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  1. #21

    Great thread

    I assume you were inspired by a post on another thread that suggested that Coach K isn't comfortable starting freshman. Your list is a superb answer.

    Allow me to address a few points raised in this thread:

    -- I also remember that Christian Laettner was more highly recruited that Crawford Palmer -- but not by a lot. And, Jim, I think he would have been ranked closer to No. 15-20 than No. 10 if there was an RSCI in 1988. I checked and both were McDonald's All-Americans. Christian was a second-team Parade (Parade picked four 10-man teams) which put him between 11-20 (although junior Kenny Anderson took one of the first-team spots). Palmer was a third-team Parade A-A, which would put him between 21-30. Of course, that's just one source, but overall, I think Christian was a more highly touted prospect, although Palmer gained a lot of respect for his head-to-head success against Alonzo Mourning, who was thought to be in a class of his own (until Christian shattered his aura in the 1989 East Regional title game).

    -- Taymon Domzalski was a McDonald's A-A and a second-team Parade A-A. He did have a promising freshman season, but the rest of his career was ruined by chronic bad knees. True that his freshman season was less-than-steller, but keep in mind that he replaced an NBA lottery pick (Cherokee Parks) and a second-round NBA pick (Eric Meeks) in the post and was the primary big man on a team that improved from 13-18 to 18-13. And, I agree with the guys who argue that 1994 was NOT a less-than-stellar season.

    -- It's significant to me that a couple of guys who didn't make the list emerged as starters late in their freshman seasons. Laettner became a full-time starter in mid-January. Duhon first started when Boozer got hurt just before the regular season finale -- he still played enough to be ACC rookie of the year. Carrawell became a starter in late January. Elliott Williams became a starter in early February. In contrast, Danny Ferry started the first half of the season when Jay Bilas was hurt. When Bilas returned at just after the halfway point, Ferry became the sixth man.

    -- Interesting to me that K has had three ACC rookie of the year picks since 2001 (Duhon, Singler and Rivers) after having none before 2001. I mean as great as Dawkins, Grant Hill, Hurley, Jason Williams and Ferry were, there always seemed to be somebody a little better (at least the voters thought so).

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Green View Post
    For me, the main reason Domzalski's career ended up being disappointing is because it started with such promise. As a freshman, he had major upside. Unfortunately, he never achieved his potential.

    sagegrouse - thanks for putting this list together.
    Domzalski might have faired better if Brand, Battier and Burgess hadn't arrived his Junior year. I do remember having high expectations for him after his Freshman year but he was pretty clearly out of his league when Brand and Battier arrived. I'm not sure if Burgess was better but he was more athletic and had a bigtime reputation.

    I remember Pete Gillen quipped that if he had a player like Domzalski, who was languishing on the end of Duke's bench, they would erect a statue or monument of him.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by lotusland View Post
    Domzalski might have faired better if Brand, Battier and Burgess hadn't arrived his Junior year. I do remember having high expectations for him after his Freshman year but he was pretty clearly out of his league when Brand and Battier arrived. I'm not sure if Burgess was better but he was more athletic and had a bigtime reputation.

    I remember Pete Gillen quipped that if he had a player like Domzalski, who was languishing on the end of Duke's bench, they would erect a statue or monument of him.
    Domzalski averaged around 6.5/5.0 as a frosh. Promising but hardly dominant. Junior Greg Newton had much better stats that year, 12.2/8.2.After Tony Moore flunked out early, Duke had limited options inside.

    Domzalski's biggest problem was he just couldn't stay out of foul trouble.

    Domzalski missed most of his sophomore season with a knee injury. Probably should have red-shirted. But I'm not sure he wanted do.

    Brand, Battier and Burgess came in when he was a junior. TD got some PT after Brand's broken foot but had a poor game when #1 Duke was hammered at Chapel Hill. 97-73, IIRC. K went small after that, starting Battier and McLeod until Brand came back.

    And he was a back-up in '99.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBlue View Post
    Quibbles n bits: Not sure I would classify 1994 as a less than stellar season. Capel was a key contributor to a team that...well it pains me to recall the NC game, but less than stellar hardly fits.
    You are right. I was thinking without checking that Capel was a freshman in 1995. -- sage

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    My very strong recollection is that Laettner was more highly regarded than Palmer and it wasn't all that close. Palmer did outplay Mourning in a summer game and that almost certainly distorted expectations and perhaps memories.

