Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I hope he took notes

Deron Williams was back in Champaign recently for a charity event. Making the rounds, he stopped by the Ubben, traded the tie for some shorts and played ball with the college kids. I wasn't there, but I did read at least one story by Paul Klee.

Klee says Deron and Demetri McCamey got into some “good-natured trash talk.” Deron says McCamey was doing the talking, and he was playing his game.

What could McCamey possibly say? Is he talking bad about AK47 and Kyle Korver? Utah in general? Does he go so far as to say Chris Paul has put an end to the best young point guard in the NBA debate? Does Deron even need to respond?

I can see it now, Deron leisurely dribbling near the top of the key, panning his eyes across baseline, looking for Alex Legion to make a cut (or whatever). McCamey says something Gene Pingatore use to yell at practice, making a swipe with his right hand. In one big, seemingly slow, but killer motion, Deron crosses from left to right, bringing the ball back a bit before breaking for the basket to lay it in.

“Excuse me, sir, I understand you've never made it out of the first round of the NCAA Tournament, is that true?” (I'm pretty sure Deron talks like this.)

Klee says Deron says he thinks McCamey will be a “great point guard for this team.” I hope he's not just being nice, because that's exactly what we need. A leader. A point guard. A playmaker. Maybe McCamey can be that. He was expected to be last year. But in reality, it was always Chester Frazier's team. That was never more clear than at the end of the season, as the Illini dropped back-to-back games to close out the regular season and scuffled in a loss to Western Kentucky in the NCAAs with Frazier on the sideline.

McCamey is the team's top returning scorer, averaging 11.5 ppg on about 10 field goal attempts (half of those from behind the arc) and two trips to line a game in 2008-09. With Trent Meacham and Frazier gone, those attempts will likely go up.

When Deron was a sophomore he was good, but not great. We still thought Dee was our best guard. Junior year is where Deron made his money. He elevated his game. He made better decisions, took better shots. Hopefully McCamey can make similar strides.

With the backcourt up in the air (will Legion step up? are either freshmen D.J. Richardson or Brandon Paul ready?) McCamey's leadership and maturity are all the more important. Can he be the guy on this team? Can he lead us back to the NCAAs? Into the second weekend? Can he make sure we don't lose to Penn State? Twice? I guess we'll see.


  1. Demetri should know better than to talk trash about AK47. That stuff will come back on you.
    I heard his wife allows him a free pass to kill one American every year. Or something like that.

  2. Have you ever noticed that AK47 looks just like Drago from Rocky IV except without the roids (and accompanying roid rage)? He'd probably have Bridget Nielsen kill Demetri if he found out about the it, and I'm quite sure Bridge could do the job.

  3. yeah, AK looks a lot like Drago, if instead of lifting weights and taking roids, Drago just drank vodka in a room and cried.


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