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Can Markel Brown be as good as Marcus Smart?

Markel Brown, more than a highlight reel.



Fine, I’ll say it because nobody else is going to, I think Markel Brown has a chance to be as good or better than Marcus Smart this year — especially on offense.

Here are their 2012-13 stat lines…

Markel Brown

15 points | 4 boards | 2 assists | 1 steal | 1 block | 44/36/76 shooting (FG/3P/FT)

Marcus Smart

15 points | 6 boards | 4 assists | 3 steals | 1 block | 40/29/78 shooting (FG/3P/FT)

Brown has raised his 3P shooting five percentage points after both his freshman and sophomore years which, if he does that again, now you’re talking about an uber-athletic two guard who all of a sudden shoots 40%+ from three and can defend guys bigger than him because of his length.

That’s top 20 draft territory.

Smart’s dirty little secret his freshman year is that he wasn’t that great of a shooter or really as an offensive scorer. We didn’t notice because he hit so many game-winners and did so many other things but the numbers are a bit disconcerting.

According to Brown was far more efficient on offense — he had an effective FG percentage[1. Takes into account that threes are worth more than twos.] of 50.3 compared to 45.5 for Smart and an ORating of 109.7 (points scored per 100 possessions) compared to 102.2 for Smart.

Now a lot of this is just because teams keyed more on Smart than Brown[1. Good example: Phil Forte had a top 100 ORating nationally at 119.2.] but not all of it. By the end of the Big 12 season I would argue that teams were preparing defensively as much for Brown as they were Smart and that it was actually Nash that was somewhat of an afterthought.

Marcus obviously has an edge in defending as well as that thing he does that doesn’t really have a name when another team is streaking and 13,611 people are looking at him to stop the bleeding and he stops the bleeding (moxie? chutzpah?) I don’t know if Markel has that in his arsenal.

But offensively? I might take 22.

Plus, if in fact OSU gets “all the 10 and 15 footers it wants” this year like Ford said on Monday, Markel is going to average 20 a game.

Smart will continue to get tabbed as “the leader” and “the guy” (and he should) and everybody will write Markel off as “just a highlight reel guy” but this OSU team could spin on the latter’s axis if he performs and improves the way he has thus far in his career.

I’m fired up to watch it unfold.

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