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Billy Dat
10-02-2007, 12:32 PM
Just saw this exchange on ESPN.com's live recruiting chat and thought it might stir some debate. I think John Carroll offers a well though out reply. What does it mean for Duke's future?:

Matt(Roanoke, VA): Is Coach K slipping in recruiting? Doesn't seem like they are getting the top flight players these days?

John Carroll: (1:25 PM ET ) I would not say they slipped. Last year they got Singler, who is destined for greatness, and they got Smith who is a very talented guard out of Oak Hill. They are involved with very good players right now and their roster in littered with all-americans. I would not sya they have slipped, but they have not gotten dominant NBA prospects. There was a time when their roster was full of future NBA talents (such as Grant Hill). The guys they get now are very good players, but they are not NBA can't-miss prospects. I think that is the biggest change.People ahve to understand that kids are looking toi go tom school for 1 or 2 years, so kids do not feel they have to go to Duke to do that. Look at what OJ Mayo or Rose did, they look to go to a school for ne year and then move to the NBA. In the past kids would look to go to a school for four years, a school like Duke, to become the best player they could become.

dkbaseball
10-02-2007, 12:43 PM
Has there ever been a larger disparity between the number of McDonalds all-Americans Duke has and the number everybody else has? This year we have eight. I believe no other program has more than five. Perhaps in '99?

And IMO several solid NBA prospects will emerge from the current group.

wilson
10-02-2007, 01:08 PM
Has there ever been a larger disparity between the number of McDonalds all-Americans Duke has and the number everybody else has? This year we have eight. I believe no other program has more than five. Perhaps in '99?

And IMO several solid NBA prospects will emerge from the current group.

Also, the notion that Grant Hill comes from Duke's NBA prospect heyday is simply false. Since then, Elton Brand, Carlos Boozer, Corey Maggette, Luol Deng, Shane Battier, et al have all gone on to solid-to-spectacular NBA careers, and each of them have plenty of years left. If anything, Grant was the exception, while Duke players of his ilk are increasingly becoming the rule. Moreover, two of the aforementioned players (Maggette and Deng) went to school for one year, and another (Brand) went for two, thus debunking another element of this guy's argument.
John Carroll, Schmon Carroll.

VTBaller03
10-02-2007, 01:13 PM
Is this guy trying to say Singler, Henderson and Smith won't be NBA prospects?

ehdg
10-02-2007, 01:15 PM
Moreover, two of the aforementioned players (Maggette and Deng) went to school for one year, and another (Brand) went for two, thus debunking another element of this guy's argument.
John Carroll, Schmon Carroll.


Maggette and Deng I believe are excpetions for us. Both where originally thought to be Duke for more then 1 year. Coach K probably wouldn't have recruited either one if he'd know they where only going to stay one year. Deng wanted to stay more supposedly but his family wanted him to turn pro for the money. As for Brand he was as good as he was ever going to be and came from a family that could really benefit by him going Pro and even had Coach's recommendation to turn Pro which he did after his sophomore year.

wilson
10-02-2007, 01:22 PM
Maggette and Deng I believe are excpetions for us. Both where originally thought to be Duke for more then 1 year. Coach K probably wouldn't have recruited either one if he'd know they where only going to stay one year. Deng wanted to stay more supposedly but his family wanted him to turn pro for the money. As for Brand he was as good as he was ever going to be and came from a family that could really benefit by him going Pro and even had Coach's recommendation to turn Pro which he did after his sophomore year.

You're right, but in my estimation, the circumstances are immaterial. Unexpected or not, Maggette and Deng did exactly the thing that Carroll seems to somehow rule out for Duke players. As for Brand, his departure was, as you said, in no way surprising. This makes him in my mind the most direct refutation of Carroll's erroneous assertions.

Clipsfan
10-02-2007, 02:20 PM
Maggette and Deng I believe are excpetions for us. Both where originally thought to be Duke for more then 1 year. Coach K probably wouldn't have recruited either one if he'd know they where only going to stay one year. Deng wanted to stay more supposedly but his family wanted him to turn pro for the money. As for Brand he was as good as he was ever going to be and came from a family that could really benefit by him going Pro and even had Coach's recommendation to turn Pro which he did after his sophomore year.

I always thought that Brand came from a family that wasn't in financial trouble. I mean, most families can benefit from someone pulling in $3-4 million/year, but they wouldn't have suffered if he took another year. Is my memory wrong?

6th Man
10-02-2007, 03:22 PM
I wonder if a top flight recruit ever worries about Duke's exposure. They will certainly be scrutinized more at Duke than any other school. If they have some weaknesses they will be exposed for sure. May not be a great place if you have some things you need to hide. Shav, McRoberts come to mind. Might have been potential lottery picks out of high school (makes me shake my head), but they certainly were exposed on a national level. Even though USC or a Memphis will get attention, it will not be at the level of Duke. I'm not saying this is solid rationale, but the NBA and drafting on potential is a joke to me anyway.

SilkyJ
10-02-2007, 03:30 PM
Is this guy trying to say Singler, Henderson and Smith won't be NBA prospects?

Seeing as how he said Singler is "destined for greatness", I don't think so. Moreover, the language he used was "dominant" nba prospects, which I will define for the sake of this post as guys who were considered to be lottery picks right out of HS or that would develop into lottery picks 1-2 years.


Also, the notion that Grant Hill comes from Duke's NBA prospect heyday is simply false. Since then, Elton Brand, Carlos Boozer, Corey Maggette, Luol Deng, Shane Battier, et al have all gone on to solid-to-spectacular NBA careers, and each of them have plenty of years left. If anything, Grant was the exception, while Duke players of his ilk are increasingly becoming the rule. Moreover, two of the aforementioned players (Maggette and Deng) went to school for one year, and another (Brand) went for two, thus debunking another element of this guy's argument.
John Carroll, Schmon Carroll.

I definitely agree that he was a little off on the Grant Hill reference considering the talent we had 98-02. And since then we've been pretty solid in recruiting big time prospects, imho.

Jwill, Dunleavy, Boozer all committed to Duke before the 99 season was over and Brand, Avery and Maggette all left early for the league. Out of those 6 guys, 4 were lottery picks and Maggette missed the lottery by 1 spot (or maybe Avery did, I remember they went like 13 and 15 or something like that)

Thats pretty ridiculous for two years worth of recruiting, and it would be hard to keep that pace going, but we have done a solid job I think.

(2002) After JWill left we brought in FIVE McD's in JJ, Shav, Sheld, Michael Thompson and Dock, to go along with Lee. Shav and Sheld were both considered top 10 recruits and big time NBA prospects, and JJ was considered to have a bright future as well...he was MVP of the McD's game.

(2003) The next year we got Deng, who was the best recruit who went to college that year (Lebron) and Humphries (who was a realllly good prospect at the time, even though he never made it to campus).

(2004) The next year we brough in another consensus #2 guy in Shaun livingston, only he never made it to campus (and demarc and mcclure, but they weren't dominant nba prospects)

(2005) The next year we bring in McBob, another consensus #1/2 guy.

(2006) Last year was our first year missing on a top recruit as we didn't get brandan wright and we didn't get ellington, but we still brought in G-Money.

(2007) This past year we didn't get Kevin Love, but we did get Kyle Singler, who is a dominant NBA prospect.

Recap: In the 6 years since Jwill's class left we brought in at least 5 "dominant" nba prospects: Shav, Deng, Livingston, McBob, Singler. You could make an argument for both Sheld and Humphries as well as they were both big men who had already filled out ("had an NBA ready body", you hear that all the time these days) and were highly touted/skilled. The problem here is that 6 guys (exlcuding singler) they played a total of 10 years at Duke! and two of them never put on a blue and white uni!

I have been harping on this subject for months now, but this whole early entry and thing, to go along with some untimely transfers, has finally caught up to us. Livingston/Humphries never made it to campus, Deng went pro early, so did Shav, so did McBob. Other McD's like Boateng and Mike Thompson transferred. Out of those SEVEN guys I just listed, they had a combined 16 years of playing at duke that never happened (not counting two years each of McBob's and Boateng's elgibility, since we haven't been through those seasons yet).

Think about that. You want to know what's killing us, its that. Which is why K has altered his philosophy and is bringing in bigtime recruiting classes, every year, back to back so we won't have gaps at any position, or in overall experience:

McBob, Paulus, Boateng, Marty
Henderson, Scheyer, Zoubek, Lance
Singler, King, Smith

(try and find 3 consecutive classes with that much firepower)

I've written this same post 20 different times in 20 different ways, but I'm telling ya, its the transfers and early entries that are killing us, so coach K is finally adjusting his philosophy and will return us to dominance!

greybeard
10-02-2007, 04:06 PM
"I've written this same post 20 different times in 20 different ways, but I'm telling ya, its the transfers and early entries that are killing us, so coach K is finally adjusting his philosophy and will return us to dominance!"

Seems to be killing the guy down the road and others, for example, UCLA, less, I think is the point. Things like losing that kid to Kentucky could make an awful lot of difference this year, especially after all the other bigs but Singlar, who really isn't a big, signed elsewhere.

Perhaps competing for the likely one and done, okay maybe I'll stay two, crowd, isn't a fit for either K or Duke. Not a bad thing, imo, if it is so. But, it has to impact the program.

OldPhiKap
10-02-2007, 04:14 PM
The one thing that I think Carroll is correct about is when he says that if you have the mindset of being the best player you can be, you are looking for a long-term commitment at Duke. If you are looking to make a highlight reel and bounce to the league after a year, Duke may not be your best choice.

K teaches a system based upon fundamentals and defense. A lot of kids just want to run and gun to show they can put up flashy points. That's fine -- but that's not what we do here.

dukediv2013
10-02-2007, 04:18 PM
Is this guy trying to say Singler, Henderson and Smith won't be NBA prospects?

I don't believe that is what John Carroll meant. I think he is trying to say that they are not going to be the LeBron James' and Dwight Howard's in the NBA. They will be the Shane Battier's and Dahntay Jones' that do not dominate, but are still very effective.

Classof06
10-02-2007, 04:28 PM
I don't think K's recruiting is slipping or has slipped, but I do think Duke was painfully unathletic for a few years. I think now you're starting to see Krzyzewski go after more explosive players with the additions of kids like Gerald Henderson, Lance Thomas and Nolan Smith; even Zoubek moves extremely well for a 7-footer, IMO. You're also starting to see Duke go after kids like Olek Czyz, EW and Monroe; if we end up landing the latter 2, that would be Duke's most athletic recruiting class in years. After we went to the Final Four my sophomore year (2004), I remember thinking to myself "wow, are we were unathletic" during my junior and senior years. As great as JJ and Shelden were, neither was extraordinary athletic.

I think it would be realistic to say that Krzyzewski has altered his recruiting approach a little bit. That being said, it's certainly a subjective observation. The bottom line is that with the future looking so bright, it's misinformed to say Duke's recruiting has slipped, even on the heels of a (gasp) 22-11 season. We are the only program in America where a 22-11 season stokes debates of whether or not we have fallen from grace. Had we landed Patterson, this discussion never even happens.

Bluedawg
10-02-2007, 05:54 PM
According to Scout.com (http://duke.scout.com/a.z?s=167&p=9&c=8&toinid=354&yr=2007) rankings Kyle Singler #1, Nolan Smith #7, Taylor King #15 and Duke ranked 6th nationally (http://duke.scout.com/a.z?s=167&p=9&cfg=bb&c=14&yr=2007).

That doesn't sound too bad to me.

SilkyJ
10-02-2007, 06:49 PM
According to Scout.com (http://duke.scout.com/a.z?s=167&p=9&c=8&toinid=354&yr=2007) rankings Kyle Singler #1, Nolan Smith #7, Taylor King #15 and Duke ranked 6th nationally (http://duke.scout.com/a.z?s=167&p=9&cfg=bb&c=14&yr=2007).

That doesn't sound too bad to me.

Those ranking or that page are messed up. Nowhere have I seen singler ranked as the #1 prospect...not to mention that page says "football recruiting" not basketball recruiting. See scout.com top100 page below:

http://scouthoops.scout.com/a.z?s=75&p=9&c=4&cfg=bb&pid=88&yr=2007

Singler: 6
Smith: 26
King: 56

You really think if we had landed 3 top 15 recruits including 1 who was the #1 recruit in the class they would rank us as having the SIXTH best class overall??????

Clipsfan
10-02-2007, 07:27 PM
I think that the rankings on the first link might be for at their position, not overall in the class.

VaDukie
10-02-2007, 08:07 PM
I think that the rankings on the first link might be for at their position, not overall in the class.

we have a winner.

mcdukie
10-02-2007, 08:53 PM
I agree with the post that said that we had a run where we weren't really that athletic. Sometimes I think we make too big a deal about getting McDAA's. Some, not all of those players, got some unecessary hype. I will say that I hope a solid post and a pure point guard is coming in the near future. We are all hoping that Nolan can play some point. That being said, we still recruit with the best of them!

Bluedawg
10-02-2007, 09:13 PM
Those ranking or that page are messed up. Nowhere have I seen singler ranked as the #1 prospect...not to mention that page says "football recruiting" not basketball recruiting. See scout.com top100 page below:

http://scouthoops.scout.com/a.z?s=75&p=9&c=4&cfg=bb&pid=88&yr=2007

Singler: 6
Smith: 26
King: 56

You really think if we had landed 3 top 15 recruits including 1 who was the #1 recruit in the class they would rank us as having the SIXTH best class overall??????

i did question Singler being #1, the last i saw he was #5. 6 sounds about right, however, I've never seen Nolan and taylor so low.

crote
10-02-2007, 09:37 PM
i did question Singler being #1, the last i saw he was #5. 6 sounds about right, however, I've never seen Nolan and taylor so low.

Really? They've been in those positions pretty consistently for as long as I recall.

Carroll's point, which I think is somewhat fair, was that there was a time when if you were a high school player who wanted to maximize his chances at going to the NBA, you would go to Duke to hone your skills and thus become more attractive to GMs in the association. Now, he says, you don't have to do that, and Duke has correspondingly lost a good piece of its competitive advantage.

It's hard to make the sell to the elite of the elite that they need to come to Duke (or for that matter UNC et al) to become highly sought after NBA players when the likes of Texas and Ohio State have had multiple top five picks in recent years.

jimsumner
10-02-2007, 09:38 PM
Consensus rankings. Class of '07.



http://home.nc.rr.com/rsci/RSCI_100_Final_2007.htm

Lulu
10-03-2007, 07:51 AM
Yeah, and I think that unnecessary hype might come after the commitment to Duke. After seeing so many of our recruits in recent years shoot up the ratings their senior year I'm starting to think it's the Duke intent that makes them "better", rather than our knack for recruiting the underrated. The only exception might be this year, since Smith & King seemed to have slipped (but was this not after a steep rise anyway after they committed??? I don't quite remember).


I agree with the post that said that we had a run where we weren't really that athletic. Sometimes I think we make too big a deal about getting McDAA's. Some, not all of those players, got some unecessary hype. I will say that I hope a solid post and a pure point guard is coming in the near future. We are all hoping that Nolan can play some point. That being said, we still recruit with the best of them!

ACCBBallFan
10-03-2007, 08:53 AM
This link makes an even more compelling argument:

http://insider.espn.go.com/ncb/recruiting/tracker/espn150?season=2007&action=upsell&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fncb %2frecruiting%2ftracker%2fespn150%3fseason%3d2007

Duke has three guys in top 17 and next quickest team to 3 in top 50 is UF #44, Mich ST #47, Syr #48 and Ohio St # 49.

Teams with 2 guys in top 50 are Memphis, G-town, UK, Nova, Arizona, Purdue, and Alabama.

I know rankings are based on entire class but IMO hard to assimilate more than 3 freshmen.

On the link Jim provided,

Duke has 3 in top 24, Mich St 3 in top 38, UF 3 in top 46, Purdue 3 in top 47 and Syracuse 3 in top 48. Teams with 2 are Arizona, UK, G-town, Villanova, DePaul and Alabama.

Combining these two polls, I rate the classes for best 3 Duke first, Mich St 2nd and Syracuse 3rd.

Olympic Fan
10-03-2007, 09:57 AM
Jim posted the link, but if anybody is too lazy to go there (as I often am), the RSCI (which averages the major recruiting rankings) has Singler at No. 5, Smith at No. 19 and King at No. 24.

Overall, Duke's class is ranked No. 3 nationally -- not our best, but hardly evidence of "slippage". In recent years Duke has had the No. 1 class in 1997 (Brand, Battier -- which is, I think, the only class in NCAA history to produce two consensus national players of the year); in 1999 (JWill, Boozer, Dunleavy); 2002 (Redick, Shelden, Shav, Dock -- one of the few NCAA classes with two concensus first-team All-Americans); and 2005 (Paulus, McRoberts -- so far, the only No. 1 class that I would class a disappointment with Boykin and Boateng leaving without contributing and McRoberts leaving after two less-than-dominant years; I think Paulus can and will still be very good).

Interesting that the first three of Duke's four No. 1 classes each produced at least one concensus national player of the year.

Every school has ups and downs in recruiting. And even if a coach recruits well, he's going to have small classes some years. Recently inducted HOF coach Roy Williams had two very good years in 2005 and 2006. He wiped out entirely in 2007 (when he was only trying to sign one guy) and he's already had more misses than hits in 2008. Is his recruiting slipping (my answer is no, he's just going through a normal down cycle after a very good up cycle).

K had three very solid classes in a row with 2005, 2006 (Henderson, Scheyer, Thomas, Zoubek) and 2007 (Singler, Smith and King). According to ther RSCI averages those classes ranked 1,3,3 nationally.

This year's crop was always designed as a small class at Duke. If K adds Monroe and Williams to Czyz, Duke's 2008 class will probably rank around No. 3 again ... if he gets one or none of those two, then it will be rated a non-top 10 class.

But that won't be a sign that he's slipping any more than UNC's empty 2007 class is a sign that Roy-boy is slipping. When K goes 2-3 years in a row without a top five class, THEN we can say he's slipping.

BTW: I think K's made his attitude toward one-year players very clear. He's not afraid of a kid who's so good that he might go after one year (Monroe is clearly in that range). But what he wants is a kid that will come to Duke and for one year will commit to being a Duke player all the way -- both on the court and in the classroom and on campus. At the end of that year, if the kid wants to go pro, fine ...

What he does not want is a kid who comes to campus solely to use that one year as a springboard to the NBA. That's why he released Humphries from his LOI (and Kris went to Minnesota, had a fine year on the court, blew off his academic responsibilities, then jumped to the NBA). That's why K could go after Brandan Wright, who was always expected to be one-and-done (but was a good academic kid who did a great job as a part of the UNC program while he was there) and why he wouldn't give OJ Mayo a sniff.

Carlos
10-03-2007, 10:19 AM
Is Duke's recruiting slipping? Sure, but then from the Battier-Brand class through the JWill-Boozer class Duke basically went out and got anyone they wanted. So slipping from the 100% range down to the level of other programs isn't exactly a bad fall so much as it was a helluva rise during those late-90's early 2000's classes.

OTOH, should Duke be so fortunate as to sign Monroe and Williams this season then you can look at next year's roster as:

SR: Paulus (McD), McClure, Pocius
JR: Henderson (McD), Scheyer (McD), Thomas (McD), Zoubek
SO: Singler (McD), Smith (McD), King (McD)
FR: Monroe (McD), Williams (McD), Czyz

I realize that being a McD's AA isn't everything, but that's still a lot of guys who would be pretty highly ranked and desirable targets for any program.

gw67
10-03-2007, 10:40 AM
Olympic - Your post is on the mark as usual. I have very little faith in the recruiting gurus once you get past the top 20 players in a strong class and the top 10 in a weak class. The RSCI averages and takes some of the goofiness out the rankings. IMO, once you get past the top handful of players, the difference between, say no. 30 and no. 70 in the rankings, is a guess. For example, I looked at the final RSCI ranking for 2004 (this year's senior classs). Nine out of the top ten are playing in the NBA (I believe Hairston is still at Oregon), while Young (89) and the 1st round pick of the Wizards, Leunen (86), Noah (72), Foster (62), Neitzel (54) and several others have turned out to be much better players than their rankings.

I suspect that being recruited by Duke, UNC, Kansas, Connecticut, UCLA and a few others can have an impact on the ranking by the individual "expert" but it probably isn't as great an effect as some folks believe.

gw67

VaDukie
10-03-2007, 11:03 AM
There was a good article on CBS Sportsline in the summer about how highly ranked recruiting classes are such a fetish for die hard fans, sometimes even more so than successful seasons. The reasoning is that while the memory of a successful season can fade quickly, the promise of a highly ranked class can give fans time to speculate and dream of the success that might happen.

Taking this into account, I think the idea that Duke recruiting has fallen off is mainly due to the fact that we haven't performed as well as we might have hoped. There's no question overall we've had great success the past 5 or 6 years, but we've had some real heartbreaks in the NCAA's and that breeds a lot of fear and doubt.

I hope this year with a maturing team we can 'overacheive' in the NCAA's relative to our seed.

SilkyJ
10-03-2007, 02:48 PM
Don't forget that with we have 11 (maybe more?) scholarship players this year, and we'll only lose to graduation in Demarcus, so after reloading bigtime 3 years in a row, we now may have to tone it down for at least one year b/c we simply don't have the scholarships...

JasonEvans
10-03-2007, 08:29 PM
Don't forget that with we have 11 (maybe more?) scholarship players this year, and we'll only lose to graduation in Demarcus, so after reloading bigtime 3 years in a row, we now may have to tone it down for at least one year b/c we simply don't have the scholarships...

I think it is exceedingly likely that we will lose someone -- perhaps more than one someone -- to early entry over the next 2 years.

K can and will continue to bring in 3-4 kids per year with the knowledge that we are likely to lose 2-3 players every 3-4 years to early entry.

--Jason "I wish it was not that way, but that is now how it works" Evans

Patrick Yates
10-04-2007, 10:23 AM
I think this is the most telling part of Carroll's response, and it is dead on. I think sure-fire relates to kids who would have been drafted in or very near the lottery, directly out of HS, or at most 1 year of college.

Really, you have to go back to the J-Will, Boozer class to find a time when Duke brought in Multiple, sure fire pros.

Since they left, I would argue that the only two Sure Fire pros we brought in were Deng and Singler. (McBob too, but everyone whiffed on that one. Sure, he made it, but with his athleticism and skillset, he should have been a lottery with the right attitude, which wasn't there. Also, there were whispers that he heard some negative opinions when he considered the preps to pros route, which is how he ended up at Duke, thus calling into question his sure fire status)

Many of our other recruits had potential, some of them great potential, but potential nonetheless.

JJ was a shooter, but his quickness was always a knock. Shel was a heck of shot-blocker and rebounder, but the pros wanted to see if he could score. Both these remained areas of question right up until their Jr-Sr years.

Henderson, who is the closest to sure fire, but not quite there. He has to show ball-handling and outside shooting before the pros come calling. Smith must show that he can run the point, at least on a part time basis. Love, Scheyer and Paulus each have their strengths, but all must prove they are athletic enough to make the pros. Nelson is nearly pro ready, but it took him 4 years, so he definitely was not a can't miss pro.

Of our possible recruits (the 08 class), only Monroe is sure fire. Williams, like Smith and Henderson, has all the tools, but the pros want to see some shooting, ball handling, and running a team before they invest. Czyz will really have to hone his perimeter skills, because there isn't much demand for a 6-7, 240 lb PF, I don't care how high he jumps. Sure he might make it as PF if he never hones his perimeter skills, but it is not SURE FIRE.

From the Brand to J-Will class, we crought in 3-4 can't miss pros (even Saint Battier was not in the sure fire range out of HS, there are only a few of those every year). Even Duke won't bring one in every year. But, we went for a period of time where we only brought in one, that being Deng. On this year's squad, only Singler would have been drafted as a HS senior. Henderson will get there, but he wasn't sure fire.

I think that phrase "sure fire pro" was spot on. Not every successful pro was can't miss as a HS senior. But, with these players having to go to college, having one or two is almost a necessity to win a NC. Except for Florida, and a bunch of people whiffed on some recruits who developed a lot better than ANYBODY thought they would.

Patrick Yates

SilkyJ
10-04-2007, 02:08 PM
"I've written this same post 20 different times in 20 different ways, but I'm telling ya, its the transfers and early entries that are killing us, so coach K is finally adjusting his philosophy and will return us to dominance!"

Seems to be killing the guy down the road and others, for example, UCLA, less, I think is the point. Things like losing that kid to Kentucky could make an awful lot of difference this year, especially after all the other bigs but Singlar, who really isn't a big, signed elsewhere.

Perhaps competing for the likely one and done, okay maybe I'll stay two, crowd, isn't a fit for either K or Duke. Not a bad thing, imo, if it is so. But, it has to impact the program.

I didn't articulate it in that version of the post, but what I've been saying is that early entries and transfers are not something K is accustomed to dealing with. This is a recent phenomenon, for US at least, and we are finally adapting.

Modern-day UNC, for example, has been dealing with early entries since AT LEAST MJ's class.


I think it is exceedingly likely that we will lose someone -- perhaps more than one someone -- to early entry over the next 2 years.

K can and will continue to bring in 3-4 kids per year with the knowledge that we are likely to lose 2-3 players every 3-4 years to early entry.

--Jason "I wish it was not that way, but that is now how it works" Evans

I couldn't agree more. In fact, that's the whole point of what I was saying earlier in the thread about us having to reload basically every year b/c this whole early entry thing is catching up to us.

Going on sheer numbers, though, K can't give out more than 3 scholarships for NEXT year (not over the next two years, just next year) B/c he can only be certain that we will have 3 to give. So we can't really seriously target more than 3 or 4 players...which is what we are doing.

Now come april someone may declare for the draft (knock on wood) and then we'll have extra scholarship open up, but by then its almost always too late.

Changing the timetable of the discussion to include the next TWO years completely changes things b/c in two years we will have at least 3 scholarships free from graduation alone (mcclure, marty, paulus), not to mention possible early entries (knocking on wood again...) That's why I was just talking about next year...

ACCBBallFan
10-04-2007, 02:25 PM
I didn't articulate it in that version of the post, but what I've been saying is that early entries and transfers are not something K is accustomed to dealing with. This is a recent phenomenon, for US at least, and we are finally adapting.

Modern-day UNC, for example, has been dealing with early entries since AT LEAST MJ's class.



I couldn't agree more. In fact, that's the whole point of what I was saying earlier in the thread about us having to reload basically every year b/c this whole early entry thing is catching up to us.

Going on sheer numbers, though, K can't give out more than 3 scholarships for NEXT year (not over the next two years, just next year) B/c he can only be certain that we will have 3 to give. So we can't really seriously target more than 3 or 4 players...which is what we are doing.

Now come april someone may declare for the draft (knock on wood) and then we'll have extra scholarship open up, but by then its almost always too late.

Changing the timetable of the discussion to include the next TWO years completely changes things b/c in two years we will have at least 3 scholarships free from graduation alone (mcclure, marty, paulus), not to mention possible early entries (knocking on wood again...) That's why I was just talking about next year...

Yes, minimum of three, and that assumes both Monroe and Williams commit to Duke. With Monroe likely a one and done, you can consider it a minimum of four, given that if Monroe does come but does not go, Henderson or Singler very well may.

OldPhiKap
10-04-2007, 04:41 PM
Yes, minimum of three, and that assumes both Monroe and Williams commit to Duke. With Monroe likely a one and done, you can consider it a minimum of four, given that if Monroe does come but does not go, Henderson or Singler very well may.


Are you talking about Henderson or Singler going pro after this year? I don't see it. Henderson has great athletic ability but needs to develop more and work through his asthma. I saw Singler at the Peach Jam last go-through; he is going to be a great asset but he's not a one-and-done IMO (He reminded me of Dunleavy, although not as frail; I think he is probably a three year player but would love to have four).

SilkyJ
10-04-2007, 05:07 PM
Are you talking about Henderson or Singler going pro after this year? I don't see it. Henderson has great athletic ability but needs to develop more and work through his asthma. I saw Singler at the Peach Jam last go-through; he is going to be a great asset but he's not a one-and-done IMO (He reminded me of Dunleavy, although not as frail; I think he is probably a three year player but would love to have four).

He was not.

He was referring to them leaving after the FOLLOWING season, which would be AFTER our 1st season with Monroe, if he comes to Duke, of course (singler would be rising junior, henderson a rising senior).

What he is saying, is that if Monroe comes to Duke and stays for a second year, ACCbballfan thinks that this might entice Singler and/or G-money to want to leave...

What I don't understand is why he thinks that. I guess he thinks that if Monroe stays for a 2nd year, its because his 1st year was only OK. This means that Hendo and Singler probably would have been focal points of the offense during that year and their NBA stock would be high. If they stayed around for another year, Monroe might explode and they might play in his shadow a little more and their NBA stock might depreciate...

silky "post-interpreter-extraordinaire" j

OldPhiKap
10-04-2007, 06:53 PM
^ Thanks.

