St. Joe's enters the 2016-2017 season desperately in need of scoring punch, having lost four impact players (DeAndre Bembry, Isaiah Miles, Aaron Brown, and Papa Ndao) from a year ago. Bembry, Miles, Brown, and Ndao led the Hawks to their second Atlantic 10 championship in three year and also guided them to an NCAA tournament win over Cincinnati. With those four gone, Phil Martelli looks to returning players like James Demery, Shavar Newkirk, and Lamarr Kimble. He will also look to the freshmen, and at the top of that list is St. Thomas More (CT) product, and Philadelphia native, Charlie Brown.
Brown is a classic late bloomer, a player who entered their senior season at George Washington (PA) without a single Division 1 offer. That changed during the spring evaluation period as well over a dozen schools became heavily involved, including VCU, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Delaware, Drexel, and many others. A fantastic spring with Philly Pride on the AAU circuit culminated in a commitment to St. Joe's in May 2015 and then a prep year at St. Thomas More. Now, following a year playing the highest level of prep ball in America, Brown is ready and anxious to begin his career at St. Joe's.
"We're really excited about this guy," St. Joe's assistant coach Dave Duda said of his 6'6 wing. "There is so much there to work with and get excited about." Brown is a long 6'7, has very good lateral quickness, solid athleticism, and his calling card is a sweet stroke from both mid-range and downtown. All of this is only enhanced by a relentless work ethic.
It's not a stretch to think that Charlie will be one of the Hawks' three or four best scorers this year as a freshman. He can get buckets from all three levels, and his game continues to mature. "He will get baskets," Coach Duda continued. "He's a very good rebounder for a wing, and when college strength is added, he has a chance to be a high-level A10 guy."
Brown is listed by the Hawks at 6'6 and 185 pounds. If anything, and I believe this to be the case, he's much closer to 6'7 than 6'6. The 185 pounds is probably right on though, and that's what Dave Duda alluded to regarding strength. He's put on positive weight over the last year, but still has a ways to go in this regard to reach his full potential. For perspective, Lamar Kimble is listed by the Hawks at 190 pounds and Shavar Newkirk at 180. Both of those guys are a good six or seven inches shorter than Brown.
Charlie Brown will be called upon to be a major player this year for the Hawks. In fact, I would be surprised if he wasn't a day one starter when the season kicks off on November 12th. The coaching staff knows that he will have ups and downs, as his coach said. ""Like all, he'll have his freshman moments when it will become overwhelming, but he wants to be a big part of this."
Charlie's ideal position is probably at the three, but he has real versatility on both the offensive and defensive ends that should allow him to fit in this year anywhere from the two to the four. It would not surprise me at all to see the Hawks start Brown and junior James Demery alongside one another at the two wing positions. Where he plays, whether he starts, and what type of numerical contributions he will make this year remains to be seen. What has been evident through his first few months on campus however is that Charlie Brown wants to play a major role on Hawk Hill over the coming four years. And anyone that seen him play comes away with the impression that he will.