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jimsumner
05-16-2012, 02:12 PM
I've spent some time looking at some non-Duke websites to get some reactions to the Amile Jefferson signing.

There seems to be a strong consensus. Duke will squander Jefferson's talents by having him set screens for four seasons, or until he transfers. And Jefferson better brush up on his foreign-language skills, the better for that career in Belarus.

The name Lance Thomas is invoked with some frequency. This would be the Lance Thomas who averaged 14 points and six rebounds as a high-school senior but was recruited by Duke to provide quality defense. Which he did for four years, culminating in a starting spot on an NCAA title team.

But he has had to learn to speak New Orleansian. So, there's that.

Still, if Lance Thomas is one's definition of failure, I guess that's a burden we'll have to bear.

But let's expand the search a tad. Jefferson is listed at anywhere from 6-7 to 6-9. Let's split the difference and call him 6-8. That's not an Elton Brand 6-8, either. Jefferson is a mobile, combo-forward.

Is that historically a recipe for screen-setting at Duke? Let's look at the trend lines. Mobile, combo forwards, in the 6-8 range, top 40 in high school, did not transfer from Duke.

Here's what we have.

Mark Alarie. Four-year starter. Played the 5, the 4, the 3. Two-first-team All-ACC, second-team once. Earned A-A honors as a senior when he averaged 17.2 ppg, on a team that included Johnny Dawkins. First-round NBA pick, solid NBA career until injuries ended it. 2,136 points at Duke.

Grant Hill. Four year starter, first two largely at the 4, last two largely at the 3. Played some point in '92 when Hurley broke foot. Second-team All-ACC as soph, first-team as a junior and senior. ACC POY and first-team A-A in 1994. 1924 career points, 461 assists. Hall of Fame caliber NBA career.

Tony Lang. Role player as freshman, spot starter as soph, starter as junior and senior. Averaged 12.4 ppg as senior, when he made third-team All-ACC. Second-round NBA pick, played in NBA. 1,012 points at Duke.

Roshown McLeod. First two years at St. John's, last two at Duke. Averaged 11.9 and 15.3 ppg at Duke. First-team All-ACC in 1998, when he led a 32-4 team in scoring. First-round NBA draft pick, solid NBA career until injuries ended it.

Shane Battier. Third-team All-ACC as soph, first-team All-ACC as junior and senior. ACC co-player of the year and consensus national POY as a senior, when he averaged 19.9 ppg and led Duke to the 2001 NCAA title. 1,984 points and 239 assists at Duke. Lottery pick and 11-year (and counting) NBA career much lauded for its cerebral, team-oriented qualities.

Mike Dunleavy. Sixth man as freshman, starting 3 as soph, starting 4 as junior. Averaged 17.3 ppg as junior, making first-team All-ACC. Third pick in 2002 NBA draft. Still averaging in double figures in NBA. 1371 points at Duke in three seasons.

Luol Deng. Averaged 15.1 ppg in only year at Duke. Second-team All-ACC and runner-up to Chris Paul for ACC ROY. NCAA Regional MOP. Lottery pick, made All-Star game this season.

Kyle Singler-four-year starter. ACC ROY in 2008. 2010 FF MOP. First-team All-ACC twice, second-team once, third team once. 2392 points. Second-round draft pick. Played in Europe last season, should be in NBA next season.

So, that's an example of how Jefferson's cohorts have been used at Duke. Thomas is the only one never to make All-ACC and the only one to not have at least one season at at least 12 ppg. Singler is the only one to never play in the NBA and that should change.

And all but McLeod played in the Final Four and he ended his career in the Elite Eight.

Think Jefferson was made aware of that history? Darn-tooting.

It's one thing to have an opinion. It's something else to have an opinion so easily refuted with readily-available facts.

Screen-setting indeed.

UrinalCake
05-16-2012, 02:31 PM
Great post Mr. Sumner, as usual you have debunked popular notions against Duke by providing hard facts. Duke has a long history of developing versatile forwards, several of whom are playing at a high level in the NBA right now.

