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  1. #21
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    Feb 2007
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    Raleigh, NC
    Nichols may not be an elite recruit but he's pretty well-regarded and context has made him pretty darn important to a Duke team that is losing Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly and doesn't have another post target in sight in this class.

    My understanding is that Nichols is pushing 6-9, is over 200 pounds and has a wingspan in the 73-74 inch range. Give him another year in high school and access to Duke's weight-training program and we're definitely looking at a high-level post player, maybe not a 260-pound back-to-the-basket bruiser but someone more stylistically similar to a Nick Collison.

  2. #22
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    Feb 2007
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    Deeetroit City
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    Nichols may not be an elite recruit but he's pretty well-regarded and context has made him pretty darn important to a Duke team that is losing Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly and doesn't have another post target in sight in this class.

    My understanding is that Nichols is pushing 6-9, is over 200 pounds and has a wingspan in the 73-74 inch range. Give him another year in high school and access to Duke's weight-training program and we're definitely looking at a high-level post player, maybe not a 260-pound back-to-the-basket bruiser but someone more stylistically similar to a Nick Collison.
    Boy I hope you mean a wingspan of 7'3" or 7'4" (87-88 inch range).

  3. #23
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    Feb 2007
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    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by BD80 View Post
    Boy I hope you mean a wingspan of 7'3" or 7'4" (87-88 inch range).
    Nope. That's why his nickname is "T-Rex". Really short arms.

    Yes, I did mean 7-3/7-4. Thanks for picking up on that.

  4. #24
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    Sep 2008
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    Philadelphia
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedog View Post
    I don't want to speak for Kedsy, but I'm pretty sure the statement was referring to Josh Hairston, not McRoberts.
    You are correct. Sorry about the confusion.

  5. #25
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    Sep 2008
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    Philadelphia
    Quote Originally Posted by ohiodukefan View Post
    Kedsy,

    What do you mean Josh was a project?? He was the #1 high school recruit coming out of high school on a lot of the lists, even ranked higher than Hansbrough. He was the MVP of the McDonald's all-American game. He was projected to be far more of a player at Duke than they ever got from him.
    Sorry again. I was talking about Hairston. If I'd realized you were talking about Josh McRoberts (which I obviously didn't), my response to you would have been that Josh McRoberts did pretty well in his two years at Duke, started 63 of his 69 games here, averaged 13 and 8 his sophomore year (after a pretty decent 9 & 5 as a third or fourth option as a freshman), and made 2nd team All ACC. Again, if that's Marshall Plumlee's trajectory, I think we'd all be more than happy with it.

    Sorry one more time about the confusion.

  6. #26
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    Sep 2008
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    Philadelphia
    Quote Originally Posted by ohiodukefan View Post
    That being said, Duke has been a guard oriented team for the last decade or more so it's easy to see why the big men aren't developed efficiently. A lot of times they are just used to set screens 20-25 ft from the basket.
    Your arguments confuse me, which is why I didn't realize you were talking about Josh McRoberts. This started when you declared Austin Nichols was a critical recruit for the program. But if we're so bad developing big men and we don't allow them to play valuable roles, why would it matter if we get Austin Nichols?

    Glossing over that, your argument seemed to be that there's no guarantee Marshall Plumlee will be ready to contribute by his sophomore year (and on that, we agree; there is no guarantee that Marshall will be ready), and thus we need Austin Nichols. To bolster your argument that Marshall might not be ready, you invoked Brian Zoubek and Shavlik Randolph, both of whom were injured much of their sophomore seasons, as well as Miles Plumlee, Mason Plumlee, and (apparently) Josh McRoberts. Except Miles, Mason, and Josh M all started the majority of their team's games during their sophomore year, so they were obviously ready to play. McRoberts was 2nd team all-conference his sophomore year (again explaining why I thought you meant Josh Hairston, who hardly played his sophomore year). None of your examples bolster your assertion that Marshall may not be ready (although, as I've said, I agree he may not).

    Now, if what you're really saying is big men just don't succeed at Duke, then I wonder why you think Austin Nichols has a better chance than any of the others (including a redshirt sophomore Marshall Plumlee). Also, I disagree that we don't develop big men, but that's a whole 'nother conversation.

