coming into the season, he was ranked as the 14th best incoming freshman by 24/7 Sports and left entirely off ESPN’s preseason Top 100 Draft Board. He has quickly seen himself rise up draft boards due to his early-season production on both ends of the floor.
There’s a very real chance he’s a lottery pick, and could even go top 10 at this rate quite easily. And yes, I get it. It’s only been 7 games… but the former McDonald’s All-American has been that impressive to me. I’m just not sure there are 9 better prospects at this point.
I might even get to as high as number 6 or 7 overall with him… but need to dive into a few others deeper before going that bold. It is difficult to resist when he’s making plays like this:
6’8″ — 6’11” Wingspan — 205 lbs. — Forward — Freshman
Role: Swiss Army Knife + Slashing Wing + Versatile Defender
Draft Range: Lottery Pick/1st Round
Notable Stats (*through 7 games):
13.7 PPG – 3.7 RPG – 2.3 APG – 1.6 SPG – 0.4 BPG
75.4 TS% – 3.6 STL rate – 2.1 BLK rate – 14.5 BPM
Slashing + Attacking the rim
Whether it’s filling the lanes in transition, cutting off the ball, or reading the defense closing out and attacking the rim, Brown can slash with the best of them. He is a plus athlete, and that’s putting it lightly. See for yourself below at just how explosive the 6’8″ forward is.
He can guard positions 1-4 and has the ability to switch on the perimeter, which in today’s NBA is essential for wings/forwards. He’s also a smart off-ball defender, using his size + length to disrupt passing lanes. Being the defensive playmaker off-ball along with a more than competent point of attack defender is quite the combo.
There should be virtually zero concerns from scouts about him playing hard or running out of energy. The motor is always revving and even the mistakes he makes are aggressive, committed ones which I like more than being indecisive, as long as you can control/limit those mistakes, which he can.
His level of engagement (nearly at all times) is quite high, as shown below.
He is an excellent passer and decision-maker, especially off the dribble. When faced with attacking closeouts, he can find the gap and make the correct read more often than not as he displays below.
Shooting?Shooting Volume + Shot Creation
It feels funny to put this as his weakness considering his pristine (and totally unsustainable) 66.7% clip from deep on 0.9 attempts. per game, but coming into the season it was his biggest concern.
Wings have to shoot in the NBA and I’m more confident now than I was before about his shot, so this is more of just something to monitor going forward rather than talking about an actual weakness. He will need to shoot more frequently, but that’s more of a long-term preference.
Creating shots for himself off the dribble is another area for growth from his game.
This one is another preseason concern that has mostly looked to be overstated, as the handle looks better than many thought at this point. It’s not an elite handle by any means, but he can put it on the floor and serve as a secondary playmaker. If he continues to improve the handle it’s the quickest path towards him becoming an offensive powerhouse outside of the shooting.
Considering his “weaknesses” have not really looked like true weaknesses thus far, that goes to show how impressive and well-rounded he’s looked early on. He’s been far better than advertised as “just another athletic wing”.
To conclude, I’d like to simply state that his game is extremely translatable to the NBA, and that tends to bode well for wings with size, skill, and a sound understanding of the game.
Baylor’s “Other” Prospects
Baylor has a very deep squad yet again, and several other potential NBA prospects. Not all of these guys will be drafted, but there are certainly on the professional basketball radar in one way or another. Their bigs are productive as well and play their roles to a tee, even though they may not be considered NBA guys just yet.
Matthew Mayor- Forward, 6’8″
Range: 2nd Round
On 2022-23 NBA Draft/G Leauge/Two-Way/Overseas Radar
- Jeremy Sochan- F, 6’10” (23′ guy for me)
- LJ Cryer- Guard, 6’1″
- Adam Flagler- Guard, 6’3″
- James Akinjo- PG, 6’1″
- Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua- F/C, 6’9″
This was a quick early season breakdown of his game, and there will be more to follow.
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Categories: NBA Draft