Illini Wonk
Thursday, June 30, 2005
  NBA Draft Blogging
Predictably, there was a lot of interest in the 2005 NBA Draft from the blogosphere. Mark Tupper blogs that the Draft was a victory for Weber's style. Kerry points out that it was the Highest draftee from Illinois...ever.

But the best post of the whole thing came before the draft actually took place (I just didn't read it until today). Over the Chris West Basketball Journal, in a post titled After Tonight, You're Dead To Me, Chris types 1,600 words on the draft...almost everyone of which is worth the read. He isn't very high on Deron Williams, but I think I'll go with the opinion of Jerry Sloan on this one.

I used Technorati to surf for some of what the rest of the blogosphere had to say about Deron Williams. the Z-man lists Deron in his top three impact players and says he has the size and skills to be a great point guard in the NBA. The Post Game expects Deron to prove people wrong about his limitations. For more about the trade to get Deron, go to the Ink Spot. According to the The Sports Pundit, Good things will happen in Utah in the near future and Deron will lead the way. The Four Hourseman think Deron is the man and that things look good for the future of the Jazz. There was also plenty of talk about Deron's girlfriend, but we'll leave most of that alone.

So, what do you do after you've been drafted third in the NBA Draft with a guaranteed salary in the $2.5 million range? Disney World? Try partying at the 40/40 Club with Jay-Z and Lebron James.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
  Deron Williams goes third
With the third pick of the 2005 NBA Draft, the Utah Jazz select...Deron Williams of the University of Illinois. Posted by Hello
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
  NBA Draft Day
The 2005 NBA Draft is tonight on ESPN at 6:30 p.m. CST and it's already shaping up to be a good one for the Illinois Fighting Illini.

First, Illinois is a Early draft exit winner, according to Yoni Cohen of College Basketball blog fame, due to Dee Brown's decision to return to Champaign for his senior year. This instantly makes Illinois a contender for the Big Ten championship, they're third in a row.

Second, the draft stock of Deron Williams and Luther Head continues to rise. Williams has emerged as a consensus top five pick and Head has impressed scouts during pre-draft camps and, according to most accounts, become a first-round selection. On the ESPN preview last night, Jay Bilas, Greg Anthony and Stephen A. Smith all had Williams going #4 to the New Orleans Hornets. Williams looks likely to be the first point guard selected in the draft. Bilas also made a point of saying that Head will be a good NBA player at the point.

DraftExpress has both players going in the first round, with Williams at #3 and Head #24.

Frank Burlison also has Williams as the #3 pick. He says that Head was impressive in the Chicago Pre-Draft camp and will be gone quickly in round 2.'s NBA Mock Draft lists Williams fourth and Head as upper second round with a shot at first round.

The 2005 Mock Draft from has Williams #3 and Head the first selection of the second round.

Brendan McGovern of has Williams the fourth pick of the first round and Head the second pick of the second round.

Tony Mejia of CBS SportsLine has Williams going #4 and has him as the #1 point guard in the draft. Head is not on his first round list and not among his top ten shooting guards.

Sean Deveney of The Sporting News also has Williams going to the Hornets at #4, saying he is the guy the Hornets want; it's likely that they'll get him. He has Head going to the Knicks with the 30th and last pick of the first round.

HoopsHype and Dime Magazine both have Williams #4.

As is always the case, trade rumors are flying. the Utah Jazz reportedly want Deron Williams in a bad way and are willing to deal with Portland to get him (if Atlanta doesn't take him first).

Be sure to tune in tonight! Illini Wonk doesn't have a huge research team at his disposal, so we'll ask all of you to help with this question: have the Illini ever had two players go in the first round of the NBA draft in the same year?

TRADE RUMOR UPDATE: Apparently, Williams made a huge impression on [Utah] coach Jerry Sloan and the Jazz are trying to trade up to #3 to ensure they get him.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
  Dee Brown withdraws from NBA Draft
See the official announcement. The Illini will now be considered contenders for a third straight Big Ten Conference Title. Mark Tupper has more on his blog.
Sunday, June 12, 2005
  Details on Dee Brown's injury
Dee Brown fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot during the NBA pre-draft camp in Chicago. Sporting News writer Mike DeCourcy wrote that Brown caught his foot in an awkward fashion on the court at Moody Bible College's Solheim Center. He was obviously hurt, but it looked to spectators like Brown had only tweaked his ankle. He tried not to leave, but after running briefly, he took himself out of the game. Afterward, he was taken for X-rays and learned of the break.

According to The Athletic Advisor, fractures of the fifth metarsal (shaft of the small toe) are common in athletics and is similar to that of an ankle sprain. Posted by Hello

In the Chicago Tribune, Marlen Garcia informed us that Dee would have the surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital last Friday in what was expected to be an hour-long procedure. A screw was to be inserted to aid in the healing process. As of this post, no word could be found of how the surgery went.

Thursday, June 09, 2005
  Dee Brown likely to return after injury
According to Andy Katz, Dee Brown will likely have to pull out of the NBA draft following a broken foot injury he sustained during a game at the NBA pre-draft camp at the Moody Bible Institute yesterday. Brown is 12 days away from the June 21 deadline to withdraw from the draft.

The Sun Times has more here, including reports on an injury to Roger Powell and a solid performance from Luther Head.
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