SE: Brown Provides Spark off the Bench

K-State head coach Bruce Weber calls Barry Brown a “gym rat.” The compliment is simple, yet it says a lot about Brown and his work ethic. 

The freshman guard from St. Petersburg, Florida, just can’t get enough time in the gym. He’s in the Wildcats’ practice facility whenever he gets the chance. 

“I usually go early in the morning and shoot, then I’ll shoot 30 minutes before practice starts and then afterwards I’ll go back at night to shoot with a manager,” explained Brown. “I do it to stay consistent. Earlier in the season, I’d have games where I’d score 17 points then come back the next game and I’d score three points. So, for me, staying in the gym consistently is going to help me to help my team.”

And so far, that additional practice time has helped him immensely.

Providing the Wildcats with spark off the bench, Brown has been one of K-State’s hottest shooters this season and has stepped up his game during Big 12 play. In the Wildcats’ four conference games this season, Brown has averaged a team-best 17.3 points per game while, overall, the freshman has led the team in scoring a team-high five times. 

His hot hand hasn’t gone unnoticed as, earlier this week, Brown garnered his first Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honor for his impressive performances against Texas and No. 2/1 Oklahoma, scoring 15 and 19 points, respectively. 

“It was a great accomplishment after playing good basketball to open my first Big 12 season; it’s a good thing to have on my resume,” said Brown. “It’s fun to be in this league. I think it’s the best league in the country, so it’s really special.”

In Tuesday evening’s 83-70 win over Texas Tech, Brown scored 15 points – his seventh-career game scoring in double figures – after starting the game a perfect 3-of-3 from behind the arc. His explosive impact off the bench fired up his teammates and, along with Brown, three other Wildcats – senior Justin Edwards and freshmen Kamau Stokes and Dean Wade – also began hitting the three. 

“It’s a lot of fun when you and all of your teammates are clicking on all cylinders, especially from the 3-point line,” said Brown, who has the second most three-pointers on the team with 23. “Hitting threes is just electrifying because the gym gets so loud. Against Texas Tech, Dean made threes, Justin, Kamau, me, we all were clicking and that’s always fun.”

While Brown may make the transition from high school hoops to Big 12 basketball look easy, he said it has taken some getting used to. Preparing for and playing tough, top-ranked teams week-in and week-out can be a challenge, but he’s finally getting into the groove of things. 

“I feel like I’m really getting to know what my team and what my coaching staff wants from me,” said Brown. “Even though we were 10 or 11 games into the season, I was having a little bit of jitters going into games, but now, I think the jitters are gone. I’m finally figuring out what my team needs. That’s why I’m getting in the gym and working on staying consistent with my shots.”

Along with his big-time scoring, Brown has also made an impact for the Wildcats in other areas, averaging 2.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.1 steals per game this year. 
“He can score. We knew that, but he’s also one of our better defenders,” said Weber. “He’s a little bit loose, but he’s very confident. He drives in there and makes big plays; he has made big plays against West Virginia and in the gut-check time against Texas Tech.”

Tomorrow afternoon, Brown and the Wildcats (11-5, 1-3 Big 12) will face their third top 25 team in five games. Continuing a two-game homestand, the Wildcats will play host to No. 17/18 Iowa State (12-4, 1-3 Big 12) at 3 p.m., tomorrow in Bramlage Coliseum. 

And despite the quick turnaround, you can bet Brown will be ready to go when his name is called. 

“He gives us a lot of energy coming off the bench, he’s always flying round,” said Wade about his fellow freshman. “He has a dead-on shot. When he comes in, if you set a screen and he sees the rim, it’s going to be in. He gives us a lot of spark off the bench.”

Tomorrow’s game will be aired nationally on ESPNU and can be heard via the K-State Sports Network with Wyatt Thompson and Stan Weber on the call.  

For more information on the Wildcats’ upcoming Big 12 matchup, please click here

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Kansas State will conclude its two-game home stand on Saturday night, as the Wildcats host TCU at 7 p.m. Saturday night’s game is K-State’s annual “Pack the House” game, as all tickets and select concession items are a $1.

K-State ended a four-game losing streak with a fourth quarter rally to defeat Oklahoma State, 47-44, on Wednesday. It was the sixth time this season that K-State has held an opponent to 49 points or less.

For a full preview of tomorrow’s women’s basketball game, please click here

After hosting its first three meets of the indoor season, the K-State track and field team will hit the road for the first time as it travels to Lawrence, Kansas, to compete in the KSU-KU-WSU Showdown this afternoon.

Field events at the meet are slated to begin at 3 p.m., followed by track events, which are set to begin at 5 p.m.

The Showdown will be the second running of the event between the three programs, the first coming last season where the Wildcats dominated both the Shockers and Jayhawks, scoring a total of 261 points en route to a meet win. Senior Akela Jones also won high-point scorer of the meet after she finished with 20 points. 

To continue reading about the Wildcats’ meet today, please click here

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