Patrick Yates
10-05-2007, 07:33 AM
He was not.

He was referring to them leaving after the FOLLOWING season, which would be AFTER our 1st season with Monroe, if he comes to Duke, of course (singler would be rising junior, henderson a rising senior).

What he is saying, is that if Monroe comes to Duke and stays for a second year, ACCbballfan thinks that this might entice Singler and/or G-money to want to leave...

What I don't understand is why he thinks that. I guess he thinks that if Monroe stays for a 2nd year, its because his 1st year was only OK. This means that Hendo and Singler probably would have been focal points of the offense during that year and their NBA stock would be high. If they stayed around for another year, Monroe might explode and they might play in his shadow a little more and their NBA stock might depreciate...

silky "post-interpreter-extraordinaire" j


As much as no one on the boards wants to admit it, there is a giant white elephant in the room this year.

As everyone here is well aware, Duke COULD be loaded during the 08-09 season. As the team stands now, we will be solid at every position, and loaded at the wing position. At the very least, Zoubs and Lance should be solid after 2 years in the program (they could/probably will be much better than merely solid), at least solid enough for us to make a serious run at the FF.

IF we get Monroe, and to a lesser extent Williams (lesser extent only because of current existing depth at the Guard positions), Duke will be a monster, possibly number 1 in the preseason. The difference between us being top 6-7 and top 2 is of course Monroe.

BUT, those projections, with or without Monroe, are contingent on Henderson AND Singler being in Durham.

Sadly, that is not a given. It is a LIKELIHOOD, but not a given.

Realistically, Duke is going to need scorers this year. The team's best chance of long term success requires Paulus to be more of a distributer than scorer (but we need, and will get, plenty of both). As an above poster stated, Henderson must work through his asthma issues, and prove to the pros he is healthy. From a basketball standpoint, he must prove that the has adequate perimeter shooting and ball handling skills to play the 2 spot in the pros. Personally, I thought his 3 stroke looked fine, he just needs to shoot/make more of them this year.

Singler must prove that he is athletic/durable enough to play the three in the pros, even if he plays more of a PF role at Duke (see Battier, Shane). Many on-line prognosticators think Singler will be the best player at Duke, sooner rather than later, and that he could be one of the best players in the ACC this year.

My point is, it is possible that Hendersona AND/or Singler have breakout years. The pros could come a-calling this year. Henderson clearly has the athleticism the pros drool over. IF he is healthy enough to allay the asthma concerns, he will play major minutes this year. Based on what he flashed at the end of last year, that could translate into him being very attractive to the pros next year. Same with Singler. We all compare him to Dunleavy, (which is probably very accurate), but if he plays to his potential/expectations, the comparison that the national media will use is Larry Bird. Now, we all know that is unreasonable, if not criminally stupid. But, that is the nature of how pro scouts analyze players. They compare them to similiar players at that position. Kyle is supposedly a player with good scoring moves, good perimeter skills, and toughness inside. The only possible knock is that he does not have elite athleticism. Note the word elite. He is a good athlete, merely not elite, of which there is only 1 or 2 such athletes in any given draft.

Many on the board are taking it for granted that Kyle and Hendo will be here beyond this year. I think that is likely (and I sure hope they are here), but I would not be surprised if both left. Frankly, two solid comparisons here at Duke are Maggette (Hendo) and Deng (Kyle). Both have the definite potential this year to blow up. Now, I doubt we lose both, but losing one is a real possibility.

Patrick Yates

Indoor66
10-05-2007, 07:36 AM
As much as no one on the boards wants to admit it, there is a giant white elephant in the room this year.

As everyone here is well aware, Duke COULD be loaded during the 08-09 season. As the team stands now, we will be solid at every position, and loaded at the wing position. At the very least, Zoubs and Lance should be solid after 2 years in the program (they could/probably will be much better than merely solid), at least solid enough for us to make a serious run at the FF.

IF we get Monroe, and to a lesser extent Williams (lesser extent only because of current existing depth at the Guard positions), Duke will be a monster, possibly number 1 in the preseason. The difference between us being top 6-7 and top 2 is of course Monroe.

BUT, those projections, with or without Monroe, are contingent on Henderson AND Singler being in Durham.

Sadly, that is not a given. It is a LIKELIHOOD, but not a given.

Realistically, Duke is going to need scorers this year. The team's best chance of long term success requires Paulus to be more of a distributer than scorer (but we need, and will get, plenty of both). As an above poster stated, Henderson must work through his asthma issues, and prove to the pros he is healthy. From a basketball standpoint, he must prove that the has adequate perimeter shooting and ball handling skills to play the 2 spot in the pros. Personally, I thought his 3 stroke looked fine, he just needs to shoot/make more of them this year.

Singler must prove that he is athletic/durable enough to play the three in the pros, even if he plays more of a PF role at Duke (see Battier, Shane). Many on-line prognosticators think Singler will be the best player at Duke, sooner rather than later, and that he could be one of the best players in the ACC this year.

My point is, it is possible that Hendersona AND/or Singler have breakout years. The pros could come a-calling this year. Henderson clearly has the athleticism the pros drool over. IF he is healthy enough to allay the asthma concerns, he will play major minutes this year. Based on what he flashed at the end of last year, that could translate into him being very attractive to the pros next year. Same with Singler. We all compare him to Dunleavy, (which is probably very accurate), but if he plays to his potential/expectations, the comparison that the national media will use is Larry Bird. Now, we all know that is unreasonable, if not criminally stupid. But, that is the nature of how pro scouts analyze players. They compare them to similiar players at that position. Kyle is supposedly a player with good scoring moves, good perimeter skills, and toughness inside. The only possible knock is that he does not have elite athleticism. Note the word elite. He is a good athlete, merely not elite, of which there is only 1 or 2 such athletes in any given draft.

Many on the board are taking it for granted that Kyle and Hendo will be here beyond this year. I think that is likely (and I sure hope they are here), but I would not be surprised if both left. Frankly, two solid comparisons here at Duke are Maggette (Hendo) and Deng (Kyle). Both have the definite potential this year to blow up. Now, I doubt we lose both, but losing one is a real possibility.

Patrick Yates

Where do you get this stuff?

OldPhiKap
10-05-2007, 08:11 AM
If they both explode into lotto players this season, I think I will be happy enough with the season to watch them go. But for the reasons I stated above, I don't see that happening in one year. I think that they both have great pro prospects when they ripen.

Even if you're right, though -- what of it? Are we not supposed to go after these kids because we're afraid they're gonna be too good?!? I would be thrilled for both of them to be so d@mn good this year that the only logical choice is for them to go to the next level. I see both of them wanting their degrees, though, and I think they are three year players minimum just on a developmental level. JMHO.

Patrick Yates
10-05-2007, 09:46 AM
If they both explode into lotto players this season, I think I will be happy enough with the season to watch them go. But for the reasons I stated above, I don't see that happening in one year. I think that they both have great pro prospects when they ripen.

Even if you're right, though -- what of it? Are we not supposed to go after these kids because we're afraid they're gonna be too good?!? I would be thrilled for both of them to be so d@mn good this year that the only logical choice is for them to go to the next level. I see both of them wanting their degrees, though, and I think they are three year players minimum just on a developmental level. JMHO.

I did not articulate it very well, but you are right. You have to go after these kids. But, it seems like people are hoping for guys who will be studs for 2-3 years. That is not going to happen. In todays game, if you are a stud for 1 year, your draft profile could push you out the door.

I guess I am trying to say that people need to take off their blinders. The absolute best possible case scenario, that Hendo and Singler are both very good, AND both return, AND both Williams and Monroe come is unlikely. I am with you on Hendo needing to prove that his asthma is no longer a concern, and that he might be arround until his junior year. But Singler could be a threat to go pro. But you need guys like this to really win. Sure, role players are also important, but the national championship teams, or at least final four teams, are going to be built arround a couple of 1-2 year studs. My point was not so much about the recruiting of these or any players, merely a desire to temper the expectations of the 08-09 team, which people look towards when discussing the Monroe recruitment.

And Indoor, I "get this" from the various threads that have yelled at me that Duke will be a real solid team this year. Those posts dismiss my fears regarding the interior stating that Singler will be destroying people with his inside out game. Many of those same posts point out that Henderson looked great at the end of last year (granted) and that he will pick up right where he left off. If these arguments are proven correct (we'll see), then why would't the pros be interested in a 6-5 (205-210) stud athlete, or a smooth 6-9 (215-225) lb forward with a great inside out game. I don't want it to happen, but both those guys are prototypes at their respective positions.

THAT IS WHY I SAID COULD. Jeez. I am tired of getting jumped on for throwing out a possibility. Tell me why you think I am wrong. No one else here says anthing but their opinion, and at least I articulate my reasons for my opinions.

I am sorry, but a board where all we discuss is the degree of Duke's Perfection and how every possible thing will work out in Duke's favor is not appealing, or realistic.

After the 99 season we were all stoked. Everyone was coming back. Anyone, and I mean everyone, who suggested that Duke might lose a few players were (rudely) shouted down. I myself shouted down a few who suggested that Burgess might transfer, or that Avery and Maggette might leave (people were pretty sure Brand was gone). That didn't end so well. If Singler and Hendo are as good as some people think, why wouldn't they go pro for millions of dollars? Love of school? Durham's fantastic collge town setting? Disdain for pro-groupies? What keeps them in school besides us wanting it to happen?

Patrick Yates

OldPhiKap
10-05-2007, 11:00 AM
^ You are correct to say that you need a mix of impact players and solid 4-year guys. I also agree that there is nothing for certain in '08. I'm hoping for a good '07 and then worry about next season next season.

Troublemaker
10-05-2007, 11:15 AM
Gerald's only 6'4", which is short for an NBA 2-guard. He'll be around at least three. As for Kyle, I'm not sure but I suspect he's someone who's in no rush to leave school (Same with Gerald actually). Kyle will give us two, I think.

ACCBBallFan
10-05-2007, 04:45 PM
Are you talking about Henderson or Singler going pro after this year? I don't see it. Henderson has great athletic ability but needs to develop more and work through his asthma. I saw Singler at the Peach Jam last go-through; he is going to be a great asset but he's not a one-and-done IMO (He reminded me of Dunleavy, although not as frail; I think he is probably a three year player but would love to have four).

SilkyJ read me correctly on the first part - I don't think either goes after this year. The context was going at same time as Monroe after next year, whether Monroe is on Duke or somewhere else.


He was not.

He was referring to them leaving after the FOLLOWING season, which would be AFTER our 1st season with Monroe, if he comes to Duke, of course (singler would be rising junior, henderson a rising senior).

What he is saying, is that if Monroe comes to Duke and stays for a second year, ACCbballfan thinks that this might entice Singler and/or G-money to want to leave...

What I don't understand is why he thinks that. I guess he thinks that if Monroe stays for a 2nd year, its because his 1st year was only OK. This means that Hendo and Singler probably would have been focal points of the offense during that year and their NBA stock would be high. If they stayed around for another year, Monroe might explode and they might play in his shadow a little more and their NBA stock might depreciate...

silky "post-interpreter-extraordinaire" j

On the second part, I had not gone through those girations, just felt odds are one of the three might go after that season.

So, SilkyJ, I was not thinking one's performance versus another, jus that one may feel he is ready, and take his chances the NBA GM's agree.

JasonEvans
10-05-2007, 04:49 PM
Where do you get this stuff?

There is every reason to think it is very likely that Singler and Henderson will not opt for the pros after this season, but to suggest it is impossible is being blind to the talent these two guys appear to have.

In other words, PY's post was dead on target.

--Jason "worth noting that neither Henderson nor Singler are in a financial situation where turning pro ASAP is essential for their family" Evans

ACCBBallFan
10-05-2007, 05:03 PM
There is every reason to think it is very likely that Singler and Henderson will not opt for the pros after this season, but to suggest it is impossible is being blind to the talent these two guys appear to have.

In other words, PY's post was dead on target.

--Jason "worth noting that neither Henderson nor Singler are in a financial situation where turning pro ASAP is essential for their family" Evans

As I said, I doubt either go league but of the two, Duke could absorb the loss of Henderson (and Nelson). They would still have Paulus-Scheyer-Nolan-Marty and possibly Elliot Wiliams, or could move Kyle to the 3.

Losing Kyle Singler after only one year would be pretty traumatic, best case being Monroe not as complete a player commits to Duke and even a bigger hit if no Greg Monroe and Singler one and done.

That would depend on how much King-Zoubek-Lance develop this year and McClure would also be around one more year and Olek Czyz a freshman. So probably still as good or better team than this year with 8 or 9 extra man years of experience, but not a legit FF contender in that worst case scenario.

SilkyJ
10-05-2007, 05:08 PM
There is every reason to think it is very likely that Singler and Henderson will not opt for the pros after this season, but to suggest it is impossible is being blind to the talent these two guys appear to have.

In other words, PY's post was dead on target.

--Jason "worth noting that neither Henderson nor Singler are in a financial situation where turning pro ASAP is essential for their family" Evans

Yea I actually agreed with an entire PY post, which just never happens. I am hoping that we will be able to spread our offense around a good deal this year so that no one person is going studly enough to think they are a lotto pick...(not including demarcus, of course)

ACCBBallFan
10-06-2007, 04:53 PM
Back to the original premise of the thread, “Is Duke’s recruiting slipping?”

Perhaps the best way to answer is an illustration.

Duke’s top six returnees in almost any category last year are Scheyer-Paulus-Nelson-McClure-Gerald-Lance, and by such a wide margin that if you add the results for Zoubek and Pocius in almost all cases their combined total is less than the bottom of the 6, usually Lance.

So you can take your starting 5 from those 6 and give me the leftover guy, but chances are I would not use him unless you gave me Nelson or Gerald which is unlikely.

I will take Zoubek-Marty and the three frosh Singler-King-Nolan plus whichever sixth guy you discard, and construct a team that can compete with your five.

Chances are you take the two best athletes Henderson and Nelson.
You need at least one of Greg-Jon to play PG.
You need at least one of Lance-Dave to have some semblance of a post defender.

So chances are you give me one of Greg-Jon, probably Jon or one of Lance-Dave, probably Dave. Not sure I would need to start either McClure or Scheyer to field a team that can compete with whichever 5 you choose to start. For example

Greg vs. Nolan
Jon vs. Marty
Demarcus vs. Kyle
Gerald/Dave vs. Taylor
Lance vs. Brain

Second team would be a little weak on defense in the post but Lance is not that much of a threat either and matchups work both ways. Zoubek’s height and King’s and Singler’s ability to spread out the double teamer would cause defensive problems for the first squad also, as would Nolan’s and Marty’s ability to penetrate past Greg and Jon.

If defense became too big a problem, I would sub in McClure or whoever you gave me from the original 6.

So yes, Duke’s recruiting has addressed some of its critical needs.

sandinmyshoes
01-13-2008, 10:54 AM
Evidently Dexter Stickland, ranked the #1 point guard in the '09 class by some, has committed to UNC. At least they should be running out of scholarships and we won't have to read this sort of thing for a long while.

(I fixed it, and may Kevin forgive me!)

Ignatius07
01-13-2008, 11:16 AM
Wow - can even more hysteria break out on these boards? We will soon see...

JasonEvans
01-13-2008, 11:35 AM
Uhhhh, wow!!

Strickland is the #1 rated PG in the 2009 class and with Larry Drew not considered all that great a prospect he was needed.

What is really stunning though is that UNC already has a commitment from one of the best PGs in the 2010 class too, Kendall Marshall. When Marshall committed, I figured it would make it hard for them to get someone in 2009 and we might be treated to a couple years of Larry Drew running the show for Carolina. Nope-- Roy took care of that.

This is somewhat similar to Duke landing JWill and Duhon in back-to-back classes-- though it is worth noting that, especially in the case of Marshall, these kids are quite young and we don't know how their high school careers will go the next 2-3 years or even if they will still be stud prospects when they arrive on campus. That said, I'd rate the odds as verry good that they are both Mickie Dees when the time comes in their classes for that.

Mad props to Roy for landing what he needs to go with the slew of big men he has gotten lately. I imagine he will turn all his attention to wings at this point but if, as many believe, PG and Post are the 2 most important positions in college ball, then Carolina's future is indeed bright.

--Jason "I look forward to Kenny Boyton dunking all over Strickland --- I hope!!" Evans

billybreen
01-13-2008, 11:38 AM
Yikes. I grew accustomed to Duke landing most of the monster classes over the last decade or two, so UNC's continued success on the recruiting trail is no fun.

JasonEvans
01-13-2008, 11:56 AM
Yikes. I grew accustomed to Duke landing most of the monster classes over the last decade or two, so UNC's continued success on the recruiting trail is no fun.

wait a second-- since when has Carolina been anything but a total recruiting stud? This is nothing new for them. Heck, many recruiting historians would probably tell you that Carolina is the #1 recruiting school of the past 20-30 years.

It does not matter all that much to us. The rivalry is more fun when both sides are good. K will get what he needs in recruiting, he always has and there is no reason to think he will stop any time soon.

Remember that Duke brought in a stud class this season while Carolina signed... uhhhh... not a single player. It is hardly surprising that they have done well in 2008 and 2009 considering all the playing time opportunities at UNC in the future. I'd venture to say that not a single player on their current roster will be starting in 2009 -- maybe Thompson or Stephenson. They need to bring in a bunch of studs and they need them NOW!

Duke, on the other hand, will have King, Smith, Scheyer, Zoubek, Thomas, Pocius, and maybe Henderson and Singler still on the roster in 2009. That is why we did not bother very much with 2008 and are focusing on 2009. Just because the kids we appear to be leading for (Boyton, Echenique, and others) have not made it official yet is no reason to panic. Wake me up when we miss on all these guys in 2009. It is a very safe bet that Duke lands 3 or even 4 Mickie Dees from that class... and that we remain locked in the top 10 along with UNC over the forseeable future.

--Jason "no panic here-- but then again I have been around long enough to know that panicking about K and recruiting is a fool's errand" Evans

Duvall
01-13-2008, 12:00 PM
The rivalry is more fun when both sides are good.

This is untrue.

jimsumner
01-13-2008, 12:05 PM
So Larry Drew hasn't even shown up and they've recruited over him twice.

BTW, this means that UNC won't be involved with Leslie McDonald, who may emerge as a Duke target.

sandinmyshoes
01-13-2008, 12:15 PM
From what I've picked up, Strickland is a combo guard and Williams sold him on finding time at both spots. What really perplexes me is that evidently both Drew and Marshall were active in trying to get him to commit despite the fact that they all play the point. Of course, Stickland is good enough that one or two years is all he'll see at UNC.

billybreen
01-13-2008, 12:35 PM
wait a second-- since when has Carolina been anything but a total recruiting stud? This is nothing new for them. Heck, many recruiting historians would probably tell you that Carolina is the #1 recruiting school of the past 20-30 years.

I'm thinking specifically of Brand / Battier / Burgess / Avery, Boozer / J. Williams / Dunleavy, and to a lesser extent S. Williams / Redick / Shav / Dockery classes coming in within a few years of each other. I don't recall Carolina landing big classes during that late 90s / early 00s stretch until the May / Felton / McCants crew, but maybe they landed big classes that didn't produce.

As for the contention that the rivalry is more fun, that's absurd. The rivalry is more fun when we win every game, and I won't be happy till the series record is in our favor.

In fact, I hold you personally responsible for Carolina's recent success for toting out that line during their disastrous 2001-2002 season. Lo and behold, Jawad Williams, a freshman on that squad, went on to win a national championship as a senior. All your fault.

Devil in the Blue Dress
01-13-2008, 01:32 PM
The rivalry is more fun when both sides are good.


This is untrue.

I agree with Jason Evans! Games between rivals are somewhat like life. There may be some pleasure in doing things which require little effort, but the greatest sense of achievement and reward comes from doing things that require our very best efforts. One of the best examples of why it's more fun to play (and win) against others who are really good is the now famous Duke - Kentucky game won at the last possible moment by a long pass and a great shot. Would that game have meant as much if it had been an easy win over Kentucky???? Absolutely not!

freedevil
01-13-2008, 01:33 PM
It does not matter all that much to us. The rivalry is more fun when both sides are good. K will get what he needs in recruiting, he always has and there is no reason to think he will stop any time soon.

I disagree. I'm not a sky-is-falling type of fan, but the whole "this does not matter" or "this isn't that big of a deal" attitude about UNC's recruiting compared to Duke that has been espoused by JimSumner, Jumbo, and now one of my favorite posters is getting a little ridiculous.

I am well aware that I will not able to convince many on this board that Duke's recruiting has been weaker in the past couple of years compared to the late 90s and early 2000s, so I post my disagreement in support of all of those other posters who get (and will get) immediately shot down for expressing concern over Duke's recent success on the recruiting trial.

MarkD83
01-13-2008, 01:33 PM
These are all verbal committments at this point in time. Clearly getting verbal committments may discourage other schools from actively pursuing these players, but would some of these players start to reconsider once they see who else is around or as they grow up and see the light (dark blue that is).:)

Patrick Yates
01-13-2008, 01:39 PM
I might agree with the above poster with regards to decommits, at least in the post. I stated on an earlier thread that not all of these guys will show up.

That said, Duke and UNC are very similiar in that they rarely experience Decommits. This is probably because both schools are always on TV, and in virtually each game the announcers list the incomming recruits, thus stoking the egos of the verbal commits. Unless UNC backs off, I would not be surprised if this run of talent holds up.

Patrick Yates

JasonEvans
01-13-2008, 01:42 PM
I am well aware that I will not able to convince many on this board that Duke's recruiting has been weaker in the past couple of years compared to the late 90s and early 2000s, so I post my disagreement in support of all of those other posters who get (and will get) immediately shot down for expressing concern over Duke's recent success on the recruiting trial.

Yeah, if only we had landed a top-5 recruit in the most recent class... wait, we did that this past year.

But we have not landed a number one recruit in the entire class in... (checks his records)... 3 whole years.

When was the last time we had a class that was arguably among the top 3 in the nation? In 2007... and in 2006... and in 2005.

I really want to understand the angst over Duke's recruiting, but there is not a shred of evidence to back it up.

No one, repeat NO ONE has recruited as well as Duke has the past few years. It is really not even close. Everyone is hung up on one or two misses and ignore the mountains (Alps sized mountains) of evidence that Duke is still a monster of a recruiting power. We will remain competitive with Carolina... mark it down.

--Jason "see my earlier note about all the kids we have now who will still be here in 2009... are you really worried?" Evans

godukecom
01-13-2008, 01:50 PM
FWIW in the N&O this morning it quoted Kyle as saying he would definitely be back next season...

Id rather have a 2 year kyle than a stud freshman.
stud sophomore> stud freshman

captmojo
01-13-2008, 01:51 PM
I don't care who the holes get. I'm only concerned over who is next to become a champion Blue Devil.

Devil in the Blue Dress
01-13-2008, 01:54 PM
I am well aware that I will not able to convince many on this board that Duke's recruiting has been weaker in the past couple of years compared to the late 90s and early 2000s
I've suspected this myself, but haven't tried to explore it or quantify it. We recruit good players, but with the exception of JJ and Shelden, there's been a bit of a drought in landing new "greats" with the same special quality of players like Grant Hill, Danny Ferry, Gene Banks, Jeff Mullins, etc.

A friend of mine who's been attending the Blue Devil Club meetings for years passed on one of Coach K's comments made to the club about four years ago..... Coach K said that he was thinking about no longer recruiting the Mickey D's AA's and going after the really solid players who could be coached to play well and stay for four years.

MarkD83
01-13-2008, 01:54 PM
Keep in mind there are only so many scholarships that a team can have. Roy has commitments for the next three classes (2008, 2009, 2010) and so he can take some time off. If he gets commitments for 2011 that might be a bit ridiculous and foolish.

The only concern I have about UNC recruiting is the same I have with all other schools...if a player who is high on Duke's list commits to another school Coach K has to try to get someone else. So far I don't believe any of the players who have made verbal commitments to UNC were interested in Duke.

MarkD83
01-13-2008, 01:58 PM
Why are we wasting our time thinking about UNC recruiting?

captmojo
01-13-2008, 02:02 PM
Why are we wasting our time thinking about UNC recruiting?

My question, indeed.

monkey
01-13-2008, 02:16 PM
Why are we wasting our time thinking about UNC recruiting?

Hmmm. Maybe it's because they are our number one conference and national rival? Maybe people don't like to see them getting monster recruiting classes? Maybe because the top point guard prospect committing to them means he won't go to Duke?

This is like asking why people would talk about North Carolina winning the National Championship. I mean, come on.

Plus, and no disrespect to Jason, who has put forth logical arguments earlier in the thread regarding our recruiting, but I think there is a clear distinction between what Carolina is doing and what Duke is currently doing in terms of recruiting (Carolina is doing basically what we did during the beginning of the decade and getting almost everyone they want). We may be getting good people in, but their classes seem like absolute monsters. Also, with respect to what Jason wrote earlier, I think there is a difference between a top five class and the number one class.

DukeBlood
01-13-2008, 02:17 PM
Duke, on the other hand, will have King, Smith, Scheyer, Zoubek, Thomas, Pocius, and maybe Henderson and Singler still on the roster in 2009. That is why we did not bother very much with 2008 and are focusing on 2009. Just because the kids we appear to be leading for (Boyton, Echenique, and others) have not made it official yet is no reason to panic. Wake me up when we miss on all these guys in 2009. It is a very safe bet that Duke lands 3 or even 4 Mickie Dees from that class... and that we remain locked in the top 10 along with UNC over the forseeable future.

We will also have Elliot Williams and Olek Czyz.

Where Olek most likely wont be ready to compete against UNC that year, Elliot Williams most likely will be. He will be a very solid Duke player.

Do many of you forget UNC didnt sign anyone last year? While Duke grabbed one of the most ALL-AROUND Freshman in Kyle Singler, A offensive juggernot(Is it fair to say that?) in King, and Nolan Smith who has shown to be a solid player with flashes of future greatness.

It has been said that Duke is leading for Boynton and Echenique. Good shape with Murphy, Painter and McDonald. Just because these kids havent commited yet doesnt mean they wont. Be Patient.

Are we recruiting Nolan Dennis? a 6'5 SG out of Texas. UNC has offered him and is recruiting him very hard. Just curious if we are.

jimsumner
01-13-2008, 02:18 PM
FWIW, I can remember Duke-Carolina in football was a big rivalry, not just down 15-501 but nationally. But Duke didn't hold up their end of the bargain and the two teams play in half-empty stadiums and can't even make local TV.

Duke and Carolina will always be rivals. But right now the men hoops rivalry between the two programs is the premier college basketball rivalry in the country. Maybe--and I say maybe--Ohio State-Michigan football matches it in national prestige. That's pretty rarified air.

If either the Duke or UNC hoops programs slipped appreciably for more than a year or two, does anyone seriously think that the rivalry will still maintain its position of national primacy? Emotionally, you may want Carolina to die a long, slow, painful thousand deaths. But intellectually, you can't argue with Jason's logic. It's impeccable.

I tell my Duke friends to always assume that Carolina is going to be good. I tell my Carolina friends--no snarky comments, please--to always assume that Duke is going to be good. Saves a lot of trouble.

I'd be more worried if Carolina were winning head-to-head recruiting battles against Duke. But that's not the case. Duke made a conscious decision to back off the Wear twins because they liked other big men in the class of '09 better. Duke made a conscious decision to go after Boynton, while Carolina went after Strickland. Neither of these guys can suit up in a varsity game until November 2009. If Boynton doesn't sign with Duke, then we've got a problem. But I don't think that's going to happen. So, yes, I'm advocating that people take a deep breath and step back from the ledge.

Duke hasn't signed all of their preferred targets lately. But, with the possible exception of the class of '02, they never have. People who maintain that K used to just select frankly don't know what they're talking about.

Early departures have hurt. From 2003-2005 Duke signed consensus top-10 players Luol Deng, Kris Humphries, Shaun Livingston, and Josh McRoberts and got a combined three years from them. That hurts. When you recruit at that level, you roll the dice. It happens.

But every program misevaluates players and classes. Remember that banner UNC class of Brian Morrison, Adam Boone, and Neil Fingleton? Three prep All-Americans. How did that turn out?

I've never been recruited by Mike Krzyzewski but I know lots of people who have. Duke has a lot to sell and K does a great job of selling. But one of the things that Duke sells to prospective players is that you will play in the nation's best basketball conference and you will play against the nation's best players. Duke wants players who will embrace that challenge and I suspect Duke wants fans who will do the same. And the ACC doesn't stay at the top unless ACC teams--and yes, that includes those guys in light blue--recruit top-level talent.

Forgive me for channeling my inner Teddy Roosevelt but relish the competition, relish the challenge. Game on.

And absolutely nothing suggests to me that Duke isn't ready, willing, and able to meet that challenge.

freedevil
01-13-2008, 02:38 PM
Jason - I do not mean to sound like a jerk, as the following is just my opinion, but you really think there's NO shred of evidence that Duke's recruiting has fallen off a bit? I just look at the state of our frontcourt as quite strong evidence to the contrary.

