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View Full Version : Why hasn't Thomas, Zoubek and Nelson Progressed ?



NYC Duke Fan
03-05-2007, 12:09 PM
I am not a UNC fan nor do I intend for this post to be negative. I am hoping for an intelligent answer or answers.

When Zoubek committed to Duke there was great enthusiasm and when Thomas announced that he had chosen Duke over Rutgers and maybe Florida more enthusiasm for what ," experts", said was one of the top recruiting classes. These were 2 top 20 players. Unless there are some out there who have seen it differently, I have not seen any progress during the year from either player. Does anyone have an explanation save for the statement as it pertains to Zoubek that it takes longer for a big man to develop? There are many freshmen around making major contributions.

Nelson is a nice player but not the one Duke fans thought. He is the All Time leader in points scored in the State Of California and was ," Mr. Basketball", there. I know that he was hurt his first 2 years...is that the reason for his developement.

Once again I am hoping for an intelligent answer.

Thank you

Duvall
03-05-2007, 12:14 PM
I am not a UNC fan nor do I intend for this post to be negative. I am hoping for an intelligent answer or answers.

When Zoubek committed to Duke there was great enthusiasm and when Thomas announced that he had chosen Duke over Rutgers and maybe Florida more enthusiasm for what ," experts", said was one of the top recruiting classes. These were 2 top 20 players.

According to whom?

Cavlaw
03-05-2007, 12:24 PM
I'm no expert (and will doubtless be corrected by others), but my take on Zoubeck is that I suspect the commentators are correct here: he hasn't developed the leg strength to effectively position himself down low yet. He also still exhibits a hesitation when he receives the ball (possibly because he isn't positioned where he would like to be) which results in some of his travel calls and fouls, and gives defenders the opportunity to react to him having the ball. In high school he doubtless played against a defense that was slower to react, and needed less time because he was able to muscle into better position before the ball came to him. College players are generally stronger and faster than HS players.

I expect Zoubeck will make tremendous progress with some time spent in the weight room, and as he gets more practice time (and more game time next year with stronger legs) he will adjust to the speed with which he must react.

dukelifer
03-05-2007, 12:49 PM
I am not a UNC fan nor do I intend for this post to be negative. I am hoping for an intelligent answer or answers.

When Zoubek committed to Duke there was great enthusiasm and when Thomas announced that he had chosen Duke over Rutgers and maybe Florida more enthusiasm for what ," experts", said was one of the top recruiting classes. These were 2 top 20 players. Unless there are some out there who have seen it differently, I have not seen any progress during the year from either player. Does anyone have an explanation save for the statement as it pertains to Zoubek that it takes longer for a big man to develop? There are many freshmen around making major contributions.

Nelson is a nice player but not the one Duke fans thought. He is the All Time leader in points scored in the State Of California and was ," Mr. Basketball", there. I know that he was hurt his first 2 years...is that the reason for his developement.

Once again I am hoping for an intelligent answer.

Thank you

If you look at Nelson's number this year compared to the past two you would say he progressed big time. You can see why he was dominant in high school- but some aspects of his game did not translate. His handle needs to be stronger and he needs to become a better free throw shooter. But in high school- he was sronger than all who guarded him. But high school is high school. Zoubek was expected to contribute but he needs to get stronger and he will- He has a big frame and will put on the muscle and do the work. Thomas is an enigma- but sometimes it takes year to get rolling. Noah for Fla was a non factor as a frosh.

hedgehog
03-05-2007, 12:51 PM
I would think Nelson's style of play: driving in hard, receiving passes down low and going up strong, etc., would work better in high school where players tend to be a bit slower, shorter, and not as strong.

The stories from the summer about Nelson talked about the Marine training he did which added strength and endurance. Perhaps his training was misplaced. Maybe he should focus this summer on his handle, his free throw shooting, and his mid range game. As hard as he drives, it would be a great asset to get stripped of the ball less and shoot free throws better (he is at 59%). Additionally, it would be nice when the lane is not clear to be able to pull up, since he is only 6'3". Imagine D-Marc with a nice crossover dribble...

His 3 point shooting percentage has been very good this year at 38%, although his release could be a bit quicker.

Duke84Blue
03-05-2007, 12:55 PM
Rivals and Scout are the two recruiting services that I am most familiar with and they had Thomas ranked 42 and 18, respectively. Zoubek was ranked at 24 (Rivals) and 38 (Scout).

