For the class of 2017, Pitt head basketball coach Kevin Stallings ventured to the Tilton School (Tilton, NH) to pursue big man Terrell Brown (6-foot-10 inches, 225 pounds), who later committed to the Panthers. The alma mater of current NBA players Nerlens Noel and Georges Niang, The Tilton School has a strong recent history of producing NBA talent. Within the last few weeks, the Panthers offered yet another Tilton School prospect, 2018 point guard Marcus Zegarowski.
Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke with Tilton School Assistant Basketball Coach Lucas Croteau to discuss his thoughts on Brown and his future at Pitt and learn about it more about Zegarowski.
Pitt fans have heard little about 2017 big man Terrell Brown. What can you tell fans about him and what was your assessment of his final season?
Terrell’s a stud. He’s very, very talented. For a guy his size to have the touch he has is really impressive. He actually, I think shot percentage wise, was the best from the three point line on our team this year. He didn’t shoot a ton of threes but I think he was shooting something like 56 percent from three point line. He can really stroke it from the outside, he has great size and a great feel for the game, so he’s going to be a great addition over there.
I think he needs to bulk up a little bit but he’s got pretty good athleticism and his footwork on the post is great. He has all the tools really, to be a real impact player in the ACC. It’s just a matter of building up that level and mastering, matching everything together. He’s a true talent.
Opinions on Terrell have varied. Some recruiting services list him as a power forward while others list him as a center. How would you classify him?
He’s kind of a hybrid between both. For us we run a four out offense, he played sometimes as a post player for us and dominated some games on the block for us but he can step out and shoot the three. So probably in the ACC he’s probably going to be more of a stretch four. He can definitely play with his back to the basket depending on the matchup.
Terrell will probably see early playing time. Is he considered a defensive presence?
Absolutely. He definitely altered a lot of shots for us. He was definitely our biggest player this year and he was somebody we relied on to protect the basket. I believe that in the EYBL (Nike Elite Youth Basketball) season before he came to us, his junior year there, I think he was right up there in shot blocks throughout the whole division. So he’s good, he’s got a great feel for it, he’s able to time things well.
Even though he might look a little bit thinner frame, he’ll battle. He’ll definitely play against bigger guys and he has no problem guarding them on the block, but he’s disciplined. He has an innate idea and mindset in being able to know where they’re going to make their move and how to defend it properly. So he’s talented, he’s very good.
Terrell is a player set to join the Pitt basketball program. Let’s look ahead to 2018. Coach Stallings and staff have offered your point guard Marcus Zegarowski. What can you tell Pitt fans about him?
I personally think Marcus is maybe the most underrated player in the country right now. I think he’s slowly starting to break out of that persona. He hasn’t had anywhere near as much interest as he should have during his junior year. He was by far one of the best players in the NEPSAC (New England Preparatory School Athletic Council) Double A. I’m not sure how familiar you are with the league but the NEPSAC, in my opinion, is the best high school basketball in the country. You play Brewster Academy, Putnam Sciences, and New Hampton School and all those guys. So it’s a super competitive league and he was the best player on the floor in I’d say 95 percent of our games. The greatest thing about Marcus is that he’s fun to be around. I love being around that kid, he and I have a lot of competitions individually between ourselves. We like to rag on each other. The kid is the most competitive player there is. He’s one of those kids that definitely hates to lose way more than he loves to him which, as a coach you love to see him. He is a true competitor to the core.
Is Marcus a pure point guard, a shooting guard or can he play either position
He has the ability to play both. I think he’s a pure point guard myself. He’s somebody that can really score the basketball, but if you gave him the choice, he loves to create for others and set them up for success. He’s certainly that rare breed where he has the ability to do what he wants but he would definitely rather be a play maker. He led our team in scoring, he averaged over 20 points a game for us. Marcus had games where he scored in the forties. The kid’s got a pure stroke and can really shoot the ball, he’s very good. He should be, I think a top hundred player, no doubt. Once the new evaluations come out this year.
Pitt has already offered Marcus a scholarship? What other programs are involved with him?
Minnesota, Penn State and Massachusetts have offered him a scholarship. I think Towson University may have offered as well. He has interest from Gonzaga. His interest is really growing quickly here, and as it should for sure.
Are Marcus and Terrell fairly close? Is there a chance Terrell could help secure a commitment from Marcus in the future?
They have a good relationship. Marcus is his own guy, a guy that loves the game, I think you want that. He’ll probably do his due diligence, they’ll see who’s showing a desire in getting him. He comes from great bones, his father Zack is somebody who loves hoops and is always involved in everything. Obviously his brother on our team now is a good influence, but his step brother Michael Carter-Williams, comes from a basketball family for sure.
Harry Psaros can be found on Twitter at @PittGuru