Dukefan4Life
01-13-2008, 02:43 PM
Let me just say ive never seen Olek Czyz play except in videos, but do you guys wonder why we are getting a guy so low down the ranks? I guess you cant always judge guys but their rankings, i just feel we shouldnt never have to get a guy this low... Im hoping he helps us out big time! Go DUKE!:D

kramerbr
01-13-2008, 02:50 PM
Let me just say ive never seen Olek Czyz play except in videos, but do you guys wonder why we are getting a guy so low down the ranks? I guess you cant always judge guys but their rankings, i just feel we shouldnt never have to get a guy this low... Im hoping he helps us out big time! Go DUKE!:D

Wasn't this discussed when we recruited/signed Olek? It doesn't matter what your ranking is if you have a name like Czyz and your polish.

jimsumner
01-13-2008, 02:54 PM
"I just look at the state of our frontcourt as quite strong evidence to the contrary."

Would you feel different if Josh McRoberts, Eric Boateng, and Jamal Boykin were on the roster?

Dukefan4Life
01-13-2008, 02:55 PM
thats all good for jokes and giggles, im talking about winning and keeping us at the top where we belong. all im saying is i dont see why we have to get a guy who was around the 80th or so and now i think 100th ranked player:rolleyes:

Devilsfan
01-13-2008, 02:57 PM
scholly is very questionable to everyone but Coach K. And he's the one that knows best.

Dukefan4Life
01-13-2008, 02:58 PM
you are right.. If K gets him i guess he sees something. I just wonder why we didnt get someone a little better ranked thats all.. who knows.. the kid could be a beast! from what ive seen, he dunks with force and gets alot of boards

jimsumner
01-13-2008, 03:06 PM
Would it do any good to point out a list of players from Emeka Okafor to Kenyon Martin who were ranked in the 80s or 90s?

Would it do any good to point out that Gilbert Arenas was the consensus #99 player in high school?

Would it do any good to point out that Czyz is a raw, unpolished 6'8", 235-pound player with a 40" vertical leap and a prodigious work ethic?

Would it do any good to point out that schools like Louisville, Florida, and Kentucky were after him?

DukeBlood
01-13-2008, 03:07 PM
you are right.. If K gets him i guess he sees something. I just wonder why we didnt get someone a little better ranked thats all.. who knows.. the kid could be a beast! from what ive seen, he dunks with force and gets alot of boards

I never questioned this recruit. Everything I have read, heard and, seen is that he is a GREAT person, values a education.

He is 6'8, 40" verticle, likes to crash the boards and play defense. Hard worker. He is a project but has alot of positives about him

Jim, You beat me to it.

Dukefan4Life
01-13-2008, 03:14 PM
I never questioned his talent, i just wonder why we as duke have to look that far down thats all. I just think taking a kid who is a project is a risk that we shouldnt have to take thats all. we should have the very best and proven players out there..

MChambers
01-13-2008, 03:27 PM
First, Duke didn't "have to look that far down". Instead, Duke chose a player who was a good fit from several different perspectives.
Second, as far as ratings go, don't worry about them. People spend way too much time here focusing on how 16-year-old kids are rated. The so-called experts aren't all that expert. Also, it's darned hard to know how a kid will progress.

sandinmyshoes
01-13-2008, 03:31 PM
One thing for sure is that UNC is out of the market for point guards through '10 and big men through '09.

I think the interest in what they're doing is more a matter of rivalry than head to head. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to sound like I'm talking sour grapes. Coach K's lack of interest in the Wear twins, for instance, might not have had anything to do with their talent, or even their attitudes. I would think that sometimes coaches just don't feel it on a personal level with recruits. And as another for instance, regarding the Wear twins again, maybe he just didn't want to use two scholarships for identical players at that position.

No team can get all the talent, given the limited number of scholarships. So Duke has plenty of time to get players.

As to people posting to ask why we're talking about UNC recruiting makes me wonder why they bothered to open the link if they're so uninterested? UNC had an unusual influx of commits. They are one of the elite programs in the country. They are Duke's main rival.

Some of us are basketball fans (junkies if you like) and not JUST Duke fans. We cheer for Duke, but have interest in basketball overall. So if you don't want to talk about the recruiting of other schools, just pass the thread by. :rolleyes:

Dukefan4Life
01-13-2008, 03:33 PM
Ok i guess chose would have been the better word to use, and yes he does fit into what we need, a force inside rebounder and having crazy hops doesnt hurt either. i am just saying it would have made more sense to get someone who IS proven to do all those things from day one rather than take a chance thats all

A-Tex Devil
01-13-2008, 03:36 PM
I never questioned his talent, i just wonder why we as duke have to look that far down thats all. I just think taking a kid who is a project is a risk that we shouldnt have to take thats all. we should have the very best and proven players out there..

Because the coaches aren't looking at the Scout/Rivals rankings, that's why. I'm sure they have internal rankings we'll never see, but just as someone mentioned before -- look at the list of schools that were ready to offer Olek. It's impressive. The staff was ecstatic to get him, so I am. He may never amount to anything more than a role player, but we have to recruit some guys ranked 20 to 100, and honestly, I bet there's a bigger talent difference between the top 5 players and the next 15 players than between 20 and 100. Another reason rankings should be thrown out the window once a guy steps on to campus (and again, why coaching staffs likely ignore them).

Rankings are all well and good for us to identify who's who in a class, for SI and ESPN to tell us who has the best class, etc., but all I have to do is look to last year's VCU game to see that recruiting rankings mean crap when it comes to performance in college. Heck -- just look at the relative success of our "loaded" Junior class that was much much higher rated than Carolina's current junior class.

Devil in the Blue Dress
01-13-2008, 03:41 PM
First, Duke didn't "have to look that far down". Instead, Duke chose a player who was a good fit from several different perspectives.
Second, as far as ratings go, don't worry about them. People spend way too much time here focusing on how 16-year-old kids are rated. The so-called experts aren't all that expert. Also, it's darned hard to know how a kid will progress.

The truth is, we don't know how anyone will perform until they're actually "on the job." Any number of assessments can make predictions, but the truth develops on the job. I learned this through experience in hiring people. The same principle applies to basketball recruits.

I'll be heading out for my pilgrimage to Cameron in about 30 minutes. The reality that's important is what's going to happen in Cameron this evening!

Go Duke!

Dukefan4Life
01-13-2008, 03:44 PM
Tex-devil, that made alot of sense man, i guess numbers arent always the case on how someone will do in college

freedevil
01-13-2008, 04:12 PM
"I just look at the state of our frontcourt as quite strong evidence to the contrary."

Would you feel different if Josh McRoberts, Eric Boateng, and Jamal Boykin were on the roster?

I'd feel different if different players had been recruited in the first place actually. Particularly the latter two. But, again, that's just my opinion. I guess it makes me less of a Duke fan in many poster's eyes if I have been disappointed in that area of our recruiting - that area being our recent frontcourt recruits.

jimsumner
01-13-2008, 04:35 PM
"I'd feel different if different players had been recruited in the first place actually."

Fair enough. But are those recruiting mistakes, evaluation mistakes, or development mistakes?

DevilCastDownfromDurham
01-13-2008, 04:40 PM
Quote:
"I'd be more worried if Carolina were winning head-to-head recruiting battles against Duke. But that's not the case."

Brandon Wright says "hello." Everything I read suggested that we were the leader for a player we desperately needed. UNC brought him to Midnight Madness (a tradition we are too "elevated" to join in) and stole him from us. He quickly proceeded to make the difference in two bitter losses that left us broken and dispirited. Add him to our front line and we're a VERY different team. Take him away from UNC and they look pretty different as well.

Look, I don't want to be alarmist. I recognize that we've brought in some solid recruits. I also recognize that lessons have been learned from a very bad strategy (i.e. mammoth make-or-break classes every 3-4 seasons) and that it will take some time to recover from the damage done by our 2005 Class disaster. But it seems pretty clear that UNC is really trouncing us right now.

On the court, they've pretty much owned us for the last 3-4 seasons (4 of the last 5, I believe). I hope the "I like UNC to be good" crowd enjoyed watching JJ and Shel crying after their Senior Night loss, as well as the NC the season before. I didn't and I'll bet K and the team didn't either. This season UNC is the top-rated team in the nation, and we are struggling to remain in the top 10.

They are also clearly far ahead on the recruiting trail. Whether players like MT, Shav, Hump, Deng, Liv, McBob, Boat, and Boykin (not to mention Cisse, Kaun, Brock, BWright, PPat, Monroe, etc.) are called mistakes with "evaluation", "recruiting", or "development", the fact is, they have not given Duke anything close to what we needed. Right now UNC has 3 PG's and a handful of big guys in the wings and we have our fingers crossed. Maybe Boynton, Murphy, et al will come and we can keep up. But they may also do what Wright, PPat, and Monroe did and choose somewhere else.

Look, UNC is dramatically better than us today, and they have the tools to extend that lead by a large margin. They have the next 2 classes stocked with five star guys at the most important positions and we've got nothing. Until we start getting commitments, particularly at the PG and in the post where we've struggled with filling needs for several seasons, it's not at all silly to be concerned.

jimsumner
01-13-2008, 05:05 PM
Kyle Singler says hello right back at you.

None of the recent Carolina committments was being recruited by Duke.

"On the court, they've pretty much owned us for the last 3-4 seasons (4 of the last 5, I believe."

Okay, you're being alarmist. Last year was the first time since 1998 that UNC beat Duke twice in the same season. Duke and UNC are 4-4 over the last four seasons. Does that sound like anybody's being owned here?

MChambers
01-13-2008, 05:08 PM
Duke offered him a scholarship after losing out to UNC on another player, Curtis Hunter. Henderson worked out fine.
That same year, Michigan had a class that was as impressive as Duke's. They recruited six guys, five of whom were highly ranked, but none of whom ever played in the NBA much, if ever. The sixth, Roy Tarpley, was not well-known, but ended up being a wonderful player, before drugs destroyed his career.
Yes, UNC is getting some impressive recruits, but some of us who have been around longer think we'll be fine. (Don't get me wrong: I disagree with Jason Evans and think that UNC should lose every game.)

phaedrus
01-13-2008, 05:09 PM
Quote:
I hope the "I like UNC to be good" crowd enjoyed watching JJ and Shel crying after their Senior Night loss, as well as the NC the season before.

If JJ and Shel cried on Senior Night, it was because of the emotion inherent in the event and not because of a loss to a top-20 team that had zero postseason implications. Not that it didn't suck to lose that or any game to UNC, but you are grossly overstating things.

JasonEvans
01-13-2008, 05:14 PM
We may be getting good people in, but their classes seem like absolute monsters. Also, with respect to what Jason wrote earlier, I think there is a difference between a top five class and the number one class.

I would love to hear you expound on this. According to RSCI, we have in the past three years brought in 2 #3 classes and 1 #2 class... in three years. Among the kids we got were the consensus #1 player in the class and another top 5 recruit.

And you are not satisfied with that.

I don't want to put words in your mouth or anything but I am just checking. You think we could have done better in the past 3 classes, right?

--Jason "Mr. Expectations, I'd like to introduce you to my friend Mr. Reality" Evans

JasonEvans
01-13-2008, 05:20 PM
Jason - I do not mean to sound like a jerk, as the following is just my opinion, but you really think there's NO shred of evidence that Duke's recruiting has fallen off a bit? I just look at the state of our frontcourt as quite strong evidence to the contrary.

You are talking about the frontcourt that has 3 McDonald's All-Americans in it plus a top-30 recruit who was only barely left off the Mickie Dee team, right?

Is this thread about recruiting or how the players have performed since arriving at Duke? I thought it was about recruiting.

I would also note that Duke's frontcourt is insanely young with 2 freshmen and 2 sophs manning the post. Talk to me later this year or next year when these kids have a bit more experience.

--Jason "pessimism vs reality in this thread... I am waiting to see any evidence from the pessimists" Evans

Ignatius07
01-13-2008, 05:37 PM
Jason, you make an important point contrasting recruiting versus development. Clearly the last few years (05-07 classes) have not been a significant dropoff from the average Duke recruiting class. The thing that is really throwing everything out of wack is the HUGE whiff last year on post players. If we had landed one of those guys, I doubt this discussion is as heated as it is.

So I think when people are sounding alarmist, they are doing so because they see recent highly-ranked Duke recruiting classes fail to produce what many regard as the two most important positions (point guard and strong, rebounding big) - which was evident last year - and then do not see these needs addressed in either the 07 or 08 classes in a direct way. I believe that the staff views Nolan as a point guard (eventually), but he was not a "true" PG and there were no elite, burly post players coming to Duke in either the 07 or 08 classes. Compound that with the fact that UNC has a boatload of recruits in 09, and the fact that we once again seem to not be recruiting a true PG in 09, and our top target in the Shelden-Brand mold of post players is ranked fairly low by Scout and Rivals. I trust the staff's talent evaluation - maybe Echenique projects to be much better soon - but in this context you can perhaps understand people's misgivings with recruiting.

DevilCastDownfromDurham
01-13-2008, 05:38 PM
Quote:
"Okay, you're being alarmist. Last year was the first time since 1998 that UNC beat Duke twice in the same season. Duke and UNC are 4-4 over the last four seasons. Does that sound like anybody's being owned here?"

Fair enough, and probably a bad choice of words on my part. Over the last 5-10 years we have been better. Over the last 3 years UNC has clearly been better than us, both head-to-head and especially in the post season. Last year UNC owned us. This season they look significantly better than us as well. This trend makes me uncomfortable.

We had a great run from 1999-2004 that hit a MAJOR bump with the Class of '05. UNC had a bad run with D'oh but since Roy arrive has looks great and has just picked up a half-dozen top-tier recruits. I recognize (and indicated in my post) that we have done some good things (better use of scolly's, not putting all of our eggs in 1 basket, etc.) But UNC's future is set for the next 3-4 seasons. Ours is based on a set of players who have struggled with injury, been significantly less than advertised, or have not yet committed, or even given any public indication that Duke is an overwhelming leader.

Greg may put it all together and become the point we expected. Nolan may segue into a pure PG role seamlessly. Z and Lance may get healthy and develop amazing post moves. And Boynton, Ech, Murphy, etc may all come to Duke, live up to the hype, and fill the roles we need of them. I recognize (and very much hope) that those things all happen. I just don't think it's silly to also recognize that those things might not happen, that recent history has been of them not happening, and that UNC needs many fewer "good surprises" than we do to remain one of the top 3-5 teams.

DevilCastDownfromDurham
01-13-2008, 05:56 PM
Quote:
"Is this thread about recruiting or how the players have performed since arriving at Duke? I thought it was about recruiting."

IMO, recruiting means more than bringing in highly-ranked players. In fact, I think it's clear that an offer from Duke, UNC, etc can boost a player's rank and can push a guy into honors like the McDonald's game when they might otherwise not be there.

Recruiting, to my mind, is about player evaluation. When Shav, Nelson, etc lost their career to injury that was sad but unforseeable. They were still great recruits. When everyone agreed that the Class of '05 was one of the weakest in years and the staff still put the team's future in the hands of that class, however, that is bad recruiting, regardless of the numbers assigned to the players. Take the counterexample: we all agree (I assume) that finding diamonds in the rough is good recruiting even if the class rank doesn't end out very high. If Cyez, for example, becomes a major stud at Duke, no one will say "K did a bad job recruiting, that kid was ranked outside of the top 50."

The fact that so many of our players underperform, transfer, etc is directly related to the numbers and caliber of recruits we bring in. Probably more to the point, recruiting is only valuable to the extent that it produces results. Would anyone here feel better about the statement: "we recruit fine, but our player development stinks?" Something is rotten somewhere in the system, and it seems to be tied to our inability to land and hold a solid stable of post players and an elite PG. The semantics of "evaluate/recruit/develop" are, to me, secondary.

dukelifer
01-13-2008, 06:10 PM
Quote:
"Okay, you're being alarmist. Last year was the first time since 1998 that UNC beat Duke twice in the same season. Duke and UNC are 4-4 over the last four seasons. Does that sound like anybody's being owned here?"

Fair enough, and probably a bad choice of words on my part. Over the last 5-10 years we have been better. Over the last 3 years UNC has clearly been better than us, both head-to-head and especially in the post season. Last year UNC owned us. This season they look significantly better than us as well. This trend makes me uncomfortable.

We had a great run from 1999-2004 that hit a MAJOR bump with the Class of '05. UNC had a bad run with D'oh but since Roy arrive has looks great and has just picked up a half-dozen top-tier recruits. I recognize (and indicated in my post) that we have done some good things (better use of scolly's, not putting all of our eggs in 1 basket, etc.) But UNC's future is set for the next 3-4 seasons. Ours is based on a set of players who have struggled with injury, been significantly less than advertised, or have not yet committed, or even given any public indication that Duke is an overwhelming leader.

Greg may put it all together and become the point we expected. Nolan may segue into a pure PG role seamlessly. Z and Lance may get healthy and develop amazing post moves. And Boynton, Ech, Murphy, etc may all come to Duke, live up to the hype, and fill the roles we need of them. I recognize (and very much hope) that those things all happen. I just don't think it's silly to also recognize that those things might not happen, that recent history has been of them not happening, and that UNC needs many fewer "good surprises" than we do to remain one of the top 3-5 teams.

Recruits are recruits- some may pan out - some may not- regardless of how highly ranked they are as sophomores or juniors. Some players may change their minds and go elsewhere. Some may get hurt. Some may get actually get better in college. Some may give UNC the ACC for the next decade based on their recent recruiting- some prefer to watch and see what happens.

YmoBeThere
01-13-2008, 06:30 PM
Recruits are recruits- some may pan out - some may not- regardless of how highly ranked they are as sophomores or juniors. Some players may change their minds and go elsewhere. Some may get hurt. Some may get actually get better in college. Some may give UNC the ACC for the next decade based on their recent recruiting- some prefer to watch and see what happens.

Agreed 100%, dukelifer. But if it is okay, I would like to put the pot back on my head and tell everyone I know what is happening with the sky right now.(Watch out, I saw another piece drop over there...)

(Please note I am being sarcastic here. Please let me know if I am too over the top with this. I do really agree with dukelifer that the alarm bells have been raised to an unnecessary level.)

yancem
01-13-2008, 06:42 PM
Jason - I do not mean to sound like a jerk, as the following is just my opinion, but you really think there's NO shred of evidence that Duke's recruiting has fallen off a bit? I just look at the state of our frontcourt as quite strong evidence to the contrary.

There is a difference between recruiting falling off and an increases in attrition. In the past few years we have lost Deng and McRoberts to early entry and Boateng and Boykin to transfer. That doesn't even bring Humphries and Livingston into the picture. Deng and Humphries would have graduated by now but any of the others would have helped the last couple of years as well as this one.

I know that Boateng and Boykin probably wouldn't be earning all acc honors but they certainly would bolster the front court and probably make solid contributions. At the very least they were highly rated recruits which is the topic of this discussion.

Also, I wonder if McRoberts had lived up to his billing or if Hans Solo hadn't exceeded it or had gone pro last year if people would be so over wrought with the state of Duke's recruiting?

freedevil
01-13-2008, 06:49 PM
You are talking about the frontcourt that has 3 McDonald's All-Americans in it plus a top-30 recruit who was only barely left off the Mickie Dee team, right?

Is this thread about recruiting or how the players have performed since arriving at Duke? I thought it was about recruiting.

I would also note that Duke's frontcourt is insanely young with 2 freshmen and 2 sophs manning the post. Talk to me later this year or next year when these kids have a bit more experience.

--Jason "pessimism vs reality in this thread... I am waiting to see any evidence from the pessimists" Evans

You're giving far too much credit to the recruiting services who rank these kids. Perhaps I am too when I see Carolina ranking in "top" ranked recruits, some six of them, in one week. As Jim Sumner alluded to, I'm disappointed in the talent evaluation and the talent development. If you're counting Singler as part of our frontcourt, that just shows how much we disagree. He's playing there because we have not landed better people, otherwise, he'd be playing a role much more similar to Luol, i.e. the wing. Taylor King, a 6'6 player is probably the second freshman you are alluding to. If you think that's a frontcourt player, then we will never see eye to eye. And if you honestly believe Zoubek is a top-30 prospect who will turn out to be more Aaron Gray than Serge Zwikker, then perhaps you and I will never agree.

Perhaps I am using too much hindsight to criticize our recruiting, but Jamal Boykin, Eric Boateng, David McClure, (who is a good player, but not a primary frontcourt defender), Brian Zoubek, these are not the type of low post athletes I would like to see at Duke.

I'd love to eat crow on many of feelings about the state of Duke's frontcourt, but it's incredibly naive to think that there is not plenty of "evidence" to support us pessimists out there.

freedevil
01-13-2008, 06:53 PM
At the very least they were highly rated recruits which is the topic of this discussion.

Again, my problem is mostly with evaluating the frontcourt talent we recruit. I'm not a big fan of Greg Paulus, but I can't quibble at all with how K recruits guards and wings. I love what he's brought in or sought out at these positions.

But unlike many on this board, just because Bob Gibbons thinks Eric Boateng is a top 30 recruit doesn't mean I have to think Duke should've recruited him. It's clear that Boateng simply is not a Duke-caliber player. I don't mind that Duke doesn't go down Scout.com's list of top ranked recruits and just offer them in all, it's that after I watch one game in which these frontcourt guys play, I think, "Oh God, another undersized project" or "is he really athletic enough?"

Karl Beem
01-13-2008, 06:54 PM
You're giving far too much credit to the recruiting services who rank these kids. Perhaps I am too when I see Carolina ranking in "top" ranked recruits, some six of them, in one week. As Jim Sumner alluded to, I'm disappointed in the talent evaluation and the talent development. If you're counting Singler as part of our frontcourt, that just shows how much we disagree. He's playing there because we have not landed better people, otherwise, he'd be playing a role much more similar to Luol, i.e. the wing. Taylor King, a 6'6 player is probably the second freshman you are alluding to. If you think that's a frontcourt player, then we will never see eye to eye. And if you honestly believe Zoubek is a top-30 prospect who will turn out to be more Aaron Gray than Serge Zwikker, then perhaps you and I will never agree.

Perhaps I am using too much hindsight to criticize our recruiting, but Jamal Boykin, Eric Boateng, David McClure, (who is a good player, but not a primary frontcourt defender), Brian Zoubek, these are not the type of low post athletes I would like to see at Duke.

I'd love to eat crow on many of feelings about the state of Duke's frontcourt, but it's incredibly naive to think that there is not plenty of "evidence" to support us pessimists out there.

LOL. Luol was a postman, a big one. He was no wing.

:)

mapei
01-13-2008, 06:57 PM
There is a difference between recruiting falling off and an increases in attrition. In the past few years we have lost Deng and McRoberts to early entry and Boateng and Boykin to transfer. That doesn't even bring Humphries and Livingston into the picture. Deng and Humphries would have graduated by now but any of the others would have helped the last couple of years as well as this one.

All fair points but not comforting to those of us who want to see Duke dominate again. It's just saying that (good news) maybe recruiting isn't as bad as some are saying, but Bad news) oops, we've got other problems, too.

As for recruiting, my own feeling is that Duke is doing great, and this year's class with Kyle looks especially promising. But I also think Roy has raised the bar since he arrived at UNC, and it will take better recruiting, better coaching, and/or better luck to rise to meet the challenge.

3rd Dukie
01-13-2008, 07:06 PM
Tex-devil, that made alot of sense man, i guess numbers arent always the case on how someone will do in college

I agree. Also, what I was wondering about was the last time we had an "impact" player who had not been highly ranked. I honestly do not recall.

The one thing I will never forget about rankings is the fact that Carson Palmer was more highly regarded than Christian. I do not recall the numbers, but I remember watching the McD game and hearing all those gurus carrying on about Palmer. Not much talk about Christian.

I would be very interested if someone call recall a player significantly outplaying his ranking at Duke. Was Duhon highly recruited? Seems like he was.

Finally, all this philosophical stuff about the competition and challenge is okay. But me, personally, I'd rather stomp the snot out of them light blue curs every day of the week.

freedevil
01-13-2008, 07:07 PM
LOL. Luol was a postman, a big one. He was no wing.

:)

Wrong.

freedevil
01-13-2008, 07:10 PM
^ But still funny.

Karl Beem
01-13-2008, 07:51 PM
Wrong.

Ok, grasshopper.:)

freedevil
01-13-2008, 08:22 PM
Coming out of high school, where Deng even played point guard, he was listed as a small forward.

ESPN and SI listed him as a Guard/Forward as he declared for the NBA draft. That seems like a wing to me, but it's your world Karl, it's your world.

_Gary
01-13-2008, 08:53 PM
I really want to understand the angst over Duke's recruiting, but there is not a shred of evidence to back it up.

No one, repeat NO ONE has recruited as well as Duke has the past few years. It is really not even close. Everyone is hung up on one or two misses and ignore the mountains (Alps sized mountains) of evidence that Duke is still a monster of a recruiting power. We will remain competitive with Carolina... mark it down.

You really, really don't understand why some of us are anxious about these latest developments Jason? It's real simple. How many national championships has Duke won in the last 15 years when we've out-recruited everyone in the world? How many has UConn won? UNC? Kentucky? Florida?

Look, I do think we've had an incredible run in recruiting. But the fact is we've only got one national championship to show for it and UNC has been gaining ground on us every year that Roy has been there. And there's just no doubt in my mind that he is out-recruiting Coach K at this point. We've missed on three important frontcourt players three years in a row now. I think there's reason to be at least a little bit concerned.

Of course, if you like UNC enough to wish them well then I can see why you wouldn't be alarmed.

bluedevils2008
01-13-2008, 09:53 PM
we need to get brandon knight or john wall with nc picking up talent at the pg. any tips saying we are intrested in wall?

Ignatius07
01-13-2008, 10:03 PM
Agreed we will probably need to recruit one of those guys (or somebody else similarly talented), but it seems like Smith is really turning a corner lately. He's had a couple really strong outings, including against UVA tonight. His decision-making seems to be improving drastically, which is probably the main thing holding him back at this point. He is developing into a nice alternative/back-up to Paulus. I would not be at all surprised to see Smith starting at PG next fall, if not sooner.

I am not down on Paulus - I think he has played quite well lately - I just think Smith gives us more in transition and off the dribble.

jimsumner
01-13-2008, 10:39 PM
I'm sorry but anybody who doesn't realize that Luol Deng was a 4 at Duke has pretty much announced to the world that they weren't paying attention in 2004.

jimsumner
01-13-2008, 10:51 PM
RE: Deng as a 4 at Duke.

Duke played 37 games in 2004.

That's 2960 minutes at the 4/5

Add two overtimes for 20 minutes.

That's 2980 minutes.

Shelden Williams 963
Shav Randolph 709
Nick Horvath 218
Patrick Johnson 28
Michael Thompson 11

Total 1929

That leaves 1051 minutes unaccounted for.

Deng played 1149

Draw your own conclusions.

Oriole Way
01-14-2008, 02:04 AM
At this point I think it would be funny, and not the least bit surprising, if Roy just kept getting commits every other day or so until UNC has twice as many commitments as they do scholarships.

The1Bluedevil
01-14-2008, 02:21 AM
Greetings to all Duke fans! Die Hard Duke fan that unfortunately lives near Lawrence, Kansas. Decided to join to converse with passionate and insightful true Duke fans.

I have one question and one remark on the recruiting discussion.

How much does the academic requirements truly hurt Duke in recruiting and what is Carolina’s academic standards?

I think UCLA is a prime example of recruiting rankings not always telling the big picture.
Howland was hired in April of 03 and that class consisted of Shipp, Afflalo, Mata and Farmar. I have a hard time believing he recruited Farmar, Shipp, Mata and Afflalo as much as re recruited them to stay at UCLA. Yes he has had some highly touted players underachieve (Wright and Keefe), but I’d be hard pressed to find a team that has done as much in the past three years as UCLA has with the overrated “ McDonald’s All American recruits”.

Found these rankings at RCSI

Aboya 81
Collison 98
Westbrook not listed
Moute not listed

I know Kevin Love is a stud no doubt about it, that is four of their top 6 players who were not highly touted coming out of high school making significant contributions to the team. Westbrook and Collison are legitimate first round picks. Now that Howland has revitalized a great program he is getting the big time classes (O8). Just thought it was interesting that without a true post threat they made back-to-back final fours and did it with recruits Duke fans (myself included would not have been overly excited about).

I may be way off base, just think it’s very hard to judge recruiting until we see it live.

freedevil
01-14-2008, 07:13 AM
RE: Deng as a 4 at Duke.

Duke played 37 games in 2004.

That's 2960 minutes at the 4/5

Add two overtimes for 20 minutes.

That's 2980 minutes.

Shelden Williams 963
Shav Randolph 709
Nick Horvath 218
Patrick Johnson 28
Michael Thompson 11

Total 1929

That leaves 1051 minutes unaccounted for.

Deng played 1149

Draw your own conclusions.

