DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) -Derrick Rose grew up a few miles from the United Center. Now he'll call the arena home.
The Chicago Bulls took Rose with the No. 1 draft pick on Thursday, opting for the point guard who led Memphis to the NCAA championship game over Kansas State forward Michael Beasley.
``It's been amazing just waking up in the morning, knowing that today is my day and knowing that I'm going to have a chance to be in the first two picks,'' Rose said. ``Man, it's been crazy running around, making me feel important. You really don't want the day to end.''
That the Bulls went with Rose wasn't a big surprise.
General manager John Paxson had hinted that they were leaning toward the dynamic floor leader who averaged 14.9 points and 4.7 assists while helping Memphis win a record 38 games in his lone season.
Not that choosing him over Beasley was easy. Both players probably could have jumped to the NBA from high school if league rules still allowed.
Instead, Beasley delivered one of the best seasons ever by a freshman, becoming just the third to lead the nation in rebounds at 12.4 per game while averaging 26.2 points. He had the second-most rebounds and third-most points by a freshman in NCAA history, helping Kansas State to its first NCAA tournament victory in 20 years.
He is projected to be a prolific scorer, something the Bulls certainly could use, and Paxson had said he would probably make a bigger impact next season.
Yet they saw Rose as a better fit after a disappointing 33-49 season.
The Bulls lacked leadership last season, and they are trying to pick up the tempo under new coach Vinny Del Negro without sacrificing much on defense - areas where Rose could help. They were also thinking long-term with the pick.
Although Paxson said the Bulls will try to bring him along slowly, Rose believes he'll be a quick study.
``I think I'll come in and lead the team,'' Rose said. ``That's how I feel.''
Can a 19-year-old rookie do that?
``I think I can be a leader on the court and off the court,'' Rose said. ``Age doesn't really matter. It's about how effective you are, and I think I'm getting better with my leadership skills.''
Rose is just the second guard taken with the first pick since Magic Johnson in 1979, joining Allen Iverson in 1996.
A product of city's South Side, he had Memphis in position to win the national championship before things ended on a sour note. Rose scored 14 of his team's 16 points during one stretch as the Tigers built a nine-point lead late in the title game against Kansas, but he missed one of two free throws with 10.8 seconds left. Mario Chalmers then hit the tying 3-pointer, and the Jayhawks won in overtime.
Even so, Rose made a convincing case that he was one of the top players in the draft. He was particularly good during the NCAA tournament, averaging 20.8 points after a solid regular season and now, he'll try to help his hometown team pick up the pieces after a brutal season.
``Of course there's pressure,'' Rose said. ``But I'm used to playing in Chicago. I think that will work to my advantage.''
Rose grew up in the rough Englewood neighborhood and starred at Simeon Career Academy. He's old enough to remember the end of the championship dynasty but also saw Chicago hit the bottom of the NBA.
The Bulls thought they were on the right track after three straight playoff appearances but derailed as individual agendas took hold last season.
Luol Deng and Ben Gordon turned down five-year contract extensions and Kobe Bryant trade rumors surfaced as the season started. Players bickered with each other and their coaches. Scott Skiles got fired in December, interim coach Jim Boylan was let go at the end of the season, and the Bulls' coaching search dragged on about two months before they finally hired Del Negro after high-profile flirtations with Mike D'Antoni and Doug Collins.
The team's luck - and Rose's career path - took a dramatic turn on May 20.
Rose signed with agents Arn Tellem and B.J. Armstrong, the former Bulls player, and told them he hoped to play for Chicago. That drew laughter, but a few hours later, there were gasps. The Bulls won the draft lottery despite 1.7 percent odds, and a long shot turned into a strong possibility.
Chicago still has issues to address, starting with Deng and Gordon.
They're restricted free agents, and even if Gordon leaves, the Bulls still have a crowd in the backcourt. Kirk Hinrich and Larry Hughes have large contracts, and Thabo Sefolosha made a case for more playing time last season.
Now Rose is in the mix. He figures to hear a few cheers when he throws out the first pitch before the White Sox-Cubs game on Friday, but more important is the reception he'll get starting next season.
He knows what happened last season. He also knows the history of the franchise.
Rose mentioned Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen and said, ``Just knowing that I can be a part of that history is amazing. Just playing there in Chicago, I just can't wait.''

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