Charles Brown: Evaluation and Interview

This time last year, 6'6 swingman Charles Brown was an afterthought on his Philly Pride team as they took to the AAU circuit. A year later, my have things changed. A late-bloomer, Brown has emerged as one of the top players in the Philadelphia area over the past several months. Hawk Hill Hardwood spoke with the St. Joe's pledge Saturday morning at the Elevate Hoops Showdown.

Charles Brown committed to St. Joe's back in May, just as his recruitment was beginning to pick up steam. The 6'6 wing guard committed to the Hawks in May, graduated from George Washington High (PA) in June, and is now running with Philly Pride on the July travel circuit. In a win Saturday morning at The Showdown, Brown was the best player on the court.

At 6'6, Charles is a knockdown three-point shooter from the wing. On Saturday morning, he missed his first two from distance then knocked down his next three. He has such confidence in his jumper that he actually stepped back behind the line on a secondary break before lining one up and burying it.

Brown is more than just a three-point specialist though. He uses his size to post up smaller guards. On one occasion, he took his man to the right baseline, posted him up, then knocked down a gorgeous turn-around 12 footer. On another possession he drew a double-team before kicking to an open teammate who was open cross-court for three. He is a good, albeit not elite, athlete, and he demonstrated that with a two-handed punch on the break as well as an acrobatic contested lay-in in transition. Charles has a strong enough handle that he can grab boards and push the pace. While clearly more of a 2 or 3, he spent time bringing the ball up after made baskets and also defended the 1-3.

I had an opportunity to catch up with Brown following his impressive 17-point outing. Brown, donning a St. Joe's long-sleeve tee, gave credit for his rapid improvement directly to one person. "Coach Sean (Colson) has really helped me, worked with me," Brown said of his AAU coach. "I'd say that shooting is definitely my strength and it's still getting better," Brown continued. In 12 games this spring with Philly Pride, Brown shot 22-49 (45%) from distance.

While he graduated from high school in June, Brown is not going to enroll at St. Joe's until the 2016 season. "I'm going to St. Thomas More (CT) this year," Charles explained. "Coach Arnold (Geoff Arnold) put me onto the school and that's where I'm going to go." St. Thomas More is one of the best basketball prep schools in New England, and at STM, Brown will play alongside Villanova commit Omari Spellman and St. Joe's target Christian Vital.

Charles Brown committed to Phil Martelli and the Hawks just as his recruitment was beginning to gather some serious traction. Rhode Island, VCU, George Mason, James Madison, and others offered Brown in the spring, while schools like Maryland, Arizona State, and Wisconsin were getting involved. What made Charles end his recruitment just as it was picking up? "St. Joe's was there for me from day one. The coaches and the players are like family to me." Geoff Arnold played point person in Charles' recruitment, and he got in early before the fray. When did Phil Martelli and the rest of the staff begin to make Brown a priority? "It was this winter, during the high school season, that they really started," Brown explained.

St. Joe's appears to have a steal in the smooth, sharp-shooting Charles Brown. He will play next week at the Under Armour Finals with Philly Pride, then return closer to home to participate in We R-1's Battle of the Borders during the final live period of the month. In August, Brown will move to Connecticut and begin his post-grad year at St. Thomas More. Charles Brown appears to just be scratching the surface of his potential. If Saturday morning was a glimpse of the future, it's a bright one, for both Brown and for the Hawks.

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