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View Full Version : McRoberts v.s Big Baby



oliverclosoph
06-07-2007, 11:58 AM
http://www.nypost.com/seven/06072007/sports/knicks/sizing_up_big_baby_knicks_fred_kerber.htm

In an intriguing matchup, size v.s size, Josh and Big Baby are working out for the Nets and Knicks.....

Patrick Yates
06-07-2007, 01:46 PM
Nothin personal to you, or anyone else, but I am done with this subject.

I wish McBob nothing but success, but I am tired of reading about his draft prospects.

He did not perform to the level that we needed him to this year. I am not saying that he was the only player to be blamed for our lackluster results, nor even that he is primarily responsible, but he was a dissappointment.

Last summer we talked about JM being THE MAN, and how he would be a 20-10 guy. It didn't happen.

Now we will begin to hear about his upside, athleticism, etc. As I have stated before, JM's abilty to run, jump, dribble, and pass, will look great in workouts. In reality, whan the other 9 players are also on the court, JM's ability to do the above is greatly diminished, for whatever reason.

JM is no longer a Duke player. Unlike previous early entries, he is not leaving on a high note, either personally, or from a team success standpoint. I do not wish him ill, but I will barely consider him to be a part of the Duke family, much like Maggette, Avery, or even Deng. In fact, I consider him less of a member than the above because they all played on teams that were very successful, whereas JM never really achieved in team success.

Moreover, the other early entries were team players who were never accused of being Cancer's in the lockerroom. And, most of the other early entries were motivated by pressing economic need, whereas JM's is not.

Frankly, he will not reflect well on Duke from here on out. If he succeeds, people will question why K couldn't get more out of him at Duke. If he flops, there will be more fuel for the the Duke kids aren't great pros argument (although this is losing steam). Unlike past flops, he was not really great at Duke. Past flops were at least superstars at Duke.

So I am out. My feelings for him are ambivalent. Tons of athletic gifts, but a bad attitude. Sort of a watered down version of Rasheed Wallace. Not as good a player, not quite as much of a headcase/lockeroom malcontent.

I just do not care what happens to him, one way or the other.

Next Play.

Patrick Yates

1Devil
06-07-2007, 02:14 PM
I think Patrick Yates' assessment is a little unfair. I certainly do not contend that McRoberts' performance last year was not disappointing, but that doesn't make him a bad guy. I do think that last year's team had chemistry problems and McRoberts was right in the middle of that. But I think those problems at the core were the results of the teams members' skills not meshing well, and in fact McRoberts' own skills being somewhat of an odd conglomeration. And from that lack of chemistry naturally some frustration arose.

I think the word cancer is much too strong.

BTW, I do have to lay some blame for last season on the coaches...they had to pick their poison and I'd have preferred if they made the other choice. McRoberts should have been nailed to the post. I don't care if we needed his ballhandling on the perimeter. McRoberts was an offensive liability from outside...couldn't shoot, couldn't drive. His game would have been helped by being forced to develop post moves. And maybe Nelson or someone else could have been helped long-term by being forced to handle the ball more (although that wouldn't have been pretty).

6th Man
06-07-2007, 02:52 PM
1 Devil......I agree with your assessment. McRoberts under the circumstances will never be one of my favorite Devils. But I do agree with you for putting some blame on the coaching decisions. I believe he should have been in the post as well. We had plenty of wing players and maybe we could have gotten Pocius some more minutes that way. Never understood why we needed a 6'10" guard that couldn't shoot when we had plenty of guards and a lack of big men. I can understand his usefulness in beating the press, but once the press was broken....he should have been setting up on the blocks. I feel so differently these days about Coach K for some reason. I don't feel it is the same K of the 80's and I don't like this version as much. On a side note, McRoberts never delivered on the expectations, but it would be very hard to have done that with all of the hype and the great great players to compare him too.

Saratoga2
06-07-2007, 03:44 PM
I don't share the opinion that McRoberts was a problem on last years team. Actually he played hard and to his abilities. he showed really good defensive ability, rebounded and blocked shots. He is a 6'9" medium weight guy with good athletic and ball handling ability and we shouldn't have expected him to be Larry Bird. Now that he is heading on, I think that he will become a decent but not grear NBA player and will have a decent career.

Perhaps our expectations for him with his high recruiting status was a little overblown. He did have some significant health issues with his back, but I thought he played well for us and will miss his contribution.