  7. #27
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    Mar 2007
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    Toledo
    Quote Originally Posted by Dukehky View Post
    Completely disagree with you there. He may not have developed his talent as well as the others in his class, but his high school ranking was completely justified. He was 6'10, not rail thin (not huge by anymeans), could jump out of the gym for a big guy, had a great handle, really good vision and passing ability, had good shot blocking talent and a developing low post game.
    That depends on how you look at it. McRoberts was obviously a phenomenal high school player, as evidenced by the most valuable player trophy he won at the McDonald's game his senior year at Carmel. But if you look college basketball recruiting through the same prism as the NBA, which drafts on potential more than anything else -- which I think is mostly true in college as well, as you are aiming for the prospects that you think will best help your program in the future -- then McRoberts did not ultimately measure up as the best player in his prep class.

    I can name off a whole slew of guys who turned out to be better prospects than McRoberts -- and some of them right away, in the NBA, right out of high school. Tyler Hansbrough, Monta Ellis, Mario Chalmers, Andrew Bynum, Brandon Rush, etc. If you're making the argument that, because McRoberts produced amazing numbers and appeared to have all of the physical gifts when coming out of high school, his No. 1 ranking was solidified, then I am not sure I agree with you. Ask the Detroit Pistons about Darko Milicic.

    My view of things is pretty simple: McRoberts was a great high school player. He turned out to be an above average college player and a below average pro.

  8. #28
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    Feb 2007
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    Northern VA
    Any word? At least he got to see a pretty awesome football game!!

    -BDBD

  9. #29
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    Feb 2007
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    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by Cameron View Post
    My view of things is pretty simple: McRoberts was a great high school player. He turned out to be an above average college player and a below average pro.
    I would probably rate him differently, if only in degree. Given that there are 300+ schools in Div I basketball, the fact that Josh was 2nd team All-ACC as a sophomore makes him an outstanding college player and wa-a-a-ay above average. In fact, he was "above average" as a Duke player, in that 16 Duke players in the past 13 years have made 1st or 2nd team All-ACC. Josh was one, and he probably would have repeated if he had stayed.

    While Josh has been a role player in the NBA, he is one year into a three-year $9.2 million contract and will have made $12 million over seven years when the contract is over. A lot of NBA players, including some Duke ones, have not done nearly as well.

    sagegrouse

  10. #30
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    Mar 2007
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    Toledo
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    I would probably rate him differently, if only in degree. Given that there are 300+ schools in Div I basketball, the fact that Josh was 2nd team All-ACC as a sophomore makes him an outstanding college player and wa-a-a-ay above average. In fact, he was "above average" as a Duke player, in that 16 Duke players in the past 13 years have made 1st or 2nd team All-ACC. Josh was one, and he probably would have repeated if he had stayed.

    While Josh has been a role player in the NBA, he is one year into a three-year $9.2 million contract and will have made $12 million over seven years when the contract is over. A lot of NBA players, including some Duke ones, have not done nearly as well.

    sagegrouse
    As you can probably tell from my previous post, I am not the world's #1 McRoberts fan, but I can certainly respect the fact that he had/has a lot of talent as a basketball player. With that, I would still contend that even with the All-ACC second team selection, he was a really good, but not great college player. I think terms like "great" and "outstanding" should be set aside for really exceptional players like Jon Scheyer, Kyle Singler, Chris Duhon, J.J., etc., guys who were All-Americans or were instrumental to a program's success or performed crazy individual exploits, players whose careers are something at which to really marvel. I certainly don't think McRoberts fits into that category. But, that ultimately depends on your definition of outstanding.

    As for my claim that McRoberts is a below average pro, admittedly I should have first attempted to define what an "average pro" is. McRoberts has played in 205 career NBA games, with averages of 4 points and 3 rebounds per game. According to John Hollinger's NBA player efficiency ratings (PER) on basketball-reference.com, which essentially works to determine a player's worth on a per-minute basis into one defining number by calculating a complex formula of statistical performances, McRoberts has a PER of 14.4. The average NBA player, by Hollinger's calculations, has a PER of 15.

    So, what I am saying is that your ratings of McRoberts seem to be more in line with reality than mine. A more accurate statement would have been that McRoberts was a phenomenal high school player, a really good collegian and an average pro. But I just can't call his career at Duke great. It was just really good. Nothing more, IMO. Could it have been great? If he had stayed, I don't doubt that it would have been.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Nanjing, China

    Nichols Visit

    As much as I love talking about Josh McRoberts (not at all), does anyone have any interesting news on Austin's visit on campus? I'm on board with the school of thought that we really need this guy. After this year, we're basically 1 big man injury from possibly being forced to play Josh Hairston 20+ minutes a game . . . a prospect that no one is looking forward to.

