Aaron Brown Sparks WVU Improvement on Court - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Aaron Brown Sparks WVU Improvement on Court


Bob Huggins said the difference between his team in November and in March would be night and day. The Mountaineers who took the court at the beginning of the season would be decidedly unlike the roster when it ended.

The transformation appears to be on schedule, and perhaps even ahead of it based on the past week.

"I thought it would be a lot slower, I thought it would take a lot more time, but I've got to give it to the freshmen," says senior guard Truck Bryant. "They've done a great job and I think me, K.J. [Kevin Jones] and Turk [Deniz Kilicli] are doing a great job leading them."

Each of the veterans has had his share of success and Jones and Bryant have strung together performances that have carried the rest of the team through less-than-stellar nights.

The three lead the team in points and in consistency, but the freshmen have taken turns with their own contribution and in recent games, Aaron Brown has been the standout among them.

"A.B. made some big shots for us," says Huggins. "Made some big shots, made some big free throws for us. He's getting better."

Despite averaging more minutes than starter Keaton Miles, Brown continues to have a backup role for the Mountaineers. As his role has increased, his entry into the game has begun occurring earlier and earlier in the game.

"I'm feeling comfortable," says Brown. "Coach has me come off the bench, I guess that's my role now and I just want to be a spark off the bench and produce, get everyone better."

Brown had his best offensive performance in the double overtime win over Kansas State and was counted on down the stretch to make big plays for West Virginia. He followed a 10-point effort with a seven against Miami and in the two games, he shot 60 percent from the field, including three 3-pointers.

In high school, Brown was much more of a slasher and rarely used his 3-point shot as effectively as he would have liked. He knew adding as many different aspects to his game would give him more opportunities on the court, so he did what he could to add range to his repertoire.

"I worked on it," he says of this 3-point shot. "I wasn't so good at it in high school, so I wanted to come in and add something to my game in college. I worked and it's paying off."

There's so much left to work on, for each of the freshmen, and a big part of it stems from the fact that the majority of them came to Morgantown accustomed to the role of his team's best player. In high school, he would get the ball and figure out a way to beat his defender to the basket.

College, and especially WVU's motion offense, requires much more of the freshmen.

"You know, [assistant coach] Jerrod [Calhoun], I think, was talking to [Brown] about passing the ball, he said, ‘Coach, I never had to pass it in high school,'" says Huggins. That's our problem … every time the ball goes to one of those guys, it stops because that's what happened in high school. They don't make the extra pass, but they're getting better at it."

Passing is just one of many things Brown is still adjusting to and in the process, he's realizing just how little he truly knew about the game of basketball before he got to West Virginia.
"It's so many principles now and rules you have to know, things you have to see," says Brown. "In high school, you really don't have to see that kind of stuff, but this is the next level. Everything is much better and faster, so you got to learn it."

Brown is learning it, and through eight games he's shown the sort of improvement WVU hopes to see from each of its freshmen. If they do, Huggins' prediction for March could be on track for an early arrival.

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