Hard work pays off for Brown

By By Bubba Brown

By Bubba Brown

Carlon Brown was a key contributor for the Runnin’ Utes a year ago, but amid his honorable mention all-conference season that was sprinkled with highlight-reel dunks and eye-popping drives to the hoop, something was missing.

The junior guard lacked a perimeter shot and had difficulty creating shots. In response, Brown spent countless hours during the summer in an attempt to add these elements to his game. The work he did in the summer, which he said included taking 11,000 3-pointers8212;7,000 of which he made8212;was evident Wednesday night against Utah State. Brown’s three field goals from outside the perimeter was a career high for a single game, as was his 22 points.

“It was one of the things that you guys, the media, and the rest of the Mountain West and everybody told me I couldn’t do last year,” Brown said. “So I wanted to come out this summer and focus on it.”

Becoming a more well-rounded player is also something that head coach Jim Boylen said he stressed to Brown.

“I challenged Carlon to become a complete player, and he’s getting there,” Boylen said.
On his way to getting there, Brown battled through injuries this summer but didn’t let them stop his development.

“Carlon had a tough summer,” Boylen said. “He had some injuries, but he knew that was the piece he had to get in his development was a 3-point shot, a mid-range pull-up that was consistent. He also had to become a defensive stopper.”

Brown’s progress was perhaps most visible during a one-minute stretch late in the second half against the Aggies. With five minutes remaining, Brown nailed a 3 to put Utah ahead, then 34 seconds later, after an Aggie layup had evened the game, he knocked down a jumper to give the Utes the lead for good.

Hitting shots in key moments is something Brown said he feels the best players do.
“Good players feel that they can make big shots in big moments,” Brown said. “I just happened to make some key shots this game to help our team to victory.”

He also said that he wants to have the ball in his hands in clutch moments.

“I think it’s just something I do every day in the summertime when we play pickup,” Brown said. “When it’s 9-8, I want to shoot the 3 for the win.”

Last year, Brown’s game high in 3-pointers was one, a feat he accomplished six times. The junior only shot 34 3-pointers during the season and finished with a .176 percentage from beyond the arc. This year, Brown has shot 11 3s in the Utes’ first two games, making four of them.

Already, the improved aspects of Brown’s game have drawn positive reviews from Boylen.
“Carlon is a dynamic player,” he said. “Carlon is a big-time player.”

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