Illini Wonk
Sunday, November 05, 2006
  Mr Rose Opts for Memphis
As expected by many Derrick Rose announced yesterday that he intends to play for Memphis Conference USA instead of either IL or IN in the Big Ten.

There are several things that Rose his older brother Reggie have said that leads me to think, for the most part, they are just giving double talk to the media and fans at large.

In the Sun-Times article Rose says in one sentence who better to learn from than assistant Memphis coach Rod Strickland. He goes on to say in the Sun-Times story and also in the Chicago Tribune story that his discussion was based in part on the fact that Memphis has promised him that he is going to start as a freshman (I guess current starter and preseason all conf player, Soph Chris Douglas-Roberts a former 4 star rated player, either is going to head for the NBA himself or sit out while he watches Rose play next year.) and that "He gets to play his own game." That's funny. I always thought basketball was a team sport and that it was the head coach who decided the style of play for the team. What a shear coincidence that this 17 year old high school student's style is exactly what John Calipari has the Memphis Tigers playing. And even more interesting is that according to many experts including's Dave Telep, Derrick is going to be at Memphis for a season or two and then leave for the pros. Well does that mean if he is to play his own game that he is currently playing the style of game that the NBA franchises are looking for? If so it is amazing. Even Michael Jordan had a few things that he needed to learn at UNC and still more once he was drafted by the Bulls.
So if Derrick is going to have to change his game, even a little bit, it is just possible he could learn what he needs to learn at IL. After all IL has put PG with the names of Deron Williams, Dee Brown and Luther Head into the NBA in the past couple of years. It would seem to me that the Illinois coaching staff has had a hand in their development. And did so without the assistance of Rod Strickland.

In another part of the Sun-Times story Rose's mother is quoted as saying that she and the family support his decision. That's nice. Every family should stand behind the decision that their children make when they are picking out a college. The part I find curious is when Derrick said that he is following the family's principle of, "it's all about the education." I didn't realize that you can get a 4 year degree AND play major college basketball AND do so in only a year or two. I know this kid is good but he has to be extraordinary to get his degree in such a short period of time. If it is really and truly ALL about the education, how can he choose Memphis over IL? I will be surprised if Derrick even has to declare a major. But if he does, I wonder if Memphis has a better program than IL in that field.

The Tribune article quotes Rose as admitting that he had made up his mind two weeks ago. Then what was the reason for going to IL last week? It just seems rather strange to me. Was it really to look at IL one more time to see if they really were a fit for him? Maybe so. I am sure he liked the reception that he received. His older brother Reggie compared it to a greeting that a rock star would receive. Reggie then goes on to say if IL only had treated Derrick that way on his previous visit, instead of like a "regular recruit", he just may have selected for IL instead of Memphis. It seems to me what really bothers Derrick and Reggie is not that IL is not a great fit for him and that Memphis is. It is that IL and Coach Weber won't promise them the moon and treat them like rock stars whenever they walk into the room.

Which team is really the best fit? I don't know. It appears to me that IL would have been the better choice based on the better level of play. (The Big Ten is rank as the 4th best conference and the feared Conf-USA is 12th.)
Last year Conf USA placed only Memphis and UAB into the NCAA tournament. This year only Memphis is projected to make it to the Big Dance.
For the record, I am not implying that Memphis has a weak program nor do they lie to their recruits. What seems to be in Derrick's best interest is to be the big fish in a small pond. Put up some very gaudy numbers and then take the money and run. If that is the case I am glad he is not coming to IL. I just don't think it is the best interest of the IL program to sell themselves out for the sake of having a player on the team for a year or two.

I liked Rick Morrissey's column. He says Weber is doing it right. Weber may not land the top recruits at IL. But he isn't going to lie to them either. He offers the players a chance at a quality education and chance to compete in the Big Ten. And as long as Bruce does this I doubt many of the super elite players will come to IL.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home
A college hoops blog dedicated to the Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team.
Where will Illinois spend the 2007 postseason?
Watching on ESPN
Free polls from

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More

Link to buy Dee Brown book Link to buy Leatherbound, Autographed Century of Orange and Blue book

Where do my $ go? Blogroll Me! Subscribe in NewsGator Online LiveMessage Alerts

Add this blog to my Technorati Favorites!
Your E-mail:

December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / March 2007 /


Sports Publishing Logo

Listed on BlogShares

Powered by Blogger