Dec 10, 2010
Illinois-Oakland Men’s Game Uses Women’s Ball For 6 Minutes

Less than two minutes into No. 16 Illinois’ 74-63 win over Oakland at the Assembly Hall on Wednesday, Demetri McCamey could tell that something was wrong.

And it wasn’t just because the senior point guard missed his first shot of the game. McCamey said it was because the basketball felt more like a “NERF ball.”

“After my first shot I was like ‘Whoa, this can’t be right, ‘” McCamey said. “I told the official and he told me to play, so I just kept playing.”

Illinois head coach Bruce Weber said his players were telling him there was a problem with the ball from the beginning, but he wasn’t buying it.

“I kept saying, ‘They’re scoring. It can’t be too bad a ball, ‘” Weber said.

It wasn’t until freshman forward Jereme Richmond showed his coach that the ball was a size six — the size used in women’s basketball — that Weber realized there really was a problem.

“Finally Jereme grabbed it and said, ‘Coach, it’s a six, ‘” Weber said. “Ours are number seven.”

Richmond also convinced sophomore guard D.J. Richardson that there was an issue.

“I missed a couple shots and I didn’t really notice until Jereme really came up to me after he made a shot and said, ‘That’s not the right ball, ‘” Richardson said.

Oakland head coach Greg Kampe said that in 33 years of coaching, Wednesday marked the first time he had ever seen a women’s ball used to start a men’s game. Kampe’s players were complaining to him about the ball too, but with an 11-point lead six minutes in, he wasn’t in a hurry to make any changes.

“I wanted to keep it, Kampe said. We were ahead, just keep it out there.”

For his part, Weber said he wasn’t blaming the equipment mistake for the Illinois deficit in the first seven plus minutes of the game that were played with the women’s ball.

“(Oakland) scored with the basketball. And it should be easier to score, to be honest, Weber said. It’s smaller, it should go in the hoop better.

“If you play basketball your whole life, you play on the playground, you get balls that have nothing on them, no treads, nothing, no seams, Weber added. You’ve got to play. If you’re a player, you make a shot. It doesn’t matter what kind of ball it is.”

When Kampe was gameplanning for the Illini, there were two things that he thought might give his team an edge at the Assembly Hall — their defense and their rebounding. And it was those same two things that Kampe thought could be weaknesses for the Illini.

“Illinois hasn’t proven in the stats that they’re a great rebounding team, so we felt coming in that our strengths might be their weaknesses, and that’s how you win matchups, Kampe said. If we had to play them 100 times, that wouldn’t be good, but we only had to play them once and our strengths were good against them.”

Oakland did win the rebounding battle on the night, posting 45 to Illinois’ 34.

Weber said a 57.7 field goal percentage in the second half could be partially to blame for the fact that his team had fewer rebounds, since there weren’t as many misses to grab. The Illini had just 13 offensive boards on the night.

Oakland, on the other hand, shot 35.4 percent and grabbed 21 offensive rebounds.

“We’ve talked about it, we work on it, but it’s got to become something they take pride in because it’s going to cost them, Weber said. You can’t give up 21 rebounds.

“Now, we play pretty good (defense) and they shoot 35 percent, they’re going to miss more shots so they’re going to get more, Weber added.

McCamey, who grabbed four rebounds Wednesday, said it’s up to the guards to each average four to five rebounds to help out the big men.

I think everybody’s got to man up. But the bigs, they’re working their tails off. Sometimes it’s our fault, the loose balls drop all the way back to the free throw line and we don’t get loose balls or loose rebounds, McCamey said. We’ve got to do a better job as guards of helping our bigs out.”

McCamey’s defense

Over the summer McCamey spent lots of time running. The result was losing more than 10 pounds and gaining extra energy on the court.

“I’m feeling lighter, I’m feeling faster, McCamey said. And it’s helping me for late in the game situations, if we do have to get a big bucket or a big stop, I just feel much fresher.”

But that isn’t the only thing that has improved for the point guard. Weber said his whole team has started taking pride in defense — fighting for passes and getting deflections. And McCamey has been a part of that,

“Demetri has gotten solid at least, Weber said. He’s getting to be a good position defensive player. Now when you have that fifth guy at least being solid, it really helps.”


