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Oklahoma State basketball: Markel Brown made himself a better ballplayer

A better Markel Brown makes Oklahoma State better, too. It's showing in the all-around statistics.
by John Helsley Published: February 22, 2013

Markel Brown hung in the air at the rim, then snatched a pass, spun midflight and completed a throw-down jam against Baylor to add to his already bloated personal highlight package.

Asked postgame where his latest dunk might wind up on SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays — where he was a regular a year ago — Brown kind of shrugged it off.

“Probably No. 10,” he said, “they haven't been messing with me this year.”

Truth is, Brown isn't messing as much with the dunks, either.

Oh, it's still a part of his repertoire. Yet only a part.

Once known almost exclusively as a leaper and explosive dunker, the Oklahoma State junior has grown his game to feature more layers, including a perimeter shot developed during a summer in the gym devoted to building a better all-around player.

A player now worthy of All-Big 12 recognition.

“That's what I've been so proud about with Markel,” said Cowboys coach Travis Ford. “I think he's one of the better players in this league. He's just improved every year and improved on a different aspect of his game every year. He's worked hard on his jump shot.

“And it's been fun to watch.”

It's back to work for Brown and the No. 14 Cowboys, who make their maiden Big 12 visit to West Virginia on Saturday, looking to regain momentum following Wednesday's loss to Kansas. Tip time is 1 p.m.

And who better than Brown to spark a recovery. Twice this season — at Kansas and at Texas Tech — he hit a career-high mark with seven made 3-pointers to jumpstart road wins.

In Big 12 play, Brown stands No. 2 in scoring (17.5), No. 12 in field goal percentage (45.1), No. 5 in 3-point field goal percentage (43.9), No. 4 in 3-pointers made (2.23) and No. 9 in assists (3.15).

The shooting numbers spotlight Brown's growth. As a freshman, his field goal percentages were 40.5 percent overall and 22.2 percent from the arc in conference games. As a sophomore, 44.7 and 38.3.

That success can be traced back to the summer months inside Gallagher-Iba Arena, where Brown went to work, not so much on changing anything as getting better through repetition.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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