Gilbert Brown doesn't have a big national reputation and that is perfectly fine with all of the schools that are recruiting the 6-foot-6, 190-pound wing from South Kent (Conn.) High School. Coaches wouldn't mind if the high-flyer slid under the radar as long as possible but Brown is playing too well to go unnoticed by the general public.
Last weekend at Villanova, Brown shined with his new AAU team the New Jersey All-Stars. He scored 15 points in a match-up against Lance Thomas. Always one to give the fans what they want, Brown said he had some bring 'em out of their seats moments.
Even with his great athleticism, Brown said his game is expanding and that is just what college recruiters like in the class of 2006 prospect.
"I'd say I play tough all the time. I'm never going to back down to anybody," Brown said. "I'd also say that I don't need to score to be involved in the game. I feel like I'm a good all-around player…I'm still working on my jump shot just because I know if I want to be one of the best players, I've got to do it all."
As the high-majors continue to enter the recruiting race for his services, Brown said he recently shortened his list.
His short list is still somewhat long. Brown said he's trimmed his top options to Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Miami, Illinois, Florida, Washington, Maryland, Pittsburgh and Virginia. Brown said he's holding offers from Miami, Maryland, Pittsburgh and Virginia so far. While Brown trimmed his list, he said he's not completely shutting out any other suitors.
"I'm still kind of open to certain schools though," Brown said. "You know like North Carolina and Duke."
Brown said he's unofficially visited Georgetown, Maryland and Wake Forest and he has plans to visit West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Maryland unofficially this summer. Soon after those visits, Brown said he'll trim his list again. The decision making process is two fold with Brown.
"My mom is real big on the school's graduation rate and I'm real big on playing time. I feel like I can come in and play right away," he said.
The Harrisburg, Penn., native will continue to play with the New Jersey All-Stars this summer, making a stop at the Nike Memorial Day Classic in New Orleans. He will also play at the Nike All-American camp in Indianapolis this July.
With three weeks to go before the summer, Brown said he's ready for his final year at South Kent with head coach Ralph Chellious. The coach and player have been together for the last five years, Brown said. Chellious has coached Connecticut big man Josh Boone, Miami Heat rookie Dorrell Wright and 2005 stud Andray Blatche. Brown said playing for Chellious has helped his quest in becoming one of the top players in the country.
"He is good at developing athletes into quasi-basketball players," Brown said. "I can't wait to see what we can do next year."