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Nevada Players Go All-Out to Try and Keep Jordan Brown in Reno

Last week Kentucky fans got a bit of recruiting news that caught their interest – as Evan Daniels reported that Kentucky was one of many schools interested in Nevada transfer Jordan Brown.

The 6’11 Brown is a former McDonald’s All-American who never really found his niche in Reno this season, and following the departure of head coach Eric Musselman to Arkansas seemed intent on moving on to another location. Honestly, that wasn’t all that different from the rest of his teammates. As of a week ago, basically every player on the Nevada roster had put their name in the transfer portal and Brown was no different. And as I told you last week I thought there was a real chance that Brown would in fact leave Nevada, with Kentucky serving as a realistic landing spot.

Yet over the weekend, something interesting happened – and it was something that might make it more likely Brown returns to Nevada next season than I’d originally anticipated.

For starters, a couple other Wolf Pack players have announced they will remain at the school. That includes the leading returning scorer from last season (a kid named Jazz Johnson), as well as the school’s top recruit for 2019-2020, junior college All-American Eric Parrish. Then on Saturday morning, Jalen Harris, a transfer who is expected to be the team’s starting point guard decided to return as well.

So why does that matter for Brown? It’s because after those three announced they would return, they put on an all-out blitz to keep Brown in Reno. They even went so far as to go meet with him in his hometown of Roseville, California on Saturday.

And since it’s 2019, they of course documented it all on social media, with their own catchy hashtag “OperationPackBack.”

Below are a few posts from Saturday. And while Brown isn’t pictured in any of them, Roseville is his hometown, and it’s clear that they were in town to see him. To the credit of the Nevada players, it is abundantly clear that they are doing everything they can to keep the core of the team together after three straight NCAA Tournament appearances under the previous coaching regime.

Now it will be interesting to see whether this all works or not.

Frankly I’m not sure that being re-recruited by his teammates will have all that much impact on Brown’s decision. In the end, what will matter is something very simple: As a former McDonald’s All-American, he clearly wants to get to the NBA, and get there as fast as possible.

And that’s what his recruitment will come down to. Which path will get him to the NBA faster: Having to sit out a year at another school and hope that they turn him into a pro in the 2020-2021 season? Or playing next year at Nevada, and hoping that he can evolve into an NBA prospect under Steve Alford?

So ultimately I’m not sure how much the player’s decision to meet with Brown will have on him, but it obviously won’t hurt in trying to get him back to campus. It’s also made me wonder if it’s more likely now than it was, say a week ago, that Brown does in fact return to Nevada. Had you asked me last Thursday, I would have said (and did say) that I thought it was almost certain that Brown would leave for another school. But after this weekend, when his teammates went out of their way to show him what a priority he is, I think it’s more likely somewhere in the neighborhood of 50/50 or so that he decides to leave at all.

In the end, of Brown does stay at Nevada, it probably won’t be because of any incredible recruiting pitch by Alford. But instead it will be because of the push from his teammates and the opportunity to continue to play next season without having to sit out.

What happens next remains to be seen.

Article written by Aaron Torres

Aaron Torres is covering football and basketball for KSR this season after four years at Fox Sports. Follow him on Twitter @Aaron_Torres, Facebook or e-mail at [email protected] He is also the author of the only book written on the Calipari era, “One and Fun: A Behind the Scenes Look at John Calipari and the 2010 Kentucky Wildcats.”

14 Comments for Nevada Players Go All-Out to Try and Keep Jordan Brown in Reno

  1. Ez21
    5:36 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

    Will the NCAA not grant waivers for kids to leave after their coach leaves them? They should if they don’t.

    • ScottGreene22
      5:53 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

      They are allowed to transfer

    • Ez21
      9:54 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

      Well duh of course they’re allowed to transfer. I asked about sitting out a year.

    • Han
      6:57 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

      They can apply for a waiver, but since the NCAA at least pretends to be about the Student part of Student Athlete, they expect players to be at a school for more than just the coach. And a lot of them are.

  2. Megan
    5:38 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

    Do players who transfer because the coach has left still have to sit out a year? Or is there a waiver granted because of their circumstances?

    • ScottGreene22
      5:53 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

      Yes he has to sit a year

    • runningunnin.454
      6:25 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

      There was a proposal to allow the player to transfer without restriction if the coach left; but, it did not pass.
      Waivers are granted in such cases; but, there is inconsistent and disparate treatment, if you know what I mean.

    • Han
      6:59 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

      They have to sit out unless they’re granted a hardship waiver (like if they move closer to home for family reasons) or if there’s a situation like the coach was abusive and they want to leave without being penalized.

      Just the other day, they created a new rule where players who are recruited, enroll during the summer, and then have the coach leave before the season can transfer without sitting out. Only applies to those incoming players, though. Like if Cal quit or was fired in August, all of the freshmen who have already been in summer school could transfer immediately if they want to.

  3. Matt10
    9:59 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

    A great story, no matter the schools involved. Thanks for sharing. The twitter posts are great, especially the one with their shadows. Very clever! Probably will have an impact. Everybody wants to be wanted.

  4. satcheluk
    6:53 am April 23, 2019 Permalink

    How do college kids afford to fly out on a whim like that? I can from a family with money, so if I asked maybe, but I didn’t have cash like that in the bank and I worked.

  5. 1IH
    8:39 am April 24, 2019 Permalink

    In RE: to transfer when coach leaves issue
    NCAA university presidents got together and collided against the coaches and the kids. They voted that kids can’t leave to serve two purposes, one to jeep coaches from being able to get more money vs leaving for another job and two to keep the kids from following coaches. Life is about relationships, if the NCAA didn’t collude then the coaches & kids would run the NCAA and not the universities.

    • 1IH
      8:40 am April 24, 2019 Permalink

      *colluded (damnyouautocorrect)

  6. 1IH
    8:41 am April 24, 2019 Permalink

    *leave without sitting I am was inferring