And anyone who doesn't realize that Luol Deng is a wing player, regardless of how K chose to utilize him, is out of touch with reality. Your logic suggests that Kyle Single is a true center. Give me a break Jim.

freedevil
01-14-2008, 07:19 AM
And all of this bickering over what position Luol Deng played - the fact that he did have to guard the other teams biggest or second biggest post players - is just further evidence (as Jason seems to want to call it), in my opinion, that Duke needs to recruit differently in the frontcourt. Just because you guard a big does not mean you should be playing the 4 or the 5. Apparently half of the moderators on this board disagree.

phillyheel
01-14-2008, 08:11 AM
Of course, if you like UNC enough to wish them well then I can see why you wouldn't be alarmed.

Accusing Jason Evans of being a Carolina sympathizer is about the funniest thing I've ever read on this board.

MChambers
01-14-2008, 08:18 AM
And all of this bickering over what position Luol Deng played - the fact that he did have to guard the other teams biggest or second biggest post players - is just further evidence (as Jason seems to want to call it), in my opinion, that Duke needs to recruit differently in the frontcourt. Just because you guard a big does not mean you should be playing the 4 or the 5. Apparently half of the moderators on this board disagree.

Battier should not have played the 4, as you call it. Or Grant Hill, how did you feel about him playing the 4? I guess you think we won three national championships with those guys playing the 4, but should have won four or five championships?

Uncle Drew
01-14-2008, 08:29 AM
For the record the success UNC has had in recruiting over the last three weeks has made me want to run down the street screaming, "the sky is falling" over and over. Some posters in my opinion are not concerned enough about this success while others of us are perhaps too concerned. In truth it's almost ridiculous to debate because I seriously doubt the coaching staff from either school are reading these posts. And which ever side is right, we won't really know until the guys actually suit up and play some games against each other. By that time odds are the people who were wrong won't be around (at least not as frequently) as those who were correct. It's also impossible to truly predict who leaves early, injuries and transfers on both sides.

The recruiting rag sheet I subscribe to posts a list of the top 25 recruits at the end of each season from past years. Sometimes they go back ten or even fifteen years and they tell where each player went (even straight to NBA). It is VERY interesting to look back and see who annalists rated higher and lower in a given year and how they actually ended up playing at the next level. Duke has had some guys who weren't as highly rated as other schools but got more out of them in college just like UNC. And UNC has had some guys who were touted to be top position players in the class who ended up being average at best. Additionally as most of us know, most recruiting ranking is based on NBA potential and not necessarily how they will be in college. The two games are very different, and each college program is different. A guy who might be great at one school might not be so good at another.

At any rate if being a little on the alarmist side is worry for nothing I will never in my life have been so glad to be wrong. But if the past three weeks mark the start of a slide on one side of the rivalry or a gain on the other side we'll all remember this.....just like the "it's over" quote with a whole new meaning.

jimsumner
01-14-2008, 08:44 AM
freedevil,

Your opinion of where you think Duke should have played Deng is irrelevant to a discussion of where Duke actually played Deng. You might think Andre Buckner should have started ahead of Chris Duhon but that doesn't make Buckner a starter.

freedevil
01-14-2008, 08:59 AM
MC - that's a fair point, and the only argument I have in reply is that Shane and Grant are exceptions to the rule, wouldn't you think? Those two players are, two in a lifetime type players, for lack of a better expression. I'd rather see those types of athletes used differently, which brings me to my reply to JimSumner.

Jim - where Duke actually used players is NOT irrelevant to a discussion of how Duke recruits. I would rather see Luol Deng-type players smothering the likes of Marcus Ginyard and Danny Green rather than getting into foul trouble trying to guard bigger and stronger Tyler Hansbroughs and Deon Thompsons. That is my opinion. And I understand I am largely in the minority on this. But perhaps you're okay with Singler guarding other teams' biggest players.

freedevil
01-14-2008, 09:16 AM
And just so all are clear on this, not that all care, but I would love nothing more than to have to eat lots and lots of crow on this subject.

Carlos
01-14-2008, 09:40 AM
What's with all the questions about Deng and where he played - I thought Duke didn't have positions?

Seriously - I think it's more accurate to describe Deng as a wing player than a postman. Jim's observations are dead on - he played the majority of his minutes at Duke at the 4 spot. There were a few games in there where Duke went with a frontline of Selden, Shav, and Deng and he was at the 3, but for the most part it played as a 4. The question then becomes one of if the Duke 4 is a postman or a wing and I would tend to go with the latter.

While freedevil may not want a guy like Deng to play the 4, I would say that's one of the absolute fundamentals of Duke basketball. Quickness and pressure defense and create a mismatch at that 4 spot. Guys like Shane and Grant aren't the exceptions - they're merely the best examples. Duke went to the FF with Deng, Battier, and Hill (or Tony Lang) all playing that role.

But here's the problem - we're not talking about Kyle Singler playing that role. When Luol Deng went to the Final Four as a 4 he was joined by Shelden Williams (6-9, 250) or Shav (6-10, 245) in that frontcourt. When Shane went he was joined by Boozer (6-9, 280) one year and Elton (6-8, 260) the other. When Grant Hill went he was joined by Cherokee Parks (6-11, 235) one year, and Laettner (6-11, 235) the other years.

What we're now talking about is Singler playing the role of those other players and without that bigger player complementing him in the frontcourt we give up an awful lot.

freedevil
01-14-2008, 09:53 AM
I agree with pretty much everything Carlos pointed out. So, when it comes to where Singler is playing this year (without another true big alongside him), the issue is basically, do you think this is just one year in which we missed (like every school inevitably has its misses) on true post players or is this a trend (albeit a recent trend) of not identifying enough true post players to have a chance at landing at least one?

I think its the latter, and I imagine many on this board think its the former, or that we haven't even skipped a beat all and that Zoubek will be more than serviceable as our true post player when he returns.

billybreen
01-14-2008, 09:58 AM
I agree with pretty much everything Carlos pointed out.

Wise move. Carlos is legend.

Carlos
01-14-2008, 10:06 AM
At least in my own mind.

Karl Beem
01-14-2008, 10:16 AM
Where I disagree with freedevil is with his implication that Deng played out of position. Sure he had wing capabilities, so did Laettner. However, Deng is *big*. I'll bet that his opposing postman was usually smaller. If Deng were on this team, our best lineup would have him playing along side of Singler.

_Gary
01-14-2008, 10:59 AM
Accusing Jason Evans of being a Carolina sympathizer is about the funniest thing I've ever read on this board.

Then you haven't been reading the DBR for very long.

Troublemaker
01-14-2008, 11:18 AM
Saying that Deng should not have been a 4 basically ignores the past 20 years of Duke basketball and how K's system works. It'd be like going to Urban Meyer or Rich Rodriguez and telling them their QB shouldn't run so much. Duke has a system. It's a bit unorthodox insofar as it relies on an NBA 3 to play the college 4, but it's brought great success in the past and should bring great success in the future.

MChambers
01-14-2008, 12:02 PM
Saying that Deng should not have been a 4 basically ignores the past 20 years of Duke basketball and how K's system works. It'd be like going to Urban Meyer or Rich Rodriguez and telling them their QB shouldn't run so much. Duke has a system. It's a bit unorthodox insofar as it relies on an NBA 3 to play the college 4, but it's brought great success in the past and should bring great success in the future.

I don't think Duke is that unorthodox in that respect. Take a look at Final Four teams over the last ten years and you'll see that many have NBA 3s playing the 4. I realize that Florida was an exception, but I don't think it was the rule.

johnb
01-14-2008, 12:24 PM
with the exception of JJ and Shelden, there's been a bit of a drought in landing new "greats" with the same special quality of players like Grant Hill, Danny Ferry, Gene Banks, Jeff Mullins, etc.

Much of the debate seems to center on the above assertion. One group wishes we had a player of the year on a national champion team (preferably rocking through the schedule like the '99 team). The other group would enjoy that situation but appreciates the fact that the once-in-a-decade team depends on several factors, including luck. As a proud member of the second group, I'd say we should enjoy the fact that we have ten guys on our team who are solid people, who were great recruits, and who make us competitive with anyone.

Uncle Drew
01-14-2008, 12:26 PM
Carlos typed:

What's with all the questions about Deng and where he played - I thought Duke didn't have positions?

Which I know he meant tongue in cheek, but it does make an excellent point. Duke has had more success with "tweeners" than any school I know. By tweener I mean a player that was a mixture of two (or more) positions. Mikey D was too tall for most guards to cover and too quick for most forwards. Laettner was a power forward with the ability to drive to the basket and if I'm not mistaken is still the most accurate 3 point shooter Duke has ever had. Deng played position X most of the time and used his height, quickness to the best of his ability against whomever was guarding him. Duke has played GGGGC and GGFFF a ton of times over the last 25 years.


I think the thing that worries a lot of fans is not so much how we might fare on offense. But matching up with a big team on defense inside has been a thorn in Duke's side in the past (See last final four against UCONN) and some of us fear potential future match ups. Truthfully it's not even fair to compare teams we might face to that UCONN team, because very, very, few teams have the height to put a Boone, Okafor etc. in the game at the same time.

Look guards and small forwards are great, the team Duke has this year can run and gun plus has the shooters to punish the opposing team if left open. But we've all seen good shooting teams go cold. We all know the closer you are to the basket the better your odds are of completing the shot. And we all know the taller you are you automatically have a statistically better chance at getting the rebound. (Yes Mugsy Bogues can block out Hakeem Olajuwon using proper technique, but it's not going to happen very often.)

Last night was bloody beautiful to watch the penetration and finish or kick out. And from everything I've seen and heard Duke will be able to do this not this year but for years to come with the weapons they have coming in. I just hate those cold shooting nights when the 3's aren't falling and the bucket starts to look about as big around as a golf hole.

jimsumner
01-14-2008, 12:39 PM
"The other group would enjoy that situation but appreciates the fact that the once-in-a-decade team depends on several factors, including luck."

And that group also recognizes that once-in-a-decade teams come along about,oh, every ten years or so. :)

shadowfax336
01-14-2008, 01:17 PM
To be panicking about the fact that UNC has recruits coming in who are currently Juniors and Sophomores in HS. I can guarantee you that none of those players would be able to "right now" contribute in a meaningful way. They're going to need 2-3 more years of development before they are ready for college play. So maybe they'll continue to develop at their current rates and be studs in 2 years. Maybe they'll fall off and other players will work harder and pass them. Maybe one of them will tear their ACL. I'm not wishing any of these things on them, but the point is there are a lot of very good players out there, and the ones who are the best now won't necessarily be the best in 3 years or in 7 years. And yes its going to be 7 years until Reggie Bullock and Kendall Marshall will be seniors. There is a LOT of stuff that could happen by then. So lets SLOOOOW down a bit, enjoy the team we have now, enjoy the fact that we'll have all but (at the most) 2 players back from this team next year, and probably all but 1, and that we'll be able to start a senior 3 juniors and a sophomore next year, ending the "young team" stuff we're dealing with now and giving our younger players time to develop.

DukeBlood
01-14-2008, 01:26 PM
So who did they have commit today? ;) jk.

Carlos
01-14-2008, 01:28 PM
Where I disagree with freedevil is with his implication that Deng played out of position. Sure he had wing capabilities, so did Laettner. However, Deng is *big*. I'll bet that his opposing postman was usually smaller. If Deng were on this team, our best lineup would have him playing along side of Singler.

I'm not sure that Deng's role on this team would be any indication of his strongest position for Duke basketball since we're so shorthanded inside right now. However, I would point out that he started most of the games at the 4 spot in his one year at Duke and he was playing with two guys who were both bigger than he is and both guys are playing in the NBA. In other words - Deng played at the 4 spot not because he had to as freedevil inferred but because that's where he was the strongest for the team. We could always have played Shav out there at the 4 instead of Deng and moved Deng to the 3 as we did in a handful of games.

I'm not sure I'd agree with you that Deng was bigger than the guy he was guarding. I think most college PF's are bigger than 6-8 / 220.

The1Bluedevil
01-14-2008, 01:46 PM
In 2002 Dunleavy guarded other team's 4 men. I hardly considered him a 4.

balkan boy
01-14-2008, 01:59 PM
i, for one, would take (freshman) deng and (freshman) singler at the 4 and 5 spots this year. a few big teams might have some mismatches against us when we were on defense, but with our "wing" players in addition to deng and singler who could defend us.....

seriously, the best duke teams have had guys that could defend "up" but which caused major matchup problems on the offensive end because other teams could not defend down. singler is perfect for the "4" in the duke "system" though a bit undersized for the "5"....

Uncle Drew
01-14-2008, 02:09 PM
"The other group would enjoy that situation but appreciates the fact that the once-in-a-decade team depends on several factors, including luck."

And that group also recognizes that once-in-a-decade teams come along about,oh, every ten years or so. :)

Duke repeated in the early 1990's....team of the decade. Florida repeated in mid 2000's.....team of decade. You might be on to even more than you actually meant Jim.


I think the thing that concerns me most about the UNC recruiting haul is getting verbals from those guys allows UNC to check them off the list. It gives them more time and more focus on the next classes and REALLY going after the big guns. You get a team with talent and throw a stud in there, even a one and done stud and it can be disaster for the rest of the league. Suer they didn't win it all with Wright (and they may be even better without him though that whole addition by subtraction thing is loco) and Duke didn't win with Deng. But ever since the Carmelo Chronicles every school has been looking at top notch talent that may only stay one year to give them that extra umph and take them to the Holy Land. And by Holy Land I don't mean Jerusalem.

yancem
01-14-2008, 03:25 PM
I agree with pretty much everything Carlos pointed out. So, when it comes to where Singler is playing this year (without another true big alongside him), the issue is basically, do you think this is just one year in which we missed (like every school inevitably has its misses) on true post players or is this a trend (albeit a recent trend) of not identifying enough true post players to have a chance at landing at least one?

I think its the latter, and I imagine many on this board think its the former, or that we haven't even skipped a beat all and that Zoubek will be more than serviceable as our true post player when he returns.

First, Carlos is dead on. I was about to make a similar argument (not as articulately, of course) but he beat me to it.

Second, whether or not it is a 1-2 year blip or if it is a trend can't be determined until Duke either signs a true post or doesn't in the next year. If Duke misses on all of it '09 big man prospects than it becomes a trend. In the '06 class we signed Zoubek and Thomas which was who we targeted. No misses but it is yet to be determined if the coaches targeted the wrong guys. In '07 we got Singler who is a great fit for the 4 spot at Duke but missed on Patterson who could have played center. In '08 we missed on Monroe. It is unclear from what I've read how much of a true post he is. At worst he would have played the 4 (Singler hopefully will still be around to cover that) but might have been very capable of playing center. I think part of the reason we missed on him though is that he doesn't want to be chained to the post like Duke would have probably done to him.

So 2 years, 2 misses. If Zoubek and Thomas develop and stay healthy and we sign some posts from the '09 class then we didn't really skip a beat. If Zoubek and Thomas don't develop or continue to have health issues but we still sign some posts from the '09 class then its a 1-2 year issue like every team has now and again. If however, Zoubek and Thomas don't produce and we miss out on our '09 targets, then we have a trend which will be of concern. Especially since I'm not sure we can count on Singler being around for the '10 or '11 seasons.

Personally, I think that it is too early to panic but I can understand why some people are concerned.

JasonEvans
01-14-2008, 03:45 PM
You really, really don't understand why some of us are anxious about these latest developments Jason? It's real simple. How many national championships has Duke won in the last 15 years when we've out-recruited everyone in the world? How many has UConn won? UNC? Kentucky? Florida?

Look, I do think we've had an incredible run in recruiting. But the fact is we've only got one national championship to show for it and UNC has been gaining ground on us every year that Roy has been there. And there's just no doubt in my mind that he is out-recruiting Coach K at this point. We've missed on three important frontcourt players three years in a row now. I think there's reason to be at least a little bit concerned.

Of course, if you like UNC enough to wish them well then I can see why you wouldn't be alarmed.

The national title is a crapshoot. Everyone knows that. We've got 1 national title in the past 15 years. We probably should have at least 2 more because (thanks to that recruiting you bemoan) we've had the most talent a lot of the time (perhaps 1998, certainly 1999 and 2002, perhaps in 2004, probably in 2005). Yet, we have not won. Oh well, Gary, I guess those seasons were failures.

Yes, UNC has had great recruiting under Roy. They had great recruiting under Doh and Dean too. Can someone show me how Carolina's recruiting is appreciably different from what it has been consistently for the past 30 years? Why are all of you suddenly so worked up about it? I don't get it. Carolina and Duke are both the 500-pound gorillas of the recruiting world. It has been that way for a loooong time and there are no signs at all that it will stop being like that.

Heck, I actually think Roy's 2008 class is sub-par by Carolina and Duke standards. I doubt the 2008 class has nearly the impact that Duke's 2006 or 2007 classes have. I would not be pleased with us wasting valuable scholarships on fringe top-50ish players from a very weak class if we needed stud players at many positions as Carolina does.

As for the 2009 kids, the Wear twins and John Henson are only top-30ish kinda recruits. It is not like they are top-10 super studs. They may not even all be Mickie Dees. Strickland is a player, for sure. Then again, Carolina desperately needs him as they have a very weak roster right now when you look at what they would have in 2009.

This argument is silly and I have grown very tired of it. I may keep reading, as a mod I sorta have to ;) , but I feel very good about how Duke has recruited lately and I am confident we will remain a top team with legitimate national title aspirations for the foreseeable future.

The rest of you can now continue to wring your hands and fret over why we aren't as good as UConn, Kentucky, and Florida.

--Jason "Evans OUT!" Evans

Troublemaker
01-14-2008, 04:28 PM
I don't think Duke is that unorthodox in that respect. Take a look at Final Four teams over the last ten years and you'll see that many have NBA 3s playing the 4. I realize that Florida was an exception, but I don't think it was the rule.

Well, I did say "a bit unorthodox." I know there are other teams in individual seasons that might play the same way, but I think Duke more consistently unveils that look on a year-to-year basis than just about any program. I also think that while college bball has gotten smaller ever since early-entry became en vogue in the mid-90's, there are still more teams playing with two big guys than not. "Power forward" is still more likely to mean a post player than a perimeter-oriented player.

yancem
01-14-2008, 04:37 PM
You really, really don't understand why some of us are anxious about these latest developments Jason? It's real simple. How many national championships has Duke won in the last 15 years when we've out-recruited everyone in the world? How many has UConn won? UNC? Kentucky? Florida?

Look, I do think we've had an incredible run in recruiting. But the fact is we've only got one national championship to show for it and UNC has been gaining ground on us every year that Roy has been there. And there's just no doubt in my mind that he is out-recruiting Coach K at this point. We've missed on three important frontcourt players three years in a row now. I think there's reason to be at least a little bit concerned.

Of course, if you like UNC enough to wish them well then I can see why you wouldn't be alarmed.

Would you like to trade teams with UConn, Florida or Kentucky? Yes, in the last 15 years those teams have won 2 NC's to Dukes 1 (UNC has only won 1) but all three of them have missed the tournament and had some bad seasons during that stretch. Look at what those three are doing this year. None of them are ranked and Kentucky has little chance of making the tourney and UConn and Florida assuming they make the tourney will be lower seeds than Duke. Also, during your 15 year time table I don't believe that any of 4 teams except maybe UNC have more F4's than Duke.

Classof06
01-14-2008, 04:39 PM
I think people like Jason make great points and I think people on both sides have made great points.

But, as a Duke fan, regardless of rankings and whatnot, it's hard to ignore the kinds of classes UNC is putting together and has been putting together since Roy got there. I don't think Duke's recruiting is in the dumps as some suggest, but it ain't seeing Carolina right now and you can't deny that. I think Duke is one legit post player (PP, no pun intended) from being every bit as good as Carolina. But we don't have that post player. And he ain't comin next year, either.

Put it like this, it's hard to appreciate how peaceful your apartment is when your neighbor's having a full-out bash next door. You might not want to join the party because you're comfortable in your own apartment, but you can't help but notice how loud it is over there; they're really making a lot of noise...

MChambers
01-14-2008, 07:17 PM
I think people like Jason make great points and I think people on both sides have made great points.

But, as a Duke fan, regardless of rankings and whatnot, it's hard to ignore the kinds of classes UNC is putting together and has been putting together since Roy got there. I don't think Duke's recruiting is in the dumps as some suggest, but it ain't seeing Carolina right now and you can't deny that. I think Duke is one legit post player (PP, no pun intended) from being every bit as good as Carolina. But we don't have that post player. And he ain't comin next year, either.

Put it like this, it's hard to appreciate how peaceful your apartment is when your neighbor's having a full-out bash next door. You might not want to join the party because you're comfortable in your own apartment, but you can't help but notice how loud it is over there; they're really making a lot of noise...

If Patterson had come to Duke, or if McRoberts were still wearing Duke blue, we wouldn't be so worried about our recruiting or our inside play. I don't think any of us are happy seeing this run UNC is on in recruiting, but it's important that we keep all of this in perspective.

_Gary
01-14-2008, 08:23 PM
So 2 years, 2 misses.

Actually, when you include Wright (which we have to do if we are going to be honest) it becomes 3 misses in 4 years. That gets us even closer to a trend, and it's the main reason I'm concerned about the recent recruiting news.

_Gary
01-14-2008, 08:30 PM
The national title is a crapshoot. Everyone knows that. We've got 1 national title in the past 15 years. We probably should have at least 2 more because (thanks to that recruiting you bemoan)...

Whoa! Back up the bus. Kindly point out where I "bemoaned" our recruiting. I did no such thing. What I said is that I believe it's really silly to think that Roy hasn't gained on, caught, and probably now passed Coach K in recruiting top talent. I think we are still very good, but I don't see how the latest news can do anything other than give us cause for concern.

And yea, as bad as this is going to sound I'll go ahead and say: The bottom line is national championships in my book. Everything else is second fiddle in this grand orchestra we call March Madness. Heck, you say we should have at least 2 more in these last 15 years. I think that's underestimating what we should have. How about at least 4 or 5. Shoot, I've gone on record as saying there's no doubt in my mind we had the best team in the nation in '98, '99, '01, '02, and '04. But we only came up with one title. That's a killer in my book, and when I see UNC winning a title since we have and then on top of that getting all these recruits that they are adding to an already powerful program, you're darned right I'm going to be concerned. As I'd think any Duke fan would be. Not panic mind you. But certainly concern.

Gary

DevilCastDownfromDurham
01-14-2008, 09:33 PM
Quote:
"Not panic mind you. But certainly concern."

I'm not sure I agree 100% about NCAA titles being the be-all, end-all, but the statement quoted above is, to me, what seems to be missing from the debate. A lot of people on the self-proclaimed "reality" side of the debate (not the most "good faith" way to frame a discussion, imo) seem to be suggesting that anyone who evinces ANY concern about recruiting or results is just some crazy Chicken Little, running around shrieking as if we'll never sign any recruits again and are doomed to 0-fer seasons. I'm going to assume everyone is debating in good faith and say that this is the point where those of us on the "pessimistic" side have been unclear.

The following statements seem to me fairly uncontroversial:

1) Since Shel came in 2003 Duke hasn't signed a highly-rated banger that has demonstrated the ability to anchor the post, block shots, generate easy baskets, etc.

2) Duke has missed on several major post recruits in a period where we went hard and really wanted them. (Kaun, Brockman, PPat, Monroe, etc.)

3) The players Duke has brought in to play that role have quickly transferred (MT, Hump, Boat) or performed significantly below expectations (Shav, Josh, etc)

3) In that time frame Carolina has brought in a fairly unbroken succession of post players that do all of the things described above (May, MWill, Hans, BWright) as well as big, strong backups/complementary players to take fouls, cover for injury, etc.

4) UNC has recently signed a surprising number of highly-rated post players and seems to be set for the forseeable future.

5) Duke has not, and is not.

If any of these statements are inaccurate or seem like unreasonable hyperbole, let's discuss that in a respectful way. If we agree on these things, it seems reasonable to express some concern and frustration.

In my eyes, post play has been a major chink in Duke's armor for the past 3-4 seasons and the class of '09 is very much make-or-break. If we sign a good crop and can develop and utilize them successfully, hurrah! No one on this board wants to see Duke be anything but totally successful. If we don't, however, I hope everyone would recognize that our chances of sustaining the success that Duke has built since late 1990s (around the time, coincidentally, Brand showed up and started a run of really good power/post/banger-type players) are greatly diminished. Deng was able to play in the post because he had Shel beside him sending shots back and fighting other teams' power players. Kyle can be Deng (or at least play that role), but he can't be Shel.

For all of these reasons I'm concerned. Not panicked. Not opposed to "reality." Just concerned.

The1Bluedevil
01-14-2008, 09:47 PM
Whoa! Back up the bus. Kindly point out where I "bemoaned" our recruiting. I did no such thing. What I said is that I believe it's really silly to think that Roy hasn't gained on, caught, and probably now passed Coach K in recruiting top talent. I think we are still very good, but I don't see how the latest news can do anything other than give us cause for concern.

And yea, as bad as this is going to sound I'll go ahead and say: The bottom line is national championships in my book. Everything else is second fiddle in this grand orchestra we call March Madness. Heck, you say we should have at least 2 more in these last 15 years. I think that's underestimating what we should have. How about at least 4 or 5. Shoot, I've gone on record as saying there's no doubt in my mind we had the best team in the nation in '98, '99, '01, '02, and '04. But we only came up with one title. That's a killer in my book, and when I see UNC winning a title since we have and then on top of that getting all these recruits that they are adding to an already powerful program, you're darned right I'm going to be concerned. As I'd think any Duke fan would be. Not panic mind you. But certainly concern.

Gary

In 1998 Duke was not the best team. Carolina was a 1 seed and pounded Duke twice and if not for a great comeback in Durham it would have been a painful sweep. Arizona was the defending champ and returned all 5 starters. (Yes I know Duke pounded them in Maui)

In 2001 Duke was right at the top but to say they were better then KU (16-0 in the big 12) and Maryland (won the acc) is difficult.

In 2004 Duke may have been ranked #1 but nobody had them beating Uconn come tournament time. Though they blew that game Uconn was the consensus pick going in.

_Gary
01-14-2008, 09:58 PM
Quote:

The following statements seem to me fairly uncontroversial:

1) Since Shel came in 2003 Duke hasn't signed a highly-rated banger that has demonstrated the ability to anchor the post, block shots, generate easy baskets, etc.

2) Duke has missed on several major post recruits in a period where we went hard and really wanted them. (Kaun, Brockman, PPat, Monroe, etc.)

3) The players Duke has brought in to play that role have quickly transferred (MT, Hump, Boat) or performed significantly below expectations (Shav, Josh, etc)

3) In that time frame Carolina has brought in a fairly unbroken succession of post players that do all of the things described above (May, MWill, Hans, BWright) as well as big, strong backups/complementary players to take fouls, cover for injury, etc.

4) UNC has recently signed a surprising number of highly-rated post players and seems to be set for the forseeable future.

5) Duke has not, and is not.

If any of these statements are inaccurate or seem like unreasonable hyperbole, let's discuss that in a respectful way. If we agree on these things, it seems reasonable to express some concern and frustration.

In my eyes, post play has been a major chink in Duke's armor for the past 3-4 seasons and the class of '09 is very much make-or-break. If we sign a good crop and can develop and utilize them successfully, hurrah! No one on this board wants to see Duke be anything but totally successful. If we don't, however, I hope everyone would recognize that our chances of sustaining the success that Duke has built since late 1990s (around the time, coincidentally, Brand showed up and started a run of really good power/post/banger-type players) are greatly diminished. Deng was able to play in the post because he had Shel beside him sending shots back and fighting other teams' power players. Kyle can be Deng (or at least play that role), but he can't be Shel.

For all of these reasons I'm concerned. Not panicked. Not opposed to "reality." Just concerned.

Very well said. I'm with you all the way on those assessments, and therefore I am concerned.

Gary

_Gary
01-14-2008, 10:04 PM
In 1998 Duke was not the best team. Carolina was a 1 seed and pounded Duke twice and if not for a great comeback in Durham it would have been a painful sweep. Arizona was the defending champ and returned all 5 starters.

My point is that in '98, at the end of the year, I believe we were playing the best ball in the nation. Fact is we should have beaten UK and advanced to the Championship game. That's a very reasonable point to concede, IMHO. And for the record, I'm not the only one that thought we had the best team at the end of the year. Tark the Shark went on record as saying the same thing. Not that his comments are worth a lot, but I just wanted to point out that some commentators agreed with me about that year.


In 2001 Duke was right at the top but to say they were better then KU (16-0 in the big 12) and Maryland (won the acc) is difficult.

Sorry, but I don't agree. We were the best that year, and it's not difficult to prove it at all.


In 2004 Duke may have been ranked #1 but nobody had them beating Uconn come tournament time. Though they blew that game Uconn was the consensus pick going in.

We all know how that one came out, and that it took a combination of bad officiating and cold shooting on our part to surrender a late lead. We were the best team that year. Of that I have no doubt.

