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WAC Wednesday: Where it helps to have Terrell Brown, and other opening week thoughts

A pair of identically-named walk on guards. What are the odds?

New Mexico State v Clemson
Pistol Pete celebrated another win over I-10 rival UTEP last week.
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

What a week for Terrell Brown.

By my count, the guard suited up for two games in Las Cruces, two games in Seattle and one game in Northern California over the past seven days. Not to mention finding a way to log time in games taking place 1,115 miles apart at roughly the same time, and, in a college athletics first, playing for two programs at the same time.

We knew the NCAA was handing out transfer waivers at a high clip, but this is a different level of leniency. Kudos to them.

Or, as Greg Focker calmly suggested to an airline representative when talking about a suitcase in Meet the Parents, is it possible there is more than one Terrell Brown out there? That’s the case in the WAC, where both New Mexico State and Seattle have gotten early season boosts from guards named Terrell Brown.

For the Aggies, Brown — a JuCo transfer from City College of San Francisco — has emerged as the team’s leading scorer after two games (12.0 PPG), and has been a reliable outside threat, making five-of-nine three-point attempts. Along with fellow JuCo guard Clayton Henry (11.0 PPG), Brown’s production on the perimeter has been a welcome development for a team that lacked established depth at that position.

His fast start, however, draws attention to some off-the-court issues. Brown played his freshman season at San Jose State in 2017, but was dismissed from the team after an incident that led to felony charges being brought against him in California (to which he pleaded not guilty). He’s currently a non-scholarship walk on at NMSU, and the Las Cruces Sun-News did a great job outlining his situation — and why it hasn’t affected his eligibility — in October, including quotes from NMSU athletic director Mario Moccia.

In Seattle, the Redhawks’ Brown — a sophomore guard who is also a walk on — opened the season with quality nights against Stanford (16 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists) and Bryant (15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists). It’s been a similarly welcome development for SU, which is searching for depth around Matej Kavas and its impact transfers.

“Terrell brought a great spark off the bench, I thought he played really well.” said Hayford [in a release following the Bryant win].

There’s added shine to Brown’s early-season run, as the redshirt sophomore is a Seattle native, winning two state championships at Seattle’s Garfield High School before torching nets at Shoreline Community College last season. Hayford has recruited well nationally since taking over at SU, but the success of local products like Brown and sophomore guard Aaron Nettles will likely be important in a city that continually churns out quality players.

That didn’t take long

Just one week into their Div. I existence and California Baptist already has a highlight for the ages. The Lancers had a ho-hum, 16-point win over non-Div. I San Diego Christian in their official opener as a Div. I program. Then they turned it up to an 11. Traveling halfway across the country, CBU went back-and-forth at Oral Roberts until a bonkers final sequence.

Jordan Heading (20 points, 4-8 3FG) appeared to hit the shot of the game, giving the Lancers a one-point lead with under 19 seconds left.

But he would be dramatically upstaged, as freshman Milan Acquaah (16 points) drilled a halfcourt buzzer beater to give CBU its first win over a Div. I opponent.

The Golden Eagles haven’t had the most inspiring start to the season, but that’s irrelevant. This was a major moment for CBU, and a punch of adrenaline so quickly into their new reality. And it likely won’t be the last exciting moment against Div. I competition in the non-con. Other than games at Nevada (of course) and home against UC Irvine (also tough), the Lancers should have a chance — if not, be favored — in the rest of their non-con games. This includes tough, but manageable, road games at Southeastern Louisiana, Southern and UC Riverside.

UTRGV picks up third-straight win over rival

The Vaqueros didn’t pick off Oklahoma and get the big win to the start the year, but did notch a satisfying victory in the season’s first week.

UTRGV won round one of the South Texas Showdown, getting a seven-point victory at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Monday. It was the Vaqueros’ third-straight win over the Islanders, a team they have seen plenty of over the years. With a 34-30 all-time record against Corpus Christi, the only opponent UTRGV has faced more in its history is Lamar (74 times).

It was an encouraging night all around, particularly for Lesley Varner, who led the way with a career-high 21 points. Terry Winn is a proven post producer, Javon Levi has continued his playmaking pace from a year ago (41.0 assist rate), but if there’s a player with go-to scoring potential on UTRGV, it’s likely the athletic junior wing. He also didn’t wilt in the home game with the Sooners, scoring 16 points (7-8 FG) even as he dealt with Christian James and Kristian Doolittle on both ends of the court.

If you stayed this long, enjoy some Internet candy

Week One Power Rankings

Team Record Previous What They've Done Well
Team Record Previous What They've Done Well
New Mexico State 2-0 1 Unsurpisingly, the Aggies defense has come to play, holding opponents to just 39.1% from within the arc.
Grand Canyon 2-1 2 Newcomers Trey Drechsel and Carlos Johnson have, at various times, provided an offensive punch on the perimeter.
Seattle 2-1 3 Seton Hall transfer Myles Carter has been as advertised, with a pair of 23+, 12-rebound games.
CSU Bakersfield 1-1 6 Rod Barnes appears to have up to 12 players he trusts, and that depth was on display in a near upset of TCU.
Utah Valley 1-2 4 Without the hype of last year, UVU has had a brutal schedule nonetheless, but the Toolson cousins have played well.
UTRGV 2-1 7 There's a solid nucleus in place with Levi, Winn, Varner and Greg Bowie.
UMKC 0-3 5 Three top-100 KenPom opponents on the road hasn't been easy, but Brandon McKissic has shined.
Cal Baptist 2-0 8 Less than a week into their Div. I existence, and the Lancers have a non-con road win.
Chicago State 0-4 9 An admirable first week. Rob Shaw has brought a steady hand to Lance Irvin's first team.