Ducks get ready for first look at Brown
Oregon fans will get their first look at hyped freshman Troy Brown on Saturday at Matthew Knight Arena.
Brown, the highest-rated recruit in Dana Altman’s tenure at the school, will make his debut when Oregon hosts Idaho in an exhibition game scheduled for 11 a.m.
“It’s ridiculous to see the things he’s capable of doing already,” Oregon senior guard Elijah Brown said.
Those opinions have followed Troy Brown since he helped the United States win a gold medal at the U17 World Championships in 2016.
Brown was a McDonald’s All-American who was also picked to play in the Jordan Brand Classic and Nike Hoop Summit. The 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward, was named the No. 17 recruit nationally by ESPN after averaging 22 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists as a senior at Centennial High School in Las Vegas.
“Troy is going to be unbelievable,” Oregon sophomore guard Payton Pritchard said.
NBA scouts have heard similar praise about Brown, who is considered a possible first-round pick next year if he follows Jordan Bell, Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey as early entries from Oregon into the draft.
“We’ve never had a one-and-done before,” Altman said. “Jordan and Dillon were three-and-done, and Tyler was two-and-done. We’ve never been fortunate to have a one-and-done.”
Altman says he advised Brown to concentrate on his first college season before deciding whether to enter the draft.
“We talked very little about it, but I told him it will take care of itself if you just go play,” he said. “Then you do whatever is best for you and your family. Let’s just worry about being the best player you can be now and if it happens for you, great.”
Brown — who turned 18 in July — impressed his teammates by arriving on campus with a humble attitude.
“He’s coachable and wants to learn,” Elijah Brown said. “He listens to what people have to say, whether it is a manager or a player or one of the coaches.”
Brown’s parents, Troy Sr. and Lynn, are both corrections officers for the State of Nevada. His sister, Jada, completed a four-year basketball career at Kansas last year.
“He’s ‘Yes, sir’ or ‘No, sir.’” Altman said. “He’s blended in so well. He comes with a little higher profile than some other players, but you would never know it by the way handles himself. Fortunately, he’s just worried about the work.”
There will be plenty of work for Brown on a team that returns Pritchard as its lone rotation player from last season’s run to the Final Four.
“He’s going to have to step up big for us this year, whatever he has to do,” Pritchard said. “He’s been great in practice. Coming from high school, everyone thinks it’s the same thing, but you have to play your game, take smart shots and play to win.”
Altman said he isn’t worried about figuring out a starting lineup until Oregon opens the regular season on Nov. 10 against Coppin State, but Pritchard, Troy Brown and Elijah Brown could be in the mix.
“Troy has a ton of size and can really handle the ball, so he’ll help us tremendously,” Elijah Brown said. “He’s versatile on offense and defense. I’ve been impressed with Troy and the rest of the freshmen.”
Brown headlines a freshman class that also includes highly touted recruits Kenny Wooten and Abu Kigab at forward, along with guard Victor Bailey Jr.
“All the freshmen have a unique skill set and they’re all different in their own way,” Pritchard said. “They’re all athletic, so that’s good because we’re young so everyone will have to carry the team in some way.”