The Yellow Jackets will look to avenge a 76-57 loss last year to Southern California in Los Angeles. The Trojans won the Pac-10 Tournament last year on their way to qualifying for the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season. This year's team will hardly resemble last season, however, as...[details]
HEADER DeMAR DeROZAN Shooting Guard/Small Forward University of Southern California Trojans #10 6:05.7-211 Compton, California Compton High School
OVERVIEW Much like the O.J. Mayo era, DeRozan's time playing for the Trojans was all too brief. But in one season at USC, he made sure the team did not miss a beat, as he joined Taj Gibson, Daniel Hackett and Dwight Lewis in averaging double figures in scoring. That that unit helped the team compile a 22-13 record before Michigan State sent them home in the second round of the 2008-09 NCAA Tournament.
Regarded as the premier prospect in the country during his days at Compton High School, DeRozan failed to come close to his impressive prep statistics during his freshman campaign at Southern California. He started all 35 games for the Trojans, finishing third on the team in scoring (13.9 ppg), a far cry from the 29.2 points per game he registered in his final year at Compton. He struggled to find his scoring touch most of the year, but when it mattered most late in the campaign, he scored in double figures in each of his last six games, averaging 16.2 points and 6.7 rebounds.
At Compton High School, DeRozan was named a 2007-08 McDonald's and Parade All-American first-team selection, adding second-team recognition from USA Today. He added Best in the West first-team accolades and was a Los Angeles Times All-Star. He shared the 2008 Southern California Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association I-AA Player of the Year honors, was named to the California All-State team and was chosen the Moore League's MVP.
DeRozan was ranked as the 2008 top high school senior basketball player by Draft Express, second by HoopScoopOnline, third by Rivals.com, fourth by HoopsReport.com and sixth by ScoutHoops.com (top-rated forward) and Sports Illustrated. He averaged 29.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 3.0 steals in leading Compton High to a 24-6 record and its second consecutive Moore League championship as a senior. Compton was ranked fourth in the final SCIBCA season poll and it reached the DI-AA quarterfinals. He scored 30 or more points 12 times, with a high game of 47 in a 100-88 win vs. Gahr High.
As a junior, DeRozan averaged 22.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 3.2 steals per game to lead Compton to a 26-7 record and the Moore League championship. As a sophomore, he averaged 22.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game and scored 26.1 points while grabbing 8.4 rebounds per game as a freshman.
A member of the AAU Belmont Shore squad, DeRozan was invited to play in the Jordan Brand Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York. He helped lead Team USA to a 98-78 win vs. the World Select Team at the 11th Annual Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, as he scored a team-high 17 points in the game.
DeRozan scored 10 points for the West team which fell 107-102 at the McDonald's All-America game. He also won the Slam Dunk Competition during that week's events, getting perfect scores on his last two dunks. In his final dunk labeled "tap the baby," he bounced the ball off the glass, tapped the board with one hand and dunked with the other. Exciting the crowd in this event was old hat for the talented youngster, as he first dunked a basketball in the sixth grade.
DeRozan was named to the Pac-10 Conference All-Freshman Team in his only season at Southern California in 2008-09. He finished third on the team with a 13.9-point scoring average, hitting on 52.3 percent of his shots from the field and 64.6 percent from the free-throw line while averaging 33.4 minutes of playing time. He also averaged 5.7 points, 1.5 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.4 blocked shots per game. Named the Pac 10 Tournament MVP, he cashed in on his collegiate career and entered the 2009 NBA Draft.
2008-09 SEASON DeRozon earned Pac-10 Conference All-Freshman Team honors and became the first Trojan selected the Pac-10 Tournament MVP...Started all 35 games he appeared in, ranking third on the team in scoring with 485 points (13.9 ppg), as he connected on 192-of-367 field goals (52.3 percent), including 6-of-36 from three-point range (16.7 percent). Made 95-of-147 free throws (64.6 percent)...Logged 1,168 minutes of action, an average of 33.4 minutes per game...Grabbed 201 rebounds (5.7 rpg), as he handed out 51 assists (1.5 apg), had 31 steals (0.9 spg) and blocked 13 shots (0.4 bpg)...Registered 73 turnovers and 73 personal fouls...Scored in double figures in 28 contests and produced double-double performances in each of the Oregon (1/02), Arizona State (2/15), California (3/12) and UCLA (3/13) clashes.