I still would like to see us recruit some big and tough athletic guys. Someone like Shelden or the like would really help the team this coming season. Lets try not to be upset with Singler if he fails to be great from the outset.

dball
06-07-2007, 03:45 PM
Wow, Patrick. I'm really surprised at your assessment. I thought McRoberts was learning on the job about leadership. Like a lot of potentially fine leaders, he may have miscontrued being vocal with being loud as opposed to several other possibilities: challenge, cajole, coddle, etc.

It seemed to me he was asked to do quite a lot and responded well for the circumstances particularly during Paulus' struggles. "Cancer"? Watered down Rasheed? Don't think that's warranted or accurate.

I'm glad he came to Duke and wish him great success. My bet is his game will fit quite well with the pro game and I expect over time he'll be a solid contributor if given the opportunity.

Do you also feel harshly toward Shavlik Randolph? Another early declarer who might not have performed to many forecasts?

cspan37421
06-07-2007, 05:14 PM
at times last year we needed someone who could bring the ball upcourt without having it stolen. When needed, McBob did that for us; had he not, we might have done even worse than 22-11. Plenty of blame to go around for last year. I share Patrick's sentiments but he should not expect that everyone here agrees and doesn't want to hear where he goes.

There's always Duke fans who will follow news on and have rooting interest in every former player. For instance, think of the DBR main site and news about Quin's new gig. Happy Happy, Joy Joy. I don't know about you, but the stuff swirling around what went on at Missouri during Quin's tenure bothers me, and I think it ought to bother all fans of Duke basketball. I don't trust and can't root for the guy, frankly.

ojaidave
06-07-2007, 08:36 PM
..
BTW, I do have to lay some blame for last season on the coaches...they had to pick their poison and I'd have preferred if they made the other choice. McRoberts should have been nailed to the post. I don't care if we needed his ballhandling on the perimeter. McRoberts was an offensive liability from outside...couldn't shoot, couldn't drive. His game would have been helped by being forced to develop post moves. And maybe Nelson or someone else could have been helped long-term by being forced to handle the ball more (although that wouldn't have been pretty).

If by nailed to the post you mean we should have taken our losses while McRoberts learned to be a post player, than I agree with you to some extent. The problem is that McRoberts was not a post player. His inside moves were really, really ineffective. When he got the ball at the top of the key or on the wing and attacked the basket, good things happened. When he got the ball down low, and if the behind the back pass wasn't there, not much good was going to happen.

Dave

cato
06-07-2007, 08:44 PM
Nothin personal to you, or anyone else, but I am done with this subject.

[rant redacted]

Next Play.

Patrick Yates

If you were done with the subject, wouldn't a more appropriate reaction have been to ignore this thread?

I will root for McRoberts in the NBA just like I rooted for him at Duke. Just like I root for Shav. I don't care how any success they may or may not have at the next level reflects on Coach K. Coach K can take care of his own reputation, and I sincerely hope that he is not as petty as some of the Duke fans who will turn on someone because they don't live up to some sort of mythical standards.

The bottom line: these guys gave a lot to my alma mater for my enjoyment, and that's enough for me.

hondoheel
06-07-2007, 09:27 PM
I'm so tired of this subject, let me write a novella about it! :rolleyes:

johnnydakota
06-08-2007, 07:07 AM
Nothin personal to you, or anyone else, but I am done with this subject.

I wish McBob nothing but success, but I am tired of reading about his draft prospects.

He did not perform to the level that we needed him to this year. I am not saying that he was the only player to be blamed for our lackluster results, nor even that he is primarily responsible, but he was a dissappointment.

Last summer we talked about JM being THE MAN, and how he would be a 20-10 guy. It didn't happen.

Now we will begin to hear about his upside, athleticism, etc. As I have stated before, JM's abilty to run, jump, dribble, and pass, will look great in workouts. In reality, whan the other 9 players are also on the court, JM's ability to do the above is greatly diminished, for whatever reason.

JM is no longer a Duke player. Unlike previous early entries, he is not leaving on a high note, either personally, or from a team success standpoint. I do not wish him ill, but I will barely consider him to be a part of the Duke family, much like Maggette, Avery, or even Deng. In fact, I consider him less of a member than the above because they all played on teams that were very successful, whereas JM never really achieved in team success.

Moreover, the other early entries were team players who were never accused of being Cancer's in the lockerroom. And, most of the other early entries were motivated by pressing economic need, whereas JM's is not.

Frankly, he will not reflect well on Duke from here on out. If he succeeds, people will question why K couldn't get more out of him at Duke. If he flops, there will be more fuel for the the Duke kids aren't great pros argument (although this is losing steam). Unlike past flops, he was not really great at Duke. Past flops were at least superstars at Duke.

