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Oklahoma State basketball: Why Markel Brown could be a hidden gem in the NBA Draft

Leaving behind the NBA Finals and heading into the NBA Draft, lots of teams are trying to find the next Danny Green. Maybe that guy is Markel Brown.
by Jenni Carlson Published: June 23, 2014

Think of all the amazing athletes that have come through the combine over that time, and yet few have been any better leapers than Brown.

That kind of athleticism could help him compensate for shortcomings. Brown, for example, is 6-foot-3 and a bit undersized to play shooting guard in the NBA. But having impact on the defensive end is not about having height.

Just ask Tony Allen.

He’s another former Cowboy who plays shooting guard in the NBA, and even though he’s only 6-4, he’s been one of the NBA’s most ferocious perimeter defenders over the past five years. He can guard smaller guys because of his agility. He can guard taller guys because of his long arms. And regardless of who he’s guarding, he’s willing to bust his butt when he’s on the court.

Brown ticks many of the same boxes.

Being a solid on-ball defender seems like the niche where Brown could earn his keep in the NBA, but don’t rule out the possibility of him becoming a good shooter, too. He’s improved his outside shooting every year that he was at OSU — and it was fairly dramatic. He shot a little over 26 percent from behind the 3-point line as a freshman. As a senior, he shot 37.9 percent.

His 3-point shot became a strength. More than a third of the shots that he took as a senior were from behind the arch, so he was shooting more threes and making more of them by the end of his college career.

Ditto for Green.

The Spurs shooting guard didn’t become a San Antonio starter, much less a San Antonio star overnight. He was drafted, then cut by the Cavaliers. He was signed, then cut by the Spurs. He was re-signed by the Spurs, then sent to the D-League, then brought back to languish on the bench before finally working his way into the rotation. Now, he’s an NBA champ and an Alamo City hero.

From the middle of the second round, Danny Green made it.

Could Markel Brown?

It’s a big jump, but then, we’ve seen just how well this guy can fly.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at 475-4125. Like her at, follow her at or view her personality page at

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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