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HaveFunExpectToWin
02-22-2013, 11:09 AM
I saw a DBP tweet earlier that said Mason needs one more rebound to become the 3rd Blue Devil to have 1K points, 1K rebounds, and 150 blocks (Gminski and Shelden are the other two). It made me start thinking about what kind of legacy Mason will have here and what other players had comparable careers.

While he has those three stats in common with Gminski and Williams, I am hesitant to compare him to either of those greats. Mason has taken a different path from either of them, having an immediate impact but then taking some time to become a great player. In my mind, I think he'll have a greater legacy than Cherokee Parks, but that isn't too far off a comparison statisically. Is this fair take?

Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15
02-22-2013, 11:18 AM
I saw a DBP tweet earlier that said Mason needs one more rebound to become the 3rd Blue Devil to have 1K points, 1K rebounds, and 150 blocks (Gminski and Shelden are the other two). It made me start thinking about what kind of legacy Mason will have here and what other players had comparable careers.

While he has those three stats in common with Gminski and Williams, I am hesitant to compare him to either of those greats. Mason has taken a different path from either of them, having an immediate impact but then taking some time to become a great player. In my mind, I think he'll have a greater legacy than Cherokee Parks, but that isn't too far off a comparison statisically. Is this fair take?

As strange as it is to say, I think there's a lot that's left to be written. Not that a player's legacy is all about their senior year, but Mason has a chance to add a lot more to his ledger - ACC championship, NCAA championship, and some national POY awards. One or two of those would go a long way in putting him near the top of the list of Duke post players. A second national championship would make it very hard to not put him with G-man and Williams.

Barring some more hardware, I would suggest that it's very difficult to have any perspective on a particular player's legacy until their finale is 12-18 months in the rear view mirror. Having said all that, I would put Mason somewhere around 6th-8th in Duke post players historically.

/my 2 cents
//Go Duke!

CDu
02-22-2013, 11:23 AM
I saw a DBP tweet earlier that said Mason needs one more rebound to become the 3rd Blue Devil to have 1K points, 1K rebounds, and 150 blocks (Gminski and Shelden are the other two). It made me start thinking about what kind of legacy Mason will have here and what other players had comparable careers.

While he has those three stats in common with Gminski and Williams, I am hesitant to compare him to either of those greats. Mason has taken a different path from either of them, having an immediate impact but then taking some time to become a great player. In my mind, I think he'll have a greater legacy than Cherokee Parks, but that isn't too far off a comparison statisically. Is this fair take?

Though very different players, they have certainly had a similar career arc. Mason has consistently been the better rebounder of the two, while Parks was clearly the more polished/versatile offensive player of the two.

But yes: both Parks and Mason started as reserves on championship teams, then became key starters but not stars as sophomores and juniors, and became stars as seniors. The major differences being that Parks was on another NCAA finalist, and that Parks' starring role came in Duke's worst season (ranking-wise) in the last 30 years while Mason's starring season has come in a championship-caliber season.

Of course, it should be noted that this is not exactly apples to apples: 1994-95 was one of the ACC's deepest and most talented seasons ever (per SRS, it was the second strongest season for the conference ever: http://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/conferences/acc/) while this year is one of the ACC's worst in the Coach K era. Who knows what Duke might have done against a weaker ACC and with Coach K on the sidelines all season?

TruBlu
02-22-2013, 11:34 AM
I saw a DBP tweet earlier that said Mason needs one more rebound to become the 3rd Blue Devil to have 1K points, 1K rebounds, and 150 blocks (Gminski and Shelden are the other two). It made me start thinking about what kind of legacy Mason will have here and what other players had comparable careers.

While he has those three stats in common with Gminski and Williams, I am hesitant to compare him to either of those greats. Mason has taken a different path from either of them, having an immediate impact but then taking some time to become a great player. In my mind, I think he'll have a greater legacy than Cherokee Parks, but that isn't too far off a comparison statisically. Is this fair take?