And you didn't even broach 2002. Were we not the best then and in '99? We were. No doubt about it in my mind.

Gary

Ignatius07
01-14-2008, 10:17 PM
I agree with The1BlueDevil - we had a very solid team in 04, but UConn was definitely the favorite come tournament time. Isn't that the reasoning you are using for saying the 98 edition was so good? And yes, obviously 99 and (to a lesser extent) 02 probably should have won.

Major kudos to DevilCastDown for his recent post. That enumerates quite well some concerns. I haven't fully taken either "side" in this debate, but I'd like to see some of the optimists (Jumbo, JimSumner) respond specifically to DevilCastDown's concerns.

The1Bluedevil
01-14-2008, 10:45 PM
My point is that in '98, at the end of the year, I believe we were playing the best ball in the nation. Fact is we should have beaten UK and advanced to the Championship game. That's a very reasonable point to concede, IMHO. And for the record, I'm not the only one that thought we had the best team at the end of the year. Tark the Shark went on record as saying the same thing. Not that his comments are worth a lot, but I just wanted to point out that some commentators agreed with me about that year.



Sorry, but I don't agree. We were the best that year, and it's not difficult to prove it at all.



We all know how that one came out, and that it took a combination of bad officiating and cold shooting on our part to surrender a late lead. We were the best team that year. Of that I have no doubt.

And you didn't even broach 2002. Were we not the best then and in '99? We were. No doubt about it in my mind.

Gary

I apologize my 2001 comments were meant for the 2002 team. In the 1998 ACC Title UNC pounded Duke and was even hotter. The 1999 team may be K's best team ever. Looking back at the 01 team they were the best, but going into the dance w/out Carlos I'm not so sure we all felt at that moment they were the clear cut best. I will disagree with the 04 team being the best as stated before.

dukie8
01-14-2008, 10:54 PM
Quote:
"Not panic mind you. But certainly concern."

I'm not sure I agree 100% about NCAA titles being the be-all, end-all, but the statement quoted above is, to me, what seems to be missing from the debate. A lot of people on the self-proclaimed "reality" side of the debate (not the most "good faith" way to frame a discussion, imo) seem to be suggesting that anyone who evinces ANY concern about recruiting or results is just some crazy Chicken Little, running around shrieking as if we'll never sign any recruits again and are doomed to 0-fer seasons. I'm going to assume everyone is debating in good faith and say that this is the point where those of us on the "pessimistic" side have been unclear.

The following statements seem to me fairly uncontroversial:

1) Since Shel came in 2003 Duke hasn't signed a highly-rated banger that has demonstrated the ability to anchor the post, block shots, generate easy baskets, etc.

2) Duke has missed on several major post recruits in a period where we went hard and really wanted them. (Kaun, Brockman, PPat, Monroe, etc.)

3) The players Duke has brought in to play that role have quickly transferred (MT, Hump, Boat) or performed significantly below expectations (Shav, Josh, etc)

3) In that time frame Carolina has brought in a fairly unbroken succession of post players that do all of the things described above (May, MWill, Hans, BWright) as well as big, strong backups/complementary players to take fouls, cover for injury, etc.

4) UNC has recently signed a surprising number of highly-rated post players and seems to be set for the forseeable future.

5) Duke has not, and is not.

If any of these statements are inaccurate or seem like unreasonable hyperbole, let's discuss that in a respectful way. If we agree on these things, it seems reasonable to express some concern and frustration.

In my eyes, post play has been a major chink in Duke's armor for the past 3-4 seasons and the class of '09 is very much make-or-break. If we sign a good crop and can develop and utilize them successfully, hurrah! No one on this board wants to see Duke be anything but totally successful. If we don't, however, I hope everyone would recognize that our chances of sustaining the success that Duke has built since late 1990s (around the time, coincidentally, Brand showed up and started a run of really good power/post/banger-type players) are greatly diminished. Deng was able to play in the post because he had Shel beside him sending shots back and fighting other teams' power players. Kyle can be Deng (or at least play that role), but he can't be Shel.

For all of these reasons I'm concerned. Not panicked. Not opposed to "reality." Just concerned.

i completely agree with your well thought out and reasoned post. if people have issues with it, then they are just being unreasonable or delusional (or both).

dukie8
01-14-2008, 11:01 PM
In 1998 Duke was not the best team. Carolina was a 1 seed and pounded Duke twice and if not for a great comeback in Durham it would have been a painful sweep. Arizona was the defending champ and returned all 5 starters. (Yes I know Duke pounded them in Maui)

In 2001 Duke was right at the top but to say they were better then KU (16-0 in the big 12) and Maryland (won the acc) is difficult.

In 2004 Duke may have been ranked #1 but nobody had them beating Uconn come tournament time. Though they blew that game Uconn was the consensus pick going in.

in 2001, duke was the best team. you are aware that they won all 6 games in the ncaat by double digits (that may have been the only time it was done). if there was another team better, then where were they in the tournament while the duke team was smoking any and all comers. moreover, jwill, boozer, battier, duhon and dunleavy. 4 nba studs and a 5th incomplete??? that's one of the best teams ever.

in 2004, uconn was better. they had the best player in the country, okafor, plus gordon who definitely was in the top 5. that's 2 guys better than anyone on duke. boone and villanueva were on the team as well. uconn was a 2 seed because it had slept-walked during part of the season but vegas had them as the favorite. i can't remember the last time a 2 was the favorite. don't get me wrong, duhon, deng, jj and shel was no slouch of a team but deng, jj and shel all were young and not anywhere near as good as they later became (well deng in the nba). duke was the 2nd best team and should have played uconn in the final if life were fair.

Jumbo
01-14-2008, 11:12 PM
i completely agree with your well thought out and reasoned post. if people have issues with it, then they are just being unreasonable or delusional (or both).

Or maybe they, you know, just have a different opinion.

yancem
01-14-2008, 11:16 PM
Quote:3) In that time frame Carolina has brought in a fairly unbroken succession of post players that do all of the things described above (May, MWill, Hans, BWright) as well as big, strong backups/complementary players to take fouls, cover for injury, etc.

In my eyes, post play has been a major chink in Duke's armor for the past 3-4 seasons ...


Excellent post and I think that you have laid out the most reasoned arguments for concern. I do have two little knit picks however. In your third statement you list May and MWill as part of UNC's recent post sucess. May came in the same time as Shelden (which is also the same year we brought in Shav and Thompson) so we were at least on even footing with UNC at that point. MWilliams was/is pretty much the same size as Deng so if he counts as a post player than so should Deng. This leaves UNC with Hans and Wright as the starting point of better post players than Duke and in Duke's defense McRoberts was a) more highly touted coming out of high school and b) a very solid low post defender even if he wasn't a scoring machine. If he was anchoring the middle along side of Singler, Duke would be in great shape. Really, that only leaves Wright as the difference maker in post recruiting, at least until current high school players matriculate. Oh, and he only played for 1 season.

My second knit pick is you say that "post play has been a major chink in Duke's armor for the past 3-4". Well, isn't really just last year and this year? We had Shelden and McRoberts is '06 and Shelden and Shav in '05.

I think that my point is while there may be reason for some concern, our post problems haven't been as bad or for as long as some are making them out to be. Also, while UNC has seemingly signed every post player in the high school ranks over the past week, we don't yet know who Duke will sign from the '09 and '10 classes. We may wiff big time or we may sign all of our targets. If the former happens Duke is in big trouble, if the latter happens everything should be right as rain.

yancem
01-14-2008, 11:18 PM
Actually, when you include Wright (which we have to do if we are going to be honest) it becomes 3 misses in 4 years. That gets us even closer to a trend, and it's the main reason I'm concerned about the recent recruiting news.

You are correct, I totally forgot about Wright. He was certainly a big miss.

The1Bluedevil
01-15-2008, 12:34 AM
in 2001, duke was the best team. you are aware that they won all 6 games in the ncaat by double digits (that may have been the only time it was done). if there was another team better, then where were they in the tournament while the duke team was smoking any and all comers. moreover, jwill, boozer, battier, duhon and dunleavy. 4 nba studs and a 5th incomplete??? that's one of the best teams ever.

Yes I am aware they did win all 6 games by double digits. In one of my posts I apologized for using the wrong year. The information about Maryland and Ku was meant to be used for the 2002 Duke team. I agree with you the 2001 team was the best, is all I said was going into the dance w/out Carlos didn't make Duke the overwhelming favorite.

Life is fair, the officials in the 2001 title game didn't give J-Will his 3rd foul when he was sitting on Jason Gardner's back early in the 2nd half.

JBDuke
01-15-2008, 12:39 AM
...The following statements seem to me fairly uncontroversial:

1) Since Shel came in 2003 Duke hasn't signed a highly-rated banger that has demonstrated the ability to anchor the post, block shots, generate easy baskets, etc.

Based on something you say in a later point, I think this is debatable. Coach K tends to divide players into PGs, wings, and bigs. Bigs tend to be of two varieties: strong and capable of dominating in the paint (Brand, Boozer, Williams) or inside-out guys that are capable rebounders and post defenders (Alarie, Ferry, Laettner, Battier, Lang) Laettner may belong in the former category, but he became so adept at 3-point shooting I put him in the latter.

Now, given this, let’s look at the five recruiting classes since Shelden in terms of “bigs”. Luol Deng was Class of 2007. (So was Kris Humphries, but we let him go when his head grew too big to fit through the Cameron doors.) Dave McClure was Class of 2008. Josh McRoberts, Eric Boateng, and Jamal Boykin were Class of 2009. Brian Zoubek and Lance Thomas are Class of 2010. Kyle Singler and Taylor King are Class of 2011. Of this lot, Humphries, Boateng, and Zoubek are definitely the big post types. Deng, McClure, Boykin, Thomas, Singler, and King are the inside/out types. Personally, I think McRoberts was a post-type, because I thought he did a damned good job in there on defense, and his outside shot never really came around. Josh had many shortcomings on post offense, though, and preferred to play facing the basket. Hard to quantify him, IMO.

So, in each year, Duke has brought in someone that could help in the post, whether they were lane-dwellers or inside-out guys. But Humphries never showed up. Deng left after one year. McClure got hurt and (despite how much I love him) doesn’t look to have the body or skills to dominate the post like you want. McRoberts left after two, Boateng after one, and Boykin after one. Zoubek’s development shows promise, but has been slowed by injury. Thomas looks to have really superior quickness for someone of his size and length – he was even effective on Singletary some on Sunday – but doesn’t yet have the body or skills to camp in the post. And the freshman certainly don’t have the bodies yet, and their skills on offense, in particular, will keep them out on the perimeter a lot.

Given your point above, if we limit ourselves to the lane-dweller types, I think you can make a case that Josh fits your description. He was certainly highly rated, and he could anchor the post, rebound, and block shots. IMO, his biggest problem was the conversion of “easy” shots. Perhaps his failure to develop in this last sense keeps him from meeting your criteria. I keep thinking about how much better this team would be if Josh had stuck around a year, and how well he’d fit into the new up-tempo scheme. What a shame he decided to leave when he did.

I also continue to hold out hope for Zoubek. Brian has shown flashes of the qualities you list above, and if he can just stay healthy long enough to really learn, he may become the player you desire. I certainly concede that he hasn’t done so yet. I’ll also concede that Lance isn’t likely to do so, either.

So, other than the possible exception of Josh, I’ll agree with you that, since Shelden Williams was signed, “Duke hasn't signed a highly-rated banger that has demonstrated the ability to anchor the post, block shots, generate easy baskets, etc.”


2) Duke has missed on several major post recruits in a period where we went hard and really wanted them. (Kaun, Brockman, PPat, Monroe, etc.)

3) The players Duke has brought in to play that role have quickly transferred (MT, Hump, Boat) or performed significantly below expectations (Shav, Josh, etc)


I’m not a recruiting expert, but I think the ground has been covered pretty well here. As I listed above, Duke has brought in someone every year that can help in the post. Yes, we wiffed on Kaun and Monroe. We got involved very late with Patterson, but had a good chance and missed it. Still, we’ve brought in very good to exceptional post talent - it’s just that we’ve had a hard time holding on to some of it, and some of it didn’t develop or hasn’t had the time to do so yet.

And I think it’s a little harsh to say that Josh performed “significantly below expectations”. I guess it depends on what you expected. As someone else posted earlier, his sophomore numbers compare fairly well with Danny Ferry’s. If he’d stuck around, I think he’d be flourishing in this offense.


4) In that time frame Carolina has brought in a fairly unbroken succession of post players that do all of the things described above (May, MWill, Hans, BWright) as well as big, strong backups/complementary players to take fouls, cover for injury, etc.

May isn’t in this time frame – he was in the same class as Shelden, not after. And I would argue that Williams and Wright were more inside-out guys like Luol than they were the true lane-dwellers like Shelden or Frog Face. Stephenson and Thompson are in the Zoubek and Thomas mold – they show some promise, but haven’t developed into the type of player you mention above.

So, all we’re really down to is Frog Face himself. And, yes, he’s a load.

If you choose to include Marvin Williams and Brandon Wright, then I think the “optimists” should get to counter with Luol and Kyle.


5) UNC has recently signed a surprising number of highly-rated post players and seems to be set for the forseeable future.

6) Duke has not, and is not.

Yes, Carolina has had an amazing bit of recruiting news, especially in the last couple of weeks. But, given that Williams and Wright are gone, they’ve got one post All-American and two projects on the current roster. You gotta figure Hansbrough’s gone after this year. (please, please, please) It’s pretty easy to recruit big guys when you have that sort of need.

Meanwhile, Duke has one “project” low post type in Zoubek and one developing inside-outer in Lance, and two other freshmen inside-outers that are already contributing significantly. That’s twice the competition for minutes that Carolina has. Given this, IIRC, we went after only one post-type recruit in the HS Class of 2008 – Monroe – and lost him. The rest of the class is relatively weak, and the staff seems to think we’re better off waiting for the HS Class of 2009. It’s still very, very early to write Duke off for that class of recruits. Just because Carolina has a couple of early commits doesn’t mean that Duke won’t have a very solid class of their own for that year.


If any of these statements are inaccurate or seem like unreasonable hyperbole, let's discuss that in a respectful way. If we agree on these things, it seems reasonable to express some concern and frustration.

I’d say some are accurate, some are inaccurate, and some just depend on whether you choose to look at things with a positive or negative perspective. Generally, Coach K has given me every reason to have confidence that he’ll make a very good team out of what he has on the roster for now and the foreseeable future.


In my eyes, post play has been a major chink in Duke's armor for the past 3-4 seasons and the class of '09 is very much make-or-break. If we sign a good crop and can develop and utilize them successfully, hurrah! No one on this board wants to see Duke be anything but totally successful. If we don't, however, I hope everyone would recognize that our chances of sustaining the success that Duke has built since late 1990s (around the time, coincidentally, Brand showed up and started a run of really good power/post/banger-type players) are greatly diminished. Deng was able to play in the post because he had Shel beside him sending shots back and fighting other teams' power players. Kyle can be Deng (or at least play that role), but he can't be Shel.

For all of these reasons I'm concerned. Not panicked. Not opposed to "reality." Just concerned.

The past 3-4 years is kind of harsh. Four years ago was 2004, when we had Shelden, Luol, Shav, and Nick on the team. Three years ago was 2005, when we had Shelden, Shav, Dave, and Reggie on the team. Two years ago was 2006, when we had Shelden and Josh. I don’t think any team with Shelden Williams on it has a chink in its post play armor.

As I look forward, I can see a range of possibilities. Worst case scenario, from a post play perspective (I love alliteration.) is that Kyle reneges and goes pro this year, Brian doesn’t stay healthy and fails to develop enough to become a starter that can go for 25-30 minutes, and none of the trio of Lance, Taylor, and Dave take significant steps forward in post presence. We’d be a true doughnut team next year. Best case scenario – Kyle keeps his promise and stays. Brian gets healthy, goes to Pete Newell’s big man camp this summer and comes back ready to play 25 mins and give us 10 pts, 8 rbs, and 3 blocks a game. Taylor becomes more effective in his post D and rebounding. And Lance becomes Shane Battier Light on defense. If that happens by the end of next year, we’ll be overpowering.

Now, given that I have absolutely no influence on whether we go down the former or the latter path, I choose NOT to make myself miserable dwelling on the worst that could happen. Instead, I choose to enjoy the team we have right now, who is undefeated in ACC play, :D , and who has shown the ability to play a beautiful and fun brand of basketball. And I choose to have confidence in a staff that has shown for many years that they are capable of keeping my Blue Devils among the nation’s elite.

DevilCastDownfromDurham
01-15-2008, 10:20 AM
Thanks to all for the kind words and thoughtful discussion.

JB, I particularly appreciated your point-by-point discussions and I'll try to answer with some brevity (clearly not my strong suit) :)

1) I agree 100% with your assessment about how K divides up recruits. The distinction between "big" post players and "inside/out" guys really goes to the heart of the discussion. The concern I have, and I think is shared by a lot of people, is with the former. I also agree that Josh was expected to be the next guy in that succession. But he wasn't. Whether this is called "evaluation" (i.e. a guy everyone called a "point guard on stilts" can't be that guy), “recruiting” (clearly we signed the #1 player in his class, but that was an historically weak class and he had a history of back injury) or "development" (let me be clear that I'm completely opposed to the “Wojo can't coach big guys" argument. Wojo is an amazing coach and his track record speaks for itself) is semantics. I chose the phrase “demonstrated the ability” specifically to indicate this. I’d also like to see Z become that guy, but I haven’t seen anything so far that suggests he’ll be anything more than a solid role player. Again, I’d love to be wrong, have nothing but love for Brian as a student, person, etc, but players like Elton, Carlos, and Shel had already shown at least flashes by the middle of their sophomore season.

2) Same as the first: “highly-rated” isn’t the same as “able to contribute.” MT, Boat, etc transferred for a variety of reasons, most of which I’m sure people closer to the program than me know about. Part of the reason, however, seems to be that they weren’t playing much and didn’t think that they would be playing any time soon. Whether this is because they weren’t as good as their rankings suggested, the coaching staff wouldn’t give them a chance, big guys (not named Elton, Carlos, and Shelden) need 2-3 years to develop, I can’t say. For Josh, expectations were sky high based on his ranking and McDonald’s game. But they were also high because we NEEDED him to be really good really fast. This is a result of recruiting (and we got more time out of Shel than we had any right to expect) and goes to the concern a lot of people have.

3) I listed May as part of a trend that UNC has followed since the class of 2003-6 (May/Shel). I also stand by the idea that post play has been a problem even while Shel was here for a couple of reasons. First, Shel was never given the complimentary players or backup he needed. We all remember Shel being on an island in the post and having to pull back to avoid fouls. Shel's D would also often stop a first shot but leave him unable to stop a second/putback because he was alone. May, for example, put up some dazzling numbers in exactly this way. The other reason I think Duke's run extends back through much of Shel's tenure is that our recruiting was already suffering. Shel covered up a LOT of holes, but we were failing to sign guys like Kaun early in Shels' time, so even as the facade was still solid, the holes were developing below the surface. The ideal situation, to my mind, is to have at least one year of overlap, or at least a sure thing lined up for the year after departure. If Shel had done what many expected and bolted after his JR season, Duke would have been left high-and-dry. Even though he stuck around, we still haven't filled his absence.

I included MWill and Wright for two reasons: 1) to head off an argument I anticipated regarding the different style of post players Duke and UNC use. I.e. "UNC likes big, plodding players, while Duke uses more mobile, versatile big men." This was arguably true in the late 1980s when Ferry, Laettner, etc. matched up against the Monstross’ of the world. Today, however, UNC is getting big bangers AND versatile finesse guys. Secondly, both of those guys were top 5 recruits that performed well and really would have helped us. They probably wouldn't have been a substitute for a strong post guy (BWright, for example was a great weakside shotblocker, but not, IMO, a guy that could secure the lane like Shel) but they both provided the thing Duke really needed last season: a post who could generate easy baskets. Josh doesn't fall into this category as he demonstrated that he could not deliver easy baskets to our detriment last season.

Overall, I agree that a lot depends on your expectations for the near future. Things could fall very well. Players could stay injury-free and develop to the maximum of their potential. We could sign a monster ’09 class and UNC’s guys could underperform. Our recent results have not suggested this to me. We’ve struggled with a jaw-dropping number of injuries, missed on a lot of guys, lost too many because they weren’t happy here, and really been behind the eight ball as UNC has built a very strong front line that has given us fits. I have no problem with anyone choosing to be optimistic and assume the best, and I hope I haven’t suggested that those people are pollyannas with no grounding in reality. All I’m arguing is that there are genuine concerns and those who express them should not be dismissed out of hand.

Carlos
01-15-2008, 12:40 PM
Well, as long as all the other verbose windbags are posting here I'll jump in as well.

1) I think it fails to address the point when you start talking about guys like Singler, King, Deng, McClure, and any of the smaller (as opposed to small) forwards JB mentioned when we're discussing Duke's needs in the post. Look at it from an ideal world perspective - in an ideal world, would Kyle Singler be playing the 4 or the 5 at Duke? Pretty clear answer in my opinion. Same thing for Lance Thomas - does he end up playing at the 5 at Duke because it's where he's best suited or is he there because it's where the team needs him? Again, pretty clear answer.

I realize that JB stated that he agrees with DevilCastDownfromDurham (DCDD), but it bears repeating that none of those guys are relevant to the conversation about recruiting a guy to "anchor the post, block shots, and generate easy baskets," or, to put it another way, a guy to be the next Elton-Carlos-Shelden (ECS). That's not to say we need someone who is going to post their numbers - it's a lot to ask considering one guy was a NPOY, one guy had his jersey retired, and one guy was the low post rock on a National Championship team. But the profile of the player who is missing from this and next year's team - the guy that would make Duke significantly better - is the 6-9, 250 lb. guy who will defend, rebound, and score easy baskets set up by others.

Josh's role in that lineage is clearly very confusing which isn't surprising from a guy with a guy who had such a diverse skill set and such a terrible flaw in his game. I think a case could be made that he was never intended to be the next ECS player even though his rebounding and defense were clearly solid enough for that position. To support that, look at the other players Duke recruited in that class. Eric Boateng, Tyler Hansbrough, and Jon Brockman were all pursued by Duke and, other than the Travelin' Man, they were offered scholarships. If you put Josh in with those other three players you would have him playing the 4 spot in any pairing.

But then if you look at who Duke pursued the next year, other than Zoubek, the focus was on guys who would be a 4 at Duke - Brandan Wright and Lance Thomas. If you have a Brandan Wright and Josh on the same team you would likely have Josh playing the 5 and Wright at the 4, despite the fact that neither guy would be an ECS style player.

Regardless, at this point it's fair to say that we haven't been able to sign an ECS player since we signed the last guy in that group (Shelden).

2) Again, "help in the post" and be the next ECS are not the same thing so saying we've brought in someone every year that can help in the post doesn't really address the issue that DCDD and others are making.

I don't believe that any of us are trying to say that Duke is doomed, can't win with the team we have, or is slipping from the nation's elite. But the point is that many of us see what we believe to be a problem with recruiting - whether by circumstance or by approach.

3) I wouldn't include guys like Marvin Williams or Brandan Wright in the discussion because, if we're talking about comparing Duke's recruiting to Carolina's, neither guy is the type of player that addresses the ECS need for Duke. But I also have to question JB's opinion that Stephenson and Thompson are in the Zoubek and Thomas mold. I'll agree that none of them are ever going to be as good as Elton, Carlos, or Shelden but Thompson and Stephenson are both better suited to play that low post role than Thomas and both guys are more productive than Zoubek.

4) JB stated, "it's pretty easy to recruit big guys when you have that kind of need" when talking about UNC's recent haul. No team in the country would benefit as much from having a true post player added to the roster as much as Duke would. Combine the great players that Duke has on the roster with a solid but not spectacular post player, and Duke vaults from being the best of the second-tier of NC contenders to being the best of all contenders.

Oriole Way
01-15-2008, 12:52 PM
I apologize my 2001 comments were meant for the 2002 team. In the 1998 ACC Title UNC pounded Duke and was even hotter. The 1999 team may be K's best team ever. Looking back at the 01 team they were the best, but going into the dance w/out Carlos I'm not so sure we all felt at that moment they were the clear cut best. I will disagree with the 04 team being the best as stated before.

I completely disagree about 2002 not being the best team. For my money they were the best team, they just had a bad game against an Indiana team that made everyone they faced play an ugly style of game.

The 2002 Duke team had 6 NBA players (5 current). The only team that was even in the same league was Maryland, and I would have been confident facing them in the National Championship game. 2002 and 1999 are the two best Duke teams to not win it all since the late 80's.

DBFAN
01-15-2008, 12:57 PM
Remember the type of players we are going for, not the caliber of the athlete, but rather the dedication of the person. I think it would be safe to say that Roy Williams is in no way concerned about how long his players stay. It seems as though he is OK with just getting new teams every year. Coach K is not like that, he is not OK with players who come in with the attitude that it is only going to be 1 year for them and then they are out. The NBA rule has hurt a lot of teams with coaches that have integrity. Sooner or later though it will all work out. Eventually you will see Old Roy getting the top recruiting classed but will not have any leadership on his teams. Also keep in mind that the Olympics are this summer, if we win the gold, coach K will be the coach who "Lead America back to greatness", I bet that will help a little with recruiting. I know it is frustrating watching the other blue team do so well, but remember what Duke stands for, and don't forget what Carowhina stands for. Do not sweat it, we will still be good for a long time, don't underestimate the power of "K".

DevilCastDownfromDurham
01-15-2008, 01:25 PM
Great post by Carlos (as always) and the point about BWright and MWill is well-taken. I don't think the two sides in this debate are very far away. More a matter of "expect the best" vs. "prepare for the worst." We'll know more once the '09 class sorts itself out and once the guys that show up are/are not successful for us.

I do want to take issue with DBFAN's suggestion that Roy "is in no way concerned about how long his players stay." UNC has a tradition of supporting players once they are NBA-ready, but that shouldn't be confused with not caring about the players or about team leadership. From a personal standpoint I have seen nothing to suggest that Roy is any less concerned about the personal/academic/etc welfare of his players than any other coach in the nation. I loath UNC, but I respect the way they do things tremendously.

From a team leadership standpoint, the really scary thing is that, even with massive defections UNC STILL has a core of guys who will almost certainly be around for 3-4 years. Frasor, Granger, Green, Stephenson, Thompson is a pretty good lineup and are all going to be four year guys. Roy's also convinced guys like Drew to sign up as short-term backups and eventual senior leaders. The thing about the UNC blitzkrieg is that it brings instant-impact players (Zeller, Davis, Strickland) and plants the seeds for future seniors (Drew, probably one of the Wear twins). Roy will also be able to hand pick supporting guys with the luxury of his stars already being in the bag. If we can score a big haul in '09 Duke can be great. But UNC is loaded for the foreseeable future as well.

The1Bluedevil
01-15-2008, 01:35 PM
This may be a dumb question and be pointless to the debate, but is their a certain bar K ( duke ) uses in academics for recruiting?

hondoheel
01-15-2008, 01:54 PM
This may be a dumb question and be pointless to the debate, but is their a certain bar K ( duke ) uses in academics for recruiting?

Yes, but I won't be the first to point it out. ;)

The1Bluedevil
01-15-2008, 01:58 PM
Yes that question sounds like I have no clue about Duke basketball. The post came out wrong. Does anyone know what the cut off is? Reason I ask is my buddies are KU fans I'm giving them a hard time for landing a JUCO player. How much different is Carolina's requirements?

Turtleboy
01-15-2008, 02:04 PM
Yes that question sounds like I have no clue about Duke basketball. The post came out wrong. Does anyone know what the cut off is? Reason I ask is my buddies are KU fans I'm giving them a hard time for landing a JUCO player. How much different is Carolina's requirements?IIRC, there was a JUCO player a few years back that K wanted, and the admin told him no way. Some kid from Chicago, that ended up at Illinois?

I could be way wrong here. Memory is a tricky thing.

DBFAN
01-15-2008, 02:05 PM
Of course Frasor is going to stay 4 years, what else is he going to do? But get back to me at the end of the year and lets see if Green, Stephenson, stay. If Lawson and Bangs leave so will they. If you look at the recruiting of Roy for 09 and 10, and you see the guards he is getting you would have to say that one of them has already decided to go after one year. Maybe I am wrong but I doubt it. Why is it that we have some people on here who are so dedicated to defending UNC, can we not vent a little on this board? I am not sold on Roy boy, if we get the most media attention, explain to me why these kids are going down the street to play ball. I'll tell you what: I will save this post for a year or two, and lets see who is right on this one, if I am wrong then I will apologize to the Beloved UNC fans who seem to troll around here. Did you for get about the mess that he pulled at Kansas? I do not think he is as clean as you and the Coca Cola company make him out to be. What ever happened to the good clean Hatred that most Duke fans had for Carolina. I am sorry to be so rude but I see our team take a lot of Garbage from the media, and the UNC fan base here in North Carolina, making Duke out to be the "Evil Empire" but in here people are all the time sticking up for them.

