Does UNLV still have a shot at local superstar Troy Brown?
All logic says no. This offseason’s coaching turmoil and the general instability surrounding the program has not been attractive to prospective recruits, and Brown has every elite school in the country bending over backward to court him. Duke, Kansas, Arizona, UCLA, Stanford and Oregon have all offered the 6-foot-6 guard, so he’s got options.
And yet, there was Marvin Menzies on Wednesday night, sitting in the stands at Durango High School, watching as Brown, the No. 8 player in the Class of 2017, led his team on the opening night of the NY2LA Summer Showdown. Sure, Menzies could have been there to watch any number of players—Brown’s Las Vegas Prospects squad and their opponent, Dream Vision, hoard most of the city’s top prep players. But it doesn’t appear Menzies has given up on Brown just yet.
And when asked about UNLV after the game, Brown left the door open just a crack for his hometown team.
“Right now my options are still open,” Brown said. “I’m still taking it into consideration. Even though I’m coming down to cutting my list, I would say that I still have an open mind to everything.”
Whether Brown is really still considering the Rebels or just playing nice to placate the locals, that appears to be all the opening Menzies needs to inject himself into Brown’s recruitment. Brown said Menzies first began reaching out to him in early June and that they’ve maintained regular contact since then.
Brown said he’s been surprised with how quickly he’s been able to build a relationship with Menzies and the UNLV staff.
“Coming in with them having a new coaching staff, I didn’t think I was going to get to know them very well,” Brown said. “But they’ve been very open to my process. They’ve been talking to me a lot and getting to know me as a person instead of just as a basketball player.”
As a basketball player, Brown would be an incredible addition to any college team. The Centennial product started every game for the USA U-17 squad at the FIBA World Championships last month and led the team in minutes while posting 10.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.9 steals per game. A player who can impact the game in so many ways would be a godsend for UNLV, which is in need of a serious talent infusion after so many players bolted in the wake of the disastrous 2015-16 campaign.
Is that the type of situation Brown would want to walk into as one of the nation’s most heralded college freshmen? Probably not—not when he can commit to Duke or Kansas or Arizona and be virtually guaranteed of playing deep into a couple NCAA tournaments before turning pro. But still, there’s that tiny opening, and Menzies has been known to pull off miracles in the past. Heck, he was declared dead as a candidate for the UNLV job twice in the spring, only to come back and seal the deal in the end.
Coming back from the dead is impressive, and landing a commitment from Brown might be an even longer shot. But don’t expect Menzies to give up anytime soon.