Chicago Sun-Times
With Sun-Times sports reporter Herb Gould

McCamey, Weber and tough love

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The frosty relationship between Bruce Weber and Demetri McCamey resurfaced again after McCamey failed to pass, shoot or call a timeout at the end of Illinois' 76-74 loss to Clemson, and it bears watching. Weber refused to start McCamey, his most talented player, in the first two games of the season in an effort to coax more intensity and consistency out of the sophomore point guard. McCamey doesn't seem totally onboard with Weber's tough-love approach, and Weber still seems impatient with McCamey's casual approach. This uneasiness could make them stronger if they get past it--or it could make for more problems. When Weber arrived at Illinois, Dee Brown didn't buy in initially, but when he did, it helped him become a complete, and more mature, player. On the other hand, Weber and Shaun Pruitt never saw eye-to-eye last year, and it cast a pall over the team. The McCamey deal is hardly on the same level, but both of them will benefit immensely, as will the team, if they can get on the same page. That means McCamey needs to step it up, but Weber probably has to watch his step psychologically, too.

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This is a big year for Weber. If he has another year where he fights with players then you have to label him as someone who can't communicate with different types of personalities. In every relationship, including coaching, both sides have to give and take and I hope Bruce understands that.

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This page contains a single entry by Herb Gould published on December 3, 2008 5:12 PM.

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