While history has taught many of us that these rankings are meaningless, it may be what the original poster was relying on to call them "2 top 20 players".

smklin
03-05-2007, 01:05 PM
regardless of whether they were really top 20 or not, those two have not produced as they were expected to produce. i just really didnt understand thomas at all until a few games ago when i saw him go up, take contact, draw the foul, then put the ball in the hoop as he's falling to the ground. he's going to be able to do that stuff more and more as he gets stronger (which he certainly needs to do)

big z is also going to get a lot better as he puts on some muscle. it seems like every time he doesn't turn the ball over in the post, he scores. he's definitely got good touch around the hoop and his size is phenomenal. with some direction, i think he'll be the best true center duke has seen in recent history.

i really dont understand the complaints about demarcus. sure, his freethrow shooting is plain bad, but other than that he's made HUGE steps this year. he was nowhere close to relyable from 3 point range last year and now he's one of our best. he's a finisher and a great defender, and it seems like nobody is talking about his knack for rebounding anymore. while a lot of players deserve credit from the bc game, i was particularly impressed by nelson as he shut down dudly completely.

Dukefan4Life
03-05-2007, 01:31 PM
LT was all the talk last year! I really dont see much in this kid yet, sure he hustles and thats always a plus. I dont see an ounce of offense in his game and his rebounding isnt that great either. I think Z could be a good player for us, he just has to get a little stronger and get the ball more in the post! I like markie but with his height he doesnt really have a postion! he has no handle and isnt really tall enough to use any post moves in the paint, and his jump shot is 50/50! i hope next yeat we can see some improvement from Lance and Z, but i think we have seen what we have outta markie

Turtleboy
03-05-2007, 01:33 PM
and his jump shot is 50/50! Would that that were true.

mgtr
03-05-2007, 01:41 PM
I agree with much that has been written here. Zoubek and Nelson can be explained, Thomas is just a puzzle. With his size he ought to be more useful than he has been -- maybe next year, as one suggested.

detule
03-05-2007, 01:48 PM
LT was all the talk last year! I really dont see much in this kid yet, sure he hustles and thats always a plus. I dont see an ounce of offense in his game ...

I am no expert, but when I see Lance handle the ball in the post I feel as if he has the best back-to-the-basket moves on the team. Often I wish Josh would just take some time from practice to observe how a proper drop step is executed. As pointed out by numerous posters, this kind of game (in addition to the skill set that IMO he already has) requires a stronger frame at the collegiate level. Nothing a summer in the weight room wouldn't cure.

Dukefan4Life
03-05-2007, 02:03 PM
I really havent seen lance being untilized in the post! i wish we ran our offense more going to the big guys in the post! i havent seen lance show any real post talent but i know josh can take just about anyone. I wish we would use our height more often!

Carter431
03-05-2007, 03:31 PM
I think Lance is going to be an excellent player for us in the future. As of right now, I have seen flashes of greatness from both him and Henderson. We are Duke fans can't be so spoiled as to think that every freshman is going to come in and play like Luol Deng. To me, watching the development and progression of these kids over the years is going to be really fun.

Richard Berg
03-05-2007, 03:35 PM
If you haven't seen dramatic improvement in the play of Thomas and Zoubek since the start of the season, you haven't been watching.

Lord Ash
03-05-2007, 04:22 PM
I tend to agree with the initial poster, but a few things to keep in mind:

First, you can't really compare Thomas and Zoubek to some of the Super Frosh who are in college right now. Our two guys are definate college guys who need that growth; Durant is a whole different type of player.

Zoubek also needs time and strength. Big men who aren't the finesse big men need time in a big time program and with a big time weight program to get themselves going. Zoubek clearly pauses and thinks when he has the ball; a bit more PT and experience and a summer of weight lifting and I think he'll be okay, assuming he has the IQ to learn his lessons.

Thomas I think needs more time and, more importantly, experience. He is lanky and athletic, but not strong enough to really bang inside and hasn't shown an ability to take it out a bit and shoot a jumper, so I think by next year he will have a much bigger impact. On a team like Rutgers, where the offense would run through him, I am sure he would be scoring 15 a game, but not at Duke.

Nelson has been fine IMO, given his injuries in the past years. I tend to agree that his game maybe was better in high school where he could over power guys (3rd leading rebounder in CA history!) but with some work on his very flat-looking shot I think he will be just fine.

mapei
03-05-2007, 05:16 PM
Zoubek also needs time and strength. Big men who aren't the finesse big men need time in a big time program and with a big time weight program to get themselves going. Zoubek clearly pauses and thinks when he has the ball; a bit more PT and experience and a summer of weight lifting and I think he'll be okay, assuming he has the IQ to learn his lessons.


Zoubek reminds me a lot of Roy Hibbert as a freshman - gangly, a little awkward, too hesitant. I don't think he will ever be Shelden or Hakeem Olajuwan (not to say that Shel will be Hakeem), but if he improves as Roy has he will become an asset. Roy made big strides his sophomore year and, as a junior, was just selcted unanimously all-Big East. he's still too hesitant for my taste, but he also has an array of spin moves and hook shots, passes well, stays out of foul trouble, and blocks shots. He wasn't consistent on any of that as a freshman and thus didn't get much PT until his soph and junior years.

