Here is my Wednesday afternoon (June 12) interview with Shane.
Shane, have you committed yet?
"Yes, I have (committed) to Mississippi State."
I had heard it came down to Notre Dame and Mississippi State as your final two choices. Is that correct?
Why did you choose State over Notre Dame?
"Overall, it was the best fit. I felt comfortable with the coaching staff and the guys on the team. I also really liked the community.
"The three main things I was looking at were basketball opportunity, community and the academic situation. I felt really good about all three of those things at Mississippi State."
So the distance (11 hours to State and 1 hour and 15 minutes to Notre Dame) wasn't really that much of a factor in choosing a college?
"I tried to keep that factor out of my decision. I wanted to choose a place that was best for me and where I could achieve the goals that I wanted to.
"Everywhere I was going, since Notre Dame is so close to home, people were hitting me hard to go there, but if you are going to make a mature, adult decision, I don't think distance can play a part in it."
What schools, other than MSU and Notre Dame, did you officially visit?
"Virginia, Pittsburgh and New Mexico."
Who was the Mississippi State coach that recruited you?
"Coach (Phil) Cunningham."
Talk about your impressions of Coach Cunningham and his recruitment of you.
"I was extremely impressed with Coach Cunningham. I liked the research he did. He really worked hard and was very thorough with the information that he sent me."
I saw you at MSU this past weekend but didn't want to bother you since you were unofficially visiting. Why did you decide to visit State again?
"I had gone to Notre Dame twice. I flew down (to MSU) because I just felt like I needed to spend as much time as possible at my final two choices. It was only fair to come and visit Mississippi State a second time. It was great meeting the guys. The team really enhanced what I already knew about Mississippi State."
If I remember correctly, you didn't get to meet the team members on your official visit because they were out of school.
"Yeah, that's right. I got to meet them (this time) and we got to work out a little bit. I really liked what they are about as far as working hard and the enthusiastic, winning attitude they have."
When did you make your final decision?
"Yesterday (Tuesday, June 11)."
Were you leaning to either school prior to that decision?
"Even though I didn't tell them (the Mississippi State coaches), I would have to say when I left Mississippi State and got on the plane to go home I had a pretty good feeling then (that I was going to choose MSU)."
Why did you decide to wait to tell the coaches?
"I wanted to give it a day so that I didn't make an emotional decision. I also wanted to talk to my mom and my family."
Is your mother happy with your decision?
"Yes, she is definitely confident in Mississippi State and that it will be a great situation."
When will you be enrolling at State?
"The second semester of summer school."
Do you want to say anything else?
"I'm very excited about coming (to MSU). I'm looking forward to forming a relationship with the other guys and earning their respect this summer. I'm happy to be a part of the Mississippi State family. That was a big factor with me. Everybody down there talked about joining the Mississippi State family, people in the community, players and coaches. It is a family-type atmosphere (at MSU). I really enjoyed that.
"I was out (in my community) today and Mississippi State is the new favorite school, outside of Indiana, in my town. The support has been unreal. I was working out in the park today and people in this area are all of a sudden Mississippi State fans."
You must be very well-liked in your community?
"This is where I grew up and we have the state championship. They take basketball pretty seriously here."
I've enjoyed talking to you, Shane.
More Shane Power information:
Shane had an award winning high school career: He was a finalist for Indiana's Mr. Basketball Award, a 1999-2000 Street & Smith's preseason high honorable mention All-American, an all-star at the Adidas All-America camp in Teaneck, N.J., in the summer of 1999, an Associated Press high honorable mention all-state selection, received the Arthur L. Trestor Award for Mental Attitude at the Indiana state tournament, a two-time Hammond Times Player of the Year honoree, a four-time all-area selection and varsity starter who led Andrean to three state tournament appearances and an 81-20 mark, averaged 26.3 points, 10.4 rebounds and 7.0 assists his senior season, helping Andrean to a 24-3 record, had a game-high 27 points, 12 rebounds and five steals in Andrean's 72-56 loss to Indianapolis Brebeuf Prep in the 2000 Indiana Class 3A state championship game, averaged 24.6 points, 9.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.5 steals per game as a junior, averaged 21.7 points and 7.6 rebounds as a sophomore and tallied 16.7 points and 9.2 rebounds his freshman year.
Shane was recruited by Iowa State, Alabama, Southern California, Purdue and Miami (Fla) out of high school.
I talked to his former high school coach, Clint Swan, about Shane.
Tell me a little about Shane Power.
"He was a coach's dream. He was a very hard worker, a great kid. He was like a coach on the floor who had very good skills. He definitely has a division-one body. He will be a wind player wherever he ends up. Physically, he is a strong kid who has the ability to play the perimeter as well as anybody that I have seen. He is somebody who can defend the other team's really good player. He is also a terrific shooter. He is somebody who can hit the big shot. Every game I saw him play for Iowa State, he seemed like he was guarding the other team's best player. When I watched him play against Missouri, he was guarding Kareem Rush, against Kansas he was guarding (Jeff) Boschee. He is somebody who can do the dirty work and can hit the big shots. He is fairly quick and he is very intelligent. His basketball IQ is very high. If he plays against a guy who is physically more gifted than he is, he will find a way to find the player's weakness."
I noticed on the Iowa State site he was second in assists and first in steals. Was he that kind of player for you in high school?
"He wasn't second in assists because he was scoring all of our points. I didn't want Shane to have a lot of assists. I wanted him scoring points. However, he is a very unselfish player. There were times when we wanted Shane to shoot more than he did because, for our level, he was a dominate player. He was all about winning and wanting to be very successful. Wherever he goes, he will be that way."
How many years did you coach him in high school?
"I was the assistant coach his freshman year and the head coach his sophomore through senior years."
When did you notice that he was a special player?
"He had a game his freshman year against Jamal Davis, a player who plays for Cincinnati. His senior year, (Davis) was one of the best players in the state and we played them at our place. Shane was a freshman at the time. He had 25 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocked shots that game. When we saw that, we knew we had a truly special player on our hands. Things only got better from there. When you look at all the great players who have played in Indiana, he is the 20th all-time leading scorer in the state. Steve Alford is 19th and Shane Power is 6 points behind him at 20th."
Do you remember his stats from his senior year in high school?
"I remember that his three-point percentage during his senior year was 51%. He shot the ball very well."
* Portions of this information were provided by the official Iowa State webpage.
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.