Brown down to business

Dee Brown takes a shot during a workout for the Toronto Raptors yesterday. The Illinois product was...

Dee Brown takes a shot during a workout for the Toronto Raptors yesterday. The Illinois product was one of four senior point guards who worked out at the Air Canada Centre. (Toronto Sun/Dave Abel)

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:38 AM ET

Dee Brown is hoping to be a walking poster boy for the stay in school motto.

Whether that happens remains to be seen.

The Illinois point guard -- who dropped out of the NBA draft last year after breaking a foot in a pre-draft camp, sending him back to school for his final year -- was one of four senior point guards at the Air Canada Centre yesterday for the Raptors' first pre-draft workout.

In returning to school following the graduation of NBAers Luther Head and Deron Williams in the wake of Illinois' run to the NCAA final in 2005, the 6-foot Brown finally had the opportunity to play full time at his preferred point guard position. But while he copped the Bob Cousy Award as the top point guard in the NCAA, Brown's shooting numbers took a big dip, leaving him in the second-round mix for the June 28 draft. Illinois made a second round exit at the NCAA tournament this year.

"I went back and I had to get better at decision making," said Brown, a personable type who went to talk to some inmates at a prison in Illinois earlier this month. "I went back (to school) and showed people I could play the point guard position and make others better. It was a great thing for me. Everything happens for a reason."

Brown, who shares a name with unrelated ex-Raptors sharp-shooter Dee Brown, led a foursome of non-sure things in front of president/general manager Bryan Colangelo, coach Sam Mitchell and a good chunk of the front office. Also working out were Jose Juan Barea of Northeastern, Donald Copeland of Seton Hall and Bobby Dixon of Troy. The big names, most of whom are not coming off their senior years, won't start working out until after the draft lottery next Tuesday.

One thing NBA teams won't have to worry about with Brown is media training. Brown had the assembled crew laughing when asked for his first impressions of Toronto.

"I didn't know too much until I got up here," he said. "They told me it was beautiful and has a lot of women ... and a lot of people."

Toronto-born guard Jermaine Anderson of Fordham will showcase his skills for the Raptors today as the week of workouts continues.

Meanwhile, the Raptors will have Toronto native Denham Brown in for a workout next month. The Connecticut product will take part in a workout in front of several teams in Chicago this week.


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