Of all-time. The best ever. The greatest.
Nowadays, if you’ve got even the smallest opening, you jump headfirst into hyperbole. Don’t think about. Just do it.
So let’s make a proclamation. When Class of 2018 Simeon guard Kezo Brown tweeted the below earlier this week, it might have been the biggest moment in Chicago State basketball recruiting history.
This is the same Simeon that’s a Chicago prep powerhouse and has produced Derrick Rose and Jabari Parker, among others. And Brown — a three-star recruit according to 247Sports and ESPN — just helped lead the school to a runner-up finish in Illinois’ highest basketball division.
And this is the same Chicago State program that has won just 23.3 percent of its games over the past seven seasons, and is one of the 76 schools that Verbal Commits lists as averaging just 2.000 stars per recruit. The site has no lower aggregate ranking. The school as a whole is also a year removed from budgetary concerns that seemed to threaten the athletic department.
So getting a recruit of Brown’s stature is not just a boon on the court, but also a sign that Tracy Dildy can breathe life into the program. He hinted at a moment like this in an interview earlier this summer.
“We’re involved with some kids that could really have people saying ‘wow.’ Kids that could be Players of the Year in [the Chicago Public School league]. It’s something in the past. I’ve reminded kids that we’ve been here as a university for over 150 years, and that I’ve never looked for another job or updated a resume. People don’t realize that we’re in a lot better shape than other universities.”
Brown is just that type of player, as he showed on CSU’s floor in February when he scored 26 points to lead Simeon to the Chicago City title. And Dildy being able to land him really shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. He’s well-liked and well-respected around the Chicago Public League, and was instrumental in landing top Chicago talent — like Quentin Richardson and Bobby Simmons — as an assistant at DePaul in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s.
The Brown news, great as it is for CSU, does come with some question marks. The soon-to-be-senior missed a significant portion of his sophomore year with a “health issue,” which cooled bubbling interest from around the country.
But by all accounts he resurrected himself last year, and will look to do the same for the Cougars beginning in 2018.