Shannon vs. Brown
If it wasn’t for Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham, the Big 12 would be buzzing about Texas’ freshman forward Greg Brown who is averaging 12 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Certainly, the former No. 9 overall player in the 2020 signing class has lived up to his five-star hype and has the look of a one-and-done collegiate. So how his matchup with Terrence Shannon Jr. plays out will be critical this evening.
Brown is a 6-foot-9, 205-pound rebounding machine who gets a ton of his points in and around the paint. That’s due in large part to the fact that he’s grabbing 1.6 offensive boards per game.
Thus, it will be imperative for Tech to keep Brown on the perimeter as much as possible. Look for Tech to sag off of him and try to entice the 28.6% 3-point shooter who is taking over four shots from deep per game to try to channel his inner Steph Curry and not his inner LeBron James.
But while Brown’s offense is one part of the equation, he’s also proving to be a more than adequate defender. In fact, he leads his team in defensive rating (an estimate of the number of points a player allows per 100 possessions) at 82.8. Thus, he will pose a challenge for Shannon, who is Tech’s second-leading scorer at 13.6 points per game.
Shannon seems to have found the type of consistency that Beard spent all offseason trying to coax out of him. If you take away the game against Incarnate Word on December 29, a game in which Tech’s starters took most of the night off in a blowout win, Shannon has averaged 15.8 points per game in his last eight games.
What’s more, he’s pulled down six boards per game in his last three contests. That’s something that will be imperative tonight against Brown, who crashes the glass with malice in his heart.
These two players are likely headed to the NBA this offseason. And given that they play the same position, they will be matched up head-to-head quite often tonight. So keep an eye on this showdown because it will be one of the most entertaining of the evening.