But I also think Roy is an asset to Georgetown partly because of the slow, deliberate offense that the Hoyas play. I have a hard time seeing Z in the kind of fluid, motion offense that the best Duke teams of recent years have run.

ikiru36
03-05-2007, 05:23 PM
I would not consider either of them disappointments at all relative to what I'd heard about them prior to arriving (they were, by anything I'd read, rated well but below Henderson and Scheyer anyways). As interior players, strength/bulk is a major issue and chronological age seems to make a huge difference (in combination with the ability to focus on strength training each off-season). Not only is Duke's team young in terms of year (Freshman/Sophomore...etc.), but their chronological ages are fairly young as well. Both Zoubek and Thomas are still 18 years old and sophomore Josh McRoberts just turned 20 a few days ago.

By comparison, G. Vasquez, a freshman guard at Maryland turned 20 already a few months back, and sophomore Tyler Hansbrough has been 21 years old for months now as well.

Though his bigger issues have been with injuries delaying his maturation (and I agree that he should now benefit from the opportunity to spend a summer focusing more on skills than strength), our sole Junior Demarcus Nelson has the exact same day of birth as Sophomore Hansbrough.

Although just a few months may not make that much of a difference, for whatever it is worth, each of UNC's top freshman, Ellington, Lawson and B.Wright were already 19 by the 1st week of November last year.

BTW-I'm guessing that Josh's chronological age is definately not lost on NBA Scouts, in comparisons with, say, Hansborough. Although they certainly could be wrong about his ability to mature, I'm sure they project what McRoberts might be able to improve in terms of strength and skill (especially since he lost most of last summer to back surgery) over the next 16 months as that is how much younger he is than TH.

As one final caveat, there are some guys who are amazingly developed physically for their chronological age and this cannot be taught and absolutely stands out (Deng, Brand and Maggette come to mind for Duke). Frightningly, and partly accounting for why Durant may be selected above the best Center prospect in a decade, he is still 18 for another 7 months (and therefore more than 8 months younger than Oden). Yikes! Durant is EXTREMELY special.

cameroncrazie922
03-05-2007, 05:35 PM
Zoubs has been having issues with footwork. He and Lance simply need to hit the weight room and bulk up over the summer. If Lance hits the weight room hard next year and then masters a good offensive move I can really see him living up to the billing he got coming out of high school as early as next year. I realize that Demarcus has big hands and this hinders his FT shooting, but if he gets around that and starts shooting well from the line there is no way he can't be getting us 20 or more a game. He is shooting 4 FTs per game, so if he were a consistent FT shooter he would be averaging around 18 ppg. If he gains confidence in that aspect of his game, I think that he will try to get to the line more and score more from there.

detule
03-05-2007, 07:47 PM
i havent seen lance show any real post talent but i know josh can take just about anyone. I wish we would use our height more often!

I am not sure where you are getting this impression about Josh's game. While it certainly deserves high praise in some aspects, his back to the basket game is hardly something one can complement him on. Not only he is not stellar when it comes to the low post, in my eyes he has seriously underperformed even when matched up against some of the league's B-list centers. This is not a knock on Josh, he is still trying to figure out his strengths and weaknesses, being in the peculiar position of a point guard in a center's body.
In addition his back surgery has held him back in terms of strength, and this of course is a key ingrediet when it comes to developing as an inside offensive presence.

Ok, I know this all has been discussed extensively elsewhere so I hate to repeat other posters. I just wanted to point out that Josh can hardly take on "just about anyone," and that with Lance having the moves but not the physique, and Zoubek having the height but not the moves or the strength, I really do not see this team utilizing its height more often.

Next year with Singler, Patterson (hopefully) and even King we are looking at a better team in the paint.

Dukefan4Life
03-05-2007, 10:23 PM
with the way josh can handle the ball he take just about anyone off the dribble at his postion, i didnt say he was kevin mchale or anything, but he does have the talent to be a very good post player if we would use him that way

jipops
03-05-2007, 10:39 PM
I am not a UNC fan nor do I intend for this post to be negative. I am hoping for an intelligent answer or answers.

When Zoubek committed to Duke there was great enthusiasm and when Thomas announced that he had chosen Duke over Rutgers and maybe Florida more enthusiasm for what ," experts", said was one of the top recruiting classes. These were 2 top 20 players. Unless there are some out there who have seen it differently, I have not seen any progress during the year from either player. Does anyone have an explanation save for the statement as it pertains to Zoubek that it takes longer for a big man to develop? There are many freshmen around making major contributions.

