Of the nine players who completed the season for the Vanderbilt Commodores, Clevon Brown played the fewest minutes on the team, and — aside from Matthew Fisher-Davis, who served a one-game suspension — was the only Vanderbilt player who did not appear in all 35 games.
That latter fact, by the way, speaks to how you survive a season with only nine scholarship players: hope no one gets hurt. Nobody got hurt in Vanderbilt’s already thin frontcourt, and as a result Brown averaged just 7.6 minutes per game.
Ironically, Brown’s two best performances of the season were probably Vanderbilt’s two worst performances of the season. The freshman scored 6 points on 3-of-4 shooting, grabbed 4 rebounds, and had an assist and a block in a season-high 17 minutes against MTSU, and his season highs in both points (8) and rebounds (6) came in the Missouri debacle, in which he played 15 minutes.
None of this was entirely expected entering the season. I didn’t think Brown would be a starter by any means, but I certainly thought he would play more than this. But with Jeff Roberson healthy and capable of playing as an undersized four, and with Luke Kornet being healthy and staying out of foul trouble, there just wasn’t a ton of need for Brown to play once SEC play started. What’s more, while Brown showed flashes, he wasn’t playing well most of the time. His per-40 minute stats are informative on this point: Brown averaged 8.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.5 turnovers, and 5.4 fouls per 40 minutes, while shooting 39.2 percent from the floor. His .048 Win Shares per 40 minutes also ranked last on the team.
On the other hand, Brown did rank second on the team with 2.2 blocks per 40 minutes (behind only Luke Kornet), so if you’re looking for something to hang your hat on, that might be it. Brown could develop into a defensive stopper, but he’s got a long way to go on the offensive end. His similarity scores ($) on KenPom are also kind of informative; it’s a bunch of guys who developed into role players... and DeAndre Daniels.
That kind of sums up Clevon Brown right now. There’s enough potential there that you don’t want to give up on him (in other words, he’s not Shelby Moats), but odds are he’s going to settle in as a role player for Vanderbilt for the next few years. There’s a reason why Bryce Drew and staff are still trying to recruit a big man for next year.
Grade: I hate to pile on a freshman who clearly wasn’t ready for prime time and didn’t play much as a result, so Clevon gets the Gentleman’s C. Do better next year.