Charlie V called out

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:57 AM ET

Raptors rookie Charlie Villanueva must have felt as though he was back in school last night, being called into the principal's office for being naughty.

Following the Raptors' dismal 105-94 loss to the Chicago Bulls, a frustrated head coach Sam Mitchell called Villanueva into his office, only minutes after telling the media that he not only was disappointed with Villanueva's performance against the Bulls, but also with his work ethic during practice this week. Mitchell rarely singles out individual players, but last night he expressed dissatisfaction with Villanueva.

"He needs to pick it up," Mitchell said. "He has to realize that it's a privilege to play, not a right."

Villanueva played only eight minutes and 38 seconds, his lowest total this season by a long shot. Prior to last night's game, Villanueva's lowest time total on the court for any game was 17 minutes against Cleveland on Nov.7. He has been averaging over 27 minutes a game.

Mitchell was disappointed in many of his troops. Veteran Jalen Rose played only 8:45 and scored zero points. Mike James shot 7-for-17 from the floor and Rafael Araujo continued his problems at home, picking up three fouls in 10 minutes. But the coach seemed particularly upset with Villanueva, who had only five points, zero rebounds and two fouls after three minutes in the first quarter.

The rookie said he appreciated Mitchell's concern.

"Coach is just looking out for me," Villanueva said. "Coach wants me to be the best player I can be.

"It's a good thing," he added, "because it showed me that he cared. If Coach didn't say anything, I would be a little bit worried.

"I just have to bring it everyday. I caught two early fouls, and for some reason I couldn't back into the game. I can't let days like that happen. I have to be more consistent with my play."


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