Bruce Brown Jr. was the 26th-ranked prospect in the 2016 high school class [1].

In a year and a half at Miami, the 21-year-old [2] has accumulated 1,693 minutes of college ball experience. Through his time there, the Hurricanes have won two thirds of their games and looked like a reasonable Elite Eight hopeful each year.

Through 19 games this season, the six-foot-five combo guard has averaged 13.5 points per 40 minutes on 48.8% true shooting and posted a 16.6 PER [3].

Brown is not the one tasked with triggering the offense every possession, but he gets a fair amount of responsibility creating out of high pick-and-roll against a set defense. The presence of career 40.8% three-point shooter Anthony Lawrence II as a stretch four offers decent spacing for him to work with but Brown isn’t having a particularly impressive season as a scorer, though the flashes of tantalizing reads on the move as a passer are still there.

More troubling, perhaps, is the fact he has regressed as a spot-up shooter, with his foul shooting percentage supporting concerns over that decline.

On the other end, Brown has the strength, the length and the lateral quickness to be expected to develop into a dominant defender who creates events and offers his coach a lot of flexibility on how to deploy him.

So, he is ranked 19th on ESPN’s top 100.

Brown will miss up to six weeks with a foot injury.

Shot Creation

Brown has yet to develop into an advanced ball handler, but he has demonstrated to be somewhat resourceful operating in middle high pick-and-roll. He has a stop-and-start hesitation move to try losing his man around the screen and an in-and-out dribble to get downhill or snake his way to a spot around the elbow area.

Brown has an explosive first step, some burst going left and strength in his 202-pound frame to maintain his balance through contact in order to get all the way to the basket often. He’s taken 43.6% of his live-ball attempts at the rim [4] and averaged 4.4 foul shots per 40 minutes this season.

Brown is not an instinctive passer who can anticipate openings in the defense a split-second ahead of everybody and has a habit of picking up his dribble before he is certain a passing lane has materialized – turning it over on 16.1% of his possessions over his time at Miami [5].

But Brown has flashed some polished work in the pick-and-roll – showing some ability to pass over the top against the big playing up on him and make passes across his body to the opposite end or tie up the last line of defense to toss up lobs and deliver pocket passes after turning the corner – assisting on 20.4% of Miami’s scores over his 640 minutes this season.


Brown is an explosive leaper with some space to take flight and can play above the rim as a target for lobs on baseline cuts or filling the lanes in transition but struggles going up strong in traffic. He’s a lot more confident as a two-foot leaper and rarely rises off one foot off the dribble.

He has also struggled as a finisher because he hasn’t yet developed dexterity using his length to over-extend or complete reverses around rim protectors. Brown can hang in the air and is strong enough to finish through contact but has iffy touch on non-dunk finishes among the trees, especially with his left hand.

He has converted just 58.5% of his 82 shots at the basket as a sophomore, with 20 of his 48 makes assisted, after shooting a so-so 62.3% on his 138 such attempts as a freshman.

That lack of touch also comes across in his jumper and his floater.

Brown has a fluid release and mechanics that look like a decent foundation to build upon but can’t put the ball in the basket, off the dribble or off the catch.

He doesn’t have a lot of side-to-side quickness to shake his defender off balance but aside from snaking the pick-and-roll, Brown can also get his shot off one-on-one hang dribbling into pull-ups. His shot selection is not superb but is not particularly subpar either.

Nonetheless, he has hit just 30.4% of his 46 two-point jumpers this season.

His regression as a floor-spacer is more concerning, though. Brown has gone from capable spot-up shooter in year one to guy opponents can help off entirely in year two – as he’s nailed just 26.7% of his 60 three-point shots this season, at a pace of 3.8 such attempts per 40 minutes, while hitting 62.9% of his 70 foul shots.

Due to his poor shooting percentages across all zones, Brown has the third worst offensive rating on the team among rotation players [6].


Brown bends his knees to get down in a stance and though he doesn’t use his strength to contain dribble penetration, Brown has appealing lateral quickness to slide multiple times out in space, stay attached all the way and use his length to challenge shots at the rim.

He slides over picks at the point of attack reasonably cleanly and hustles to come back to his man in order to relief his big teammate in a timely manner.

Miami doesn’t switch as much this season as it did last year but Brown has proven he can defend bigger wings, thanks to his strength and his six-foot-nine wingspan [7].

Picking up big men on switches, he puts a body on them but hasn’t shown an inclination for getting very physical boxing them out. Brown impressed with his attentiveness acting as the last line of defense, though, making preventive rotations that kept the opposing ball handler from getting all the way to the basket after beating a teammate of his.

As a weak-side help defender, Brown steps inside to pick up the roll man regularly and has shown decent instincts using his length to make plays in the passing lanes – averaging 1.7 steals per 40 minutes over his time at Miami.

That said, his closeouts are bad – a mix of weak efforts and selling out to run the shooter off his shot, subsequently giving up an easy path to the lane off the bounce.

His most tangible contribution is on the defensive glass, where Brown has shown a knack for mixing it up in the scrum and chasing the ball quicker than the competition – collecting 18.8% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor this season, a remarkable mark for someone his height.