Speculating On Why Jaylen Brown Chose California Over Georgia Tech And Other Schools


Highly touted basketball recruit Jaylen Brown finally gave his much anticipated decision on which school he was going to play ball at in 2015 and he ultimately chose to go to the University of California-Berkeley.

Brown chose Berkeley over seven schools at the end of the day; Kansas, Michigan, Kentucky. Georgia, UCLA, North Carolina, and Georgia Tech.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets /

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

The decision to pick California over these seven schools shows that Brown’s thought process on picking a school was well thought out, and not about what school is going to get him the most exposure.

It was about him going to a school where his talents could be on full display as soon as he hits the campus and also going to a school where he could make an immediate impact on the culture of the hoop program.

Cuonzo Martin has only been on the job one year at Cal-Berkeley, so this relationship between Martin and Brown possibly goes back some.

Don’t forget, Brown eluded to the fact that Adidas had taken care of him and his school, and he had participated in a lot of their tournaments and camps.

Though California is not an Adidas school, Cuonzo Martin was at Tennessee which is an Adidas school.

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So Martin might have forged a strong enough relationship with Brown during that time that would enable Brown to make his choice, confident that he could trust Cuonzo Martin.

That is just speculation on why Brown would choose to go out West instead of play for any of the schools he turned down including hoop factories like North Carolina, Kansas and Kentucky.

What this possibly says for a school like Georgia Tech, in the end, is that suspicions that Brian Gregory is not being a strong recruiter might have some truth to them.

People will also point to school academic requirements as a reason why a player might turn down Georgia Tech, but ultimately it seems that recruiting is about strong relationships between head coaches and high school athletes and less about schoolwork.

It might also have helped that California has been successful in grabbing Wheeler High School ball players in the past. Shareef Abdur-Rahim chose to go to California in 1995 and got to the tournament with the Golden Bears.

Jeff Goodman of ESPN hinted that maybe Shareef Abdur-Rahim was instrumental in getting Brown to go to school in the Bay Area.

Abdur-Rahim and California lost to Kelvin Cato and the Iowa State Cyclones in the 1996 NCAA Tournament 74-64.

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The only reason for this speculation is because according to an ajc.com post by Michael Carville, Cal-Berkeley, was not even a strong consideration for Brown until March and his AAU coach says,  “I do not know. He (Jaylen) is not saying.”.

Whatever it was that made Jaylen Brown choose California in the end, you have to think it was a smart move. He is instantly going to be the best small forward to take the court for the Golden Bears since Lamond Murray.

Also Brown will get to team up with another top recruit in 6-foot-11 Ivan Rabb out of Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High School.

Meanwhile, Georgia Tech will be continuing to search it’s soul to figure out what they need to do to attract top flight recruits.

At some point the Jackets need to become exciting to these kids so Tech can be competitive in hoop again.