Richfield's Brown Shines in Windy City

Iowa State already knows what it would be getting with Richfield (Minn.) shooting guard Ray Brown, but up until last weekend some other Division I programs had yet to realize the 6-foot-5, 185-pounder's potential. His performance at the Mac Irvin Classic in Chicago could lead to a lot more interest for Brown.

The senior-to-be averaged nearly 21 points over six games for Team Minnesota's 17-and-under squad, and in doing so earned his fourth Division I scholarship offer. Brown told Tuesday afternoon that Purdue had just offered him. The Boilermakes join ISU, Minnesota and Northern Iowa as programs to have offered the talented shooting guard and slasher.

A knee injury early in Brown's high school career cost him a lot of recruiting interest from programs. But he's determined to make up for lost time this summer. He hopes the Mac Irvin Classic will be the first in a long line of successful outings this summer.

Always a sharpshooting two-guard, Brown's recruiting has picked up even further as he's added another dimension to his game. Now that he's finally at 100 percent after his devastating knee injury, he's taking it to the basket with more authority, and has become a more difficult matchup for opponents.

"I had been stretching a lot lately, because I used to not be real flexible," said Ray Brown. "Then I started stretching and have been able to start jumping higher. I was dunking on a lot of people and had the crowd going. In a couple of games my jumper wasn't really on. But in a couple it was, so people got to see my shot, too. I think I hit threes against the Michigan Mustangs.

"This weekend has probably boosted my recruiting a lot, because I played so well. I've played alright in some of the other tournaments we've played, but not as good as I should have been playing. This weekend was probably the best weekend I've had in a long time."

Team Minnesota won its pool by knocking off the Illinois Fire. Brown got his team going with four dunks in the first three minutes of action, but it would take a teammate's shot at the buzzer for his team to advance to the playoffs.

Brown added a buzzer beater to his highlight reel to lead his team to a 47-44 win in the opening playoff game, then lit it up from the outside during Team Minnesota's come-from-behind victory over the Michigan Mustangs. Brown's squad had fallen behind by a 19-0 margin, but gradually clawed back into contention. But Team Minnesota's run in the Mac Irvin Classic would end against Full Package, who won a low scoring game.

But even with Brown's increased interest from Division I programs, his list of favorites is unchanged.

"Iowa State and Minnesota are still right at the top," he said.

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