|PG||North Carolina State||6’5”||205 lbs||8/26/90|
NC State guard Lorenzo Brown, who has recently voiced his intentions to declare for the NBA Draft, has the coveted size and frame that scouts love to see in point guards. At 6 foot 5 and with outstanding quickness, Brown excels in an up-tempo style where he can run the floor and break down defenses both as a passer and a scorer. He is a truly dynamic player in transition because of his great ball handling ability, vision, shiftiness, and just a general fluidity to his game when he has the ball in his hands. Brown’s outstanding ball handling allows him to get to any space on the floor, where he can make the pass to the open man regardless of who is guarding him. He has a great change-of-pace move when dribbling, and seems to effortlessly be able to get to wherever he wants. He is a pass-first, pass-second guard that can dish off of the drive well because of his size and length. He has no problem absorbing contact in the lane, and gets the majority of his assists from inside the paint after beating his man off of the dribble. He has a very quick first step, and is always looking to create offense for others, both on the break and in the half court. While he is a good but not an elite athlete, it’s the overall fluidity to Brown’s offensive game that allows him to best take advantage of his court vision and passing instincts.
While Brown has much upside because of his size and quickness, he is still overall a raw point guard that is still learning to run a team’s half court offense. Brown at times lacks the ‘court general’ instinct in the half court, and doesn’t dominate the ball and command the offense once the pace slows down. He is still learning how to run a team at a slower tempo, although this skill should improve with experience. He needs to improve his ability to beat his man off the dribble in the half court, a skill that sets up the rest of his offensive game. Brown is not a great finisher in the lane against size and contact, and could afford to add some upper body strength. His jump shot is inconsistent, both off the dribble and in catch-and-shoot scenarios, a tool that he has to improve in order to set up the drive and open up his overall offensive game. Brown also is a bit turnover-prone at times, and has to cut out some occasionally sloppy passing and ball handling from his game.
Maybe Brown’s best skill as a defender at his position is his ability to rebound. He has the great size, but also possesses very good instincts not often seen in guards. When the shot goes up, he floats towards the top of the key, where the long rebounds often deflect out. He brings down a few boards a game just off of long misses, a skill all the more valuable in his case because they lead directly to transition opportunities that he excels in. Brown was able to generate a decent number of steals and blocks per game at the college level because of his quickness and length, two physical traits that should allow him to be a good on-ball defender in the NBA. Brown has good foot speed and lateral movement, and the frame to bother smaller guards and keep his man in front of him. He also does a nice job of closing out on rotations and chasing shooters around the perimeter, two skills that apply more to NBA defenses than they do at the college level.
Brown has the clear physical tools to be an above-average defender, but his production in the ACC defensively was a bit underwhelming considering his makeup. Brown has to guard with a bit more intensity and toughness on the perimeter, especially when facing bigger guards and constantly fighting through ball screens at the next level. Disrupting the pick and roll is such a key defensive skill for guards in the NBA, something that Brown needs to improve upon defensively. He struggles at times to guard quicker guards because he stands upright rather than getting down in his defensive stance. Brown at times plays as a combo guard offensively, but may be more suited to only guard 2s rather than 1s at the next level. To become as versatile a defensive player as he is on the offensive side, Brown must play with more intensity and aggression on the defensive end to prove he can stay in front of both point and shooting guards at the pro level.
Lorenzo Brown is an extremely intriguing point guard prospect who has the chance to be selected higher than the pundits have him slotted because a team can fall in love with his potential. He is a big point guard with excellent and quickness who is always looking to create offense for others. Brown excels in transition as a scorer and distributor, and is best suited to play in an up-tempo style. He is an elite ball handler who is very fluid with the dribble, and gets to wherever he wants to on the court because of his shiftiness and athleticism. Brown is a great passer off of penetration because of his length and vision, and has no problem continuing his drive once he absorbs contact. Defensively, Brown is a very good rebounder for his position, and has the skill set to guard point and shooting guards at the next level because of his length and quickness. Brown, however, is still a raw prospect on both ends of the floor that needs more experience before running an NBA team from the point guard position. Brown struggles in the half court on offense, not always taking control of the offense and having a tough time beating his man off the dribble once the game slows down, and is not a great finisher in the lane. He is an inconsistent shooter who has a tough time creating scoring for himself, and needs to polish his midrange game to open up his ability to drive. Defensively, Brown needs to guard with more intensity and effort, because he has the physical skills to defend 1s at a high level but does not always put forth the effort. Once Brown becomes a more polished facilitator with a better midrange game, and shows he can defend against the pick and roll at a high level, he has the chance to be a solid starting point guard or a very good backup in the NBA.