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Brown likely to return to Illinois after breaking foot

By Andy Katz ESPN.com

 

 

CHICAGO ? Illinois guard Dee Brown broke his right foot during a game at the NBA pre-draft camp at the Moody Bible Institute on Wednesday, likely forcing the junior to withdraw from the NBA draft, Brown told ESPN.com.

 

The Big Ten player of the year and the Sporting News' national player of the year will have surgery later this week in Chicago and be out for at least two months.

 

 

 

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

Dee Brown led Illinois to a runner-up finish in the NCAA Tournament.Brown, sitting outside the Wyndham Hotel with his foot in a cast and crutches by his side, was despondent over his luck. He had just exited the Northwestern Medical Center across the street.

 

Brown said he had a meeting set up with the Los Angeles Clippers and would like to fulfill a few other commitments this week, but was realistic that his NBA dream for this draft had abruptly ended.

 

"If they tell me to go back to school then that's what I'll do,'' Brown said. "That's OK. I'm OK with that.''

 

Brown said he would have to miss the Nike Camp, the Jordan Camp and wouldn't be available to try out for the USA Basketball U-21 team that is scheduled to play in August in Argentina. USA coach Phil Martelli of Saint Joseph's was waiting to see if Brown, who could be his starting point guard, would withdraw from the draft.

 

Brown said he's not sure how he injured his foot, but that he could have come down awkwardly on it during the game earlier Wednesday. He played a total of 10 minutes and actually ran up the court one more time after suffering the injury.

 

Other campers like Florida's Anthony Roberson and David Lee and Washington's Tre Simmons were stunned by the news.

 

Brown wanted to join his classmate Deron Williams in the draft and said he should have a similar shot at the first round, even though Williams was penciled in to be a top-five pick while Brown was projected as a second-round pick. The rub on Brown is that he needs to play the point. He was doing that through the first two days of the camp.

 

Now that Brown will likely return to Champaign, he'll join fellow returning starter James Augustine on the Illini next season. Illinois would still figure to be a postseason candidate and a potential Top 25 team with Brown and Augustine in the starting lineup. Brown would enter the season as one of the top five players for national player of the year honors.

 

The first-team All-American averaged 13.3 points, dished out a career-high 177 assists and 70 steals and shot 43.4 percent on 3s. He led Illinois with Williams, Luther Head and Roger Powell Jr. to the national title game, losing to North Carolina, the Illini's second loss of the season.

 

Illinois assistants Jay Price and Tracy Webster were in attendance Wednesday. Head coach Bruce Weber was on vacation. Brown said Tuesday that he had been dismayed by some of Weber's comments when Brown declared for the draft. He said he didn't think Weber thought he was serious enough about staying in the draft.

 

But any apparent rift appeared to be a moot point late Wednesday night as he sat outside the hotel, realizing that he would likely be back with the Illini for one more run.

 

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.

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First of all, Gooch is right, we are a 20-25 team nationally next year (which is more like normal for us, but I don't mind).

 

And I refuse to call this good news, he's a real nice kid and this is just really sad to see happen to him.

 

Hopefully he has a great year next year and this turns into a blessing in disguise.

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First of all, Gooch is right, we are a 20-25 team nationally next year (which is more like normal for us, but I don't mind).

 

And I refuse to call this good news, he's a real nice kid and this is just really sad to see happen to him.

 

Hopefully he has a great year next year and this turns into a blessing in disguise.

803070[/snapback]

Please dont take this the wrong way but...

 

How much do you think his heart will be in it next year considering its not the same team and his heart was set on the draft?

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First of all, Gooch is right, we are a 20-25 team nationally next year (which is more like normal for us, but I don't mind).

 

And I refuse to call this good news, he's a real nice kid and this is just really sad to see happen to him.

 

Hopefully he has a great year next year and this turns into a blessing in disguise.

803070[/snapback]

Please dont take this the wrong way but...

 

How much do you think his heart will be in it next year considering its not the same team and his heart was set on the draft?

803313[/snapback]

 

I think his heart will be into it if for nothing else then to prove he can run the point on a successful team and get himself firmly into the first round. He was not a lock this year, is short (can't dunk either) and was not the true PG for the last couple of years on the Illini team.

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First of all, Gooch is right, we are a 20-25 team nationally next year (which is more like normal for us, but I don't mind).

 

And I refuse to call this good news, he's a real nice kid and this is just really sad to see happen to him.

 

Hopefully he has a great year next year and this turns into a blessing in disguise.

803070[/snapback]

Please dont take this the wrong way but...

 

How much do you think his heart will be in it next year considering its not the same team and his heart was set on the draft?

803313[/snapback]

 

I think his heart will be into it if for nothing else then to prove he can run the point on a successful team and get himself firmly into the first round. He was not a lock this year, is short (can't dunk either) and was not the true PG for the last couple of years on the Illini team.

803315[/snapback]

 

True on all counts, except he can dunk (he did it in midnight madness). Actually, i'm just being a retard, he can't dunk in games as far as i know, just when he's like all by himself and can travel. :lol

 

And his heart will be in it, he was FAR from a first round lock, it was 50/50 at least he was going to come back anyways.

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First of all, Gooch is right, we are a 20-25 team nationally next year (which is more like normal for us, but I don't mind).

 

And I refuse to call this good news, he's a real nice kid and this is just really sad to see happen to him.

 

Hopefully he has a great year next year and this turns into a blessing in disguise.

803070[/snapback]

Please dont take this the wrong way but...

 

How much do you think his heart will be in it next year considering its not the same team and his heart was set on the draft?

803313[/snapback]

 

I think his heart will be into it if for nothing else then to prove he can run the point on a successful team and get himself firmly into the first round. He was not a lock this year, is short (can't dunk either) and was not the true PG for the last couple of years on the Illini team.

803315[/snapback]

 

True on all counts, except he can dunk (he did it in midnight madness). Actually, i'm just being a retard, he can't dunk in games as far as i know, just when he's like all by himself and can travel. :lol

 

And his heart will be in it, he was FAR from a first round lock, it was 50/50 at least he was going to come back anyways.

803320[/snapback]

 

You are wrong according to his workout report from ESPN Insider:

 

Brown might be, baseline to baseline, the fastest guy in the draft. He appears to have bulked up quite a bit in the last month, and he's got a nice shot that extends beyond the NBA 3-point line.

 

The only knocks on him are size (he's only 5-11) and a lack of explosive jumping ability (he can't dunk).

 

What he can't show in a workout like this is whether he can play the point. His ballhandling skills are good, but you can't judge decision-making skills here. That's why Brown will be playing in Chicago at the predraft camp. If he runs the point well there, he's got a shot at the late first round.

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Craig said in non-game situations he could, not game situations. There is a difference...I dont think he was refuting your point...

 

Hell, Redick threw down at Midnight Madness two years ago...

803333[/snapback]

 

 

I understand what he said. However, the report said nothing about game situations or not. It was a workout so I would assume it was just a regular test and not in a 1 on 1, etc... that he could not dunk in.

 

I remember when Wade went through his workout with Majec Lampe they had him do a dunk from the standstill position and a running dunk, I would assume that Brown went through a similar workout.

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