When talking about the 2010-2011 season, most people will remember two names: Jimmer Fredette and Kemba Walker. The former ranked as one of the country's most effective scorers and most exciting players, while the latter carried his team to a national title. Both were by-far the most important cogs to their teams' successes.
So when somebody says that J'Covan Brown, through two games, is using a higher percentage of possessions than Walker did a year ago, and taking a bigger percentage of his team's shots than Fredette did last year, it's safe to say that Brown falls into a similar category of "volume scorer".
And the amazing thing — while it's too early to draw many lasting conclusions — is just how effective Brown has been. He's playing 12 more minutes per game, using almost eight percent more possessions per game (from 24.4 percent to 32.2 percent), and is taking a whopping 14 percent more shots (24.8 to 38.8). The thought line would then be that as his volume increased, his efficiency would decrease. That happened last year when Jacob Pullen's possession percentage went up slightly more than three points and his shot percentage grew almost three percentage points. As that happened, his effective field goal percentage (otherwise known as eFG) dropped 2.5 percentage points and his offensive rating fell from 119.6 to 113.1.
But Brown has seen no such drop, at least not yet. His offensive rating has skyrocketed, from 110.3 to 149.0 (for comparison's sake, Walker was at 117.8 and Fredette at 115.3 last year). And his eFG has also jumped nearly 10 percentage points, from 48.7 to 58.5.
So what conclusions can we draw from his performance so far? From one thing, it seems apparent that Brown is due for a high-usage year, one that exceeds a typical go-to-player's role. And if his early percentages are representative of the way he'll play this year, he could expect a season closer to Fredette than Walker.
A huge percentage of Walker's point total came from two-point shots, almost 50 percent, while 23.3 percent came from three-pointers and 26.7 percent from the free throw line. But Fredette was much more balanced, putting up 41.5 percent of his points from two, 34.8 from three and 23.5 percent from the line. Brown is more balanced still, boasting nearly identical 38 percent totals for both two-pointers and three-pointers. He's scored from the free throw line at a Fredette-like 23.8 rate.
So while it's unlikely that Brown will continue his absurd rating — nor will he keep up his 14-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio — it does seem likely that Brown will have the opportunity to have a tremendous offensive year, if for no other reason than the fact that, like Walker and Fredette, he figures to have a high number of touches.