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