Usually I would not sink to the common UNC fan stuff, but I really have a hard time believing that Coach K has somehow lost his ability to recruit, as if he woke up one day and just forgot. Look at the style of the NBA, and then look at the majority of players that UNC will get. You are on another planet if you think that the 1 year NBA rule and UNC's recruiting domination over Duke have nothing in common.

Jumbo
01-15-2008, 02:09 PM
But get back to me at the end of the year and lets see if Green, Stephenson, stay. If Lawson and Bangs leave so will they.

Green and Stephenson? Those guys wouldn't sniff the NBA at this point. Do you mean Ellington?

bbar7502
01-15-2008, 02:14 PM
maybe ol roy is just getting recruits by having the boosters promise to buy them really nice suits. a new clean suit can make a man feel good, i mean it worked at kansas... ok i will stop

DBFAN
01-15-2008, 02:15 PM
I meant Ellington also, but do not knock on Stephenson, a lot of people seem to think he may go, as for Green he is getting so hyped for being the best 6th man in the country (I think Scheyer should take exception to that) he will ponder the thought of leaving.

DBFAN
01-15-2008, 02:16 PM
lol at the suits comment

bbar7502
01-15-2008, 02:21 PM
I for one am not worried about duke recruiting. Coach k has a way of putting together great classes and will do so again. If he gets all or the majority of the group of Greg Echenique, Kenny Boynton, Eric Murphy, and Leslie McDonald for 09 then I think that is more then comparable to unc's haul. Rankings change and evaluations differ, but bank on K bringing in great classes.

Jumbo
01-15-2008, 02:22 PM
I meant Ellington also, but do not knock on Stephenson, a lot of people seem to think he may go, as for Green he is getting so hyped for being the best 6th man in the country (I think Scheyer should take exception to that) he will ponder the thought of leaving.

Are you confusing Stephenson with Thompson? Thompson is the better of the two players, but I can assure you there is no chance of either leaving early. And Green's "sixth man" hype has nothing to do with leaving early -- he is not an NBA prospect right now.

The1Bluedevil
01-15-2008, 02:41 PM
Is Dawkins considered a good recruiter?

Classof06
01-15-2008, 04:09 PM
I for one am not worried about duke recruiting. Coach k has a way of putting together great classes and will do so again. If he gets all or the majority of the group of Greg Echenique, Kenny Boynton, Eric Murphy, and Leslie McDonald for 09 then I think that is more then comparable to unc's haul. Rankings change and evaluations differ, but bank on K bringing in great classes.

Personally, I don't think K's recruiting is subpar at all. But any objective person can certainly see a disparity between UNC and Duke's classes the past 3-4 years. And it's becoming a disparity that's increasingly hard to ignore. Yes, if we land that '09 quartet, that'd be phenomenal. But that's 2 years from now and given our recent track record, how confident are you that we're going to land all 4 of those recruits? I certainly wouldn't put it past Krzyzewski, but I'm not considering it a given.

Jumbo
01-15-2008, 04:30 PM
Personally, I don't think K's recruiting is subpar at all. But any objective person can certainly see a disparity between UNC and Duke's classes the past 3-4 years. And it's becoming a disparity that's increasingly hard to ignore. Yes, if we land that '09 quartet, that'd be phenomenal. But that's 2 years from now and given our recent track record, how confident are you that we're going to land all 4 of those recruits? I certainly wouldn't put it past Krzyzewski, but I'm not considering it a given.

You're right -- the disparity between this year's freshman is particularly staggering. ;)

JasonEvans
01-15-2008, 04:35 PM
Personally, I don't think K's recruiting is subpar at all. But any objective person can certainly see a disparity between UNC and Duke's classes the past 3-4 years. And it's becoming a disparity that's increasingly hard to ignore. Yes, if we land that '09 quartet, that'd be phenomenal. But that's 2 years from now and given our recent track record, how confident are you that we're going to land all 4 of those recruits? I certainly wouldn't put it past Krzyzewski, but I'm not considering it a given.

I completely agree, Duke has slaughtered UNC in recruiting over the past 3-4 years.

Now, some of the recruited kids have turned out to be not quite what was hoped while they were being recruited but there is no question at all that Duke has out recruited Carolina the past few years. I am glad we could agree about that.

--Jason "three straight top 3 classes here at Duke, by the way" Evans

Duvall
01-15-2008, 05:00 PM
I completely agree, Duke has slaughtered UNC in recruiting over the past 3-4 years.

Now, some of the recruited kids have turned out to be not quite what was hoped while they were being recruited but there is no question at all that Duke has out recruited Carolina the past few years. I am glad we could agree about that.

So, aside from the part about finding quality basketball players, Duke's recruiting has been far superior to UNC? That's very reassuring.

hughgs
01-15-2008, 05:30 PM
So, aside from the part about finding quality basketball players, Duke's recruiting has been far superior to UNC? That's very reassuring.

Your conflating recruiting (potential) with performance. This whole debate is centered around the difference between the two points. Kind of like correlation and causation, recruiting and performance are not the same.

dukie8
01-15-2008, 06:33 PM
I completely agree, Duke has slaughtered UNC in recruiting over the past 3-4 years.

Now, some of the recruited kids have turned out to be not quite what was hoped while they were being recruited but there is no question at all that Duke has out recruited Carolina the past few years. I am glad we could agree about that.

--Jason "three straight top 3 classes here at Duke, by the way" Evans

here is how the recruiting stacks up over the past 4 years according to RSCI:

2007: duke was 3 with singler, smith and king and unc wasn't rated. clearly duke beat unc in 2007.
2006: unc not only was 1, it had the highest rated class EVER on RSCI with Wright, Lawson, Ellington, Stepheson, Thompson and Graves. duke was 3 with Henderson, Thomas, Zoubek and Scheyer. 1 and 3 might sound close but in reality unc's class blew away duke's. it has 2 likely aas this year plus wright who went pro last year. all 3 are better than any of the duke guys. henderson and scheyer are good but not aa good so far.
2005: duke was 2 with McRoberts, Paulus, Boateng, Pocius and Boykin and unc was 3 with Hansbrough, Green, Ginyard and Frasor. on paper it looks like a tie (2 for 3) but all of us know that duke's class that year was one of the most over-rated ever and a major bust. i don't have to go into detail about unc's class and its future npoy. unc's class was much better than duke's.
2004: duke was 17 with Nelson and McClure and unc was 12 with Williams and Thomas. this year really was a tie. williams was better than nelson but he only lasted a year whereas nelson has grown into probably a 3rd team aa this year. thomas is nothing more than a bench player and mcclure has been injury-riddled but better than thomas when he has played. for duke/unc standards, this clearly was a down year for both as neither brought in a class that would lead to a nc (williams was a small player in unc's the next year).

the way i see it unc had much better classes 2 years, duke had a much better class 1 year and it was a tie the 4th year. i do think that the 2005 class is the one that really shifted the balance of power to unc. had it lived up to expectations, mcroberts would be better than hansbrough and a 1st team aa, paulus would be one of the best pgs in the country and boateng/boykin would have been steady bigs supporting mcbob down low. we all know that none of that happened. moreover, had schollys not been used up on boateng/boykin, they would have been freed up the following year and we might have additional bigs on the team right now who would be very good juniors.

kramerbr
01-15-2008, 06:43 PM
Alright, I'm starting to get a headache from this thread. Let me know when some of these 2009 recruits we are interested in turn us down and I might worry. Until then it is pointless to panic and overreact. Duke will sign an amazing class and we will always have the better coach. BOOK IT!

The1Bluedevil
01-15-2008, 06:45 PM
http://rivalshoops.rivals.com/content.asp?cid=761921

Jumbo
01-15-2008, 07:27 PM
2005: duke was 2 with McRoberts, Paulus, Boateng, Pocius and Boykin and unc was 3 with Hansbrough, Green, Ginyard and Frasor. on paper it looks like a tie (2 for 3) but all of us know that duke's class that year was one of the most over-rated ever and a major bust. i don't have to go into detail about unc's class and its future npoy. unc's class was much better than duke's.

I thought we were defining recruiting in this thread as "where the guys were projected in high school." UNC's guys might have panned out better, but at the time, no one knew that. It's hard to say the problem was in Duke's recruiting -- everyone had Duke's class scouted this way. The problem was in player evaluation -- everyone's player evaluation. Right?


2004: duke was 17 with Nelson and McClure and unc was 12 with Williams and Thomas. this year really was a tie. williams was better than nelson but he only lasted a year whereas nelson has grown into probably a 3rd team aa this year. thomas is nothing more than a bench player and mcclure has been injury-riddled but better than thomas when he has played. for duke/unc standards, this clearly was a down year for both as neither brought in a class that would lead to a nc (williams was a small player in unc's the next year).

You forgot Shaun Livingston for Duke and J.R. Smith for UNC.

The1Bluedevil
01-15-2008, 07:43 PM
Would we see UNC's recruiting differentially if they had landed Boateng and Paulus (which they wanted)? Duke wasn't the only team who thought those were big time players.

Carolina has lost out on just as many post players since 04 as Duke. Richard Hendrix, Spencer Hawes, Uche Echefu, and Duke Crews are all players who took visits to Carolina and said no. Thaddeus Young is not a post but did take a visit as well wanted to be a jacket.

Duke has lost out on Kaun (who has been a bust at Kansas) Brockman, Wright, Patterson and Monroe

The difference is Carolina offers significantly more scholarships every year then Duke.

Duke rarely misses on top targets just unfortunately missed on posts at a wrong time.

DevilCastDownfromDurham
01-15-2008, 07:51 PM
Quote:
"I thought we were defining recruiting in this thread as "where the guys were projected in high school."


Ahh, there's the rub. I think a lot of the debate is over exactly this issue. I have argued, as have others, that recruiting (at least in terms of the concerns that are at issue here) is measured by the way the players contribute, especially in their first 1-2 seasons, not what number some guru assigns them.

My example was the "diamond in the rough." If Cyez, for example, becomes great, we'll all credit the staff for really good recruiting, even though he isn't ranked very highly. They evaluated the player, understood what he could do and how he would fit with Duke's needs, and reeled him in. Conversely, a player with a gaudy ranking isn't worth much if he never contributes. For example, if Duke had spent a scholly on LeBron James when it was clear that he was going directly to the NBA we'd have "signed" a great "recruit" and have a highly-ranked class, but it would have been really bad recruiting.

This is especially pertinent given the fact that interest/offers/signing with a big name school invariably boosts the rating of a player and often pushes them into all-star games they never would have been in otherwise (see Boating, E et al). Further, rankings are often (generally?) geared to ranking Pro talent, not college game. As such, raw athletes with "upside" often get ranked above polished earthbound guys (see McRoberts, J v. Hansbrough, T).

I recognize that, semantically, recruiting could be said to encompass only the attempt to sign players, with no eye to evaluation, fit, or development/use. For my money, that view is too narrow and mischaracterizes what a staff needs to do as they create the building blocks for a successful team. I respect that others see it differently and hope we won't spend too much electronic ink hashing this aspect out.

Carlos
01-15-2008, 07:54 PM
I completely agree, Duke has slaughtered UNC in recruiting over the past 3-4 years.

Now, some of the recruited kids have turned out to be not quite what was hoped while they were being recruited but there is no question at all that Duke has out recruited Carolina the past few years. I am glad we could agree about that.

--Jason "three straight top 3 classes here at Duke, by the way" Evans

The problem with that statement though is that it ignores team need and instead just focuses on the rankings. For example, if Duke signed Jerryd Bayless, Johnny Flynn, and Jai Lucas last year it would have been a top 3 class. If they had signed Tywon Lawson, Sherron Collins, and Mike Conley the year before that it would have been a top 3 class. If they had signed Louis Williams, Mario Chalmers, Lewis Clinch, and Greg Paulus the year before that you would have another top 3 class.

At that point you could say Duke had signed three straight top 3 classes but you would have nothing but a roster full of point guards and combo guards. Is that out-recruiting people?

dukie8
01-15-2008, 08:13 PM
I thought we were defining recruiting in this thread as "where the guys were projected in high school." UNC's guys might have panned out better, but at the time, no one knew that. It's hard to say the problem was in Duke's recruiting -- everyone had Duke's class scouted this way. The problem was in player evaluation -- everyone's player evaluation. Right?

no. i think that recruiting is a combination of both getting the can't miss guys that everybody knows about but also finding diamonds in the rough who actually are good but nobody knows about or at least are under-rated. there's something to be said for looking at paulus and dominic james and determining that james is going to be better despite being ranked much lower. the later is much harder to judge because it's next to impossible for a layperson to determine whether a player ranked further down the charts signed with his school because all of his top choices passed on him or because his top choice signed him despite being able to sign other higher ranked guys.


You forgot Shaun Livingston for Duke and J.R. Smith for UNC.

i only was going with guys who actually showed up. speaking of livingston, he is another example of both a top guy k got but also a top guy k went after knowing full well that it would be a 1-and-done deal.

yancem
01-15-2008, 09:08 PM
Well, as long as all the other verbose windbags are posting here I'll jump in as well.

I realize that JB stated that he agrees with DevilCastDownfromDurham (DCDD), but it bears repeating that none of those guys are relevant to the conversation about recruiting a guy to "anchor the post, block shots, and generate easy baskets," or, to put it another way, a guy to be the next Elton-Carlos-Shelden (ECS). That's not to say we need someone who is going to post their numbers - it's a lot to ask considering one guy was a NPOY, one guy had his jersey retired, and one guy was the low post rock on a National Championship team. But the profile of the player who is missing from this and next year's team - the guy that would make Duke significantly better - is the 6-9, 250 lb. guy who will defend, rebound, and score easy baskets set up by others.

Just curious, who exactly in the past 25 years would you say fits the ECS mold other than Elton, Carlos and Shleden?

JBDuke
01-15-2008, 09:30 PM
One other factor to consider in all this discussion: Yes, Josh wasn't the low-post presence on offense that Elton, Carlos, and (eventually) Shelden were, but I think Coach K realized that. Shelden and Josh formed a nice, complementary post pair in 2006, but with Shelden gone in 2007, the same schemes on offense just weren't going to work.

As you probably heard in some of the pre-season and early season interviews, Coach was planning to install the up-tempo offense last year. In such an offense, I think Josh would have flourished - he always was so much better on the move as compared to when he was trying to score out of a set offense. And Josh was a very capable low-post defender. We would have been a fast-flowing offense with Josh using his quickness and passing ability to score and to help his teammates score, and Josh combined with Lance or Dave or even Brian would be more than adequate on defense. But Coach's plans got sidetracked by Greg's injury, and he was forced to go with Plan B, which was to slow things down and run a more half-court, set-play oriented offense. This suited the rest of our personnel better, as Greg's mobility was limited, and Jon, IMO, needed the "crutch" of a more structured offense when he was running the show. But the biggest downside was that Josh was very much unsuited to this type of offense, and we suffered for it.

Once it became clear that Josh intended to leave last year, I think that's when Coach started hard after Patterson, who was the only decent big man left in the HS Class of 2007 that was a potential fit for Duke. Unless Zoubek were to take humongous strides before this season, Coach knew he'd be short on post presence. Once Patterson committed elsewhere, Coach made the best with what he had - hope Brian makes the big leap (which injuries removed all chance of) or go with the up-tempo offense and count on the inside-outers like Kyle, Lance, Taylor, and Dave to be your post defenders. So far, it's working pretty well.

_Gary
01-15-2008, 09:48 PM
The problem with that statement though is that it ignores team need and instead just focuses on the rankings. For example, if Duke signed Jerryd Bayless, Johnny Flynn, and Jai Lucas last year it would have been a top 3 class. If they had signed Tywon Lawson, Sherron Collins, and Mike Conley the year before that it would have been a top 3 class. If they had signed Louis Williams, Mario Chalmers, Lewis Clinch, and Greg Paulus the year before that you would have another top 3 class.

At that point you could say Duke had signed three straight top 3 classes but you would have nothing but a roster full of point guards and combo guards. Is that out-recruiting people?

Thank you, Carlos. You are spot on (as usual) with those points. It's not about how highly a class is ranked, it's about filling needs with the appropriate players. Duke has not had an athletic post presence since Shel was recruited. He was it the last couple of years, and the team would have been helped significantly had we landed Wright. That was the piece that was missing and would have put us over the top to challenge for a championship. So this entire discussion is much more about filling individual needs each year rather than loading up in the same spot (wings) and thereby receiving a high ranking.

It's still real simple to me: We missed on Wright (complimentary athletic big to Shel). We missed on Patterson (strong inside presence greatly lacking on this team). We missed on Monroe (inside presence we desperately needed after missing on the ones before him). We are hurting on the inside, period.

I also agree with whoever said (maybe Carlos or DCDD) that ideally guys like Lance and Kyle are 4's at Duke, not 5's. No doubt about that to me. Can they play the 5 if necessary? Yes, to some degree. But it's not ideal. And we are losing the recruiting battle to Roy at this point. I'm not sure how anyone could say otherwise. They have us this year - by a good bit. They have plenty more coming in. We continue to get solid wings, but I'm still waiting on the next Elton, Carlos, or Shel. I know we might not get guys that are as great as those three were, but we need someone in that mold to anchor the middle for us. There's no one like that on the team now, and I don't see that person coming. I guess there's a chance that person is coming, but we don't have a knock-out winner at that position coming in next year. So it does seem to me we will continue to be looking up at UNC for the next couple of years. I'm not sure how any other conclusion can be reached, unless it is by utter luck (such as multiple injuries or mass defections). If those things don't happen, it just looks to me like we are going to be behind for the next couple of years.

We need another strong, athletic post player. Badly.

Gary

Patrick Yates
01-15-2008, 09:56 PM
I agree with earlier posters that Duke had great success with Tweener forwards playing up a position. Deng, Dunleavy, and Battier are great examples of this. Heck, even Shel, Boozer, and Brand are examples of guys who were great college fives despite being natural 4s at the next level.

But I do not think that strategy is viable going forward. During the aforementioned era, the best HS talent went directly to the pros. Now, it appears to be going to our rivals. On each of the so called top tier teams there are players who probably would not have spent a day in college were it not for the 1 year college requirement.

Memphis: Rose
UCLA: Love
UNC: Ellington or Lawson (maybe)
Kansas: Arthur

Our tweener up strategy worked because the best players went pro, or at least most of the best big guys went pro. There were years where the best HS players who went to college were all in the 6-8 to 6-9 range. Teams were happy to get even 1 of those, and Duke was able to succeed. Second level bigs, even 7 footish, and certainly smaller players, could easily be guarded by a determined tweener. Especially with an elite 6-9 player doing mop up in the post.

That is no longer the case. That is why I believe, and it is just an opinion, that what worked in the past might not work in the future. I am not saying that Duke will be bad. I just fear that Duke will not be an elite team on a regular basis. I realize that we will be very good some years. But we won't be a threat year in and year out. I don't think we will be this year, becuase I doubt ANY team could as hot as we need to be from 3 pt land to be successful. When we are on we can beat anyone. But when we are not, we are very beatable. Player improvement might change that next year, but that is no better than a 50% hope going forward.

In the future we will see more elite bigs. Heck, their presence in college will force more quasi elite bigs to stick arround to hone their games an extra year.

The one year rule was a complete sea change for college hoops, and not a rule that favors academically challenging institutions like Duke. I don't think we have adjusted to a changed environment. That is my concern.

Patrick Yates

DevilCastDownfromDurham
01-15-2008, 09:56 PM
Quote:
"Just curious, who exactly in the past 25 years would you say fits the ECS mold other than Elton, Carlos and Shleden?"

In the last 25, but excluding the last 10 when we had ECS, we've had (working backward):
Taymon (1996-1999) - overshadowed by E, obviously, but still top 20 in blocks and has a mythical statue in Charlottesville.
Cherokee (1992-1995)
Laettner (1989-1992) - although he was versatile enough to do more, he could go back to the basket quite well, as well as defend the post (ask Shaq), block shots (he's top 5 all time) and rebound (#2 all time)
Alaa (1987-1990)
Alarie (1982-1986) - undersized but top 15 all-time in blocks and rebounds, top 10 in scoring.

Some were more/less successful and generally their teams reflected that success. Earlier we've had guys like Randy Denton, Mike Lewis, and that guy with the "G" name. You could make a case for Tinkerbell as well.

yancem
01-15-2008, 11:25 PM
The problem with that statement though is that it ignores team need and instead just focuses on the rankings. For example, if Duke signed Jerryd Bayless, Johnny Flynn, and Jai Lucas last year it would have been a top 3 class. If they had signed Tywon Lawson, Sherron Collins, and Mike Conley the year before that it would have been a top 3 class. If they had signed Louis Williams, Mario Chalmers, Lewis Clinch, and Greg Paulus the year before that you would have another top 3 class.

At that point you could say Duke had signed three straight top 3 classes but you would have nothing but a roster full of point guards and combo guards. Is that out-recruiting people?

While this argument is valid in concept it has not application in this context. We signed Singler last year, Thomas and Zoubek the year before and McRoberts, Boateng and Boykin the year before that. I know that we currently have a lot of wings but you can't say that Duke has not recruited forwards and centers. That simply isn't true. Boateng is 6'10 and 255lb which is exactly the size player everyone seems to want so desperately. He was also a McD which means that many people thought he would be pretty good. McRoberts is 6'10 and 240lb. How has Duke padded thier recruiting rankings by only recruiting point guards and combo guards?


Thank you, Carlos. You are spot on (as usual) with those points. It's not about how highly a class is ranked, it's about filling needs with the appropriate players. Duke has not had an athletic post presence since Shel was recruited.

Do you not consider McRoberts athletic?


He was it the last couple of years, and the team would have been helped significantly had we landed Wright. That was the piece that was missing and would have put us over the top to challenge for a championship. So this entire discussion is much more about filling individual needs each year rather than loading up in the same spot (wings) and thereby receiving a high ranking.

In '05 we signed 1 point guard (Paulus), 1 power forward (McRoberts), 1 center (Boateng), 1 small forward (Boykin) and 1 shooting guard (Pocius)

In '06 we signed 1 shooting guard/small forwards (Henderson and Scheyer), 1 power forward (Thomas) and 1 center (Zoubec)

In '07 we signed 1 power forward (Singler), 1 small forward (King) and 1 combo guard (Smith)

In '08 we signed 1 combo guard (Williams) and 1 power forward (Czyz)

How is Duke's recruiting loading up on one position?


It's still real simple to me: We missed on Wright (complimentary athletic big to Shel). We missed on Patterson (strong inside presence greatly lacking on this team). We missed on Monroe (inside presence we desperately needed after missing on the ones before him). We are hurting on the inside, period.

How was Wright going to play with Shelden when Shelden was in the NBA last year?


I also agree with whoever said (maybe Carlos or DCDD) that ideally guys like Lance and Kyle are 4's at Duke, not 5's.

Actually, I thought the argument was that Lance and Kyle shouldn't be 4's at Duke. Of course I now can't find the quote to link so maybe I'm wrong.


No doubt about that to me. Can they play the 5 if necessary? Yes, to some degree. But it's not ideal. And we are losing the recruiting battle to Roy at this point. I'm not sure how anyone could say otherwise. They have us this year - by a good bit. They have plenty more coming in. We continue to get solid wings, but I'm still waiting on the next Elton, Carlos, or Shel. I know we might not get guys that are as great as those three were, but we need someone in that mold to anchor the middle for us. There's no one like that on the team now, and I don't see that person coming. I guess there's a chance that person is coming, but we don't have a knock-out winner at that position coming in next year. So it does seem to me we will continue to be looking up at UNC for the next couple of years. I'm not sure how any other conclusion can be reached, unless it is by utter luck (such as multiple injuries or mass defections). If those things don't happen, it just looks to me like we are going to be behind for the next couple of years.

We need another strong, athletic post player. Badly.

Gary

For all of the hand wringing about needing another ECS type player and the great recruiting that UNC is doing, who do you classify in that category for UNC? I'll give you Hans (I'm not sure he is necessarily that athletic but is his dominate) but Thompson? Stephens? My understanding is that Ed Davis is more Lance than Elton. Zeller is listed as 6'11", 220lb doesn't sound like a bruiser. Neither do the Wear twins or Hensen. They are all tall but not a single one appears to be a real banger.

The funny thing is that I get were the concern is coming from. I too would like K to go out and find strong, athletic post player but some years there aren't that many out there and the ones that are don't fit Duke from a personality/academic perspective. We've missed a few in the past couple of years which is frustrating but I haven't read where who we should have recruited that we didn't.

yancem
01-15-2008, 11:35 PM
I agree with earlier posters that Duke had great success with Tweener forwards playing up a position. Deng, Dunleavy, and Battier are great examples of this. Heck, even Shel, Boozer, and Brand are examples of guys who were great college fives despite being natural 4s at the next level.

But I do not think that strategy is viable going forward. During the aforementioned era, the best HS talent went directly to the pros. Now, it appears to be going to our rivals. On each of the so called top tier teams there are players who probably would not have spent a day in college were it not for the 1 year college requirement.

Memphis: Rose
UCLA: Love
UNC: Ellington or Lawson (maybe)
Kansas: Arthur

3 of the 5 players mentioned are guards, how does that impact our post play?


The one year rule was a complete sea change for college hoops, and not a rule that favors academically challenging institutions like Duke. I don't think we have adjusted to a changed environment. That is my concern.

Patrick Yates

I disagree with your tweeners won't work anymore argument but am too tired to write anything of value to dispute it so I will leave that for tomorrow. I do agree with that the one year rule has changed the landscape of college basketball but I think that K has adjusted accordingly it just is taking more time than some would like. He seems to be going after better blend of high talent and 4 year guys so that their is more of a buffer when the 1 and done comes along. As much as everyone wants the biggest studs, too many early entries kill continuity and make building a cohesive team nearly impossible. Just ask GaTech fans.

yancem
01-15-2008, 11:51 PM
Quote:
"Just curious, who exactly in the past 25 years would you say fits the ECS mold other than Elton, Carlos and Shleden?"

In the last 25, but excluding the last 10 when we had ECS, we've had (working backward):
Taymon (1996-1999) - overshadowed by E, obviously, but still top 20 in blocks and has a mythical statue in Charlottesville.
Cherokee (1992-1995)
Laettner (1989-1992) - although he was versatile enough to do more, he could go back to the basket quite well, as well as defend the post (ask Shaq), block shots (he's top 5 all time) and rebound (#2 all time)
Alaa (1987-1990)
Alarie (1982-1986) - undersized but top 15 all-time in blocks and rebounds, top 10 in scoring.

Some were more/less successful and generally their teams reflected that success. Earlier we've had guys like Randy Denton, Mike Lewis, and that guy with the "G" name. You could make a case for Tinkerbell as well.

How was Taymon any better different than Shav or Mcroberts?
I will give you Cherokee he was one of the guys I would put in that category.
Laettner? We was great but was not a physically imposing player. He didn't guard Shaq, Duke guarded Shaq. And really the team shut off the passing lanes so that LSU couldn't get him the ball.
Alaa? If you are going to count Alaa, you have to count McRoberts. His freshman and sophomore years were significantly better in all aspects than Alaa.
Alarie? He was 6'8" and 220lb and was know mostly for his 12' baseline jumper.

Denton and Lewis were from the 60's
I'll give you Gminski, he definitely fit the bill but was also pre K.
And Tinkerbell, are you kidding me? I thought we were talking about big, athletic low post bruisers. He's one of my favorite players but if you consider him to fit the ECS mold than Singler should be perfect.

Patrick Yates
01-15-2008, 11:53 PM
The problem with that statement though is that it ignores team need and instead just focuses on the rankings. For example, if Duke signed Jerryd Bayless, Johnny Flynn, and Jai Lucas last year it would have been a top 3 class. If they had signed Tywon Lawson, Sherron Collins, and Mike Conley the year before that it would have been a top 3 class. If they had signed Louis Williams, Mario Chalmers, Lewis Clinch, and Greg Paulus the year before that you would have another top 3 class.

At that point you could say Duke had signed three straight top 3 classes but you would have nothing but a roster full of point guards and combo guards. Is that out-recruiting people?

Look at the "3 straight top classes"

The 05 class was aruably the top in the land based on the rankings of the players.

Boateng: Gone. Wildly, and I do mean wildly, overrated. Did nothing to help Duke.

Boykin. Gone. Great heart, but he lacked the ability to play at the elite ACC level. Same in Pac 10, as Cali is discovering.

Paulus. Jr Pg. Solid player. By no means elite. He was ranked as the top PG in the class, but his limitiations are obvious. Certainly, he has not been a difference maker. Solid contributor. Still, probably not playing to his lofty ranking in HS.

Pocius: Backup. Still, playing to near his HS ranking.

McBob. Gone (pro). Underachiever at Duke based on his ranking.

The 06 class was also at or near the top of the rankings.

Scheyer and Hendo. Nothing to complain about here. Both performing at or above their class ranking. Key contributors.