Illinois-Oakland Men’s Game Uses Women’s Ball For 6 Minutes

Daily Illini.com

Less than two minutes into No. 16 Illinois’ 74-63 win over Oakland at the Assembly Hall on Wednesday, Demetri McCamey could tell that something was wrong.

And it wasn’t just because the senior point guard missed his first shot of the game. McCamey said it was because the basketball felt more like a “NERF ball.”

“After my first shot I was like ‘Whoa, this can’t be right, ‘” McCamey said. “I told the official and he told me to play, so I just kept playing.”

Illinois head coach Bruce Weber said his players were telling him there was a problem with the ball from the beginning, but he wasn’t buying it.

“I kept saying, ‘They’re scoring. It can’t be too bad a ball, ‘” Weber said.

It wasn’t until freshman forward Jereme Richmond showed his coach that the ball was a size six — the size used in women’s basketball — that Weber realized there really was a problem.

“Finally Jereme grabbed it and said, ‘Coach, it’s a six, ‘” Weber said. “Ours are number seven.”

Richmond also convinced sophomore guard D.J. Richardson that there was an issue.

“I missed a couple shots and I didn’t really notice until Jereme really came up to me after he made a shot and said, ‘That’s not the right ball, ‘” Richardson said.

Oakland head coach Greg Kampe said that in 33 years of coaching, Wednesday marked the first time he had ever seen a women’s ball used to start a men’s game. Kampe’s players were complaining to him about the ball too, but with an 11-point lead six minutes in, he wasn’t in a hurry to make any changes.

“I wanted to keep it, Kampe said. We were ahead, just keep it out there.”

For his part, Weber said he wasn’t blaming the equipment mistake for the Illinois deficit in the first seven plus minutes of the game that were played with the women’s ball.

“(Oakland) scored with the basketball. And it should be easier to score, to be honest, Weber said. It’s smaller, it should go in the hoop better.

“If you play basketball your whole life, you play on the playground, you get balls that have nothing on them, no treads, nothing, no seams, Weber added. You’ve got to play. If you’re a player, you make a shot. It doesn’t matter what kind of ball it is.”

When Kampe was gameplanning for the Illini, there were two things that he thought might give his team an edge at the Assembly Hall — their defense and their rebounding. And it was those same two things that Kampe thought could be weaknesses for the Illini.

“Illinois hasn’t proven in the stats that they’re a great rebounding team, so we felt coming in that our strengths might be their weaknesses, and that’s how you win matchups, Kampe said. If we had to play them 100 times, that wouldn’t be good, but we only had to play them once and our strengths were good against them.”

Oakland did win the rebounding battle on the night, posting 45 to Illinois’ 34.

Weber said a 57.7 field goal percentage in the second half could be partially to blame for the fact that his team had fewer rebounds, since there weren’t as many misses to grab. The Illini had just 13 offensive boards on the night.

Oakland, on the other hand, shot 35.4 percent and grabbed 21 offensive rebounds.

“We’ve talked about it, we work on it, but it’s got to become something they take pride in because it’s going to cost them, Weber said. You can’t give up 21 rebounds.

“Now, we play pretty good (defense) and they shoot 35 percent, they’re going to miss more shots so they’re going to get more, Weber added.

McCamey, who grabbed four rebounds Wednesday, said it’s up to the guards to each average four to five rebounds to help out the big men.

I think everybody’s got to man up. But the bigs, they’re working their tails off. Sometimes it’s our fault, the loose balls drop all the way back to the free throw line and we don’t get loose balls or loose rebounds, McCamey said. We’ve got to do a better job as guards of helping our bigs out.”

McCamey’s defense

Over the summer McCamey spent lots of time running. The result was losing more than 10 pounds and gaining extra energy on the court.

“I’m feeling lighter, I’m feeling faster, McCamey said. And it’s helping me for late in the game situations, if we do have to get a big bucket or a big stop, I just feel much fresher.”

But that isn’t the only thing that has improved for the point guard. Weber said his whole team has started taking pride in defense — fighting for passes and getting deflections. And McCamey has been a part of that,

“Demetri has gotten solid at least, Weber said. He’s getting to be a good position defensive player. Now when you have that fifth guy at least being solid, it really helps.”






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