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Classof06
06-04-2008, 10:52 AM
Needless to say, when I came to the DBR homepage and saw the Sporting News link, I was pleasantly surprised. If there is any player on Duke's roster I'm most excited to see next year, it's GH. I can't wait to see the freshmen, I'm very excited to see how Nolan and Kyle respond with a year of experience under their belts, and I'd also like to see if Zoubek and Thomas step up to the plate and make it happen this year. But I think this is the year us Duke fans have been waiting for with respect to Henderson.

We said this last year and he definitely didn't disappoint but I don't think anyone expected Duke to be as offensively balanced as we were (Five players averaged 10+ ppg for us). When he's on his game, he's the best (or at least most dangerous) player on our team and with Demarcus now gone, it's time for Gerald to take it to that level; the level we got glimpses of up until the wrist injury at Chapel Hill; the level we saw again in the tournament. Lost in a lot of Duke fans' disappointment with the Belmont and WVU games was the fact that Gerald was phenomenal. There were stretches in both games where he literally carried the team on his back.

If we see that Gerald next season (and I'm confident we will), I see no reason why he can't be a 1st-Team All American. Like DeCourcy said: "late last season the other Devils began to recognize -- more important, Henderson began to recognize -- he was the best they had." If he can translate the momentum he ended last season with into this season, it's going to be a special year for Henderson. And I can't wait to see it.

roywhite
06-04-2008, 10:57 AM
The plug for Gerald was good to see, and right on, IMO.

Now why DeCourcy felt it necessary to introduce the comment with....

"Oh, no, here I go, writing something kind about Duke. Nobody but Duke fans seems to like when that happens. Sorry to say, Henderson has maybe the best physical tools of any returning college player: strength, length, dynamic athleticism."

OZZIE4DUKE
06-04-2008, 12:06 PM
Now why DeCourcy felt it necessary to introduce the comment with....

"Oh, no, here I go, writing something kind about Duke. Nobody but Duke fans seems to like when that happens.

Why? Because it is true! At least he is honest about it.

As the T-shirt says:


Duke -
Loved by few
Hated by many
Respected by all

DevilDan
06-04-2008, 12:08 PM
I too am rooting for Gerald to have a breakout year. Some described last season as that, but '07-'08 was more a "grow-up" from his freshman season. He played with more of a flair and positive dynamic. This could be the year that he puts the hammer down. I'm hoping he will eliminate those stretches where he seems to disappear from the action. If he's not scoring, I want him D'ing up, or getting a big rebound, or using his hands to swat a pass away. There are so many ways he can contribute.

Why did he make the DeCourcy article? Because GH has the ability to bust a move in almost every game that none of the other 9 players can TRY or DO. For those of you who haven't yet seen the SN article, Mr. DeCoucy lists the Top Ten reasons that he can't wait for next season to start.

The Henderson reference has drawn 6-7 comments in the first 24 hours -- the ONLY one of the 10 reasons to get any feedback up to now. Hope I have held the DUKE BANNER high by jumping in, both there and here... GO DEVILS !

Ignatius07
06-04-2008, 12:18 PM
I too am rooting for Gerald to have a breakout year. Some described last season as that, but '07-'08 was more a "grow-up" from his freshman season. He played with more of a flair and positive dynamic. This could be the year that he puts the hammer down. I'm hoping he will eliminate those stretches where he seems to disappear from the action. If he's not scoring, I want him D'ing up, or getting a big rebound, or using his hands to swat a pass away. There are so many ways he can contribute.

I think last year was a break-out year for Gerald - some of that is tainted in our eyes because of his injury and his struggles to adjust to that until the tournament. Still, I agree that he is going to go bonkers next season. He and Singler are really going to dominate some teams, to say nothing of Scheyer.

I also agree that part of his improvement next year will be eliminating patches where he isn't involved in the action, though we already saw signs of improvement in this area last year. Gerald seems to have taken time to learn how to play within himself. I think he realizes he could always be the center of action - offensively and defensively - but doesn't want to be seen by his teammates as a "ball hog" or what have you. I think he realizes now (and did so sometime during the ACC season) that he can be around the ball a lot without forcing shots, that there is a happy medium.

I also think we saw dramatically improved defense from him - and this could be the most important thing. If his defense next year is what I think it will be, it could make an enormous difference (replacing Nelson and such).

gw67
06-04-2008, 01:49 PM
Henderson improved in all aspects of his game last year except ballhandling and 3-point shooting. I expect him to play more minutes and to improve his shooting and rebounding. The one area where I expect him to excel is shotblocking. He has good timing to go along with his jumping ability and strength, and he is not shy about mixing it up near the basket. He needs to improve his ballhandling (particularly, going to the left) and his passing if he is to replace Nelson.

I think that he and Singler have a good chance to be selected for first team All ACC.

gw67

MChambers
06-04-2008, 02:17 PM
Henderson improved in all aspects of his game last year except ballhandling and 3-point shooting. I expect him to play more minutes and to improve his shooting and rebounding. The one area where I expect him to excel is shotblocking. He has good timing to go along with his jumping ability and strength, and he is not shy about mixing it up near the basket. He needs to improve his ballhandling (particularly, going to the left) and his passing if he is to replace Nelson.


