Monday, March 15, 1999

XU's Brown should join scoring elite

Muskies host Wake Forest in NIT tonight

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Byron Larkin, Tyrone Hill, Lenny Brown: By the end of Xavier's second-round National Invitation Tournament game tonight against Wake Forest, that's the way the Musketeers' all-time scoring list should read.

        Brown, a senior guard and four-year starter, needs two points to move into third place on XU's career points chart.

        Larkin and Hill are in Xavier's Athletic Hall of Fame and are the only players to have their jersey numbers retired.

        “That's pretty I good I guess, if you look at it from just scoring,” Brown said Sunday. “I think what Byron and Tyrone meant to this school is probably much more than I did.

        “They've accomplished a lot. Byron still works around here, and he's like a legend in this city. I don't see myself at that level. Tyrone Hill, his situation is self-explanatory. I don't consider myself at that level either.”

        Hill has been in the NBA since leaving Xavier in 1990. Now with the Philadelphia 76ers after a trade last week, Hill has also been an NBA All-Star.

        Brown already holds Xavier records for career steals (234), career three-pointers (219) and three-pointers in one season (87).

        The question: How does he fit into Xavier's basketball history.

        “That's an interesting point,” coach Skip Prosser said. “I think it will probably be best discussed a ways from now.”

        Said Brown: “I think I'm one of the better players to come through; I'm not going to say that I'm not. But stuff like that, you have to ask other people. What people will say about me a couple years after I'm gone? You'll get a better answer from those people than me.”

        Xavier has had 36 1,000-point scorers, and Prosser has been head coach or an assistant for 16 of them.

        “Jamie Gladden was a two-guard that I was with for four years and spent a lot of time recruiting,” Prosser said. “When (Lenny) passed Jamie Gladden (No. 5 on the scoring list), it was like, "Whoa,' because I think Jamie was a superstar.

        “That's a real tribute to (Lenny), how much he has worked on his game and also a tribute to his perseverance. It's been hard for him academically, socially, and yet he's persevered through all of that. The best day for him, in my opinion, is still going to be graduation day. I'm proud of him.”

        It seems like so long ago, but Brown contemplated leaving Xavier during his freshman year. He was miserable, felt he didn't fit in, didn't trust anybody and wanted out. When he went home to Wilmington, Del., for Christmas, he almost did not return.

        Brown calls signing with Xavier, then staying, “two of the biggest decisions I've made in my life, and two of the best ones.”

        “I know I've come a long way,” he said.

        One week after being left out of the NCAA Tournament, Brown said he feels no better about the situation.

        Prosser is over the disappointment and is expecting a tough game tonight.

        He compares Wake Forest to Rhode Island.

        “They have three things that really make them hard to defend,” Prosser said. “They're very strong inside; they're bigger and stronger than we are. And you can't cheat much because they shoot the ball so well.

        “And then, to top it off, they have a great player (Robert O'Kelley), who, when all else fails, can just make a play anyway. It's a challenge for us.”

        • When: 7 p.m. today

        • What: Second round, NIT

        • Where: Cincinnati Gardens (10,100)

        • Records: Wake Forest 17-13; Xavier 22-10

        • Next: Winner plays Princeton or North Carolina State • TV: None

        • Radio: WLW-AM (700)


        • 3-0: XU's record in postseason NIT games at the Gardens

        • 2: Common opponents this season (Temple and Virginia Tech; XU was 1-1 against the Owls, and Wake was 0-1; XU beat the Hokies twice, and Wake beat them once)

        1. Byron Larkin: 2,696

        2. Tyrone Hill: 2,003

        3. Anthony Hicks: 1,805

        4. Lenny Brown: 1,804

        5. Jamie Gladden: 1,780

        11. Gary Lumpkin: 1,462

        13. James Posey: 1,382

        22. Darnell Williams: 1,143