CAREER NOTES DeRozan became the 11th Trojan this century to earn Pac-10 Conference All-Freshman Team honors in 2008-09...He became the first Trojan to earn Pac-10 Tournament Most Valuable Player honors, as his 63 points scored in three games tied Anthony Taylor and Chamberlain Oguchi of Oregon (both in 2006) for the ninth-best cumulative scoring total in tournament history...His 27 rebounds tied Ed Stokes of Arizona (1990) and Rick Anderson of Arizona (2002) for 10th place on the tournament record list... Only Taj Gibson (29 in 2007) had more rebounds by a Southern California player in Pac-10 Tournament history.
HIGH SCHOOL Attended Compton (Cal.) High School, where DeRozan was a 2007-08 McDonald's and Parade All-American first-team selection, adding second-team recognition from USA Today....Best in the West first-team pick and was a Los Angeles Times All-Star...Shared the 2008 Southern California Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association I-AA Player of the Year honors, was named to the California All-State team and was chosen the Moore League's MVP...Ranked as the 2008 top high school senior basketball player by Draft Express, second by HoopScoopOnline, third by Rivals.com, fourth by HoopsReport.com and sixth by ScoutHoops.com (top-rated forward) and Sports Illustrated...Averaged 29.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 3.0 steals in leading Compton High to a 24-6 record and its second consecutive Moore League championship as a senior...Compton was ranked fourth in the final SCIBCA season poll and they reached the DI-AA quarterfinals...Scored 30 or more points 12 times, with a high game of 47 in a 100-88 win vs. Gahr High...As a junior, DeRozan averaged 22.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 3.2 steals per game to lead Compton to a 26-7 record and the Moore League championship...As a sophomore, he averaged 22.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game and scored 26.1 points while grabbing 8.4 rebounds per game as a freshman.
INJURY REPORT No major injuries reported.
OTHER TOURNAMENTS/TEAMS SUMMER: A member of the AAU Belmont Shore squad, DeRozan was invited to play in the Jordan Brand Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York...Helped lead Team USA to a 98-78 win vs. the World Select Team at the 11th Annual Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, as he scored a team-high 17 points in the game...Scored 10 points for the West team which fell 107-102 at the McDonald's All-America game...Also won the Slam Dunk Competition during that week's events, getting perfect scores on his last two dunks...In his final dunk labeled "tap the baby," he bounced the ball off the glass, tapped the board with one hand and dunked with the other.
PERSONAL Undeclared major...Son of Diane and Frank DeRozan...His father told the Long Beach Press-Telegram that when DeMar was 10 he started doing 10 toe raises on each of the steps (15 of them) that led upstairs in their house, as well as squats, sit-ups and push-ups before going to bed, without anyone telling him to do it...Born 8/07/89 in Compton, California...First dunked a basketball while in the sixth grade.
