When Brittany Brown departed for the bright lights of Atlantic Coast Conference play in 2013, no one questioned the impact she’d make in garnet and gold. The 5-foot-8 Choctaw graduate wasn’t just a gifted scorer who’d made a living on step-back 3s and attacking the rim. She wasn’t simply a combo guard that dished out dimes and an above average rebounder for the position. Nor was she was only classified as a lockdown defender, as evidenced by her nearly seven steals a game as a senior. Her game — celebrated with a pair of all-state and Daily News Player of the Year nods and the Daily News Female Athlete of the Year honor — was as complete as any highly prized, four-star recruit.
So it should come as no surprise that two seasons into her tenure at Florida State University, the hype has been validated for the starter for the 17th-ranked, 18-2 Seminoles.
And, revisiting her award winning local ties, the hype has led to yet another honor: the 2015 All Sports Association Female Collegiate Award.
“I was shocked,” said Brown, whose Seminoles upset fourthranked Louisville on Thursday night. “I had no idea I was even in the running. I’m definitely thankful for that.”
And FSU is thankful to have such a game-changer.
It took her just 3 seconds into her freshman season opener to notch her first points on a layup, and she hasn’t looked back since. She broke FSU’s freshman single-season record for steals with 78, the fourth most in the program’s history en route to winning the Alicia Gladden Defensive Player of the Year award.
She totaled 13 double-figure games en route to nine points a night, adding 3.8 rebounds. Most importantly, in her first NCAA tournament game she had eight points, three steals and four boards to help lead 10th-seeded FSU to a 55-44 upset of No. 7 Iowa State.
“It was a huge first experience seeing the NCAA tournament up close,” said Brown, who led the Indians the year before to the state title game. “It was a pretty good environment, definitely something I’ll remember.”
She’s taken that momentum into this season, where she’s improved on nearly every advanced metric for the surging Seminoles. Starting all 20 games, the sophomore is averaging 7.6 points on 41 percent shooting from the floor, 31 percent from beyond the arc and 78 percent from the line, all significantly up from last season.
She’s also chipping in a teamhigh 1.9 steals, 4.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists a night.
“I think my game has changed a little this year,” she said. “I had to get my shot better … and right now my role is rebounding and defending. “I’m just trying to take care of the ball. The scoring will come.”
As for her goals for the Seminoles this season, who recently ended Duke’s 36-game ACC win streak, in typical Brittany Brown fashion she’s thinking big.
“We definitely want to be one of the top five programs and win an NCAA championship and ACC championship. Those are the goals, but we’re still taking it game by game. Our focus is always the next opponent.”
Even so, she still finds time to keep track of second-ranked Choctaw, led by father Don and featuring younger sister Gabbie. “I’ve caught a few games this year, especially with my younger sister playing.
“I’m definitely keeping track, but they usually just want to talk about how I’m doing.”