Over the last month, we have been covering the 2018-19 Michigan State basketball freshman class and what they will bring to the upcoming season. Only 6-foot-8, 200-pound wing, Gabe Brown, is left.
Fans should not worry. Brown is going to bring a lot to the Spartans proverbial table this season.
Brown has proven his talent on the high school level by becoming a four-star prospect and one of the best players in the state of Michigan. In the Moneyball Pro-Am this summer, Brown has been displaying his potential as a college prospect by routinely scoring 20-plus points and competing with fellow Spartans and former pro players.
It is not just about his talent, rather the way he carries himself on the court that has an impact. Although Brown is constantly dancing, smiling and having fun during the Pro-Am, he still has a killer instinct on the court.
With a good balance, both sides will help the Spartans in environments like a crucial game in the Crisler Center against the rival Wolverines.
Like fellow freshman Aaron Henry, Head Coach Tom Izzo will be able to use Brown in many different rotations and positions throughout the year.
Brown’s ability on offense to stretch the defense with his sharpshooting, from both the mid-range as well as from deep, and use athleticism to blow past defenders on cuts or off-the-dribble cannot be overlooked. In transition, he is one the many wings that junior point guard Cassius Winston will be able to find for easy finishes or alley-oops to get the Izzone on their feet.
On defense, when Brown is locked in his length and quick feet will cause problems for most if not all of the wings in the Big Ten. As his strength improves and he gets comfortable on the collegiate level fans should expect Brown to be living in the passing lanes, as well as getting a fair amount of blocked shots.
As easy as it is to see Henry and Brown just splitting former Spartan Miles Bridges’ minutes from last season, both can be utilized at shooting guard, small forward and power forward depending on the matchup. Add in juniors Joshua Langford and Nick Ward and the Spartans already have a potential lineup that can close games on both sides of the ball.
Opposing Big Ten squads would not want to see a Winston-Langford-Henry-Brown-Ward as the season concludes Henry and Brown’s development continue on the path it is on currently.
Even though the college basketball season starts in November, Sparty basketball fans, myself included, should be extremely excited for the 2018-19 year in East Lansing.