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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Anyone want to Set StateFans Nation straight

    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.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim3k View Post
    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.
    As I posted in another thread "I hope Amile chooses State over Duke". I think we don't need him and we will be fine whether he commits to us or not. State on the other hand is trying to set itself again as a top contender in the ACC and they need all the help they can get to contend with us and Unc. I want State to be good again and this would be another step up for them.


    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.

  3. #3
    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.

  4. #4
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    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...

  5. #5
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    Albemarle, North Carolina
    Quote Originally Posted by Scorp4me View Post
    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.
    I agree... sorta. Duke since JJ and Williams graduated have been labeled a 3pt shooting team and we really have not had a big guy come in since Williams that could dominate the paint. Zoubek got lots of boards yeah, but it took him 4 years to learn to rebound. That is what most people see and believe because nobody here has proven them wrong. Even Williams in the NBA has been a disappointment until as of late but even still you would have thought the best defensive big in college would have done better starting out. Even if Mason does good next year many will still say "Uh well it took him 4 years to be a double double guy and he was a top 20 guy with loads of athleticism" we may get a few believers but Duke has and will always be thought of as a guard run team. Nothing wrong with that as long as we do keep getting our Mason's, Brand's, Williams', Laettner's, Boozer's, and Zoubeks.

  6. #6
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    Maryland
    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.

  7. #7
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    Aug 2007
    State unlike Duke develops big men. In fact the NBA is loaded with former state players.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devilsfan View Post
    State unlike Duke develops big men. In fact the NBA is loaded with former state players.
    I think you're being sarcastic, right?

    Unless you count Dennis Horner as a "big man."

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by FerryFor50 View Post
    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...
    Yeah, I was just sitting here rattling off all those big time big men that State has developed over the last 2 to 10 years. There was whathisname... then how about .... oh yeah then there was.... and don't forget about... man, all these guys were great, I can't believe I am struggling to recall their names....

    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.
    I strongly feel that thats not a basketball issue. Im in charge of the basketball program as much the chancellor and the athletic director allow me to be. And its not a basketball issue.
    Williams said, he is aware of the classes that his players take. I think it varies on a coach, he said. I mean, Im pretty aware of what our guys are doing. And its not a basketball issue, guys. It is not a basketball issue. Its a university issue.
    Roy Williams 2012

  10. #10
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    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Newton_14 View Post
    Yeah, I was just sitting here rattling off all those big time big men that State has developed over the last 2 to 10 years. There was whathisname... then how about .... oh yeah then there was.... and don't forget about... man, all these guys were great, I can't believe I am struggling to recall their names....

    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.
    Plus we have Plumlee 3, who some have said is the most skilled of the Plumlees.

    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.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FerryFor50 View Post
    Plus we have Plumlee 3, who some have said is the most skilled of the Plumlees.

    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.
    Agree on the guards. You have to wonder how many points Mason and Miles would have scored with a Kendall Marshall running the point. I don't see McRoberts as a failure either. Despite the back injury he had a solid Soph campaign, and I will always regret not getting to see a Jr McRoberts and Fr Singler at the 5 and 4. That would have been lethal.
    I strongly feel that thats not a basketball issue. Im in charge of the basketball program as much the chancellor and the athletic director allow me to be. And its not a basketball issue.
    Williams said, he is aware of the classes that his players take. I think it varies on a coach, he said. I mean, Im pretty aware of what our guys are doing. And its not a basketball issue, guys. It is not a basketball issue. Its a university issue.
    Roy Williams 2012

  12. #12
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    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Newton_14 View Post
    Agree on the guards. You have to wonder how many points Mason and Miles would have scored with a Kendall Marshall running the point. I don't see McRoberts as a failure either. Despite the back injury he had a solid Soph campaign, and I will always regret not getting to see a Jr McRoberts and Fr Singler at the 5 and 4. That would have been lethal.
    My main issue with McRoberts was his body language. He often showed visible frustration when he'd make a great kick out to Melchionni or Paulus, only to see them brick a 3. Very underrated passer and never really wanted to be "the guy" IMO. He tried to make his teammates better but it didn't always work out.

    Wrong place, wrong time. If he had more help, he could have been one of the Duke greats.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by FerryFor50 View Post
    My main issue with McRoberts was his body language. He often showed visible frustration when he'd make a great kick out to Melchionni or Paulus, only to see them brick a 3. Very underrated passer and never really wanted to be "the guy" IMO. He tried to make his teammates better but it didn't always work out.

    Wrong place, wrong time. If he had more help, he could have been one of the Duke greats.
    Rivers felted the same way.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Chill View Post
    Rivers felted the same way.
    Yea and that's why I wasn't real big on Rivers' body language either.

    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.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by FerryFor50 View Post
    Yea and that's why I wasn't real big on Rivers' body language either.

    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.
    I never had a problem with Rivers or McRoberts. Rivers was pretty much the best player on a team of upperclassmen, who were playing below of what they are capable of (outside of Mason). No one else was on Rivers level. As far as the body language, shot selection, playing heavy minutes, playing out of position, none of it bothered me, because he was relied on to carry the team.

  16. #16

    Good Guards Make Good Big Men

    Quote Originally Posted by FerryFor50 View Post
    Plus we have Plumlee 3, who some have said is the most skilled of the Plumlees.

    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.
    First, I think McRoberts was a flop - he did fine, but did not live up to his potential. I think a good number of people, when thinking of his Duke years, will have better memories of his Mom.

    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?

  17. #17
    "There can BE only one."

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrChainsaw View Post
    First, I think McRoberts was a flop - he did fine, but did not live up to his potential. I think a good number of people, when thinking of his Duke years, will have better memories of his Mom.

    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?
    Sure we can claim credit for Elton using the same criteria other programs use to claim credit for their one year wonders.

    Whether we or they deserve credit is another matter.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by DrChainsaw View Post
    Second, I'm not sure we can claim credit for "developing" Elton - he was born that way.
    Well then we can discredit a lot of coaches this way. Cal should get no credit for Davis or Cousins since they were born that way and only stayed one year. Thad gets no credit for Sullinger or Oden. This seems to be the part that most people never bring up with big men, at some point it comes down to the big man to develop himself. The coaches can only do so much and perhaps Duke has just been a bit unlucky since Shelden Williams who happened to be one of the most prolific centers in the last 10 years (albeit a bit of a bust in the NBA). And I guess this is where you get into everyone who disses Duke. Since Shelden has been a bust in the NBA, everyone points to that forgetting his college career.

    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.

  20. #20
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    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.)

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