Introducing the Class of 2007

Each week here at InsideIllini.com we're going to do an in-depth interview with all the incoming players in Head Coach Bruce Weber's 2007 class. With game tapes in hand, I will give my thoughts and ideas on each player - starting with guard Demetri McCamey.

We know that incoming freshman point guard Demetri McCamey could be the next media fan favorite at Illinois. He tries to recruit other players to play along with him, he's very vocal and has no problem telling anyone what he thinks of the Illini program or what he needs to do himself. Some say he's already a year ahead of former Illini great Deron Williams, the player McCamey is compared to most frequently.

Let's start with how McCamey viewed last season for the University of Illinois. "Man - people need to understand Coach Weber is a great coach. Look at all the injuries and turmoil they had to go through this year. I think he did a great job. They lost a lot of players and still managed to compete and win 23 games." Unfortunately Demetri, most fans don't really care about that. Some feel injuries are a part of the game and shouldn't be taken into account. My new slogan for the next year will be the one the Chicago Cubs use quite often - "Wait until next year!" I do believe next year's team will be better.

McCamey knows that he must adapt and change to play well at the next level. "Coach hasn't said anything to me, but when our season was over I weighed 215 pounds. In a week I've lost 5 pounds, so I'm at 210 and I can already tell a little difference. My goal is to get somewhere around 200 before I report to campus on June 9th. Let's put it this way - I will be ready to go," McCamey stressed. Here at Scout.com we have video footage of McCamey, but I was lucky enough to have a game tape sent to me for my viewing. No disrespect to any of the players on campus now, but if this kid learns the game and adjusts, there is no way can Weber keep him off the floor. He's big, strong, can shoot it, finish in traffic, passes well and finds his teammates. Rankings do mean something, don't get me wrong, but McCamey is a "player" and a good find for Weber.

"I just want to win. I don't care how much I play next year; if it's 5, 10 or 15 minutes a game we are going to do well. I talk to my boy Quinton Watkins all the time. We text each other all the time, too. We both know what's going to happen when we get to Illinois. Quinton can play; I've seen him play the last two years in AAU hoops. I'm telling you right now and you can quote me on this - he's going to be the next Luther Head at Illinois. He can shoot, jump and plays great defense. He competes very hard. I'm glad he committed to Illinois and I can't wait to play with him when I get down there," McCamey stated.

In the video I just finished watching of McCamey the kid sure looks like he's ready for Big Ten basketball, but according to him he must improve in a few areas. "I've been working mostly on my quickness and my three-point accuracy. Those are things that must improve for me and I will do it. That's why I've already started to lose a few more pounds," added McCamey.

Quinton Watkins, Bill Cole and Mike Tisdale are the official members of the Class of 2007. Coach Weber is definitely looking to add another one to this list. Coach Weber, not that you don't have enough arm chair QBs - but whomever you decide to go after really hard for that last scholarship, my advice to you is to have Demetri call him. This kid from Westchester St. Joseph's High School in Illinois will have no problem doing that for you. Next week InsideIllini.com will have another member of the incoming Class of 2007.


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