Troy Brown played one year for the Oregon Ducks before declaring for the NBA Draft. At 18, he is one of the youngest prospects in the 2018 class and also one of the most versatile with great prowess on both ends of the floor.
As he continues developing, it’s possible he might be one of the most promising players among all who will be on the board in the upcoming draft.
He caught up with HoopsHype before his draft workout with the Denver Nuggets.
How much of this process are you enjoying and having fun with it? How much of it as a countdown to the finish line?
Troy Brown: I’m definitely having fun with it but there are both sides. I’m having more fun than anything because I came in as an underdog. I didn’t have a great season in college and people questioned my talent and my athletic ability. But proving people wrong and playing my game and showing them all of my production levels have all been amazing.
After workouts in exit interviews, when I hear good things, it feels great. It’s starting to pick up because teams weren’t very interested at first coming into the process. But I did well at my pro day and people are starting to hear that I’m doing well at the team workouts, too. So I can’t wait for the draft so that I know where I’m going.
What role are you feeling for yourself on the court both next season and in the future? Are there any players that come to mind as a potential comparison for you?
TB: I’m getting different things from different teams based on what they need. I feel I can fit a lot of roles and a lot of people see me as a 3-and-D player. I can come in and knock down shots and then get to the basket and make plays for my teammates while also locking down on defense. I can switch onto point guards, shooting guards and small forwards.
I’ve been comparing myself to Ben Simmons because he’s always a threat to produce a triple-double and plays point forward. But in a smaller role, I compare myself to Andre Iguodala. He comes out and does everything. He is such a spark plug and I want to provide that, too. I can come in and make stuff happen for the team. There are a lot of different things that I can check off that other prospects aren’t doing.
What kind feedback have you received from the teams you have met with so far during your predraft process?
TB: I’m getting really good feedback, just talking about my versatility and what I can bring to the game. A lot of teams are happy that I’m going to their workouts. They’re saying I look a lot better than I did during the season and we talk about my progression and my potential. Now that I’m playing, I’m hearing that I jump a lot higher and I’m bouncier and I’m a lot quicker than they saw in college.
What other prospects are you working out with? Are there any other NBA players who have been on the court with you?
TB: We have NBA veterans like Alan Anderson and Jared Dudley. They have really helped me with reads and getting accustomed to that. When we play three-on-three and I have them on my team, it helps a lot. I’m the young guy so I’m able to make the plays but they can help me make the right reads and I’ve enjoyed it.
I’ve been working out a lot with prospects like Gary Trent Jr. and Kenrich Williams as well as Anfernee Simons at Impact in Las Vegas. My teammate from Oregon MiKyle McIntosh is working out with me there too. He’s such a good guy, always joking around and I love to be around him. When I did my Pro Day in California, we had Arizona’s Rawle Alkins and UNLV’s Brandon McCoy. There’s plenty of talent.
How have you changed as a player and what have you added to your game recently?
TB: I’m working on my playmaking ability and my jump shot. My shot is getting a lot better and I’m working out a lot. I’m taking a lot of time getting used to that three-point line. I feel pretty good about the NBA distance, I’m working on it every day. I’m getting consistent, maintaining repetition.
You’ll still be just 18 years old on draft day. There’s so much potential there for you. How has that impacted your stock?
TB: It seems like a lot of teams are banking on that right now especially after my workouts. People saw me play during the season and did not see me play my most effective style of basketball. But I’ve become myself during these workouts. They know I’m one of the top young guys in this class and it has shown them my ceiling is very high. They’re banking on my potential. In 10 years, I’m still going to be 28.
Because you’re so young, did you consider staying another year at Oregon even though you’re considered a Top 20 talent now?
TB: For a while, my dad and I talked about it. I was undecided and I hadn’t signed an agent. After a couple weeks, we realized it would be best to make the decision to make the one I needed to make for the next chapter of my life.
I remember watching the video you made when you first announced you were going to Oregon. How did you end up on this project?
TB: They actually reached out to me. I had seen Thon Maker do a video about going to to the NBA and I was the first high school player they worked with at Bleacher Report. It took a long time to do it, honestly. It was about 12 hours of filming but the video was less than a minute.
What do you think of the core that the Ducks have for next season?
TB: I think they’re going to win the Pac-12. That team is going to be very good next year. I’m really excited, I’ll be following the young guys like Bol Bol and Louis King and guys like that. I’m also really excited about the guys that I played with like Kenny Wooten and Victor Bailey Jr. and see how they step up. I’m going to be rooting them on and I know damn well they’re going to make it to the tournament.
There is growing talent at that program. You have potential to start the “fraternity” of Oregon basketball players in the NBA who did not get a chance play together, like Duke and Kentucky have now. Does that interest you?
TB: Of course! Once a Duck, always a Duck. During the season, [Indiana Pacer guard] Joe Young called to talk with the team. I played against [Memphis Grizzlies wing] Dillon Brooks when I was in high school. They’re very good basketball players. I want to be a role model for these dudes coming after me and I want to be able to have players reach out to me. I’m always there for the guys and show them things I didn’t know. I want to give them the best advice possible and lead them in the right direction. Teaching really just comes from experience and I want to show them the way and help them a lot. I can teach them about agents, general managers. You pick things up from the NBA draft workouts and interviews.
Off the court, what are some of the other things you are interested in? Besides basketball, how else do you like to spend your time?
TB: I want to get into sports broadcasting, actually. I’m a young player and I pray to God that I have a long career on the court. But even when I do finish playing, I’m going to have a lot of years after basketball. I’d like to work on my degree once I get settled taking online classes. I want to get a degree in either communication or journalism.
I’m also a huge fan of the Call of Duty video game. I’ve been playing since I was like seven. I love watching movies, too. I love going to Top Golf. I am really huge on bowling. I think I go once a week with my best friend.