    But Laettner was a pretty big deal at the time. I suspect he would have ranked around 10th, had the RSCI been around in 1988.
    The only source I could find was Street & Smith's, who did not list Christian on any of their four "high school all america" teams (comprising of a total of 20 players). Both Christian and Crawford were listed as "high honorable mention," along with more than 100 others.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    Good stuff, Sage. Although you appear to have left off Ricky Price, who started more than half our games in 1994-95 (I inserted him for you). I have also added a column in your fine table for the player's recruiting ranking, using the RSCI. RSCI only goes back to 1998, however, so for player's before that I have used "**" if the player was probably a top 15 recruit and "??" if I don't know or don't think so.
    Ricky Price played in 27 games and started 14, but he didn't make my list because Duke played 31 games in 1995 (hard to see how -- probably the early-season tourney). Also, Wojo started 15 games that season (and played in 28).

    sage

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    Ricky Price played in 27 games and started 14, but he didn't make my list because Duke played 31 games in 1995 (hard to see how -- probably the early-season tourney). Also, Wojo started 15 games that season (and played in 28).

    sage
    Sorry, my bad. You are absolutely right there and I missed it.

    Price was a highly regarded recruit, so he fits into my theory. Wojo was not as highly regarded. Either way, I guess both of them would fit into the "non-top 10 freshman sometimes start for Duke in down years like 2007 and 1983 (and 1995)" barrel.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    Burgess was in free fall by the time he enrolled at Duke. His prep reputation suffered a huge hit as a senior when junior Kris Lang chewed him up and spit him out in a holiday tournament.

    Discussions like this remind me of how much I rely on RSCI.

    Yeah, but with respect to Burgess, I was just talking about when the players were recruited/committed to Duke. I was making an analogy in terms of perceptions of the better recruit in a class at the time of the commitment. Burgess is to Brand/Battier as Palmer is to Laettner. Although I do specifically remember someone relatively knowledgable and with connections to Duke telling me that Brand would be the best player in the class.

    Putting Burgess (who was the consensus #1 player in the class when he committed) aside, I can tell you with absolute certainty that Laettner was not considered a top 10 recruit when he committed to Duke. My guess is that he was ranked somewhere between 25-35 and he was not considered as big a "get" as Palmer at the time. Palmer wasn't a top 10 guy either, but he was rated a little higher than Laettner. That may have changed by the end of their senior seasons, but I have pretty specific recollections of their relative standing in the fall when they committed.

    The point of this in the context of the thread was the correlation between a high recruiting ranking and starting a high percentage of games as a freshman. I'd argue that Laettner's start percentage was quite in line with where he was ranked.
    Last edited by mr. synellinden; 05-25-2012 at 11:53 PM. Reason: clarification
    Singler is IRON

    I STILL GOT IT! -- Ryan Kelly, March 2, 2013

  9. #29

    Price and Wojo

    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    Sorry, my bad. You are absolutely right there and I missed it.

    Price was a highly regarded recruit, so he fits into my theory. Wojo was not as highly regarded. Either way, I guess both of them would fit into the "non-top 10 freshman sometimes start for Duke in down years like 2007 and 1983 (and 1995)" barrel.
    Actually, both Price and Wojo were McDonald's A-As (so was Trajan that year. Price was 4th team Parade A-A (which means 31-40). Wojo didn't make any of the four Parade teams.

    I repeat -- Domzalski was never the same after hurting his knees (both knees) after his freshman season. Injury -- more than the arrival of Brand and Burgess -- let to his demise.

    And, Jim, I think it might be overstating things to say that Burgess was in free fall. True, his reputation might have slipped a bit (going into the summer of his senior prep year he was the clearcut No. 1 guy in the class), but he was still a concensus top 5 recruit: a first-team Parade A-A, a McDonld's A-A, USA Today first team prep A-A (a five-man team) and the Sporting News Prep Player of the Year.....

