There is one thing that comes to mind when you think of David Brown: injuries.
Brown is a redshirt senior this year, which obviously means this is his fifth season. Guess how many complete seasons he's played? 1.
2009-2010: True Freshman...averaged 2.4 points and 1.4 boards in 27 games
2010-2011: Sophomore...played in nine games before taking a medical redshirt due to an ankle injury
2011-2012: Redshirt Sophomore...started to come on in early December, but suffered a season-ending knee injury on December 17
2012-2013: Redshirt Junior...Didn't play a game until conference season
2013-2014: Redshirt Senior
So you'll probably ask: why the heck is David Brown the twenty-second best player in the MAC this season? Surely, there are a lot more players that are better than this guy!
That's where you're mistaken. The understatement of the decade is that David Brown has problems with injuries. But, let's take a look at what he did during conference play after he returned from a year off from playing competitive basketball.
Brown played 23 games last year, and oh did he perform well. In fifteen of those games he scored in double figures. His breakout game was against Kent State where he scored a career-high 22, aided by an impressive 11-14 showing at the free throw line.
Brown seemed to save his best performances for when the Broncos went up against good competition. His third game coming back from injury was against Toledo, and he poured in 15. After the aforementioned Kent State game, he put 15 on Toledo again. Against better-than-average defensively Ohio, he scored ten in a conference tournament loss. In the postseason College Basketball Invitational, Brown shined once again, scoring double figures against North Dakota State, Wyoming and George Mason.
Oh yeah, also Brown was doing all this coming off of the bench. Ranked just sixth on the team in minutes per game, he certainly made use of the minutes he was on the floor. That consistency and resilience got him the MAC Sixth Man of the Year Award last year, which is nothing to laugh about.
But that's just the stats doing the talking. Brian Persky of BroncoBlitz.com, who knows a lot more about Western Michigan athletics than I ever will, says this about Brown:
"Steve Hawkins trusts Brown the most; he'd likely be the one to get the ball with the game on the line."
That says a lot about Brown's potential as an all-MAC player. Brown also is a "glue guy" in the locker room according to Persky, which is exactly what you want in your fifth year senior.
Western Michigan will be an interesting team this year. They'll go as far as Shayne Whittington will take them, but David Brown will be right there with him. If Brown stays healthy, watch out.
Here's a cool feature with Brown mic'd up at practice:
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