June 21, 2010

Izzo and staff making inroads in Chicago

EAST LANSING - One of the most fertile recruiting territories in all of high school basketball is the city of Chicago.

While the Michigan State basketball team did reel in Shannon Brown from Maywood several years ago, Chicagoland has not been particularly productive for the Spartans, especially considering the number of players produced in and around Cook County.

This year's Tom Izzo Shootout may help Michigan State establish a pipeline in Chicago as several teams from the Windy City took part in this year's shootout including perennial powerhouses Simeon, De La Salle and Whitney Young.

Simeon, a team loaded with Division 1 prospects, proved to be a force at the tournament right from the opening tip on Friday until late Saturday's championship game when they faced Detroit Frederick Douglass in the finals.

"We love it," said Simeon coach Robert Smith, when asked about the Shootout. "It's great competition. We're not playing the same teams at home, we're seeing some different basketball, the kids get a chance to be in a different atmosphere, it's great for us."

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