Joe Davidson

Why McDonald's All-American Jordan Brown chose Nevada, and how coach Musselman reacted

Blue chip basketball recruit Jordan Brown, formerly of Woodcreek High School, recently wrapped his season at Prolific Prep in Napa.
Blue chip basketball recruit Jordan Brown, formerly of Woodcreek High School, recently wrapped his season at Prolific Prep in Napa. hamezcua@sacbee.com

The first school to offer Jordan Brown a basketball scholarship three years ago wound up landing the region's most intensely recruited prospect since Bill Cartwright in 1975.

A 6-foot-10 McDonald's All-American with deep Roseville roots, Brown on Friday morning picked Nevada as his scholarship destination, becoming the last five-star senior recruit in the country to commit.

It is considered the greatest recruit get for Nevada in any sport, which is testament to the influence and impact of basketball coach Eric Musselman, the one-time Kings and Golden State Warriors coach who in short order boosted a sagging Wolf Pack into a two-time NCAA Tournament team, including a Sweet 16 showing in March.

Musselman was so excited to receive the text confirmation of Brown's commitment that he jumped from his family couch in Nevada, setting down his coffee cup and racing through the house, his young daughter, Mariah, in tow. Musselman's wife, Danyelle Musselman, captured the moment on Twitter. (Musselman cannot formally comment on Brown until he receives a signed letter of intent.)

The 2017 Bee Player of the Year when he attended Woodcreek High School before his switch to Prolific Prep in Napa for his senior season, Brown narrowed his choice down to Arizona, California and Nevada. Brown quickly became a national recruit by the summer entering his junior year.

"I'm excited," Brown said Friday morning. "It was like the day before Christmas, anxious and ready. It feels really good. That was the first school to offer me, and they stuck with me through all of it, coach Musselman especially. He would text to talk about the school, about how he could utilize me in basketball, or to just check up on me. It's good to have a good rapport with your coach.

"I think we can be really good at Nevada. Not sure how other people see it, but we can shock people and make (an NCAA championship) run."

Brown figures to emerge as an immediate starter. He can score inside, handle the ball, run the floor and defend, much like the heralded Cartwright generations earlier. Cartwright became an All-American at USF, won three NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and is considered the Sacramento area's greatest player. Brown surely makes that revised list, too, with untold amount of games and years to go.

Brown averaged 21.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.8 blocked shots at Prolific Prep, a program geared to groom players for the upper-tier college game. He had 26 points and eight rebounds in the McDonald's All-American showcase, the third-most points by a California player in the 41-year history of the event.

Brown is rated as the top player in California, per 247Sports' composite rankings, and he is rated the No. 12 prospect in the 2018 Rivals150 list. Brown visited Nevada for the third time last weekend, on an unofficial visit. He visited Cal on Feb. 2 and also had official visits to St. John's, UCLA and Louisiana-Lafayette, the alma mater of his father, Dion.

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