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June 8, 2006

Brown staying in draft, leaving Michigan State

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Shannon Brown will keep his name in the NBA draft and skip his senior season at Michigan State, the shooting guard said Thursday.

Brown, who averaged 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists last season, was regarded as an early second-round pick. But following strong workouts, he is a projected first-round pick.

Brown worked out for the New Jersey Nets, the New York Knicks, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Indiana Pacers, the Boston Celtics, the Memphis Grizzlies and the Chicago Bulls.

Brown said he got positive feedback, but no indication where he'll go in the June 28 draft.

The 6-foot-4 Brown, who shared team MVP honors with Paul Davis and Maurice Ager, had until June 18 to pull his name out of the draft.

Brown is an athletic, explosive player that can score on dunks, 3-pointers or mid-range jumpers and is a good defender. He is not considered a good ballhandler, a weakness he will have to improve in the NBA to create his own shots.

Without Brown, Michigan State might have its worst season in a decade. The Spartans already knew they were going to lose seniors Davis and Ager, each possible first-round picks. Ager, Davis and Brown combined to average 54 of 74 points for Michigan State last season.

Point guard Drew Neitzel, a junior next season, is the only player returning with extensive starting experience. Power forward Matt Trannon might not be back next year because the receiver may choose to focus solely on preparing for the NFL draft.

For more coverage of the Michigan State Spartans, check out SpartanMag.com.

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