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  1. #101
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    Are you calling Brian Zoubek a reasonable facsimile of an elite big man? That's certainly not what people thought at the time. And despite Z's incredible defense, screen-setting, and offensive rebounding in 2010, I'd argue Mason last year was more of an "elite big man" than Z ever was.

    If you're not talking about Zoubek, then I don't understand your statement. We had Carlos Boozer in 2002 and Shelden Williams from 2003 to 2006, plus Josh McRoberts in 2007-2008, who coming out of high school was considered at least as elite as Julius Randle is now.
    From Valentine's Day through April 2, Zoubek absolutely played at an elite level. I thought that at the time; I couldn't have been alone? I'd take that version of Zoubek over last year's version of Mason Plumlee, hands-down. And no need to send me scoring statistics; I'm talking about influence over games and importance to a team's success, juxtaposed with how much success that team had.

    McRoberts in no way was an elite college player, though you're obviously right that he was considered elite coming out of high school. So was Shav. Obviously, I have higher hopes for Randle based on what I've seen and heard, is what I'm saying. (Shelden Williams was indeed elite in college, but it's been six years.)

  2. #102

    Parker may wait until the spring to commit....

    Here is the link: http://espn.go.com/chicago/story/_/i...-commit-spring .

    Don't know if this bodes well or bad for any team although my instincts tell me that it favors teams like KY, Kansas, or other school that might not be as a high on his favorites list (assuming one believes that Duke and MSU are in the lead).

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starter View Post
    From Valentine's Day through April 2, Zoubek absolutely played at an elite level. I thought that at the time; I couldn't have been alone? I'd take that version of Zoubek over last year's version of Mason Plumlee, hands-down. And no need to send me scoring statistics; I'm talking about influence over games and importance to a team's success, juxtaposed with how much success that team had.

    McRoberts in no way was an elite college player, though you're obviously right that he was considered elite coming out of high school. So was Shav. Obviously, I have higher hopes for Randle based on what I've seen and heard, is what I'm saying. (Shelden Williams was indeed elite in college, but it's been six years.)
    I'm not putting Zoubek down. I was one of his biggest boosters, even before Valentine's day. Yes, he played great down the stretch in 2010. Yes, we would not have made the Final Four without his fabulous play. But I think when people talk about "elite" big men they're talking about a more rounded, offensively dominant type of player than Z was ever capable of being. Certainly Julius Randle is not going to play like Zoubek.

    Also, it's easy to say McRoberts wasn't an elite college player, because he wasn't. But at the same stage of his career as Julius Randle is now, he was at least as elite as Randle, if not a bit more.

  4. #104
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    I'm not putting Zoubek down. I was one of his biggest boosters, even before Valentine's day. Yes, he played great down the stretch in 2010. Yes, we would not have made the Final Four without his fabulous play. But I think when people talk about "elite" big men they're talking about a more rounded, offensively dominant type of player than Z was ever capable of being. Certainly Julius Randle is not going to play like Zoubek.

    Also, it's easy to say McRoberts wasn't an elite college player, because he wasn't. But at the same stage of his career as Julius Randle is now, he was at least as elite as Randle, if not a bit more.
    All fair points, and I can't pretend my affinity for his game didn't mostly begin on Valentine's Day! So I'll give you props there. I thought Zoubek was in rarefied air for the college game with his defense and rebounding, sort of like a very, very poor man's Bill Russell. (He was the best offensive rebounder in the country, very efficient on offense.) But no, you're absolutely right, definitely not elite in the conventional sense, I get the distinction.

    You're 100 percent right about McRoberts. Even after his freshman year at Duke, people thought he'd be a world beater. I'll hold off before putting Randle in the Hall of Fame. But I do think he'll be a stud, for what it's worth, would love to have him.

  5. #105
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    If we don't get Randle or any other big men, our 4-5 rotation will consist of Marshall Plumlee and a bunch of guys who are for now defined as 3/4's (Jefferson, Murphy, Hairston, possibly Hood but probably not). Even if you presume that Plumlee develops into a legit starting center and Jefferson is able to play the 4 full-time, that's still a pretty shallow frontcourt. This is why people (myself included) perceive Randall as being more important than Parker. Parker may be the better player, the extent to which is debatable, but we just don't have any inside scoring and very little inside depth and we've seen that tune played out so many times before.

