On any half-decent team, center Terrell Brown would be an ideal candidate for a redshirt. He not only needed to develop a little more as a player but he needed to add some muscle and bulk up a little.
Unfortunately, Pitt wasn’t afforded that luxury. Brown looked to be needed even before the loss of senior big man Ryan Luther and after Luther went down with his foot injury, playing Brown became a necessity.
As expected, he started out of the gate pretty slowly. But with the season nearly over, Brown is starting to develop into a quality center.
Brown was one of the few bright spots in the team’s most recent embarrassment to Clemson on Thursday. The team scored only 48 points but Brown had 19 of them to go along with eight rebounds - both were career-highs. In the team’s previous game against North Carolina, Brown had another strong game with 14 points to go along with three boards. In his last three contests, he’s been red hot from the field, shooting 61%.
He’s also been a factor defensively. Brown has had at least two blocks in each of his last seven games and had a whopping six against Syracuse. Like many, I don’t always think blocks are always a terribly meaningful statistic. But what they do show at least in this case is that Pitt finally has a defensive presence down low to provide some semblance of a roadblock to opponents in the paint.
Brown has the look of a great shot-blocker. His 35 blocks and 1.46 blocks per game average are 11th in the ACC and his numbers would be even more impressive had he played more earlier in the season. Almost all of the players currently ahead of him in those statistics (save for one) have significantly more minutes than he does.
He has plenty of room for improvement, of course. Brown’s biggest flaw right now is his propensity for fouling. He’s fouled out only once but has come close with four fouls in several other games. In addition to those, he’s also been in foul trouble a few other times, which has limited his playing time. Brown has to realize that he’s too valuable to be drawn into quick fouls.
Brown’s offensive game still needs polishing, too. His last three games have been pretty good but he’s had plenty of poor shots this year that have shown he’s not fully there offensively. He has some excellent touch on his shot but still could work on his offensive game quite a bit over the summer.
Like I said, I think a year off would have been the best thing for Brown’s development. But the good thing is that he’s got a good head start on next season and as this year comes to a close, he appears to be finding his way out there and is playing with a little more consistency.