The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

April 17, 2014

Joplin's Brown, junior college product sign with MSSU

Charlie Brown made it official on Wednesday afternoon, signing a basketball letter of intent with Missouri Southern in front of friends and family in the Joplin 11-12 campus cafeteria.

“It’s a big relief,” Brown said. “Now I’m happy I’m a Missouri Southern Lion.”

His mother, Susan Brown, was equally happy.

“I’m very excited he decided to stay here,” she said. “Since the move here (from Las Vegas), we’ve enjoyed our last six years here. So it’s going to be awesome.”

Brown, 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, is one of two guards who joined the Lions program on Wednesday, the first day of the spring signing period. Taylor Luster, 5-10, 170-pounder from Hill (Texas) Junior College, also signed.

Brown averaged 23.7 points his senior year with the Eagles despite being the focus of opposing defenses.

“He did it against double teams. He did it against box-and-ones,” former Joplin head coach Jeff Williams said. “You name it, he saw it. He’s just a great scorer.”

Brown, a four-year player for the Eagles, finished with 1,865 points. He also averaged 4.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.4 steals his senior year when he had four 30-point games and 16 20-point games.

“Physical-wise I need to get stronger and hit the weights,” said Brown, who was seated with older brothers Nick and Jeremiah during the signing. “I look forward to lifting weights and gaining weight.

“Strengths are my ballhandling and my mid-range game. I’ve been working on the 3 a lot. During the summer with my travel team I shot 43 percent from the 3. I feel like if I work on that a lot this summer I’ll probably have the complete package as a scorer.”

Brown is the first Joplin High School boys basketball player to sign with Missouri Southern since Brian Taylor in 1995.

“He called one day and said ‘Mom, you know what, I think I’m going to stay here,’ ” Susan Brown said. “It’s his choice. As long as he’s happy, I’m happy. I don’t have to worry about traveling up and down the highway. He can come home ... it’s going to be great.”

“I think it’s huge, getting a local kid like Charlie, especially with the amount of talent he has,” said Jeff Boschee, who’s succeeded Robert Corn as the Lions’ head coach. “He’s a point guard who can distribute the basketball and also score the basketball. I think I’ll feel real comfortable when he’s got the basketball in his hands out on the perimeter. I think he is a guard who can develop into somebody who can control the game, like we saw last year with DeShaun Cooper (from Northwest Missouri State) and Daylen Robinson (from Central Missouri). If he continues to work on his game, I think he can be that type of guard.”

Luster, a native of Keller, Texas, helped lead Hill to a 25-9 record. He averaged 5.8 points and 5.1 assists and shot 39 percent from 3-point range.

“He can play the 1, he can play the 2,” Boschee said. “He comes from a basketball family. He’s been around the game his whole life.”

Luster’s dad, Jeff Luster, is director of basketball operations at North Texas. He is a former assistant at TCU under the late Neal Dougherty, who was an assistant at Kansas when Boschee and MSSU assistant Nick Bradford played for the Jayhawks.

 

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