Head coach Chris Collins is slowly turning the tide for Northwestern basketball and another piece of the puzzle has fallen into place with the commitment of three-star guard Isiah Brown. Brown became the second player in Collins 2016 recruiting class, choosing the Wildcats over Utah, Washington, and Washington State among others.
Brown reportedly committed during his official visit this past weekend. It was a short recruiting process, which only began in early April, when assistant coach Armon Gates saw Brown play for the Northwest Panthers in the Adidas Gauntlet series. Brown averaged 20.5 points there over eight games. After seeing Brown for himself a couple weeks later, head coach Chris Collins developed a relationship with him and was quick to offer a scholarship.
Some adidas Gauntlet series numbers for Isiah Brown. Dude gets buckets. http://t.co/V4cEaChNf9 pic.twitter.com/wCCPGdVUYE— Luke Srodulski (@lsrodulski) May 31, 2015
"He's a guy that wants to do things that have never been done before, and that's the thing that I've done at my high school level," Brown said about Collins to 247sports.com. "We think on the same wavelength."
Brown is a big time scorer. He averaged 28.3 points per game during his junior season at Lakeside High, and once scored 53 in just his sophomore year. He plays smart basketball and is always under control. He has the poise and ability to play the point, but his explosive scoring ability makes him an option at both guard spots.
He's very quick with the ball and has the handles to create separation and get into the lane, where he finishes with a floater, a pull-up jumper, or takes it to the rim. He's adept at getting to the free throw line and forcing the ref to make a call as well.
At 6'1", 155 lbs., he does need to get stronger. If he wants to become a true point guard in college, he'll have to work on being more of a leader on the court with his teammates and managing game situations.
Brown grew up in Anchorage, Alaska where he developed his love for the game. When he was in the sixth grade his family moved to the Seattle area. The move benefited Brown in terms of exposure and competition level, allowing his game to continue to grow and for the rest of the country to see what he could do. Coaches and scouts took notice quickly, and Brown picked up a scholarship offer from Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar when he was in just the eighth grade. He's flown a bit under the radar as a recruit, but Northwestern may have gotten involved at just the right time.
Head coach Chris Collins has had success in recruiting recently, something Northwestern hasn't seen in a long time. Collins is showing that he can recruit nationwide, from Aaron Falzon in Massachussetts to Isiah Brown in Washington. He's also been able to get some key recruits within the state of Illinois, leading fans to believe that Northwestern's tournament drought may be nearing an end.
The 2016 class for Northwestern is beginning to come together nicely after the major addition of four-star small forward Rapolas Ivanauskas back in April. 2015-16 should be another step in the right direction, and 2016-17 could be an even more exciting season for Wildcats fans.
Check out some of these highlight from Brown's junior year at Lakeside High: