Wolfpack Chasing Another Midwest Sleeper

After signing underrated power forward Andrew Brackman out of Ohio in the fall, NC State's back recruiting the midwest. <P>

Just three weeks ago, Derrick Brown was a MAC recruit. Now he's the hottest name in the midwest.

The 6-7, 190-pound versatile Chaminade-Julienne (Ohio) rising senior has gone from virtual anonymity to someone being heavily pursued by the likes of Michigan State, Stanford, Wake Forest, N.C. State and Michigan.

So far, the offers have come from Xavier, N.C. State, Michigan State, Dayton and Michigan. There will be more before it's done.

Brown is coming off a solid, but not spectacular season in which he averaged 17.5 points and 8.5 boards per game while shooting an astonishing 70 percent from the field. The multi-dimensional forward could have put up bigger numbers, but winning is far more important than statistics.

Brown is smooth, can play inside and out and can finish in transition. He's able to finish strong with both hands, partially because of a broken right hand in the seventh grade that allowed him to develop his left hand.

Brown is not without deficiencies. He still needs to improve his foot speed, so he can guard a shooting guard on the perimeter – and also will need to bulk up prior to college.

The 16-year-old, who boasts a 3.2 GPA and scored a 1050 on the PSAT, is somewhat overwhelmed by all the recent attention from big-time schools.

``I guess they see my potential because I've gotten much better so fast," Brown said. "I always knew this would happen. It was just a matter of when."

According to Brown, Michigan State head man Tom Izzo came in to watch him at an open gym a few weeks ago and after watching just a couple of possessions, he tossed out a scholarship offer.

Brown plays primarily with Cincinnati AAU during the spring and summer, but because his father still lives in Oakland, Calif., he usually plays a couple tournaments per year with the Oakland Soldiers program.

He'll play in Vegas with the Oakland Soldiers and has already received an invite to the Reebok ABCD Camp.

When it comes down to choose a school, his decision probably won't take into account the same factors that most kids look at when trying to figure out where to go. It won't be necessarily about the biggest-name school or the most playing time. Brown will try and pick a place where he'll fit in and be able to trust the coaching staff.

Right now the four leaders are Xavier, N.C. State, Michigan State and California.

``Basketball's not everything," Brown said. "I work hard and don't put everything in basketball. I'm going to succeed in life regardless of what happens on the court."

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