View Full Version : Ricky Price

03-06-2008, 11:04 AM
Ricky Price was slightly before my Duke-watching days, so I was hoping those of you who saw him play could give me a summary of his time at Duke. It seems to me he became a non-factor by his senior yr. yet I believe he was a highly recruited player. Was there a fall-out between him and coach K? Did injuries play a role in his career? Any moments or memories that stand out? Basically, I just wanted to get people's impression of Ricky.

03-06-2008, 11:13 AM

I thought Ricky's play was much better before K's time-off than after. Not all players respond the same to coaching changes regardless of the duration.

IMO, Ricky flashed great talent early on that was rather similar to G's early flashes. We all plateau in a different place.

Best regards,

03-06-2008, 11:17 AM
Very athletic. Biggest knock was that he lost the ball a bunch going up to the hoop (small hands? sweaty hands? not sure). Very talented kid who seemed kind of snake bit with injuries and K's medical leave. IIRC, he played for four different coaches in his four years of HS and then played for K and Gaudett his first two years at Duke.

I always liked Ricky and always thought that the big break-through was just about to happen. His career would have been helped by having some more reliable scorers around him to help thin out the defensive pressure on him.

I have never heard about any fall-out between him and K. I think Greg Newton filled that role in those years.

03-06-2008, 11:21 AM
Don't remember a ton about him, but I remember a pretty sweet ally-oop off about a half-court feed from Wojo during his senior game that came directly after the tip. Dude could jump.

03-06-2008, 11:30 AM
From what I understand academics were an issue for Price while he was at Duke, causing him to miss a semester (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1208/is_n31_v221/ai_19655296). This is hearsay, but I've heard even after he returned Coach K expected more academically from Price and when he didn't deliver in the classroom he was not given playing time.

03-06-2008, 12:00 PM
Ricky was my year at Duke. Very athletic, solid player. He could hit the outside shot, but not consistently like Langdon from what I remember. I believe he hit a game winner against MD one year (or was it UVA?). Dude had plenty of hops, that was for sure.

He did have some academic problems that caused him to miss some time. By his senior year, Langdon, Wojo, Carawell, and Avery pretty much handled all the G/SF responsibilities and he became a bench player for the remainder of his career.

I do know where he is now, b/c he was featured in the Duke Club of Charlotte newsletter. One of his jobs now is in Charlotte with Beck Imports (http://www.beckimports.com/sales/staff.cfm). He also serves as an agent for some overseas players IIRC.

03-06-2008, 12:09 PM
yep, game winner at Maryland with the assist from Wojo

03-06-2008, 12:19 PM
He was my favorite player in high school, had his number 3 jersey, I even think I sall him at the NCCU game, he hit a 3 against The twerps

03-06-2008, 12:20 PM
yep, game winner at Maryland with the assist from Wojo

Didn't he also hit a game winner against NCSU? Like someone posted earlier, I was always waiting for him to have the big break-out performance that led to consistent badassism.


03-06-2008, 12:34 PM
He also had a 360 Dunk his first game back from his vaca for grades

03-06-2008, 12:42 PM
Didn't he also hit a game winner against NCSU? Like someone posted earlier, I was always waiting for him to have the big break-out performance that led to consistent badassism.

I don't remember that one off the top of my head. I do remember him missing one against UNC though, from almost the same spot as the game-winner against Maryland.

03-06-2008, 12:48 PM
I don't remember that one off the top of my head. I do remember him missing one against UNC though, from almost the same spot as the game-winner against Maryland.

I remember the one against UNC as well. It was either the 97 or 98 game at UNC, baseline jumper that looked like it was going in at the buzzer but rimmed out.

03-06-2008, 12:57 PM
Well, let's see, IIRC, he led Duke in scoring one year or was second on the team - think sophomore @ 14 pts a game after having a pretty decent freshman year. Never fully developed. Had mad hops but not a really good handle which would allow him to fully take advantage. Believe there were some injuries, but most importantly, as others have noted was that senior year he was suspended for the first semester - believe there was cheating/plagiarism incident. By the time he came back, that team was already into a pretty regular routine (1997-1998 team went to the Elite Eight and came oh so close to the Final Four) and he never really made it fully back. Not sure why he didn't develop junior year though - might have been injuries. Still remember freshman year, when Dickie V kept predicting the "next Grant Hill". Sigh - if he had developed into that, oh what might have been, especially on a drive and kick out to langdon...

03-06-2008, 01:03 PM
Price was third-team All-ACC as a sophomore in 1996, averaging 14.2 ppg and making some clutch shots, including a buzzer-beater at College Park that secured an NCAA bid for Duke. He is 6'4", had exceptional athleticism and decent ball skills. K frequently cited Price as Duke's best defensive player.