    I'm not sold on his size or length. From the scouting reports that I've read, he has somewhat narrow shoulders, which obviously limits his wingspan. Still, any guy who is a legitimate top 25 talent who can man the post would be more than welcome, especially if you guys are accurate about his increased bulk.

    Furthermore, I'm totally confident in Marshall Plumlee. I'm not sure why everyone is so hesitant to trust in him. Sure, he was redshirted, but I think it was the smart thing to do, since we really didn't need him last year, and we could REALLY use him for the next 4. Mason, who I think we can safely say is the most talented of the 3 Plumlees averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks his senior year at Christ School. Marshall averaged 12, 10, and 2.5 as a senior in the same league. He's not as talented on offense, I get that, but the defense and rebounding will not drop off at all. Plus, he's still going to be just as good of a finisher at the rim as Mason ever was, AND he has the extra benefit of a redshirt year, meaning he'll be a year more mature physically as a freshman with experience in the Duke system.

    Everyone seems to forget, this kid was a McDonald's All-American, he's legitimately 7 feet tall, and he's just as athletic as his brothers. Let me say that again: ATHLETIC 7-FOOTER. He is going to be a solid college center. Sure, he will have games where he gets in foul trouble and some bad games where I'm sure he will make some stupid mistakes and turn the ball over a lot, but I think his ceiling is higher than Miles' and Miles was a dang good player for us for 4 years. We're not going to rely on him to post up and score for us. All he needs to do is get rebounds and stand tall in the post on D. Relax, people, Marshall is going to be a huge asset for 4 years, same as his brothers, you'll see.

  12. #32
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    Feb 2007
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    Hot'Lanta... home of sports teams that disappoint in the playoffs
    Quote Originally Posted by licc85 View Post
    After this year, we're basically 1 big man injury from possibly being forced to play Josh Hairston 20+ minutes a game . . . a prospect that no one is looking forward to.

    I'm not sold on his size or length. From the scouting reports that I've read, he has somewhat narrow shoulders, which obviously limits his wingspan. Still, any guy who is a legitimate top 25 talent who can man the post would be more than welcome, especially if you guys are accurate about his increased bulk.
    Just for the record, Josh Hairston was a top 35 prospect (he was top 25 at this point in his senior season, but faded a tiny bit late in his senior year). Like Austin Nichols, Josh is described as a kid without freakish length.

    And I would also note that Josh did ok when we asked him to step up and take a larger role late in the year when Ryan got hurt. No, he was not a focal point of the offense, but he wasn't exactly a liability out there either. I have high hopes that he can expand his role even more this season and especially next year. If you told me Josh was a valuable contributor for this team as a senior, I would not be at all surprised.

    All that said, like many of you I have higher expectations for Austin Nichols and feel he could be a very valuable player for Duke quite quickly in his career.

    -Jason "sadly, I have no word on how his visit went" Evans
    Don't ask me why, but my mother is making me Tweet. Says it will be good for my career. So, follow my ramblings, mostly on the film industry, @TVFilmTalk

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Vermont
    His shoulders notwithstanding, Nichols' wingspan has been measured this year at 7 ft 2 inches. So the length is definitely there.

  14. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    Just for the record, Josh Hairston was a top 35 prospect (he was top 25 at this point in his senior season, but faded a tiny bit late in his senior year). Like Austin Nichols, Josh is described as a kid without freakish length.

    And I would also note that Josh did ok when we asked him to step up and take a larger role late in the year when Ryan got hurt. No, he was not a focal point of the offense, but he wasn't exactly a liability out there either. I have high hopes that he can expand his role even more this season and especially next year. If you told me Josh was a valuable contributor for this team as a senior, I would not be at all surprised.

    All that said, like many of you I have higher expectations for Austin Nichols and feel he could be a very valuable player for Duke quite quickly in his career.

    -Jason "sadly, I have no word on how his visit went" Evans
    I don't think this was Josh's fault, but I'm nor sure what you mean by 'did ok." The entire offense fell apart with Ryan.

