Did Wyoming Miss Out On a Local Basketball Recruit?



The UC-Santa Barbara Gauchos are very excited about their 2011 recruiting class and that includes a Wyoming product. 

In the recruiting process for Brown, assistant coach Matt Stock connected with the high school senior because of their joint upbringings in Wyoming — playing a significant role in snagging Brown away from the Wyoming flagship campus. "[Wyoming] tried to recruit him and they took a lot of heat for not getting him," Coach Williams said. "As [Brown] gets stronger, people are going to be like ‘How’d you get him?’

Taran Brown is 6-8 190lbs and hails from the razor city: Gillette, WY.  With his size he ends up switching between the small and power forward positions.  This article says that Wyoming took a lot of flack for not signing him which is not something I recall really happening.  Brown is certainly a legit prospect and ESPN rated him a 71 on their grade scale.

I'm sure Brown was recruited by Wyoming but he actually committed to UC-Santa Barbara back in October and signed during the early signing period.  So any recruiting would have happened under the Schroyer era and as a lame duck coach there was little he could do in the recruiting realm.   Even if Schroyer had stayed through the end of the season there is little chance he would have actually gotten a commitment from any players.

There was never any chance for Shyatt to even try and keep Brown who is the top local talent in state, since he wasn't hired till March 31st.  Brown averaged 19.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.1 assists as a senior.  He was also named the 2011 Gatorade Player of the Year in Wyoming. 

Here is his evaluation from ESPN:

Strengths:
Brown is a good athlete with a long wing span. He has range on his jump shot out to 20 feet and good elevation to shoot over the defense. Defensively, his length and athleticism allows him to challenge shots and gather rebounds outside of his area.

Weaknesses:
Taran is still figuring out how to play the game the right way right now. His ball handling and passing skills need to improve because they are loose.

Bottom Line:
Despite not having a good understanding of the game yet, he makes up for it with good physical tools. He is also very coachable which bodes well when he arrives at UCSB.

He has a similar build to Wyoming signee Larry Nance Jr. except that Brown is even skinnier.  Also Nance has solid ball handling skills since he started off as a point guard before sprouting several inches the last couple years.  With a quality coach in place who will be here for at least five years Wyoming can now utilize the early signing period to bring in talent earlier.  Talent from local schools or out of state will not have not missed any longer.

Even though it didn't work out for Taran Brown to become a Cowboy we still want to wish him the best of luck out there in California.  If he does well he could the famous Gaucho alum Jim Rome very very happy.

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