I have no idea whether Amile Jefferson is better/worse/the same than Lance Thomas
I do know that they are rated EXACTLY the same place in the RSCI (which averages recruiting ratings): No. 20
Of course, that doesn't mean that they are exactly the same -- is the Class of 2012 better or worse than the Class of 2006 (which included Kevin Durant, Greg Oden, Ty Lawson ... and at No. 28 John Scheyer)?
Still, I think it's fair to suggest they are similar prospects in terms of impact.
The point I want to make is that if any of you remember this board in the spring of 2006 when we were waiting on Lance to make his decision, he suddenly became the greatest, most important recruit in Duke history. He was being projected as a program changer ... everybody had him projected into the 2006-07 starting lineup. I said then -- and I suggest now -- that late recruits are almost ALWAYS overrated by the fans.
Jefferson, like Thomas, is a nice prospect and I'm sure he'll add a lot to our program. But if you think he's a kid who's going to come in and have a major impact from Day One, I suspect you are fooling yourself. I know one prominent recruiting guru who likes Jefferson, but says he's not ready to be a major competitor on the college level -- physically he's probably closer to the young Ryan Kelly than the young Lance Thomas.
Well, Lance became a key member of our national championship team -- his senior year. Ryan became a contributor as a sophomore and a key contributor as a junior.
Please try to keep the pursuit of Mr. Jefferson in perspective. I'd love to have him join the program, but unless a lot of recruiting guys are wrong (and that's possible), he's not an immediate game-changer. In terms of next year's team, Tony Parker would be a far more significant get (since he fills a glaring need). Shabazz Mohammad would be a far, far more significant get -- he IS a game-changer.
Amile has a bit of a throw back game in that he has some mid range game. He's not a blow you away athlete but smooth in his movements with a good basketball IQ. He is a better prospect than Lance Thomas was and he lacks a bit if the tenacity Thomas had. He's the type of kid Duke hasn't had in a while and is tougher than he looks, for he is on the slim side in that he's never lifted weights. That alone means the transition at any school will be tough in that the physical nature of the game is an adjustment. I have seen Jefferson play about 12 times and he's a player and the kind of guy you want on your roster. He is not the PF type Duke could use, but he is actually listed as a PF by many in the know on the recruiting front. The bottom line is he's a baller and would add some length to the team. Duke is in very good shape for his services.
Second, my point is that Lance never did anything close to that against the top 100 players in the country, HS averages aside. We saw that Lance's scoring struggled to translate somewhat against elite teams and talent; Amile's proven he can more than hold his own in that respect.
Any more word from the coaches' visit up to Philly this week? Any better indication of WHEN news of the announcement variety might be expected?
I take Olympic's and Watzone's (and other) posts to heart. This is not Kyrie Irving we're talking about here, who was able to come in and have huge impact from day one. But he is a top-20 consensus recruit, and quite importantly fills a clear need on this team for next year - that being versatile "length" and some size. My sense is that he's a good "chemistry" guy, a la Shane Battier (though maybe not quite with those physical abilities yet).
Last edited by -bdbd; 03-21-2012 at 04:59 PM.
I missed Amile in the skills competition tonight but I heard good things. Anyone able to offer some insights as to how he did? Love the notion of a relative big in the skill comp.
An Amile interview from the McDonald's festivities LINK
There's a lot of ambient noise in the video and I couldn't turn the volume up too high here at work, but I believe I heard "unbelievable" interspersed with "Coach K" and "Duke" a couple times. Sounds good.
I love our chances with him after hearing that interview! He sounded extremely high on Duke!!
Reading and posting at DBR for over 19 years and loving every... well, almost every minute of it!
He finished 3d in finals, because he lost many seconds in missing all 5 of his 3-pt tries from top of key. I'm not surprised by that, as when I saw him previously, he didn't "drift" out to the 3-pt line. Sometimes he started out there, but usually to take his man off the dribble, often toward the baseline, where his handle and footwork were advantages.
So my previous impression was pretty much reinforced, in that the skills comp required good footwork and handle. I must say, he and others carried the ball a lot when weaving around obstacles. I don't recall that he was the worst offender.
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I am extremely impressed with Amile. Out of our 3 main targets remaining I would love for us to land this kid. He seems like the type than can be a impact player but would not be trying to jump straight to the league and would be a great 3 or 4 year guy that would buy in to what K is trying to teach him. Not many high school students are that worried about the academic side of what most schools can offer. Any recruit with that much talent that also values a great education would be a great fit at Duke. This kid seems to have a really good head on his shoulders, here's hoping he picks the Blue Devils.