Demar DeRozan " I think every game I have been getting better with defense on that end of floor. Just trying to establish myself there. Just trying to get a lot of easy points running up and down the court from the defensive end of the floor."
One of the things that I had heard Demar mention in an other interview that I had read was the differences in rotations from college and the NBA. He said that was the biggest difference. So I asked how that was coming along in terms of learning that aspect and if he was starting to get it now.
Demar DeRozan" Yeah, a lot of stuff is different from college. Understanding there are longer games, a longer season. Just trying to get use to it."
No question there was a lot of learning being done chasing around Ray Allen at times yesterday. Allen is no joke to defend for anyone. It has still to be determined if Demar is going to be starting but it is looking like that will be the case. So every night he is going to have some great players to match up against on a nightly basis if that does in fact become the reality. In terms of the offensive side of things it would seem that if Demar is going to get points a lot of that is going to come from the transition game. Demar seems to see that as well.
Demar DeRozan " I love running and getting up and down the court. Ready to get a lot of fast break points and get fouled and get to the line. A lot of hustle stuff like that. "
That is something that is interesting. Demar has really been driving it to the basket and getting a lot of calls going his way in the pre-season. There has been the issue of replacement refs through out this pre-season for all of the NBA. When the regular officials come back to the floor can Demar still get all of these calls is a question without an answer to this point. I have been impressed with the way he can get up and throw it down. I told Demar how I had been impressed with his hops and a couple of his dunks in this pre-season.
Demar DeRozan " Thank you. I try to go out there and bring excitement to the floor. Really get my team going. Really get some rhythm off fast breaks. That's the type of stuff I like doing."
There has been a natural progression in Demar throughout the preseason with the odd bump a long the way. But for the most part it has been positive for him as he gets ready for the regular season. I asked him how he is feeling about his progress in general and how things have been going for him.
Demar DeRozan- " It feels great. I have been going out there learning everyday. Just trying to add more to my game and mature at this level."
The regular season is just around the corner and I asked Demar if he was excited for the season to get started for real on the 28th.
Demar DeRozan- " Yeah, I am really excited. I can wait to get out there. Really get out there, when every night matters. "
That being said Demar still is happy there is just over a week left to learn more and get prepared for his NBA debut. Demar is always talking about learning and growing. Talking about it is one thing but he puts the words to action as you can see little things each game as he goes along improving. But even if you are a rookie getting ready for your NBA debut you still got to make time to watch your school play some football. I asked Demar if he caught USC game vs Notre Dame on Saturday.
Demar DeRozan-" I watched the whole game. That was a really good game. I miss going to the USC football games they are really exciting."
Demar is a proud former Trojan and thinks his football team is the best. But he is clearly focused on doing the best he can to represent the Trojans and himself well in the NBA. In having the chance to meet him now a couple of times I am hopeful he can do just that. I don't think he will make me a Trojans fan anytime soon, but a fan of a former Trojan wearing number 10 for the Raptors is a safe bet. Demar ended up with 7 point in 26 minutes yesterday and got to the line 7 times. Taking steps forward and learning as much as he can along the way.