The NBA Draft comes up Thursday night, and for the first time in forever, Auburn fans may need to pay attention. There aren’t any sure fire 100% first-round draft picks among the departures from the 2018-19 squad, but there are three guys that may very well hear their names called at some point. One of them is the SEC’s most prolific sharpshooter of the last decade.
BRYCE BROWN - 6’3, 198 pounds
Career Totals: 2015-2019
- Field Goal Percentage: 39.5% (534-1351)
- Three-Point Percentage: 39.2% (382-975)
- Free Throw Percentage: 78.5% (223-284)
- 1,673 total points (12.8 ppg)
- 258 total rebounds (2.0 rpg)
- 187 total assists (1.4 apg)
Bryce Brown came into Auburn as a three-star recruit from Decatur, GA, in what was the class that would eventually turn the fortunes of Auburn basketball under Bruce Pearl. He was part of a group that included Horace Spencer, Danjel Purifoy, T.J. Dunans, and New Williams. Bryce was actually the lowest-rated recruit (369th nationally) in that class, but he turned out to be the most impactful by far.
Touted as a pure shooter coming into college, he showed that skill immediately, averaging 10.0 ppg as a freshman playing in 30 games and starting 11 of them. He continued the hot performance from the perimeter as a sophomore in with 40.0% three-point shooting. That part of his game never really changed except that he became much more of a threat to get hot as a junior and senior. In his junior year, he had 12 games with four or more threes, including an 8-12 performance in the final regular season game of the year, a win over South Carolina that gave the Tigers the SEC regular season title.
This past season, he upped that number to 21 games with four or more threes, with seven of those games coming in the postseason. In the most critical of times, Bryce Brown stepped up and took over the moment. In the Round of 32 against Kansas, he went 7-11 from downtown, and it was his flurry that gave Auburn the lead over Kentucky in the Elite Eight. Even in the Final Four loss to Virginia, Brown hit multiple threes down the stretch to give Auburn its first lead of the game.
One of Bryce’s most marked improvements came in the full range of his offensive game. As a freshman and sophomore, he shot just 23.8% and 24.5% from inside the arc. Those numbers doubled to 51.2% from two-point range as a senior, and his repertoire was on full display in the NCAA Tournament. When the three-pointers weren’t falling, Auburn was completely comfortable letting Bryce go into the paint to either slash to the hoop or pull up for a mid-range jumper.
On the defensive side, Brown was a pest. Averaging better than a steal per game as a senior, he was usually matched up on the opponents’ best perimeter player. He was a frustrating handle in that regard,
From what most NBA scouts have said, Brown’s value comes first and foremost in his deep shooting. With more teams living and dying by the three-pointer, Brown’s ability from downtown can’t be overstated. As Son of Crow says “three is more than two,” and that’s definitely the mantra that Bryce lived by at Auburn.
Projected as a second round pick right now, he’s been compared favorably to Jason Terry at the NBA level. Terry started out as a three-point shooter before becoming a player that could adequately handle point guard responsibilities when needed, and always had the threat of a huge flurry from deep in his back pocket. Brown may never become a true full-time NBA starter, but his shooting ability and defense should keep him on a roster for some time as a valuable role player.