Nelson is a nice player but not the one Duke fans thought. He is the All Time leader in points scored in the State Of California and was ," Mr. Basketball", there. I know that he was hurt his first 2 years...is that the reason for his developement.

Once again I am hoping for an intelligent answer.

Thank you

Want an intelligent answer, how about intelligent expectations?

1. Nelson has yet to put in a full healthy season until this year. Anyone paying attention could see that Markie struggled shooting a jumper coming into Duke. As a result of his injury issues, he's had very little opportunity to work on this part of his game. Same goes for ball-handling.

2. Zoubek has very little lower body strength making it very difficult for him to establish any comfortable position in the paint. Zoub's actually has some very nice skills in the paint but until he gains some strength he will have trouble using those skills. Also, you can't teach quickness.

3. Thomas came into Duke as a guy with potential to make an impact but no standout basketball skills. Lance made a living attacking the basket in high school. Against this level of competition, he simply hasn't had the strength to do this. Also, he simply doesn't provide any type of perimeter threat to offset this. If Lance were to develop a decent 12-15 jump shot (similar to what Brian Davis did) then I think he could develop into a very nice player for Duke. He's got excellent potential on defense.

Dukefan4Life
03-06-2007, 12:29 AM
I agree with you pops! besides hustle i havent seen a good deal out of lance. when i heard the hype about him and how much we needed him i thought he was a good rebounder and would provide some much needed scoring for us. Dmark is what you see what you will get. His shot is 50/50 and he really has no handle. I think Z needs not only strength but an agility coach! to me he seems really shaky out there. i dont know if its freshman nerves or what but he looks akward! I am glad to see henderson coming out of his shell! he seems to be getting more confidence with each passing game.

mcdukie
03-06-2007, 09:31 AM
Singler is taking somebody's minutes, who do you think that will be? I think Smith is going to take some minutes also. I am not sure what to think of Lance, he is only a freshman but he will really need to pick it up next year.

johnb
03-06-2007, 10:41 AM
I don't like the premise of this thread. It implies that our guys haven't lived up to expectations. If said by one of the players or by a member of the coaching staff, that is useful information. Coming from people who don't know these guys well at all, it just seems wrongheaded. The transition to college is a big deal (athletically, socially, and academically), and it's even harder when it's played out on national television. Very few of our greatest players were as studly as freshmen as they were when they were upperclassmen. For example, Bobby Hurley now lives on Mount Olympus, but I recall cringing at his youthful passes into the stands, and, while Grant Hill always looked smooth, he didn't break out until the Final Four dunk that astonished everyone. Corey Maggette can start in the NBA, but he didn't start at Duke as a freshman. Even Christian Laettner had a freshman year that included his missing free throws that cost us a game in the Meadlowlands (and led to a locker room pat on the back by R. Nixon). The rest of us get off free (for example, I don't think Lance Thomas wrote in to comment on the original posters poor subject-verb agreement, and presumably the poster took English at some point). Yeah, it would be nice if one of those three guys were playing like Kevin Durant. If that had been the case all season, we wouldn't be playing on Thursday. So they're playing like excellent, solid freshman on a top 20 team. That's pretty good, and I'd say that we would be better off without the sniping.

ItalianDevil
03-06-2007, 12:37 PM
Hi everybody. Sorry if this will be a sad post, and sorry again for eventual typos/grammar error (English is not my mother tongue).
Used to post here a couple of years ago (under A Devil in Europe nick), then quit for laziness and lack of time. I'm back and ready to be flamed.
Well, LT and Zou didn't show a sign of progress despite their high HS rankings for the same reason Shav+Thompson+Domzalski+Boateng+Boykin+Sanders etc didn't do the same. Simply, K and the staff cannot help them because they don't have the capacity to help them and teach how to build a real inside game.
All Duke star in the paint from the recent past (e.g: Brand, Booz) already came to Durham as finished players. When this kind of guys commit, than everything is ok, otherwise the 'other kind of guys' start warming the bench comes the first defensive error/silly fault or whatever.
This is it, IMHO. This, for instance, would have been Kaun's destiny if he had committed to Duke instead of KU. From what I've seen he's a lot better player than he was on his first year in Lawrence.
Every player cited above was at least a top 20-30 guy (or better). This cannot be a casuality, guys. Now, maybe if K could hire some specialists (it's hard for me to believe Wojo can teach a dropstep to a 6-10 guy....) and stop being harsh and obsessive with our 1st and 2nd year post guys.
This makes a couple with the fact that DU inside game was almost non-existant as soon as Booz left Durham. Carlos was our last reliable, already finished post player. After him a dark veil fell on our team. I'm dead sick of all these motherloads of threes, to live and die by them. It's been a long time since I saw some real real good offensive plays. JJ is playing in Orlando, K. Live with it and adapt our game to what we have...
I'm more and more convinced about this.
Now, before my flaming begins, let me say "Go Devils" whatever may come.

