Indiana - Coach Robert Smith knows star guard Derrick Rose didn't have a great shooting night, but he still does so many other things that some people don't see. "So many people were trying to make this out to be a one-on-one match up with Eric Gordon, but Derrick's not like that. It's not his game as you could tell; he tries to get everyone involved as much as possible. Because he's good he can get other people open and get them shots and I think he's a good defender," said Smith.
Because this shootout (Circle City Classic) had so many high profile players involved, you would guess that a lot of top-notch colleges were there to see these games. During a break I got the chance to meet a Notre Dame assistant coach who asked me who Rose reminded me of. I couldn't think of anyone right away, but he did. "Without a doubt this kid will be the next Deron Williams." Deron is a great athlete without a doubt, but right now looking at the upside of Rose, I would say Deron has a little more athletic ability but Rose is a lot stronger than Williams was at this stage of their careers.
According to Coach Smith, when Simeon plays Chicago Crane this Friday people will make the game out to be Sherron Collins vs. Derrick, but that won't happen. "Right now I just want my kids to play the best teams. We're not going to shy away from competition. We want our prize in March; we want to get to Peoria so we can win a state championship. We could have stayed home and played some other guys, but we want to play the best teams we can. We definitely plan to come back to Indiana again next year. This was a great atmosphere."
Simeon lost to North Central 66-68. With five ticks on the clock, Simeon had a chance for the tie or to go for the win. Everyone in the gym thought for sure Rose would get the last look at the basket. But he didn't. "We had a game the other night Derrick got a look and missed, but one of the other guys stepped up and put it back in. Some nights other guys are just going to have to step up, and tonight one of our seniors tried to do that but just camp up short," Smith said.
Smith also stated that Derrick is wide open when it comes to college. Nothing has changed at all to this point.