I've read a lot of non-Duke articles too and the names I see being tossed around as "proof" that Duke doesn't develop big men are McRoberts, Randolph, Burgess, and the Plumlees. Even Brand and Boozer are described as being overrated in the NBA and disappointing as of late. The comments by Mason's high school coach were pretty damning, as were the quotes from Tony Parker and Mitch McGary which seem to validate the "word on the street" about Duke.

I think a lot of fans are infatuated with traditional, low-post big men. It doesn't seem as "cool" to have a Shane Battier who does a little bit of everything. And I do think it's fair to say that Duke has not had an elite player who fits this description since Boozer. My personal opinion is that these types of players just don't come around very often, and when they do they rarely stay in college more than a year, so Coach K has decided not to build his style of play around this type of player. That's just my opinion though.

I don't expect Jefferson to change this perception, seeing as he's not a traditional low-post player either. I'm hoping Mason can quiet the critics by having a breakout year, but even if he plays great and becomes a lottery pick, some will call him a disappointment because it took him four years to get there. So regardless, the haters are gonna hate.

Bob Green
05-16-2012, 02:33 PM
Think Jefferson was made aware of that history? Darn-tooting.

It's one thing to have an opinion. It's something else to have an opinion so easily refuted with readily-available facts.

Screen-setting indeed.

Thanks Jim! I'm optimistic Jefferson will be another addition to the long list of versatile forwards to play at Duke. Facts seem to be underutilized at times so all of DBR benefits from your postings.

Class of '94
05-16-2012, 02:57 PM
Great post Mr. Sumner, as usual you have debunked popular notions against Duke by providing hard facts. Duke has a long history of developing versatile forwards, several of whom are playing at a high level in the NBA right now.

I've read a lot of non-Duke articles too and the names I see being tossed around as "proof" that Duke doesn't develop big men are McRoberts, Randolph, Burgess, and the Plumlees. Even Brand and Boozer are described as being overrated in the NBA and disappointing as of late. The comments by Mason's high school coach were pretty damning, as were the quotes from Tony Parker and Mitch McGary which seem to validate the "word on the street" about Duke.

I think a lot of fans are infatuated with traditional, low-post big men. It doesn't seem as "cool" to have a Shane Battier who does a little bit of everything. And I do think it's fair to say that Duke has not had an elite player who fits this description since Boozer. My personal opinion is that these types of players just don't come around very often, and when they do they rarely stay in college more than a year, so Coach K has decided not to build his style of play around this type of player. That's just my opinion though.

I don't expect Jefferson to change this perception, seeing as he's not a traditional low-post player either. I'm hoping Mason can quiet the critics by having a breakout year, but even if he plays great and becomes a lottery pick, some will call him a disappointment because it took him four years to get there. So regardless, the haters are gonna hate.

I agree that haters are always going to hate and use anything (no matter how remote or small it may be) to support their opinions against Duke. That said, I was irked by the comments of Parker and McGary. I would prefer kids to focus on the positives of the schools they're going ot vs criticizing Duke to support why they chose other schools. The ironic (maybe I should say moronic) thing about all of this is that schools like UCLA and Mich have not produced a lot of successful NBA big men. More specifically, outside of Kevin Love (who's career imo took a megajump when he played for K and Team USA for the World Championships), who has UCLA produced that a decent to successful NBA big man? And since the days of Chris Webber and Juwan Howard, what decent to good NBA big men has Mich produced? Robert Tractor Traylor?? How many decent to good NBA big men has the current Mich coach developed (and that includes his time at WVU)? I'll give Calipari Marcus Camby; but how many other NBA big men can one honestly say Calipari "developed"? One, maybe two max??

So again, I find it very amusing that people and even some recruits will fall into the negative, unfounded perceptions about Duke eventhough one could say similar things about other high profile schools and programs.

ChillinDuke
05-16-2012, 03:42 PM
Can someone teach me how to hack so I can give more pitchforks?

As always, Jim, A+ stuff.