Kind regards
Marco

devilsadvocate85
03-06-2007, 12:44 PM
I would not consider either of them disappointments at all relative to what I'd heard about them prior to arriving (they were, by anything I'd read, rated well but below Henderson and Scheyer anyways). As interior players, strength/bulk is a major issue and chronological age seems to make a huge difference (in combination with the ability to focus on strength training each off-season). Not only is Duke's team young in terms of year (Freshman/Sophomore...etc.), but their chronological ages are fairly young as well. Both Zoubek and Thomas are still 18 years old and sophomore Josh McRoberts just turned 20 a few days ago.

By comparison, G. Vasquez, a freshman guard at Maryland turned 20 already a few months back, and sophomore Tyler Hansbrough has been 21 years old for months now as well.

Though his bigger issues have been with injuries delaying his maturation (and I agree that he should now benefit from the opportunity to spend a summer focusing more on skills than strength), our sole Junior Demarcus Nelson has the exact same day of birth as Sophomore Hansbrough.

Although just a few months may not make that much of a difference, for whatever it is worth, each of UNC's top freshman, Ellington, Lawson and B.Wright were already 19 by the 1st week of November last year.

BTW-I'm guessing that Josh's chronological age is definately not lost on NBA Scouts, in comparisons with, say, Hansborough. Although they certainly could be wrong about his ability to mature, I'm sure they project what McRoberts might be able to improve in terms of strength and skill (especially since he lost most of last summer to back surgery) over the next 16 months as that is how much younger he is than TH.

As one final caveat, there are some guys who are amazingly developed physically for their chronological age and this cannot be taught and absolutely stands out (Deng, Brand and Maggette come to mind for Duke). Frightningly, and partly accounting for why Durant may be selected above the best Center prospect in a decade, he is still 18 for another 7 months (and therefore more than 8 months younger than Oden). Yikes! Durant is EXTREMELY special.

I agree with all of your commentary on the ages. This reminds me of Ed Cota coming to Carolina as a 20 year old freshman. How does a player a full 18-20 months older (Hansbrough vs. McRoberts) end up in the same high school class? (no answers required....just a rhetorical)

My only disagreement may be on Greg Oden, because I don't see how he can be any less than about 32. I don't care what the paperwork says.

Richard Berg
03-06-2007, 12:45 PM
LT and Z showing no signs of progress? Boozer polished as a freshman? Shel's inside game nonexistent?

It's hard to believe we're watching the same games.

365Duke
03-06-2007, 12:49 PM
If you haven't seen dramatic improvement in the play of Thomas and Zoubek since the start of the season, you haven't been watching.


Agreed RB, and I think that Thomas plays his best defense out of the paint! I have never seen a big man get so close to the ball handler and force him to pick up his dribble, and then smother him. I will admit that when Z gets the ball in the low post and pauses(seems like 5 min.) I hold my breath until I know he is not going to be called for traveling. I have joked a couple of times to the people around me that the ref. takes a big breath ready to blow the whistle every time he touches the ball. ala Shav. on defense. It's like they know it's going to happen, they just have to find the most obvious moment to do it. Now, some were certainly justified, but sometimes it seemed like the whistle was blown before he even moved at all:rolleyes:

GopherBlue
03-06-2007, 12:51 PM
Nelson has been fine IMO, given his injuries in the past years. I tend to agree that his game maybe was better in high school where he could over power guys (3rd leading rebounder in CA history!) but with some work on his very flat-looking shot I think he will be just fine.

You bring up a good point. While Demarcus does not have the ugliest shot in basketball history, it is FAR from textbook. The ball sits flat in the palm of his hand, the elbow of his shooting arm is out of line with the target, and the release is flat and lacks rotation. Granted, it is difficult to correct lifelong habits and re-wire muscle memory, but not to address these obvious technical problems when they obviously limit his free throw accuracy (59%!) is puzzling.

Do the Duke coaches not want to tinker with shooting form? I'm sure they work on other technical aspects of a player's game (footwork, etc).

devilsadvocate85
03-06-2007, 12:53 PM
You bring up a good point. While Demarcus does not have the ugliest shot in basketball history, it is FAR from textbook. The ball sits flat in the palm of his hand, the elbow of his shooting arm is out of line with the target, and the release is flat and lacks rotation. Granted, it is difficult to correct lifelong habits and re-wire muscle memory, but not to address these obvious technical problems when they obviously limit his free throw accuracy (59%!) is puzzling.

