Lack of consistency from Bruce Brown hurting Miami Hurricanes

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 07: Bruce Brown Jr.
MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 07: Bruce Brown Jr. /

Entering the season the Miami Hurricanes strength was expected to come from their star backcourt of Bruce Brown and Lonnie Walker. Walker has started to show his exceptional talent. Brown’s struggles scoring has also led to inconsistency for Miami basketball overall.

Statistically Brown is having an outstanding season. He is second on the Miami Hurricanes in scoring and leads the team in rebounds and assists. Head Coach Jim Larranaga said last summer he expects Brown and Walker to leave for the NBA after this season.

After failing to reach double figures for a six-game spread that began in Hawaii, Walker has been on fire for the last five games. He is averaging 19 points per game over the last the last five. The Hurricanes have gone 2-3 over that time.

Brown’s scoring has been far more inconsistent. His rebounding has been consistent, but Brown’s scoring and assists have lacked the consistency of a player expected to be a first-round pick in June.

In the last seven games, Brown has reached double figures in points in only three of them. One of those was against Florida State when needed six points in overtime to reach 13 points.

The most recent mock draft by Sports Illustrated was January 2. They have Brown being drafted 13th overall to the Philadelphia 76ers. Walker was projected 19th to the Portland Trailblazers. In the three and half weeks of games that have occurred since their latest mock draft its hard to imagine Brown being picked ahead of Walker.

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  • On the floor at the least, this has become Walker’s team. He is the unquestioned go-to player at the end of the shot clock and end of games for the Miami Hurricanes.

    Walker has made the two biggest defensive plays of the season. Walker blocked a shot at the end of the Louisville game to preserve the victory. He did it again at the end of regulation against Florida State to force overtime.

    Brown has really struggled shooting the ball in ACC games. He is averaging 11.8 points per game in ACC games but has not been able to score with much consistency.

    In eight ACC games, Brown is making just 39.5 percent of his field goals and averaging four field goals per game. He is also made just six of his 24 three-point attempts for 25 percent.

    Getting to the free-throw line has saved Brown’s inconsistent shooting. He has made 24 of 34 from the line in conference play. Brown has had to rely on getting to the line for over 25 percent of his points in ACC play, 25.5 percent of his points in those games have come from the free throw line.

    Brown’s shooting is going to have to improve both for Miami’s success as a team and for his future. SI even acknowledged that.

    "“Brown has struggled shooting the basketball this season but has ably handled a larger playmaking role…He has mid-first round value but if he continues to have issues scoring the ball efficiently, Brown could slip…Still, he’s probably a better shooter than he’s shown”"

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    The next four games are key for the Hurricanes. They play Pittsburgh, at Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and at Boston College. The Hurricanes will be the best team entering each of those games. At a minimum, Miami should win three of those four games. Getting Brown’s offense going will also be important.