- Chillin

CDu
05-16-2012, 03:50 PM
While I agree with what you've said, Jim, I'm not sure how relevant it is. The discussion was regarding Duke big men. Jefferson is not a big man. He's a Duke combo forward. Duke combo forwards (especially those who can shoot) have historically thrived.

The "Duke big men set screens" argument was a more relevant point of discussion for guys like McGarry and Parker - not so much Jefferson.

MChambers
05-16-2012, 04:14 PM
I've spent some time looking at some non-Duke websites to get some reactions to the Amile Jefferson signing.

That was your first mistake. Why would you go to those websites?

It reminds me of the cartoon with the wife telling her husband to come to bed and he responds: "but, but, someone out there on the Internet is wrong."

ChillinDuke
05-16-2012, 04:50 PM
While I agree with what you've said, Jim, I'm not sure how relevant it is. The discussion was regarding Duke big men. Jefferson is not a big man. He's a Duke combo forward. Duke combo forwards (especially those who can shoot) have historically thrived.

The "Duke big men set screens" argument was a more relevant point of discussion for guys like McGarry and Parker - not so much Jefferson.


There seems to be a strong consensus. Duke will squander Jefferson's talents by having him set screens for four seasons, or until he transfers. And Jefferson better brush up on his foreign-language skills, the better for that career in Belarus.

Fair point, but if people are truly using the "only set screens" argument for Amile, then it would seem relevant. Granted, I am not venturing around reading other sites so I take Jim at his word on what is being thrown around.

Repeating this ad nauseum doesn't make it less absurd of a concept. If we recruited players with the intention to have them "only set screens", wouldn't we be better served to lock up some 6'6" 225lb tight-end esque human beings and not consensus Top-25-rated, lanky, slender, talented scoring basketball players?

- Chillin

Dev11
05-16-2012, 04:53 PM
If we recruited players with the intention to have them "only set screens", wouldn't we be better served to lock up some 6'6" 225lb tight-end esque human beings and not consensus Top-25-rated, lanky, slender, talented scoring basketball players?

- Chillin

If the 'smart' guys over on Pack Pride or Inside Carolina were actually smart, would they really be State or Carolina fans?

juise
05-16-2012, 05:03 PM
That was your first mistake. Why would you go to those websites?

It reminds me of the cartoon with the wife telling her husband to come to bed and he responds: "but, but, someone out there on the Internet is wrong."

I love me some XKCD (http://xkcd.com/386/).

ncexnyc
05-16-2012, 05:10 PM
While I appreciate the effort Jim put into writing the post, I'm not sure why it was necessary to post it on DBR.
I'm not sure there are people on here who buy into the, "Our bigs only rebound and set screens," garbage. It's the old preaching to the choir thing.

I did look at IC yesterday to see what their reaction would be and it was a mixture of laughing at State and at Amile, as they were indeed talking about Lance Thomas and talking about how K would ruin the kid.

jimsumner
05-16-2012, 05:11 PM
While I agree with what you've said, Jim, I'm not sure how relevant it is. The discussion was regarding Duke big men. Jefferson is not a big man. He's a Duke combo forward. Duke combo forwards (especially those who can shoot) have historically thrived.

The "Duke big men set screens" argument was a more relevant point of discussion for guys like McGarry and Parker - not so much Jefferson.

I'm not going to cite specific posts because I only looked at premium sites. But trust me, the idea that Duke will waste Jefferson by having him set screens is about as controversial on these sites as the idea that Tuesday follows Monday. Article of faith.

theAlaskanBear
05-16-2012, 07:20 PM
I'm not going to cite specific posts because I only looked at premium sites. But trust me, the idea that Duke will waste Jefferson by having him set screens is about as controversial on these sites as the idea that Tuesday follows Monday. Article of faith.

You had a great post, JimSumner.

My only critique is that you are engaging ignorance on its own terms. It's all about how the conversation is framed. I refuse to cede ground to people who say bigs are "wasted" when screening.

