Wichita State is off to an early start to its 2014 men’s basketball recruiting class, thanks to its early start recruiting Zach Brown.
Brown, a junior at South Kent (Conn.) School, has given Wichita State an oral commitment. Brown (6-foot-6, 200 pounds) is ranked as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com. He played at Klein Collins High in Spring, Texas, before transferring to South Kent. He will graduate in 2014 and be a freshman at WSU for the 2014-15 season.
“He’s got a long and athletic body,” South Kent coach Kelvin Jefferson said. “He has all the tools to be a very good player at the highest level.”
WSU coaches started recruiting Brown while at Klein Collins. That history paid off. “They’ve been around since I was a sophomore,” Brown said. “They probably know me better than any other school. They know what I need to improve on.”
His play with the Texas Pro AAU team over the past month attracted attention from schools such as Kansas, Kansas State Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Providence and Creighton, Jefferson said.
“He talked with his family and said ‘That’s great, but I know where I want to go. There’s going to be a need for me,’” Jefferson said. “Wichita State recruited him from Day One. He felt a sense of loyalty.”
Brown liked WSU throughout the process. When the Shockers beat Pittsburgh and Ohio State on their way to the Final Four, it added to the attraction.
“They’re a high-major school in a mid-major conference,” he said. “They’re getting really good players now.”
Brown watched all five WSU games in the NCAA Tournament. He likes the style of play and sees himself fitting in quickly.
“They play a very good defensive game,” he said. “They’re like a good, all-around, run-and-gun-type team. They’re not afraid of any team or any body.”
Jefferson said Brown averaged around 13 points and seven rebounds. On a team with five NCAA Division I signees, Brown drew the toughest defensive assignment.
“He was, by far, our best defender,” Jefferson said. “With his size and length, and he’s got great feet, he can stay in front of anybody.”
Brown’s scoring largely comes on drives to the basket and mid-range jump shots.
“He’s going to give a lot of people problems with his length and ability to get to the rim,” Jefferson said. “He’s a capable three-point guy. What we want to do is make that shot more consistent. When he does that, he’s going to be really, really difficult to keep from scoring.”
Brown can sign with WSU in November. His commitment is non-binding until he signs a letter of intent.