I'd also like to see a little more defensive improvement, to the point where Gerald is thought of as a stopper. He's definitely got the physical ability to do this.

geraldsneighbor
06-04-2008, 06:53 PM
If anyones wondering, Henderson is progressing well with his wrist. He is rehabbing in Lansdale, PA near his home in Blue Bell. It has been quite a thrill for the kids around here to see Henderson work out at the same public gym as them.

roywhite
06-04-2008, 07:08 PM
If anyones wondering, Henderson is progressing well with his wrist. He is rehabbing in Lansdale, PA near his home in Blue Bell. It has been quite a thrill for the kids around here to see Henderson work out at the same public gym as them.

Thanks for the update, geraldsneighbor. Do you, or another poster, know what his plans for the summer are? Offhand, I'm not aware of amateur international competition other than the Olympics and qualifying tournaments.

Back to Durham, or maybe play some summer league in Philadelphia area?

BlueintheFace
06-04-2008, 10:00 PM
In one of the games last year an announcer said Gerald moved like Kobe. At first I scoffed at it, but the more I watch him and Kobe the more I notice how incredibly similar their body builds and movements are. It is eerie. Of course Kobe is one of the greatest players in the history of Basketball and Gerald is a college player, but the tools are really there... If he can just see the floor a little better and work on his body control...Oh boy... could be a fun year

beltwayBD
06-04-2008, 10:24 PM
I echo most of the comments on this post. Big fan of Gerald, and really looking forward to seeing him in top form again next season. It will be especially interesting to see what kind of synergies he develops with a new starting line up (I won't open that can here) and the freshmen. Man, did I love his "Coast to coast!!!!" moment. I believe this is it on Youtube, if you'd like to relive it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIwxwkTVBfw

Side note: I found it via a Google search of "Gerald Henderson" and "Coast to Coast". :)

mgtr
06-04-2008, 10:50 PM
I consider it prophetic that Gerald Henderson, and one of Duke's greatest-ever players, Grant Hill, have the same initials.
Many here are saying that 09/10, with two Plumlees +++ will be a great year for Duke.
I think that this upcoming year, 08/09, with one Plumlee, plus the nucleus of our team from last year minus Markie, ++, will be a wonderful year. I certainly expect that we reach the elite eight, or better. I do not believe that we will be knocked out early by the likes of VCS or WVa.
Go Duke!

geraldsneighbor
06-04-2008, 11:50 PM
From what I understand Henderson spent last summer working out with his brother in Columbus, Ohio. I do believe he is to do that again as well as return to Durham early. I know Duke has a history of having alot of the players around in the July-August months. I read in 2001 a couple guys played full-court 1 on 1 to get in shape. Once Gerald is back at 100%, those are the workouts I believe he will take part in down in Durham....by the way, coast to coast was better in person. I don't think I have ever been so nervous in my life. It took a good hour walking around and thinking about what just happened before my heart rate summoned. I honestly don't even remember watching Arizona-WVU. Can't wait for 08-09.

Sidenote: Where G lives is only about 15 minutes from when TK has moved in to take classes at 'Nova. Wonder if G is hosting a sleep over?....doubt it.

EarlJam
06-04-2008, 11:50 PM
I too am really excited about Henderson next year. He will be the most exciting (and I believe the most clutch) player on the court.

That said, I really, really, REALLY hope he does not "explode" next season. That would be tragic, gross, and a tremendous loss to Duke and everyone that loves G.

-EarlJam

brevity
06-05-2008, 01:10 AM
Now why DeCourcy felt it necessary to introduce the comment with....

"Oh, no, here I go, writing something kind about Duke. Nobody but Duke fans seems to like when that happens. Sorry to say, Henderson has maybe the best physical tools of any returning college player: strength, length, dynamic athleticism."

You'd understand why once you read the comments for any of his Duke-related posts. The anti-Duke commenters attack him frequently, and the pro-Duke contingent don't come across as the best representatives. I frequently roll my eyes when he focuses on Duke (positively or negatively) because I know the reaction is going to be ugly.

Classof06
06-05-2008, 11:47 AM
In one of the games last year an announcer said Gerald moved like Kobe. At first I scoffed at it, but the more I watch him and Kobe the more I notice how incredibly similar their body builds and movements are. It is eerie. Of course Kobe is one of the greatest players in the history of Basketball and Gerald is a college player, but the tools are really there... If he can just see the floor a little better and work on his body control...Oh boy... could be a fun year

Haha, I remember when the announcer said that, too. It really hit me during the Pitt game when he made some move I can't remember then hit a jumpshot and my brother was like "Wow, that was Kobe for a second". I turned around and looked at him cuz I noticed the exact same thing.

There are definitely elements of Kobe in Gerald's game but I see a lot of D-Wade, too. The D-Wade comparison is a little more apt to me because he and Gerald are the same size and both have solid mid-range games but aren't big 3-point shooters.


I consider it prophetic that Gerald Henderson, and one of Duke's greatest-ever players, Grant Hill, have the same initials.
Many here are saying that 09/10, with two Plumlees +++ will be a great year for Duke. I think that this upcoming year, 08/09, with one Plumlee, plus the nucleus of our team from last year minus Markie, ++, will be a wonderful year. I certainly expect that we reach the elite eight, or better. I do not believe that we will be knocked out early by the likes of VCS or WVa.
Go Duke!

While I do believe Duke will be very good next year and capable of doing some real damage, 09-10 is the year where I'll expect a Final Four kind of season. Barring unforseen circumstances, we're gonna be stacked in '09.

VaDukie
06-05-2008, 08:16 PM
We're a Final Four caliber team next season. 10 reasons.

