WVU's Gary Browne Continues to Grow Under Father's Watchful Eye - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU's Gary Browne Continues to Grow Under Father's Watchful Eye

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CHARLESTON -

Gary Browne came to his feet Tuesday night in Charleston, cheering on his new favorite college basketball team as it came away with a blowout win over Morehead State.

This is Gary Browne Sr. we're talking about. His son was playing point guard for the Mountaineers in the game.

"I was so excited. It was good," Browne Sr. said after the game. "I expected him to play better, but he did his best. He probably was nervous as much as I was."

The WVU guard's father made his first trip to the Mountain State Tuesday from their home in Puerto Rico for his first glimpse at his son in action live. He'll be spending the rest of the holiday week in Morgantown and get one more chance to see Browne when the Mountaineers face Akron on Monday.

Even though his dad said he'd like to see him play a better game, it was clear when they embraced outside the team locker room just how much it meant to each of them to be back in the same building as Browne continues to pursue his dream.

"It's the first time he'll be here. I love him, that's my dad," says Browne. "I missed a couple free throws, but still, I always play hard."

Browne certainly had a strong effort, despite missing five of his nine free throw attempts. In 25 minutes off the bench, Browne scored 10 points and pulled down six rebounds while adding five assists with just one turnover.

Through four games, he's the team's third-leading rebounder behind Kevin Jones and Deniz Kilicli. As a backup point guard.

When Browne first came to West Virginia, Huggins said he may have been the most ready of his freshmen to compete on the defensive end. He's currently tied for second on the team with six steals and is noticeably growing on the court.

For a freshman who played the role of leading scorer on the Puerto Rico national team, Browne is adjusting quickly to the responsibilities of playing the point.

"He's changed it a lot because he hasn't played that position in a long time, so it's different for him," says Browne's father. "It's no surprise. That's what he's always wanted since he was small. He's got it in him and he'll put it together little by little, piece by piece."

Browne was asked after the game what was working for him and if he felt he had just had his best game of the season. Rather than reviewing what had happened in his first four outings, he looked forward to what lies ahead.

"Not yet. We've got a lot of games coming, so I just need to keep playing hard and make my teammates better," he said. "If I feel like I have a good game but my team lost, it's nothing. It's nothing because it's about the team. It's not about me."

That's a point guard talking right there. A point guard who knows that if he hadn't started out the game 4-of-5 on free throws, many of which were front ends of one-and-ones, his team could have had a more sizeable lead early.

"That means I need to keep working," says Browne. "I can't be satisfied with that because that hurt the team. We could have blown them out from the beginning with my free throws. I just need to keep working out for that."

Maybe a big part of that mindset comes from his father. The older Browne has watched him son at all levels of his career on the court and has always told him precisely what he thinks of what he sees.

The first game he got to see his son play this year was the loss to Kent State on ESPN, and just like everyone involved with WVU, he wasn't overly pleased. He expected more.

"I said he has to play a little more stronger because he can't be that weak in the game. He just needs to do his best," says Browne Sr.

He may only be a freshman, but because of his role on the team, he's already being counted on as a leader.

"Coach [Huggins] has really been on him the last couple of games, but he's our point guard. He's got to go out there and lead us," says senior forward Kevin Jones. "He stepped up really good for us tonight and we're going to need him to keep on improving for us in order for him to lead us."

With a visit from his father and constant guidance from his coach, there's no reason to believe Browne will not continue working to become the player West Virginia needs him to be in his freshman season and beyond.

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