April 13, 2024

Marist’s Stephen Brown is without doubt one of the high recruits in Illinois within the 2026 class. The 6-foot-8 sophomore ahead already has affords from Illinois and Miami.

However Brown doesn’t get caught up within the highlight or get too huge of a head. His coaches be certain of that.

“It’s probably not an enormous deal as a result of my coaches inform me on daily basis that I suck,” Brown stated. “They push me tougher and tougher to show myself.”

Brown is displaying that he positively doesn’t “suck.” He scored 17 factors, pulled down seven rebounds and performed an enormous defensive function Friday evening because the visiting RedHawks earned a 63-48 East Suburban Catholic Convention win over Marian Catholic in Chicago Heights.

Darshan Thomas additionally had 17 factors and 7 rebounds for Marist (18-4, 7-2), which avenged a 71-60 loss on Dec. 8 at dwelling to the Spartans. Achilles Anderson added eight factors and Marquis Vance contributed six factors and eight rebounds.

James Bullock Jr. poured in 21 factors and added eight rebounds for Marian Catholic (14-8, 7-3). Zack Sharkey scored 11 factors and Delan Davis chipped in with 9.

Brown confirmed off versatile recreation Friday evening. He knocked down a 3-pointer and a number of other different bounce pictures whereas additionally scoring inside persistently.

“I’ve been engaged on it on daily basis in apply,” Brown stated of his exterior shot. “Coach (Brian Hynes) retains pushing me on daily basis. Even when I’m lacking, he simply tells me to maintain capturing and he retains me assured.”

Hynes is aware of Brown has had large expectations surrounding him since he cracked the beginning lineup final season as a freshman — and for much longer than that.

“He’s been coping with that since he was in fifth grade,” Hynes stated. “I feel it’s my accountability simply to sort of be certain I’ve my arm round him.

“I can’t think about what it’d be wish to be that needed and talked about at that age, so we simply need him to do not forget that he’s cherished, we’re his household, and all that issues is what goes on in our locker room. His teammates love him.”

Thomas, who transferred in from Fenwick, is in his first season as Brown’s teammate.

“Enjoying with Stephen is wonderful,” Thomas stated. “He’s a younger child who’s received loads of vitality, and he’s not a egocentric child. He’s going to cross you the ball. He’s going to do what must get executed.

“His vitality bounces off everyone on the group.”

Brown was a serious difference-maker defensively towards Marian. Down 16-10 after one quarter, Marist unleashed a 1-3-1 press and took management of the sport, outscoring the Spartans 26-4 within the second quarter.

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On the high of the press, Brown received his hand on a number of balls and wreaked havoc.

“We’ve received a very good athlete on the high of the 1-3-1,” Hynes stated. “It’s arduous to get round him. And I feel he actually likes it.”

Marist’s Stephen Brown (5) takes a jump shot as Marian Catholic's Zack Sharkey (22) defends during an East Suburban Catholic game in Chicago Heights on Friday, Jan. 26, 2024.

Marist was in management a lot of the approach, however Marian rallied inside 10 factors and appeared in place to chop it to eight with slightly below three minutes left when Brown got here seemingly out of nowhere to dam Bullock’s shot on a breakaway.

“I knew I needed to go get it,” Brown stated. “I couldn’t let it go in. I knew it might change the sport. I needed to get again, make an enormous cease and assist us win the sport.”

It was one other glimpse of Brown’s potential.

“He’s solely a sophomore and he already has these excessive main Division I affords,” Thomas stated. “His ceiling is unstoppable. I gained’t be stunned if I see him being a McDonald’s All-American, going to an enormous faculty, even being a lottery choose within the NBA.

“If he retains working arduous, the sky’s the restrict for him.”