In an era when defense meant more than offense, when rebounding atoned for poor shooting, and when Georgetown needed a workhorse to run the point, Joey Brown was the prototype. In a 125 game career, Brown missed only two starts, and averaged over 34 minutes a game through his career. In 40 games over four seasons, he played 38 minutes or more in a game.
Brown was an All-State point guard from Morgan City, LA and a major recruit for the Hoyas in the spring 1990--so much so, some contended, it led freshman David Edwards to consider a transfer before Brown's arrival. Brown opened his college career with 31 points and 19 assists in his first three games, and soon became the leader in assists and steals for the Hoyas. As the Hoyas battled through the injury to Alonzo Mourning, Brown picked up the scoring as well, scoring a season high 21 against Villanova and posting 13 double figure scoring efforts. Brown's hustle and spirit won fan support, but his shooting did not--Brown missed 60 of 78 three pointers for the year and shot 26 percent from the field in the final seven games of the season.
For 1991-92, Brown improved his shooting but also became a force late in games due to his defensive pressure. Some of the season's biggest finishes came as a result of Brown's defensive efforts, none more so than on Feb. 19, 1992 against Connecticut, with the Big East lead on the line.
Tied at 58 with 13 seconds to play, Brown stole a Uconn pass and raced for a layup at the buzzer, a rare feat for a team accustomed to last moment defeats. Following UConn, Brown's 23 points helped Georgetown upset Syracuse at the Carrier Dome, and his 17 point effort against Pitt earned GU a share of the regular season title. For his efforts, Brown was a second team all-Big East selection in 1992.
Joey assumed more of a leadership role in the 1992-93 season, but the Hoyas' center-intensive offense struggled with freshmen in the pivot. Brown posted 20 double figure scoring games, but he led the team in scoring in only three of them. Always more a playmaker than a scorer, his 199 assists in 1993 were fourth most in team history, while his 80 steals tied the school record set by Fred Brown in 1981. Brown's best offensive game that season was a 17 point, nine rebound, nine assist and four steal effort against Connecticut, but his performance against UTEP in the NIT also deserves note. In a game which saw the favored Miners held to 15% shooting in the first half and 25% for the game, Brown's skills on both ends of the court were huge. His 16 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals led all Georgetown players.
For his senior season, Brown posted 17 double figure games, including four double-doubles (double figures in points and assists), totalling six for his career. In a 78-67 win over UNLV, Brown became the first Georgetown player to post 1000 points, 400 rebounds, and 500 assists in a career. Leading the team in assists in all but four games his senior season, Brown was an invaluable piece of the puzzle that returned the Hoyas to the NCAA's after a year's absence.
Brown's statistics are easily among the top 25 in a large number of categories, but his numbers may be a bit overstated given his minutes (more minutes than all but two players in Georgetown history). His 37% shooting limits his ascending to the upper echelon of his list, and Brown's assist to turnover ratio ranks only eighth among the top 15 guards by assist totals.
The numbers alone don't tell the story of how important Joey Brown was to the Hoya teams of the early 1990's, especially given the considerable turnover at shooting guard that affected the team's depth throughout this time. Coach Thompson called Brown's position "an extension of the coach" and the ability of Georgetown to post a 84-42 (.667) record is a direct reflection of Brown's work at the point.
In almost any scenario, Brown's successor at guard would have faced a prohibitive task of trying to replace the contributions of points, assists and steals that Joey Brown provided the Hoyas...that is, of course, if his successor wasn't named Allen Iverson.