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    -- Interesting to me that K has had three ACC rookie of the year picks since 2001 (Duhon, Singler and Rivers) after having none before 2001. I mean as great as Dawkins, Grant Hill, Hurley, Jason Williams and Ferry were, there always seemed to be somebody a little better (at least the voters thought so).
    So... I got interested to see who were the ACC rookie of the year for those years before 2001... and found this.

    http://www.dukeupdate.com/Records/ac...f_the_year.htm

    For example... Mark Price in 1983 (Johnny Dawkins), Rodney Rogers in 1991 (Grant Hill), Joseph Forte in 2000 (Jason Williams)...

    Also, look at all the GTech players, especially in the 80's.

  11. #31
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    All-American and All-ACC Players as Freshmen

    Here is the same database, looking only at players that were All-American (as listed in the Duke Media Guide) or 1st team All-ACC. The list overlaps 95% -- Amaker, listed as an A-A, was never 1st team All-ACC. Chris Carrawell is the only All-ACC player not on an A-A team.


    Code:
    Pct.	Pos.	Player	Year
    100.0%	G	Johnny Dawkins	1983
    100.0%	F	Mark Alarie	1983
    100.0%	G	Tommy Amaker	1984
    100.0%	G	Bobby Hurley	1990
    100.0%	G	Jason Williams	2000
    100.0%	F	Kyle Singler	2008
    97.1%	G	Austin Rivers	2012
    97.0%	G	Jon Scheyer	2007
    90.9%	G	JJ Redick  	2002
    88.2%	C	Carlos Boozer	2000
    85.7%	F	Elton Brand - 2	1998
    79.5%	F	Grant Hill 	1991
    77.4%	G	Trajan Langdon	1995
    69.7%	F	Shelden Williams	2002
    55.6%	F	Shane Battier	1998
    52.5%	CF	Danny Ferry	1986
    44.4%	FC	Christian Laettner	1989
    36.4%	F	Chris Carrawell	1997
    30.3%	G	Gerald Henderson	2007
    25.6%	G	Chris Duhon	2001
    6.1%	G	DeMarcus Nelson	2005
    5.9%	F	Mike Dunleavy	2000
    2.9%	G	Nolan Smith	2008
    Markie, Nolan, and Mike D. take the honors. And Nolan was consensus 1st team A-A; Mike was consensus 2nd team. I recall Dunleavy being a very valuable player as a freshman, although evidently not a starter. Duhon, although starting only 25%, as someone noted, he went into the starting lineup at the end of the season and started all the way through to the National Championship.

    And here is a complementary list of players who started a sizable percentage but did not scale the same heights. And I have included their highest honors.

    Code:
    91.7%	G	Greg Paulus	2006	3rd
    86.5%	F	Luol Deng	2004	3rd
    86.1%	FC	Josh McRoberts	2006	2nd
    85.7%	GF	David Henderson	1983	
    85.7%	F	Jay Bilas  	1983	
    82.4%	G	Jeff Capel	1994	3rd
    72.7%	G	Kyrie Irving	2011	
    58.1%	C	T. Domzalski	1996	
    54.5%	F	Lance Thomas	2007	
    48.4%	G	Steve Wojo	1995	2nd
    45.2%	G	Ricky Price	1995	3rd
    37.0%	F	Danny Meagher	1982	
    32.4%	G	Elliott Williams	2009
    It should be noted that Luol and Kyrie would have received honors had they stayed more than one year, or -- heck -- if Kyrie had played a full season. The same might be said for McBob and EWill, if they had stayed longer.

    sagegrouse
    Last edited by sagegrouse; 05-26-2012 at 10:48 AM.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    The only source I could find was Street & Smith's, who did not list Christian on any of their four "high school all america" teams (comprising of a total of 20 players). Both Christian and Crawford were listed as "high honorable mention," along with more than 100 others.
    Street and Smith's was pre-season. I believe Weldon Williams was the highest ranked S&S recruit in Duke's class of 1982.I do remember that they had him on their
    30-man team. We all thought Duke was getting an instant impact player.


    In other words, don't give much weight to S&S.
    Last edited by jimsumner; 05-26-2012 at 10:53 AM.

