Brumby's Daily Column: November 9, 2005

Brumby looks at some of the news articles that are revolving around college athletics for the day and provides some thoughts on them and the world of Illini sports. Today's article focuses on last night's exhibition game against Illinois Wesleyn.

Today is Signing Day in college basketball, and Illinois' Bruce Weber is expecting to receive signed Letters of Intent from the two Illini commitments, Brian Carlwell of Proviso East High School and Richard Semrau of Lutheran West High School in Rocky River, OH.

The Illini recruiting class this season has been the topic of a lot of discussion among Illinois fans, and occasionally fans from other programs around the country. There is no bigger hot button topic than recruiting on the IlliniBoard.com Hoops Fan Forum because the opinions are sharply divided between two different factions, but this is not a time to rehash the debates of the past, it is a time to look at the Illini's Recruiting Class of 2006.

Brian Carlwell
Brian Carlwell is a four-star recruit according to the Scout.com ranking system, and he is the higher ranked recruit in the Illini's class. According to Scout.com's Dave Telep, Carlwell is "a developing inside player" and he "has the ability to be a force in the college game. He's got finishing moves on the inside and has shown to be a defensive intimidator."

According to Scout.com, Carlwell is the fifth best center in the Class of 2006 and the 33rd best prospect in the country. This signing is the highest ranked recruit that has decided to attend Illinois in Bruce Weber's tenure, and is expected to make an impact helping to fill the void left after this season due to the departure of four-year starter James Augustine.

Scout.com's Brian Carlwell Scouting Video.

Richard Semrau
Richard Semrau is a three-star recruit according to the Scout.com ranking system. Semrau committed to Illinois after his visit to the Illinois campus in late April. According to Scout.com's Jeff Goodman, "Semrau's biggest strength was his ability to knock down the perimeter shot," and that is one of the things that attracted the Fighting Illini coaching staff to the 6-9 forward from Ohio.

Scout.com's Richard Semrau Scouting Video.

Former Illinois point guard Deron Williams was on NBA TV last evening as an in studio guest (or at least I assume it was last evening, as the show aired then, but it was obviously a taped segment). They talked to the Jazz's rookie point guard and showed his early stats, and got his thoughts on how the NBA life has been treating him in his short time in the league. Deron had many nice things to say about Jerry Sloan, and then made a few jokes that he wished Greg Ostertag could move up and down the court a little bit faster, but other than that it was an uneventful interview.

So far in his rookie season, Deron is averaging 24.8 minutes, 1.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.3 turnovers, and 10.8 points per game. He is Utah's fifth leading scorer, and is only behind Andrei Kirilenko for the team lead in assists. It has been a good first four games for the former Illini point guard, and it appears Jerry Sloan has started to gain confident in his young point guard as he has been playing just under 25 minutes per game.

The two other Illini in the NBA, Brian Cook and Luther Head, have not had as much impact on their respective teams as Deron Williams.

Cook is averaging just 8.3 minutes per game for the 3-1 Lakers, and he is leading the team in Field Goal Percentage at 66.7% averaging 4.0 points per game. In a shocking number, Cook has yet to take a three-point shot for the Lakers this season, and it is something that is bound to change.

Luther Head has seen action in Houston's last two games playing 13 and 15 minutes, respectively. On Tuesday night, Luther played in 15 minutes scoring 7 points and pulling down 2 rebounds. The interesting thing with this is that Jeff Van Gundy chose to play Luther while Moochie Norris, Bobby Sura, and Dion Glover received the dreaded "DNP – Coach's Decision".


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