Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Bruce Weber: Coaching and recruiting genius

Must-read article from the Chicago Sun-Times today (on Eric Gordon):

Loren Tate: "Isiah Thomas was a fantastic junior in 1978. Gordon has that kind of speed. At this point, he is bigger and a better shooter. He dunks like Nick Anderson, runs the court like Dee Brown and has Deron Williams' ability in the half-court.''


But Gordon is on a different level. One veteran Indiana sportswriter said Gordon is the best junior he has seen since ... are you ready for this? ... Oscar Robertson in 1955. Tate said you'd have to go back to Isiah Thomas in 1978-79 to find a better backcourt player in Illinois.


Gordon has indicated he wants to team up with Rose in Illinois' backcourt in 2007-08. He talks to Rose frequently and could be Illini coach Bruce Weber's best salesman. If they get together, (Bob) Gibbons said it could be one of the best backcourts in college basketball history.

Article from SI.com:

Brown and Augustine, both four-year starters, have led the team on the court and off. That's a factor that can't be ignored, said Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan.

"When you have Dee Brown and James Augustine, two guys who have been through so much -- a post and a point," Ryan said Monday. "There's a lot of coaches who firmly believe that ... in basketball, if you have a post and a point you can compete on that day with anybody."


Weber's colleagues admit some surprise at Illinois' early season success.

"They've almost created a different identity with a different group of guys in a very quick turnaround," Minnesota's Dan Monson said. "They've made it look very simple. You've got to give them a lot of credit, not just their coaching staff but their players, for buying into that and doing the things that they've done to be so successful."

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