One of the most improved seniors in the country, Kobe Brown had a breakout senior season. On the year, he averaged 15.8 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.4 BPG, and 1.6 TOPG on splits of 55/45.5/79. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Kobe Brown
Wingspan/ standing reach: 7’0 ¾/8’10 ½
Hand size: 9 ¾
Pre-Draft team: Missouri
Tools: Shooting, frame, intangibles
- Good jump shot form
- NBA ready body with ridiculous measurements
- Significantly improved turnover rate
- Good athlete
- Intelligent player with an overall good feel for the game
- Good spot-up shooter
- Quick footwork to get set into his shot
- Has a high defensive ceiling due to versatility, frame, and athleticism
- Rotates well off-ball defensively
- Good rebounder
- Can guard some post-ups
- Added a solid post drive arsenal as a senior, including a lethal, powerful reverse layup package
- High-level intel; good character and has a good work ethic
- Overpowers players in college; will need to move away from that style in the NBA
- Needs to reduce fouling
- Not a major above the rim finisher for someone as physically dominant as his frame
- Subpar finisher at the rim in the halfcourt (50.5%)
- Can lack lift towards the rim
- Lacks vertical pop and explosiveness
- Needs to improve defensive technique at the rim
- Needs to keep improving ball-handling and adding more counters and overall dribble moves
- Off the dribble shooting mechanics need to be more consistent
- Athletic limitations/ physical-based game
- Anomaly senior season
As a senior, so much of Kobe Brown’s game changed for the best and improved overall. One example is how he became more explosive within the halfcourt of the offense, best exemplified by going from 14 dunks in his first three years combined in the halfcourt, to 23 as a senior in the halfcourt. While this could halfway be attributed to him maturing and being older than his competition with more experience, the improvements across the board make it seem like a real, sustainable improvement to his game and polishing of his skillsets that could scale up in a smaller role in the NBA.
Defensively, while he has tools to likely project as a positive defender, including outstanding instincts & rotating ability off-ball, he leaves some areas to be desired as an on-ball defender. This includes defensive technique at the rim, particularly against drives, that need tweaking. One example of this is that his defensive FG% at the rim in the halfcourt this year was a disappointing 64%. An example of a somewhat frequent occurrence on drives is this type of play, where he doesn’t get a full contest on drives:
Away from scoring at the rim, two key areas will dictate Brown’s NBA success: jump shooting and creativity as a ball-handler. As a shooter, while the FT% has remained steady over the years, his 3P% took an extreme jump as a senior. His year-by-year 3P% and FT% at Missouri is as follows:
Freshman: 3P%: 25.3%, FT%: 74.4%
Sophomore: 25%, 54.4%
Junior: 20.6%, 79.5%
Senior: 45.5%, 79.2%
There are two ways to look at this: one is that this extreme anomaly is not repeatable, and will limit his 3 point success in the NBA, which is the pessimistic approach. The other is that the FT% has been steady for the last two years, and that he improved his shot and touch with good work ethic over the years, but it took him until his senior year to finally get the results to catch up to the processes. As mentioned above, Brown’s work ethic is strong, and NBA teams love that about him. If that is the case, there’s an easier argument for leaning towards the numbers not being a fluke this year.
Lastly, as a ball-handler, Brown has a somewhat simple package, often relying on turning his back mid-drive, or simply relying on power. While players like Lebron James can make this work being so physically dominant, Brown’s underwhelming explosiveness limits the same impact as a slasher. He has good handles, but still needs to develop them further in-game to master them. Again, work ethic will be key here, and if the work ethic comes into play for his favor, three level scoring upside is a real possibility.
Overall, Kobe Brown has a unique skillset and frame, and an overall unique situation that most seniors don’t face. With strong intel, Kobe Brown could be one of the more immediate impact players if his game translates and his star senior season ends up being seen in hindsight as a trend, and not a fluke. Look for him to have some defensive impact, shooting ability, and finishing ability at the rim while earning trust to run on-ball reps as he develops his handle.
Similar to: Robert Woodard, Tari Eason, De’Andre Hunter
Projected draft range: 24-40
Expected role: Versatile two-way forward.
Unplayable if: Kobe Brown needs to prove his late-blooming numbers are not an anomaly. Every stat he has broken out through has an unprecedented breakout; if he cannot be consistent enough, this will prove a fluke year and thus will likely rule out an NBA career.
Exceeds expectations if: Jump shooting cleanly translates, ball-handling develops further, and he becomes a more consistent defender with improved techniques. Essentially, if the work ethic is there, the results will follow.