Team preview: Denver
Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.
Fourth-year Denver coach Terry Carroll talked a lot before this season began about Billups and Nicholson. You'd think the NBA finals were still under way. But Carroll wasn't referring to the NBA champion's most valuable player and the NBA's most visible fan.
He's talking about Rodney Billups (10.4 ppg, 5.0 apg), a 5-10 senior guard who led the Sun Belt in steals (1.9) last year in his first season out of Los Angeles Valley Community College. Rodney is the younger brother of the Detroit Piston's Chauncey, MVP of the NBA Finals. Yes, he parlayed that relationship into some good seats for the playoffs.
Carroll is hoping that Billups' front row seat into the Pistons' glory and the Los Angeles Lakers' demise provided a good view of what Detroit's teamwork and the Lakers' lack thereof can create.