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Detroit Mercy's Shareta Brown ranks 2nd in nation with 24 points per game

She shoots, she scores!

12:00 AM, Jan. 24, 2013 EST

Detroit Mercy sophomore forward Shareta Brown drives to the hoop during practice Tuesday at Calihan Hall. / ANDRE J. JACKSON/Detroit Free Press

Shareta Brown enrolled at Detroit Mercy in the fall of 2011 with modest goals.

She did not anticipate leading the women's basketball team in scoring (18 points) as a freshman. She did not expect to be the co-newcomer of the year in the Horizon League or to be the fourth-best scorer in the league and 36th nationally.

And she definitely did not figure to be all-conference as a freshman.

"My goal was basically get through conditioning," she said. "I thought it was going to be the hardest thing ever. Going in, I thought I was going to die."

UDM's conditioning workouts were not a picnic, but Brown managed to survive, and when the basketball season began, she flourished like no one could have imagined.

Midway though that season, when she was becoming the school's highest-scoring freshman, Brown realized she was a lot better player than even she thought.

"During the year, I figured out I could kill at this school," she said. "Once I realized I broke records, I knew I can really do well here."

That was last season. Certainly with a year of film on Brown, college coaches could figure a way to stop her.

That hasn't been the case. Brown, a 6-foot-1 sophomore forward from Grand Blanc High, enters tonight's game at Calihan Hall against Loyola as the No. 2 scorer in the nation -- averaging 24 points a game, just behind Elena Delle Donne (24.4) of Delaware.

She also is No. 6 nationally in field-goal percentage (61.3). Only one other player -- Baylor's 6-8 Brittney Griner, who's No. 10 in scoring (21.8) and No. 10 in field-goal percentage (59.8) -- is in the top 10 in both categories.

Not bad for a player who was far below the college coaches' radar.

"She was overlooked because of her height by some of the bigger schools," said coach Autumn Rademacher, who offered Brown a scholarship before her junior year. "I loved the fact that she had such post presence in the paint and commanded so much attention in there. She was able to get her points on offensive rebounds, and she was a great passer."

Brown was overlooked because she is a powerfully built inside player who didn't pass the eye test.

"You get fooled into thinking, aw, this kid isn't going to do anything,' " said Penn State coach Coquese Washington, who saw Brown get 16 points and 15 rebounds against her team. "She's just relentless. She's a bulldog; she just keeps coming. It doesn't matter if she's undersized or double-teamed, she's just relentless."

When the Titans faced Penn State in November, Brown was matched against 6-4 Nikki Greene and then 6-5 Tori Waldner, and was the best post player on the court.

"When we played against Penn State, I looked at them and said: 'Oh, my goodness, they're tall,' " she recalled, laughing. "But once we started playing, I thought: 'Shoot, they put on their shoes the same way I put on mine. They're just like me.' "

But few players in the country operate as efficiently in the paint as Brown. And even fewer post players have anywhere near Brown's passing ability out of the post.

"Our offense is geared to her right away," said Rademacher. "Every option, every pass is look in, look in. Our kids are very conscious of that, and most of the time she is in position to score around that basket."

Tim Mann is the team's graduate manager. He is 6-4 and played at Chelsea. He sometimes guards Brown in practice.

"I can see why girls can't stop her," he said. "If I'm not jumping, there's no way I can block her shot. No way. She's quick. She's smart. She knows the game well. She sees the floor with ease. And her hands, oh, my goodness, she has great hands.

"She reminds me of Draymond Green from Michigan State."

Green was All-America at MSU last season and is now with Golden State in the NBA. But even he wasn't the No. 2 scorer in the country.

And leading the country in scoring certainly was not one of Brown's goals when she enrolled at UDM.

"That never crossed my mind that I could be the leading scorer in the nation," she said. "I thought that was crazy. But now it pushes me to work harder, to keep that position or get No. 1 again."

Contact Mick McCabe: 313-223-4744 or mmccabe@freepress.com . Follow him on Twitter @mickmccabe1.

Oakland U. basketball coach Greg Kampe will answer your questions in a live chat at 2 p.m. Tuesday at freep.com/sports. Submit early questions here.

More Details: Meet Shareta Brown

Position: Forward.

Class: Sophomore.

Hometown: Pontiac.

Did you know? Last season she became the first freshman to lead the Titans in scoring since her coach, Autumn Rademacher, in 1994.

By the numbers

2011-12 34 55.9 1.5 8.8 18.0
2012-13 15 61.3 2.7 9.0 24.0



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