Thursday, June 09, 2005

Tough break for Dee (no pun intended) and for the Rev

By now many of you have probably heard that Dee Brown broke his foot yesterday at the NBA's pre-draft camp. Roger Powell was also injured and has a sprained right ankle. The Sun-Times has a good article today that not only covers these two injuries but also talks about the solid performance of Luther Head at the camp. My favorite quote of the day comes from an unnamed GM who after a great defensive effort by Luther said, "One thing about the Illinois guys, they defend." I love it!!! That's one of the reasons why Illinois is going to remain a very good to great team in the years ahead. Kudos to Coach Weber for emphasizing defense to his players.

So what do Roger's and Dee's injuries mean? Well, for Powell, depending on the severity of the sprain, it will hopefully just limit his ability to play in this particular camp. He should have other opportunities to work out and show NBA teams he is worthy of being drafted or, at the very least, getting a look as a free agent.

For Dee the implications are much greater. While we cannot assume anything until we hear it from Dee, it is very likely he will now be returning to Illinois for his senior year. It would be taking a huge risk to remain in the draft now that he can no longer participate in pre-draft camps or individual workouts. As Chief and I discussed, we hate to see it happen this way, but this is huge for Illinois. While for his sake, I wish Brown could have finished the process and then made his decision, I think in the long run this will be the best thing for him. He may be able to play himself into the first round for next year's draft and get a guaranteed contract, unlike if he went in the second round.

It will certainly be a positive for the Illini if they are able to have both Browna and Augustine back and then fill in with young talent that started to show some development last season. It may also swing a couple recruits our way knowing they would be playing with Dee for a season. Finally, it will be a positive for college basketball, as Dee has become the face of not only the Illini, but college basketball as a whole. Illinitalk wishes Dee the best as he deals with the disappointment of this injury and the process of getting his foot rehabbed.

Some other quick notes for today:

Former Illinois quarterback, Kurt Kittner, who led the Illini to the 2002 Sugar Bowl, is preparing to lead the Amsterdam Admirals in the NFL Europe Title Game. Kittner's performance in NFL Europe may give him a shot at being invited to the Chicago Bear's training camp, where he would be reunited with former Illini coach and new Bear's offensive coordinator, Ron Turner.

Illinitalk is a big fan of Decatur Herald-Review sports editor, Mark Tupper. In fact, his blog is linked to our site. It is always well-done and a great read. Recently, Tupper has been writing a book with Coach Bruce Weber entitled "Through My Eyes," which is an inside look at the greatest season in basketball history. The book goes on sale this coming Monday, June 13th, and would be a great Father's Day gift (hint, hint, to Oskee Mom Mom).

Finally, a tease for an upcoming post from Chief. Yesterday, I posted a link to the Trib's article on Dee Brown. The Trib also had an article today, which can be found here. The Chief has some major issues with these articles and is preparing a gem of a post. The only hint I can give you is that I believe the terms Watergate and Deep Throat will come up. Check back later today or tomorrow and enjoy!

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