Not all high school players come into college as a complete player. Some guys need to work on their offensive skills, some guys need to work on their defensive skills, and some guys, quite frankly, need to work on both.
In the case of Wake Forest freshman guard/forward Chaundee Brown the sky is the limit on both ends of the court, but through 9 games he has shown that he is already a heck of a defensive player.
If you have watched Wake play this year and focused on No. 23 then you likely know that he has caused a lot of problems for opposing defenses, particularly in on-ball defense, but the stats take his impact to a whole different level.
This season Brown has been the on-ball defender 51 times when the player he was guarding ended the possession by either: making a shot, missing a shot, turning it over, or going to the free throw line.
In those 51 possessions, the opponent has scored a total of 26 points (0.51 Points Per Possession), ranking Brown in the 94th percentile of the entire Division I in on-ball defense (among all players who have had at least one possession of on-ball defense).
When you set the filter to at least 50 possessions of on-ball defense Brown ranks 22nd individually (out of 1,112) players in points per possession.
Opponents have taken 38 shots against him and made just 9 of them (23.7%). He has forced the ball-handler into a turnover on 10 of those possessions, fouled the ball-handler on just 3 of those possessions (2 shooting fouls), and allowed the ball-handler to score on just 23.5% of those possessions.
Here is a look at the most common occurrence when Brown is on an offensive player with the ball:
Out of 51 Possessions:
29 missed shots (57%)
10 forced turnovers (20%)
9 made shots (18%)
3 fouls (5%)
That means that 77% of the time an opposing player that Brown is guarding ends the possession it is a win for Wake Forest.
That is simply incredible on-ball defense so far this year. There are also some more eye-popping stats that Brown has managed to put up:
- When he is defending a spot-up shooter he has allowed just 8 points on 26 possessions (.308 PPP), 6th in the country for at least 25 possessions defended.
- Opponents are shooting just 20% on jump shots against him this year, including 3-21 from behind the three-point line (14.3%).
- They are just 2-10 off the dribble (20%)
An interesting thing to note is that in the half-court offense Brown has left his man unguarded 6 times and his opponents have missed all 6 shots. While this is unsustainable it is good to know that occasionally opponents do in fact miss open shots against the Deacs.
While it is still very early on in the season and sample size is not substantial yet, the fact that Brown can be relied upon to shut down the man that he is guarding is a very good sign, especially as a freshman.
It will be interesting to see if he continues to gain minutes and new assignments on better defenders as the season goes a long because at 6-5, 215, Brown is really the only player on the roster who can consistently guard the athletic 3’s in the ACC.
I feel like it has been a while since the Deacs have had a defensive stopper at the 3, so this is exciting to monitor going forward as Brown could be the lynchpin to a team that needs to continue to step up and improve on the defensive end.