1. Singler is by default the best sophomore in the country with the top 5 all leaving. Take into account that this freshmen class (nationally) is considered relatively weak and how much talent is leaving this year, and you've got yourself a preseason All-American.
2. Like the article says, Henderson is going to blow up. It's a very different season if he doesn't hurt his wrist against UNC - ultimate example of a pyrrhic victory.
3. Jon Scheyer is an amazing 3rd option. The last time we had this much talent for our 3rd guy was 2004. And yes, I think he is third in line behind these two but obviously capable of taking over any game.
4. Paulus is a gamer. You better believe he's going to be ready for his senior season.
5. I haven't given up on Zoubek and Thomas in the least. They don't have to dominate (although I do think each of their ceiling's is higher than most beleive) but they have to be good enough that Singler can guard guys his own size. He had nothing in the tank at the end of the year and it showed.
6. Experience - Staring one senior, three juniors (Z/LT at 5), and a sophomore who started as a freshmen. And while Elliot is good enough to warrant significant time next season, we don't need him to. We've got experience all over.
7. MARTY DOESN'T FOUL.
8. Plumlee the 1st (we need to give them nicknames) and Olek give us depth in cause of injury and competition in practice. I'll be highly surprised if either crack the rotation though.
9. Other teams are losing so much more than we are. Next season:
The Good - Obvious
The Bad - UNC
The Ugly - UConn
10. K

Ignatius07
06-05-2008, 10:44 PM
While I do believe Duke will be very good next year and capable of doing some real damage, 09-10 is the year where I'll expect a Final Four kind of season. Barring unforseen circumstances, we're gonna be stacked in '09.

But don't you expect Gerald to leave after this season? And if so, does that change your mind? It does mine - but it also depends on our haul in the '09 recruiting class. If we land someone who is capable of starting and earning all-ACC honors, like Kenny Boynton, then perhaps we could expect a Final Four. At this point it's just too tough to say whether the 08/09 or 09/10 team will be better, because we don't know the fate of Singler, Henderson, McDonald, and Boynton.

SilkyJ
06-06-2008, 03:02 AM
7. MARTY DOESN'T FOUL.

I don't necessarily agree, but I like your style.



8. Plumlee the 1st (we need to give them nicknames) and Olek..... I'll be highly surprised if either crack the rotation though.

A month ago I agreed and I kinda agree now but I've got this hunch about Olek, like some others. This year the numbers are hard to argue with though with Z, LT, Singler, and McClure (let's not forget about him) all experienced frontcourt guys who can play significant and productive minutes if not as productive as we'd all like. Not to mention Miles who will give him a run for his money I'm sure....so maybe it will take a year or two, but I think he's gonna be good.

Bob Green
06-06-2008, 04:42 AM
We're a Final Four caliber team next season. 10 reasons.

1. Singler is by default the best sophomore in the country with the top 5 all leaving. Take into account that this freshmen class (nationally) is considered relatively weak and how much talent is leaving this year, and you've got yourself a preseason All-American.
2. Like the article says, Henderson is going to blow up. It's a very different season if he doesn't hurt his wrist against UNC - ultimate example of a pyrrhic victory.
3. Jon Scheyer is an amazing 3rd option. The last time we had this much talent for our 3rd guy was 2004. And yes, I think he is third in line behind these two but obviously capable of taking over any game.

With Scheyer, Henderson, and Singler, Duke is possibly the strongest team in the nation at the 2, 3, & 4. Additionally, Elliot Williams has the potential to make a meaningful contribution off the bench and no one knows what impact the return of Marty Pocius is going to have.



4. Paulus is a gamer. You better believe he's going to be ready for his senior season.

The first question mark for next season's team is point guard performance. Paulus is unquestionably a great shooter, but we are going to need Nolan Smith to play major minutes at the point against teams with backcourt speed in order to stop dribble penetration. DeMarcus Nelson is no longer available to defend our opponents point guard. If Paulus and Smith combined can provide consistent play at the point, on both ends of the court, we will be a tough match-up.



5. I haven't given up on Zoubek and Thomas in the least. They don't have to dominate (although I do think each of their ceiling's is higher than most beleive) but they have to be good enough that Singler can guard guys his own size. He had nothing in the tank at the end of the year and it showed.


The real question in regard to how good the team will be is who will provide production in the paint. Personally, I believe Brian Zoubek will show significant improvement if he can get/stay healthy. However, Lance Thomas, Dave McClure, Olek Czyz and Miles Plumlee are all going to be battling Zoubek/each other in practice to earn playing time. Post production by committee is a real possibility.

I'm of the opinion that 2008-2009 is going to be an exciting ride and I intend to sitback and enjoy it!

miramar
06-06-2008, 11:12 AM
I'm of the opinion that 2008-2009 is going to be an exciting ride and I intend to sitback and enjoy it![/QUOTE]

I think this should be Duke's most complete team in years, so I'm really looking forward to next season. They should be great to watch.

Classof06
06-06-2008, 11:23 AM
But don't you expect Gerald to leave after this season? And if so, does that change your mind? It does mine - but it also depends on our haul in the '09 recruiting class. If we land someone who is capable of starting and earning all-ACC honors, like Kenny Boynton, then perhaps we could expect a Final Four. At this point it's just too tough to say whether the 08/09 or 09/10 team will be better, because we don't know the fate of Singler, Henderson, McDonald, and Boynton.

