Norm Roberts (asst. coach Illinois) sounds off

-- Illinois assistant coach Norm Roberts on freshman Dee Brown.

1) Did you come in expecting to have such an immediate impact?
- We thought he was going to have an immediate impact. As far as having the ball in his hands, he plays at another speed. He can pressure defensively, I knew he had great court vision.

2) Do players going to the NBA early help freshman make more of an impact?
- It's a little of both. They play so much AAU ball, that they're ready to take on the challenge of big time basketball., Throughout the country, all your teams are young. Because you have more guys leaving early for the draft, it hurts the continuity of having new players. Anyone can be anyone on a given night. You can be a top program or a lower one, and it doesn't matter.

3) Describe your recruiting. (difficult to sign?)
- You can't worry about that. Kids have to make the best decision for (themselves). If he isn't ready for the big time situations, then he should stay in school. But there is always the money out there.

4) Have you seen leadership from him?
- We've got a number of leaders on our team. Dee's been a leader throughout his career playing, he was a leader then, he's been groomed to be a leader all of his life. But he's got a great group of leaders around him which has allowed him to be a better leader himself.

5) Do he have more experience than just what goes with the ‘freshman' label?
- It's new to them. A lot of haven't played in front of 18-20000 people. The freshman get annoyed because they watch on TV and they see role players that aren't very good. They're only averaging seven points a game, but they get out there and say ‘wow, he's really good'. What they don't realize is, hey, he was the best guy on his high school team. They're still freshman in terms of that.

6) Athleticism in general
- He's really really quick, he's able to change directions so fast. The one thing that makes him so good is that his court vision.

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