Do the Duke coaches not want to tinker with shooting form? I'm sure they work on other technical aspects of a player's game (footwork, etc).

Duke coaches definitely do work on a players shooting form. Watch tape of Bobby Hurley as a freshman and then as a senior. They totally changed his release point and form. My guess is that DeMarcus was working so hard on rehab and conditioning that his shooting form may have been a secondary priority this past summer.

GopherBlue
03-06-2007, 01:11 PM
I would not consider either of them disappointments at all relative to what I'd heard about them prior to arriving (they were, by anything I'd read, rated well but below Henderson and Scheyer anyways). As interior players, strength/bulk is a major issue and chronological age seems to make a huge difference (in combination with the ability to focus on strength training each off-season). Not only is Duke's team young in terms of year (Freshman/Sophomore...etc.), but their chronological ages are fairly young as well. Both Zoubek and Thomas are still 18 years old and sophomore Josh McRoberts just turned 20 a few days ago.

By comparison, G. Vasquez, a freshman guard at Maryland turned 20 already a few months back, and sophomore Tyler Hansbrough has been 21 years old for months now as well.

Although just a few months may not make that much of a difference, for whatever it is worth, each of UNC's top freshman, Ellington, Lawson and B.Wright were already 19 by the 1st week of November last year.

As one final caveat, there are some guys who are amazingly developed physically for their chronological age and this cannot be taught and absolutely stands out (Deng, Brand and Maggette come to mind for Duke). Frightningly, and partly accounting for why Durant may be selected above the best Center prospect in a decade, he is still 18 for another 7 months (and therefore more than 8 months younger than Oden). Yikes! Durant is EXTREMELY special.

This reminds me of a fascinating study (for which I cannot find a reference) looking at the birth months of professional soccer players in Europe and South America, and reports that the vast majority (something like >75%) of the players at the highest levels were born in the first several 3 or 4 months of the their respective age groups (eg, Jan-Mar for regions where the class cut-out is the calendar year). The implication being that throughout the grade school years, kids that are on the older end of the class or team get more development opportunities (playing time, reps, coaching attention, encouragement, etc) than the younger kids on the team, and thus progress to the higher levels of competition with a greater frequency. Apparently the offshoot is to group kids into teams by 6-month increments, thereby minimizing this effect and increasing the potential talent pool.

Being one of the disadvantaged younger ones, I find great comfort in this excuse!

The Gordog
03-06-2007, 02:00 PM
Well, LT and Zou didn't show a sign of progress despite their high HS rankings for the same reason Shav+Thompson+Domzalski+Boateng+Boykin+Sanders etc didn't do the same. Simply, K and the staff cannot help them because they don't have the capacity to help them and teach how to build a real inside game.
All Duke star in the paint from the recent past (e.g: Brand, Booz) already came to Durham as finished players. When this kind of guys commit, than everything is ok, otherwise the 'other kind of guys' start warming the bench comes the first defensive error/silly fault or whatever.
This is it, IMHO. This, for instance, would have been Kaun's destiny if he had committed to Duke instead of KU. From what I've seen he's a lot better player than he was on his first year in Lawrence.
Every player cited above was at least a top 20-30 guy (or better). This cannot be a casuality, guys. Now, maybe if K could hire some specialists (it's hard for me to believe Wojo can teach a dropstep to a 6-10 guy....) and stop being harsh and obsessive with our 1st and 2nd year post guys.
This makes a couple with the fact that DU inside game was almost non-existant as soon as Booz left Durham. Carlos was our last reliable, already finished post player. After him a dark veil fell on our team. I'm dead sick of all these motherloads of threes, to live and die by them. It's been a long time since I saw some real real good offensive plays. JJ is playing in Orlando, K. Live with it and adapt our game to what we have...
I'm more and more convinced about this.
Now, before my flaming begins, let me say "Go Devils" whatever may come.

Kind regards
Marco

Don't you remember Shelden Williams? You know, the guy who broke the school records for rebounds and blocks while falling just 72 points shy of amassing 2,000 points !!!

ItalianDevil
03-06-2007, 05:08 PM
Don't you remember Shelden Williams? You know, the guy who broke the school records for rebounds and blocks while falling just 72 points shy of amassing 2,000 points !!!
+1. sorry but I still don't realize Shelden isnt' in Royal Blue anymore.
anyway I don't see any K in his progress during his 4 years in Royal Blue.
for who contests Shav inside progresses.... man, I suggest you to have an optician change... If you really saw improvements in Shav's game I may have missed something, really. could you please send me some tapes of his 25+ games ?;)

dukewray
03-15-2007, 09:51 PM
Why no Zoubek? Is he hurt, is he sick? I mean for christ's sake, the kid is 7 foot tall.....maybe he can't jump over a rock in a driveway, but he's 7 foot? Does anyone think he might have helped keep the VCU players from driving and just putting floaters up? I mean, it's not hard when you're 6'3" and you're shooting over a 6'1" Paulus.

grossbus
03-15-2007, 09:53 PM
they were too quick for Z at this stage of his development.

