The Illini's head Chief
You knew this article was going to come from someone, so I figured it might as well be from me. I'm not the one there at practice everyday, not sleeping at night worrying about the Illinois basketball team and what they are doing or how people feel about Self vs. Weber. That's Mr. Weber's job. What did bother me was the day Illinois played Temple on national TV and the color analyst brought up "our" website criticizing Weber's attire.
Bruce Weber has been a gentleman the entire time he's been at Illinois. He's great with the media and he really cares about his players. I know for a fact that he works his tail off recruiting; the parents of recruits love him. The one group of people that criticize him the most is his own fans. It's not like the guy isn't winning. Just the other day a story was done by the Chicago Sun Times regarding who they felt would win the Big Ten after the non-conference schedule. You guessed it - Illinois.
Monday Bruce Weber landed one of the nation's best high school basketball players in 6'-8" David Palmer from Tennessee - a kid that Oklahoma, Notre Dame and Tennessee had all offered a scholarship. But he chose to be an Illini. Why? Let me tell you.
According to Insiders hoops analysts, Palmer fell in love with the "our" team during the Bragging Rights game. He loved the crowd and coach Weber's offense. Yes, the same offense the man has been defending since the day he arrived on campus. One of Bill Self's biggest complaints has been our "lack" of fan support from time to time. All the same reasons that Palmer will be wearing the orange and blue.
Illinois fans nationwide have said that in order for Weber to put an end to the Bill Self saga he must prove he can recruit and win games. Weber has done both and he's only coached in 11 games. Big man Shaun Pruitt, who is arguably the second best player in the state, said yes to Weber and could have easily gone to MSU. Palmer is not only a top national player, he's from another state.
Before you jump the gun on what offense Weber and his staff run, you might want to look at the success of Purdue's Gene Keady, Texas Tech's Bobby Knight and our second favorite team the Duke Blue Devils, because it's all the same. Hey, isn't that where Shaun Livingston went to school - Duke?