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first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 6, 2017 at 11:22 pm Contact David: [email protected] As Endicott men’s basketball’s Keith Brown strolled into Babson College’s Staake Gymnasium on Nov. 19, he popped on his headphones, headed into the locker room and began his pregame routine. Only this time it was different. His unranked Gulls were set to tip off against Division III reigning national champions and then-No.7 Babson.Brown, the team’s leading scorer, knew he needed an unprecedented performance.“You could see it in warmups, all of his shots were going in,” teammate Mathew Catizone said. “There was just a different vibe about him, you could tell he was in the zone.”Fresh off a career-high 38 points in the season opener versus Regis the night before, Brown did what nobody expected him to do: Top himself. The Pelham, New Hampshire, native poured in 45 points, shooting 10-of-15 from beyond the arc. After each shot, the guard gave a stone cold look while his teammates went wild from the bench, en route to a 90-80 upset.“My teammates trust me when I shoot the ball,” Brown said about his play this season. “So far, it’s working.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Babson game was a statement win for the Gulls (4-2, 2-1 Commonwealth Coast), and it allowed Brown show off his explosive scoring ability, an opportunity he couldn’t get last year because of a stacked senior class.Brown’s freshman campaign was a quiet one. He averaged 9.1 points per game, the fourth highest mark on the team, and came off the bench “mostly as a catch and shoot kind of guy,”he said. Then-seniors Kamahl Walker, Max Motroni and Daquan Sampson were the team’s main scorers and ball handlers, which meant opportunities for Brown to thrive were limited.“He came into a rotation that was more solidified,” head coach Kevin Bettencourt said. “So his role fell into being mostly just a shooter.”The Gulls finished the season 24-7 and received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after losing to conference rivals Nichols College in the CCC tournament final, 67-64. Endicott, led by Walker and Motroni, defeated Salisbury University and Nichols in the first two rounds before suffering a 89-60 season-ending loss to Middlebury College in the Sweet 16. Brown’s impact in the tournament was minimal, as he averaged 19 minutes and 7.7 points per game.Going into his sophomore season, Brown, the team’s top returning scorer, needed to lead the team. He always knew he was a good shooter, Brown said, but it was up to him to become a more complete player. Over the summer, he worked tirelessly on shooting off the dribble, moving without the ball and passing. The type of commitment he showed to improving his game over the summer helped him become a great player, Bettencourt said.“That’s the biggest difference for Keith this season,” Bettencourt said. “He’s developed other aspects to his game outside of shooting.”The Gulls’ season opener versus Regis on Nov. 18 was Brown’s first chance to show off his newly polished game. The sophomore dropped a career-high 38 points on 26 shots (15 more than any other Endicott player), as well as serving as the team’s primary ball handler. The next night was his 45-point performance against Babson, a two-game stretch which earned him the DIII Men’s National Basketball Player of the Week. Once a role player coming off the bench, Brown had established himself as Endicott’s best player and one of the most explosive scorers in the country.In Endicott’s four games since playing Babson, Brown’s scoring average (26.2 points per game) has taken a slight hit, but he still ranks tenth in scoring in all of Division III. He makes 5.67 3-pointers a game, the second-highest mark in Division III, at a 52.3 percent clip. Most of Brown’s shots come from making space for himself and ball movement, he said, two of his focal points in training this past summer.In his first six games of the season, Brown has shown his game no longer consists of standing on the three-point arc and waiting for teammates to get him an open look. His shot-making ability, willingness to pass and off-ball movement has transformed him from a role player, into a Division III star. Commentslast_img read more