Thomas: Underwhelming to date. Potential is evident, and his effort is great. But, he was not an immediate contributor. As yet he has not been the force in the post that this team needs him to be. Probably not playing to his HS ranking.

Zoubek. See Thomas.

The 07 class, again, near the top of the rankings.

Singler. No complaints.

King. Great shooter. Willing rebounder. His positives are evident. So are his shortcommings. As good a shooter as he his, he will have to bring more to the table to justify his lofty HS ranking. I think he will get there, but he isn't there yet.

Smith. Good player. Potential to be great. Still learning the PG, but all signs are positive. Playing at or near his HS ranking.

Looking back, the 05 and 06 classes, "top ranked" though they were, have proven to be anything but. I will grant that it may be too early to judge the 06 class, because Lance or Zoubs could develop into a solid post.

But it is safe to say that the 05 class was a paper tiger. Not a single one of those players has played to their lofty ranking. Marty is still here, as is Paulus, and while he is not bad, his ranking was that of someone who could dominate games, even if only through his playmaking. He has not lived up to that. His shooting is far better than hoped for, but he is not the latest member of Duke's great PGs.

As for the 06 class, two of the players are playing to their billing. But, of the two posts, neither one has set the college world on fire.

The 07 class looks good, but outside of Singler we are not really asking them to do much other than be solid off the bench. They are doing well, but they are not dominant yet. And, all three are best suited to either the wing or point, the positions where we needed the least help.

I am not sure that "three top ranked" groups is a great, or even valid, argument. History has shown that two of the classes may have been overrated. Part of this is due to flawed HS ranking systems. But, it is up to the staff to evaluate the players and not rely solely on the rankings. So far, our last five low post players have been less great than expected. Clearly, the rankings were incorrect. Still, I am not saying that the staff made mistakes when evaluating players. But I sure am thinking it.

Given these mistakes, I do not think it is unreasonable to question recruiting strategy. Our 3 straight "top ranked" classes are not evidence that all is well. Carlos is correct in his assesment of how top ranked classes are ranked. If classes were ranked on whether or not they filled existing needs, where do you think Duke's classes would be ranked?

Patrick Yates

SeattleIrish
01-16-2008, 12:23 AM
Look at the "3 straight top classes"

The 05 class was aruably the top in the land based on the rankings of the players.

Boateng: Gone. Wildly, and I do mean wildly, overrated. Did nothing to help Duke.

Boykin. Gone. Great heart, but he lacked the ability to play at the elite ACC level. Same in Pac 10, as Cali is discovering.

Paulus. Jr Pg. Solid player. By no means elite. He was ranked as the top PG in the class, but his limitiations are obvious. Certainly, he has not been a difference maker. Solid contributor. Still, probably not playing to his lofty ranking in HS.

Pocius: Backup. Still, playing to near his HS ranking.

McBob. Gone (pro). Underachiever at Duke based on his ranking.

The 06 class was also at or near the top of the rankings.

Scheyer and Hendo. Nothing to complain about here. Both performing at or above their class ranking. Key contributors.

Thomas: Underwhelming to date. Potential is evident, and his effort is great. But, he was not an immediate contributor. As yet he has not been the force in the post that this team needs him to be. Probably not playing to his HS ranking.

Zoubek. See Thomas.

The 07 class, again, near the top of the rankings.

Singler. No complaints.

King. Great shooter. Willing rebounder. His positives are evident. So are his shortcommings. As good a shooter as he his, he will have to bring more to the table to justify his lofty HS ranking. I think he will get there, but he isn't there yet.

Smith. Good player. Potential to be great. Still learning the PG, but all signs are positive. Playing at or near his HS ranking.

Looking back, the 05 and 06 classes, "top ranked" though they were, have proven to be anything but. I will grant that it may be too early to judge the 06 class, because Lance or Zoubs could develop into a solid post.

But it is safe to say that the 05 class was a paper tiger. Not a single one of those players has played to their lofty ranking. Marty is still here, as is Paulus, and while he is not bad, his ranking was that of someone who could dominate games, even if only through his playmaking. He has not lived up to that. His shooting is far better than hoped for, but he is not the latest member of Duke's great PGs.

As for the 06 class, two of the players are playing to their billing. But, of the two posts, neither one has set the college world on fire.

The 07 class looks good, but outside of Singler we are not really asking them to do much other than be solid off the bench. They are doing well, but they are not dominant yet. And, all three are best suited to either the wing or point, the positions where we needed the least help.

I am not sure that "three top ranked" groups is a great, or even valid, argument. History has shown that two of the classes may have been overrated. Part of this is due to flawed HS ranking systems. But, it is up to the staff to evaluate the players and not rely solely on the rankings. So far, our last five low post players have been less great than expected. Clearly, the rankings were incorrect. Still, I am not saying that the staff made mistakes when evaluating players. But I sure am thinking it.

Given these mistakes, I do not think it is unreasonable to question recruiting strategy. Our 3 straight "top ranked" classes are not evidence that all is well. Carlos is correct in his assesment of how top ranked classes are ranked. If classes were ranked on whether or not they filled existing needs, where do you think Duke's classes would be ranked?

Patrick Yates


Patrick:

I enjoy reading your posts and I do think you contribute a lot to this board. That said, don't you feel you're frequently overly-negative in your posts?

I've only listed below those players who, in almost everyone's estimation, have been outstanding contributors to Duke. Don't you think you could come up with more than, "solid contibutor", "Nothing to complain about here", etc...?

I won't speak for anyone else, but many of your negative-themed posts would come across as less disparaging if you could be a bit more positive than, "no complaints" when discussing a player like Kyle Singler and others, IMO.

s.i.

Paulus. Jr Pg. Solid player. By no means elite. He was ranked as the top PG in the class, but his limitiations are obvious. Certainly, he has not been a difference maker. Solid contributor. Still, probably not playing to his lofty ranking in HS.

Scheyer and Hendo. Nothing to complain about here. Both performing at or above their class ranking. Key contributors.

Singler. No complaints.

King. Great shooter. Willing rebounder. His positives are evident. So are his shortcommings. As good a shooter as he his, he will have to bring more to the table to justify his lofty HS ranking. I think he will get there, but he isn't there yet.

JBDuke
01-16-2008, 12:42 AM
...I am not sure that "three top ranked" groups is a great, or even valid, argument. History has shown that two of the classes may have been overrated. Part of this is due to flawed HS ranking systems. But, it is up to the staff to evaluate the players and not rely solely on the rankings. So far, our last five low post players have been less great than expected. Clearly, the rankings were incorrect. Still, I am not saying that the staff made mistakes when evaluating players. But I sure am thinking it.

...

Patrick Yates

So, you're asking our staff to have preternatural insight into how a player is going to develop? You discount that Zoubek and Thomas and Boateng were relatively highly rated recruits and blame our staff for not doing a good enough job of recognizing that they were overrated, but then you get all concerned about Carolina bringing in highly rated prospects? So which is it? Do you believe in the ratings or not?

I would imagine that every coach in the country would have been as pleased as punch to sign Zoubek, Thomas, and Boateng. If our staff made "mistakes when evaluating players", then so did every other coach and recruiting evaluator in the country, apparently.

Acymetric
01-16-2008, 01:06 AM
I think that for the last several big men we have to look at it like this. Either Duke did not evaluate talent well, or Duke did not develop the players well. This is true for Zoubek, Boateng, Boykin, and Thomas. I actually think McRoberts would have been a fantastic player for Duke this year, so I don't consider him so much a miss as much as a casualty of bad timing.

Of the four big men above, Thomas is the only one I still have high hopes for. I think he could really be a factor next year (maybe even the end of this year? *crosses fingers*). Zoubek will certainly improve, but I don't know if he will ever be dominant. And thats ok, not every player is.

But my question is: We either failed to devolop or failed to evaluate 4 big men in a fairly short period. This is either bad recruiting, bad player devolopment, or extraordinarily bad luck. This isn't the end of Duke basketball, but I think it is something that will need to be fixed (and probably already is. Just because coach K doesn't come out and say "Hey! I'm going about recruiting differently guys!" doesn't mean that he isn't looking at recruits differently than he did 5 years ago.

So no, the sky isn't falling, but its not exactly clear blue skies with birds chirping in the air and young couples walking together in the park. We have been outdone in some over the past few years, if you don't think its recruiting what do you think it is?

SeattleIrish
01-16-2008, 01:28 AM
I think that for the last several big men we have to look at it like this. Either Duke did not evaluate talent well, or Duke did not develop the players well. This is true for Zoubek, Boateng, Boykin, and Thomas. I actually think McRoberts would have been a fantastic player for Duke this year, so I don't consider him so much a miss as much as a casualty of bad timing.

Of the four big men above, Thomas is the only one I still have high hopes for. I think he could really be a factor next year (maybe even the end of this year? *crosses fingers*). Zoubek will certainly improve, but I don't know if he will ever be dominant. And thats ok, not every player is.

But my question is: We either failed to devolop or failed to evaluate 4 big men in a fairly short period. This is either bad recruiting, bad player devolopment, or extraordinarily bad luck. This isn't the end of Duke basketball, but I think it is something that will need to be fixed (and probably already is. Just because coach K doesn't come out and say "Hey! I'm going about recruiting differently guys!" doesn't mean that he isn't looking at recruits differently than he did 5 years ago.

So no, the sky isn't falling, but its not exactly clear blue skies with birds chirping in the air and young couples walking together in the park. We have been outdone in some over the past few years, if you don't think its recruiting what do you think it is?

One other option is that, perhaps, neither Thomas nor Zoubek were recruited to be 1st year starters; both players are sophomores and other 5's were recruited the past two years that we simply missed on. Rather than Lance or Brian being bad evaluating or bad development, perhaps they were well evaluated role players/emerging stars who are developing on target, and we simply missed on the two "1/done" type players (Monroe/Patterson). It's certainly a possibility.

As for Boykin and Boateng, I find it hard to consider them both anything other than failures (not as people/players, of course, but as recruits) - either they failed to select a school at which they would be a good fit, or our coaches failed to evaluate and recruit them. I'm sure there are other perspectives out there. More than anything else, I hate it when a player transfers due to anything other than family emergency.

s.i.

Uncle Drew
01-16-2008, 07:14 AM
One other option is that, perhaps, neither Thomas nor Zoubek were recruited to be 1st year starters; both players are sophomores and other 5's were recruited the past two years that we simply missed on. Rather than Lance or Brian being bad evaluating or bad development, perhaps they were well evaluated role players/emerging stars who are developing on target, and we simply missed on the two "1/done" type players (Monroe/Patterson). It's certainly a possibility.

As for Boykin and Boateng, I find it hard to consider them both anything other than failures (not as people/players, of course, but as recruits) - either they failed to select a school at which they would be a good fit, or our coaches failed to evaluate and recruit them. I'm sure there are other perspectives out there. More than anything else, I hate it when a player transfers due to anything other than family emergency.

s.i.


SI, as usual you make valid points and I agree with the angle you tend to look at things. As other posters have said (Jim Sumner in particular) a lot of bigmen while highly ranked due to size have a lot of mechanics and fundamentals to pick up when they attend college. Casey Sanders was highly ranked but deemed a bit of a project. Unfortunately he had hands of stone that couldn't catch a pass. (And saw nothing wrong in dating a UNC student.) Boateng was labeled a project and we all saw in the playing time he got he was a big wide body that didn't know how to use it. I can look back as far as Martin Nestle (sp?) and see a bigman that for whatever reason didn't fit into Coach K's plans and didn't develop the way many of us had hoped. We've all known tall people 6'5"+ who had difficulty walking and lacing up their shoes. But it seems when a person hit's the 6'10"-7'+ mark fluid, athletic movement is a challenge at best.

I hate when players transfer as much as SI. But I submit for the jury two players who went pro early (Shav and McRoberts) as being basically the same thing as a transfer. (They just transfered to the pros.) Both guys IMO believed their press clippings a little too much and injuries hurt their Duke careers. Some people view a transfer as "good riddance" and the chance to offer a scholarship to an even better player and "Duke type" of guy. I see it as the player bailing out on the program (Boykins being an obvious exception) and it doesn't look good for the program no matter how much of a head case the player is.

novablue4
01-16-2008, 07:33 AM
Keep in mind there are only so many scholarships that a team can have. Roy has commitments for the next three classes (2008, 2009, 2010) and so he can take some time off. If he gets commitments for 2011 that might be a bit ridiculous and foolish.

The only concern I have about UNC recruiting is the same I have with all other schools...if a player who is high on Duke's list commits to another school Coach K has to try to get someone else. So far I don't believe any of the players who have made verbal commitments to UNC were interested in Duke.

The Wear twins consistently listed Duke as a school of interest with Az, UCLA and UNC. I do not think Duke actually spent much effort recruiting them though. I know that Marshall visited Duke for a game or something, but he has been a lifelong UNC fan. Duke was very interested but if Roy offered it would be over. And that is what happened.

novablue4
01-16-2008, 07:51 AM
Duke repeated in the early 1990's....team of the decade. Florida repeated in mid 2000's.....team of decade. You might be on to even more than you actually meant Jim.


I think the thing that concerns me most about the UNC recruiting haul is getting verbals from those guys allows UNC to check them off the list. It gives them more time and more focus on the next classes and REALLY going after the big guns. You get a team with talent and throw a stud in there, even a one and done stud and it can be disaster for the rest of the league. Suer they didn't win it all with Wright (and they may be even better without him though that whole addition by subtraction thing is loco) and Duke didn't win with Deng. But ever since the Carmelo Chronicles every school has been looking at top notch talent that may only stay one year to give them that extra umph and take them to the Holy Land. And by Holy Land I don't mean Jerusalem.

Latta, these ARE BIG GUNS. That is the issue. all of this kids are 5 star or upper half of 4 star recruits. Many believe that ED Davis is a Pro right now, people who know or are supposed to. Many expect John Henson to have a good NBA career if he gets stronger in the weight room and Dexter is not even considered to stay for his third year, he should be a top 14 pick by then.

UNC is not just signing big numbers but these guys are very highly rated. Travis Wear may turn out to be a monster as I know people in Huntington Beach who say he is improving game by game and can be a scary guy by the time he gets to UNC. Better than his brother who was once and at times still rated above Travis. I have not seen Zeller play but every article I read states that he runs the court and finishes fast breaks like many NBA players his size can not do as well or as efficiently.

So there is reason to be concerned, very concerned. Murphy is the only big we have offered that is among UNC's recruits in recruiting professional's opinions, not Greg E. or Painter.

Carlos
01-16-2008, 09:05 AM
Just curious, who exactly in the past 25 years would you say fits the ECS mold other than Elton, Carlos and Shleden?

First, when you eliminate those three from the mix you're chopping off about a third of the time period so it automatically eliminates a lot of the time period. Secondly, looking at the size of players and the way the game was played 25 years ago is not exactly germane to the needs of today. Players today are simply stronger than they were 25 years ago when weight training was not generally something that basketball players were introduced to in college, let alone HS like they are now.

Go back and track the evolution of Coach K's teams from the 1991 team through today (or through the end of Shelden's career) and I think you'll agree that the guys getting the minutes got a lot bigger over the years. 1991 was Laettner in the post at 6-11 / 235. He was backed up Crawford Palmer at 6-9 / 235. The next year it's Laettner and Parks (6-11 / 235) and then it evolves into Parks and Meek (6-10 / 240) and Newt (6-10 /245). Then it was Taymon in the mix at 6-10 / 245 and after that was Elton at 6-8 / 260 followed by Carlos and Shelden.

So when you look at what Duke - and basketball in general - and compare a guy from 25 years ago to today, well you have to figure in the inflation. It's just like in 1966 Mike Lewis was considered the Missoula Mauler because he was so big and strong at 6-7 and 225 lbs. but 25 years later in 1991 that size wouldn't be so exceptional.


While this argument is valid in concept it has not application in this context. We signed Singler last year, Thomas and Zoubek the year before and McRoberts, Boateng and Boykin the year before that. I know that we currently have a lot of wings but you can't say that Duke has not recruited forwards and centers. That simply isn't true. Boateng is 6'10 and 255lb which is exactly the size player everyone seems to want so desperately. He was also a McD which means that many people thought he would be pretty good. McRoberts is 6'10 and 240lb. How has Duke padded thier recruiting rankings by only recruiting point guards and combo guards?

The illustration of point guards and shooting guards was hyperbole to show how the rankings of a class don't account for the needs of a team. If you want me to be more literal then last year Duke signed a top 3 class which is great because we got three great players. But 2 of them are guys who are best suited to playing the 4 spot (and a case could be made that in an ideal world they - or at least Singler - would be better suited for the 3) and a point guard.

The year before that Duke signed a top 3 class ranked in order: Henderson (10th in his class), Thomas (20th), Zoubek (25th), and Scheyer (28th). That's two wing players, a 4, and a center. As an aside, that also illustrates another flaw in just looking at the overall ranking of a class - the size of the class is a measure.

The year before that Duke signed Josh (1st), Paulus (13th), Boateng (39th), Pocius (53rd), and Boykin (60th). That's a PF/C, a PG, a C, a WG, and a C.

So of those classes clearly last year's brought in some great players and deserves to be ranked highly. But did it address all of Duke's needs? No... so just saying we had a top 3 class doesn't mean that you have no holes on the roster.


For all of the hand wringing about needing another ECS type player and the great recruiting that UNC is doing, who do you classify in that category for UNC? I'll give you Hans (I'm not sure he is necessarily that athletic but is his dominate) but Thompson? Stephens? My understanding is that Ed Davis is more Lance than Elton. Zeller is listed as 6'11", 220lb doesn't sound like a bruiser. Neither do the Wear twins or Hensen. They are all tall but not a single one appears to be a real banger.

Well, first off Thompson and Stephens are 6-8 / 240 and 6-9 / 235 so they're both big strong guys who can hold their own down on the blocks. IMO if either one of those guys were on Duke's roster our chances at a NC go up dramatically. So both of those guys are closer to the ECS mold than anyone on our roster. After that most people expect Henson, who is now 6-10 and 200 lbs. to fill out by the time he hits campus. He's a HS junior right now and he just grew 5 inches over the last year and a half so he's not quite filled into his frame yet. Will he be 250 lbs. when he gets to Chapel Hill - doubtful, but he'll likely bet 6-10 and 235 which again, would be closer to that standard than anyone we'll have on our roster for this season.... and next.

Let me just add that I'm not saying that Duke is no longer attractive to recruits or that Duke can't win with the roster that we have. Maybe saying "Duke needs a ECS center" would be better stated as "Duke could really benefit from an ECS center" which would likely fall under the category of "duh."

_Gary
01-16-2008, 09:17 AM
Do you not consider McRoberts athletic?

Yea, he was athletic. He just never impressed me as being the real inside player we needed to take Shel's place. That's just me. I know he was basically big enough to play the 5 for us, and defensively he was ok as an interior player, but he just impressed me as a 4 more than a 5 and I really don't believe he was recruited to be a 5. Could be wrong, but I just never had that impression of him.


In '05 we signed 1 point guard (Paulus), 1 power forward (McRoberts), 1 center (Boateng), 1 small forward (Boykin) and 1 shooting guard (Pocius)

In '06 we signed 1 shooting guard/small forwards (Henderson and Scheyer), 1 power forward (Thomas) and 1 center (Zoubec)

In '07 we signed 1 power forward (Singler), 1 small forward (King) and 1 combo guard (Smith)

In '08 we signed 1 combo guard (Williams) and 1 power forward (Czyz)

But look at the guys who did not work out for us at all! They either didn't come to Duke at all (if you include Hump), or they came and left for another school (B & B), or they came and didn't live up to the hype and still left early (McRoberts). And the guys we have now are trying their best but I don't see them as anything close to dominant players, even without injuries hampering them. Look at the list again and concentrate on the guys that haven't worked out for us at all. It's pretty much concentrated in the 4 & 5 position. So either we have just horrible luck or there's reason to be concerned about those spots.


How is Duke's recruiting loading up on one position?

See above.


How was Wright going to play with Shelden when Shelden was in the NBA last year?

Maybe I've lost count of the years. For some reason I thought Brandon would have played with Shelden one year. Guess I'm off on that one.


Actually, I thought the argument was that Lance and Kyle shouldn't be 4's at Duke. Of course I now can't find the quote to link so maybe I'm wrong.

I think you are wrong on this one.


For all of the hand wringing about needing another ECS type player and the great recruiting that UNC is doing, who do you classify in that category for UNC? I'll give you Hans (I'm not sure he is necessarily that athletic but is his dominate) but Thompson? Stephens? My understanding is that Ed Davis is more Lance than Elton. Zeller is listed as 6'11", 220lb doesn't sound like a bruiser. Neither do the Wear twins or Hensen. They are all tall but not a single one appears to be a real banger.

I don't believe the issue is that UNC is getting all the bruisers. The issue for me is that they are getting just enough balance, and major depth, to run people out of the building. We are getting depth at the wing, but have really missed a solid ECS in the middle. Even just one (like Hansblah) would have made a difference. So again, it's just that UNC, right now, seems to have passed us in recruiting for all positions. Not just the bigs. Not just the smalls. I'm looking at the whole ball of wax here. Sure we have devastating wings. No doubt about it. But in order to have a solid balance we need someone to anchor the middle. UNC seems to have a solid balance inside and out. We don't. Add that to the fact that they are loading up on more recruits and it seems logical to me that we should be at least a little concerned. That's all I've said. We should be concerned but not panic - yet.

Gary

DevilCastDownfromDurham
01-16-2008, 09:45 AM
Quote:
"How was Taymon any better different than Shav or Mcroberts?
I will give you Cherokee he was one of the guys I would put in that category.
Laettner? We was great but was not a physically imposing player. He didn't guard Shaq, Duke guarded Shaq. And really the team shut off the passing lanes so that LSU couldn't get him the ball.
Alaa? If you are going to count Alaa, you have to count McRoberts. His freshman and sophomore years were significantly better in all aspects than Alaa.
Alarie? He was 6'8" and 220lb and was know mostly for his 12' baseline jumper."


I think I was unclear. I was listing all of the guys we have had that were slotted into the ECS role. My point was that when we had guys that could fill it like E,C, and S (Laettner, G Man) we did pretty well. When we didn't (Taymon, Alaa until Sr season) we didn't. I'd absolutely put Josh in the "lineage" of ECS, but he never delivered (like Taymon, early Alaa, etc).

I'm stealing Carlos' idea here, so his conception of it may be different from mine, but my definition of ECS is a guy who can get easy baskets from close range, defend the other team's big/physical post without giving up a huge amount of height/weight, block shots, and rebound. I'll quickly discuss how each of the guys I've listed fit into this definition.

Taymon - I agree he wasn't better than Shav or Josh, and that's the point. Missing on the guys we have is like if we had missed on Elton and asked T to hold the front line by himself. Not a good situation.

Chief - I think we agree played that role pretty well. His best (Sr.) campaign obviously was marred by other issues buy he still put up top career numbers (top 20 points/top 11 rebounds/top 5 blocks).

Laettner - We may agree to disagree on this one. IIRC we played Shaq twice. The second time Duke made a collective effort to beat him, but he first time Christian really took it to him. Either way, Christian filled the role of ECS with top 5 scoring, rebounding, and blocked shots. The latter 2 categories really speak to the ECS role for me.

Alaa - Again a guy who underperformed and significantly hurt the team (the FF's were nice, but our regular season records were more mixed). Still, top 50 points & rebounds, top 20 blocks and 6'10 240.

Alarie - I recognize is controversial. At 6'8 225 (in an era when a 7 footer was considered colossal) he still gave us top 5 scoring and top 15 rebounds and blocks. I guess you could argue that guys like Marty Nessley (a McDonald's All American himself, for those that correlate that honor with assured success) was expected to be the ECS. If so, we've got a case where the ECS didn't deliver and a great swing player took his place. Maybe this was the hope for Boykin, Lance, etc. but those guys haven't looked like Mark Alarie to me.

yancem
01-16-2008, 11:30 PM
For the last few days there has been a thread which started out discussing UNC's impressive recruiting efforts as of late and then turned into more of a what is the state of Duke's recruiting. There have been two sides of the debate. One side is concerned with Duke's strategy/efforts/success in recruiting post players while the other side thinks that Duke's strategy/efforts/success in recruiting post players has been fine we have just had a patch of bad luck with transfers/early entry/development.

I thought it might be an interesting exercise to look at who the staff could/should have gone after that we didn't. It's easy to say we should be recruiting big, athletic, low post beasts. Everyone wants those guys. But who specifically did we not recruit that we should have.

The rules are simple, name a player that was in the '05-'08 classes that you think Duke should have recruited but didn't. You can use the benefit of hind sight but you have to at least establish how the diamond in the rough could have been identified. You also need to be able confirm within reason that the recruit would have met academic requirements and would pass the good citizen/character test and Duke would have had a shot of signing him. Lastly, you have to support why he would be a help to the team/fit into the system.

I'm having trouble coming up with a good example for big man so I am going to use a guard. I realize that we are loaded at guard and that the decision to recruit this player was probably based on this fact but it will give you an idea of what I'm thinking.

Stephen Curry: He may not have been terribly highly rated but he had/has and outstanding outside shot which is something that K values. He comes from a good family and has father who was a former NBA player (which K also seems to like, hello Gerald and Nolan), so he has a good pedigree. He's at Davidson so I'm pretty sure academics weren't a problem.

My thinking is that by naming some prospects that Duke either didn't identify or chose not to recruit, the half full side of the argument can see where some mistakes were made or chances were lost. And the half empty crowd may realize that maybe Duke went after the what was there to go after. It's hard to sign a 6'10" 150lb center with good grades and without an entourage or an interfering father if there are any in the graduating class.

Happy digging through old recruiting lists. It will be interesting to see what you come up with.

BryanCenterBlues
01-16-2008, 11:41 PM
DeJuan Blair - he wanted to come to Duke, but we didn't recruit him. He's also an excellent big man with a great attitude.

yancem
01-16-2008, 11:44 PM
I was thinking of him too but it sounded like from some of the posts on this board that there were some pretty serious injury issues and maybe some personal issues as well. I don't know any real specifics and certainly don't have any inside information but that was the impression I got.

Jumbo
01-16-2008, 11:55 PM
DeJuan Blair - he wanted to come to Duke, but we didn't recruit him. He's also an excellent big man with a great attitude.

How many times do we have to post the same thing? In high school, he was 300 pounds with two surgically repaired knees. His AAU coach was associated with the likes of Huggins and Calipari and we have absolutely no idea whether he had the grades to cut it at Duke.

speedevil
01-17-2008, 04:03 AM
My question, indeed.
because unc is our biggest rivarly, it has a direct impact on duke basketball and the players and the recruits, therefore it has an impact on the overall success of duke basketball which is the important thing for many of us, duke fans

heyman25
01-17-2008, 05:36 AM
2009 Erik Murphy has committed to Florida.:(

captmojo
01-17-2008, 06:28 AM
because unc is our biggest rivarly, it has a direct impact on duke basketball and the players and the recruits, therefore it has an impact on the overall success of duke basketball which is the important thing for many of us, duke fans

See also post #16.

yancem
01-17-2008, 07:31 AM
I'm not usually and alarmist but it seems to be a bad sign when Duke is having trouble even getting some of its biggest recruits to even make their visits :( . How is it that Monroe and Murphy, two of Duke's highest priorities commit to another school after scheduling a visit with Duke. Are the coaches miss reading their chances? It is one thing to miss on a couple of recruits but if we can't even get them to let us wine and dine them, then that makes me concerned.

MChambers
01-17-2008, 07:52 AM
For their pieces on Duke recruiting and perspective. They are absolutely perfect.

Uncle Drew
01-17-2008, 08:28 AM
While I do tend to be a sky is falling type of person when the discussion is recruiting now and the last few years. I do want to make one thing VERY, VERY, VERY clear. The three freshmen we have this year have exceeded EVERY expectation I had for their all around play and abilities. Yes I would have loved to have also brought in a beast with an inside game that screams power, power, power. But Smith, King and Singler are already really good players and I love watching them each game. Smith could be one of the best penetrators we've seen since J. Williams. King makes JJ's range look short (and he's taller!). And freakin' Singler is just an all around baller. I hope he stays several years. He could be in the role of Adam Morrison before he's done.

I am by no means disappointed in the caliber of this years freshman and I hope each wears Duke blue for many years to come.

Chicago 1995
01-17-2008, 08:29 AM
How many times do we have to post the same thing? In high school, he was 300 pounds with two surgically repaired knees. His AAU coach was associated with the likes of Huggins and Calipari and we have absolutely no idea whether he had the grades to cut it at Duke.

But we don't even bother talking to him? Don't kick the tires a little?

Chicago 1995
01-17-2008, 08:30 AM
2009 Erik Murphy has committed to Florida.:(

Good thing we've got a back up plan . . .

Oh wait . . .

Carlos
01-17-2008, 08:45 AM
I thought it might be an interesting exercise to look at who the staff could/should have gone after that we didn't. It's easy to say we should be recruiting big, athletic, low post beasts. Everyone wants those guys. But who specifically did we not recruit that we should have.