You bring up a great point. Call me naive, but I think Henderson will stay four years. He seems to love Duke and I think he realizes that the 09-10 team has a great shot at winning it all. And even though it didn't stop Mike Dunleavy, the reality is that with a father who played in the NBA, there's no real financial incentive for Henderson to leave.

Is there a chance that this might be Gerald's last year at Duke? Certainly; especially if he has the year we all think he can. But between the two choices, I'd put my money on him coming back for his senior year. Take the June '08 prediction (about a June '09 decision) for whatever it's worth.

BlueintheFace
06-06-2008, 11:24 AM
The first question mark for next season's team is point guard performance. Paulus is unquestionably a great shooter, but we are going to need Nolan Smith to play major minutes at the point against teams with backcourt speed in order to stop dribble penetration. DeMarcus Nelson is no longer available to defend our opponents point guard. If Paulus and Smith combined can provide consistent play at the point, on both ends of the court, we will be a tough match-up.

I don't really know what you mean by "question mark." We know exactly what we are getting out of our starting point guard play. Consistently great three point shooter who doesn't turn the ball over much... pass first guard who is a step slow on defense.. scrappy player... heart of the team... clutch shooter... not a slasher or finisher in the lane.

Now, Smith might be somewhat of a question mark. The jump from Freshman year to Sophomore year is always a big one. We don't really know in what ways he will improve or remain deficient....

hq2
06-06-2008, 04:25 PM
The upcoming team reminds me a bit of Johnny Ds senior year; a good team returning most of its players with some 6-8 white boys on the front line , a quick 6-4-6-5 player named Henderson at the wing, coming in ranked maybe 3 or 4 with Carolina the likely number one. As we remember, that team went on to go 37-2 and play for the national championship. This team isn't as quick or good in the backcourt, but has more depth. Could go a long ways if they play well.

Karl Beem
06-06-2008, 04:33 PM
The upcoming team reminds me a bit of Johnny Ds senior year; a good team returning most of its players with some 6-8 white boys on the front line , a quick 6-4-6-5 player named Henderson at the wing, coming in ranked maybe 3 or 4 with Carolina the likely number one. As we remember, that team went on to go 37-2 and play for the national championship. This team isn't as quick or good in the backcourt, but has more depth. Could go a long ways if they play well.

The '86 team wins the NC with one of today's reserve wings.

Bob Green
06-06-2008, 04:49 PM
The first question mark for next season's team is point guard performance. Paulus is unquestionably a great shooter, but we are going to need Nolan Smith to play major minutes at the point against teams with backcourt speed in order to stop dribble penetration. DeMarcus Nelson is no longer available to defend our opponents point guard. If Paulus and Smith combined can provide consistent play at the point, on both ends of the court, we will be a tough match-up.


I don't really know what you mean by "question mark." We know exactly what we are getting out of our starting point guard play. Consistently great three point shooter who doesn't turn the ball over much... pass first guard who is a step slow on defense.. scrappy player... heart of the team... clutch shooter... not a slasher or finisher in the lane.

Now, Smith might be somewhat of a question mark. The jump from Freshman year to Sophomore year is always a big one. We don't really know in what ways he will improve or remain deficient....

What I mean by "question mark" is who is going to guard our opponents speedy point guard when Paulus is on the court. For the last couple of years, that job belonged to DeMarcus Nelson. How is the playing time going to be split between Paulus and Smith? Will Nolan Smith make a huge jump in performance such as Gerald Henderson did between his freshman and sophomore seasons? Those are legitimate questions in my mind.

Paulus and Smith both bring many assets onto the court and how those assets are utilized will impact the season. IMO, with Nelson graduated, Nolan Smith is going to have to play major minutes in order for Duke to achieve success defensively. However, with Paulus possessing that great stroke from behind the 3-point line, he is going to have to play major minutes in order for Duke to achieve success in the 3-point oriented offense.

SilkyJ
06-06-2008, 05:24 PM
Paulus and Smith both bring many assets onto the court and how those assets are utilized will impact the season. IMO, with Nelson graduated, Nolan Smith is going to have to play major minutes in order for Duke to achieve success defensively. However, with Paulus possessing that great stroke from behind the 3-point line, he is going to have to play major minutes in order for Duke to achieve success in the 3-point oriented offense.

To say nothing of Nolan's penetration abilities, which are also helpful in the drive-and-kick, 3-point oriented offense.

I've made my position pretty clear (I think or at least want Nolan starting by February) what's your opinion, Bob? Do you think they split time, see some time together, does greg become a 6th man?

Bob Green
06-06-2008, 05:37 PM
To say nothing of Nolan's penetration abilities, which are also helpful in the drive-and-kick, 3-point oriented offense.

I've made my position pretty clear (I think or at least want Nolan starting by February) what's your opinion, Bob? Do you think they split time, see some time together, does greg become a 6th man?

I believe they will split time at the point. Paulus' minutes will be less than last season and Smith's minutes will be more. IMO, Paulus is the starter at the beginning of the season and Smith is the 6th man, but by tournament time Smith will take over the starting job with Paulus moving into the 6th man role.

SilkyJ
06-06-2008, 05:54 PM
I believe they will split time at the point. Paulus' minutes will be less than last season and Smith's minutes will be more. IMO, Paulus is the starter at the beginning of the season and Smith is the 6th man, but by tournament time Smith will take over the starting job with Paulus moving into the 6th man role.

