https://twitter.com/William_Whelan In general, I try to make a habit out of not analyzing a prospect based on highlight packages, or even film for that matter. There is an element missing from even full tapes of a game that helps you differentiate “a guy”, from someone who has happened to have himself or herself a great game. Highlight tapes also, obviously, don’t show a player’s downside. They don’t highlight the blown defensive assignments, bad shots or lack of ball handling skills. But, they do give us a window into what a player can do, even if only for a few minutes. With that in mind, I got the chance to sit down and breakdown a bit of film on new Colorado basketball commit Deleon Brown. Brown committed to the staff on Tuesday as a pledge for the class of 2016, when he’ll enroll at CU after spending a year on the prep scene. Here are my thoughts: Overview- Brown is a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Michigan who had interest and offers from a host of mid-major schools in the Midwest, prior to deciding he’d spend a postgrad year trying to field some better offers. Much in the mold of former Buff Chris Jenkins, Brown is a guard who seems to love—and understand—mid range offensive concepts. His film, again like Jenkins, is made up mostly of jumpers off the catch and dribble, while not showcasing much play at or above the rim. Does this mean he can’t do it? Certainly not, as Jenkins led the program in put-back dunks in practice during his short time in Boulder. But it does raise the question of whether he can do it. Tad Boyle has made a habit out of finding players that are firmly under the high-major radar and turning them into solid contributors like Askia Booker, Wesley Gordon, Xavier Talton and Andre Roberson. He’s also had a bit of a knack for reaching on prospects like Eli Stalzer and George King. Now, to be fair, the careers of those two are far from over…but you get the idea. Which list does Brown belong on? Well, we’ve got plenty of time to see. The 2016 class is one where Boyle and his staff have some wiggle room when it comes to recruiting. There will be four expected scholarships available with, in all likelihood, another one coming from some sort of attrition whether it be from pursuits of professional dreams or desires for more playing time. That’s the world of college basketball as we know it, these days. In that sense, it shouldn’t be alarming that the staff took what could be described as a sleeper. Brown will get a year where he’ll focus 99-percent of his time on basketball, as most prep players do, and refine some of the areas that the staff will more than likely tell him need refining. This is a positive, and gives the Buffs a true shooting guard already on board. What To Like? I’m glad you asked, because I’m perfectly prepared to answer. The first thing that jumps out to me about Brown is his ability to drive left—oh yes, he’s another Tad Boyle left handed special—and pull up with ease, knocking down the jumper. As a shooter, the hardest thing to do is driving with your strong hand and hitting a pull up, due to the degree of rotation needed to get your trigger shoulder squared. While it’s often only 45-degrees, it feels like a hell of a lot more. Whenever you drive with your off-hand, your trigger should stays aligned with the basket at almost all times, and so it’s much easier to shoot without squaring your feet. Brown does this throughout the video, driving left, and doesn’t seem to overcompensate in his rotation, a common problem that leads to erratic accuracy. Several times throughout the tape, we also see him draw fouls off of a jump shot. Why? Likely a combination of bad defense and his propensity to kick out his left leg, as well as the noticeable forward movement he experiences on every shot where he has a defender rushing his form. His shot has a smooth release on top, and remains the same whether he’s wide open or has a man lunging towards him. I love this, and it’s what real shooters do. He’s not a player that needs a tremendous amount of dribbles to create his own shot. Clearly, there’s an understanding of pace to his game, as there are several times where he speeds his man up or slows him down in the midst of creating a shot, putting the defense off balance and unable to react quickly or balanced. This shows IQ, the great intangible that we so often have a hard time gauging when evaluating a prospect. You’ll notice that whenever the opposition looks to have a big man at the rim, Brown finds space in the mid-paint where he’ll simply pull up for a short, manageable jumper or execute his floater. This could be a point where we ask why he isn’t attacking their body and creating contact for himself, but even if that were true, he would have clearly found a way to counter attack that potential weakness. This skill also drastically reduces the chance for a charge call, and is a skill that Boyle has been trying to install in his program ever since the days of Mr. Walking Charge, Alec Burks. A player that can find spaces in a defense is invaluable. Levi Knutson was elite at this, as he did so on and off of the ball. Every defense has a soft spot, and smart players can find and exploit those weaknesses with their vision, motor and talent. Brown flashes the ability to do just that throughout the video. What Don’t We Know? There’s only one defensive clip in the video and it’s Brown lunging in to tie up the ball, not something that showcases lateral quickness or passing lane pursuit. So, you start to wonder what he’s like as a defender. Now, I have a hard time believing that Boyle would recruit anyone who couldn’t guard, but nonetheless, we just don’t know at this point. Is he an athlete? Brown certainly moves around the court smoothly and covers plenty of ground when penetrating to the basket, but we’re not shown much verticality. Typically, highlight tapes have too many dunks on them for even a dunk-junkie, but we’re not seeing that here. Again, we just don’t know. Things like ball handling, how his body can transform as he ages and whether or not he can truly utilize his right hand remain to be seen. Conclusion This may seem like a cop out, but it’s hard to really gather much from a macro standpoint here. Brown clearly does a lot of things well that give off the impression of a smart and skilled basketball player. How the rest of the class fills out and how he progresses over the next 24 months will tell us quite a bit. I will say this though, and it might seem a bit ridiculous. Watching that tape, and comparing it to some of the 2016 kids that I’m familiar with, Brown would be right up there with just about any of them. I’d bet that this proves to be a very quality addition and is a tremendous start to Colorado’s next class.