2009 Recruit Joseph Bertrand Update

Joseph Bertrand took the time to give InsideIllini.com a brief update on his summer plans, his injury, and his pick to win the NBA Championship. His answers may surprise a few of you. Get inside for more on Bertrand.

Joseph Bertrand is a 6'4" point guard from Sterling, Illinois and a four-start recruit here at Scout.com. He is one of the ultra-athletic Illini commitments scheduled to arrive on campus for the 2009 and then 2010 seasons.

Various recruiting gurus have tried to determine the best athlete of next two recruiting classes Illinois' Bruce Weber has produced. It's a tough job, with the likes of Bertrand, Crandall Head, Jereme Richmond, D.J. Richardson, and Brandon Paul to choose from. "I've been told by a lot of people how athletic I am and that I need to use it more. But my coach tells me that once I get stronger I'll be able to use my athleticism to may advantage and the game will become easier for me," Bertrand said.

Last month in Denver Bertrand injured his ankle, which was diagnosed as a bad sprain. The injury set him back somewhat because he wasn't able to be himself on the court. "I just taped it up and played on it, but you could tell it was affecting my game. But I want to play and be out there with my teammates," added Bertrand.

By no means is Joseph satisfied with his game. "Sure, I want to take it to the next level. This summer, my goal is to learn how to move without the ball better and learn how to come off screens. Those things should really expand my game. I've always been able to create my own shot. One time when I was at Illinois, I watched them work on it [moving without the ball], so I know it's important for me to learn this now," he said.

There was some talk that the recent commitments to Illinois may take their show on the road once this summer as a group. "I haven't talked too much with they guys lately, we've all been really busy playing. I haven't heard much about playing together, it would be hard with my Wolves schedule. It sure sounds interesting but I don't know if that would work out for all of us," Bertrand stated.

Being an Illinois commit and fan, one might assume that his favorite NBA team in the playoffs right now would be the Utah Jazz, a team adopted by may Illini fans. But that's not all true. "I'm really pulling for the Lakers; I probably shouldn't say that since Deron is playing for Utah. I'm pulling for Deron no doubt, but I like the Lakers this year," Bertrand said with a laugh.

This weekend Bertrand plans to participate in The Reebok Headliner Tryout Camp in Chicago, and after that he plans for a big weekend at the Bob Gibbons showcase. After The Reebok Headliner this weekend we'll give Joseph a call to see how he performed. So stay tuned on InsideIllini.com for future updates.

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