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Norm's first great player, I had him at #6 on my top

Posted on: September 9, 2020 at 13:14:31 CT
FIJItiger MU
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17.73 yrs
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Tigers of all time list.

Letterman - 1971, 1972, 1973

The 6'7 bruising forward from tiny Dixon, MO was as Norm Stewart put it “my first nationally prominent player.” He was a rare blend of power, speed, skill, and above all relentless effort. Brown would miss the first 8 games of is sophomore year recovering from a broken bone in his foot, and when he finally took the floor for the first time as a Tiger it was in Pauley Pavilion against the 4 time defending champ UCLA Bruins. Though Brown would score 14, MU would lose by 19. Brown and the Tigers would return to Columbia and in his home debut against OU he would score 23 in a 84-78 Tiger victory. MU would finish 9-5 in conference, good for second place, as well as 17-9 overall. Brown would avg 14.9 ppg and 9.3 rebounds on the year. He would finish second in the conference's Sophomore of the Year voting after placing 3rd in FG%, 7th in scoring, and 9th in rebounding in the Big 8.

Brown's junior season would mark the last for the Tigers at Brewer, and Brown would transition from forward to center and team with sophomore Al Eberhard to give MU possibly its best frontcourt ever. After wins against Michigan State and Arkansas, MU played in the Kentucky Wildcat's tournament in Lexington. Brown would score 23 points in the first half and MU went into halftime with a 2 point lead, poised for a monumental upset. Rupp would focus Kentucky on stopping Brown in the second half, and on the game's final play with a chance to tie a Brown drive drew contact and was called a charge…sealing a 83-79 Kentucky win. Brown's final tally was 34 points and 11 rebounds. After beating California in the consolation round, MU would enter the Big 8 holiday tournament and win it for the first time since 1954 on the strength of 18 points and 10 rebounds from Brown in the final against KSU. MU would rise to #15 in the polls. He would score 32 against NU. MU would face KSU for a shot at the league title, but despite 32 from Brown MU would lose 79-76. They would hold on to secure 2nd place in conference and for the first time since 1944 qualify for postseason play with an NIT bid. Playing in Madison Square Garden against hometown St. John's, MU held the lead for most of the game until Brown fouled out with 2:40 to play and MU lost 82-81 to end the season. MU finished the year at 21-6, the best winning % since 1930 and the first 20 win season in program history. They were 18th in the final polls, and had won the conference's holiday tournament and returned to the postseason. Norm's resurrection job was complete, and owed in large part to the individual play of John Brown. He avged 21.7 ppg (10th highest in program history) and 10.5 boards, 17 double doubles the 3rd most ever in MU history. He would be named First Team All Big 8, but in a greater honor was selected as a member of the US Olympic team. One week before departing to Munich, Brown broke the same foot he had broken before his sophomore season, and was not on the court when the US lost the controversial and historic gold medal game 50-51.

As a senior, Brown had reached the apex of his skills which allowed him to score 20 on virtually any night…and if angered or challenged much more. It was also the beginning of a new era in Tiger basketball, as MU moved out of Brewer and into newly completed Hearnes Center. Brown was the first Tiger to score a basket in the new arena, a jumper against Ohio. He would score 35 points and add 15 rebounds in a win over Purdue, then lead MU to a defeat of #15 ranked Ohio State. Against SMU Brown would again total 35 points, with none more important than the last as he grabbed teammate Steve Blind's airball as time expired and put it in the basket for a 74-73 MU win when the timekeeper forgot to reset the horn (time had most likely expired but the basket counted). MU would participate in the Tennessee Volunteer Classic, and win the title with Brown taking home MVP honors. MU stood at 8-0 and ranked #7 in the nation. MU would follow that title up with one from their own conference, winning the Big 8 Holiday tournament for the second year in a row. MU would move to 12-0 and #5 in the polls. In a matchup with OSU that MU easily won, Brown would have an off night and OSU star sophomore Andy Hopson would tally 17 points and 27 rebounds…leading him to boast that he was better than Brown after the game. A boast which was filed away for later. Brown would score 20 to lead MU 80-66 past first place KSU, but MU had incurred several losses and stood at just 6-4 in conference. MU would fall behind by 18 in Lawrence, but on the strength of Brown's 21 points and 21 rebounds MU fought back for a 79-63 victory. The game would move Brown into second place all time at MU in scoring, needing 24 to move into first place. OSU and Andy Hopson were next on the schedule, and Brown destroyed Hopson. He would have the record by halftime, dropping in 24 first half points to give MU a 14 point lead. The second half was more of the same for MU's new all time scoring leader as he finished with 41 points and 19 rebounds in a 79-73 win. On senior day (shades of former points leader Charlie Henke before him) Brown would exchange blows with NU's Don Jackson and be ejected from his final home game. MU would finish the regular season at 21-5 and earn their second straight invitation to the NIT. Against UMass in the opening round, despite one of Brown's finer performances of 35 points and 16 rebounds, MU lost 78-71. Brown would earn First Team All Conference as well as 2nd Team All American Honors, after avging 21 points and 11 rebounds a game.

Brown's scoring avg of 19.7 ppg is the third highest in MU history, and the highest of any three year Tiger. He finished with 1,421 points which is still 14th all time. His career rebounding avg of 10.0 is 4th all time. He lead MU to its first two 20 win seasons. He was selected with the 10th pick of the NBA draft and played 7 seasons in the league.
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John Brown donation - wu-tangtiger MU - 9/9 11:05:49
     For those that saw him play, what made him dominant? - Harvest MU - 9/9 16:19:59
          RE: For those that saw him play, what made him dominant? - MOKE MU - 9/9 17:56:43
     Good for him - what kind of business does he have?(nm) - alstl MU - 9/9 13:32:24
          Real estate I think (nm) - TigerFan92 STL - 9/9 14:41:22
               That's great. A lot of the guys who go pro aren't smart - alstl MU - 9/9 17:43:23
     Also here is a good article about his Olympic experience - FIJItiger MU - 9/9 13:17:54
     Norm's first great player, I had him at #6 on my top - FIJItiger MU - 9/9 13:14:31
     What did he do for a career after his playing career? - BigSlickTiger MU - 9/9 12:45:31
          RE: What did he do for a career after his playing career? - FIJItiger MU - 9/9 13:12:00
     RE: John Brown donation - oldtgr MU - 9/9 12:13:56
     RE: John Brown donation - MUKdC MU - 9/9 11:28:40
          Here are highlights of the game he became MU's career - FIJItiger MU - 9/9 13:13:03
     Super cool. Norm certainly recruited some great players... - Deputy Dawg MU - 9/9 11:15:24

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