Screening is an essential part of basketball at every single level of play, and is utilized by every team in the NBA multiple times per games. Some offenses are built entirely around screening. Screening enhances post scoring through either pick and pops or pick and rolls.

When people want to argue this, tell them to look no further than the last 76ers-Celtics -- Doc Rivers runs a screen for Pierce because that is best way to get an open look, and then Kevin Garnett costs the Celtics the chance at a win because he did not set a proper screen!

Screening is solid, fundamental ball and any coach who does not teach his big to screen often and screen hard is depriving them of a skill they need in the NBA. If am an NBA prospect or a potential, I want the coach that is going to teach me every possible skill to help me achieve my dreams...

wacobluedevil
05-16-2012, 07:33 PM
You had a great post, JimSumner.

My only critique is that you are engaging ignorance on its own terms. It's all about how the conversation is framed. I refuse to cede ground to people who say bigs are "wasted" when screening.

Screening is an essential part of basketball at every single level of play, and is utilized by every team in the NBA multiple times per games. Some offenses are built entirely around screening. Screening enhances post scoring through either pick and pops or pick and rolls.

When people want to argue this, tell them to look no further than the last 76ers-Celtics -- Doc Rivers runs a screen for Pierce because that is best way to get an open look, and then Kevin Garnett costs the Celtics the chance at a win because he did not set a proper screen!

Screening is solid, fundamental ball and any coach who does not teach his big to screen often and screen hard is depriving them of a skill they need in the NBA. If am an NBA prospect or a potential, I want the coach that is going to teach me every possible skill to help me achieve my dreams...

Excellent point, ABear. The Miami Heat wish they still had Chris Bosh to set some screens in pick and roll action.

MChambers
05-16-2012, 07:37 PM
I love me some XKCD (http://xkcd.com/386/).

That's it!

UrinalCake
05-16-2012, 08:41 PM
Screening is an essential part of basketball at every single level of play, and is utilized by every team in the NBA multiple times per games. Some offenses are built entirely around screening. Screening enhances post scoring through either pick and pops or pick and rolls.

Excellent point. One of the things that has always irked me about Obama's speech during the Devils' White House visit after their 2010 title was his comments about screening (and please understand that I am not trying to engage a political debate here).... Obama was joking around about Reggie Love and his role during their pickup games, and he said something like "I always tell Reggie, 'don't shoot! Rebound! Set a screen!'" Insinuating that a guy should only set screens and rebounds because he's not a good player was a slap in the face. We would have never won that title without Zoubek's willingness to screen and rebound, not to mention the rest of the team following his lead in doing the dirty work.

CDu
05-16-2012, 09:22 PM
I'm not going to cite specific posts because I only looked at premium sites. But trust me, the idea that Duke will waste Jefferson by having him set screens is about as controversial on these sites as the idea that Tuesday follows Monday. Article of faith.

Then perhaps this post was more suitable for those premium sites? I don't think you'll need to convince too many folks here that Jefferson can succeed at Duke.

Of course, your arguments, while reasonable and accurate, are probably pointless. Irrational arguments (and sports fandom tends to be such a topic) is rarely won with reason.

NSDukeFan
05-17-2012, 03:06 AM
Then perhaps this post was more suitable for those premium sites? I don't think you'll need to convince too many folks here that Jefferson can succeed at Duke.

Of course, your arguments, while reasonable and accurate, are probably pointless. Irrational arguments (and sports fandom tends to be such a topic) is rarely won with reason.

Jim's post would have been suitable for those premium sites but is also very suitable for here. While there may not be many folks here that need convincing that Jefferson can succeed at Duke, I have heard many irrational posts about Duke's lack of development of players, poor recruiting, etc. on this board. I certainly like differences of opinion, but a well-reasoned analysis of the errors in Duke-bashing arguments is not a bad thing to see, even if it may mostly be preaching to the choir. I think it is especially relevant for younger and/or newer fans to here to be reminded of many of the positive points of being a Duke basketball player and the historic success this program is having.