So I am out. My feelings for him are ambivalent. Tons of athletic gifts, but a bad attitude. Sort of a watered down version of Rasheed Wallace. Not as good a player, not quite as much of a headcase/lockeroom malcontent.

I just do not care what happens to him, one way or the other.

Next Play.

Patrick Yates

Gee, Pat, that's really sad. Josh seemed to me to give all he had to Duke for 2 years, passing up millions to do it. If the team didn't win enough for your taste, it seems pretty harsh to blame it all on him. If you expected 20 and 10 then you had no clue as to what his game is all about. Actually, for any of you that are "tired of this subject" then why read any of this thread, much less post on it?

dwater
06-08-2007, 07:27 AM
I feel so differently these days about Coach K for some reason. I don't feel it is the same K of the 80's and I don't like this version as much.

Out of all the rediculous statements in this thread this one takes the cake.

Jaymf7
06-08-2007, 01:57 PM
Here's an article on the workout with Josh and Big Baby...

http://www.nba.com/nets/news/Draft_Central_Day_3_McRoberts_Davis_Young_Almond.h tml

My read of the Nets guy's assessment of Josh is not glowing -- it seems that they were looking for an athletic big man and their scout said Josh was more of an outside player. Of couse, he did call Josh "skilled," but we all know that Josh is not more skilled than the typical NBA 3 and the implication is that he is not ready to play the 4.

The reporter clearly bonded with Big Baby, who was described as a really nice guy.

6th Man
06-08-2007, 03:22 PM
In defense of my statement about Coach K earlier......I just liked him better in the 80's and early 90's. Success sometimes changes people and I feel that he has changed. It doesn't mean I want him to leave or want another coach. Just my opinion.....

johnnydakota
06-08-2007, 05:49 PM
Here's an article on the workout with Josh and Big Baby...

http://www.nba.com/nets/news/Draft_Central_Day_3_McRoberts_Davis_Young_Almond.h tml

My read of the Nets guy's assessment of Josh is not glowing -- it seems that they were looking for an athletic big man and their scout said Josh was more of an outside player. Of couse, he did call Josh "skilled," but we all know that Josh is not more skilled than the typical NBA 3 and the implication is that he is not ready to play the 4.

The reporter clearly bonded with Big Baby, who was described as a really nice guy.


Your ability to read between the lines is amazing. The way you saw the review of McRoberts as negative is perceptive beyond words. See if you can decipher my true feelings and thoughts just from this post.

mapei
06-08-2007, 09:55 PM
Josh could have been better last year, but so could have people named Nelson (insert Bob Green's reminder here that he was our leading scorer ;) ), Paulus, and various freshmen. The truth is that we lost 3 starters (including two AAs) and our best 6th man, and had a rebuilding year in which we never quite found the chemistry or talent to replace JJ, Shel, Dock, and Lee. There really isn't a lot of shame in that. I was as disappointed as everybody else but, honestly, there's no way to lose all that and still be anywhere near as good.

I thought Josh was the best player on our team last year and it wasn't even close - not because he could dominate - NOBODY could - but because he could do so many things as well as he could. He was sort of a poor man's Jeff Green, and Jeff didn't become the Big East POY until his breakout season in his junior year. His sophomore numbers weren't all that different from Josh's.

I wish Josh well, and I'll miss his pretty mom in the stands.

The big question is whether next year will be yet another rebuilding year - I tend to think yes, unfortunately. I see some good players but, at least until Singler matures, I don't see any great ones on next year's team.

Is K as good as he used to be? As a coach, I tend to think yes. As a recruiter, I'm not as sure. I think the Donovans and Roys may have had a string of better years, and watch out for JT3 as that program continues to evolve. We'll see, but I think the competition is raising the bar on recruiting.

SilkyJ
06-08-2007, 10:23 PM
I wish Josh well, and I'll miss his pretty mom in the stands.



Let's not forget, let's NOT forget, his pretty sister, dude.

On a serious note, I wish Josh well and think he will make a solid pro

gep
06-08-2007, 11:00 PM
Is K as good as he used to be? As a coach, I tend to think yes. As a recruiter, I'm not as sure. I think the Donovans and Roys may have had a string of better years, and watch out for JT3 as that program continues to evolve. We'll see, but I think the competition is raising the bar on recruiting.

