Hoops Recruiting: Cowboys Target Juco Forward

When the 2006-07 basketball season started few people knew much about Anthony Brown. As a matter of fact, Carl Albert Junior College head coach Mike St. John didn't know what to expect out of the Brooklyn, N.Y., native. After an outstanding sophomore season schools from the Big 12 and Big East conferences are finding their way to Poteau, Okla., in hopes of signing the sophomore power forward.

The 6-8, 220-pound Brown only averaged a handful of points as a freshman at Carl Albert but certainly showed what he is capable of doing this past season. He averaged 21.4 points (12th best among all players in the National Junior College Athletic Association) and nearly seven rebounds per game while shooting 57 percent from the field and 72 percent from the free-throw line, according to St. John.

"I've never been around anybody quite with his abilities," said St. John. "Offensively, he's very skilled. He can score the basketball right-handed or left-handed around the rim, and he can shoot it."

It didn't take long for major colleges to begin noticing Brown, especially after his 30-point, 20-rebound performance against Seminole State early in the season. St. John says that his telephone has been ringing in recent weeks with coaches from all across the country wanting to know more about Brown. "It's really gotten interesting the last few weeks now that some teams have finished their seasons," he says.

One of those schools is Oklahoma State, which entered the Brown sweepstakes in the last month. Brown is scheduled to take an official visit to Stillwater the weekend of April 13-14. The next signing period for basketball is April 11-May 15.

Brown's top three schools appear to be OSU, Kansas State and Nevada. Although his only official visit thus far has been to Oral Roberts (on Selection Sunday), he also has heard from Nebraska and Pittsburgh.

Brown became the Vikings' number one scoring option this season. "He was in a situation where he was facing double and triple teams," said St. John. "As the year went along he attracted more and more attention, and other teams figured out we had some deficiencies in other areas. In order for us to have a chance, he was going to have to score a lot of goals."

St. John says the schools recruiting Brown believe that he can make an immediate impact on the major college level. But his junior college coach believes Brown doesn't realize how good he can be. "What I tried to get across to him was that he needed to play with maximum effort day in and day out for him to become as good as he can be," St. John said. "He's gotten better but he can continue to get better.

"Plus, he's so strong but he has never really lifted a whole lot of weights. He could get a little stronger and bigger. He's been very gifted physically."

St. John says that Brown's best attribute may be the type of person he is off the court. "I think the best thing about him is that he's a fine person. He's very quiet and doesn't like to talk much. But he's a good student, and has about a 3.2 (grade point average). Anthony is going to be a good ambassador for the program no matter where he decides to go."

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