The "Jefferson will just set screens at Duke" argument is as pervasive as it is stupid. Even one of my good friends, an NC State fan who usually has reasonably good basketball sense and a relatively even-handed view of Duke and Carolina, has been regurgitating this bile. And there's no reasoning with the argument.
State fan: Jefferson isn't a true low-post player, but really should develop as an athletic 3/4? Please, he's not a guard, so all he'll do is set screens at Duke!
Me: But Kyle Singler just graduated, he wasn't a guard, and he was a four year focal point of the offense both in the post and on the wing.
SF: Rubbish! Look at Lance Thomas, he was athletic and all he did was rebound and set screens!
Me: No, Lance was a key defensive stopper and a great glue-guy. True, his offensive skills never allowed him to become a focus of the offense, but he was really good at a bunch of other things and was a key part of the team. Besides, Lance is one example and there are a ton of counter-examples.
SF: Well, how about Mason Plumlee? All he did was rebound and set screens!
Me: No, Mason also scored 11 points per game last season. Besides, he and Jefferson aren't even comparable players. Jefferson's more comparable, body-wise, to guys like Luol Deng, Tony Lang, etc...
SF: Those guys were a long time ago. Duke doesn't use guys like that anymore. Look at what Gottfried did with CJL this year. Jefferson should look at that.
Me: Look what K did with Brian Davis, Grant Hill, Tony Lang, Shane Battier, Luol Deng, Kyle Singler, etc etc etc
SF: Yeah but what about Lance Thomas and Mason Plumlee?
And on it goes. Like most myths about Duke basketball, it boils down to irrational parroting of trite talking points that are so vapid, baseless, and contrary to simple facts that even politicians would be embarrassed to use them. The only thing I can say for the State fans is that they are deeply, deeply disappointed to lose out on Jefferson. He would have been a big get for them, for a lot of reasons. For this season, he would have been important depth backing up Leslie. For next season, they were hoping he'd develop into a starter at that position. Probably more importantly, however, if they had gotten Jefferson, it would have been humongous for local recruiting bragging, giving them (1) The best recruiting class in the Triangle; (2) one of the best in the nation; (3) a win in direct head-to-head recruiting against one of their top 2 rivals. Still, the hysterical and vicious reactions of many State fans have become embarrassing.
Brian Zoubek on what was going through his mind walking to the free throw line with 3.6 seconds remaining in the 2010 National Championship game and Duke up by 1: "Fifty percent [of me is] thinking, This is what I've been dreaming of doing my entire life. Fifty percent I'm crapping my pants."