SCOUTING REPORT Positives: While his game has yet to develop, DeRozan's frame has matured and is NBA ready, as he has the reach, wingspan, upper body development and explosive leaping ability you look for in a two-guard and enough strength to even garner minutes at small forward...Shows very good body control working toward the basket and while he had an adequate season statistically, the coaches hailed his work ethic playing "within the system"...With his reach and elevation, he has shown good prowess on both ends of the court (rebound skills are on par with that of a forward)...Has the shooting motion and high release point, along with the leaping ability, to consistently connect with his mid-range jumper...Demonstrates a solid defensive effort and does a good job of playing the transition game, thanks to sharp lateral agility, quickness and effortless mid-range shooting touch...While his statistics did not show it, he is a capable free-throw shooter with good motion and spin on his attempts...Has the athleticism and strength to cover forwards, doing a nice job of stepping out to stay in front of the perimeter shooters... Displays a strong charge to not only draw contact, but to consistently finish around the basket...Needed time to acclimate to his role on offense, but really came on strong the final 15 games, especially in Pac-10 and NCAA Tournament action...Good percentage shooter who converted more than 54 percent of his possessions as a freshman (66.1 percent in the second half of the year)...Has become very comfortable executing his money shot, a pull-up jumper from mid range, as his elevation (possesses a 41.5-inch vertical jump) allows him to create the separation he needs to get space on his opponent, showing a nice touch to go with quick shooting mechanics...Best when operating in an in-between attack, as he does not have the range on his three-point shot, but he uses his strong body well to force his way into the lane and can pull up on a dime to deliver with a fade away shot that comes off his fingers with a very high release...Good slasher, but also does a nice job of using his body to get spacing and has the slippery moves to get through even the smallest of creases a defense will allow...His lateral agility is evident with the way he executes a quick spin move before popping in a floater...Uses his athleticism well to attack the boards, as he has the aggressiveness working under the basket for put-backs and dunks off his offensive rebounding...Has exceptional open-court speed, evident by his ability to fly past the defense to haul in the alley oops or deliver with an emphatic dunk...Bit of an intimidator with the ball in his hands, as he has more than enough power to get by the smaller NBA two-guard types on the way to the basket...Works well when fed the ball on curls, as he can put the ball on the floor for a few bounces before going vertical to finish with a soft jumper (best when he comes off the dribble, and then elevating from his left side, becoming more confident from his weak side late in the season, as he was a bit too reliant on his right hand activity earlier in the year)...His elevation talent also allowed the staff to call upon him quite a bit down the stretch with backdoor cuts, knowing that in transition he will usually get the spacing and open path to get to the rim...Has really adapted to coach Tim Floyd's scheme, as he shows good court vision and use of his body to stay in front of the shooter, using his lateral agility effectively to prevent his opponent from slashing to the basket and knows how to use his reach to stick his hands in to try to alter the shot or disrupt the opponent in the passing lane...Not really a good passer, but will look for an open teammate rather than try to force his shot...Has enough ball handling ability to use the crossover to get by the defense on the way to the basket.
Negatives: Improved later in the year, but does not show the shooting ability needed to consistently hoist up the three-point attempt...Marginal passer and ball handler whose loose dribble (gets in a lot of trouble when he keeps the ball on the floor for more than a few dribbles) has resulted in a high amount of turnovers (his assist/turnover ratio was 51-73)...Has very good court speed, but you would like to see better explosion with his initial step driving to the basket...Product of his youth, as his concentration is lacking at times (needs to improve his overall basketball IQ, as he is susceptible to an opponent's hesitation moves)...Perhaps he did not want to try and rock the boat last year, but for a player known for his offensive creativity in high school, he seemed to be hesitant to take charge of the action until the Pac-10 Tournament and preferred to play within the system too much, even when it was obvious his teammates were stepping back and waiting for him to take over the game. He looked as if he was just going through the motions, and scouts feel he was too passive rather than demonstrating the expected aggressiveness you look for in such a physically impressive talent...Perimeter shooting mechanics need a complete breakdown and restructuring, as NBA two-guards can't make a decent living shooting 16.7 percent from the perimeter (that lack of range made him a liability on pick-and-roll plays)...Must show that he can keep the ball on the floor for more than one dribble and even though he changed slightly later in the season, he was too right-handed reliant most of the year, making him too predicable for the defender...A player with his raw strength should be more dominant in the post than he showed...His adequate ball handling skills are evident with his inability to attack the basket in the half-court game...Has good lateral agility on the defensive end, but for some reason, he struggles to protect the ball when changing direction (high, loose dribble led to the defense having good success stealing the ball from him).
Compares To: KENDALL GILL, ex Charlotte/New Jersey/Milwaukee -- Outside of his marginal assist/turnover ration, there are a lot of similarities in DeRozan's game to Gill. Some scouts liken him to Richard Jefferson (Milwaukee), but he may never be the decent enough perimeter shooter that Jefferson is. He is better served creating mismatches for an NBA two-guard type rather than wasting his physical talents as a small guard. He is simply not ready for primetime, and could have greatly benefited from another year in college, as his game was finally starting to come around late in the year. He will need a patient coach that will realize he needs a lot of splinter time at the end of the bench before he will be able to contribute at the NBA level, but there is no question that the athletic talent is there.