Looks like we see eye-to-eye on more than one thing today :)

DukeBlood
06-07-2008, 12:17 AM
I believe they will split time at the point. Paulus' minutes will be less than last season and Smith's minutes will be more. IMO, Paulus is the starter at the beginning of the season and Smith is the 6th man, but by tournament time Smith will take over the starting job with Paulus moving into the 6th man role.

I dont know. I kind of hope that happens but just dont see Coach K putting a 4 year starter to being a 6th man. They both have good and bad things about their game.

Bob, You have made quite a few predictions. I believe you said Olek will be a big part of next years team(or was that someone else?), Zoubek will average around 12 PPG, and Nolan will take over the starting PG spot. Ohh and I believe you said some good things about Elliot Williams? Im just curious as to why you feel these things will happen. Hope you are right !

speedevil
06-07-2008, 03:39 AM
I dont know. I kind of hope that happens but just dont see Coach K putting a 4 year starter to being a 6th man. They both have good and bad things about their game.

Bob, You have made quite a few predictions. I believe you said Olek will be a big part of next years team(or was that someone else?), Zoubek will average around 12 PPG, and Nolan will take over the starting PG spot. Ohh and I believe you said some good things about Elliot Williams? Im just curious as to why you feel these things will happen. Hope you are right !

sorry, but zoubek will NOT average 12 PPG.
ill be very surprise if he averages 8 PPG and 8 RPG has to be a must.

Bob Green
06-07-2008, 03:47 AM
I dont know. I kind of hope that happens but just dont see Coach K putting a 4 year starter to being a 6th man. They both have good and bad things about their game.

Bob, You have made quite a few predictions. I believe you said Olek will be a big part of next years team(or was that someone else?), Zoubek will average around 12 PPG, and Nolan will take over the starting PG spot. Ohh and I believe you said some good things about Elliot Williams? Im just curious as to why you feel these things will happen. Hope you are right !

I make these predictions for a couple of reasons. First, and foremost, because I believe them. Second, because it is the off-season and I love to introduce any topic that generates discussion. Now, in no particular order:

1. Elliot Williams - a big guard (6-4) with explosiveness. He will play significant minutes off the bench. I read many articles about his performance in high school and he expressed pride in his defensive abilities.

2. Nolan Smith - the guy was pretty impressive as a freshman despite some inconsistent performance. His inconsistency can be directly related to injuries. Nolan needs to play significant minutes at the point in order for Duke to neutralize the oppositions point guard. He should move into a starting role by tournament time.

3. Olek Czyz - everyone, Duke fans and Duke haters, loves to rant about Duke's lack of athleticism. Czyz is raw but athletic. He will play at least 10 minutes per game as a freshman because he can make free throws.

4. Brian Zoubek - I've predicted 12-14 ppg in 20-25 mpg for the big guy. This is the only prediction where I think I've possibly crawled out on a limb. However, if Zoubek can get/stay healthy he has the potential to explode. He is our only true back-to-the-basket post player.

5. Miles Plumlee - a big unknown, but the scouting reports I've read say he is strong and talented on both ends of the court.

6. Singler/Henderson/Scheyer/Paulus - the nucleus around which all these other events will revolve. These four guys will be the core of the team.

Bob Green
06-07-2008, 04:06 AM
sorry, but zoubek will NOT average 12 PPG.


I'm interested in hearing your rationale. Zoubek has shown flashes of ability. He has been hurt. He is still growing into a very big body (7-1, 265). If Zoubek can achieve a solid level of health and maintain it, I believe 12-14 ppg in 20-25 mpg is a realistic prediction.

The first caveat is obviously health. The second caveat is free throw shooting. For Zoubek to produce the numbers I am predicting, he must knock down the free ones.

CDu
06-07-2008, 08:17 AM
I'm interested in hearing your rationale. Zoubek has shown flashes of ability. He has been hurt. He is still growing into a very big body (7-1, 265). If Zoubek can achieve a solid level of health and maintain it, I believe 12-14 ppg in 20-25 mpg is a realistic prediction.

The first caveat is obviously health. The second caveat is free throw shooting. For Zoubek to produce the numbers I am predicting, he must knock down the free ones.

I agree with the other poster that Zoubek will be very unlikely to score 12-14 points per game. The main reason I say this is because I have trouble seeing him being able to improve his quickness and balance enough to be consistently useful on both ends of the floor. This is largely due to the fact that he is spending half of this summer (when guys do most of their improving) recovering from another surgery. I just don't see him having enough time to work on the physical aspects that will allow him to stay on the court enough to log 20-25 minutes and score 12-14 points per game.

Averaging 12-14 points is a pretty tough task, especially on a guard-oriented team like ours, and especially if you think Czyz and Plumlee will play a significant role as well (because those guys would be competing with Zoubek and Thomas for minutes). That being said, I'd LOVE for Zoubek to prove me wrong on this. If he could make himself a consistent impact presence in the paint, that would really help our versatility and improve our chances of winning a title.

jimsumner
06-07-2008, 11:05 AM
I'd probably accept a combined 14 ppg from Zoubek, Thomas, Czyz, and Plumlee.

CDu
06-07-2008, 11:18 AM
I'd probably accept a combined 14 ppg from Zoubek, Thomas, Czyz, and Plumlee.

