Joseph Bertrand, a 6-5 PG/SG from Sterling IL, has taken the advice of his coach to raise his game to the next level and be a little bit more selfish. "Coach told me this year that I need to be more aggressive on the offensive end of the floor. Last week, in Champaign, I was doing that. My teammates were looking for me and I was able to create shots for me and them too," said Bertrand.
Tonight, Bertrand will play a rare Friday night non-conference game in Rock Island IL. "I'm really looking forward to just playing, it's a challenge each time out. Since I've committed to Illinois, people play me a lot different than what they used to. I see a lot more pressure from opposing teams, they play a lot more zone and different ones each time down the court," added Bertrand.
Last weekend in Champaign, the future of Illinois basketball was on display, as Brandon Paul, D.J. Richardson, Jereme Richmond and of course Bertrand, took the court in the Shootout. Bertrand showed the Illini faithful his growing skills, as he scored a career high 28 points.
Even though most of the young men didn't get to hang out much, they watched as many games as they could. "I didn't get to see Jereme play as we had to leave, but I know he's a great player. I'm just glad we're all coming down there to play together. DJ and I have started to talk a lot more now since we both verballed to Illinois. Once we get down there, we're hoping to get things done and win games. I watched them [Illinois] play tonight. If they could have just made their free throws, they win the game, but they just wouldn't fall for them," he added.
Tomorrow, in the premium forum, we'll give you the skinny on Bertrand's game in Rock Island. For those who haven't seen this kid play, he's very, very athletic and can create a shot for himself when he wants one and can make others around him better.