Five-star point guard Troy Brown's mother hails from Texas, so when she cooked dinner for California basketball coaches Cuonzo Martin and Wyking Jones ("He's been the main focus of my recruiting," Brown said of Jones) on Tuesday, she made sure to give them a down-home meal: Catfish, macaroni, corn, chicken wings, cake and ice cream.
"She knows how to cook," laughed the five-star out of Las Vegas (Nev.) Centennial.
When the meal was over, it was time to talk turkey, but with the relationship between Martin and Brown extending back more than two years, soon, a hush fell over the room.
"Honestly, it was funny, because coach Martin gave a big spiel and was talking to us about the stuff that was going on with their program, and their roster, and how they need me to come in and be a big factor, and at the end of it, there was nothing else left to say," Brown said. "I mean, he's been very real about everything he's told me. At the end of the conversation, we were all sitting there, quiet, because we already knew how we felt about the school. I have such a good relationship with them."
http://www.scout.com/college/basketball/recruiting/story/1705700-q-a-wit... The evening in-home visit saw Martin and Jones join Brown, his mother and father, and his AAU coach in his Nevada home. After more than two years, they know each other well, and Brown certainly knows the Bears.
"I feel like they have a good program, thy develop players very well, and I see them having a big year, this year, coming up," Brown said. "He's very straight-forward, he tells me everything that will happen, if I do go to Cal. He was explaining all the stuff he could help me with, and all the stuff he could help me develop, and turn me into a better player."
In recent weeks, Kansas and Oregon have been by Brown's house this fall, with a couple more schools coming up in the next couple of weeks. What sets Martin apart is the sense of familiarity, and the ease with which he and Brown communicate.
"I was talking to him for so long, it's just sitting down and talking -- there's never an awkward conversation," Brown said. "I've had a good relationship with him for so long, that's how he differentiates [himself]."
Brown hopes to make his college decision by the Nov. 16 start of the early signing period, and has four main criteria, which he outlined, and then on which he spoke more in-depth:
"One, will be me having a great relationship with the coach," Brown said. "That's everything, especially playing point guard. I need to have a good relationship with the coach, and make sure that we're on the same page, on and off the court."
Martin, Brown said, is "very in-tune" with the players on campus, and that's what he wants, as a point guard. He learned how valuable that relationship is from the No. 60 overall pick in this year's NBA Draft, Tyrone Wallace, who was on hand when Brown unofficially visited the Bears earlier this year. Like the 6-foot-7 Brown, Wallace, too, is a long guard, at 6-foot-6.
"When I went on my unofficial, I talked to him, and we hung out, watched a workout, stuff like that," Brown said. "He talked about how coach Martin and coach Jones would try to set him up for him to be a good point guard, to put him in situations for him to look good as a point guard, especially with his teammates and picking up pieces, doing roles that need to be done, and not just going out and getting every superstar or things like that."
"Secondly, I would say, the environment," Brown continued. "Being somewhere where I'm comfortable, where I'm around good people, where the school has a good surrounding and stuff like that."
"Staff, I would say, is third," Brown said. "Just the people around the coach, making sure I have a good relationship with everybody -- the trainer, the nutritionist, stuff like that, just making sure I feel comfortable in that area."
During his unofficial visit, Brown met strength training guru Nicodemus Christopher, who also serves as a team nutritionist.
"He was a great guy," Brown said. "They were in the middle of doing a workout, and he was talking to me, letting me know different ways to help my body."
"Then, academics," Brown said. "I understand that basketball is eventually going to stop for me, and I want to be able to pursue broadcast communications, and just try to get a good relationship with people, while I'm in college."
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1650325-jaylen-brown-in-a-... Martin, recently, on the Jim Rome Show, revealed that No. 3 overall NBA Draft pick Jaylen Brown left Berkeley with a 3.2 GPA. Academics are important to Troy Brown, just as they were to Jaylen. In fact, before Jaylen ever visited Berkeley, he and Troy became close, and have remained so.
"I know Jaylen on a very personal level," Troy Brown said. "He's like a big brother to me, someone who I know I can always go to and talk to. That's the expectation from him. He set that bar. He doesn't like to be average. I know if he's in the classroom, he's going to be good."
The pair of Browns met during USA Basketball and Elite 24 workouts before he signed with the Bears.
"We both think differently," Troy Brown sad. "Jaylen has a certain itch to him. He doesn't act like the regular, typical basketball player, I would say. I'm kind of the same way. Having the same personality traits, acting the same, it just ld us to get along. Especially with him being older than me, he looked after me a little bit."
While Jaylen Brown is a chess whiz, Troy Brown prefers more solitary pursuits, but, like the older Brown, still unique.
"Not exactly in his particular areas, but I have niches for myself," Troy Brown said. "If I'm able to make it to the NBA, I want to invest in video games. I love to draw. Drawing is one of my huge things that I love to do. I love to draw. It used to be very serious for me, but as time started moving faster, I didn't have a lot of time to just draw. Naturally, now, whenever I'm on an airplane, or I can't get to sleep, I always have a note pad with me, or something, and I'll draw anything that comes to mind. Sometimes, I'll just see logos and stuff, or I'll mimic it, or landscapes, or I'll see an action shot of LeBron [James] and I'll screen shot it and try to sketch it."
Alabama will stop by on Sunday, and Georgetown will come by on Monday, for Brown, who has taken an official visit to Tuscaloosa, and to Ohio State. Next up on the official visit list is Oregon next weekend (the Ducks visited on Wednesday) and then the Jayhawks the weekend after that, followed by the Hoyas the very next weekend.
Having already visited unofficially, Brown said he doesn't need to take an official to Berkeley. Since he has a top eight, he wanted to use his official visits on the more far-flung options, while paying unofficials to the schools -- Cal, Arizona and UNLV -- closest to him, and the cheapest to visit.
"I wanted to make sure I visited all eight schools, before I made this decision," Brown said. "I've taken unofficials to Arizona, Cal and UNLV, so I had five official visits left, and that's how I made the visits.
"Hopefully, I get this done by November, and I can enjoy my senior season. It's been a little bit hectic."