Spotlight on Basketball: #32 Freshman Jabari Brown


Basketball season is quickly coming upon us; the schedules are out and the tickets are available.  So let’s start out previews of the men’s basketball team by shining a spotlight on some of the players to keep our eyes on.  First up this week, a highly recruited freshman Jabari Brown.

#32 Jabari Brown hails from Oakland, CA.  He played ball at Oakland HS and came to Oregon as a five-star prospect.  Averaging 23.8 points and 4.1 rebounds during his senior year at Oakland, 6’4’’ Brown could really be a positive impact on the Ducks season this year.  Talk of Oregon being a Pac-12 sleeper has already started to buzz and new talent coming in like Brown has a lot to do with that.  Brown had a chance to show his coaches, team and fans what he can bring to the table during their exhibition games in Italy this summer.

Oregon played five games during their trip to Italy;

A 2 – 3 record doesn’t look incredibly impressive, but it’s the details that really matter in any off-season play.  Brown really excelled in Italy.  He averaged 15.4 points (the only Duck to reach a double-digit average) and five rebounds during the five-game stretch.  He was flawless at the free-throw line, nailing all 16 attempts.  There are some key points that Brown needs to work on, but head coach Dana Altman believes that he will be very receptive to instruction.  The Ducks really need to focus on the freshman coming in this year because of the talent that was lost coming into this season.  The Ducks lost three out of their four top scorers from last season and Brown could step-up to fill one of those gaps.   “We didn’t use him posting up, which I think he can do, but he shoots the 3, he puts the ball on the floor, (and) makes plays for his teammates,” head coach Dana Altman said, speaking of the exhibition trip. “He’s a very versatile player. I look forward to working with him and devising ways to get him the ball and making him a part of our offense.”

When talking about Brown’s performance in Italy, Altman indicated that he thought Brown tried to do too much.

“We got behind in those last two games and I thought Jabari just tried to do too much. With his competitiveness, he tried to make a play every time he got it, and because of that he forced a few things, but for his first time out, it shows his potential, and gave us a few things he’s going to have to work on.”

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This season will be somewhat of an unknown.  The Ducks struggled early in the 2010/11 season (Altman’s first with Oregon), but improved drastically ultimately ending up in the finals of the College Basketball Invitational.  Oregon is young, but they have mixed that with some stellar potential in junior college and Division I transfers.  Anything could happen with this Oregon team and Brown will be a key factor in that mix.

Our eye will be on Brown and we’re excited to see what impact he can have this season.  Next week we’ll take a look at Tony Woods, a Center who came to Oregon from Wake Forrest.