Good for Mason. I will be among those in Cameron, on Sunday, who will be giving Mason a standing 'O' when he grabs his first rebound.

Interesting to note that Mason just joined Gminski in another significant stat: Winning back-to-back Academic All America. Only three other Duke players accomplished that feat: Gminski, Spanarkel, and Battier. Good company.

vick
02-22-2013, 11:57 AM
Though very different players, they have certainly had a similar career arc. Mason has consistently been the better rebounder of the two, while Parks was clearly the more polished/versatile offensive player of the two.

But yes: both Parks and Mason started as reserves on championship teams, then became key starters but not stars as sophomores and juniors, and became stars as seniors. The major differences being that Parks was on another NCAA finalist, and that Parks' starring role came in Duke's worst season (ranking-wise) in the last 30 years while Mason's starring season has come in a championship-caliber season.

Of course, it should be noted that this is not exactly apples to apples: 1994-95 was one of the ACC's deepest and most talented seasons ever (per SRS, it was the second strongest season for the conference ever: http://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/conferences/acc/) while this year is one of the ACC's worst in the Coach K era. Who knows what Duke might have done against a weaker ACC and with Coach K on the sidelines all season?

All that's true, and what's more, the ACC was particularly deep at big man in 1995. You had Joe Smith, Tim Duncan, Rasheed Wallace, Todd Fuller, plus Junior Burrough, down low, and he still put up 19 and 9 on the season. Mason's not going up against NBA-lottery caliber big men every other game this year in the ACC I don't think (caveat: I'm a little too young to have a firm memory of who matched up with who defensively then, but the point is, the league was deep with bigs).

Cherokee's legacy is pretty interesting to me, because if a few bounces go differently, he's at least statistically the second best player on a national champion (I'm not necessarily arguing he was or wasn't, just statistically, although he was second team all-ACC and Lang third, for what it's worth). It's really unbelievable the 1995 team lost as many as it did--a few months back I made a spreadsheet of SRS for as long as it's been calculated (back to 1980), because it's the oldest computer ranking of which I'm aware, and 1995 Duke has by far the best rank (#22 overall) of any team with an equal or worse record--the next closest is 1990 Pitt at #39 with a 12-17 record. A really deep conference, the coaching issues, players not stepping up, and plain bad luck--in my opinion you need all of those in order for 1995 to happen. I always think he's one of the more underrated players of the K era, because a lot of the things that ding his legacy seem largely (though not entirely) outside his control.

Long-winded way of saying, a career arc like Parks's is something to be pretty proud of, in my book.

Olympic Fan
02-22-2013, 12:19 PM
I saw a DBP tweet earlier that said Mason needs one more rebound to become the 3rd Blue Devil to have 1K points, 1K rebounds, and 150 blocks (Gminski and Shelden are the other two). It made me start thinking about what kind of legacy Mason will have here and what other players had comparable careers.

While he has those three stats in common with Gminski and Williams, I am hesitant to compare him to either of those greats. Mason has taken a different path from either of them, having an immediate impact but then taking some time to become a great player. In my mind, I think he'll have a greater legacy than Cherokee Parks, but that isn't too far off a comparison statisically. Is this fair take?

There's another Duke post player who belongs in this conversation -- Randy Denton. In three seasons (freshmen weren't eligible in his era), he scored 1,658 points and grabbed 1,067 rebounds. We don't know his blocked shot total because he played at a time when blocked shots were not an official statistic. Having been at Duke in that era, I can guarantee you that Randy had a lot more than 150 blocked shots ... like Bill Russell, we just don't have his blocked shot totals.

Denton averaged 19.7 points and 12.7 rebounds in his three-year career ... those are better career numbers than Gminski (19.0 and 10.2), Williams (13.9, 9.1) and certainly Parks (12.5, 6.7). It's much better than Mason (don't have the up to date averages, but as of two weeks ago, he was at 9.6 points, 7.6 rebounds).

The one knock against Denton is that he didn't play on any championship teams.

