Vanderbilt Basketball announced Tuesday that senior Clevon Brown had officially received a medical redshirt for the 2019-2020 season and would be granted an extra year of eligibility. While this outcome was widely expected, the news is still significant and very welcome for a team that otherwise looked to have limited post depth next season.
“We’re really excited that Clevon has been granted an extra year of eligibility and would like to thank our entire support staff for their diligence in helping to make this come to fruition,” Coach Stackhouse said, per vucommodores.com. “Clevon was beginning to establish himself as a leader on both ends of the floor before his injury and I look forward to him continuing his personal development on and off the court.”
Brown started all nine games he played as a senior until injuring his knee in the Liberty game. The timing was unfortunate for both the team and for Brown, who looked like a new player under Coach Stackhouse’s system. Brown was easily playing the best basketball of his career before his season was cut short averaging 9.0 points, and a team leading 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks (tied for fourth in the SEC at the time), almost tripling his averages of 3.3 points and 2.8 rebounds per game as a junior. He also showed significant improvement from three-point range, hitting 38.46% of his attempts.
With Brown returning, he would seem to have the inside track to return to his starting role in the low post. In his absence, several players were pressed into increased roles.
Ejike Obinna became the primary center, starting 15 games after coming off his own redshirt season. While still raw, he managed to show flashes of improvement and the experience should help him heading into next season. They will be joined in the low post by Rice transfer Quintin Millora-Brown, who sat out the season but earned rave reviews for his play in practice. Millora-Brown proved himself to be a reliable scorer in the paint as a freshman at Rice, averaging 7.2 points while hitting an impressive 59.8% of his shots. He also averaged 5.9 rebounds and 1.2 blocked shots and should help Brown provide some rim protection the team sorely lacked for most of this past season. Dylan Disu was forced into playing default center at times his freshman year. This often left him matched up against bigger, stronger players which in turn led to frequent foul trouble. With the “three-headed monster” of Brown, Obinna, and Millora-Brown at center, Disu should be able to thrive as a sophomore playing his natural position at power forward full-time.
Naturally, there will also be some attrition in the frontcourt. Matthew Moyer always gave tremendous hustle on the court but he could never find any traction offensively this past season. Both he and true freshman Oton Jankovic, who was not ready to play significant minutes his first year, entered the transfer portal. Vanderbilt is also still in the mix for 6’10” prospect Dylan Cardwell from Powder Springs, GA.
Meanwhile, Commodore fans celebrate Brown’s return, which gives Coach Stackhouse yet another option in his box of toys.