Jderf
05-17-2012, 08:13 AM
Then perhaps this post was more suitable for those premium sites? I don't think you'll need to convince too many folks here that Jefferson can succeed at Duke.

Of course, your arguments, while reasonable and accurate, are probably pointless. Irrational arguments (and sports fandom tends to be such a topic) is rarely won with reason.

Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.

miramar
05-17-2012, 08:45 AM
I'm sure that Duke's detractors probably don't handle facts as well as Jim does, but there is certainly no need for anyone to jump on the ridiculous screen-setting bandwagon. It seems that no one remembers that Duke had the best team in the country in 2009-10 and then again the next year until Kyrie was hurt. That was only one and two years ago, but you would think it happened during the Johnny Wooden era.

It's also strange to read in the N&O that Chris Collins had to call Mason's high school coach to clear the air, which I think is a polite way of explaining the readily available facts and asking him to keep his opinions to himself. The article also points out that despite all the apparent upheaval, Duke has the talent for a very productive season, which I think we all expect to happen:


"With Plumlee back in the fold and Jefferson on board, the frontcourt should have a number of possibilities.

It seems likely that either Tyler Thornton or Quinn Cook will enter the 2012-13 season starting at point guard, joined by Seth Curry at shooting guard, redshirt freshman Alex Murphy or incoming freshman Rasheed Sulaimon at small forward, Ryan Kelly at power forward and Plumlee at center.

Jefferson and Josh Hairston seem likely to see significant minutes off the bench, and there also may be a role for Marshall Plumlee, a 6-foot-11 redshirt freshman, depending on how he develops.

“I think it would be a disappointment if those guys weren’t ready,” ESPN.com recruiting analyst Dave Telep said about Murphy and Marshall Plumlee. “They’ve had a whole year now and have basically taken an apprenticeship at Duke University. I think the expectation is those guys have to be ready to come in and help out.”

What that all means for the Blue Devils is that, despite the hand-wringing from some this spring, they are still returning four starters and adding a number of talented newcomers to a team that went 27-7 and finished second in the ACC with a 13-3 record."

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/05/16/2068967/after-spring-upheaval-duke-basketball.html#storylink=cpy

Faison1
05-17-2012, 09:17 AM
Then perhaps this post was more suitable for those premium sites? I don't think you'll need to convince too many folks here that Jefferson can succeed at Duke.

Of course, your arguments, while reasonable and accurate, are probably pointless. Irrational arguments (and sports fandom tends to be such a topic) is rarely won with reason.

Actually, Jim's posts usually provide good solid ammo when debating with my moronic friends. So, his points are especially useful here, IMO.

However, it would be great to have Jim repost his write-up on one of those sites.

davekay1971
05-17-2012, 09:19 AM
The "Jefferson will just set screens at Duke" argument is as pervasive as it is stupid. Even one of my good friends, an NC State fan who usually has reasonably good basketball sense and a relatively even-handed view of Duke and Carolina, has been regurgitating this bile. And there's no reasoning with the argument.

State fan: Jefferson isn't a true low-post player, but really should develop as an athletic 3/4? Please, he's not a guard, so all he'll do is set screens at Duke!

Me: But Kyle Singler just graduated, he wasn't a guard, and he was a four year focal point of the offense both in the post and on the wing.

SF: Rubbish! Look at Lance Thomas, he was athletic and all he did was rebound and set screens!

Me: No, Lance was a key defensive stopper and a great glue-guy. True, his offensive skills never allowed him to become a focus of the offense, but he was really good at a bunch of other things and was a key part of the team. Besides, Lance is one example and there are a ton of counter-examples.

SF: Well, how about Mason Plumlee? All he did was rebound and set screens!

Me: No, Mason also scored 11 points per game last season. Besides, he and Jefferson aren't even comparable players. Jefferson's more comparable, body-wise, to guys like Luol Deng, Tony Lang, etc...

SF: Those guys were a long time ago. Duke doesn't use guys like that anymore. Look at what Gottfried did with CJL this year. Jefferson should look at that.

