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Ronnie Brewer NBA Draft Scouting Report
by:
February 12, 2006
Strengths
Brewer is one of the most versatile players in college basketball A legit 6-7 point guard, he can control the tempo of the game, defend three positions, set up his teammates wonderfully and fill up every part of the stat sheet.

Brewer has all the physical attributes down pat. He's a very good athlete, extremely fluid, possesses an excellent first step, good leaping ability, superb body control and very good overall speed. He's more of a long jumper than he is a high jumper, and even though he might not wow you with his explosiveness on first sight, he grows on you with how well-rounded he is athletically and just how well he uses that athleticism to make plays. Brewer has an NBA-ready body, possessing good size and strength, enabling him to play any of the 1-3 positions. He has an outstanding wingspan and big, quick hands that he uses to come up with a couple of steals each game. It seems as if he can run around screens for days and never tire.

Offensively, Brewer is mostly a slasher and shot-creator thanks to his fantastic ball-handling skills. Being highly fluid and extremely intelligent, he can dribble the ball with purpose using either hand, allowing him to get into the lane almost whenever he pleases. He's extremely aggressive attacking the rim and is a great finisher once he gets to the basket, being very creative and having the strength, toughness and intelligence to either finish the play or get to the line. Brewer's game is not limited to only slashing, though. He can also score from behind the arc or by stopping and popping for the mid-range jump shot. He's very patient with the ball in his hands, letting the game come to him. Playing up-tempo and/or in transition is where he excels the most.

As you would expect from a legit 6-7 point guard, Brewer's court vision is superb. He understands how to feed the post and usually puts the ball exactly where his teammates want it. In terms of passing, he has the entire package: he can drive and dish, pass from static positions or be flashy and throw a pinpoint lob pass for an alley-oop from behind the three point line. He's extremely unselfish, almost to a fault at times, but really knows how to make his teammates better.

Defensively, Brewer usually guards the opposing team's best perimeter player and has all the tools in the world to be a shut-down defender; including strength, length, superb instincts, excellent hands and footwork. He has great reflexes and an amazing knack for anticipating what the opposing team will do next, being a constant threat in the passing lanes because of that.

Brewer's intangibles are excellent. He has an outstanding demeanor on the court and carries himself extremely well. He's a glue-type guy with endless energy that is willing to do whatever it takes to help his team go home with the win, having the kind of attitude you love to see from such a talented player. Despite the fact that he's a legit college basketball star, he has no problem doing the little things like taking charges and diving on the floor for loose balls. By all accounts he's an extremely hard worker that is constantly looking to improve his game.

Weaknesses
Brewer's weaknesses mostly revolve around his projected position in the NBA and the role he's currently being asked to play for his college team. People who didn't see much of him play much before his junior year might wonder where his point guard skills are since he doesn't handle the ball or set up his teammates as much as he did earlier in his college career. He would be ideal in a role similar to how Dwyane Wade plays in Miami or Manu Ginobili in San Antonio, but there aren't many teams who would allow him to do so.

In this, his junior season, Brewer has been more of a small forward as opposed to the playmaker he was in his first two seasons, but he's better when he has the ball in hands so he can create offense for himself and his teammates off the dribble.

His biggest weakness, and it's a huge one, is his shooting stroke. It is extremely ugly to the point that it's hard to even watch him shoot free throws without cringing. The sad thing is, it's not even his fault, and there isn't much he can do about it. He broke his arm as a child in a pretty gruesome accident and now cannot fully extend his right elbow. Because of this, his whole shooting stroke is flawed, although he actually shoots a decent percentage from behind the arc, more so in his sophomore season than as a junior. His effectiveness in this area suffers when he doesn't have much space to get his shot off, as his release is not very quick. He's probably a better shooter than his percentages as a junior indicate, mainly because Arkansas' methodical offense likes to grind it out and run out almost the entire shot clock more often than not.

In the pros, he should have a tougher time getting his shot off, and his draft potential might suffer because of that. He will have to work hard to improve the quickness on his shot release and expand his range, as opposing teams will scout this weakness and play off of it. He used to be a poor free throw shooter but improved by almost 10% this year to a very respectable 75%.

To become an even more versatile player, Brewer would be well served to add somewhat of a post-up game that would allow him to take advantage of his size if he's playing the point. He hangs out around the perimeter a little too much.

Brewer is very gifted in many areas, but does not quite have the mentality or skill-set of a go-to offensive player who can shoulder the offensive load and carry a team. This is very evident watching him play for Arkansas, a talented team that only made the NCAA tournament once in Brewer's three seasons there, never getting past the first round.

The fact that Brewer hasn't managed to win much has to be a bit of a concern, although just as much of the blame has to fall on the shoulders of young head coach Stan Heath. Heath has established very little hierarchy in the roles he's assigned his players and has been completely incapable of capitalizing on the talent he's recruited, especially with his frontcourt. Heath has insisted on an ugly, grind it out style of offense that most SEC coaches have grown accustomed to and have learned to defeat with relative ease. Heath also prefers to let his largely ineffective combo guards handle the playmaking duties instead of putting the ball in Brewer's hands to take advantage of his point guard skills. This has increased Brewer's scoring output, but in turn has made Arkansas an unbalanced team that doesn't play to it's strengths, especially down the stretch.

Competition
Brewer plays in the SEC West, and has made an immediate impact at Arkansas from day one. He started in 28 games as a freshman, putting up excellent numbers for his team: 12.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.0 steals for the year on 48.1 percent shooting from the floor, although mostly in a losing effort. He was considered the second best freshman in the SEC, just behind Brandon Bass.

As a sophomore Brewer improved tremendously and began to receive some well deserved national recognition for his all-around versatility and skills. His team won 13 of its first 14 games of the year (although mostly against cupcakes) but absolutely dismantled in SEC play and lost 11 of their next 16. Arkansas declined their bid to the NIT and was widely rumored to be suffering from extremely poor team chemistry.

As a junior Arkansas was widely expected to make a strong run at the NCAA tournament and possibly even do some damage considering the type of talent they have on their roster. That never really materialized and it looks like they will once again be headed towards an NIT bid. Brewer was moved to the SF position this year and has improved his scoring output but seen his shooting percentages and assists drop.




Outlook
Brewer appears to be a lock to enter the draft after his junior year and has made a pretty strong case for himself to be considered a lottery pick. He is not a sure-fire contributor early on by any means, as his success will largely depend on the team that drafts him, the coach he plays for, and especially his role on the floor.



Facts
Has basketball in his blood. The son of Ron Brewer, a former NBA player and NCAA All-American (also at Arkansas) who was part of the famed Triplets with Sidney Moncrief and Marvin Delph, that led the Razorbacks to the 1978 Final Four.

His mother was also a basketball player at Arkansas.

 


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