  13. #33

    Carrawell

    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    Here is the same database, looking only at players that were All-American (as listed in the Duke Media Guide) or 1st team All-ACC. The list overlaps 95% -- Amaker, listed as an A-A, was never 1st team All-ACC. Chris Carrawell is the only All-ACC player not on an A-A team.
    You are right about Amaker, but I think you missed it on Carrawell, who was both ACC player of the year and consensus first-team All-America in 2000 -- and he is listed as an A-A on page 75 of the 2011-12 Duke media guide.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    You are right about Amaker, but I think you missed it on Carrawell, who was both ACC player of the year and consensus first-team All-America in 2000 -- and he is listed as an A-A on page 75 of the 2011-12 Duke media guide.
    You are right; I absolutely missed it. That means that every Duke player who has been selected first-team All-ACC has been at one time selected to at least one All-American team (first or second team). And except for Tommy Amaker, the converse is also true.

    sagegrouse
    'Of course, the biggest anomaly was Steve Vacendak winning MVP in the ACC but only making 2nd team All-ACC, when Verga and Marin were first team. The reporters seemed to be impressed with his "most valuable" point guard play, but gave the first-team votes to the scorers'

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    Interesting to me that K has had three ACC rookie of the year picks since 2001 (Duhon, Singler and Rivers) after having none before 2001. I mean as great as Dawkins, Grant Hill, Hurley, Jason Williams and Ferry were, there always seemed to be somebody a little better (at least the voters thought so).
    When thinking about this, along with the topic of this thread in general, you have to consider how the landscape of college basketball has changed since the mid-90's. As players started leaving early, teams had to rely on freshmen more and more. Then when high schoolers started going straight to the NBA, the perception that freshmen weren't physically or mentally ready to contribute went away.

    The first players to leave Duke early were in 1999; before then it was almost guaranteed that when a freshman came in there would be a more experienced player at his position already on the roster. I think there was also a shift in recruiting around the same time where Coach K accepted that he'd have to go after one-and-done type players. So it makes sense that the ROY's started coming soon after.

  16. #36

    freshman starters

    Quote Originally Posted by UrinalCake View Post
    When thinking about this, along with the topic of this thread in general, you have to consider how the landscape of college basketball has changed since the mid-90's. As players started leaving early, teams had to rely on freshmen more and more. Then when high schoolers started going straight to the NBA, the perception that freshmen weren't physically or mentally ready to contribute went away.

    The first players to leave Duke early were in 1999; before then it was almost guaranteed that when a freshman came in there would be a more experienced player at his position already on the roster. I think there was also a shift in recruiting around the same time where Coach K accepted that he'd have to go after one-and-done type players. So it makes sense that the ROY's started coming soon after.
    I don't think that explanation works. Duke had plenty of great players start and star as freshmen before 1999. Go back to Johnny Dawkins in 1983 (as well as Alarie and Henderson that year), Amaker in 1984, Ferry in 1986, Hurley in 1990, Grant Hill in 1991 ... all were as good or better as freshmen than Duhon (who only started 10 games), Singler and Rivers. It just happened that all came out in years when the voters thought other players were better. In a couple of cases they were -- I think Dawkins was actually better than Price in '83, but Kenny Anderson was better than Hurley in '90. Throw in Elton Brand, who (like Kyrie Irving) would have been a lock for ROY if he had stayed healthy as a freshman.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    I don't think that explanation works. Duke had plenty of great players start and star as freshmen before 1999. Go back to Johnny Dawkins in 1983 (as well as Alarie and Henderson that year), Amaker in 1984, Ferry in 1986, Hurley in 1990, Grant Hill in 1991 ... all were as good or better as freshmen than Duhon (who only started 10 games), Singler and Rivers. It just happened that all came out in years when the voters thought other players were better. In a couple of cases they were -- I think Dawkins was actually better than Price in '83, but Kenny Anderson was better than Hurley in '90. Throw in Elton Brand, who (like Kyrie Irving) would have been a lock for ROY if he had stayed healthy as a freshman.
    In fairness, Mark Price did lead the ACC in scoring in 1983-aided in large part by the short three-point line.

    Hard to ignore that.

