Cordova (Tenn.) High coach Terrance Scales watched the freshman lead the basketball team in a lap around the track and wanted to see if he could do it again.
This was a test of who is in great shape and who can ignore fatigue. The team lifted for 90 minutes before the run — all legs — and Scales wanted to see how they handled the run.
He gave them roughly 80 seconds. Rodgerick Brown handled the lap with ease. Both times.
“Rod comes around after a full-leg workout of heavy lifting and he finishes that lap in 55 seconds,” Scales said. “After a short recovery time, I had them run another and gave them 1 minute, 30 seconds. He comes down the back stretch in a sprint and finishes in 57 seconds.”
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That work ethic is why Scales is certain Wichita State picked up a valuable commitment on Monday from Brown. Brown, a 6-foot-7, visited Wichita State over the weekend.
“I felt like it was home,” Brown said. “It’s a great team. They have seniors returning and I can really learn from them.”
Brown is a member of the class of 2018. However, he will turn 19 before the season and is not eligible to play high school basketball in Tennessee in 2017-18.
He is working toward graduating early to join the class of 2017. Should he complete his pre-calculus class, he would fill Wichita State’s final scholarship for the 2017-18 season.
“If I take care of my (school) work, I’ll sign at the end of July,” he said last week. “It’s a possibility. It’s looking good right now.”
In that scenario, Brown would sign a financial aid agreement this summer and be eligible for the coming season. Scales said college is the best move.
“It was either reclassify or go to a prep school,” Scales said. “He’s ready to go to the next level.”
If Brown does not graduate early, he will be a class of 2018 recruit, sign in November and join WSU for the 2018-19 season.
“He will never cheat you with the effort,” Scales said. “On the court, there’s no rebound he doesn’t think he can go get. He averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds despite teams trying to put a body on him.”
Brown wants to provide many of the same skills that Draymond Green produces for Golden State.
“I”m versatile,” Brown said. “I rebound. I run the floor really hard. I defend hard.”
Brown watched the Shockers practice over the weekend. He talked with senior Zach Brown, who assured him players improve at WSU. Sophomore C.J. Keyser told him that coach Gregg Marshall restored his confidence after a foot injury kept him off the court most of the summer.
“I love their practice,” he said. “They go all out.”
Brown said he also considered Pittsburgh, Iowa State, Middle Tennessee State, Florida Gulf Coast and South Alabama.
Rivals.com lists Brown as a three-star prospect. ESPN.com ranks him No. 5 in Tennessee in the class of 2018 and a four-star prospect.
Paul Suellentrop: 316-269-6760, @paulsuellentrop