Brown is an excellent athlete who possesses most of the physical attributes and skills NBA teams look for in a backup point guard. He doesnt have great size at around 6 feet, but he makes up for that to a certain extent with his long arms and sheer explosiveness. He has great quickness and body control, which allows him to create his own shot with ease, get to the rim and finish. Hes extremely tough to stay in front of as he has terrific footwork and all the confidence in the world in his offensive ability.
Brown has a very smooth and polished offensive game and is prone to erupt for effortless looking scoring outbursts in very short spans. His ball-handling skills are very good, having all the skills needed to create space for himself offensively and get his man off balance and either create shots for himself or for his teammates if the defense collapses. He has all the little tricks and gimmicks that all great ball-handlers do, including the change of pace dribble, hesitation moves, a strong crossover, between the legs, behind the back, the reverse dribble, the pull-back and others. He changes gears in the blink of an eye, stopping on a dime and then just exploding past his man using crafty head and body fakes or just with his pure quickness. If the lane isnt there he can use his footwork to come to an immediate halt and then jump backwards purposefully to knock down the mid-range jumper. He likes to skip through the lane horizontally to avoid contact, showing plenty of flash and creativity finishing in the lane; sometimes with a one-handed floater/runner ala Nick Van Exel.
Brown is a prolific 3-point shooter, possessing superb footwork and body control, a high and quick release on his jump shot, deep range and great elevation to get his shot off almost whenever he pleaseswhich is both a blessing and a curse. He makes tough contested shots look easy; fading away, going either left or right, squaring his shoulders, maintaining his balance and knocking down tough shots even in very tight spaces.
As a point guard Brown is at his best in transition, as he loves to push the tempo and is absolutely a blur in the open floor. He has a good feel for making difficult passes, whether in transition, in half-court sets in tight spaces or with a bullet-pass down the floor to a streaking teammate. Hes very flashy with the ball but sometimes tries to do too much to try and please the crowd.
On the other end of the floor Brown has all the tools in the world except for ideal height to be a very good defender if he can put it all together. His quickness, footwork and length make him a very good pressure defender when he puts his mind to it, which unfortunately he does not on a consistent basis. Still, he shows superb lateral movement at times gliding to stay in front of his man and has the quickness, hands and anticipation skills to get in the passing lanes and ignite the fast break.
Brown is a classic late-bloomer who is still very much coming into his own as a player. He is missing a lot of intangibles that most star players hopefully pick up in high school, but he never did.
The first concern would be his size. His 6-1 listing might be an inch generous, and hes a fairly skinny player on top of that. Hell never be a power guard with his frame and will almost certainly take a beating night after night with his style of play in the league. Brown struggles fighting through screens defensively and might be overpowered by bigger, stronger guards who want to impose their will on him. At times he lacks the strength to finish at the basket, not showing the greatest touch in the world and missing a few gimmees almost every game. Its unclear whether hell be able to finish as effectively in the NBA against bigger, longer, more athletic and much meaner opponents.
To counter that, hell have to improve his in-between game, especially in terms of pulling up off the dribble from 16-18 feet. He shows terrific sparks of this already, but needs to continue to hone this part of his game to help his offensive game translate to the NBA effectively, as it might end up being his bread and butter.
Brown is not a pure PG and does not even play the position full-time for his team. His playmaking skills can be questionable at times, especially in terms of controlling the tempo of his team, running half-court sets and making his teammates better. Hes not much of a floor general, showing poor leadership skills and often concerning body language, struggling to direct his teammates to do what they need to do and getting frustrated when they dont.
Part of the reason for this is the fact that he plays for a terrible team that has very few legit offensive options besides him. Teams know that if they manage to shut him down, their chances of winning increase exponentially. He gets frustrated with his teammates and openly shows in on the court, throwing his hands in the air when they mess up or clapping his hands incessantly asking for the ball. Hes a bit of a one man show in his conference at times, rushing shots early in the offense and displaying poor shot-selection, being very turnover prone and making unforced errors that stem from a lack of concentration. He is a big time player with a small school mentality, so you have to wonder how quickly he will be able to adapt to having 4 players around him at all times who are just as good as him if not a lot better. This is really not a question we can answer until he actually plays in the NBA, and there will probably be an adjustment period. To his credit we can say that he does not look like a selfish me-first player who is just trying to rack up stats, there are definitely some more variables beyond that.
Brown can be a little too nonchalant at times, only really turning it on for short stretches rather than the full 40 minutes, being inconsistent from game to game and half to half, and not always playing with a ton of intensity. He doesnt always look 100% motivated, as if hes a bit bored with the opposition he goes up against even though he isnt incredibly dominant at the Big West conference level. This especially shows up on the defensive end, where he is prone to turn it on and off depending on how he is playing and who he is going up against.
Brown plays in the Big West conference, which is ranked as the 25th best conference (of 32) in America in terms of RPI. The most well known and probably the best team in that conference is Pacific who went unbeaten in the conference last season and advanced a round in the NCAA tournament.
Cal State Fullerton has actually produced some decent NBA talent, with Bruce Bowen, Cedric Ceballos and most recently Pape Sow (a teammate of Browns) being the last 3 Titans to make the league.
In high school Brown played for one of the top programs in the country at Westchester High School in Los Angeles, but did not get a lot of playing time in his first few years. His teammates on that team include Hassan Adams (Arizona), Brandon Heath (San Diego State), Trevor Ariza (New York Knicks), Brandon Bowman (Georgetown) and Ashanti Cook (Georgetown).
Brown made an immediate impact as a freshman at CS-Fullerton, taking over the reigns as the teams playmaker and doing a fine job of running a team that included eventual 2nd round draft pick Pape Sow. He was named the freshman of the year in the Big West for his efforts.
As a sophomore Brown continued to improve and ended up averaging nearly 17 points and 5 assists per game while helping his team to the 3rd round of the postseason NIT, where they lost to Georgetown.
In this his junior season, Brown has played both at the point as well as the 2-guard spot, as Fullerton at times have needed more of a scoring punch that hed be able to deliver better playing off the ball. Injuries to his back and ankle have hampered him at times, and Fullerton is currently struggling to stay above the .500 mark, hovering around the middle of the pack in the Big West.
Despite playing for a small team in a small conference, NBA scouts know exactly who Bobby Brown is and come to see him play on a regular basis.
Brown is widely expected to test the waters this year to see where his draft stock lies. Hes without a doubt the type of player that will look great in private workouts as the emphasis on shooting, athleticism and one on one play is tailor made to his style of play.
As a late-bloomer who is still nowhere near being a complete player, Brown will have to consider the pros and cons of coming out early and potentially not getting a lot of minutes to develop or staying at Fullerton and continuing to hone his all-around game at a low-level without much talent around him.
Patterns his game after Allen Iverson, all the way down to the sleeve on his right arm.
Photo courtesty of Bryan Crowe, from OCaction.net