In an effort to keep even the most hardcore Miami fan up to date on their favorite players, SOTU will be running a Player Profile series. In these posts, our writers will profile two players from each position that they think should get more face time. They will recap their previous year, or in some cases, preview what may be to come. That way, when the season get's here, you hopefully will have a new found love for the team on the field.
[Rion Brown] - [Senior] - [Guard] - [6'6'' 211 lbs] - [Hinesville, Georgia]
Rion Brown grew up in Hinesville, Georgia while also watching his father play basketball in the CBA and overseas. In this interview with hurricanesports, Brown admits that basketball wasn't his first love. "I don't know why, but that was my first love. I played rec ball all the way until I was in the seventh grade for football. Once I got basketball in my head, that was a done deal." Rion then went on to have a pretty successful high school career. He was named the Class 3-A South Player of the Year by the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association and went on to be listed as a four-star recruit. Brown was listed as the 15th best shooting guard by Rivals and the 47th best shooting guard by ESPN. Brown was also offered by South Carolina, South Florida, Auburn and Xavier. His father's collegiate school, Georgia Tech, did not offer Rion.
Rion had a very good freshman season. He appeared in all 36 games played by the Canes and started all five postseason games (2 ACC tournament, 3 in NIT). He logged at least 15 minutes in each of the Canes' last 18 games, including 30-minutes in his best game during his freshman season. Brown connected on six three pointers and scored a then career-high 19 points. His 6 three-pointers were the most by a Canes freshman since Darius Rice hit 7 three-pointers in 2001. Brown finished his freshman season scoring 4.4 points per game while shooting 35% from beyond-the-arc. During his sophomore season, Brown played in all but two games in which he missed due to illness. When he played, however, he was pretty efficient. Averaging 7.2 points per game and 2.8 rebounds in 20 minutes per game. He also shot 42% from the field and 39% from long distance. Brown also had a really good showing in the postseason for the second straight year. He was second on the team in scoring during the ACC tournament with 11.5 points per game and led the team in the NIT with 17.0 points per game. He shot 47.8 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from three during that span. Now let's take a look at the role that Brown had during the ACC Championship year. The first ACC game for Miami this season was against at Georgia Tech, the school his father called home in college. Brown scored 22 points in that game and broke out of a massive shooting slump. HERE is the entire recap of that game. His minutes per game went up to 22.2 per game and started in place of Durand Scott during his suspension. Brown had a little bit of a down year shooting the ball, but he came up clutch when needed the most. Who can forget his 21 point performance in the NCAA tournament against Illinois?Or his exclamation dunk against Duke? Those are two memories Canes fans won't forget for a really long time.
Last season, Brown was called upon as the sixth-man for the ACC champion Hurricanes, but this season his role is going to be a lot greater than just a spot-up shooter. The Canes need a focused and consistent Rion Brown to have any success this season. They need an efficient shooter and a leader on and off the court. Expected to be a team captain, he needs to teach the young players the system and bring that ACC defending-champion attitude to the team.