The former McDonalds All-American set the tone for the week with a 21 rebound performance in his first game in Portsmouth. Despite his team dropping their game in the consolation bracket, few players performed as well as Brockman. Though his height hurts his upside, he was easily one of the most interesting prospects from an NBA perspective at this years edition of the PIT.
Only measuring in at 6-7 without shoes, with a very underwhelming 6-7 ¾ wingspan, Brockman is clearly undersized for the power forward position, and he doesnt make up for it with elite athleticism. His 252-pound frame is his biggest asset from a purely physical perspective. Built like a tank, the former Husky loves to throw his weight around on the block, playing with great toughness and a high motor. Though hes not a great athlete, Brockman shows decent leaping ability for his size on the move, and could become an even better physical specimen if he continues to work on his athleticism. His size will always be one of the biggest knocks against him, making it that much more important that he maximize the other parts of his game.
Possessing an ideal frame to handle the rigors of the post in the NCAA, Brockmans collegiate numbers reflected his aggressive interior mentality as well as a shift in his role. After coming into his own during a sophomore season that saw him assume a major role in Lorenzo Romars offense, Brockman was one of the top scorers and rebounders in the PAC-10 as a junior. The emergence of freshman Isaiah Thomas limited his touches last season, but Brockman maintained his efficiency and actually improved his rebounding rate. His constant hustle has landed him amongst the top rebounders in the nation, and the sacrifices he made as a senior ultimately helped his team win the Pac-10, and advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Brockmans willingness to shift his role to help his team is a good sign for the bruising forward moving ahead, and it showed during the PIT. After getting almost half of his touches in the post during his last two seasons in Seattle, Brockman will need to earn his touches by working without the ball something he did very effectively all week. Using his great lower body strength to get leverage and gain position on the inside, he did a terrific job bullying his way into the lane. Finishing the week averaging 9 offensive rebounds per game, Brockman did most of his damage with flash cuts, duck-ins, and put-backs. Since his size will limit his back to the basket game on the next level, it was good to see him produce so effectively without the ball in his hands.
While Brockmans ability to create touches for himself was impressive, he didnt finish all that well at the rim, as he lacks the length and explosiveness to be very effective here. He needs to continue to diversify his offensive game to avoid being a liability, since his problems around the basket is very much an indication of the issues hell face against more athletic defensive players in the NBA. Brockman did attempt a couple of jumpers, but displayed the same flat mechanics that made him an inconsistent shooter during his days as a Husky. It will be important for him to develop his jump-shot to account for the decline in efficiency hes sure to endure in the paint.
Defensively, Brockman did a good job using his physicality to harass his man, getting away with more than he did during his days at Washington when he ranked amongst the most foul prone players in the NCAA. He gave up no ground in the post, showed average lateral quickness defending the perimeter, and effectively hedged the pick and roll on a couple of occasions. Not as dominant on the defensive glass as he was as an offensive rebounder, Brockman did a good job boxing out this week, and though he isnt the type of elite athlete that is going to explode across the lane to pull down rebounds, hes a very good defensive rebounder. He displays great hands and pulls down tough boards in traffic, which is important considering he doesnt provide much of a presence as a help side defender or create many turnovers.
Overall, this was a great week for Jon Brockman. He may have slowed down as the week went on, but he was easily one of the most productive players here. Making his ability to impact the game as a hustle player incredibly apparent to all the many NBA talent evaluators in attendance, Brockman likely helped his cause considerably, and may now have a chance to be drafted somewhere in the second round. Even if he doesnt hear his name called on draft night, hes the type of player who could easily endear himself to a coaching staff and make a roster in training camp. If not, there will be plenty of six-figure offers thrown his way from Europe.