    It's kind of similar to the argument that Tony Parker would have been a bigger get than Shabazz Muhammad (this was before we knew that Mason was coming back). Sorry to tear open that wound...

  6. #106
    Quote Originally Posted by UrinalCake View Post

    It's kind of similar to the argument that Tony Parker would have been a bigger get than Shabazz Muhammad (this was before we knew that Mason was coming back). Sorry to tear open that wound...
    If this matters, and it very well might not, I thought Tony Parker was extremely underwhelming when I saw him live, and that he needed a lot of work to get to where he needs to be as a Division 1 athlete. (This, also, was in January.) Jabari at least scored 24 points when I saw him, though most of those came in garbage time. Again, he was good, I was just holding him up to the standard everyone else had set, with the unique backstory and whatnot.

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by UrinalCake View Post
    If we don't get Randle or any other big men, our 4-5 rotation will consist of Marshall Plumlee and a bunch of guys who are for now defined as 3/4's (Jefferson, Murphy, Hairston, possibly Hood but probably not). Even if you presume that Plumlee develops into a legit starting center and Jefferson is able to play the 4 full-time, that's still a pretty shallow frontcourt. This is why people (myself included) perceive Randall as being more important than Parker. Parker may be the better player, the extent to which is debatable, but we just don't have any inside scoring and very little inside depth and we've seen that tune played out so many times before.

    It's kind of similar to the argument that Tony Parker would have been a bigger get than Shabazz Muhammad (this was before we knew that Mason was coming back). Sorry to tear open that wound...
    I don't really disagree with you, but I do presume that Plumlee will develop into a legit center by 2013-14 (his third year at Duke) and that Jefferson, Hairston and Murphy will be solid at the 4 and 5. I certainly hope that Duke can get Randle, but if the team instead lands Parker (Jabari that is), I will not be disappointed.

    With Amile and Rodney having committed, I don't feel any kind of wound with respect to Tony Parker and Shabazz. I think the staff did the right thing by staying in both recruitments until the end, but Duke will be just fine with Amile (who is rated higher, #21 to #24 in RSCI, than T. Parker) and Hood (almost as good a prospect as Shabazz.)

    I am optimistic about the front court players the team already has and their development as well as the possibility of Duke landing another front court player should Randle decide to go somewhere else.
    “Those two kids, they’re champions,” Krzyzewski said of his senior leaders. “They’re trying to teach the other kids how to become that, and it’s a long road to become that.”

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    In what way is Barnes's playing style like Bird's? Larry Bird was an incredible passer and great defender who made his teammates better and could score any way he pleased. His best attributes were his court vision and uncanny understanding of the game. So far, at least, Barnes is basically a good shooter. I'd argue people don't make that comparison because the players are nothing alike.

    That's exactly my point . . . you can't just compare a player to a legendary player based on the fact that a few aspects of their games are similar. I was waiting on someone to jump on this. Barnes has a good jumper, hes a pretty smart player, and he's about 6'8". . that's basically all I based that comparison on. My point was, you dont compare jabari parker to kobe bryant and grant hill unless hes REALLY freakin good. And I didn't make that comparison, Coach K did.

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by NSDukeFan View Post
    I don't really disagree with you, but I do presume that Plumlee will develop into a legit center by 2013-14 (his third year at Duke) and that Jefferson, Hairston and Murphy will be solid at the 4 and 5. I certainly hope that Duke can get Randle, but if the team instead lands Parker (Jabari that is), I will not be disappointed.

    With Amile and Rodney having committed, I don't feel any kind of wound with respect to Tony Parker and Shabazz. I think the staff did the right thing by staying in both recruitments until the end, but Duke will be just fine with Amile (who is rated higher, #21 to #24 in RSCI, than T. Parker) and Hood (almost as good a prospect as Shabazz.)

    I am optimistic about the front court players the team already has and their development as well as the possibility of Duke landing another front court player should Randle decide to go somewhere else.

    I know its great to say that because he's at Duke but Hood is/was nowhere near the prospect that Shabazz was/is. Hood was rated #27 to Shabazz' #1 rate...Hood had a decent year a Miss St, averaged 10 pts a game, Shabazz is expect to change the direction of UCLA's program next year. I think Hood will be pretty good for us when he finally suits up but he's not Shabazz

  10. #110
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    FWIW Give me Jabari and then go after a guy like Austin Nichols who would give us another post option...everything I've heard says UK leads for Randle right now plus Randle isn't that elite big man we're looking for. The comparisons to Lebron are based off playing style, I've seen him play a few times now and he's always played point-forward, handled the ball a lot, iso'd his defender and basically went one on one to finish or find an open man. We wouldn't need that from Randle. I haven't seen much if any desire to work down on the low block. I remember people saying we stopped pursuing Alex Poythress b/c he wanted to strictly play the perimeter, are we sure thats not the case with Randle?