DukeCO2009
03-15-2007, 10:00 PM
His lack of quickness was a factor, sure, but in my opinion that's only the tip of the iceberg. For one, he doesn't seem to be mentally tough. The thing that impressed me about Zoubek early on was his great footwork--if he can only start putting the ball in the basket, I thought, he'd be a real force. After getting called for one travel, though, he became a basket case. Every time--literally, at least for a stretch--he touched the ball, he'd shuffle his feet and get whistled. He let one play ruin his entire season. Secondly, I frankly don't think he's too concerned with basketball right now. He's a frequent attendee to frat parties, goes out during the week, and is quite popular with the ladies; in short, from a student's perspective, his focus is clearly elsewhere. He just needs to adjust to college life, put his traveling demons behind him, and play with confidence. I think he can be a very effective player in the future. That said, the fact that he didn't play tonight against such an undersized team tells me that the coaching staff has little to no confidence in him--he's in the doghouse.

dukewray
03-15-2007, 10:09 PM
Well, if that's the case.....especially for a kid who was down to Stanford, Duke and Wake Forest for schools/academics, I'd have to say I'm a little disappointed. I know kids go through the college phase.....but damnit, you're getting a free education from one of the best universities in the country for FREE, you're playing ball on the biggest stage in the college world.....and you can't stay away from frat parties and buckle down??? Not mentally tough sounds right.

Troublemaker
03-15-2007, 10:13 PM
Well, if that's the case.....especially for a kid who was down to Stanford, Duke and Wake Forest for schools/academics, I'd have to say I'm a little disappointed. I know kids go through the college phase.....but damnit, you're getting a free education from one of the best universities in the country for FREE, you're playing ball on the biggest stage in the college world.....and you can't stay away from frat parties and buckle down??? Not mentally tough sounds right.

Zoubek should have his scholarship rescinded for daring to have fun.:rolleyes:

dukewray
03-15-2007, 10:17 PM
I'm sorry that I hold athletes to a higher standard. I mean, ask the kid who's got over $100,000 in loans after he graduates from Duke if he'd love to sit the pine and be able to go to frat parties and be a ladies man, all the while getting his/her education paid for by Iron Dukes who expect you to PRACTICE rather than be hanging out at frat parties........

BlueDevilBaby
03-15-2007, 10:21 PM
I don't get it. We did not use our size advantage. Even when McBob got the ball he was still far from the basket. I would have thought that Zoubek could have contributed something. Coach K was outcoached. I feel sick. Go E. Ky.:mad:

Troublemaker
03-15-2007, 10:26 PM
I'm sorry that I hold athletes to a higher standard. I mean, ask the kid who's got over $100,000 in loans after he graduates from Duke if he'd love to sit the pine and be able to go to frat parties and be a ladies man, all the while getting his/her education paid for by Iron Dukes who expect you to PRACTICE rather than be hanging out at frat parties........

Some would say your comment is idiotic because you have no idea how much time Z devotes to practice...

dukewray
03-15-2007, 10:30 PM
Some can say what they want, whether I'm idiotic or not. But my guess is he's not practicing as much as JJ Redick did......or Shelden.......or Christian or Grant......those who came to play hard and be the BEST......not ride the pine and party. We all saw where that got Patrick Davidson.......

Troublemaker
03-15-2007, 10:31 PM
That's funny because JJ outright admitted that he didn't work on his conditioning enough his first two seasons. Dude, you just have no idea how hard Z works or doesn't work. This is a terrible way to react to a loss. That's all I have to say.

dukewray
03-15-2007, 10:35 PM
Hey.....JJ might have partied his first two seasons....but the kid average 15 pts as a Freshman. He already wanted to be the best at that point in his career. And as for reacting this way after a loss......if you don't get sick when Duke loses in the first round......what kind of fan are you?

DukeCO2009
03-15-2007, 10:36 PM
That's funny because JJ outright admitted that he didn't work on his conditioning enough his first two seasons. Dude, you just have no idea how hard Z works or doesn't work. This is a terrible way to react to a loss. That's all I have to say.

Just curious, but are you a student? This isn't people reacting to a loss; it's people pointing out ways that Zoubek needs to shape up. If Coach K knew half the things Zoubek did, he'd kick him off the team. He definitely parties more than Redick did, and I'm basing this on guys I know who graduated with JJ. There's no law against having fun, but when you're getting a free education rules need to generally be followed. I think Z needs to have a heart-to-heart both with himself and with Coach K.

throatybeard
03-15-2007, 10:37 PM
I mean for christ's sake, the kid is 7 foot tall.....maybe he can't jump over a rock in a driveway, but he's 7 foot?