    And neither Tech nor Duke was especially good in 1983.

    My biggest complaint is 2000, when Joseph Forte edged Jason Williams. Forte had a higher scoring average. But Williams came in and started at point for a team that returned three players from the previous season and QB'd that team to a 15-1 ACC mark, was Duke's third-leading scorr and played without a real backup all season.

    That trumps anything Forte did. IMO.

  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by gep View Post
    So... I got interested to see who were the ACC rookie of the year for those years before 2001... and found this.

    http://www.dukeupdate.com/Records/ac...f_the_year.htm

    For example... Mark Price in 1983 (Johnny Dawkins), Rodney Rogers in 1991 (Grant Hill), Joseph Forte in 2000 (Jason Williams)...

    Also, look at all the GTech players, especially in the 80's.
    Seriously... Am I more floored by how good a recruiter Cremmins was? Or more shocked that they didn't win more?
    Last edited by Mountain_Devil_91_92_01_10; 05-27-2012 at 12:38 PM. Reason: Poor sleep = typos

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    As Bobby Jones, Vinnie Johnson, Kevin McHale, James Harden, Jason Terry, and scores of other players will tell you, it ain't about who starts, it is about who finishes.

    But, seeing as it is excessively difficult to track who finished games and if those games were close enough so that finishing mattered, I think it would be more interesting to look at freshmen who played more than 20 minutes per game under K. I bet that list would look interesting and different.

    -Jason "will be interesting to see if Suliamon, ,Murphy or Amile can add another name to the list" Evans



    Good thought on the minutes per game. By my count, there have been 26 frosh in the K era who have averaged over 20 mpg. Here they are:

    Player Year Minutes Per Game
    Tommy Amaker 1983-84 36.3
    Johnny Dawkins 1982-83 35.8
    Jason Williams 1999-2000 34.0
    Jon Scheyer 2006-07 33.7
    Bobby Hurley 1989-90 33.4
    Austin Rivers 2011-12 33.3
    Greg Paulus 2005-06 32.3
    Luol Deng 2003-04 31.1
    JJ Redick 2002-03 30.7
    Kyle Singler 2007-08 28.6
    Mark Alarie 1982-83 28.0
    Chris Duhon 2000-01 27.8
    Kyrie Irving 2010-11 27.5
    Jeff Capel 1993-94 26.4
    Trajan Langdon 1994-95 25.7
    David Henderson 1982-83 24.9
    Shane Battier 1997-98 24.64
    Grant Hill 1990-91 24.63
    Josh McRoberts 2005-06 24.5
    Mike Dunleavy 1999-2000 24.1
    Ricky Price 1994-95 24.0
    Carlos Boozer 1999-2000 23.7
    Elton Brand 1997-98 23.5
    Jay Bilas 1982-83 23.0
    Danny Ferry 1985-86 22.8
    Taymon Domzalski 1995-96 20.5





















































    So comparing this list to Sage's list of the frosh who started more than half the team's games, it's almost the same. Only Shelden Williams and Lance Thomas started more than half the games but still didn't get to the 20 minutes per game mark. And only Chris Duhon, Mike Dunleavy, and Ricky Price got more than 20 mpg as freshmen but did not start more than half the team's games.

    My takeaway from this is that, with precious few exceptions, under K, if a player is good enough as a freshman to play more than 20 mpg, he's good enough to start. And vice-versa.

    One other thing I notice (but don't tell the haters): of the guys who have gotten more than 20 mpg as freshmen, only 4 during K's tenure have been back to the basket players: Boozer, Brand, Bilas, and Domzalski.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain_Devil_91_92_01_10 View Post
    Seriously... Am I more floored by how good a recruiter Cremmins was? Or more shocked that they didn't win more?

    If you've ever talked to Bobby Cremins, you wouldn't be surprised. Man can charm the bark off a tree.

    Cremins learned his hoops from Frank McGuire and Frank wasn't much for that whole using-the-bench thing. So, stars like Tom Hammonds, Dennis Scott or Kenny Anderson knew they were going to get their minutes and their touches.

    So, recruiting stars was in his skill set. Recruiting those glue guys who weren't sure they were going to be able to see the floor was more problematical.

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