Size: 6-6, 230
Hometown: Maywood, Ill
High School: Proviso East HS
Sterling Brown was a four-star Scout recruit coming out of college and rated the 19th best small forward in the country. Larry Brown and Sterling Brown go way back as the iconic coach also worked with Sterling Brown’s brother Shannon while coaching the Charlotte Bobcats. Ultimately the relationship between the Hall of Fame coach and highly regarded recruit led Brown to commit to SMU over offers from Northwestern, DePaul, Minnesota and Oregon State.
Sterling Brown was one of the brightest spots in what was a magical, yet unfulfilling season. With a postseason ban undercutting nearly every accomplishment it was difficult to easily enjoy all the great things the 2015 Mustangs gave us. Brown was one of those things. Heading into the season our expectations for him were relatively low. We wanted him to be that shutdown defender that Nick Russell and Ryan Manuel were years before—but he wasn’t. And that was quite alright, because rather than simply being a defensive player that helped out on offense every now and then, he became something much more.
Brown played in 30 games, starting 29, averaging 10.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.1 steals a game. But most impressively he shot 60.2 percent from the floor and 53.6 percent from behind the arc (20-56). His shooting percentage was second in the American Athletic Conference while his three-point shooting percentage was first in the conference and the best single season three-point shooting performance in SMU program history.
Outlook in 2016-17
I can’t wait to see what kind of features the latest Sterling Brown OS update is loaded with. It’s crazy to think that he could possibly improve on last season’s stat line.
When the season ended, Patrick, Hatts and I, each picked Brown as SMU’s most improved player. Patrick was slightly disappointed Brown didn’t become the Mustangs “next great perimeter defender” and I questioned his hairstyles, but all of us agreed that he was SMU’s most consistent and most effective player not named Nic Moore last season.
I said that “from his sophomore to his junior season, we saw him jump from a very good depth player that sometimes went MIA, to a budding star in the SMU program.”
This season he is going to be part of the senior leadership and will likely be asked to reprise his role from a year ago, and do a little bit of everything.