AUSTIN, Texas — Fresh off a grueling history final, Marshall Brown, a 6-foot-6, 195-pound small forward, sat down with OUInsider.com yesterday for a one-on-one interview inside his school's cafeteria. Last year, Brown, a full academic qualifier, averaged 23.5 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. He's considering Oklahoma, Missouri, UCLA and Kentucky, yet the two Big 12 schools are his current leaders.
An ultra-athletic forward with a sickening 36-inch vertical, Brown is the most coveted high school player from Central Texas. He has an older brother who will walk-on at North Texas next season as a sophomore.
OUInsider.com: You play for the AAU-team Houston Superstars, how did you fare at the Tournament of Champions in Chapel Hill, N.C., this past weekend?
Brown: "I did pretty good, but we lost all three of our games. I dropped 22 points (vs. Illinois Wolves), scored 11 points (vs. Southeast Pump ‘N' Run) and got 16 points (vs. Philadelphia Warriors). I was getting double and triple-teamed a lot, so I had to kick the ball out most of the time. I'm really disappointed my team didn't play any better than we did."
OUInsider.com: Sounds like a short holiday weekend. Did that give you some to think about your college choices?
Brown: "Yeah, I'm looking at Oklahoma, Missouri, UCLA and Kentucky."
OUInsider.com: Do you have a favorite right now?
Brown: "My top schools are Oklahoma and Missouri."
OUInsider.com: Does either one of those teams lead for your services?
Brown: "No, not right now. I'm really not leaning anywhere until I take my visits to both schools. Once I take my visits, I'll really know what I want to do."
OUInsider.com: Do you have any visits scheduled yet?
Brown: "Not yet, but I plan to visit Oklahoma and Missouri within the next month."
OUInsider.com: Do you have a timetable for your commitment?
Brown: "I want to get it done before I go to (adidas) ABCD camp (July 6-11, in Teaneck, N.J.). I definitely want to get done before the end of the summer. I don't want to have worry about it during my senior year."
OUInsider.com: What interests you most about Oklahoma?
Brown: "Coach Sampson. He's a real cool guy. I like the way he gets his players to play hard. Plus, I really like Oklahoma's uptempo game."
OUInsider.com: Do you have any other thoughts on Coach Sampson?
Brown: "He's a real cool guy off the court. But I know in practice, he's real, real strict and aggressive. I like that, so it's not going to be new to me. I like knowing that your teammates must play hard or they're going to sit (on the bench)."
OUInsider.com: When you and Coach Sampson talk, what does he tell you?
Brown: "He tells me I've got a good opportunity to come in and start (as a freshman) since Jason Detrick is leaving after next year. They really don't have any other players at the three-spot, so I think it'd be a perfect position for me to come in and start."
OUInsider.com: Your close friend Jason Horton, a Cedar Hill, Texas point guard, has made it well-known that he'd like to play with you in college. Is there any truth to the rumor that you two are a package deal?
Brown: "Yeah, we've talked about it (playing together). But we'll have to wait and see what happens until after I take my visits."
OUInsider.com: What's your response to speculation that you and Horton are heading to Missouri?
Brown: "More than likely, he's going to go (to Missouri). So you could pretty much say he's a lock. He's taking his visits, so he already knows what he likes and doesn't like. As far as him going to any other school, Missouri appears to be the school that best fits him."
OUInsider.com: Horton is not listing Oklahoma in his top five right now, so does that hurt their chances at landing your services?
Brown: "OU was recruiting Jason, but they've already got point guards at his position, so that wouldn't work out well for him. Honestly, I'm just going to go to where I fit in best."
OUInsider.com: How much will Horton influence your decision?
Brown: "I don't know, but I'm not going to lie and say he won't influence me, because he's going to. But on the other hand, (incoming OU freshman point guard) Andrew Lavender is a good point guard too, so I wouldn't have a problem playing with him either."
OUInsider.com: Playing high school hoops in Austin, you've always been labeled as a supposed lock for Texas, which first offered you a scholarship during your sophomore season. Now, that's not going to happen, because Texas gave its last scholarship to Camden (Ala.) Wilcox Central's Mike Williams, a 6-foot-8 power forward, this past weekend. That being said, what's your opinion of Texas right now?
