The Arizona Wildcats added Nevada transfer Jordan Brown on Friday, beating out schools like Arizona State and Saint Mary’s for the 6-foot-11 forward.
Our commitment story can be found here, and here is what Brown adds to the Wildcats:
A talented post presence
Brown’s numbers at Nevada were pedestrian at best. He averaged 3.0 points, 2.1 rebounds and 0.5 blocks in 10.1 minutes per game, unable to get steady playing time behind a bevy of upperclassmen. Only twice did Brown score in double figures and those games were against Arkansas Little-Rock and Cal Baptist.
And even when you extrapolate Brown’s numbers over 40 minutes—12.0 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 1.9 BPG—they aren’t great.
Still, his pedigree provides plenty of reason to be optimistic about his future in Tucson. The Roseville, California native was a McDonald’s All-American and a top-20 prospect coming out of high school in 2018 for a reason.
If Brown can unlock his potential, there is no reason to think he can’t be a solid starter, at worst, for the Wildcats beginning in 2020-21 when they will need to replace Chase Jeter (graduation), Stone Gettings (graduation) and possibly Zeke Nnaji (NBA Draft).
Listed at 6-foot-11, 210 pounds, Brown is capable of playing both frontcourt positions.
“Brown has a lengthy set of arms to go with good mobility and athleticism,” reads his 247Sports profile. “He’s a very good post scorer that has good hands, impressive and terrific footwork on the block. He can score with hooks or even use counters, and he’s able to step away from the rim and make mid-range jump shots.”
An even more stacked practice squad
As a transfer, Brown will have a whole year to refine his body and game before taking the court for the Wildcats. We saw how such a scenario benefitted Chase Jeter, whose production at Arizona has dwarfed his numbers at Duke.
Fellow transfer Jemarl Baker Jr. will be in the same boat as Brown, meaning the Wildcats will have a deep practice roster and, thus, extremely competitive practices in 2019-20. That should only aid player development across the board.
The downside to having two transfers is Arizona’s active roster will be a little thin, possibly putting them in a tough position if they have any injuries.
Insurance in case the 2020 class is a bust
As I wrote when Arizona landed Baker, adding Brown is insurance for the Wildcats in case their next recruiting class, currently empty, is a dud, as they essentially serve as 2020 recruits.
At this point, there should be no doubt about Sean Miller’s ability to recruit, recent controversy and all, but it is nice to know the Wildcats already have high-level talent waiting in the wings.
Another roster crunch
Adding Brown means Arizona is back to having 14 scholarship players for 2019-20, one over the maximum. That means someone won’t be back next season.
A more in-depth look at the roster crunch, and the players who might be on their way out, can be found here, courtesy of our Brian Pedersen.
More credibility on the recruiting trail
After Brown announced he was exploring a transfer from Nevada, his father Dion told Nevada Sports Net that “the school that eventually lands his son will be the one that earns the trust of him and his family.”
So it speaks volumes that Arizona, which has been embroiled in the federal investigation into college basketball for nearly two years now and could face NCAA sanctions because of it, was able to land him (and other transfers for that matter).
Recruits either don’t care about the impact the investigation could have on Arizona, or they believe it is being overblown and trust that the program is heading in the right direction.
“One thing I really noticed is Sean Miller’s passion for the game and just the drive that he has. I feel like it matches mine.” Brown told 247Sports. ”We really just talked about, we have both faced adversity and having expectations of things we should accomplish. Just knowing that we both have things that we want to accomplish I feel like really complements each other, having a player and a coach that have expectations they want to reach.”