The Evolution of Chris Braswell.

I think we all knew Chris Braswell was good. I think we all knew he could play better than he did last year, especially with the constraints he played under last year.

I had said at the start of the year, we could see a 20/10 type season from him. And he’s not far off (17/9). But the most impressive thing about Braswell is his all around game and how much it has improved.

We had a guy coming into the year that was a career 45% shooter who averaged 1 assist, less than a block and less than a steal a game. This year? He’s averaging 63%, 2 assists, two blocks and a steal. Now, some can say it is because of having another option in the paint or him not having to carry the load all game, but Bras is playing more minutes per game than he ever has in his career. His conditioning is better and he’s a much stronger defensive presence while fouling less in more minutes than he did the year before.

On top of that, Bras has extended his game past the three point line. I know we’ve had a lot of PFs that drifted to the line, but Bras is doing it less than once a game, but when he does he hits it.

Of course, the good with the bad, his TOPG have gone up considerably. But, if he keeps his numbers up like this, we could have a First Team All Conference player in the A-10 for the first time ever I believe.

I know it is easy to get caught up in guard conversations, talk of what players will be here, etc. But I think we need to highlight this, Bras is on pace for a special season. We all know he is good, but right now, he is great. Our two losses this year can be directly correlated to Bras being sick.

The best part of all of this is he still has one more year left.

To me this is proof of coach Major’s ability to develop post players. I like it.

Good post, PB. I think 20/10 is certainly attainable for Braz this year and should be one of his season-long personal goals. I can’t help but think that the SIZE KING is able to get him the ball a few more possessions per game because Henry, Mayfield, and EVic can see over defenders a little more easily. We are getting him the ball in the flow of the offense, and it is great to see that when he posts-up and demands the ball, we are able to give him the touches.

Last year, there were so many times when he would have position and just be PLEADING for the ball and we couldn’t get it inside and his body language on the court reflected that. This year, he seems more confident, is shooting a good FT clip, and his body language and hustle is at an all-time peak.

The other thing, as you mentioned, is how few fouls he is picking up. This is the most underrated improvement in his game. I think the coaches have really helped him focus on standing his ground and playing hands-up D, taking fewer gambles on blocked shots and letting the ball come to him. He has to know that he is our best player and we tend to go as he goes. Therefore, his ability to play valuable minutes at critical points in the game due to a low foul count is going to help us keep momentum and plateau later in the season rather that run the peaks and valleys we tend to be (in)famous for.

Cheers, Braz. Now lets handle Coppin State and Miami. Two chances for our team to make a statement before a tough road stretch.

[quote=“Powerbait, post:1, topic:26057”]Of course, the good with the bad, his TOPG have gone up considerably. But, if he keeps his numbers up like this, we could have a First Team All Conference player in the A-10 for the first time ever I believe.

I know it is easy to get caught up in guard conversations, talk of what players will be here, etc. But I think we need to highlight this, Bras is on pace for a special season. We all know he is good, but right now, he is great. Our two losses this year can be directly correlated to Bras being sick. [/quote] Agreed, Braswell is having a very good year so far. I don’t think we’ve faced many teams with tough inside players, but then how many will we really face later this year? Xavier, Memphis, St. Bonnies, St. Joe’s, and Saint Louis? He could have a dominating year.

I believe both Withers and Alexander were first team all-conference in the first year in the A10, but after that I don’t think any Niners have made it.

A part of me would like to see Bras get angry and slam dunk on top of some heads. Then the realistic side of me realizes we wouldn’t have him if he routinely slam dunked on top of heads.

We can’t compete in the A-10 without him.

He’s going to get a big challenge from Miami.Their Center,Johnson I believe,just returned from an injury and had a big game off the bench.Had something like 15 pts. and 5 blocks and a bunch of rebounds…And Memphis…wow,very,very athletic.

We couldn’t compete vs. the Southland Conference without him. Nobody was a bigger detractor of his last year than me. He is playing faster, tougher, and smarter. He is absolutely the MVP of this year’s team.

We can beat the Miami team I watched play yesterday. Their center is on the heavy side, if Chris hustles back on offense he can get a lot of easy points and trips to the foul line.

