'Late bloomer' turning heads

Haven't heard a lot about Derrick Brown? Don't worry, a lot of recruiting fans and analysts haven't. The good news is that college coaches know who he is and a number of big time programs are calling.

Let's catch you up to speed. Derrick Brown is a fast rising wing in the class of 2005. He was a virtual unknown months ago but suddenly the Dayton standout is a four-star recruit.

"I'm a late bloomer compared to some players," Brown said. "Coaches have known about me, but recruiting services are just starting to take notice."

Brown is hearing from some big time schools. North Carolina State and Xavier lead, but he's hearing from Michigan State, Wake Forest, Cal and "a couple other schools".

One of those other schools is Arizona. The Wildcats have contacted him, but they are not in on him hard.

"I've talked to one of their assistants a couple of time and received from mail, but I don't think they are serious," Brown said.

Brown did mention that he'd be interested in the Cats if they came calling. In fact he wants to take his time before making the decision in an effort to see just what programs become interested.

"I'm going to wait," Brown confessed. "I'll make a decision before my senior season starts, but I won't rush anything."

Although he is patient, he has not been passive. He's made unofficial visits to Xavier, Dayton, Cal and Stanford. Brown is originally from Northern California and distance and location are not an issue.

As of now an overall feel is how he is selecting his schools. He wants a school where he just fits in and feels most at home. Playing time, size and conference are not overly important at this time and it may come down to a gut feeling.

Brown is a 6-7 and very long. The lefty compares himself to Lamar Odom, at least on the floor.

"I'm long, wiry and athletic," Brown said. "I can really soot. It sets me apart from a lot of other players.

"I'm left handed but I used to be right handed," Brown continued. "I can play with either hand."

His unselfishness is also highly appealing. Brown is smart enough to know that scoring is just one facet of a complete game.

"I'm a real team player," Brown said. "I don't have to score 35 to have a good game. Coaches tell me that is one thing they really like."

Brown is smart enough to know that he has room to improve. He wants to add 15-20 pounds of muscle and feels that his footwork and defense could get better.

"I have to work on defending guards," Brown explained."If I want to play guard I have to b able to defend guards."

CAT TRACKS' ANALYSIS: The Cats are not going hard after Brown just yet, but we're hearing that could change. Brown is quickly establishing himself as one of the better wings in the class and has the size and length that the Cats want in a small forward.

Brown is also a very intelligent, well spoken young man. He was extremely courteous on the phone and both he and his family take academics seriously.

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