At the end of his sophomore year I would have projected him as a future NBA first-round draft pick.

Then things started to go wrong. He broke a finger before his junior season. I don't know if he was trying to protect the finger or not, but after his return he became more and more fond of staying on the perimeter. This negated his ability to slash his way to the basket, his greatest offensive asset. Since Duke had players like Langdon and Capel who were better on the perimeter than was Price, Price saw his PT drop.

Then he became academcially ineligible and and sat out the first semester of his senior year. He returned for the second semester but never played his way back into the rotation. Remember this was a 32-4 team, so the rotation was pretty good.

He never made the NBA but had a solid career overseas. A puzzling what-might-have-been.

03-06-2008, 01:13 PM
I remember the one against UNC as well. It was either the 97 or 98 game at UNC, baseline jumper that looked like it was going in at the buzzer but rimmed out.

The missed jumper was in the '96 game in Chapel Hill, from the right baseline.

I still wish Collins could have taken the shot off a screen from the right wing, 30 feet out:) That was his sweet spot, and he had drilled one from there in the first half. He hit that from a different area code, that's a long-range-J. He feels it!

03-06-2008, 01:16 PM
As I recall, Ricky Price was all-world coming out of California, but he was recruited mostly by reputation because at that time Coach K was involved in so many things outside of Duke basketball. Unfortunately, Price didn't seem to be a good fit at Duke, and he got little playing time his last two years. I also believe that he accepted much of the blame for his performance at the team banquet his senior year, which was very commendable on his part.

After having this kind of problem, Coach K not only cut down on his outside activities, but the assistant coaches made sure to cultivate personal relations with their recruits in order to project how well they would fit in with the program.

03-06-2008, 01:20 PM
He like many young people made a unfortunate mistake and he paid for it. He seemed like a very nice person and was a gifted athlete.

03-06-2008, 01:49 PM
So much potential but never seemed to gain a level of consistency.

I'll never forget this move he had against UConn in a pre-season tournament game. Ricky does a crossover on his defender and gets ahead of him and then he does an amazing spin move to split his defender and another defender and converts a layup.

Like the other poster said, he definitely had flashes of talent.

03-06-2008, 01:59 PM
There's a couple of comments that imply that Ricky was some kind of recruiting mistake. I have no idea about that, but I do know that Ricky is a coach at the K Academy which is a privilege that not every former player receives and indicates that K and the staff have no issues with the person he is today.

Scoring Point
03-06-2008, 02:28 PM
Price was very highly rated coming out of HS and got off to great start as a frosh, holding his won against Ray Allen in an early loss to UConn and then leading Duke to a hard fought win over a solid Illinois team, in front of a very hostile crowd at the United Center, with 15 points and 7 boards. I was at the latter game and came away convinced that Ricky would be Duke's next superstar. But he hurt his ankle a few games later - arguably the worst kind of injury for someone whose game was built around a great first step and serious hops - and between the lingering effects of that injury and K's absence, was never the same the rest of the '95 season.

Others have noted the ups and downs Ricky endured over the balance of his career, and I would agree the characterization that he was a very talented kid who suffered from a lot of bad luck, some of his own making, during his 4 years at Duke.

I don't think anyone associated with the Duke program would ever describe Ricky as having been a recruiting mistake, though. What I have heard, however, is that ever since Ricky's up and down career, K has been reluctant to recruit kids who don't come from winning HS programs (Price's teams were apparently ~.500 or worse through his career). I would be curious to know if anyone else had heard this.

03-06-2008, 03:30 PM
It may also be informative to point out Ricky's freestyle rapping skills. I would say they mimicked his on-court performance: quite agile with a loose handle.

03-06-2008, 03:40 PM
My memory is a little foggy, but my recollection was that at times he was the most dominating player on the court. Henderson reminds me a little of ricky price in the sense that I think Henderson could get his shot almost anytime he wanted it.
I always thought that Price's problem was in his head and with focus. I don't remember which year or years, but he would have absolutely amazing halfs where he would score 20 points and than not score at all in the other half. He would also have games where he scored 2 points. He would have amazing stretches where you could see the dominant player that people thought he might/could be, but it was never consistant.

03-06-2008, 05:26 PM
Still remember freshman year, when Dickie V kept predicting the "next Grant Hill".

I remember this too and it was annoying. He certainly got off to a very good start (I believe he scored in double figures in his first 6 games or so, which had rarely been done at Duke). But the Hill comparisons were primarily based on their athleticism and not their actual games.