I hope we get more than that from those four guys combined. Last year, when the "5" spot was much maligned for lacking a consistent presence, we got 13.1 points per game from Zoubek, Thomas, McClure, and King at the spot (after accounting for games not played by Thomas, Zoubek, and McClure. If we only get 14 ppg from the "5" spot, then we have pretty much the same issue as last year.

devildeac
06-07-2008, 02:00 PM
I hope we get more than that from those four guys combined. Last year, when the "5" spot was much maligned for lacking a consistent presence, we got 13.1 points per game from Zoubek, Thomas, McClure, and King at the spot (after accounting for games not played by Thomas, Zoubek, and McClure. If we only get 14 ppg from the "5" spot, then we have pretty much the same issue as last year.

I am with Jim on this one. If we can get >10ppg and >10rpg out of our "5" spot, plus 10-15 PF (or more:o) and a few rejects, then I think we will be fine. Think about 15ppg each from GH, JS and KS, then add 10ppg each from GP and NS plus your hypothetical (wishful? actual?) 14ppg from the "center" position, you have 79 ppg. I have not even added any ppg from EW, DM or MP. What do you think these 3 guys total will be? 5ppg? 10ppg? That brings us up to 85-90ppg. We should win a lot of games with that offense. Of course, we can't start giving up 80-85 ppg either as we did at the end of the 06/07 season:(.

Ignatius07
06-07-2008, 02:03 PM
I am with Jim on this one. If we can get >10ppg and >10rpg out of our "5" spot, plus 10-15 PF (or more:o) and a few rejects, then I think we will be fine. Think about 15ppg each from GH, JS and KS, then add 10ppg each from GP and NS plus your hypothetical (wishful? actual?) 14ppg from the "center" position, you have 79 ppg. I have not even added any ppg from EW, DM or MP. What do you think these 3 guys total will be? 5ppg? 10ppg? That brings us up to 85-90ppg. We should win a lot of games with that offense. Of course, we can't start giving up 80-85 ppg either as we did at the end of the 06/07 season:(.

I would be surprised if our team PPG doesn't increase by 3-6 next year. I'm not ready to predict the allocation thereof, but I think having multiple seasoned scorers will be evident in the box scores next year.

jimsumner
06-07-2008, 02:33 PM
I don't think lack of scoring from the 5 last year was as much a problem as lack of rebounding and tough interior D.

devildeac
06-07-2008, 04:47 PM
I don't think lack of scoring from the 5 last year was as much a problem as lack of rebounding and tough interior D.

Still miss Shelden, eh Jim :(. (don't we all miss Shelden:()

Bob Green
06-07-2008, 04:48 PM
I agree with the other poster that Zoubek will be very unlikely to score 12-14 points per game....Averaging 12-14 points is a pretty tough task, especially on a guard-oriented team like ours....

I have probably crawled out onto the end of a limb with my Zoubek points prediction, but I am way too stubborn to back off my position so we will just have to wait and see how it plays out.


I'd probably accept a combined 14 ppg from Zoubek, Thomas, Czyz, and Plumlee.

I think 25 ppg from the combination of Zoubek, Thomas, Czyz, Plumlee, & McClure is necessary. However, I expect one of those five to see very little to no playing time.


I don't think lack of scoring from the 5 last year was as much a problem as lack of rebounding and tough interior D.

I agree 100 percent that rebounding and tough interior D must improve over last year. The inability to control the boards hurt us down the stretch. We need our rebounding and blocked shots numbers to improve right alongside points scored by our Center.

devildeac
06-07-2008, 04:59 PM
I have probably crawled out onto the end of a limb with my Zoubek points prediction, but I am way too stubborn to back off my position so we will just have to wait and see how it plays out.



I think 25 ppg from the combination of Zoubek, Thomas, Czyz, Plumlee, & McClure is necessary. However, I expect one of those five to see very little to no playing time.



I agree 100 percent that rebounding and tough interior D must improve over last year. The inability to control the boards hurt us down the stretch. We need our rebounding and blocked shots numbers to improve right alongside points scored by our Center.

It is getting MIGHTY lonely that far out on the branch, eh, Bob;). However, if we do get that kind of production (ppg, rpg and a few rejections), I agree will be in excellent shape.

jimsumner
06-07-2008, 07:52 PM
"I think 25 ppg from the combination of Zoubek, Thomas, Czyz, Plumlee, & McClure is necessary."

I'm sorry but this just isn't realistic. There are 200 player-minutes to go around. Now factor in Singler, Henderson, Scheyer, Paulus, Smith, Williams, and Pocius taking most if not all of the minutes at the 1-4. Assuming McClure plays some 4, the most that I can see this quintet playing is about 45
mpg.

Now, further consider that all of the above mentioned non-fives have more advanced offensive games than your quintet. Unless we assume that Singler, Henderson, et. al starting deferring offensively to Zoubek, Thomas et. al or we assume that K suddenly channels Paul Westhead and Duke scores 120 ppg, I don't see any way the quintet gets the minutes or the touches to come near 25 ppg.

Newton_14
06-07-2008, 10:46 PM
I agree with Jim.. We will get plenty of points from the guys playing the 1-4 spots. All the 5 Spot guys need to give is good defense, good rebounding, and the ability to finish inside from close range when they get their opportunities. I just don't believe scoring will be an issue for this team.

With Gerald, Kyle, Jon, and Greg, I think combined they will avg close to 60-65 ppg ( I think is logical to think their individual avg could be Gerald 16ppg, Kyle 16ppg, Jon 16ppg, and Greg 14 )

Let's say Nolan, Eliot, and Marty can avg 7 or 8 ppg apiece and thats a combined 20+.

That's roughly 83 ppg from the 1-4 positions, for a team thats likely to avg around 90 ppg.

