It makes no sense to quote career stats to show progression. Compare Abdelnaby's freshman stats to his senior stats. Meek averaged 2/5/1.2 as a freshman, 10.3/8.3 as a senior. No improvement there?
Newton went from 1.1/1.3 as a freshman to 12.2/8.2 as a junior and was ahead of those stats as a senior before he imploded. Sanders was 1.8/1.2 to 4.6/5.2. That's a lot more improvement than demonstrated by Hansbrough from his freshman season to his senior season.
Want to discount Ferry, Laettner, et. al.? Fine. We'll do the same with Mitch Kupchak, Tom LaGarde, J.R. Reid, Rasheed Wallace, and consensus top-five recruit Eric Montross.
I don't know what we do with prep All-Americans turned college scrubs Geoff Crompton, Pete Budko, Chris Brust, and Matt Wenstrom. Guess the Smith/Guthridge magic didn't quite work there, did it?
C'mon admit it, the Duke-doesn't-develop-big-men is a pernicious myth, no more deserving of mention than Duke-doesn't-develop-NBA players myth.
Especially on a Duke board.
while i think the "duke doesn't develop big men" gets overplayed, i also think that there is some truth in it. k naturally gravitates toward and connects with guards. now i know tons of guys are going to come out of the woodwork and point out 47680 examples of how i'm wrong, but i think we can all agree that GENERALLY the guys k has really poured himself into and connected with have been at the 1-2-3 positions.
I can agree the career stats don't show progression, but can you agree that even as a seniors, playing their best, those players were average college players and not what you need to field an elite team?
I know the "Duke doesn't-develop-big-men" is probably over played. I was just joshing ya...
The real issue is lately Duke has failed to get the type of strong inside post play we were discussing that to be an elite team you need to have.
Coach K has tried, but missed on a couple, Monroe for instance, but that's how it goes in recruiting. If I was a Duke fan I would want coach K to put greater effort into getting more players with post skills.
Unfortunately the last few seasons secondary guys, like Thomas, Zoubek, an the under sized McClure, along with the highly recruited McRoberts have been weak in the post, and it has shown with quick exits from the tourney.
That is no coincidence.
When Duke had strong post play, a Brand, Boozer or Williams they were an elite team.
IMO, for Duke to get back to where they want to be, they need to get more quality post committed players on the roster. The only one I see now is probably Mason Plumlee, and possibly Miles. No way Thomas and Zoubek take you where you want to go.
The best teams play inside out, or at the very least really play inside...That's all I'm trying to say.
"An angry man catches no fish"-Zen proverb.
"but can you agree that even as a seniors, playing their best, those players were average college players and not what you need to field an elite team"
We have a different definition of average college players.
Just because Henson does not have the body for a C/PF does not make him a SF. His FT shooting is atrocious but so was Brandan Wright who he reminds me of a little.
Whether he can play SF on either end of the floor remains to be seen, but I do agree that is the key to solving the PT dilemmma since I am pretty sure none of Deon, Davis or Zeller can play SF. Also agree the Wear twins only see garbage time.
Despite his near anorexia, Henson can be a good above the rim player on both ends of the floor, just not sure sure nor are many THR faithful whether Henson can play the 3. As a PF/C, he may get pushed outside his comfort zone by heavier opponents like Zoubek or Miles though they would probably be lined up on someone else, with Lance or Mason on Henson.
It is probably not all or nothing. He may be able to play SF vs. some ACC teams and not versus others. It would be interesting matchups both ways with Singler, Singleton, Aminu and Milton Jennings. Not sure how he matches up with Raji from BC or Dequan Jones from Maimi or JT Thompson from VA Tech.
What Henson lacks in lateral quickness he makes up for with length on the recovery and he does have the eraser Ed Davis there to cover when his man gets by him.
When matched up with a 3 guard set vs UVA or MD for example Ginyard takes Vasquez or Landesberg, so not sure who Henson can defend. It is not like Henson can post his man up since middle is already clogged by Deon and Davis, and not clear yet who besides possibly Graves who would not be on the floor in this scenario can hit from outside to open things up.
Assuming it is primarily Drew II and Ginyard paired with Henson the SF and two of Deon-Davis-Zeller, not sure there is a legit outside threat, despite assurances they are all working on their shot in off season. Isn't everybody and have they not been doing that every year?
Most observers, including his peers, would rate coach K among the top ten all-time coaches, based on NCAA championships, conference championships, winning percentage, consistency, character-builing, and leadership in his profession (Olympic coach, e.g.). Saying that the Duke program is deficient in coaching big men is roughly like saying that a Michelin Three Star resaurant ("Worth a trip" in the guide's lingo) doesn't do a good job with fish. Maybe, if you had said, "In the five percent (or one percent)of game situations where a zone is needed, Duke doesn't do that very well"......?
There is no way Duke and K are as successful as they have been over the long haul without being consistently outstanding in coaching and developing players in every major part of the game, especially in coaching big men and the inside game, which is the stuff that really has to be taught, because the seven-footers are typically way behind in coordination and moves.
Ferry, Alaa, Parks, Laettner, Brand, Boozer, Shelden, and even Shav (w/ injuries) developed significantly through their years at Duke.
There's more, but I am out of time.
That said, I just don't see how he is going to beat out any of the three NBA quality big men ahead of him as a rail thin freshman.
I think Henson is in the rotation this year mainly as a backup to Ginyard at the 3 and a small amount of time backing up the 4.
Maybe he is just too good to keep off the floor, but I'll have to see him play before I'll believe that considering his competition.
"An angry man catches no fish"-Zen proverb.