about Duke's ability to develop big men?
StateFans Nation has posters saying that Duke doesn't do a good job with big men, challenging anyone to show a good recent big man. I'd do it, but I'm not registered there and being a loyal DBR man, don't want to do so. So if you're registered, feel free to accept their challenge.
But the answer to their challenge includes: Carlos Boozer, Elton Brand, Shelden Williams, Josh McRoberts and even Brian Zoubek. Zoubek's development took time, but it was really impressive when the light went on. And, I'd include Miles Plumlee, though I admit the jury is still out. Even so, the MP1 who arrived on campus four years ago is nowhere to be seen in the MP1 of today.
And let's hope Amile Jefferson chooses royal blue over red and white.
Sorry for going off topic in your thread so I will say I agree they do not know what they are talking about. The examples you gave were good but I am not a member and do not want to sign up either. Someone could just go in there and ask how States bigs are doing in the NBA right now.
I know it's a case of what have you done for me lately...but Zoubek was 2010, it's not like it was another day and time here. I know McRoberts didn't turn out to be the start alot expect and the same can be said for Shav, but other than that it's a pretty bad argument. Duke adapts the system to fit the players. That's why you have such different successful post players over the years. If I'm a big guy who wants to do my thing, I'm heading to Duke.
I suppose some are underwhelmed by the combination of what the Plumlees have done. But remember we only got Miles after Dawkins become the coach at Stanford. Mason still has another year and Marshall hasn't even started. Again it's a weak argument.
If you know State fans like I do, then there is no setting them straight.
They want Jefferson and will bend their argument against Duke any irrational way they can to make it seem more likely they'd get him.
As if they have a history of developing bigs...
Of course, it's all recruiting propaganda. No point in arguing.
But, it would be kind of cool to lose a recruiting battle to state. After all, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
State unlike Duke develops big men. In fact the NBA is loaded with former state players.
The Duke big man myth is now hitting an all time high. Until a Duke big averages 15 or 16ppg or more, it will never end, because at the end of the day, all people remember are points scored. Nothing else matters. Never mind that Anthony Davis just dominated the National Title game while hitting one baseline jumper, 2 free throws, and I can't even recall the other two points.
There is a little bit of truth in all lies and myths though. The comments from Mason's High School Coach were unfortunate and only fueled the fire. It's fair to say that Mason did not get the ball enough after the first UNC game. K changed the offense to shoot more 3's. It is also fair to say that Mason played well this past season, but did not maximize the opportunities he did get. And I think Mason would be the first to tell you that. He even stated in the Lehigh presser, when the reporter tried to bait him into throwing K or his teammates under the bus, that it was on him. He took full responsibility for not scoring more in that game.
K and staff put a lot of focus on post scoring early in the year, but gradually shifted away from it. I wish both Mason and Miles would have gotten more touches, and we could argue all day why they didn't. I do feel that Mason has developed nicely over his 3 years making incremental improvement year over year. I also think his Senior year will be the best of his career. Mason only averaged 12 points per game in High School, and Miles averaged more each year I believe. I think both could have scored a little better this year if the offensive approach would have been different, but it may or may not have been to the benefit of the team. Especially given how bad this team was at passing.
To say the Mason was just a screener, rebounder, and shot blocker is not accurate. That description fits Miles far more than Mason in the 11/12 season. Yet people also forget that Miles was a 3 Star recruit, but somehow he was judged as though he were a 5 Star recruit.
K and staff has done well developing the recent bigs that chose to come to Duke. The problem perception wise, is that almost none of those bigs came in as prolific scorers, or as prolific back to the basket scorers, and people conveniently forget the injuries that limited some of the better scores. Shav, McRoberts, and Zoubek to name 3.
Yet Shelden Williams developed into a beast at Duke, with Wojo as his big man coach. From Freshman year to Senior year he greatly improved and put up great scoring and rebounding numbers. Somehow he does not count though. Whatever.
Could K and Staff put more focus on post scoring? Yep. Ironically though, K is penalized for a brilliant move that led to a National Title. The transformation of the 2010 team that literally happened on the fly midyear or so, where K went to the 2 Big Screeners mixed with 3 guard/wing scorers, started this whole "All Duke Bigs do is screen for guards" drama. K went to that model to match Lance and Zoubs skillsets, and won the whole darn thing. Yet it becomes a negative a year later. Sigh.