If we can just get marginal offensive output from the guys in the post and solid defense and rebounding, everything will be just fine...

speedevil
06-08-2008, 12:20 AM
Still miss Shelden, eh Jim :(. (don't we all miss Shelden:()

pay the rent, pay the rent

scoring, rebounding, blocks, defensive...im so glad his jersey is hanging in the rafters, but i miss him too.
we need someone to step up this year from the 5 spot.

i dont remember shelden's career #'s but i challenge zoubek to average half of shelden's lowest production year in scoring, rebounding and blocks. if zoubek does it, then i will call that a successful year.

Bob Green
06-08-2008, 01:42 AM
i dont remember shelden's career #'s but i challenge zoubek to average half of shelden's lowest production year in scoring, rebounding and blocks. if zoubek does it, then i will call that a successful year.

Shelden's freshman season was his lowest production year. His numbers were (http://goduke.statsgeek.com/basketball-m/players/statlines.php?playerid=376) 8.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, & 1.6 blocks per game. He played 19.2 minutes per game.

jimsumner
06-08-2008, 01:59 PM
"His numbers were 8.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, & 1.6 blocks per game. He played 19.2 minutes per game."

I'll take that from Zoubek right now, no questions asked. In a heartbeat.

SilkyJ
06-08-2008, 05:12 PM
^half a heartbeat. we get that kinda production from him and detroit here we come.

Also, Boozer- I don't think we're "likely" to average around 90ppg. I hope we do, but that's a lot of points, especially for one of K's teams.

roywhite
06-08-2008, 05:43 PM
"I think 25 ppg from the combination of Zoubek, Thomas, Czyz, Plumlee, & McClure is necessary."

I'm sorry but this just isn't realistic. There are 200 player-minutes to go around. Now factor in Singler, Henderson, Scheyer, Paulus, Smith, Williams, and Pocius taking most if not all of the minutes at the 1-4. Assuming McClure plays some 4, the most that I can see this quintet playing is about 45
mpg.

Now, further consider that all of the above mentioned non-fives have more advanced offensive games than your quintet. Unless we assume that Singler, Henderson, et. al starting deferring offensively to Zoubek, Thomas et. al or we assume that K suddenly channels Paul Westhead and Duke scores 120 ppg, I don't see any way the quintet gets the minutes or the touches to come near 25 ppg.

All reasonable points. I'd put a realistic "over/under" for this group at 15 ppg. I may be too optimistic, because I think the group may go "over" 15 ppg:

Outstanding depth does mean more substitution and a fast pace offensively
Czyz and even Plumlee IMO have more offensive tools than LT, Zoubs, and McClure. Let the competition for playing time sort this out.

yancem
06-09-2008, 09:32 AM
^half a heartbeat. we get that kinda production from him and detroit here we come.

Also, Boozer- I don't think we're "likely" to average around 90ppg. I hope we do, but that's a lot of points, especially for one of K's teams.

I agree that it probably not too likely that Duke breaks 90 ppg plateau next year but I'm not sure I get the "especially for one of K's teams" jab. Only one team scored more than 90 ppg last season and that was VMI. UNC only averaged 88.7 ( http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/statistics ). Very few teams (usually 1-3) score that many points a game each season but I would bet that Duke does it as frequently as just about any other D1 team. In the last decade Duke has topped 90 ppg twice ('99 and '01) and come close twice ('00 - 88.0 ppg and '02 - 88.9 ppg). I'd say that's not to shabby.

Abraxas
06-09-2008, 12:05 PM
I think 25 ppg from the combination of Zoubek, Thomas, Czyz, Plumlee, & McClure is necessary. However, I expect one of those five to see very little to no playing time.

I would not be surprised if Plumlee (or Czyz - much less likely) redshirts.

roywhite
06-09-2008, 12:55 PM
I would not be surprised if Plumlee (or Czyz - much less likely) redshirts.

Perhaps, but for whatever reasons, we haven't gotten much production from our rising junior inside guys, Thomas and Zoubek. Seems to me that Plumlee and Czyz each have a chance to get significant time if they can outplay Lance and Zoubs. What I read about Miles Plumlee is that the previous Stanford coaches considered him ready to contribute in that program, and Czyz is a really intriguing prospect.

A redshirt choice made this fall for Miles Plumlee or Czyz would indicate to me that the staff is actually pleased with the development of our returning inside players...that would be a good thing.

greybeard
06-09-2008, 02:28 PM
Smith could be extremely valuable if K stays with the same offensive concepts centered around creating inside-out play not through pass penetration to a big-man pivot player or through point guard penetration aka Nash, but rather wing penetration and the wing player making the kick decision when he reaches the foul line.

In that scenario, the wing penetrator's first read is whether he can get to the basket and finish with reasonable probability. You must, in any offense, be able to score from near the rim. In last year's offense, the principle means of doing that was off the wings penetrating to the foul line, making a read as to whether there was a path to the basketball that the help was not likely to be able to impede, and their being able then to turn the corner on their defenders and get a shoulder by their man-on defender. In the laternative, the wing penetrator had to be a threat to stop at or just inside the foul line and shoot the short jump shot. That too would draw help defenders, that would create the beginning of effective inside-out play off the kick.

The ability of the wings to take it to the rim, or stop and shoot, opened the inside out passing game just as penetrating with the pass to interior pivot player does in a more conventional offensive scheme.

