(EAST LANSING) - You would think that after getting burned by the departures of Jason Richardson, Zach Randolph and Marcus Taylor that Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo would be looking for talented role players, not guys who have the ability to leap to the NBA at a moments notice.
But Spartans fans should be put on notice that Shannon Brown, the phenom from Maywood, IL's Proviso East high school, is one of those special players who has that ability.
While Izzo cannot comment on Brown due to NCAA rules, there is no question that Izzo recognizes that the kid is supremely talented. Consider this, Izzo once traveled to Hooks, TX., home of former Detroit Lions running back Billy Sims, to watch Brown play a pickup game!
The latest evidence in the case for Brown was this week's ESPN televised McDonald's High School All-American game, aka. the LeBron James coming out party.
But, there was Brown nearly upstaging James' show. James was actually the subject of boos when it was announced to the sellout crowd of 2,800 that he was the winner of the slam dunk contest. Most felt that Brown's 360 degree one handed slam from high above the rim was the show stopper. (You can watch the contest, replayed on April 4 at 7:00pmEST on ESPN2)
Then there was the game itself. James, playing with a talent stocked East team which included consensus All-American Charlie Villanueva, won the contest 122-107. In the contest, he scored 27 points with seven rebounds and seven assists.
But their was Brown, leading a failed comeback attempt with 23 points and an impressive array of 3-pointers, dunks and slashing moves to the hole. Brandon Cotton (another Izzo recruit) from Detroit St. Martin de Porres scored just one point for the West squad by contrast.
"I'm real anxious," said Brown, "I'm ready to get out of (high) school."
Let's just hope he isn't ready to get out of college.