Originally written December 14, 2011 on Fox Sports Detroit:
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- If his living situation is any indication, Pistons rookie Brandon Knight has his priorities in perfect order. Knight has been spending so much time at the practice facility that he has had no time to even look for a place to live. Instead, he's shuttling from his hotel to the practice facility and back. So it's not a surprise that new coach Lawrence Frank is pleased with Knight so far. "Very, very impressed with his general makeup," Frank said during Pistons Media Day. "He's a sponge. He listens very well -- big eyes, big ears so to speak. He learns quickly. You gotta kick him off the floor. The guys have embraced him right off the bat because he's not afraid. He loves to play. "We think, obviously, he has a very bright future." Charlie Villanueva put it even more succinctly than his coach did. "He's definitely the future of this organization," Villanueva said. "Very smart player, he understands the game, unselfish player, quick. Very quick. He's picking things up pretty quick. Hopefully it can translate into the game." Of course, Knight is going to be up against it this season. Not only is he a rookie, but he missed some valuable time before the season because of the lockout and the point guard position is arguably the most challenging one. Knight has already noticed one thing about the NBA. "Just the speed," Knight said. "We talk about a play and we're on to the next play. In college, we might spend three or four days on two plays. Here, we're constantly moving on to the next thing." Knight didn't have much of a problem adjusting from high school to college last season as a freshman at Kentucky. He averaged 17.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 35.9 minutes in 38 games, earning first-team all-SEC honors. Knight also was named NCAA East Region All-Tournament Most Outstanding Player as he helped the Wildcats reach the Final Four for the first time since 1998. Knight said one thing that isn't too big a change is going from Kentucky coach John Calipari to Frank. "I'd say they're pretty similar," Knight said. "So far Coach L has been really, really passionate about what he does. He comes with a high energy level every single day, and that's really how Coach Cal was. He came with a high energy level every day and had expectations for us." Although Knight wasn't allowed to have contact with Frank or the other Pistons officials during the lockout, he did hear from Villanueva, when Calipari coached the Dominican national team that Villanueva played for, and from fellow Wildcat Tayshaun Prince. Prince is encouraged as much by Knight's attitude as he is by what he's seen so far during practice on the court. "We all knew he could shoot the ball real well," Prince said. "What he's shown us throughout the first days of training camp is the ability to try to run a team, getting everybody in their spots, because that's things he's going to have to do. Up to this point, he's done a great job. "Been through some growing pains, obviously, some mistakes, but we all know that's typical for rookies. But his head is in the right place and he's willing to learn so that's what's most important." Prince said that it was good for Knight that he has to practice against Will Bynum every day as Bynum loves to push the ball up the floor quickly. Bynum knows that it'll be tough for Knight, but he's willing to help the rookie in any way he can. "He reminds me a whole lot of myself because the way he approaches the game and the way he works, never backs down," Bynum said. "Me personally, I just want to battle him every day, try to get him better, anything he doesn't know I'm trying to teach him. "I don't want people to kind of jump overboard too soon because he needs the time to develop because it's the NBA, it's totally different. But he definitely has everything it takes to become special." Right now, especially since the Pistons still do not have Rodney Stuckey in camp, it's an opportunity for Knight to get extra work in with his new teammates and coaches. "There's some guys that come into the league, or some veteran guys who are in the league, that don't have the approach in terms of the work ethic, the attitude, the ability to withstand criticism," Frank said. "He has those things right now. That's a head start." Now all Knight needs is a place to live.
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