    Now, I think a major part of that was that Duke's offense for large parts of the game revolved around having someone with Ryan's abilities in the game, which is something Josh couldn't replicate on his best day (different kinds of player), but he did not do particularly well in that role.
    <devildeac> anyone playing drinking games by now?
    7:49:36<Wander> drink every qb run?
    7:49:38<loran16> umm, drink every time asack rushes?
    7:49:38<wolfybeard> @devildeac: drink when Asack runs a keeper
    7:49:39 PM<CB&B> any time zack runs, drink

    Carolina Delenda Est

  15. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by licc85 View Post
    As much as I love talking about Josh McRoberts (not at all), does anyone have any interesting news on Austin's visit on campus? I'm on board with the school of thought that we really need this guy. After this year, we're basically 1 big man injury from possibly being forced to play Josh Hairston 20+ minutes a game . . . a prospect that no one is looking forward to.

    I'm not sold on his size or length. From the scouting reports that I've read, he has somewhat narrow shoulders, which obviously limits his wingspan. Still, any guy who is a legitimate top 25 talent who can man the post would be more than welcome, especially if you guys are accurate about his increased bulk.

    Furthermore, I'm totally confident in Marshall Plumlee. I'm not sure why everyone is so hesitant to trust in him. Sure, he was redshirted, but I think it was the smart thing to do, since we really didn't need him last year, and we could REALLY use him for the next 4. Mason, who I think we can safely say is the most talented of the 3 Plumlees averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks his senior year at Christ School. Marshall averaged 12, 10, and 2.5 as a senior in the same league. He's not as talented on offense, I get that, but the defense and rebounding will not drop off at all. Plus, he's still going to be just as good of a finisher at the rim as Mason ever was, AND he has the extra benefit of a redshirt year, meaning he'll be a year more mature physically as a freshman with experience in the Duke system.

    Everyone seems to forget, this kid was a McDonald's All-American, he's legitimately 7 feet tall, and he's just as athletic as his brothers. Let me say that again: ATHLETIC 7-FOOTER. He is going to be a solid college center. Sure, he will have games where he gets in foul trouble and some bad games where I'm sure he will make some stupid mistakes and turn the ball over a lot, but I think his ceiling is higher than Miles' and Miles was a dang good player for us for 4 years. We're not going to rely on him to post up and score for us. All he needs to do is get rebounds and stand tall in the post on D. Relax, people, Marshall is going to be a huge asset for 4 years, same as his brothers, you'll see.
    While I too have high expectations for Marshall, they don't include playing 40 minutes per game. Someone is going to have to back him up, and I'd rather it be Nichols than Amille or Josh.

  16. #36
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    Sep 2008
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    Philadelphia
    Quote Originally Posted by Dukeface88 View Post
    While I too have high expectations for Marshall, they don't include playing 40 minutes per game. Someone is going to have to back him up, and I'd rather it be Nichols than Amille or Josh.
    I agree someone is going to have to back him up. I'm not sure why you think a freshman Austin Nichols will be more prepared to do that than a sophomore Amile Jefferson.

    Amile is listed by Duke as 6'8, 195 (ESPN listed him as 6'7, 190; Yahoo listed him as 6'8, 197; Draft Express listed him as 6'9, 197). I haven't seen a wingspan measurement, but he appears to have very long arms. His reputation from high school is he's a crafty and successful interior scorer. I believe he played mostly center in high school, and his RSCI ranking was #21. Most importantly, he will have a year of college to get bulkier, stronger, and better, and to understand the Duke defensive system.

    Austin Nichols is listed by ESPN as 6'8, 200; by Yahoo as 6'8, 193, and by Scout as 6'9, 205. No matter which of these (if any) is right, he's not appreciably bigger, either height-wise or weight-wise, than Amile. His RSCI ranking is currently #23. He'll be a freshman playing college ball for the first time.

    Neither of these guys is probably ideal as a college center, but while I admit I haven't seen either of them play, on paper I see no reason to prefer a freshman Austin over a sophomore Amile.

  17. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    I agree someone is going to have to back him up. I'm not sure why you think a freshman Austin Nichols will be more prepared to do that than a sophomore Amile Jefferson.