So being 7 feet tall is sufficient qualification for PT. Got it.

I bet that Robert Waldo Pershing guy was an awesome basketball player.

dukewray
03-15-2007, 10:37 PM
Thank you. I totally agree. That was all I was saying.

dukewray
03-15-2007, 10:39 PM
A seven footer with his hands straigh up (making him about 9ft) is a better deterrent than a 6'1" player sitting on his hip as the guy drives by him...

Troublemaker
03-15-2007, 10:40 PM
Just curious, but are you a student? This isn't people reacting to a loss; it's people pointing out ways that Zoubek needs to shape up. If Coach K knew half the things Zoubek did, he'd kick him off the team. He definitely parties more than Redick did, and I'm basing this on guys I know who graduated with JJ. There's no law against having fun, but when you're getting a free education rules need to generally be followed. I think Z needs to have a heart-to-heart both with himself and with Coach K.

Maybe you're a student but unless you're a stalker, you don't follow Z around all day long. You have no clue how hard he works.

Troublemaker
03-15-2007, 10:42 PM
A seven footer with his hands straigh up (making him about 9ft) is a better deterrent than a 6'1" player sitting on his hip as the guy drives by him...

Josh is 6'10 and can jump well... I don't think we lacked size in this game. More like ball-handling ability and a quick backcourt.

dukewray
03-15-2007, 10:48 PM
TroubleMaker......do you know of some law where Duke isn't allowed to play a 6'10" player alongside a 7'0"??? Especially when the other team has ONE player at 6'10" and the rest are no bigger than 6'7"???????

tbyers11
03-15-2007, 10:52 PM
TroubleMaker......do you know of some law where Duke isn't allowed to play a 6'10" player alongside a 7'0"??? Especially when the other team has ONE player at 6'10" and the rest are no bigger than 6'7"???????

Zoubek's offensive potential (which has been increasingly non-existent as the level of competition has increased) would have been outweighed by his defensive liabilities against VCU. Hell, we couldn't even get the ball in the post to Josh that much because of the defensive pressure. As for playing Josh and Zoubek together, the VCU press dictated the style of play. As long as they kept pressing, we wouldn't have been able the play the halfcourt game necessary to take advantage of both Josh and Zoubek.

Troublemaker
03-15-2007, 10:53 PM
TroubleMaker......do you know of some law where Duke isn't allowed to play a 6'10" player alongside a 7'0"??? Especially when the other team has ONE player at 6'10" and the rest are no bigger than 6'7"???????

No law, but there were probably reasons why that wouldn't work...

DukeCO2009
03-15-2007, 11:18 PM
Maybe you're a student but unless you're a stalker, you don't follow Z around all day long. You have no clue how hard he works.

No need for the animosity.

Anyway, point taken; I never made any statements to the contrary. I'm sure Zoubek works extremely hard, as do all of our players. If he wants to party all the time, then so be it. Hey, it's his life, not mine. By all accounts, Brian's a smart guy. In choosing between Duke and Stanford, then, the deciding factor was almost certainly basketball. That being the case, Brian needs to make sure he knows where basketball lies on his priority list. I don't doubt his hustle, work ethic, etc. in practice, but I do question his commitment to the whole student-athlete concept once he leaves the classroom.

He's painfully out of shape (I see the guy at McDonald's 3 days a week) and goes out all to often to be a productive student-athlete. As far as I know, he's holding up the academic part of the deal, but let's be honest here: while he would have probably gotten in, BZ wouldn't be on scholarship if it weren't for basketball. If he just wants to be the "student" part of his role as a student-athlete, he needs to give up his scholarship.

Some other guys, most notably J.J., have dealt with similar issues. Zoubek doesn't have the same kind of talent as Redick did, however, and thus cannot afford to act the way he currently does and also produce on the court. J.J. had the luxury of being able to drop 15-20 and still slack off once out of K's sight; Brian, quite frankly, does not. I'm not justifying J.J.'s actions, just making a point. It's time for Zoubek to sit down and make some decisions.

Troublemaker
03-15-2007, 11:30 PM
I haven't shown you any animosity. I still see no reason to believe that Z isn't work hard. You can work hard, play hard...

DukeCO2009
03-15-2007, 11:34 PM
I haven't shown you any animosity. I still see no reason to believe that Z isn't work hard. You can work hard, play hard...

The "unless you're a stalker" bit was a bit unnecessary.

Again, I never once said Zoubek didn't work hard re: basketball. It's his off-the-court activities, habits, and practices I question.