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yoco :: College Basketball
(a sports weblog) news and commentary on men's college basketball and the ncaa tournament

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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

seeking professional help

Is a recent article, “Weber wants Illini's NBA talk to end now,” a harbinger of conflict among fighting Illini (no pun intended)? Or has Coach Weber administered just what the Doctor ordered?

Everything appears in place for a big season, but coach Bruce Weber prescribed some preventive medicine Monday. He brought in former Atlanta Hawks general manager Stan Kasten to talk to the Illini about NBA scouting, the draft and agents.

Seniors Roger Powell, Luther Head and Nick Smith have pro dreams, and Powell caught Weber by surprise after last season by declaring for the NBA draft before deciding to withdraw his name…

Kasten can educate the Illini about the NBA. Then Weber wants the Illini to concentrate on being college players — his biggest concern heading into the much-anticipated season.

"Early, it would be focus on the team and not the individual," Weber said. "When you have seniors and juniors who have pro potential...I want them to be pros, but you have to make sure their focus is on the team."

I err on the side of caution. After being surprised by Roger Powell’s ill-timed and ill-informed early declaration for the NBA Draft last spring, Bruce Weber has appropriately worked to nip a season-undermining condition in the bud.