    Amile is listed by Duke as 6'8, 195 (ESPN listed him as 6'7, 190; Yahoo listed him as 6'8, 197; Draft Express listed him as 6'9, 197). I haven't seen a wingspan measurement, but he appears to have very long arms. His reputation from high school is he's a crafty and successful interior scorer. I believe he played mostly center in high school, and his RSCI ranking was #21. Most importantly, he will have a year of college to get bulkier, stronger, and better, and to understand the Duke defensive system.

    Austin Nichols is listed by ESPN as 6'8, 200; by Yahoo as 6'8, 193, and by Scout as 6'9, 205. No matter which of these (if any) is right, he's not appreciably bigger, either height-wise or weight-wise, than Amile. His RSCI ranking is currently #23. He'll be a freshman playing college ball for the first time.

    Neither of these guys is probably ideal as a college center, but while I admit I haven't seen either of them play, on paper I see no reason to prefer a freshman Austin over a sophomore Amile.
    Based on this thread, it seems that Nichols has a slightly longer wingspan as well (Amille is listed at 7'0 everywhere I've seen), and every little bit adds up. However, I was more thinking of skillset than size. My understanding (likewise without seeing either of them play) is that Amille plays a lot on the perimeter while Nichols is more of a pure post player, so my assumption was that it would be easier for Nichols to transition to center than Amille. It's true that neither, as far as I know, is a back-to-the-basket type, so you may well be right.

  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    I agree someone is going to have to back him up. I'm not sure why you think a freshman Austin Nichols will be more prepared to do that than a sophomore Amile Jefferson.

    Neither of these guys is probably ideal as a college center, but while I admit I haven't seen either of them play, on paper I see no reason to prefer a freshman Austin over a sophomore Amile.
    Not sure if this was the OP point, but I'm hoping that Amile will be playing NEXT to Marshall. If that's the case, freshman Austin could back up both of them.

  19. #39
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    Sep 2008
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    Philadelphia
    Quote Originally Posted by azzefkram View Post
    Not sure if this was the OP point, but I'm hoping that Amile will be playing NEXT to Marshall. If that's the case, freshman Austin could back up both of them.
    That's possible, of course. Considering how stacked we're going to be at wing next season (Rasheed, Rodney, Andre (if he returns), Matt Jones, Semi O, and possibly/hopefully Jabari Parker), I had been working under the assumption that Alex Murphy would move to PF, meaning both Amile and Austin (if he comes to Duke), as well as Josh, would be backing up Alex and Marshall. Obviously it's all guesswork at this point.

  20. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Dukeface88 View Post
    My understanding (likewise without seeing either of them play) is that Amille plays a lot on the perimeter....
    Although I have seen Jefferson play only once, I would definitely not describe him as having played a lot on the perimeter. But, because (a) Kelly and Mason P will get the big minutes at the 4 and 5 in 2012-13, (b) there's no "logical" non-guard to back up Murphy at the 3 this season, and (c) Jefferson looks [body-type] like a 3/4, [therefore] (d) Jefferson is likely to play some back-up 3 this season.

    But Jefferson is unlikely to play much 3 after 2012-13.

    There's a fair amount of understandable confusion, owing to the fact that 2 players - Murphy and Jefferson - likely to play more 3 than anything else in 2012-13, might shift to the 4 in 2013-14. Even more confusing is the fact that Jefferson is ..... confusing. He looks like a 3/4, and will likely play some 3 this season, but he isn't, so far, really a 3 at all. With some weight gain, he might by 2013-14 look a little more like a 4. His play is also ..... confusing, in that he seems sometimes to start out [on O] with the ball on the perimeter, but he wants to get to the rim, slippery-like, often along the baseline, for funny, confusing shots, odd angles, but pretty close in. Jefferson doesn't seem to fit any preconceived notion of a 3, or a 4, or a 5. But IMO, absent the addition of several bigs in class of 2014 and class of 2015, Jefferson will be a big.

    Two scenarios, then, for 2013-14: [1] Nichols comes to Duke. [2] He doesn't.

    My guess is that in [1], Murphy plays some 3 and 4, Marshall starts at the 5, and both Jefferson and Nichols play some 4 and some 5. Hairston, too.

    In [2], Murphy almost surely plays mostly at the 4, Marshall starts at the 5, and both Jefferson and Hairston play some 4 and some 5.

    I hope Nichols is as confusing as Jefferson - to EK posters and especially to opponents - and that Jefferson and Nichols pair up to confuse opponents for years to come.

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