One on one with Troy Brown

One of the top young players in the country made news recently by picking up a Duke offer as a sophomore. After he participated in the Elite 24 event, we sat down with Troy Brown to discuss recruiting, his game, and much more.

How was the Elite 24 experience for you in New York?

Troy Brown: It was a great experience especially being out there with the older guys like Chase and Stephen Zimmerman and Ivan and seeing all the stuff that they did including Ivan being back for a second year with it and Chase being from Vegas and earning an MVP award, it was very fun.

How far back does your friendship go with Chase and Stephen and Ivan?

I’ve known Chase since I was like six because we played on the same team when I was younger. I just started really talking to them a few years ago and then with Ivan, it’s the same.

How tight is your relationship with Chase since you’ve known him for awhile?

We’re like brothers, whenever we are around each other we’re always messing with each other but he’s always felt like my big brother and he’s somebody that I’ve looked up to.

Does your family also hang out with Chase’s family-or is it just you and him with the friendship?

Yeah they do, like at the Elite 24 my parents were there and so were Chase’s, so they went out and had dinner that night and we were hanging out.

What was your reaction to Chase’s recently college choice?

I was actually very happy for him, he had told me that he was going to be going to Duke but I didn’t know that he was serious, so to see him make his announcement on TV, it was a ‘wow’ experience. I think he told me like a month before the announcement that he was going to be going to Duke, but it wasn’t in like a super serious conversation, it was more a funny type conversation, just hanging out and he told me and I was like, “yeah, whatever, we’ll see what’s up.”

Before we dive into some more recruiting questions, can you share your basketball journey to this point?

Well I first started playing basketball when I was three or four, I was playing in a little rec league and then I started getting serious about basketball, I don’t know if you remember Dedan Thomas who played for UNLV, he coached me when I was young and I played for his team for about six years and he developed me. He and my dad pushed me to work really hard and then I ended up going to the Las Vegas Prospects during my 8th grade summer and Coach Anthony Brown started working with me and developing my game.

Have you always been a point guard?

Well me and my dad with Vegas, they weren’t always known for basketball, so when I was younger and bigger people would try to just throw me in the post and my dad always tried to develop me as both a point guard and a shooting guard and I ended up playing the point a lot.

What are your height and weight at present Troy?

I’m 6-foot-6 and 190.

Style of play wise—what kind of point guard are you ? More a set the table type guy or a scoring “lead” guard?

I would say I’m an up tempo point guard, I like to get to the rebound, push the ball up the court. I would call myself as a pure point guard because I really like to see my teammates involved and for me myself, I like to give it up and get everybody hyped to play the game and keep everybody happy, I think that makes the game feel good.

Was there anybody in the college or the pros that you have tried emulate aspects of their game in your game?

Yes, always being a student of the game I watched Magic Johnson and Penny Hardaway a little bit, but I learn from a lot of different players and add stuff to my game. When I was younger I didn’t watch a lot of basketball but once I got older I started watching more so I could be a better student of the game.

In the past few years, which teams have you paid close attention to how they play?

It hasn’t been one, I just usually watch the tournament and different teams. Like I watched Louisville and some of their guys since high school and then I watched the tournament and stuff.

What’s it like for you being so highly recruited already at such a young age and having the offers that you already have?

Well for me it’s just motivation because with having a great mom and a great dad and a strong family, they keep me humble and it’s not hard for me to not get cocky and just stay humble. It’s just motivation really to keep working hard and to see that the sky is the limit for me.

What kind of approach do your parents take to the recruiting process since it’s started so early for you?

It’s usually my dad because growing up, we had a lot going on as a family especially with my two sisters, my mom was usually pretty busy with their stuff and my dad was always with me. My dad isn’t really a huge fan of all the recruiting stuff, like he’s not really too worried about it right now, especially with me being so young and I still have a lot of time until I commit. Later on I could see him really helping me and help me make a choice when it comes to school. I take in everything that my parents tell me especially with my dad having played college basketball before but at the end of the day, I’m going to go to what makes me happy and my parents will support me with the school I choose.

Can you give me an updated list on the programs that have formally offered you scholarships as of today?

UNLV, UCLA, ASU, Arizona, Duke, USC and I think that’s it.

Was there anybody out of that list of offers that really surprised you that they came with an early offer?

Duke, when we went down there for the unofficial, I was just down there for the CP3 Camp, it wasn’t like we were going to be doing an unofficial to Duke or that Duke had been saying anything. My flight going back had been moved to like 8 o’clock that night and we went down to Duke. We walked around and they showed us some stuff on campus and the court and the locker room and everything and then we were about to leave and they asked us to wait for about 15 minutes because Coach K wanted to talk with me, so we sat down with him and talked for like an hour and a half and we were just talking and having a good time. Then he offered me.

How did you react in the moment when the offer came from Coach K?

Well in the moment it hadn’t hit yet, I was so in shock because Duke is such a great program and with me being so young and I had just turned 15, it hadn’t hit me yet and it took me a couple of hours for it to fully hit me how special the offer was.

What kind of items came during the discussion with the coaching staff?

Well it was just us really having a good time, like Coach K told me how he had met Jay-Z and Beyonce and how he took a picture with them. He also talked about me as a player and how he could help me develop my game and how Duke can help and what they can offer as a program. It was just a really good conversation.

How did Coach K present the scholarship offer to you?

He just kept on saying that he really liked my game and he would really like to have me at Duke. Then my coach who was with us asked, “are we speaking hypothetically or is that an offer ?,” and then he said it was an offer and then we asked Coach Capel just to make sure and he said it was an offer. It was a real surprise because I wasn’t expecting the offer because my coach and I talked about it and he told me that I wouldn’t expect an offer from Duke when we were on the visit and then he did and it was just really crazy for me.

Background wise—how much communication had occurred prior to the visit with Duke and you and your family and your coaches?

None at all. The only time I ever had anything was I had received a letter from Duke, but that was the only time I ever heard from them. When we visited with them, that was the first time we had ever talked with Duke, I had never heard from them or gotten a call. It was just one of those things where it was pretty fortunate for me.

Did the Duke visit get setup because Duke asked you guys to visit or was it all you and your camp deciding to head over and do the visit while you were in town?

It was more let’s go take an unofficially with me and my coach, so my coach called Duke and said we’d like to come on an unofficial and the coaching staff just set it up and walked me around. There were a lot of good things about what we saw especially with like the culture, their history. I didn’t get to see a lot of the facilities because they were re-doing everything, locker rooms and a lot of stuff but it was great especially seeing what we were able to see. Like we walked in and they showed us the jerseys of the NBA players in the league from Duke and how they give back and how they all have jerseys on the wall. It was very nice.

With these early offers from Duke and the others—how do you think that affects your recruitment moving forward since you are so far from making a decision?

I don’t think it really affects it right now because most colleges aren’t looking to offer a kid so young. I think with Duke offering me it just gives me some motivation and I think it will help later on that they offered me early but right now it doesn’t play a huge role.

With the prior relationship with Chase Jeter and you now having the Duke offer—has Chase talked with you a lot about Duke already?

Oh yeah Chase always messes with me about it especially at the Elite 24, he was telling everybody that I’m going to be going to Duke and I had to tell him to keep quiet (haha).

Any other visits lined up for the fall or during the season to anywhere at this point?

I don’t think so unless like my high school team does something somewhere like if we go out of town for a game or tournament, that’s how it usually happens and I usually just go on an unofficial while we’re somewhere.

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