Once again, a five-star talent is set to suit up on the Forty Acres, as Shaka Smart’s latest prized recruit comes in the form of local Vandegrift star forward Greg Brown, who announced his pledge to the Texas Longhorns on Friday afternoon.
Brown’s decision to remain close to home came over a number of prominent options, including Auburn, Memphis, Michigan, and Kentucky, which rounded out Brown’s top five list. Though Brown had long been considered a Longhorns lean, the door for other legitimate pushes was opened when uncertainty surrounded Smart’s future in Austin — an issue that received clarity only weeks after Brown told 247Sports, “If Shaka keeps his job, I’ll most likely be going there.”
Shortly after Texas Athletic Director Chris Del Conte provided his vote of confidence in Smart for the 2020-21 season, all 13 of Brown’s Crystal Ball picks favored the Horns, and it seemed as if Brown to Texas was as close to a done deal as it could be without the hyper-athletic forward actually uttering his commitment.
However, once Texas all but solidified itself as the team to beat among the collegiate ranks, the G League came knocking, with Brown reportedly receiving an offer of $300,000. For obvious reasons, including the uncertainty surrounding the 2020-21 season amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, there was some sense that the G League was more of a threat to lure Brown away from Austin than any high-major program across that country had proven to be.
Yet, despite more than a quarter of a million reasons to pursue the G League’s professional path to the NBA, half a decade of recruiting efforts on the part of Smart and his staff proved fruitful, as Brown elected to don burnt orange for what will likely be his lone season on the Forty Acres — Bleacher Report ranks Brown as the 10th-best prospect eligible for the 2021 NBA Draft.
So in a decision that he said came down to the final hour, why did Brown ultimately elect to take his talents to the Forty Acres, as opposed to the G League?
“Just leaving a legacy at UT,” Brown told ESPN’s Marc Spears during his Instagram live segment.
“They were the first college to offer me so we just built a very great relationship,” Brown added. “I thought it was just best for me and my family to stay home.”
Now the lone member of Texas’ 2020 class — the current roster landscape presents only one available scholarship — Brown becomes the fourth five-star talent to sign to Smart in Austin, joining Andrew Jones (2016), Jarrett Allen (2016), and Mohamed Bamba (2017).
A McDonald’s All-American and the Texas Gatorade Player of the Year, the 6’9 Brown averaged 26.1 points, 13.2 points and 3.5 blocks, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game as a senior. In 121 high school appearances, Brown tallied 99 double doubles, totaling 3,007 points, 1,493 rebounds and 476 blocks.