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcar1985 View Post
    I know its great to say that because he's at Duke but Hood is/was nowhere near the prospect that Shabazz was/is. Hood was rated #27 to Shabazz' #1 rate...Hood had a decent year a Miss St, averaged 10 pts a game, Shabazz is expect to change the direction of UCLA's program next year. I think Hood will be pretty good for us when he finally suits up but he's not Shabazz
    I was basing my comment on some draft prediction sites that had predicted Hood as a lottery pick which, admittedly, is probably pretty flimsy evidence at this point. At least he is also a lefty?
    “Those two kids, they’re champions,” Krzyzewski said of his senior leaders. “They’re trying to teach the other kids how to become that, and it’s a long road to become that.”

  12. #112
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    There certainly is some wiggle room in the word "elite."

    But in 2006, Duke started a 6-9, 240-pound senior center. This player averaged 18.8 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game, while shooting .577 from the field and .744 from the line.

    In doing so, he became Duke's career leader in rebounds and blocked shots. And he had his jersey retired.

    He was first-team All-America for a team that lost only four times. Unfortunately, one of those losses was in the NCAAs. So, Duke did not win an NCAA title the last time it had an undisputably elite big man.

    But I would be very surprised if a a freshman Randle equals what the senior Shelden Williams accomplished.

  13. #113
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post

    He was first-team All-America for a team that lost only four times. Unfortunately, one of those losses was in the NCAAs. So, Duke did not win an NCAA title the last time it had an undisputably elite big man.

    But I would be very surprised if a a freshman Randle equals what the senior Shelden Williams accomplished.
    Yeah, I explained what I was saying above, in case you missed it; I asserted that Zoubek was playing at an elite level during the final month and a half of the 2010 title run. I still believe that particular version of Zoubek was far and away better than anything else we've had in the pivot besides Williams in the decade since Carlos Boozer left.

    As for Randle equaling a senior Shelden Williams, that would very pleasantly surprise me as well. If he showed up and provided some sort of similar impact to what the relatively unrefined but still potent freshman or sophomore versions of Shelden offered, I'd be fine with that.
    Last edited by Starter; 08-03-2012 at 02:24 PM. Reason: Added comparison of Randle and Shelden Williams

  14. #114
    Quote Originally Posted by NSDukeFan View Post
    I do presume that Plumlee will develop into a legit center by 2013-14 (his third year at Duke) and that Jefferson, Hairston and Murphy will be solid at the 4 and 5.

    With Amile and Rodney having committed, I don't feel any kind of wound with respect to Tony Parker and Shabazz.

    I am optimistic about the front court players the team already has and their development as well as the possibility of Duke landing another front court player should Randle decide to go somewhere else.
    Having excised the overenthusiastic comparison of Hood to Muhammad, I agree with all the rest of NSDukeFan's points here. I, too, presume that we'll be almost as pleased with Marshall by 2013-'14 as K will be, and possibly Marshall himself. [Unless, that is, Marshall needles Mason so mercilessly that Mason loses it, punches out Marshall severely, leading to Marshall missing the 2013-'14 season.]

    Jefferson is commonly thought to be [1] a 4-who-only-looks-like-a-3, [2] only temporarily, because necessarily, a backup 3 for 2012-'13, and [3] a major-minute guy at the 4 by 2013-'14. Murphy is big and versatile enough to play some 4. Hairston is pretty clearly a 4, and will be an experienced senior by 2013-'14.

    The obvious concern would be the 5. I'm perhaps the only person [although one might parse NSDukeFan's "solid" as including Hairston for some minutes at the 5] who would be perfectly comfortable with Marshall and an undersized Hairston manning the 5 in 2013-'14; obviously another frontcourt frosh would help. But absent a highly rated such frontcourt frosh, it strikes me that Hairston might simply be the logical backup 5 anyway, based on experience and strength.

    Even taking the worst-case, if highly, highly unlikely, scenario -- absolutely no more recruits from the HS class of 2013 -- Duke would have enough talent in 2013-'14 to be preseason top 10.