I wanted to comment on Coach K and recruiting... I think Coach K continues to look for good players, but also good players with good character, team player, etc that will fit into Duke's (his) system... and that may be harder to find these days. The really good players are most probably one (or two) and done... and look to college to boost their draft stock, rather than being part of a good college "team". Also, the player's family is important to Coach K (last time I heard). I'm not saying that others are taking good players that are bad people. I think it's a fine balance of what kind of team/program you're trying to build and maintain. I think the college/nba landscape over the last 5 to 10 years has changed dramatically, and it may be harder for Coach K to keep to his tried-and-true principles that he developed pre-2000 or so. Then, is Coach K as good a recruiter as he used to be? I think he's smart enough to tweak his system to the current landscape, but I think "tweak" rather than "overhaul" is probably what's going on... so the perception that he doesn't recruit as well as he used to. If he coaches another 10+ years as some think, I think Duke will be fine.

Bob Green
06-09-2007, 12:47 AM
Josh could have been better last year, but so could have people named Nelson (insert Bob Green's reminder here that he was our leading scorer ;) ), Paulus, and various freshmen.

The big question is whether next year will be yet another rebuilding year - I tend to think yes, unfortunately. I see some good players but, at least until Singler matures, I don't see any great ones on next year's team.



There are definitely many questions surrounding next year's team. I'm anticipating Nelson having a breakout Senior season. We need him to be much better than last year just as we need productive minutes from Zoubek and Thomas up front. Singler will need to contribute from the start as will Nolan Smith. I'm excited and anxiously awaiting tip-off.

In regard to Coach K and recruiting, I'm not worried that he has lost the touch. We lost a couple of recruiting battles recently, but that always happens. There are many recruits on Duke's radar screen and we will sign our share. Hopefully, we get lucky and sign the right combination of future All-Americans.

Bob Green
Yokosuka, Japan

jimbonelson
06-09-2007, 07:01 AM
Josh could have been better last year, but so could have people named Nelson (insert Bob Green's reminder here that he was our leading scorer ;) ), Paulus, and various freshmen. The truth is that we lost 3 starters (including two AAs) and our best 6th man, and had a rebuilding year in which we never quite found the chemistry or talent to replace JJ, Shel, Dock, and Lee. There really isn't a lot of shame in that. I was as disappointed as everybody else but, honestly, there's no way to lose all that and still be anywhere near as good.

I thought Josh was the best player on our team last year and it wasn't even close - not because he could dominate - NOBODY could - but because he could do so many things as well as he could. He was sort of a poor man's Jeff Green, and Jeff didn't become the Big East POY until his breakout season in his junior year. His sophomore numbers weren't all that different from Josh's.

I wish Josh well, and I'll miss his pretty mom in the stands.

The big question is whether next year will be yet another rebuilding year - I tend to think yes, unfortunately. I see some good players but, at least until Singler matures, I don't see any great ones on next year's team.

bar on recruiting.aIs K as good as he used to be? As a coach, I tend to think yes. As a recruiter, I'm not as sure. I think the Donovanmay have had string of better years, and watch out for JT3 as that program continues to evolve. We'll see, but I think the competition is raising the s and Roys

jimbonelson
06-09-2007, 07:02 AM
he seems to bring in a top 5 class almost every year......they just dont stay

mapei
06-09-2007, 11:30 AM
The impression I get is that K is still a good recruiter, but what has changed (besides the whole NBA thing, in itself huge) is that the competition has improved. I used to have the feeling that Duke could count on getting almost anyone K wanted. I don't think that's true anymore. If someone can name a player offered by both UNC (since Roy arrived) and Duke who chose Duke, it will be reassuring news to me. Likewise Florida. (And, yes, I know that Patterson rejected both Duke and Florida. That doesn't exactly help.)

What I hate most about this is the likely impact of the "Duke hatred tsunami." I refuse to believe that has no effect on young kids as they form early impressions.

Gordon Shumway
06-09-2007, 01:35 PM
A. Chris Webber, Kobe Bryant, Chris Mullin, Uwe Blab, Jared Jeffries, Alan Henderson, Jason Collier, Vince Carter, etc.

Q. Who are some of the (many) high-profile recruits Duke targeted in the past who ultimately chose other schools?


Duke, like every other school has always had its fair share of near, agonizing misses in the recruiting game. This was true even during the salad days of the early nineties. It's amazing that fans can look at the hamburger factory that is next year's roster and say we're short on talent.

Second, Coach K has three Final Fours and a Nat'l championship the last ten years. How many other coaches can compare to that? Roy, Calhoun, Billy D, Izzo...that's about it. Keep in mind all of the above coaches operate in schools with easier academic standards and stronger local fan bases.

