Rion Brown made his Turkish Airlines EuroLeague debut this season with Panathinaikos OPAP Athens, but played sparingly with the Greek champs. In search of playing time, he left the Greens and signed with Tofas Bursa. On Tuesday against Joventut Badalona, Brown let it all out.
He dominated with 20 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal for a performance index rating of 22 in 21 minutes on the floor. Brown did not miss on any of his 3 two-point shots and made 4 of 8 three-pointers, too. He displayed great athleticism on some of his drives and was responsible for more than half of Tofas's triples.
When Brown was at his best was when Tofas pulled away. He had 11 second-quarter points as the hosts turned a 2-point edge into an 18-point halftime cushion. Brown scored a three-pointer to open the second quarter, soon added a steal and layup and was the player who gave Tofas its first double-digit lead, 30-20.
"I'm just happy to be here," Brown said after the game. "It felt really good to be back out there playing. It's been a long time, so it felt good to get this win. Hopefully, we can keep it going into the top eight."
Brown was not the only player to star for Tofas on Tuesday. Devin Williams dominated with 20 points and 9 rebounds. Muhsin Yasar tied his career-high with 14 points. Baris Ermis dished a career-high 13 assists. Sammy Mejia moved into fourth place on the all-time EuroCup scoring charts. And Matt Lojeski had a strong stretch to put the game away late.
However, where Brown is different from the rest is that he is Coach Orhun Ene's newest weapon. Brown gives Tofas another dangerous scoring weapon who can open the floor with his shooting, generate points in transition and play aggressive defense on the wing. Adding his hunger and explosiveness to an already strong Tofas roster could make this team very dangerous going forward.