Brown: "I'm mad, because they were willing to wait on other players, but they didn't do the same thing for me. If LaMarcus (Aldridge), Daniel (Gibson) or Mike Williams had wanted to take their time, instead of committing early, I don't think they'd have put any pressure on them to do so."
OUInsider.com: Did Texas ever call to inform you that they were recruiting other players and that your scholarship offer might not be on the table anymore?
Brown: "No, they didn't. I heard about the situation through other people. I pretty much got the message when this Connor Atchley (of Clear Lake High in Houston) committed to them last month, but even then, I still didn't know for sure. They still weren't calling me, so I finally called them (Texas) and asked about it. That's when Coach Freeman told finally told me my scholarship was gone. He said he was sorry it had to happen like that, but he had to do his job. I just said OK and moved on."
OUInsider.com: Seemingly, Texas gave Atchley your scholarship. What's your take on that move?
Brown: "I don't know anything about the guy. They've already got a lot of posts, so I didn't get that at all. It surprised me man. I've never seen him before. I don't even know who the guy is. I guess they (Texas) were really in a hurry to get this thing (recruiting) done."
OUInsider.com: Why didn't you accept the scholarship offer from Texas?
Brown: "Because they didn't want me to take any of my other visits. It seemed to me that they wanted to rush me through the recruiting process as soon as possible. My commitment is a big decision to me and I want to be 100 percent sure when I make it. I guess I didn't hurry fast enough for them."
OUInsider.com: Does the snub from Texas, make OU even more attractive to you, since you'd have the opportunity to play the Longhorns at least twice a year?
Brown: "Oh yeah. That'd definitely have something to do with it. It's going to be fun to come in here (Austin) and play those guys. That's something I want to do. I'll tell you this; it'll be a fun night for me. I'm going to make them sorry they didn't wait."
OUInsider.com: On the court, what are your greatest strengths?
Brown: "Team leadership. I'm very vocal when I play. I'm real aggressive going to the hole. I can finish. I take advantage of what the defense gives me. If I've got a smaller guy on me, I go inside and if he's bigger, I step outside, where I can shoot it a little bit."
OUInsider.com: In what areas do you need improvement?
Brown: "I need to work on my dribbling skills and my shot, which is something everybody needs to do constantly. It's not to where I'd like it to be right now. I need to get a lot stronger than what I am right now."
OUInsider.com: Is there a particular basketball player you pattern your game after?
Brown: "Not really, but if I had to pick someone, it'd be Tracy McGrady. I love his inside-outside game. He can do everything."
OUInsider.com: What was your most memorable OU basketball moment from this past season?
Brown: "When they played Texas in Austin this year. I was at the game and it was great. I'm was impressed that OU came into a sold-out Texas gym and played so well after falling behind by 12 points (actually 14 points) in the first half. That toughness really stuck with me."
OUInsider.com: Who's your favorite Sooner basketball player?
Brown: "It'd have to be Hollis Price. He's a team leader and a great shooter. I can envision myself in that same role."
OUInsider.com: Can you picture yourself in Sooner uniform?
Brown: "Yeah, most definitely, I think about that all the time."
OUInsider.com: Have you ever been to Norman?
Brown: "No, but I've been through Oklahoma a lot, but I've never really stopped there, except for once when my family and I visited my auntie there for Thanksgiving."
OUInsider.com: What's your take on the state of Oklahoma?
Brown: "I don't know too much about it. I know it rains a lot and they get tornadoes, which I don't like, but other then that, I don't know much more, except that I want to avoid those twisters."
OUInsider.com: What will be the biggest factor in your decision?
Brown: "My family. Their opinion matters a lot to me. I want to know what they think about the coaching staff and school."
OUInsider.com: Have you thought about a college major yet?
Brown: "Yeah, I want to major in kinesiology, so maybe I can be a coach. I can't really see myself doing anything else other than basketball. If I'm not able to play it, I still want to be around basketball."
OUInsider.com: Any words of wisdom for OUInsider.com members?
Brown: "You guys are definitely a lot closer to home (than Missouri). That's a good thing, because I'm a homebody. I don't like being far away from home. If I just want to drive home, I can't do that from Missouri."
OUInsider.com: Ultimately, what will separate Oklahoma and Missouri?
Brown: "I really don't know. Coaching staff, style of play and where Jason's going to go. They each have their own advantages and disadvantages, but then again, you can pretty much say the same things about both schools."
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