Part of the challenge for Benet is trying to beat East Suburban Catholic Conference teams stocked with high-major Division I players. St. Joseph produces them on an annual basis, and that's why coach Gene Pingatore is at 820-plus career victories and counting.
Illinois travels to Northwestern Thursday night, and as Herb Gould explains in this Chicago Sun-Times feature, Bruce Weber is facing the same problem Pingatore did a few years ago. It's getting ex-Charger Demetri McCamey to play with maximum effort, as if he were a walk-on and not someone with NBA aspirations.
''When he was going to play against a name player or a top team, he was unbelievable,'' Pingatore told the Sun-Times. ''For run-of-the mill-type games, it was difficult. It's not just Demetri; it's human nature. And he is easygoing. He sometimes gets too casual. But when he turns it on, you'd like to bottle it.''