Marshon Brooks- 1st Round Talent or Inflated Numbers?
Providence ran one of the most destructive offensive attacks this past season, averaging 76 points per game and running the ninth fastest tempo in the country; highlighting the parade was senior guard Marshon Brooks. Brooks played over 90 percent of the Friars' minutes, taking nearly one-third of his team's shots while he was on the floor to rack up 24.6 points of offense per game, second-best in the nation. Brooks is an NBA prospect with good size (6'5", 7'2" wingspan), and a relentless attacking mentality with a quick step and desire to finish around the rim. That being said, is Brooks an actual NBA talent worth taking in the first round or is he a product of Providence's offensive style?
Brooks has the size and length to not only be a solid NBA guard offensively, but defensively as well. He often played out of position for the Friars at the 3, and sometimes even the 4, which he was able to use by constantly using his quickness advantage to attack the rim. His aggressive make-up, in combination with some solid ball-handling should bode well for Brooks at the next level- he drew almost six fouls per game, getting to the foul line 219 times in his senior season. Although he only shot 34 percent from behind the arc this past season, his form is fixable, meaning that an improvement of his outside shot should complement his penetration abilities to make him a more well-rounded and more dangerous scorer. My biggest concern for Brooks' future is that he doesn't contribute much else aside from scoring the basketball. Sure, he is a solid rebounder for his position, but mostly because he was asked to play out of position, but he does have the length and athleticism to continue being above-average. He rarely looks to set-up teammates or get them involved at all. You would think that with the amount of time Brooks spends driving the lane, he would dish out a few more assists as the defense slides over. What will his role be at the next level? He certainly won't jump in and take a third of his team's shots next season, so he will have to work on improving his all-around game to fit in a team's rotation.
Looking at some breakdowns, Brooks did post an outstanding 28.7 PER, which ranks in the top 15 of this year's draft class. On Brooks two most productive nights, he scored 43 points (@ Georgetown) and then 52 points (vs. Notre Dame) later on in the Big East schedule. He did so on both nights with a steady perimeter jumper and some excellent slashing through the defense- he only needed 28 field-goal attempts in each to hit his mark, shooting a combined 66.1 percent from the field and getting to the foul line 20 times combined. On nights like this, there's no doubt that Brooks has the makings of a lottery pick, its just some of the other nights that concerns me a bit like when he takes 24 shots to score 28 points against South Florida or 26 shots to score 27 against Cincinnati. He is a streak, volume shooter by definition and his team won just four Big East games this season- two things that don't bode to well for Brooks' stock.