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View Full Version : Al Featherston on Recruiting Losses



gw67
05-22-2007, 07:27 AM
Thanks to Al Featherston for another superb article. As a long time Duke fan, it was another trip down memory lane. Iím not sure that I agree that Larry Miller was the most devastating recruiting loss in Duke basketball history but Al makes a good case. Bill Bradley and Chris Mullins were the players that immediately came to mind for me although Len Chappell would have made a major difference in the early 60ís. In general, I agree with Alís assessments although Tripucka was, IMO, equal to Banks as a college player, and Jason Collier would have provided needed size and was a significant recruiting loss.

gw67

dkbaseball
05-22-2007, 09:54 AM
Another candidate for biggest recruiting loss -- Alan Henderson. We might have had four straight national championships, though his skill set was a bit duplicative with Tony Lang's.

mr. synellinden
05-22-2007, 10:36 AM
We were also in the running for Chris Webber that year, and for a time it looked like we were going to get Parks, Webber and Henderson (who were all top 5 or 10 depending upon the rankings). Instead Michigan got Webber as part of the most famous class of all time and Henderson went down to the wire with us and IU.

ikiru36
05-22-2007, 11:26 AM
We were also in the running for Chris Webber that year, and for a time it looked like we were going to get Parks, Webber and Henderson (who were all top 5 or 10 depending upon the rankings). Instead Michigan got Webber as part of the most famous class of all time and Henderson went down to the wire with us and IU.

The thought of that poster in Time Out on Franklin St., with Webber wearing a Duke uniform instead, makes me cringe! Though perhaps if he'd gone to a less corrupt (at that time) program, he might have won a championship plus at multiple levels by now.

Anyways, most importantly, thanks again Al for a wonderful history lesson and walk down memory lane!

Go Duke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go Devils!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GTHCGTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MChambers
05-22-2007, 11:28 AM
The thought of that poster in Time Out on Franklin St., with Webber wearing a Duke uniform instead, makes me cringe! Though perhaps if he'd gone to a less corrupt (at that time) program, he might have won a championship plus at multiple levels by now.

I read somewhere, perhaps in one of Bill Brill's books (A Season is a Lifetime?), that Coach K mused that if Webber had come to Duke, the 1992 team would have been the greatest of all time.

ikiru36
05-22-2007, 11:34 AM
I read somewhere, perhaps in one of Bill Brill's books (A Season is a Lifetime?), that Coach K mused that if Webber had come to Duke, the 1992 team would have been the greatest of all time.

Even without him, that team should be up there pretty high in the annals. Point taken, however, as on paper there would be a strong argument for best ever. Heck, with him switching teams we might've beaten Michigan in the championship game by like 50! ;0)

Go Duke!!!!!!!!!!!! Go Devils!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GTHCGTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Indoor66
05-22-2007, 03:16 PM
Him switching teams means the Michigan is not in the championship game!

thebur
05-22-2007, 03:31 PM
Loved the article, even with my favorite "most common basketball name mistake". This happens in NBA broadcasts all the time and we heard it many times while JJ was a Duke "He's the greatest shooter I have ever seen since Chris Mullins."

We must show respect to our St. John's brethren for their names, otherwise they will be talking trash about Sheldon and Krsyweski.

SeattleIrish
05-23-2007, 01:48 AM
Featherston is, IMHO, the best basketball writer not yet working for major national sports press.

s.i.

novablue4
05-23-2007, 11:20 AM
helped beat us in the sweet 16 even though JWill did miss a foul shot that may have won it? Jared something? He played for the Wizards and I am in DC area, just a brain freeze. He was a big miss I think.

mr. synellinden
05-23-2007, 11:44 AM
... who Featherston discusses in his article.

I've been trying to think of some of the players Featherston didn't discuss. One is Don McLean (not the singer) who went to UCLA during the Darrick Martin era. He was about the same year as Laettner and coming out of high school was as highly regarded. I think it's safe to say we were better off with Laettner (not saying it was an either or deal - just saying we did okay with Laettner as our big man in those years. Interestingly, some people said Crawford Palmer was a better recruit than Laettner and there were rumors of him dominating Mourning in a high school game. That just show the randomness and absurdity of high school recruiting, rankings, all star games, etc.).

Who else did we miss on?

dkbaseball
05-23-2007, 12:38 PM
I don't recall that we were involved at all seriously with McLean. The either/or that year I believe was Palmer and Adam Keefe -- whoever committed first got the scholarship. Keefe became quite a good player for Stanford. I believe (could be wrong) Sports Illustrated had a write-up in which they speculated that Palmer would be the one to start as a freshman. That's certainly what I thought. Palmer was strong and somewhat athletic, and seemed a logical choice to fill the low post void the previous two teams had, at least on defense. Laettner was seen as having good offensive skills, but a bit soft, and hence a duplicate of Ferry. Abdelnaby had been around for two years, but he didn't seem interested in doing the sort of dirty work that Palmer was apparently well suited for.

As for other recruiting misses during the '87-'94 period when I was following it closely -- did Al mention Montross? We went hard after him, but he wasn't feeling the Durham experience and narrowed it down to UNC and Indiana. The same year, I think we made some overtures to Ed O'Bannon. We were also pretty involved with Stackhouse. There must have been a few misses for the class of Koubek, Buckley and Cook, but that was before I picked it up. Rick Fox maybe?

mr. synellinden
05-23-2007, 02:19 PM
I know we were involved with MacLean at one point but he ended up choosing between UCLA and Georgia Tech.

I looked over the list of McDonald's All-Americans to try to refresh my memory on players we recruited but missed out on. For some of these, it's probably fair to say that we weren't recruiting them as hard so they weren't such big misses, but some of them were definitely disappointing misses:

Rick Rickert
Jerrod Mustaf
David Lee
Walker Lambiotte
Litterial Green
Shaun Golden
Torin Francis
Nick Collison
Eric Chenowith
Cal Byrd
Jon Brockman

Of those, Byrd, Mustaf, Green and Golden definitely were in the Koubek Buckley Cook era but I'm not sure what class they were in exactly.

I think they all may have been class of 87 or 88 (HS).