    PG - Cook, Thornton, Sulaimon in a pinch
    Wing SG - Dawkins, Hood, Sulaimon, Jones
    Wing SF - Murphy, Hood, Jones, in a pinch
    PF - Jefferson, Hairston, Murphy in a pinch
    C - Plumlee, Hairston, Jefferson in a pinch

    We're in high cotton, pretty much every season. Otherwise, we wouldn't be the Entitled. But we are the Entitled. We don't deserve it, but then neither do UNC and UK, curses upon them.

  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by gumbomoop View Post
    Having excised the overenthusiastic comparison of Hood to Muhammad, I agree with all the rest of NSDukeFan's points here. I, too, presume that we'll be almost as pleased with Marshall by 2013-'14 as K will be, and possibly Marshall himself. [Unless, that is, Marshall needles Mason so mercilessly that Mason loses it, punches out Marshall severely, leading to Marshall missing the 2013-'14 season.]

    Jefferson is commonly thought to be [1] a 4-who-only-looks-like-a-3, [2] only temporarily, because necessarily, a backup 3 for 2012-'13, and [3] a major-minute guy at the 4 by 2013-'14. Murphy is big and versatile enough to play some 4. Hairston is pretty clearly a 4, and will be an experienced senior by 2013-'14.

    The obvious concern would be the 5. I'm perhaps the only person [although one might parse NSDukeFan's "solid" as including Hairston for some minutes at the 5] who would be perfectly comfortable with Marshall and an undersized Hairston manning the 5 in 2013-'14; obviously another frontcourt frosh would help. But absent a highly rated such frontcourt frosh, it strikes me that Hairston might simply be the logical backup 5 anyway, based on experience and strength.

    Even taking the worst-case, if highly, highly unlikely, scenario -- absolutely no more recruits from the HS class of 2013 -- Duke would have enough talent in 2013-'14 to be preseason top 10.

    PG - Cook, Thornton, Sulaimon in a pinch
    Wing SG - Dawkins, Hood, Sulaimon, Jones
    Wing SF - Murphy, Hood, Jones, in a pinch
    PF - Jefferson, Hairston, Murphy in a pinch
    C - Plumlee, Hairston, Jefferson in a pinch

    We're in high cotton, pretty much every season. Otherwise, we wouldn't be the Entitled. But we are the Entitled. We don't deserve it, but then neither do UNC and UK, curses upon them.
    You can count me in as perfectly comfortable with redshirt sophomore Marshall and a senior Hairston manning the 5 in 2013-14. (I am optimistically hoping for plenty of improvement from both of them before then.)

    I also agree that the line-ups you have shown in a 'worst-case' scenario constitutes a top 10 team. A couple minor quibbles I might have is that I would expect Murphy to perhaps be playing a big forward spot more than in a pinch and if Dawkins is playing (hopefully), I would expect him to get some minutes as the bigger wing, with a PG + Sulaimon.

    I am excited for 2013-14, but am really looking forward to this year as well. Things are definitely looking good for the near future.
    “Those two kids, they’re champions,” Krzyzewski said of his senior leaders. “They’re trying to teach the other kids how to become that, and it’s a long road to become that.”

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by gumbomoop View Post
    Having excised the overenthusiastic comparison of Hood to Muhammad, I agree with all the rest of NSDukeFan's points here. I, too, presume that we'll be almost as pleased with Marshall by 2013-'14 as K will be, and possibly Marshall himself. [Unless, that is, Marshall needles Mason so mercilessly that Mason loses it, punches out Marshall severely, leading to Marshall missing the 2013-'14 season.]

    Jefferson is commonly thought to be [1] a 4-who-only-looks-like-a-3, [2] only temporarily, because necessarily, a backup 3 for 2012-'13, and [3] a major-minute guy at the 4 by 2013-'14. Murphy is big and versatile enough to play some 4. Hairston is pretty clearly a 4, and will be an experienced senior by 2013-'14.

    The obvious concern would be the 5. I'm perhaps the only person [although one might parse NSDukeFan's "solid" as including Hairston for some minutes at the 5] who would be perfectly comfortable with Marshall and an undersized Hairston manning the 5 in 2013-'14; obviously another frontcourt frosh would help. But absent a highly rated such frontcourt frosh, it strikes me that Hairston might simply be the logical backup 5 anyway, based on experience and strength.

