Point Park men pick up transfer Nick Brown, a 6-7 forward from West Liberty
July 12, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. ET
Nick Brown, a 6-7 forward, has transferred from West Liberty University. Photo by WLU athletics.
PITTSBURGH -- Point Park University men's basketball has picked up transfer Nick Brown, a 6-7 forward who has spent the last three seasons at NCAA Division II No. 1-ranked West Liberty University. Brown, who will be a senior for the Pioneers in the fall, is a former First Team All-Ohio Division II all-state player at Warren JFK High School. He is a native of Bristolville, Ohio.
Brown, who was a reserve player for the very-successful West Liberty program, has a offensive pedigree that fits in great with Point Park's high-scoring system. During his career with the Hilltoppers, Brown averaged 6.0 points and 2.8 rebounds in 10.7 minutes per game. He shot 44 percent from the field and 35 percent from long range, including a career-high 39.5 percent last year as a junior.
Brown had a great high school career at Warren JFK, where he averaged 22.7 points and 12.2 rebounds per game as a senior. That earned him Ohio Division II District Player of the Year honors and the first-team all-state selection. He was also the Trumbull County Player of the Year.
The West Liberty team averaged 102 ppg each of the last two seasons and averaged an amazing 111.3 points during Brown's freshman year of 2010-11. Being a part of that high-scoring system will transition Brown well to Point Park, which has led NAIA Division II in scoring for two years in a row.
Brown has been a part of great team success both at the college and high school level. He was a role player coming off the bench for a West Liberty team that reached the NCAA Division II Elite Eight all three of his years and played in the national semifinals two of those seasons. The Hilltoppers were ranked No. 1 in the national polls for much of the last two years and have led the country in scoring seven of the last eight years.
As a senior at Warren JFK, Brown led his team to the school's first district title in more than 20 years and was the first player in school history with more than 1,000 points and 500 rebounds. Brown carried his team to the regional semifinals that year.
"Nick Brown is a very talented player who has size at 6-7 and can also handle the ball and score in a variety of ways," said Point Park head coach Bob Rager, who is entering his 25th year at his alma mater. "He's a guys who can create a lot of mismatches -- he can play guard and shoot from the outside and can also play big and post up underneath. Defensively, he can play both big or small, and he can rebound and push the ball up the floor in our fast-break offense.
"Nick knows how to win and how to be a part of a winning team," added Rager. "Not only does he fit in great with our offensive style, he also knows the effort that it takes to be a winner."
A big part of Brown's recruitment to Point Park was that of Pioneers assistant coach Gabe Bubon, a Warren, Ohio, native. Bubon followed Brown through his high school days and is glad to see him come to Point Park.
"Nick is coming into a great situation with a chance to showcase all of his abilities instead of being a role player," said Bubon. "He can do a lot of things really well on the basketball court, and he's going to be a strong player for us and help us win. With a big senior year showing all of his talents, he has a chance to play overseas like some other transfers we've had."
West Liberty is a team that is familiar to Point Park fans with the Pioneers visiting the Hilltoppers each of the last several years for an early-season, non-conference game. The game is annually a matchup of two of the highest-scoring teams in small-college basketball. West Liberty has gotten the better of the matchup every year with Brown playing his part.
In three career games versus Point Park, Brown is averageing 9.3 points and 4.0 rebounds in 15.0 minutes per game. He shot 43 percent overall and 46 percent from long range in those contests. His biggest game versus the Pioneers came as a sophomore when he put up 11 points on 3 of 4 from 3-point range in just 14 minutes.
Point Park's 93.2 points per game last year not only led NAIA Division II for the second year in a row, it also set a school record for scoring average in a season. The Pioneers were 14-11 overall and 8-7 in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 2012-13 and have two of five starters returning from that team next year.