As for Turner, I couldn't find a link to the judge's quote, but here's a rundown of the basic story
I rarely think about that game -- I was a freshman, and I was crushed -- but I always thought a definitive turning point was when Magloire stretched Wojo. I recall thinking Wojo just wasn't the same after that, and in that sense, Avery might have been a better option down the stretch. But I'd have to watch the whole thing over to remember, and I have no desire to do so.
Personally, I liked the idea of Gbinije and wanted to see what he was made of, though I'm not particularly fanatical about it. I didn't think we saw enough to really make any sort of conclusions one way or another about his defense, though I tend to think his athleticism and size could have been an asset on a team that was short on both. And a potential time investment definitely had upside, especially when Duke got late in the season and didn't have any actual small forwards. But when it comes down to it, very few really know what goes down behind the scenes.
It's clear that today's highly recruited player wants lots of PT right away, and will often transfer if it doesn't happen his first year.
It makes me wonder if Kentucky's current run is 100% predicated on all of Cal's best players leaving every year? Getting the best talent, although he claims to not promise PT, may be tied to immediate meaningful playing time. His magic touch seems 100% tied to finding the sweet spot between a huge advantage in talent and a huge disadvantage in experience. After recruiting, his master talent has been creating a system that seasons those raw recruits rapidly, almost like the drugs they shoot into preemies to rapidly mature their lungs. Would he be as effective a recruiter if he didn't generate 3-5 first round draft picks every year?
I say all of this because it really surprises me that more top 100 recruits don't go the "big fish small pond" route. Why battle for playing time at Duke when you could potentially be an instant headliner at Wichita State or Southern Illinois. Find that young coach on the fast track and basically decide that you and the coach are going to be one-and-done together....you'll get 25 shots a game and be an instant star as ESPN and their 20 college bball writers miss no one anymore, and your coach will show the next big boy school with an opening that he is a winner and a big time recruiter (Illinois comes to mind). I am not saying that's where it should go, it just surprises me that it hasn't gone that way. It's kind of like kids trying to get into the top colleges...is your chance of getting into Duke better if you are at a highly competitive high school with 50 kids shooting for the top 10 schools or if you are class valedictorian with great SATs from some lesser public school that never sends anyone to Duke...in Idaho.
And I'll grant that Williams did fine at Memphis, however, I don't know that Duke missed him or that he did anything truly amazing. But I've voiced my opinion on that here before. Let's agree that Williams did OK.
The fact that we won a championship does not mean we didn't miss him. He was much better on both ends of the floor than Dawkins and Kelly (the backups at SG and SF that year). Obviously we won the title without him, and that is a testament to the players that were there. But make no mistake, he'd have made us better. And he'd probably have made Dawkins better (by having him come to school a year later). Imagine next year being Dawkins' junior year rather than his senior year.
So you're telling me that Elliot Williams' transfer hurt Duke? Is that what you're telling me? He was a good player on a weak team in a very mediocre conference at Memphis. They had been totally decimated by the exodus with Cal to Kentucky. His transfer, while too bad, didn't mean anything to Duke in the long run. Sorry.
It didn't hurt us in the long run, that thinking is a little far fetched, but I don't disagree that he would've made us even better in 2010. Elliot is and was a dynamic player. A young freshman Andre Dawkins and a sophomore Elliot Williams, I would take the latter. Considering the guy is in the NBA now, I think it would've done wonders for Jon, Nolan, and Kyle.
My impression was that K said that the kid would have gotten playing time if he was a better defender. Does that necessarily mean that the kid was not a good defender, had deficiencies as a defender, as many here have concluded? Duke has had a long line of star high school players who were converted to defensive specialists when they got to Duke. Maybe G would have seen playing time had been like them, but, for whatever reason, wasn't. Possible?
Gotta agree with a lot of the posts on Mike here
I am really sad to see him go, always sad to see a kid not be all the way happy with his college decision and hope he finds what he's looking for, I hope he's looking for something a little more than playing time, because that's something that can be fixed especially when you're carrying around a 37 inch vert and a wealth of ability like Mike.
However, I'm not completely with the relentless optimism on Mike. Would I have liked to have seen him get a few more minutes early in the season to see if we could get him more in the groove of the college game? Of course, the problem of too much depth is always one I've really enjoyed. But after a year of practice time, if Mike couldn't crack the rotation at a spot that it was painfully obvious that we were devoid at, then I completely agree with Coach K's decision, he didn't deserve to be on the court. I don't think that warrants a transfer because he has plenty of time left to make it work, but if he wasn't all in on working to compete with Alex and whatever future 3's we may pick up, then the Duke men's basketball team probably isn't the place for him. Always tough to see a smart, good kid leave, and just because he doesn't want to stay at Duke doesn't make him a bad kid or a bad player, but he clearly didn't see the challenges of being a Duke bball player as as much of an opportunity as it was a hindrance to his development as a player.
Alex's situation is similar, except that he's taking a red shirt so he will still have four years to develop at Duke. In retrospect, perhaps that would have been a good option for Andre if not for the fact that we needed him so badly right away.