New Jersey Scores Big With MarShon Brooks
Jimmer Fredette led the NCAA in scoring last season, and he was drafted appropriately for having done so. Right behind him in the stats, however, was this kid MarShon Brooks, who averaged 24.6 ppg for a mediocre Providence team that too few people watched. Despite his having dropped 52 and 43 points and different times over the course of the year, he simply wasn’t getting seen by enough people.
That, of course, has changed in Brooks’ rookie season with the New Jersey Nets, where he is second among rookies in scoring behind only Kyrie Irving. At 14.1 ppg, Brooks has almost doubled Fredette’s scoring output, but back in May, before the draft combine in Chicago, nobody was particularly interested in this kid.
My, how things have changed.
“I came into the combine projected as a second-round pick, so I had this huge chip on my shoulder. I wanted to go out there and prove something,” Brooks told HOOPSWORLD. “While I had all the scouts in the gym at the same time, I wanted to prove that I could play with anybody in this draft. I had a good combine, and it helped me go in the late first round to the Nets.”
It was a fortuitous pairing, as New Jersey came into the draft with a huge hole at the two guard position, and Brooks has so far proven to the best two-guard prospect of the draft.
The Nets have struggled, though, making it hard for Brooks to find wins early in his NBA career. Despite that, Brooks is finding his way on the offensive end much easier than most scouts ever thought he would.
“It’s tough,” he said. “Defenders are bigger, faster, strong, but I try to be aggressive at all times. I try to find my seams so I can get to free throw line. I create space for myself to my jumpshot off. I’ve made the transition, but I’ve got to keep it up. It’s a long, long season.”
Halfway through, though, and Brooks looks like a keeper. His teammates love him, and, perhaps not coincidentally, that’s who he gives all the credit for his early success.
“I want to give a big ups to Deron Williams and my coach, Avery Johnson. Since day one they’ve had a lot of confidence in me, and that helped my transition a lot,” Brooks said. “Coming in, I didn’t really know what to expect. I’m pretty sure they knew I had a knack for shooting the ball, so in practice they told me to just shoot the ball. They let me know that if I miss a couple of shots, there’s always more shots. It was just a big help to have a coach and a point guard like Deron making things easy for me.”
It won’t always be easy. As the Nets start playing teams two and three times, the scouting report on Brooks will get more detailed, and the best defenders in the world will clamp down on the kid. We’ll see then what he’s really made of as a pro, but he’s the kind of player who’s going to find a way to score the ball. He did it in college, and so far he’s done it in the pros, too.
There was a time where Brooks wasn’t getting watched by enough people, but that’s not the case anymore. Now, he’s on the biggest basketball stage in the world, and he’s performing pretty well. Jimmer was the show-stopper in college, but now it’s MarShon’s turn.