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Sleeper Deep Dives: Tevin Brown
The Murray State guard might not be one of the top players on the draft radar for the 2022 NBA Draft, but Tevin Brown's exceptional shooting touch makes him worthy of second-round consideration.
With the NCAA Tournament wrapped up and the end of the regular season rapidly approaching for the NBA and international leagues, the charge toward the 2022 NBA Draft is well underway. Many players have entered their names into early consideration for the draft, and even more of them have entered the transfer portal.
While the top portion of the draft is starting to settle in on most boards, there are still plenty of prospects who have flown under the radar. Some prospects from mid-major teams, even those in the tournament, still have a lot to prove if they wish to hear their names called on draft night.
Tevin Brown of Murray State is one of those prospects. Despite a mediocre NCAA Tournament performance from him and his squad, who were one of the teams mowed down by Saint Peter’s on their Cinderella-style run to the Elite Eight, Brown put up another stellar season from long-range in his fourth year in Murray, Kentucky. His defensive game is a bit harder to project, but he does do a decent job of disrupting passing lanes and getting steals.
NBA teams are always looking for more shooting these days, and there are few more dangerous prospects in this draft in terms of prowess from beyond the arc. Teams with second-round picks and a spot to fill in their guard rotation would be well-served to take a look at Tevin Brown. So…let’s dive deep!
Offense: Shooting Stroke
Tevin Brown will probably hear his name called on draft night due to the strength of his shooting stroke, but he is not just a one-trick pony in that regard. He isn’t just someone who can knock down an open look or two when he gets them—he has a well-established track record of taking and making three-pointers at a high volume throughout his college career.
For some college sharpshooters, there can be a bit of a sample size issue. If a good shooter and a bad shooter each only get 50 attempts from three-point range in a season, a poor shooter can get hot and make 20-of-50 and look like a real threat; conversely, a great shooter can have a cold spell, knock down 12-of-50 in that limited sample, and have scouts question their shooting chops.
To say that this isn’t an issue for Tevin Brown is somehow underselling it—Brown has put up over 900 three-point attempts in his college career and nailed 38.6% of them; he has averaged 7.3 3PA for his four years at Murray State. When you break down how he gets those shots, it becomes clear that he is an elite shooter in nearly every possible way.
This past season, he ranked in the 87th percentile offensively overall, the 77th percentile in three-point shooting efficiency, the 80th percentile in jump shots in the halfcourt, the 92nd percentile as a trail shooter in transition, the 74th percentile off screens, the 85th percentile on spot-ups, the 84th percentile in catch-and-shoot jumpers, the 62nd percentile in guarded catch-and-shoot jumpers, and the 92nd percentile on unguarded catch-and-shoot shots (all per Synergy Sports). Even in his worst shooting category, jump shots off the dribble, he still finished just below average (in the 45th percentile).
The good news for Brown’s NBA prospects is that teams won’t rely on him too much as a shooter off the dribble. If he improves in that area, his ceiling will rise dramatically. However, even if he doesn’t quite get there off the dribble, any NBA team would be happy to have Brown curling off screens or waiting for a kick-out pass—he is deadly even when guarded from range, and he is deadlier still when left alone out there:
Brown has a knack for spotting gaps in the defense and darting into the spaces they leave open behind the three-point line. Knocking down open threes is one thing, but Brown also gets his shot up quickly in the face of a defensive challenge:
His shooting stroke is the key for Brown’s NBA prospects, but the rest of his offensive game complements his shooting well. Brown is an underrated finisher around the basket, and he can attack the rim if defenses sell out to stop him from beyond the arc:
Brown has knocked down 50.1% of his two-point shots during his college career, and he can do damage as a pick-and-roll scorer—he was in the 81st percentile as a scorer as the pick-and-roll ball-handler this past season. He is an effective, if not spectacular, passer as well, averaging 3.1 APG against 1.8 TOV this past season; he was even better last season, with 4.3 APG against just 1.6 TOV. NBA teams will be looking to draft Tevin Brown due to his abilities as a shooter. However, he has enough punch to the rest of his offensive game to avoid being one-dimensional on that end of the floor—something that has become more and more important for shooting specialists at the NBA level over the past few years.
Defense: Disruption, Dedication, and Defensive Rebounds
Tevin Brown is not quite a typical 3-and-D prospect, but there are reasons to be optimistic about his defensive outlook. Even if Brown doesn’t develop much as a defender, his effort and ability to disrupt passing lanes will allow him to be at least solidly below-average (rather than something worse) on that end of the floor.
Indeed, Brown has already reached that level according to some metrics, grading out as an “Average” defender this past season per Synergy Sports. Some metrics think of him even more highly than that—he finished 16th in the entire NCAA in Defensive Win Shares, he has finished ninth in the conference or better in Defensive Plus-Minus in each of his four seasons at Murray State, and he is sixth in career Defensive Win Shares in the history of the Ohio Valley Conference.
While those stats might paint an overly rosy picture of Brown’s defensive abilities, he has some clear positives to his defensive game that more than compensate for his weak points.
Let’s start with the biggest concern for Brown’s defense first, to get it out of the way. Brown is listed at 6’5” and 175 lbs., and that slight frame looks somewhat troubling on tape. He is not a skinny teenager who needs time to fill out; while an NBA weight-training program will definitely help him, Brown will struggle to pack on positive pounds with his narrow shoulders. He always tries to fight through opposing screens on defense, but his slenderness can often be a hindrance in those battles:
While his frame is a concern, and one that will be difficult to overcome, Brown helps his cause on that end by putting in a ton of effort. He rarely gets caught ball-watching on defense, and he trails his man diligently around screens on the perimeter. He isn’t quite quick enough to keep up with the speediest point guards, but he does a decent job with most wing-type players.
Brown’s defensive effort is easiest to see on the defensive glass. He averaged 5.0 defensive RPG this season, his second straight season cracking five defensive rebounds per game. Despite his slender frame, he is not afraid at all to mix it up in the paint, and those efforts often allow him to kickstart a transition attack:
In addition to his efforts fighting through screens and fighting on the glass, Brown is also good at disrupting passing lanes. He has a solid 2.0% STL% over his four years at Murray State, and he finished seventh in the conference with 1.4 SPG this past season. Given that high steal rates in college tend to transfer over to the NBA, it is reasonable to assume that Brown will be able to generate turnovers at the next level as well, giving him yet more fuel for transition opportunities:
Tevin Brown might not have the frame or the elite athleticism to develop into a true lockdown defender at the NBA level, but there are plenty of promising signs regarding his defensive game. If he can live up to the most optimistic of his defensive projections, he will be an absolute steal of a 3-and-D wing. Even if he doesn’t, however, he should be more than good enough on that end of the floor to allow his offensive game to shine.
The season might have ended on a sour note for Tevin Brown and the Murray State Racers, but Brown’s future outlook should be bright. He added even more supporting evidence for his long-range shooting CV, and he should be one of the best bets to light up the gym during shooting workouts.
NBA teams are always looking for more shooting, and Tevin Brown is fully capable of providing that long-range touch. Furthermore, he has shown that he can still contribute when teams force him inside the arc—he can score efficiently around the basket and make good passing decisions when the ball is forced out of his hands. While he might not ever be a lockdown defender, there is plenty of reason to believe that he will at least be competent on that end of the floor—which should be good enough given his offensive gifts.
Tevin Brown might not have gotten the ending he wanted for his college season this year, but he added yet more evidence to his sample size of top-tier long-range shooting. He might be flying under the radar now, but he has every tool that he needs to be the next unheralded mid-major sleeper prospect who turns into a second-round steal on draft night.