Me: Look what K did with Brian Davis, Grant Hill, Tony Lang, Shane Battier, Luol Deng, Kyle Singler, etc etc etc

SF: Yeah but what about Lance Thomas and Mason Plumlee?

And on it goes. Like most myths about Duke basketball, it boils down to irrational parroting of trite talking points that are so vapid, baseless, and contrary to simple facts that even politicians would be embarrassed to use them. The only thing I can say for the State fans is that they are deeply, deeply disappointed to lose out on Jefferson. He would have been a big get for them, for a lot of reasons. For this season, he would have been important depth backing up Leslie. For next season, they were hoping he'd develop into a starter at that position. Probably more importantly, however, if they had gotten Jefferson, it would have been humongous for local recruiting bragging, giving them (1) The best recruiting class in the Triangle; (2) one of the best in the nation; (3) a win in direct head-to-head recruiting against one of their top 2 rivals. Still, the hysterical and vicious reactions of many State fans have become embarrassing.

Rich
05-17-2012, 10:25 AM
The "Jefferson will just set screens at Duke" argument is as pervasive as it is stupid. Even one of my good friends, an NC State fan who usually has reasonably good basketball sense and a relatively even-handed view of Duke and Carolina, has been regurgitating this bile. And there's no reasoning with the argument.

State fan: Jefferson isn't a true low-post player, but really should develop as an athletic 3/4? Please, he's not a guard, so all he'll do is set screens at Duke!

Me: But Kyle Singler just graduated, he wasn't a guard, and he was a four year focal point of the offense both in the post and on the wing.

SF: Rubbish! Look at Lance Thomas, he was athletic and all he did was rebound and set screens!

Me: No, Lance was a key defensive stopper and a great glue-guy. True, his offensive skills never allowed him to become a focus of the offense, but he was really good at a bunch of other things and was a key part of the team. Besides, Lance is one example and there are a ton of counter-examples.

SF: Well, how about Mason Plumlee? All he did was rebound and set screens!

Me: No, Mason also scored 11 points per game last season. Besides, he and Jefferson aren't even comparable players. Jefferson's more comparable, body-wise, to guys like Luol Deng, Tony Lang, etc...

SF: Those guys were a long time ago. Duke doesn't use guys like that anymore. Look at what Gottfried did with CJL this year. Jefferson should look at that.

Me: Look what K did with Brian Davis, Grant Hill, Tony Lang, Shane Battier, Luol Deng, Kyle Singler, etc etc etc

SF: Yeah but what about Lance Thomas and Mason Plumlee?

Your conversation reminds me of an oldie, but a goodie - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iVKPUNoeI4. Cracks me up everytime!

BD80
05-17-2012, 11:15 AM
... The name Lance Thomas is invoked with some frequency. ... But he has had to learn to speak New Orleansian.

Kyle Singler ... Second-round draft pick. Played in Europe last season, should be in NBA next season.

... Jefferson is listed at anywhere from 6-7 to 6-9. Let's split the difference and call him 6-8. That's not an Elton Brand 6-8, either. ... Screen-setting indeed.

Lance's new language is called Creole, a rich but difficult language.

Kyle may be playing overseas, but he is very much on an NBA roster. The Pistons are counting on him for next year or the year after. They are trying to renovate a flawed roster - horrible 5 yr contracts to Ben Gordon & Charlie Villanueva (yeah uCon) - and deciding whether Austin Daye can become what Tayshaun Prince once was - and a pair of undersized Shooting guards in Gordon and Rodney Stuckey, and a dearth of talent in the post (excepting Greg Monroe). Daye flamed out, and either Gordon or Villanueva will be amnestied out (Gordon's contract is worse, but Villanueva is a total waste of space). The Gordon and Villanueva contracts are so bad that, believe it or not, the Pistons are in the luxury tax realm. The Pistons intend to sign Singler to a long term contract - but are balancing his seasoning in Spain, the current roster mess, and the salary cap in doing so.