I want to give credit to SIZE KING and the rest of the staff but I think Chris Braswell himself deserves the bulk of the accolades. He struggled last year without Spears and later Jones to take heat off him on offense. He struggled on defense knowing that two first half fouls meant doom for the team. He looked frustrated on the court and people even speculated he might move on after the season. It was certainly plausible discussion.

Fast-forward to this fall and I see a completely different kid. I see the growth of Fr. Chris Braswell straight to Jr. Chris Braswell and leaving So. Chris Braswell in the dust. He looks more focused and he looks like he’s dropped some ‘baby fat’ and replaced it with more muscle.

Growth of a talented kid into a man. Great response to adversity. Hat’s off to you, Braz.

We need to get him to the postseason.

“The best is yet to come.” - Johnny Mathis

Maimi’s center is a load, but he’s also carrying a lot of dead weight, having just returned from that injury. He’s powerful, but not in shape.

I think the most impressive aspect of his game is that they are keyed on stopping him on defense and avoiding him on offense, yet he still makes his presence felt in a big way on both ends.

I also think everyone involved deserves some credit. Bras for doing the work to get himself to this level and the coaching staff for putting him in a position to excel. Bras has faced double teams all season and as he’s learning to pass out of them or to make a move before they collapse, he’s getting better and better. He’s been matched up with good interiors (EZU’s center was their only legit player) and he’s been the best interior player on the floor every night.

There isn’t a team on our schedule I think we can’t beat. He’s the reason. When you have a guy who is a double double threat and will finish over 60% of his shots, you have an anchor to keep your team in every game.

Hopefully, his numbers are just a precursor to what we’ll get later this year.

For Bras to continue his excellent season, we need to keep JB involved in games. If he’s taking shots, he has to be guarded. If he’s not, teams will collapse their PF and C on Bras to slow him down.

Agreed. It’s one of the classic debates on here, how much do you credit the coaching staff and how much do you credit the player himself. On the one hand you have Braswell. On the other hand you have Sherrill.

Regardless, Braz has progressed, which is fun to watch. As already mentioned, his improvement with not fouling as often is huge and probably most under appreciated. His numbers, even though he has been doubled team, may be a little inflated based on the competition. But he’s still on pace for a great season and the elusive 1st team all conference. Speaking of when’s the last time we’ve had a 1st team all conference…when’s the last time we’ve had a post player shooting close to 65%!!!

Bras has faced double teams this season, but the truthof his development wont come out until he goes up against quality big men and shot blockers like CJ Aiken @ St Joes.

I’m interested to see how that plays out.

Wouldn’t shock me at all if Bras has his worst game of the year against Aiken. That’s not a knock at Bras at all though. Aiken, in my opinion, is a top 3 post defender in the nation.

The A10 has pretty weak bigs this year though. Michael Eric is good for Temple, but who knows if he’ll be 100% after returning from his injury. Frease is solid, but not a star. Aiken is very good. I would love to have a player like him on our team to put beside Braswell.

Chris has a legit chance at being the top scoring big man in the league this year. Wouldn’t shock me at all to see him named to First Team A10.

great thread and it’s his Birthday today! HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRAS!

I think Bras’s growth is due to multiple things. He has a ton of talent, which we all saw his first yr. I think major has done an great job of building on those skills. I also think Bras has benefited from a more stable team environment - no Shamarr, Shamari, Phil etc. The bigger guards are doing a better job of getting him the ball in position than what we had last year. So the Bras we see this year is the because of all kinds of things, but I agree with the post above - it is mostly because of the work that Chris himself has put in.

Keep up the good work big fella!

The biggest thing for me with Bras, is that he has stayed out of foul trouble in games for the most part this year. (knocks on wood)

Last season, it seemed like he was always getting meaningless fouls early in the game and it handicapped us when he had to sit. Now it seems like he realizes when to be aggresive and is getting called for fewer fouls. That leads to more minutes, more quality minutes, and he stays in the flow of the game. We all saw what kind of team we are without him, and I would think that opposing coaches are going to go at him and try to take him out of the game.

I loved the stare down into the camera for the Davidson game. I like that Braz is getting confident!