The rules are simple, name a player that was in the '05-'08 classes that you think Duke should have recruited but didn't. You can use the benefit of hind sight but you have to at least establish how the diamond in the rough could have been identified. You also need to be able confirm within reason that the recruit would have met academic requirements and would pass the good citizen/character test and Duke would have had a shot of signing him. Lastly, you have to support why he would be a help to the team/fit into the system.


Hey, we've recruited a lot of guys in succession.... miss on Love move on to Blake. Miss on Blake move on to Patterson. Miss on Monroe move onto the class of 2009. Miss on Murphy move on to Painter.

I know we get a lot of mileage out of telling someone they're the only guy we've offered at a given spot and putting the light of the sun upon them. But in a game where the balance hangs on the decision of a 17-year-old kid who's being wooed by multiple big names that seems like an awfully risky approach and one that has produced a whole lot of misses in the last few years.

Florida just signed our #1 target at the big forward position and they had offers out to 8 other guys his size or bigger. Now maybe Murphy didn't feel special that he was their only top target but it didn't seem to matter too much to him. Meanwhile, Duke should be heading off to Norfolk or to Detroit Country Day sometime in the next couple of weeks and extending and offer to Deshawn Painter or DaShonte Riley and trying to convince them that no, they're not merely backup plans because Murphy's now a Gator. At the same time, Duke's going to have to make up ground with both guys because other schools - and good ones like OSU, Michigan State, Louisville, UCLA, Indiana, and Georgetown - have already made scholarship offers.

It's just my rambling opinion, but if I'm evaluating risk/reward in offering Murphy, Painter, and Riley all at the same time I would think it a far better approach than going after them in succession.

sandinmyshoes
01-17-2008, 03:34 PM
I've heard that UNC has missed out on Cheeks, their top choice as a WG or SF. The good news is that obviously they are not invincible on the recruiting trail. The bad news is that among the prospects they'll probably rachet up their efforts on is Leslie McDonald.

yancem
01-18-2008, 11:34 PM
Hey, we've recruited a lot of guys in succession.... miss on Love move on to Blake. Miss on Blake move on to Patterson. Miss on Monroe move onto the class of 2009. Miss on Murphy move on to Painter.

I know we get a lot of mileage out of telling someone they're the only guy we've offered at a given spot and putting the light of the sun upon them. But in a game where the balance hangs on the decision of a 17-year-old kid who's being wooed by multiple big names that seems like an awfully risky approach and one that has produced a whole lot of misses in the last few years.

Florida just signed our #1 target at the big forward position and they had offers out to 8 other guys his size or bigger. Now maybe Murphy didn't feel special that he was their only top target but it didn't seem to matter too much to him. Meanwhile, Duke should be heading off to Norfolk or to Detroit Country Day sometime in the next couple of weeks and extending and offer to Deshawn Painter or DaShonte Riley and trying to convince them that no, they're not merely backup plans because Murphy's now a Gator. At the same time, Duke's going to have to make up ground with both guys because other schools - and good ones like OSU, Michigan State, Louisville, UCLA, Indiana, and Georgetown - have already made scholarship offers.

It's just my rambling opinion, but if I'm evaluating risk/reward in offering Murphy, Painter, and Riley all at the same time I would think it a far better approach than going after them in succession.

How is this germane to my post? I was wondering who people thought Duke should have recruited but didn't not who we are recruiting or have missed on.

budwom
01-19-2008, 08:23 AM
Fine.

For 2008 simply using UNC as an example, they missed on the #4 and #6 prospects (according to Prep Stars, as good as any) Delvon Roe and Samardo Sameuls. But guess what?
They had cast a wider net, and ended up with 6-11 Tyler Zeller (#10) and Ed Davis (#8). Maybe they were even happier with whom they got...I don't know, but to answer your question, to my knowledge we did not recruit any of these guys (maybe Samuels briefly)

In 2009 they already have commitments from the 6-9 Wear twins, ranked #20 and #21, and John Henson, not in the Prep Stars top 50 (but ranked highly by others). But they've also looked big men Derrick Favors and Reeves Nelson, #s 5 and 16 respectively. We might have looked at Nelson, but not the others as far as I know.

It pains me to praise UNC, but clearly their wider net approach has born fruit, while our targeted approach has not, (War and Peace length treatises on recruiting notwithstanding.)

And I haven't even looked at ANY other big men, just the ones UNC looked at. One can reasonably assume there were more than a few others we could have looked at.

Is the sky falling? Certainly not.

Might we get some good big men? Well, probably not in 2008, and our list of "guys we feel good about getting" for 2009 has shrunk with Murphy going elsewhere.

The Duke staff has assembled some wonderful young talent, but we clearly have a need for more of a post presence. All but the most fervent Duke apologists recognize this, and Bilas made the point pretty emphatically the other night. Because it's true and it's obvious.

Sure, we might go on to wonderful success over the next couple of years, but we're going to have to rely on very good postseason shooting, something which has eluded us in recent years.

The cure seems pretty simple: cast a wider big man net so we have a fallback position when guys like Patterson, Monroe and Murphy reject us.

It seems prudent and logical, but evidently some people don't think so.

jimsumner
01-19-2008, 08:33 AM
"cast a wider big man net so we have a fallback position when guys like Patterson, Monroe and Murphy reject us."

Patterson was the fallback to Blake Griffin and Gary Johnson. Duke missed on several big man targets that year but did have multiple targets.

Olek Czyz is the fallback to Greg Monroe.

There are plenty of fallbacks to Murphy.

I repeat. It's 10 months until the early signing date. It is way premature to negatively evaluate a class without committments.

budwom
01-19-2008, 08:45 AM
Czyz is a project according to almost everyone. And he's 6-7.
(He's ranked 61st by Prep Stars). So the 2008 ship has almost certainly sailed.

Carlos
01-19-2008, 09:43 AM
yacem - budwom's post and jim's response are pretty much illustrate exactly what I was trying to say. Listing the guys we did recruit doesn't necessarily tell the story about how we recruited them which, at least in my never-recruited-a-guy-in-my-life expert opinion, is at the root of this debate.

Patrick Patterson may not be the greatest example because he ended up going to a school that just replaced their coach, but he still ended up going to the school that was the first to start recruiting him and not the school that started recruiting him after they lost out on all their other recruiting targets in the post.

Who knows whether we would have been successful at landing a big man last year if we had offers out to Love, Griffin, Johnson, and Patterson at the same time. But it seems to be working for Carolina who maybe didn't sign the top rated power forward in next year's class but they did sign guys rated #3 and #4. It seems to be working for Gators who didn't sign the top rated guy in 2009 but they did sign the guy that we had targeted. Both of those schools had offers out to a number of big men at the same time.

So we can make a list of all the low post guys we've recruited and say that Duke's going after everybody they can. But it ignores the question of whether the Devils' chances of success for signing a big man last year would have been better if we had actually cast a wider net instead of throwing the same narrow net three or four times.

dukie8
01-19-2008, 09:43 AM
How many times do we have to post the same thing? In high school, he was 300 pounds with two surgically repaired knees. His AAU coach was associated with the likes of Huggins and Calipari and we have absolutely no idea whether he had the grades to cut it at Duke.

the grades thing is a complete strawman and you can throw that out there about anyone we didn't recruit. he just as easily could have had better grades than our 3 freshmen. he's eligibile so we know they weren't horrible.

being associated with sketchy people didn't stop k from recruiting maggette so i don't see that as much of a reason not to recruit him either. if his ties with calipari and huggins through some handler were so strong, then why did he wind up at pitt?

his knees look fine now so what's the issue? does k automatically cross someone off the list if he has had knee surgery? i would like to think that they do a little more due diligence than that -- particularly when it seems like half of our team has had some form of surgery over the past couple of years. that surely cannot be a death sentence in recruiting. granted, if he knees were destroyed, then that would be a reason to pass on him but i haven't seen anything saying that we were interested in him until we looked at his mris and decided that he knees were too wrecked to ever make it through 4 years of college basketball. clearly, his knees are not an issue so far this year so that isn't a very good explanation for completely blowing him off.

your "300 pound" explanation is simply made up. here's a picture of him in high school around when he signed with pitt:

http://scouthoops.scout.com/a.z?s=75&p=2&c=576574&ssf=1&RequestedURL=http%3a%2f%2fscouthoops.scout.com%2f2 %2f576574.html

he may have weighed 300 pounds when he was a freshman or sophmore but he wasn't anywhere near 300 pounds when we should have at least been looking at him during his senior year. if he did lose 50 pounds in high school, that should be all the more reason to be interested in him because it shows that he is motivated and serious about becoming a much better player. rivals had him listed at 260 in high school:

http://basketballrecruiting.rivals.com/viewprospect.asp?Sport=2&pr_key=34597

what is so hard to admit that we clearly blew it by blowing him off? stick him at the 5 on this team and we would become a much much better team.

Jumbo
01-19-2008, 10:04 AM
yacem - budwom's post and jim's response are pretty much illustrate exactly what I was trying to say. Listing the guys we did recruit doesn't necessarily tell the story about how we recruited them which, at least in my never-recruited-a-guy-in-my-life expert opinion, is at the root of this debate.

I will let you recruit me. But I'd better not be your second choice.

Jumbo
01-19-2008, 10:15 AM
the grades thing is a complete strawman and you can throw that out there about anyone we didn't recruit. he just as easily could have had better grades than our 3 freshmen. he's eligibile so we know they weren't horrible.

Do you even know what "straw man" means? I don't think so, so stop using terms you don't understand. And I love how your new standard is "well, he's eligible, so they weren't horrible." Great, now Duke should just be willing to take any kid who manages to reach that incredibly difficult level of becoming eligible to play college basketball. Now that's a great standard for a highly selective university, baby!


being associated with sketchy people didn't stop k from recruiting maggette so i don't see that as much of a reason not to recruit him either. if his ties with calipari and huggins through some handler were so strong, then why did he wind up at pitt?

We've been through this before -- Duke and K had no knowledge of Piggie, so your Maggette comparison is laughable. The point is that there were SEVERAL red flags with Blair. Each one, on its own, might not have been so severe. But taken together, he was a big question mark. We'll get to the others in a minute, but your post is beyond hindsight.


his knees look fine now so what's the issue? does k automatically cross someone off the list if he has had knee surgery? i would like to think that they do a little more due diligence than that -- particularly when it seems like half of our team has had some form of surgery over the past couple of years. that surely cannot be a death sentence in recruiting. granted, if he knees were destroyed, then that would be a reason to pass on him but i haven't seen anything saying that we were interested in him until we looked at his mris and decided that he knees were too wrecked to ever make it through 4 years of college basketball. clearly, his knees are not an issue so far this year so that isn't a very good explanation for completely blowing him off.

More hindsight. Two torn ACLs were just more red flags in a sea of them.


your "300 pound" explanation is simply made up. here's a picture of him in high school around when he signed with pitt:

http://scouthoops.scout.com/a.z?s=75&p=2&c=576574&ssf=1&RequestedURL=http%3a%2f%2fscouthoops.scout.com%2f2 %2f576574.html

he may have weighed 300 pounds when he was a freshman or sophmore but he wasn't anywhere near 300 pounds when we should have at least been looking at him during his senior year. if he did lose 50 pounds in high school, that should be all the more reason to be interested in him because it shows that he is motivated and serious about becoming a much better player. rivals had him listed at 260 in high school:

http://basketballrecruiting.rivals.com/viewprospect.asp?Sport=2&pr_key=34597

More hindsight. You have no idea how late he lost the weight. How late in the process should Duke have been involved? If you were Duke, and you were chasing Johnson, Griffin and Patterson, would you spend time on this kid with at least four major red flags? And, keep in mind, neither of has any idea what the coaching staff thought of his character, ability to fit in with the current roster or favorite flavor of ice cream. All you know is that he is having a good freshman year, and recently said that he'd once been interested in Duke. It's a lot easier to say "I told you so" now when you spent absolutely no time evaluating him in high school and have approximately 1% of the information the coach staff did at the time. Hell, even seeing what he's doing at Pitt I still don't know whether he'd be a good fit at Duke. Pitt is not Duke.



what is so hard to admit that we clearly blew it by blowing him off? stick him at the 5 on this team and we would become a much much better team.

We clearly blew it? This is a joke. There is more to bringing in a kid than whether he can get you 13 points, 10 boards and a couple of blocks. We have no idea whether he'd even be academically eligible at Duke, or whether he might've punched Singler in practice, or whether he'd be able to react to Coach K's style of pushing kids hard. Unless you can answer those questions, you're just spitting against the wind.

What positive contrbutions are you bringing to the board at this point? What percentage of your posts could be considered "complaints?"

jimsumner
01-19-2008, 10:22 AM
I know there's a quote out there from Blair about wishing Duke had recruited him. But Blair went to high school a half-mile from the Pitt campus. He was ALWAYS Pitt's to lose.

Czyz? We're at the point where we sneer at the #61 prospect? Duke has him at 6'8", 235, with a 41-inch vertical leap, which makes him as big as or bigger than anyone on the team except Zoubek.

Yes, he's a project. But he's a smart, hard-working, project with a high ceiling. Gonna step right in and dominate? Not likely. Gonna be a pretty good player for Duke down the line? No guarantees but I like the chances.

I realize there's this fantasy that everybody on the planet wants to go to Duke, K selects rather than recruits, and Duke should always have 12 consensus top-20 recruits who are delighted to play 17 minutes per game for four years.

But in the real world sometimes you miss on Greg Monroes and end up with Olek Czyzs.

Check back in ten months. If Duke doesn't sign at least one prep All-American post player, then I'll eat crow. But don't wait up.

Carlos
01-19-2008, 10:31 AM
the grades thing is a complete strawman and you can throw that out there about anyone we didn't recruit. he just as easily could have had better grades than our 3 freshmen. he's eligibile so we know they weren't horrible.

I believe the appropriate way to do this is to state that the combined total of Blair's and Scott Williams' SAT scores are greater than the total of Taylor King and Kyle Singler.


being associated with sketchy people didn't stop k from recruiting maggette so i don't see that as much of a reason not to recruit him either. if his ties with calipari and huggins through some handler were so strong, then why did he wind up at pitt?

Maybe it's just me, but I'm betting that the Maggette experience is one that Duke would rather not repeat.



his knees look fine now so what's the issue? does k automatically cross someone off the list if he has had knee surgery? i would like to think that they do a little more due diligence than that -- particularly when it seems like half of our team has had some form of surgery over the past couple of years. that surely cannot be a death sentence in recruiting. granted, if he knees were destroyed, then that would be a reason to pass on him but i haven't seen anything saying that we were interested in him until we looked at his mris and decided that he knees were too wrecked to ever make it through 4 years of college basketball. clearly, his knees are not an issue so far this year so that isn't a very good explanation for completely blowing him off.

Do you think that the DuJuan Blair that you saw in MSG had the same lift and mobility when scouts were evaluating him as an AAU player while he was wearing two knee braces? Do you know for certain if he would turn out to be the guy he is today or is there a chance he could turn out to be Jerod Ward?


your "300 pound" explanation is simply made up. here's a picture of him in high school around when he signed with pitt:

http://scouthoops.scout.com/a.z?s=75...%2f576574.html

he may have weighed 300 pounds when he was a freshman or sophmore but he wasn't anywhere near 300 pounds when we should have at least been looking at him during his senior year. if he did lose 50 pounds in high school, that should be all the more reason to be interested in him because it shows that he is motivated and serious about becoming a much better player. rivals had him listed at 260 in high school:

Really, what if he bloated up and gained 50 lbs in HS? Would that make you wonder if he was a guy who was motivated?

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/mensbasketball/2007-10-12-3280566236_x.htm

When the Panthers began preseason practice Friday night, Blair weighed 275 pounds, a lot of bulk for an 18-year-old who stands 6-foot-7. But he was well down from the 303 pounds he weighed when he began working out last summer, and down even more from the unknown weight during his Schenley High senior season.

"I always look at the state championship (game tape) and say, 'That was me? I was that big?"' said Blair, who acknowledges having been above 303 last season but won't give an exact weight. "I didn't look 300 at all, I carried it great. It didn't matter if I was 300 or 200, I still played the same, still got up and down the court."

Jumbo
01-19-2008, 11:03 AM
I know there's a quote out there from Blair about wishing Duke had recruited him. But Blair went to high school a half-mile from the Pitt campus. He was ALWAYS Pitt's to lose.

Czyz? We're at the point where we sneer at the #61 prospect? Duke has him at 6'8", 235, with a 41-inch vertical leap, which makes him as big as or bigger than anyone on the team except Zoubek.

Yes, he's a project. But he's a smart, hard-working, project with a high ceiling. Gonna step right in and dominate? Not likely. Gonna be a pretty good player for Duke down the line? No guarantees but I like the chances.

I realize there's this fantasy that everybody on the planet wants to go to Duke, K selects rather than recruits, and Duke should always have 12 consensus top-20 recruits who are delighted to play 17 minutes per game for four years.

But in the real world sometimes you miss on Greg Monroes and end up with Olek Czyzs.

Check back in ten months. If Duke doesn't sign at least one prep All-American post player, then I'll eat crow. But don't wait up.


That's a really good point about Czyz. Isn't he EXACTLY they type of guy people have said Duke should be recruiting as a fall-back option? He is big (6'8"/235 is big enough to play in the post, especially with that vertical). He is raw. He is a guy to develop. We've all waxed poetic about guys like Brian Davis, so why aren't we excited about Czyz? Please, someone tell me that a 6'8", 235-pound guy (who could easily add another 10-15 pounds to his frame) can't guard guys who might be an inch or two taller in the post.

MChambers
01-19-2008, 11:10 AM
And am excited about Czyz. I think the Brian Davis comparison is a reasonable one. We're getting a somewhat raw athlete. Three years from now, he may be quite a player.

dukie8
01-19-2008, 11:33 AM
Do you even know what "straw man" means? I don't think so, so stop using terms you don't understand. And I love how your new standard is "well, he's eligible, so they weren't horrible." Great, now Duke should just be willing to take any kid who manages to reach that incredibly difficult level of becoming eligible to play college basketball. Now that's a great standard for a highly selective university, baby!

i have no idea what his academic numbers were -- and neither do you. it is completely disingenuous on your part to use his completely unknown academic qualifications as a reason that we didn't recruit him. where did i say that we should accept any and all qualifiers? i merely stated that he is eligible so his grades couldn't have been as horrific as you would like people to believe. if you want to provide some documentation that he had horrible grades and that they were well below duke's minimum level, then that in and of itself is enough for me and probably anyone else that we didn't recruit him. however, if you want to simply make things up that you have absolutely no idea about -- that his grades were terrible -- then you should expect to be called out on it.


We've been through this before -- Duke and K had no knowledge of Piggie, so your Maggette comparison is laughable. The point is that there were SEVERAL red flags with Blair. Each one, on its own, might not have been so severe. But taken together, he was a big question mark. We'll get to the others in a minute, but your post is beyond hindsight.

i'm not involved with the intimate details of recruiting but i would like to think that if k is as meticulous about recruiting as people say he is, then looking into the associates of inner city recruits would be part of the process. k may say in hindsight that he didn't know about piggie but i have a hard time believing that he did his homework on maggette and had no clue about him. talk about see no evil hear no evil.


More hindsight. You have no idea how late he lost the weight. How late in the process should Duke have been involved? If you were Duke, and you were chasing Johnson, Griffin and Patterson, would you spend time on this kid with at least four major red flags? And, keep in mind, neither of has any idea what the coaching staff thought of his character, ability to fit in with the current roster or favorite flavor of ice cream. All you know is that he is having a good freshman year, and recently said that he'd once been interested in Duke. It's a lot easier to say "I told you so" now when you spent absolutely no time evaluating him in high school and have approximately 1% of the information the coach staff did at the time. Hell, even seeing what he's doing at Pitt I still don't know whether he'd be a good fit at Duke. Pitt is not Duke.

i do know that he lost the weight by his senior year so your explanation that we didn't recruit him was because he was a 300 pound blob in high school is simply not true. yes, i actually would have spent time recruiting him despite recruiting 3 other people. is it that hard to recruit a 4th player? you make it sound like recruiting someone is this incredibly difficult and time-intensive process and that duke only can use its limited resources on a precious few recruits. if that is true, then maybe that is part of the problem because other schools (unc) seem to be able to recruit more than 3 people at a time. i'm not saying that we should have given him an offer but, at the very least, as someone else noted, we should have at least kicked the tires a little. i don't understand how you summarily dismiss the kid given what he brings to the table. it's not like we looked at him and then backed off because of all the red flags we uncovered once we looked into him -- we didn't even give him a sniff.

he's having a "good freshman year?" talk about the understatement of the day. he destroyed duke when he played us. i cannot think of anyone who had a better game against us this year and we are the number 5 team in the country. right now he is averaging 12.4/9.8 and clearly has established himself as one of the best players in the big east. i'll take that "good" season any day.


We clearly blew it? This is a joke. There is more to bringing in a kid than whether he can get you 13 points, 10 boards and a couple of blocks. We have no idea whether he'd even be academically eligible at Duke, or whether he might've punched Singler in practice, or whether he'd be able to react to Coach K's style of pushing kids hard. Unless you can answer those questions, you're just spitting against the wind.

that's simply a ridiculous argument and you can say that about anyone. i could understand it if he were causing problems at pitt -- say, like oj mayo punching out a teammate -- but i haven't read a single thing about him being a problem there. why not just use this as a blanket excuse for anyone we didn't recruit because it is impossible to know how they would have assimilated at duke if they never came?

i think the angst that people have on here is not that we didn't give him an offer -- given the issues surrounding him it is possibly understandable -- but that, given our lack of a single legitimate inside player and multiple whiffs, we didn't even look at him.

budwom
01-19-2008, 11:47 AM
I know there's a quote out there from Blair about wishing Duke had recruited him. But Blair went to high school a half-mile from the Pitt campus. He was ALWAYS Pitt's to lose.

Czyz? We're at the point where we sneer at the #61 prospect? Duke has him at 6'8", 235, with a 41-inch vertical leap, which makes him as big as or bigger than anyone on the team except Zoubek.

Yes, he's a project. But he's a smart, hard-working, project with a high ceiling. Gonna step right in and dominate? Not likely. Gonna be a pretty good player for Duke down the line? No guarantees but I like the chances.

I realize there's this fantasy that everybody on the planet wants to go to Duke, K selects rather than recruits, and Duke should always have 12 consensus top-20 recruits who are delighted to play 17 minutes per game for four years.

But in the real world sometimes you miss on Greg Monroes and end up with Olek Czyzs.

Check back in ten months. If Duke doesn't sign at least one prep All-American post player, then I'll eat crow. But don't wait up.

Czyzs is 6-7 according to both Prep Stars and Scout. In either case no one sees him being much help next year.

Had we cast a wider net, we might not be worrying about signing a big man or two ten months from now, Jim.

We have a major hold in the middle right now, and Czyzs isn't going to change that next year. If he does, it will be my turn to gladly eat crow.

Jumbo
01-19-2008, 11:49 AM
Czyzs is 6-7 according to both Prep Stars and Scout. In either case no one sees him being much help next year.

Had we cast a wider net, we might not be worrying about signing a big man or two ten months from now, Jim.

We have a major hold in the middle right now, and Czyzs isn't going to change that next year. If he does, it will be my turn to gladly eat crow.

It's Czyz. Who would you have liked Duke to recruit? How do you know Zoubek/Thomas will be considered a "hold [sic] in the middle" next year?

Jumbo
01-19-2008, 11:50 AM
Dukie8, you have teed it up for me, but I'd rather give Carlos the opportunity to swing. He's funnier.

I'll ask you again, though -- what positive contribution do you bring to the board? And what % of your posts could be labeled as "complaints?"

budwom
01-19-2008, 11:51 AM
Jumbo, can you explain why you call yourself a moderator?

To answer your question: I've watched Thomas and Zoubek. That's why.

Jumbo
01-19-2008, 11:55 AM
Jumbo, can you explain why you call yourself a moderator?

To answer your question: I've watched Thomas and Zoubek. That's why.

Sure. Because I help moderate discussions. And when people post baseless opinions, I try to provide actual facts.

Did you watch Aaron Gray as a sophomore?

Carlos
01-19-2008, 12:01 PM
i do know that he lost the weight by his senior year so your explanation that we didn't recruit him was because he was a 300 pound blob in high school is simply not true.

dukie8, please, I'm begging you to follow the link I posted in my previous post. By his own admission, he was over 300 lbs. as a senior in HS.

jimsumner
01-19-2008, 12:03 PM
Anybody else feel like we're in the movie Groundhog Day?

Again on the class of '08. Duke surveyed the landscape, looking at talent, academics, attitude, and other variables and determined that the high-school class of 2008 did not have a lot of big men that Duke could comfortably recruit. They thought that the 2009 class was deeper and more talented in big men that they could recruit. So Duke made a conscious decision to go easy in '08 and save scholarships for '09.

So, as appealing as it might be to repeat the cast-a-wider net mantra over and over again, the reality is that the wider net was never an option for Duke University in the high school class of 2008.

budwom
01-19-2008, 12:06 PM
With all due respect, Jumbo, I think you spend a lot of time trying to belittle and ridicule. I don't see much moderation on your part.

There are a lot of interesting views expressed on this board, yours among them, but I think the discourse would be more fruitful if you did a bit less taunting and a bit more moderating.

Jumbo
01-19-2008, 12:09 PM
With all due respect, Jumbo, I think you spend a lot of time trying to belittle and ridicule. I don't see much moderation on your part.

There are a lot of interesting views expressed on this board, yours among them, but I think the discourse would be more fruitful if you did a bit less taunting and a bit more moderating.

With all due respect, Buddy, the constant refrain of bitching and moaning (Jim's "Groundhog Day" analogy is spot-on) has worn on a great number of posters here. It's hurting the community. At some point, people spouting falsehoods need to be corrected. Dukie8's views, at this point, aren't interesting. They are whiney. He has said the same thing at least 50 times. He ignores any and all evidence to the contrary. That doesn't help build a community. But I appreciate your input.

dukie8
01-19-2008, 12:10 PM
Dukie8, you have teed it up for me, but I'd rather give Carlos the opportunity to swing. He's funnier.

I'll ask you again, though -- what positive contribution do you bring to the board? And what % of your posts could be labeled as "complaints?"

the positive contribution is that a lot of the time i counter the super duke cheerleaders and apologists who think that duke can do no wrong and that everything is wonderful in durham. it is astounding how many people actually think that having no inside game doesn't matter and that our recruiting is as good as ever.

it's not like i want duke to fail -- i have 2 degrees from duke so i have a lot more personally at stake seeing duke do well than someone unaffiliated with duke who has decided to become a duke fan -- but i often want to throw up when i read some of the completely ridiculous comments that get made on here and how much agreement there is about them.

dukie8
01-19-2008, 12:14 PM
With all due respect, Buddy, the constant refrain of bitching and moaning (Jim's "Groundhog Day" analogy is spot-on) has worn on a great number of posters here. It's hurting the community. At some point, people spouting falsehoods need to be corrected. Dukie8's views, at this point, aren't interesting. They are whiney. He has said the same thing at least 50 times. He ignores any and all evidence to the contrary. That doesn't help build a community. But I appreciate your input.


they might not be interesting to you but there are plenty of other people who find them interesting. when you make ridiculous statements, like we didn't recruit blair because he was 300 pounds in high school, it's not exactly "hurting the community" when someone steps in and says, you know what, he wasn't 300 pounds his senior year so that's not really a very good reason.

dukie8
01-19-2008, 12:26 PM
dukie8, please, I'm begging you to follow the link I posted in my previous post. By his own admission, he was over 300 lbs. as a senior in HS.

i did read your article but there are plenty of other articles that indicate that he was well under 300 pounds during his senior year, like this one:

http://collegebasketball.rivals.com/bviewplayer.asp?Player=84341

he also went on to say that he got up and down the floor very well and that he wasn't your typical blob 300 pounder when he was 300 pounds. i think that it is safe to say that his weight was all over the place so to summarily dismiss recruiting him because he weighed 300 pounds is, at the very least, misleading.

budwom
01-19-2008, 12:46 PM
With all due respect, Buddy, the constant refrain of bitching and moaning (Jim's "Groundhog Day" analogy is spot-on) has worn on a great number of posters here. It's hurting the community. At some point, people spouting falsehoods need to be corrected. Dukie8's views, at this point, aren't interesting. They are whiney. He has said the same thing at least 50 times. He ignores any and all evidence to the contrary. That doesn't help build a community. But I appreciate your input.

I agree that there's too much acrimony.

But I'd like to point out that the only reason I entered this discussion (a page back or two) was to answer Yancem's query of whom might we have recruited that we didn't recruit. It was a fair question, and I think I gave a reasonable answer which included half a dozen guys we might have pursued.

Call it bitching and moaning if you will, compare it to Groundhog Day, but I thought I made it pretty clear I was responding to Yancem's question.