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....
Originally Posted by FerryFor50
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.
Congrats to Captains Amile Jefferson & Quinn Cook. Go lead this team to nets and hardware fellas!