    Even taking the worst-case, if highly, highly unlikely, scenario -- absolutely no more recruits from the HS class of 2013 -- Duke would have enough talent in 2013-'14 to be preseason top 10.

    PG - Cook, Thornton, Sulaimon in a pinch
    Wing SG - Dawkins, Hood, Sulaimon, Jones
    Wing SF - Murphy, Hood, Jones, in a pinch
    PF - Jefferson, Hairston, Murphy in a pinch
    C - Plumlee, Hairston, Jefferson in a pinch

    We're in high cotton, pretty much every season. Otherwise, we wouldn't be the Entitled. But we are the Entitled. We don't deserve it, but then neither do UNC and UK, curses upon them.
    I believe this depth chart way under-values Sulaimon.

  17. #117
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    I believe this depth chart way under-values Sulaimon.
    You're right, my bad. I didn't mean Sulaimon wouldn't start in 2013-'14, though I'm not absolutely certain he will. It's all waaay in the future, but I assume Sulaimon wouldn't start ahead of Cook at PG. Nor do I assume - even in this clearly worst-case-depth-wise scenario - that K will start a 3-guard lineup, though it seems likely that in this scenario he would have to go with 3-guards at times.

    So, I guess Sulaimon and Murphy might well start at the wings, with Hood and Dawkins off the bench. But others might guess - in this worst-case-anyway-guessing-game - that Hood might start, with several super-6th-men off the bench [Sulaimon, Dawkins, Jefferson, even Thornton].

    While my list, again, looks like it undervalues Sulaimon, let me be clear that whether he starts [probably] or not [maybe], I fully agree with your point that he will play a major role, and major minutes.

    ETA -- The way the list looks: I'd have no problem listing Sulaimon first at Wing SG. That would appear to value his likely contribution more. But it wouldn't actually change the substance of my view, which is that in this [silly, actually] unlikely scenario, 9 guys will be fully in the rotation [Jones, don't know]. And Sulaimon might well play 30 mpg.
    Last edited by gumbomoop; 08-03-2012 at 04:11 PM.

  18. #118
    Quote Originally Posted by Class of '94 View Post
    Here is the link: http://espn.go.com/chicago/story/_/i...-commit-spring .

    Don't know if this bodes well or bad for any team although my instincts tell me that it favors teams like KY, Kansas, or other school that might not be as a high on his favorites list (assuming one believes that Duke and MSU are in the lead).
    Great. Guess that means I needn't check this thread again until February.

    Try not to spray too much mud with those spinning wheels, folks.

  19. #119
    Quote Originally Posted by g-money View Post
    Great. Guess that means I needn't check this thread again until February.

    Try not to spray too much mud with those spinning wheels, folks.
    Nonsense! I'm already practicing to analyze his body language, attire and facial expressions when he comes to watch Duke-Carolina.

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starter View Post
    If Mason reaches that elite level next year, mind you, that'd be terrific. I personally just think he'll probably add a few more wrinkles to his already very good arsenal. But I can't see him completely and totally dominating games when he hasn't really shown that so far.
    Bolding by me.

    Yeah, what would be great would be to see Mason do something like going for 17pts and 12rebs in a really big game against one of the elite big men in the country. *

    Or maybe if he could do something dominant like go for 23 and 12 in an ACC road game. **

    It would be great if we could count on him to do something like 16 and 13 or 15 and 17 in nationally televised games against big time non-conference opponents. ***

    It would be really nice if we could get a line like 19 and 12 out of him in an NCAA tourney game too. ****

    *- like he did against Kansas in the Maui championship versus Thomas Robinson
    **- like he did at Maryland
    ***- like he did at Temple and versus St John's
    ****- like he did against Lehigh

    Ok, sarcasm mode off.

    Folks, I don't mean to divert a threat about Jabari Parker (don't even get me started on the absurdity of the "luxury recruit" comment) but Mason deserves more love. I watched him in person at some Duke games last year and he was working his tail off for position and not getting rewarded very much by our guards. I think that if we used him more, as I expect we will this coming season, he would consistently put up the kind of dominating numbers he showed us glimpses of in many games last year.

    --Jason "important caveat about this post-- I generally agree with pretty much everything Starter says. This post is a real outlier" Evans
    Don't ask me why, but my mother is making me Tweet. Says it will be good for my career. So, follow my ramblings, mostly on the film industry, @TVFilmTalk

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