Former Mizzou basketball standout Kobe Brown’s stock jumped Thursday night when he was selected No. 30 overall by the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round 2023 NBA Draft. Brown was projected by many analysts to be a mid-second-round pick around 45 or 46 in many mock drafts. Brown becomes the 48th player in Mizzou history to be selected in the NBA Draft and the 16th standout to hear his name called in the first round – the first Tiger to be drafted since Michael Porter Jr. went 14th overall to the Denver Nuggets in 2018.
Two months ago when Dennis Gates knew Kobe would be preparing for the NBA Combine, the Mizzou coach felt Brown was first-round talent. That’s what Brown’s agents kept telling him. He thought they were crazy.
A first-team All-SEC selection by both the coaches and the media, Brown led Mizzou with 15.8 points and 6.4 rebounds during the 2022-23 campaign. His 15.8 points are the most by a Tiger in five seasons, while leading the team in scoring on 16 occasions with nine 20-point games and 24 contests of double-digit points. One of the most versatile players in the country, Brown also led MU in rebounds 19 times and in assists on six occasions.
Kobe will join a Clippers team that finished fifth in the Western Conference standings and features stars Kawhi Leonard and Chris Paul.
Named to the Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List for National Player of the Year, Brown was the only player in the country to shoot 55 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range ¬– the first SEC player to do so since 1992-93. In fact, by shooting 55.3 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from beyond the arc, Brown is the first Power 6 player to shoot 55 and 45 percent, respectively, since 2010-11.
Joining Brown in the NBA will be his teammate D’Moi Hodge. He signed on with the Los Angeles Lakers following the draft. The guard finished second on the team with 14.7 points per game, while establishing a new school record with 91 steals and becoming the fifth Tiger to connect on 100 3-pointers in a single season. His 91 swipes surpassed the previous school record by 15 and rank as the sixth-most in SEC history. Overall, Hodge placed fourth nationally with 2.60 steals per game, 32nd with 2.86 triples per game and 37th with a three-point clip of 40.0.