Mr. Powell, Roger was recruited by Kruger, played for former Coach Bill Self, and now under Bruce Weber, where he's kind of flourished. Do you think he's done so well this year because he's just good or is it Weber's system?
Well, I think it's because he has God-given talent, and I think that he's made the necessary adjustments because he's a kid that can focus. Sometimes it's really not fair that a coach takes another job and leaves these kids. Then you have so many people question why kids try and go to the next level - it's wrong when the kids try to leave. I also think Weber came in here with his back against the wall. He had good players around but now they all believe in his system. I think Roger plays because he fits in and does what has to be done. I don't think he plays because somebody gives him something.
Right now all the guards get all the national exposure on this team. Maybe that's because they score more, who knows. But when you talk to opposing coaches they all say the one kid they are concerned with is Roger. Skip Prosser from Wake said he knew going into the game that Roger could be tough for them. Do you think Roger looks at this as a challenge?
Well, I think this is a business. Illinois will pick who they want to feature. However, this is something unique having three excellent guards who can play. I think I look at the integral part of the game, and sometimes the fans don't understand that. Sometimes the player that you have to limit are the ones that do the work behind the scenes - ones that play defense, rebound and take offensive charges, can score and cause match-up problems. I think it really takes someone who really understands the game and how a lot of this stuff works.
What do you say to Roger when it comes to all this media attention?
Well, Roger grew up in a family that has been exposed to a lot of things; he's been exposed to a lot of political things with his father. We try to teach him the right things to do, and the ability to focus on himself. You can train a child or raise a child a certain way, but if his mind isn't right he's going to stray. So therefore some of that credit has to be given to him. I think that going to college and experiencing some things has been good. I mean, he's 21 years old. I think his ability to focus has a lot to do with his age, but also his spirituality.
Now Mr. Powell, you played the game and been around it for a long time. What do you really think about Roger's chances in the NBA next year?
Well, first let's establish what the NBA is - the NBA is a business. It's about talent and it's about money. The difference between the NBA and college is they are never going to tell you everything you want to hear. I think from a character point of view, Roger is A+A+. Also, it all depends of what team he can fit into and who really likes him. Kedric, it's like any other job. You put your resume in; somebody, a general manager is going to have to like what he can see. Quite naturally I think Roger can be very effective at the next level. He can help a lot of teams; the question is do they want him? You can't make anybody give you a job.
Do you think a lot of it is luck? Look at former Duke player Chris Duhon. He didn't appear to me as a NBA player, but he got on with the right team and look at him now.
Well, for Roger to make it - what you call luck, I call spirituality and divineness. The Creator is going to have to put it in somebody's heart. Right now there are only so many jobs available at that level. But I tell you what - if a team takes a chance on Roger Powell they can't go wrong. But that's on them. I also think even if he doesn't play basketball he still will be great for the community. All kids at this level want opportunities because the fun stops at college. The next level it's a business. You also have to have the right people around you. Like I said before - if the NBA is serious about character, then he should be considered.
Roger Powell Sr. on Jr.'s NBA Chances
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