Illinois Fighting Illini Demetri McCamey: His True NBA Draft Stock

Demetri McCamey Illinois

Ah yes, Demetri McCamey! Much has been written and said about the now former Illinois Fighting Illini point guard, who was essentially the face of that particular college basketball program for three years, and a starter for close to four.

He slowly but surely developed and matured during his time at Illinois, but never became a loud, vocal leader. He brought the ball up, but was never a “floor general;” it just wasn’t in his DNA. The Illini probably would have won a lot more games during his college career had Meechi been that kind of guy. The most glaring void we saw in Champaign-Urbana since 2007 is/was vocal on the court leadership.

McCamey kept telling the media during the first half of this past season what NBA scouts told him incessantly: “point guards are judged on wins, to get to the league you have to win.”

Well, the Illini did get their first NCAA Tournament win since 2006 last month, and Meechi was a big part of that. Unfortunately, it literally was the only thing Illinois won during McCamey’s time.

By Paul M. Banks and David Kay

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Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Northwestern Wildcats, LIVE BLOG! The “Rivalry” Renews!!!

illinois-jersey_modern_family
OHHHHHHHHH It’s a family affair here at the Ass Hall tonight. Not really, but I feel like Northwestern is our “little brother”…

We’re three minutes to tipoff!  The purple weenies are here! There was a bigger crowd for Wisconsin (wait, that’s not good)…Northwestern HAS to win this game (wait, that’s worse…). Uh oh. Maybe this is gonna be trouble tonight…2:30 til tipoff and we find out!! [Read more…]

North Carolina All-American Latest of Many to Praise Demetri McCamey

Demetri McCamey Illinois

During his college basketball career, Illinois point guard has received a lot of hype from the media, but also a fair amount of criticism. Illini fans have similarly (perhaps even more so) had a disjointed, and almost bi-polar assessment of Meechi.

This year however, it’s become increasingly clear that Demetri McCamey IS good. Period.

Yes, his defense can still be a bit….”Ben Gordonesque,” but it is improving. And he’s trying much harder at it than ever before (see his recent surge in “Matto” points, the Illini scoring system of hustle plays). He’s also more disciplined than ever. The NBA Draft workouts this summer inspired him to condition better and lose weight; and today he’s in fantastic game shape.

By Paul M. Banks

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Will The Real Fighting Illini Basketball Team Please Stand Up?

Sometimes this job is easy. Sometimes it’s really, really hard.

Take the Illinois men’s basketball team for instance. Many people are saying that the Illinois-Texas tilt, a game the Longhorns won 90-84 in overtime, is the best game of this young season so far. I can’t possibly agree.

I saw two teams playing disorganized, frantic, one-on-one basketball for much of the night and defenses that were, quite frankly, non-existent. I saw an Illini team that refused to rebound.

And I saw an Illini team that looked anything but resilient, a chilling call-back to last year’s squad that wilted in the face of any substantial heat or pressure — say, that of a warm light bulb, for instance.

Then the Illini, just 16 hours later, took the court and dominated Maryland. Sure, they repeatedly let the Terrapins back into the game, but an Illini team that had to be gassed physically and emotionally always built the lead back up. It was, in all honesty, a pretty impressive performance.

So which is real? [Read more…]

Illinois Hunt Down Salukis in Spirited Rivalry Game

bruce weber demetri mccamey

After a football game that nearly defied all description, Illinois head coach Bruce Weber knew it was important for the Illini basketball team to get out fast.

“I did bring up the football game in the shootaround — you just never know and you gotta be ready to play,” Weber said.

“When you are winning you’ve got to keep pouring it on. One of the things we weren’t that good at last year was building and extending leads and putting teams away.  We had a saying this summer that you don’t ever take any prisoners, you don’t let up. And the way we’re playing right now we are doing just that.”

It was that relentless style that led the Illini to build a 31 point lead on the way to their 85-63 win over Southern Illinois Saturday night.

By Paul Schmidt

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