NBPA: Demar Derozan Spotlight

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. --- Demar Derozan was walking around the John Paul Jones Arena in between games this week at the NBPA Top 100 Camp sporting a USC t-shirt.

And that makes sense. After all, he's committed to the Trojans.

"That's where I'm standing right now – that's my school," he said, when asked about the t-shirt.

Well, not exactly. Derozan has "softened" his commitment to the point of talking with other schools.

"You never know if another opportunity might come that best fits you so you've got to weigh out your options and make sure it's the right thing that you're doing," he explained.

One option appears to be on the opposite coast.

"North Carolina, I'm hearing from them a lot, and a couple other schools," Derozan said. "They can't contact me that much right now – they just talk to my parents. I haven't talked to them lately because I've been so busy. But they've been calling and I see when their coaches come see me play."

The 6-5, 210-pound high-riser from Compton (Calif.) toured the North Carolina campus last month, meeting with Roy Williams, and came away from the visit with a Tar Heel scholarship offer.

In the meantime, Derozan continues his rise in the national rankings.

"It's just more people seeing me play," he said, explaining his rankings jump (now at No. 11 overall by ScoutHoops.com). "People probably didn't see me much last year, so I wanted to come out my last summer and just show everybody and prove that I'm one of the top players."

His trademarks are his perimeter shot and his above-the-rim athleticism. Coaches recruiting him have highlighted more than that.

"They say they like how I play aggressively, can handle the ball and shoot and I've got a big heart," Derozan said. "That's what they tell me."

At this week's NBPA Camp, he has yet to stand out above his talented peers, as he learns to excel on a team with many offensive options – including scoring-minded point guard Brandon Jennings ("Me and Brandon have been friends since the seventh grade," he noted.)

Though, Derozan has shown no disappointment at the lack of touches and remains patient.

"Everybody's going to have their chance to shine," he said.

But the questions about his recruitment linger. What's his game plan? Will he take more visits? What factors will lead to his decision? When will he decide?

"If I were to say I was firmly committed, then other schools wouldn't be involved, but I've got to see whatever other schools can offer," he said. "[My plan has been to] see other schools, talk to other coaches, but if there's not anything that fits me better, I'm going to S.C. … I'll know by the end of the summer [if I'm going to take any more visits].

"If I were to stay home, S.C. is my No. 1 choice. But if I decide I want to leave …"

Derozan then paused with a smile, not wanting to finish that thought.

"Anything might change, but for now I just want to wait and see."

Demar Derozan


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