03-07-2008, 04:20 PM
I went back to John Feinstein's "A March to Madness" (1998) and found the following:

"Krzyzewski was convinced [in 1996] that recruiting was the area in which the program had slipped the most since the back-to-back titles [in 1991 and 1992]. It wasn't that Duke had stopped recruiting highly touted players. Quite the contrary. Each Duke recruiting class had players ranked and lauded by all the recruiting gurus. The difference was that Krzyzewski hadn't had the time to get to know them as well as he had in the past. Then, he sometimes flew with a recruit back to his hometown after a campus visit so he would have extra time to talk to him alone, to get a feeling in his gut about him. But after '91 and '92, he had stopped doing that. There just wasn't time. If he had had the extra time he might have figured out that Greg Newton and Joey Beard were ill-suited for Duke academically and socially. He might have thought twice about Tony Moore's and Ricky Price's ability to handle the school's academic rigor.

Instead, he read the reports on them, saw them play a couple of times, and recognized that each had talent. The rest, he figured, would come. The players were eager to come to Duke, so they were signed. Then, the problems started" (72-73).

I went back and checked and it turns out that Tony Moore was ruled academically ineligible after the first semester of his senior year and ended up averaging 2.5 PPG over his career. I remember Dicky V saying that Joey Beard was the next superstar in the Ferry and Laettner mold, but he only played one full year and averaged 1.3 PPG before transferring to Boston University. Greg Newton had a lot of problems at Duke, but he stuck around for four years and averaged in double figures his last two years. It was really sad to see Ricky Price drop from 14.2 PPG his sophomore year to 2.7 PPG as a senior, so I have to believe that he would have been happier and more successful elsewhere. Since you can't get your undergraduate years back, that's a shame.

03-07-2008, 04:55 PM
IMO, Ricky flashed great talent early on that was rather similar to G's early flashes.

Ricky singlehandedly caused a meltdown on IC? Wasn't aware of that.

03-07-2008, 05:05 PM
"You're called the Wildcats? Well I'm about to get wild on you, cat"
-- Ricky Price to Villanova players, 1996 (unsubstantiated)

Ricky was my year at Duke as well, and it was frustrating to see him sit at the end of the bench his senior year. Much like we all call for Marty, Ricky was instant offense off the bench but was seldom used, and might have been valuable in a certain 31-13 run that ended that year's season (painful to even think about). I seem to recall his main issue of playing too fast - driving into the lane not under control and turning the ball over, and never really found a role on the '98 team with Avery's ability to penetrate. I think we've all seen Coach K over the years tighten his rotation as the season progresses, so I would imagine it's pretty hard to get minutes when you miss the first semester and minutes get harder to come by later in the year. At the time I always thought he should have red-shirted (not sure you can do that with an Academic suspension, but also not sure if it was a Duke or NCAA suspension, or if it even matters), but looking back I don't think he would have cracked the '99 line-up either.

03-08-2008, 03:14 PM
You might be interested in seeing these -- from the 1995-1996 Duke Basketball Interactive Yearbook CD-ROM.

Click the screencaps to see the interview (.mp4) and Quicktime VR dunks (.mov).

270 (http://homepage.mac.com/mustang_dvs/videos/AB_01.MP4)

268 (http://homepage.mac.com/mustang_dvs/videos/AH_10.MOV)

269 (http://homepage.mac.com/mustang_dvs/videos/AH_11.MOV)

03-08-2008, 04:14 PM
I remember Ricky quite well. I also remember the cheating issue. I had a friend in that class, and I knew the TA. He (the TA) let it slip that people were copying off of Ricky, and I remember joking at the time that you'd have to be pretty desperate to copy off a basketball player. That was the great irony of the situation I thought, that he was the one SUPPLYING the information, NOT the other way around.

I also remember his INSANE athleticism. He was easily as athletic as Corey Maggette or Gerald Henderson. The talent was remarkable. He just couldn't ever seem to bring it all together. I've started to kind of see GH as starting to become what Corey and Ricky SHOULD have become. At least, I'm hoping so.

I also seem to recall him getting a LOT of those traveling calls that really quick guys get. His first step was SO fast that the refs just kind of assumed he walked and blew the whistle, but if you watched in slow motion, he didn't move the pivot foot until after he started dribbling. I seem to remember him getting at least one or two of those a game. DM and GH have gotten one or two of those this year. Ricky literally had the fastest first step I ever saw on a basketball court. He could be completely past a defender in the first step and a half of his move. I had never seen anything like it, and haven't since.