I have my share of criticisms of Coach K's recruiting/coaching but even a most basic reading of the data shows that he's the best or near best at his profession.

jimsumner
06-09-2007, 01:43 PM
Well technically Kobe didn't choose another school.

But as you note, this list could be greatly expanded. I love to throw in Adonal Foyle. Lots of the newbies and/or bandwagon folks are flabbergasted to learn that K once lost a high-priority recruit to Colgate.

Not sure where the idea came about that K has always gotten everybody he wants. Nobody--not Wooden, not Smith, not Rupp, not K--got everybody he wanted.

Gordon Shumway
06-09-2007, 03:07 PM
I forgot about Foyle. IIRC - I think his parents/guardians/relatives worked at Colgate.

Nick Collison and David Lee can also be added to the list.

I also made it a point to list players who had solid college/pro careers. However, there are even more recruits we were chasing who were ranked just as highly as Patrick Patterson and Kyle Singler are now but didn't live up to expectations.

Just in the past ten or so years there was Dane Fife, Brett Nelson, Darius Rice, Joel Pryzbilla, Kevin Gaines, Shaheen Holloway, Rick Rickert, Matt Bonner, Lavell Blanchard, and countless other McD AA's who turned us down.

Keep in mind I'm not even including guys like Ben Gordon, Baron Davis, Anthony Roberson, Casey Jacobsen, et. al. All former Duke targets who picked other schools because we supposedly backed off.

If anyone's reading this far I'm probably preaching to the choir at this point but lastly many of our all-time greats were very close to picking other schools. Bobby's #1 choice was UNC but chose us because Dean wanted Kenny Anderson instead. Grant's also wanted to go to Carolina but was pushed by his mom to choose us.

I guess I'm just rambling on and on because it's amusing to read people's expectations on recruiting and just see so much that's the complete opposite of reality.

JasonEvans
06-10-2007, 11:23 AM
After a few years of gettiung burned on character issues, I think K has recently refocussed on character in recruiting. So, not only can Duke not persue certain kids because of academic restrictions that most of our competition does not face, but we also are not going after kids who have any character questions (if you have an entourage in tow, forget about Duke). As a result, the talent pool for us is smaller than it is for any of the other top schools in the land.

I also think that for a while K was shying away from kids who were likely to turn pro out of high school or after one year in college. The new rules make these kids more attractive to him though, as evidenced by our persuit of a certain kid from Louisiana.

But, we are still doing quite well in recruiting. We land more than our share of top recruits and Mickie Dees.

-Jason "I like our upcoming freshmen and sophs a lot more than some of the rest of you, I think" Evans

jimsumner
06-10-2007, 12:39 PM
"Just in the past ten or so years there was Dane Fife, Brett Nelson, Darius Rice, Joel Pryzbilla, Kevin Gaines, Shaheen Holloway, Rick Rickert, Matt Bonner, Lavell Blanchard, and countless other McD AA's who turned us down."

Rice actually wanted to go to Duke. He was a year after Dunleavy and Duke felt that they were so similar that it was unlikely that both could be used at the same time. Bonner was considered a Duke lean but Duke stopped recruiting him after getting a committment from Horvath. Considering that Bonner is still earning a paycheck in the NBA, I might take him off the over-rated list. Replace with Danny Miller. I think there were some grade issues with Gaines and Duke backed off.

I don't believe anyone has yet mentioned one of the most agonzing near-misses. Bryant Stith. Great player, great student, great person. He seemed like such a perfect fit.

mapei
06-10-2007, 03:42 PM
Add Brandan Wright. And even JWill wanted to go to UNC - they just stupidly passed on him.

espn.com rates Duke #6 nationally among teams poised for future success. The top 10 in order are UNC, Florida, UCLA, Kentucky, Ohio State, Duke, Texas, Kansas, Louisville, Indiana.

On Duke, they say:

"Many will be surprised the Blue Devils are this low … and some will be surprised they are this high. Duke has a legendary coach, legendary fan support and an incredible last 20 years of on-court performance. Also very important for this generation of players, the Devils are the clear TV favorite, with almost every one of their games nationally televised. They also have an established national recruiting reach, although they self-limit at times and one of the fairest knocks on the program is that the Devils don't end up utilizing many of the All-Americans who matriculate in Durham. When a down year is 22-10, you know you are an elite program. It just will be interesting to see if the slight downward trend since the 2001 national title is a blip or a leading indicator of a future when Duke ultimately is bypassed by schools like Florida and Ohio State."

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=2867148