Jabari Brown NBA Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report and More

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Jabari Brown NBA Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report and More
USA TODAY Sports

School: Missouri
Height/Weight: 6'4", 202 lbs
Age: 21 years old
Projected NBA Position: Shooting Guard
Pro Comparison: Poor man's Marcus Thornton   
Twitter Handle: @Bari_BrownIDF

Jabari Brown's collegiate career started off rocky at Oregon, but he found a prominent role at Missouri and seeks to translate that momentum to the NBA.

Using a variety of jumpers and drives, he led the SEC in scoring during 2013-14 with 19.9 points per game. He's not expected to be a featured offensive weapon in the NBA, but he'll certainly be able to get some buckets when his number is called.

Will he impact the game enough when the ball is not in his hands, or will he be a one-dimensional player? We break down his strengths and weaknesses and project his NBA career.

Statistics at Oregon/Missouri
Year PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
2011-12 ORE 6.0 2.0 0.5 .273 .143
2012-13 MIZ 13.7 3.4 1.4 .404 .366
2013-14 MIZ 19.9 4.4 1.9 .467 .410

NCAA.com *Note: Brown played two games for Oregon in 2011-12

 

PHYSICAL TOOLS

Brown is 6'4.25" with shoes on, which isn't great for a shooting guard, but he has a 6'8.25" wingspan that will help in all phases. He's also pretty solid at 200-plus pounds.

David Becker/Associated Press

He's not going to wow anyone athletically, however. Brown isn't the speediest player around, and his mediocre lateral quickness is concerning for the defensive end.

Moreover, he's not an explosive leaper, as he can't quickly bounce off the ground on a dime. Brown's max vertical at the NBA Draft Combine was an underwhelming 32", and he only plays above the rim when he's has momentum and an open lane.

The bottom line is that he'll have to rely on skill more than his physical tools at the next level.

 

CORE STRENGTHS

Creating and Making Jumpers

Jump shooting will be Brown's greatest asset in the NBA by far.

He's a great catch-and-shoot target, using great rhythm and a streamlined release to bury a truckload of triples at Missouri. But fortunately, he can pull up effectively off the dribble, which means he can be more than just a spot-up option in the NBA.

Brown created a fair amount of his own three-pointers in 2013-14, but he's even more inventive as a mid-range creator. With crossovers, hesitations and step-backs, he's able to create separation and then get decent elevation on his 15-20-foot jumpers. According to Hoop-Math.com, more than 80 percent of Brown's two-point jumpers were unassisted.

He won't be taking the ball to the rim quite as much as a pro, so his mid-range and perimeter shooting will be even more crucial in the NBA.

 

Strong Drives

While he won't be executing too many acrobatic slashes, Brown can still drive the ball and finish through contact.

When he breaks down opponents off the bounce or drives against a close-out, he'll be able to score by absorbing the contact and putting the ball softly off the glass. He's great at adjusting to the defense mid-drive, and he can even do Eurosteps as he adjusts his course on the way to the rim.

Brown's 200-pound frame and aggressive approach will help him draw fouls, and if he puts on another 10-plus pounds of muscle, all the better.

Despite being a below-the-rim finisher in the NBA, he'll be a strong finisher nonetheless.

 

WEAKNESSES/CONCERNS

The most concerning aspect of Brown's game moving forward is defense. More specifically, his effort and alertness on that end of the floor must be sharpened. Josh Riddell of DraftExpress.com explains:

On the defensive side of the ball, Brown's potential is limited due to his size and length, as he will likely have trouble contesting the jump shots of taller players or defending them in the post. Further compounding the issue is his often nonchalant demeanor on this end of the floor, as he often looks lackadaisical in his approach here—something that plagued Missouri's entire squad this season.

Even if hard work and coaching help Brown become more focused and more efficient, he'll still struggle because he's a middle-of-the-road athlete. There will be NBA players who can just simply get past him or bounce over him.

This average athleticism will also hurt him offensively, as he'll have a tougher time breaking down opponents and scoring among the trees.

Lastly, Brown could work on his left-handed drives and finishes, and that would improve his overall creativity and passing ability in turn.

 

NBA PROJECTION

Immediate Projection

There's a chance Brown could earn regular (but not abundant) minutes as a wing scorer, serving as a secondary scoring option when he's on the floor. He would be able to stretch the defense and convert the occasional bucket off the dribble.

His early-career minutes will be limited due to his mediocre defense and lack of explosive ability to generate chances for his teammates.

 

Long-Term Projection

Brown doesn't present much long-term upside as a major weapon or star, but if he really works on his weaknesses, he could be a versatile scorer and respectable defender.

Riddell broke down the guard's developmental possibilities: "His three point shooting...will be a necessary skill for him to earn playing time, but he should be able to carve out a niche if he can improve his defense and do a better job of staying within himself and creating offense for teammates."

If you want an idea of his ceiling, think in the neighborhood of Marcus Thornton. Brown could give his team a similar boost by lighting up the scoreboard from deep, albeit in a sixth-man role or rotational capacity.

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