Isaac Brown plans for experienced basketball team this season


Sean Marty / The Sunflower

Head coach Isaac Brown yells towards a player during the exhibition game against Missouri Southern State on Nov. 4, 2021 inside Charles Koch Arena.

From becoming an American Athletic Conference Champion in the 2020-2021 season to an early round exit in the conference tournament last year, head coach Isaac Brown has experienced the highs and lows of college basketball.

Brown and his recruiting staff brought in 12 new faces to their roster. 

“We got size,” Brown said. “That’s the number one thing we wanted to get out of the recruiting process. We wanted to be more athletic and we went out and got bigger, faster and more athletic guys.”

Some of those new faces include the nation’s No. 6 junior college recruit, Jaykwon Walton and an experienced veteran from Alabama: James Rojas. 

“Coach Brown is a great coach,” Walton said. “He’s a great person all-around, and I just wanted to be coached by somebody that trusts me.” 

Sophomore forward Quincy Ballard, a transfer, said Brown is a coach that is going to consistently make you a better player. 

“Like he’s gonna get on you,” Ballard said. “Not for a bad reason. Just to get you better. He’s really a great coach. We got a great relationship.”

The Shockers were picked eighth in the AAC Preseason Coaches Poll. 

“I think these guys are playing with a chip on their shoulder kind of like they did two years ago when we was picked seventh but you can’t worry about preseason rankings,” Brown said. 

Last season, the Shockers were ranked ninth out of 12 teams in the conference for their assist to turnover ratio. They had 336 total turnovers. Defensively, they ranked seventh in the conference for defensive rebounds by averaging 25.2 rebounds per game. 

Brown said he’s emphasized taking everything one game at a time. He also pointed out several key points to earn playing time this season – Defend at a high level, play with toughness, rebound and don’t turn the ball over. 

“I’m locking in their heads right now [that] the eight to 10 guys that are going to be on the floor are the guys who are going to defend,” Brown said. 

Brown said that his team has made improvements on outside shooting. He said they have been doing transition shooting drills and drills that involve shooting after missed jump shots to combat fatigue. 

“I think we are a better shooting team than we were last year,” Brown said. “I think we got multiple guys that can shoot the basketball.”