Editor's Note: This story has been updated at 2:32 a.m. in response to J'Covan Brown's tweets.
J’Covan Brown’s spin move caught the attention of NBA scouts and Big 12 defenders alike this year.
The leading scorer in the Big 12, Brown has a series of moves he can go with to score. But his spin is the most dangerous, especially in the lane, where he uses it to avoid potential shot blockers.
“I’m very crafty when I spin,” Brown says. “Crazy things happen.”
His life is about to get a whole lot crazier.
Brown will enter the NBA Draft in June, according to a source close to the situation.
While Brown has not commented publically about his decision, and even denied claims he’s headed for the NBA via Twitter, the source confirmed he is indeed opting to leave for the NBA.
Last year both Tristan Thompson and Jordan Hamilton denied that they were headed to the NBA as well, only to be drafted fourth and 26th overall, respectively.
The junior was asked about his future with the Longhorns after Texas was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament Friday.
“I’ll make the decision, talk to coach (Rick Barnes), talk to my parents and see what the best thing is for me,” Brown said.
He averaged 20.1 points per game this season to lead UT. Brown has a daughter, Jordyn, who will turn two in July.
Brown also told reporters, “At the end of the day I have a family to take care of.”
According to DraftExpress.com, Brown is the No. 9 junior prospect (No. 69 overall) and is projected to be a second round pick in June.
The NBA is the next logical step for the 6-foot-1 shooting guard. Brown, 22, scored more than 30 points in four games this season and scored in double-figures 32 times in 34 games. There is not much left for him to prove at the college level.
Brown totaled 683 points this season and was named first-team All-Big 12. He combined for 693 during his first two years at Texas.
“People don’t really understand how hard it is to score 20 points night in and night out,” said head coach Rick Barnes. “Every team that we played this year, he was the focus of their game plan. He goes out every game with a big bull’s eye on his back. He’s a terrific offensive player and he’s been pretty darn consistent all year.”
Brown’s game extends past his dazzling spin moves, though. He’s a pure shooter.
The Port Arthur native made 86.3 percent of his free throws (157 of 182) and shot 37 percent (80 of 217) from beyond the arc this year. Combine those numbers with 41.7 percent shooting from the field (223 of 535) and it’s easy to see why Brown causes headaches for opponents.
“You can’t guard him one-on-one,” says Cincinnati leading scorer Sean Kilpatrick, who saw Brown’s spin move in the NCAA Tournament this year. “You’ve got to have help from the rest of your teammates. He’s a great scorer.”
Brown was the Longhorns’ only consistent option on the offensive end and carried an inexperienced team this season. He was named U.S. Basketball Writers Association District VII Player of the Year, a region that encompasses Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana.
Texas needed more from Brown than just scoring this year, and he delivered. Brown was second on the team with 130 assists and 41 steals. He was also the best rebounding guard at 3.4 boards per game.
Big 12 defenders will be relieved next season with Brown out of the picture. As Missouri guard Kim English put it, “he’s deadly.”
Printed on Thursday, March 22, 2012 as: Junior guard opts to forego season, leaving youthful team behind