ALBUQUERQUE — Carlon Brown, the Pac-12 Tourney most outstanding player last weekend after leading sixth-seeded Colorado to the title, is very familiar with UNLV.
The 6-foot-5 senior, who has been a staple on ESPN’s SportsCenter’s Top Ten plays this week for his windmill dunk in the Buffaloes’ 70-59 semifinal victory over Cal, frequently tormented the Rebels while playing three seasons at Utah where he twice earned honorable mention all-Mountain West Conference honors.
Brown, who is averaging 12.6 points and 3.7 rebounds this season, said Wednesday he nearly ended up at UNLV.
“Yeah, I was recruited by UNLV, and before I took my visit Kendall Wallace took the last scholarship,” Brown said. “I probably would have ended up there, but that’s old news.”
Brown denied that he would get more motivated to play UNLV during his Utah playing days because of that disappointment.
“Not really,” he said. “I didn’t have a personal vendetta. I just wanted to play well against them or anybody, really.”
Brown averaged 15.8 points on 25-of-50 shooting (50.0 percent) in Colorado’s four wins in four days in the Pac-12 Tourney. He also averaged 4.8 rebounds and had nine steals.
“He’s playing well,” UNLV coach Dave Rice, who coached against Brown while as an assistant at BYU, said. “He’s a leader. Every time they need a big basket or a big stop, he’s the guy that’s either making the play or encouraging other guys to do it. … He’s the same player (he was at Utah), he’s just better.”
Look for Anthony Marshall and Justin Hawkins to share time guarding the explosive Brown in Thursday night’s game which is scheduled to start at approximately 7 p.m. PST on truTV.
THE OREGON STATE REBELS? – Colorado coach Tad Boyle was asked which team the Buffaloes had played this season that reminded him of UNLV?
“That’s a great question,” Boyle said. “I don’t think there’s one team, but as I look in our league in the Pac-12, I see a team with Oregon State’s athleticism and size from the backcourt to the frontcourt. I see a team with Oregon’s ability to shoot the ball from a lot of different spots on the floor. So it’s kind of a combination of Oregon and Oregon State.”
In case you were wondering, the Buffs took two out of three games with the Ducks and split with the Beavers.
“UNLV is a tremendously talented group,” Boyle said. “They’ve got a great backcourt. Bellfield and Marshall I think are two really good guards. And the Moser kid is obviously special. I think Massamba in the middle is a very, very good player, and they have Stanback on the win, and a good bench that comes in.”
— Steve Guiremand/MyLvSports.com