Amile's height varies in listings, but his weight seems to be uniformly listed at 190. He is described as "long and lean." Not a recipe for bone crunching picks. It doesn't make sense to recruit him for setting picks.

However, picks are an integral part of basketball offense, and particularly so in the NBA. Contrary to Miles and Mason Plumlee, and Lance Thomas, Amile seems to have the offensive skill set to thrive in a pick and roll set (I think his jumper will need work to become a true pick and pop weapon - but I see him getting there). Further, Amile's length, athleticism, and basketball IQ would suggest that he would be more effective rolling to the basket for rebounds/follow-ups (beating his man to the rim/ball from the high post pick) than trying to out muscle the other team's power forward for rebounding position. I see Amile thriving in Duke's motion offense from the start, and getting better with time.

PackMan97
05-17-2012, 11:57 AM
You guys don't get it, do you?

It's not about being accurate, it's about being easy to articulate and difficult to refute.

Duke hater: Go to Duke and all you'll do is set screens
** nice and simple with a grain of truth

Duke fan: [insert wall of text that no one, including the person that typed it, really wants to read]
** complicated and boring

State hater: If you can't go to college go to state
** nice and simple with a grain of truth (after all, of the major North Carolina universities, we are the easiest to get into)

State fans: Gobs and gobs of statistics, anecdotes mixed in with some rage, paranoia and hate.

You can see this applied to politics as well. A good attack is easy to articulate but difficult to rebut. Don't get your panties in a wad.

Duvall
05-17-2012, 12:06 PM
You guys don't get it, do you?

It's not about being accurate, it's about being easy to articulate and difficult to refute.

Duke hater: Go to Duke and all you'll do is set screens
** nice and simple with a grain of truth


Except there's no grain of truth. Duke has run its offense through combo forwards for three full decades - there's no reason whatsoever to think that would change now.

rsvman
05-17-2012, 12:29 PM
...The ironic (maybe I should say moronic) thing about all of this is that schools like UCLA and Mich have not produced a lot of successful NBA big men. More specifically, outside of Kevin Love (who's career imo took a megajump when he played for K and Team USA for the World Championships), who has UCLA produced that a decent to successful NBA big man? ......

Um, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Bill Walton come to mind.


(I know you're trying to make a point about recent grads, but I just couldn't resist answering a question that suggested that no decent big men have come out of UCLA!)

OldPhiKap
05-17-2012, 01:06 PM
Except there's no grain of truth. Duke has run its offense through combo forwards for three full decades - there's no reason whatsoever to think that would change now.

I remember Grant being referred to as a point-forward.

MChambers
05-17-2012, 01:53 PM
I remember Grant being referred to as a point-forward.

I remember Tony Kornheiser saying that if Grant had gone to a Big East school they wouldh have told him to gain 50 pounds and learn how to give a foul.

Amile will do well at Duke. I'm looking forward to a team with more defensive flexibility next year.

gumbomoop
05-17-2012, 03:14 PM
Amile will do well at Duke. I'm looking forward to a team with more defensive flexibility next year.

This past season I was one who downplayed the concerns of some posters re our small wings. But I was wrong to have responded too narrowly to fears about opposing SFs posting a smaller Duke defender. Other posters had thought more broadly than I about the small-wing issue. After the joy of Maui, the Temple game raised a red flag, showing that big guards with handles might be - and turned out to be thereafter - a real problem.

Although Quinn has to improve a lot on D, and Tyler has to quit committing what are, in effect, unsmart woofing fouls, the addition of Rasheed, Alex, and Amile does offer the hope, expectation, really, of more effective wing-D, and the ability to get some stops at key moments.

It's a little surprising that we may actually have a slightly better sense of Amile's and Rasheed's defensive promise than of Alex's. I saw Rasheed 3 or 4 times in various all-star games, one after his junior season, and it was his defense that stood out first. That perception was reinforced in several all-star games this spring.

It's fair to say that it's still an open question as to whether Amile will prove flexible enough, quickly enough, to guard opposing SFs. I think so, but I saw him only once, so maybe I think so because I hope so.

