Evaluating Charlie Brown

June 15, 2019

by Alan Lu

I decided to take the opportunity to watch Saint Joseph’s 6-7 sophomore guard, Charlie Brown play in a December 1st basketball game against Temple, as I was able to see this match, with thanks to YouTube via College Sports.  He is an athletic, skilled basketball player that is an early entrant for the 2019 draft, and he has drawn some buzz as a prospect for this year’s draft.  He currently projects to be a potential second round pick, and I decided to take the time to analyze his skills to see how his game could translate to the NBA.

Charlie Brown is an adequate shooter that can knock down pull-up jumpers to help his team space the floor on offense.  He in particularly excels at dribbling to his left, as he did so to make back-to-back pull-up threes late in the first half to show off his ability to make long-range shots off the dribble.  He also can use a series of dribble moves, as he used a pump fake, and a quick, step back move to knock down pull-up jumpers from just inside the arc.  However, he can also tend to be streaky with his jump shot, and his shot selection can be a bit suspect.   Sometimes, he may be prone to taking contested jumpers, and he also sometimes not always have his balance when he takes jump shots.

He also showed an adequate ability to get scores off the dribble.  Brown does not tend to go all the way to the rim on those plays, but he was able to pivot to score on a turnaround, fadeaway jumper once.  Another time, he managed to draw free throws on another right-handed drive after he was really able to convince the referees that he was fouled with a very convincing flail on a separate play.  Plus, he also does a good job of scoring on hustle plays.  Brown is quite active on the glass, and he can quickly score on put backs after grabbing offensive rebounds.  He also made a nice backdoor cut to the hoop another time, as he was able to draw free throws, even though he was not able to get continuation on that play.  He also was open around the basket, and managed to draw free throws on a strong move to the hoop.  He also ran the floor to get a transition scoring opportunity, but he had his shot blocked after a defender flew in to do so.

He also attempted to score in the post a couple of times, but Brown would not have enough strength to back his man down far in the paint, and he missed both times on turnaround jumpers from the baseline.  As a playmaker, he looked to be about average.  Brown would sometimes make some nice passes in this game, and he does a good job of bringing the ball up and throwing long passes to find teammates in transition.  However, he also can be careless on offense, which can lead him to commit turnovers, and he also may make plays that can lead his team to be put in those situations.  Sometimes he can get the ball poked away as he may struggle to protect the basketball.  He also can be loose with his handle, which can lead him to commit some turnovers.  On a separate play, he drove wildly in transition, and ended up committing a charging foul on offense.  Also, early in this game, he didn’t make himself open on a dribble handoff, as his opponent beat him to the spot to the dribble handoff to intercept the pass. 

He also did a fairly good job of rebounding the basketball.  He will aggressively crash the glass to get boards for his team, and he has good athleticism, motor, and instincts to do so.  He showed a knack for getting defensive boards, and he would sometimes push the ball up the floor afterwards.  Also, Brown played fairly good defense in this game.  Brown is an active and alert defender that plays solid help defense, and he especially played solid defense in the first half, as he has good agility, anticipation skills, and instincts to make numerous plays on the ball.  He was able to stay with ball handlers to block shots, as he was able to swat a shot out of bounds off of a drive, and he also swatted a three-point shot to a teammate due to possessing the range and timing to do so. 

Brown also was able to find a loose ball on the ground to get a steal, and he will also get his hands on passes and poke balls away to help get deflections for his team.  He also moves his feet well, as he has the lateral quickness to stay in front of opponents consistently, and he was able to force opponents to miss on jumpers as well as on a put back attempt, but sometimes he can have lapses defensively, which can lead him to be out of position.  Every once in a while, he may lose track of his man, as he ended up trailing his man on a cut to allow a score.  Another time, he was late to get back to his man, and he ended up biting on a pump fake, which led to him to get beat off the dribble to allow a score on a drive.

In general, Charlie Brown is an intriguing prospect, as he is an athletic, skilled swingman that may have the ability to excel on both ends of the floor at the next level.  He will need to be a more consistent shooter in games, as he will need to improve his shot selection and be a more focused player to cut down on the turnovers committed on offense.  His team also seems to run a lot of plays for him, so Brown will likely have to show that he can be an effective player in a lower volume role on offense at the next level, and so he may likely need to spend some time in the G-League or overseas to hone his game.  Still, he could be a sleeper in this year’s draft, as he could project well into a 3 and D type of role in the NBA, as he could potentially end up being a similar player to Houston Rockets’ guard, Danuel House in the league.

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