"There's a Big Difference." Rodney Alexander

Rodney Alexander, a 6-7 wing from Benton Harbor (MI) High School will be a key ingredient for this year's 2007-08 Illinois basketball team. Alexander will be a nice complement to current flying Illini Brian Randle and company. Read here for an update on Alexander.

Not a lot of athletes can make the jump from junior college, but Rodney feels that he will be able to do what the coaches need from him and not miss a beat. Alexander played high school basketball in Michigan and attended Redlands Junior College in Oklahoma, where some of the nation's top DI schools sought his services.

"Right now everything is everything. It's a big change for me, but I like it all, there's a big difference for sure. I like the competition; each day it's great. Junior college is different, like a 100% different, from this caliber of basketball. I liked my junior college in Oklahoma, but here it's nice. The facilities and it's just a great place for me. Not only the basketball, but the school is different. There are so many more people around here than in junior college. I'm glad I came here," said Alexander.

Everyone knows that Rodney can get to the rim and he's probably expected to make a few highlight reels from Assembly Hall before he leaves. His teammate Demetri McCamey said, "Rod can go. He's not only one of the best athletes on our team, but I bet he'll rank up there with some of the others players in the Big Ten." That's a nice compliment from McCamey and Rodney was somewhat surprised. "I guess I can jump a little bit. I guess if I play hard all the time anything can happen, so we'll see once the lights are on," Alexander added.

Winning is something this wing-forward is definitely used to. His junior college team finished the season with 32 wins, so going out and leaving all on the floor is important. But again, this is another level of basketball. "With this team, if everyone plays hard and buys into what the coaches tell us, we're going to be good. We have the talent, that's for sure. Everyone here brings something different to the table and that makes us better, but the main thing is buying in to what Coach Weber is teaching us," stated Alexander.

Even though his teammates feel he's a big part of the team and he's a great athlete, there are parts of his game he would like to improve. "I've really worked on my shot, and I've done a lot more work on my body. I have more muscles now than when I came here. The Big Ten is a great league and I just want to be prepared for what it has to offer. I only have two years here and I want to keep winning, just like they did before I got here."

Practice just started so there's no starting unit put together at this point, but you would have to figure that Rodney would make a strong push for a spot.

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