Tuesday, June 22, 2010
GU Recruit: Kareem Brown G 6-2 sr.
Today was like Christmas for us Gannon fans. Not to make student-athletes sound like a commodity, but we got a bunch of gifts today -- so many that we can't focus on all of them at the same time. Maybe the race car game will be more fun than it looked in the JCPenney catalog. Or maybe it will be like electric football; fun to look at and fiddle with, but frustrating beyond all get out when the game actually starts.
Two members of the recruiting class weren't a surprise to us. We shared information on Kelvin Agee on April 22 and provided details on Stephen Battle earlier this month. The most intriguing of the rest of the class is Kareem Brown, the 6-foot-2 senior transfer from Division I Coppin State (Md.). DI transfers are always attention-getting, but making Brown even more interesting is that he was Coppin's leading scorer last year at 10.0 ppg and made the most threes (57) on the team.
I've heard some folks speculate that Coppin must be dreadful because their leading scorer averaged right at double figures. Of course those folks are speculating without having any facts, a centuries long tradition for us sports fans. Coppin State was just 8-22 last year (3-13, last place in the MEAC), but I think the main reasons for the low point totals are:
1. The Eagles rotated all 10 players on their roster; nobody averaged fewer than 15 minutes per game and nobody averaged more than 29.
2. The stats make me speculate that Coppin State played deliberately on offense and then on defense forced opponents to move the ball. The Eagles scored just 61 ppg and allowed only 67 ppg. Their 3-point field goal defense (opponents shot just 28.8% from beyond the arc) ranked in the top 10 nationally.
The burning question is why would a kid transfer from a school for his senior year after being the leading scorer as a junior? (I'm sure Augusta State fans are asking the same thing about some kid named George Johnson who their program just landed.) I was hoping that Coppin just experienced a coaching change, but that couldn't be further from the case. Ron "Fang" Mitchell -- why can't I have a nickname like that? -- will be on the Coppin sidelines for the 25th consecutive year this winter. And you don't stay around that long without winning. My man Fang is the six-time MEAC coach of the year, winning several league titles, and earning 4 NCAA bids. You might recall in 1997 when 15-seed Coppin State shocked #2-seed South Carolina in the first round of the NCAAs.
That was 13 years ago, but it might seem like longer for Eagles fans. For the past 5 years (maybe longer, Coppin's web site isn't as good as Gannon's), the Eagles haven't had a winning record. In fact, they're averaging 20 losses per season since 2005. They had a 13-game losing streak last year. Maybe Brown was sick of losing and jumped at the chance to win his final college season. Maybe John Reilly's Maryland connections kicked in. Maybe he talked with former Knight Joe Lindsey, who, like Brown, played his juco ball at Monroe (NY) Community College. We'll have to wait for Reilly's explanation when he appears next on Jim LeCorchick's radio show.
Here's more info on Brown, much of it thanks to Gannon SID Dan Teliski:
* Here's a game-by-game breakdown of Brown's 2009-2010 season at Coppin State
* He scored 23 at Navy on 8-for-15 shooting, including 7-of-10 from 3-point range.
* Other high scoring games were 18 vs. Florida A&M and at Morgan State, 17 vs. Maryland-Baltimore County and vs. Division II West Virginia Tech
* Against the big schools he had 11 at USC, 8 at Colorado, 7 at West Virginia, 7 at Oklahoma State, and 0 at Michigan
* He hit for 7 against Washington Adventist, the school formerly known as Columbia Union. That alone should have earned him the scholarship at Gannon!
* Transferred to Coppin State after spending two seasons at Monroe CC (2007-2009)
* As a sophomore, averaged 15 ppg, leading Monroe CC to a 30-7 record and a berth in the national tournament, where he was named to the national all-tournament team
* Participated in the NJCAA All-Star game
* As a freshman, averaged 12.6 ppg
* At New London (Conn.) High School, he was a two-time New Haven Register All-State selection and scored over 1,400 points
* Here's a photo of Brown in action at West Virginia
* This is him going in for a layup against Maryland Eastern Shore
Want to follow Kareem on Twitter? You can at http://www.twitter.com/kareem24. (Warning: Web page contains some offensive language.) The Coppin State logo is all over his page, so he's going to have to get that updated. And I hope Gannon has #24 available for him so he doesn't have to change his Twitter handle. I searched many of his 1,880 Twitter posts and didn't glean anything about his situation. I thought he might have said something about playing time or something like that. I do know now that he loves Kobe and the Lakers, he watches tons of basketball, and he has some sort of insomnia issue.
That was a ton of information, but the still unanswered question is, "What can Brown do for GU?" We'll find out in about 5 months.