Penn State Basketball Recruiting: Catching Up with Class of 2022 Guard A.J. Brown

By Vincent Lungaro on June 11, 2021 at 9:31 am
Class of 2022 prospect A.J. Brown
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No sooner had the NCAA recruiting dead period come to and end, Class of 2022 guard A.J. Brown was on campus for a visit with Penn State.

The visit was obviously a few weeks in the making, but nonetheless a strong indication of Micah Shrewsberry's and lead recruiter Aki Collins’ interest in the Orlando Christian Prep prospect. Brown received his Penn State offer back on April 13.

As we’ve detailed in a few of our recruiting updates in past weeks, Brown is the No. 16-ranked recruit in Florida for the ’22 class and the No. 16-ranked shooting guard in the country, per 247Sports Composite.

I caught up with him for a quick interview to get his thoughts on how the visit went, impressions of Shrewsberry and Penn State's coaching staff, his timeline for making a commitment decision, and more. 

Thanks to A.J. for taking the time to chat during what I’m sure is a busy time for him.

Let’s dive into the Q&A! 

How would you summarize your first visit to Penn State, what were some of the highlights for you?
“It went great. It was my first visit, so it was a great experience. They took me through the workout facilities, like their sandpit that they have. I got to tour the practice facility and the coaches’ offices. They actually brought in a couple alumni to speak to me and the other recruit that was there with me. He had actually just committed to Penn State [Class of 2022 guard Kanye Clary] this past week. That was cool.”

What about the staff has impressed you throughout this process? 
“Their transparency. They’ve been really honest with me about what to expect if I went there and how they’d put me into positions to be successful. Also, how they’d help me grow not only as a player, but a young man. That’s what has really stood out to me in my interactions with the coaches.”

More specifically about Micah Shrewsberry, what stood out to you about him?
“He’s been coaching for quite a long time and at a high level. He went to Purdue. He coached with the Boston Celtics for six years and coached some great players. He’s been around. Having the knowledge that he has, he’s great to approach with some questions that I have about to perfect my game or advice on certain things.”

You touched on this a little bit, but what’s been their vision for the program that they’ve pitched to you and how do you fit into that?
“How they want to play, I think I fit in well. How I can score the ball, my motor and my ability to play defense. I think I fit in well and definitely think they can put me into a position to be successful and help the team be successful as well.”

How would you describe your game to someone who might not have seen you play before? 
“I’d say I’m a two-way player. I like to play offense and defense. A couple of my strengths are getting to the basket or pulling up from mid-range, but I can also step out and hit the three. Defensively, if you challenge me to guard somebody I’m going to do it.”

What are some aspects of your game that you’re going to be focusing on improving over this summer?
“I’m trying to work on my decision-making when dribbling. Decision-making when I have the ball is a big area of focus. I’m also just trying to get faster and stronger to help me prepare for that next level.”

Is there anything about the recruiting process as a whole that’s surprised you or wasn’t what you expected? 
“It’s not 100 percent what I expected. I feel like just a lot of things came at me at once. A lot of coaches and coaching staffs reached out to me all at once it seemed. I wasn’t expecting that rush. But this is what I wanted. It’s been exciting and I’m excited to make a decision. Wherever I go I’ll be wanted and I’ll produce.”

Do you have a rough target or timeline for when you want to make a decision with your commitment? 
“My timeline is that I hope to make a decision before the upcoming high school basketball season starts. By the time that comes around, I should be committed somewhere.”

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