As to Alex, what do we [you] know about his D and D-flexibility? Because Alex was supposed to be a high school senior in 2011-'12, he didn't appear in TV all-star games in spring 2011. I caught him only once, and briefly, in that outdoor Elite 24 thing. [Right??] But I don't know that I'd describe that event as "basketball." Then, when he matriculated early, and then decided to redshirt, we caught few glimpses of him, period, this past season. Further, with the expectation that Mason would probably leave, the way Alex was being talked about on EK this past spring, looking toward 2012-'13, wasn't in terms of his D-flexibility on the wing, but whether he could gain enough strength to rebound above his weight against opposing 4s.

So, any comments on Alex's wing-D-flexibility?

Gthoma2a
05-17-2012, 09:49 PM
It is ridiculous for any recruit to say that being great at setting screens won't benefit them and, even, get them to the next level. My Lakers got crushed in game 1 vs the Thunder with screens set by Perkins. I know that it may not seem fun and it won't get you mentioned as the next Dwight Howard on its own, but it is something that is very valuable at the next level. It also doesn't mean that you won't get to score, too. The key to that last part is just having the skills to consistently beat your man on the inside (I don't think it is that we didn't want Zoubek to score 15 a game, but he just didn't develop as a scorer like that; we played to his skills and talents). It just isn't common to have a highly polished big men in college. Mason is getting there, though (he did pretty well against UNC's bigs and made big improvements last year). The biggest reason is that it takes a man's body to execute post moves against other guys your own size. Point guards don't have to have an NBA size body to succeed, but on the inside it is a man's game.

davekay1971
05-18-2012, 08:11 AM
State hater: If you can't go to college go to state
** nice and simple with a grain of truth (after all, of the major North Carolina universities, we are the easiest to get into)
.

There's also no grain of truth to this jab at State. State has higher admission standards than any college in the UNC system other than UNC Chapel Hill. In terms of admissions standards, they aren't on the same level as Duke or UNC-CH, but it's not a slack school by any realistic measure, despite the tendency of Duke and UNC-CH alumns to look down our noses at our slightly more blue collar neighbor.

(in the interest of full disclosure, the two most important women in my life are both State products, are both extremely well educated and driven, and both have had/are having careers that would make any Duke or UNC-CH grad proud...so I'm admittedly a little biased on this point)

But, as your post correctly points out, in fandom, like politics, a quip or soundbyte is frequently more appealing than an actual look at facts.

miramar
05-18-2012, 08:29 AM
Um, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Bill Walton come to mind.


(I know you're trying to make a point about recent grads, but I just couldn't resist answering a question that suggested that no decent big men have come out of UCLA!)

Curiously, UCLA has become the NCAA's teflon team. SI publishes an article saying that the program is in trouble, but instead of looking elsewhere, several top recruits go there anyway (spurning Duke in the process). More important, their players usually don't become lottery picks, but they tend to do well in the NBA, which has created the so-called UCLA factor.

The UCLA factor indicates that while Bruins players don't shine in college, in Westwood they learn the basketball fundamentals that produce long-term success in the NBA. (In other words, they are more ready than players who supposedly spend their time setting screens.) I would say that in reality Howland doesn't know how to use the really talented players that he has, and that this talent only shows up once they get to the NBA, but in a teflon program this doesn't matter.

The moral to the story is that facts don't matter once perceptions take hold.

http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/31712/the-ucla-factor-and-the-nba-draft

http://www.bruinsnation.com/2011/6/7/2209265/malcolm-lee-ben-howland-the-ucla-factor

PackMan97
05-18-2012, 02:53 PM
There's also no grain of truth to this jab at State. State has higher admission standards than any college in the UNC system other than UNC Chapel Hill.

I was referring to ACC schools in NC...or tier 1 research univeristies however you want to label it. Wake, Duke, Carolina and State.

CDu
05-18-2012, 07:45 PM
The moral to the story is that facts don't matter once perceptions take hold.

Dead on. People believe what they want to believe.