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Vanderbilt is still waiting for a breakthrough from Clevon Brown

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The junior forward’s role on the team isn’t entirely clear going forward.

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Vanderbilt Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Here are a few numbers that sum up Clevon Brown’s Vanderbilt career to this point. In two years in the program, Brown has attempted 163 field goals. 90 of his field goal attempts have been inside the three-point arc, and 73 have been from outside.

On two-pointers, Clevon Brown is a 57.8 percent shooter — a very good number. On three-pointers, he’s a 26 percent shooter. The latter number either needs to get vastly better or Brown needs to stop shooting three-pointers.

The sad part of this is that excepting his three-point percentage, he’s actually been an effective player when he’s been on the floor. As a sophomore, Brown averaged 17 minutes per game and when called upon, he was a force on the glass — particularly the offensive glass — and on the defensive end. He blocked eight (!) shots in one game against Ole Miss, and for the season he had 43 blocked shots, for an impressive rate of 3.2 per 40 minutes.

But everything keeps returning to the three-point percentage. It’s not that we should judge Brown entirely by his three-point percentage, which is sort of dumb for a 6’8”, 240-pound guy who’s also athletic. It’s more symptomatic than anything else: Brown can’t seem to figure out what he is. Similar to Joe Toye, Clevon Brown has the problem that what he is (a long, athletic player who can score at the rim and serve as a defensive stopper) and what he wants to be (a shooter) are two different things. If you had taken Brown aside prior to last season and told him “no three-pointers, ever,” would anybody really miss his 11-for-46 performance?

All of that means that Brown’s role on the 2018-19 team is foggy — well, and also the fact that Simi Shittu, a player who is essentially “Clevon Brown, but better” is now on campus. He definitely has a role on this team as a 6’8” guy who can play defense for 15-20 minutes a night; just... either get better at shooting threes or cut it out.