That doesn't apply to Mike Lewis, who played center for the 1966 Final Four team. Lewis topped 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds for his career, averaging 16.9 points and 9.5 rebounds. I can't guaratee that he had 150 blocks -- he didn't block as many as Denton, but he had a bunch and could have been over the 150 block figure.

I checked Jay Buckley, who started three straight years in the early '60s (on two Final Four teams) and he didn't quite make 1,000 points or 1,000 rebounds ... but that's only because he was only able to play three seasons. He averaged 10.9 points and 8.4 rebounds for his career (and shot 60.0 percent from the floor). Again, we don't know his blocked shots, but he had a bunch.

He is a very comparable player -- with a very comparable career to Mason.

I guess my point is, when creating the statistical categories, keep in mind the change in the landscape -- the four-year rule has allowed players to pile up huge stat numbers. And the fact that we didn't start keeping blocked shots (and assists and steals) until the mid-1970s robs a lot of great players of their status.

CDu
02-22-2013, 12:39 PM
There's another Duke post player who belongs in this conversation -- Randy Denton. In three seasons (freshmen weren't eligible in his era), he scored 1,658 points and grabbed 1,067 rebounds. We don't know his blocked shot total because he played at a time when blocked shots were not an official statistic. Having been at Duke in that era, I can guarantee you that Randy had a lot more than 150 blocked shots ... like Bill Russell, we just don't have his blocked shot totals.

Denton averaged 19.7 points and 12.7 rebounds in his three-year career ... those are better career numbers than Gminski (19.0 and 10.2), Williams (13.9, 9.1) and certainly Parks (12.5, 6.7). It's much better than Mason (don't have the up to date averages, but as of two weeks ago, he was at 9.6 points, 7.6 rebounds).

The one knock against Denton is that he didn't play on any championship teams.

That doesn't apply to Mike Lewis, who played center for the 1966 Final Four team. Lewis topped 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds for his career, averaging 16.9 points and 9.5 rebounds. I can't guaratee that he had 150 blocks -- he didn't block as many as Denton, but he had a bunch and could have been over the 150 block figure.

I checked Jay Buckley, who started three straight years in the early '60s (on two Final Four teams) and he didn't quite make 1,000 points or 1,000 rebounds ... but that's only because he was only able to play three seasons. He averaged 10.9 points and 8.4 rebounds for his career (and shot 60.0 percent from the floor). Again, we don't know his blocked shots, but he had a bunch.

He is a very comparable player -- with a very comparable career to Mason.

I guess my point is, when creating the statistical categories, keep in mind the change in the landscape -- the four-year rule has allowed players to pile up huge stat numbers. And the fact that we didn't start keeping blocked shots (and assists and steals) until the mid-1970s robs a lot of great players of their status.

But it should also be noted that Denton played in an entirely different era of basketball. Centers did all the rebounding back then, and it was quite common for post players to do the majority of the scoring. Back then, most of the teams had a 20+ppg scorer. So to compare count stats across such different eras would be misleading. At least Parks and Mason played in somewhat similar eras stylistically (though even then there were substantive differences).

For example, Mike Lewis (the center who proceeded Denton) averaged the following numbers:
1966: 13.5ppg, 11.0rpg
1967: 15.5ppg, 12.3rog
1968: 21.7ppg, 14.4rpg

Lewis' career averages are very similar to those of Denton (16.9ppg, 12.5rpg).

I agree that some of the older names deserve mention. But I'm not sure it's accurate to paint Denton's career as more impressive than that of Parks or Mason. Just completely different eras of basketball.

Now, it IS true that Denton made 3 All-ACC teams (2 2nd, 1 1st). On that count, you could argue that he was better (relative to his ACC post peers) than Mason. And on that count, I'd agree. But I'd certainly not put him anywhere near Gminski (3-time 1st Team ACC; 2 time All-America) or Williams (defensive PoY, All-America, honorable-mention All-America).