Last year's offense was totally different until Kyrie went down, and even then it was not the 2010 offense. This year was certainly not the 2010 offense and for much of they year there was high focus on post scoring, but people (including media) act as though the first UNC game was the first game of the season. Nothing prior to that game matters. So the post offense prior to that is written off as never happening.
Had Anthony Davis, or Sullinger played at Duke, they would have gotten the ball, and gotten it a lot. But they didn't. It will take getting 2 or 3 big men of that caliber before the myth is finally put to bed. Mason having a huge year next year won't hurt either.
In the meantime, I will be interested to see what K and staff does to try to counteract the negative perceptions, and what response, if any, will come from them regarding the comments of Gaines.
Duke FB 2013 Coastal Division Football Champions
So we'll see.... but Mason did screen and roll a lot without any pay off. And I saw him post up and the guards look the other way a lot this season.
I blame it on the guards more than Duke, though.
People list McRoberts as a failure. But he left after 2 solid years and got drafted into the NBA. Is that a failure?
Shav? Left early and played in the NBA.
How many other schools have had big men fail to meet potential? Didn't UNC have Eric Montross, Serge Zwikker, Neil Fingleton, Brian Bersticker, Kris Lang, Deon Thompson.... lots of bigs that were fairly high in regard that didn't pan out.
And I suppose they all forget what a bust Todd Fuller ended up being in the NBA. One of the biggest in NBA draft history.
Duke FB 2013 Coastal Division Football Champions
Wrong place, wrong time. If he had more help, he could have been one of the Duke greats.
Especially when you consider that he wasn't the best shooter on the team (Dawkins, Kelly and Curry were all better from 3), often forced shots into triple teams and didn't really pass enough to be justified in getting mad.
Second, I'm not sure we can claim credit for "developing" Elton - he was born that way.
Finally, I agree that the guards have a lot to do with it. My ageing memory seems to recall in Kyrie's limited games that he was able to involve Mason & bring out the best in him. And this year, I can bring up many mental images of both Miles & Mason, seemingly in good position, not getting the ball over & over again.
But then what do I know?
"There can BE only one."
And sure Duke has had some misses with the likes of Shav or McBob, but doesn't the fact they haven't developed up to their potential post-college lend some credence to the fact they just never had that talent even though McBob has given himself a nice niche in the NBA. Does Texas not develop big men b/c Brad Buckman (RSCI #22 to Shav at RSCI #14) never developed? Is Duke really at fault b/c Zoubek was hindered by injuries his whole career?
Miles Plumlee was RSCI #81 and has certainly exceeded those expectations. If anything, people saw even more potential and wondered why he couldn't be dominant every game. But he certainly was a better recruit than RSCI#25 J'mison Morgan who went to the big men factory of UCLA and was dismissed from the team or Eloy Vargas UK recruit at RSCI#26 went to UK big men factory and has done little.
Oriakhi was two spots ahead of Mason yet I think many of us are more than happy to keep Mason instead of Alex. And Mason got to put up similar numbers to Yarou on a much better team. Or Jon Hood a recruit in the 60's who hasn't seemed to develop much.
So while I would say Duke doesn't always look to their bigs as much as they should, this whole idea that big men don't develop there is a load of crap. Yes, schools like OSU or UK can take top 5 recruits and let them play but neither has shown an ability to consistently develop big men. KU is perhaps the only program who can claim this title and with Manning gone, they lost a lot of credibility in that department.
Above it was intimated that Brand was a one-year player. Just to be clear, Brand played two seasons for us, 97-98 and 98-99. It is certainly true that he was outstanding when he arrived. But check his stats for those two years. I'd say that they prove development, though I guess it could be argued that the additional playing time in his soph year led to the improved numbers. His first year, he had to compete with upperclassman Domzalski for playing time.
Still, Brand learned to dominate. I remember a quote from UNC's Antawn Jamison to the effect that he couldn't deal with Brand in the NBA because Brand absolutely owned his area of the floor. (That was before Brand's first injury.)