Smith has shown signs of a mid range game off of penetration that is different than Henderson's but perhaps as potentially lethal. His is more of a floater game, and has more cleverness, nuance to it. Henderson operates at a much higher speed with much more volume; he stops on a dime, and is above the defender and can be lethal when his wrist is right. David Thompsonesque.

Smith, I'm thinking more John Lucas or that penetrator at VT from two years ago, the lefty.

The mid range jump shot was needed in the second half of the season more than the first, but with Henderson's wrist, it just was not there. Nelson had no meaningful mid-range game, as others have observed, and Scheyer was doing so much else on the court, particularly on defense and the defensive boards, that the nuance in leg lift necessary for an effective stop-and-pop game, which Scheyer clearly has, often went missing. In mid season, one team, I forget which one, figured a way to make wing penetration to the rim much more problematic without leaving the 3 shooters open. Other teams picked up on it. With Lance's hand also injured, and his ability to catch and finish impaired, the offense became less potent because the mid range game was there but there was no one to play it.

Smith can help very much maintaining an even level of inside-out play by posing a danger of penetrating the defense and scoring the ball from high percentage places short of getting all the way to the rim. The help will have to come from the exterior defenders, and the game of catch-up will be on if, as he will, Smith will read the help and kick. The ball will then be shot from 3 after how many passes the other guys chose to make to get the best available look by someone who really feels it.

Zoubek will score the ball well next year if he is comfortable on, and figures out how to operate with, his new foot. Make no mistake about it, the adjustment will be huge even if the foot is pain free. Zoubek's best chance is to develop a catch and shoot game from different spots that is extremely economical, and that minimizes risk. His pre-catch movements and organization will be crucial for him to do that. I believe from what I have seen that he is clever enough to do that. The bigger question is whether the coaches and his teammates will see value in looking to get Zoubek the ball for scoring purposes in places that he decides work for him (that have the qualities mentioned above) as opposed to places that are ideal as written in the playbook.

Playbook's do not play basketball. Basketball players do. I have always seen in Zoubek a guy who absolutely understands and gets the game; people around him need to learn to look and listen.

This could well be again a terrific basketball team to watch.

Classof06
06-09-2008, 02:52 PM
Perhaps, but for whatever reasons, we haven't gotten much production from our rising junior inside guys, Thomas and Zoubek. Seems to me that Plumlee and Czyz each have a chance to get significant time if they can outplay Lance and Zoubs. What I read about Miles Plumlee is that the previous Stanford coaches considered him ready to contribute in that program, and Czyz is a really intriguing prospect.

A redshirt choice made this fall for Miles Plumlee or Czyz would indicate to me that the staff is actually pleased with the development of our returning inside players...that would be a good thing.

I would be very surprised if either Czyz or Plumlee redshirted, for a few reasons:

1. Being loaded on the perimeter, the only thing holding Duke back is frontcourt depth; MP1 and Czyz greatly mitigate that weakness. We were quite fortunate to get MP1 when we did; I don't see us acknowledging how fortunate we were by red-shirting the kid.

2. Zoubek and his foot/feet are an unknown. As bad as it sounds, there's no reason for the staff to expect Brian to make it through a full season without injury. You don't redshirt kids that can replace Zoubek when Zoubek's durability is arguably the biggest question mark on the team.

3. Lance Thomas averaged 4 ppg and 3 rpg, never once grabbing 10+ rebounds in a game last season. There's no reason to think either MP1 or Czyz can't match or exceed that production. But they need to be on the floor to do so.


I personally would be perplexed to see either Czyz or MP1 redshirted. All that would tell me is that they're clearly not ready to contribute and given what I've seen/heard about both kids, that would be surprising.

SilkyJ
06-09-2008, 03:45 PM
I agree that it probably not too likely that Duke breaks 90 ppg plateau next year but I'm not sure I get the "especially for one of K's teams" jab. Only one team scored more than 90 ppg last season and that was VMI. UNC only averaged 88.7 ( http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/statistics ). Very few teams (usually 1-3) score that many points a game each season but I would bet that Duke does it as frequently as just about any other D1 team. In the last decade Duke has topped 90 ppg twice ('99 and '01) and come close twice ('00 - 88.0 ppg and '02 - 88.9 ppg). I'd say that's not to shabby.

Three things:

1) Its not meant to be a jab at all.

2) you proved my point for me. In K's 25+ years we topped 90ppg twice and came close twice. Thats 4 times in 25 years. You do the math.

3) Two words: STALL. BALL.

CDu
06-09-2008, 04:48 PM
Three things:

1) Its not meant to be a jab at all.

2) you proved my point for me. In K's 25+ years we topped 90ppg twice and came close twice. Thats 4 times in 25 years. You do the math.

3) Two words: STALL. BALL.

Actually, it's four times in ten years, as referenced by the previous post. The poster didn't discuss anything previous to 1999. I imagine we probably were in the neighborhood in the late 80s and early 90s too.

Now, I'll be very surprised if we average 90 ppg next year, but 85-87 wouldn't be out of the question, in my opinion. And it's certainly a part of this team's history to score like that, with the exception being the years in which we only had two guys who could score (Redick and Williams).

Newton_14
06-09-2008, 10:45 PM
^half a heartbeat. we get that kinda production from him and detroit here we come.

Also, Boozer- I don't think we're "likely" to average around 90ppg. I hope we do, but that's a lot of points, especially for one of K's teams.


Actually I expect between 85 to 90... I lean more to the high end mainly because of the experience this team will have, and the multiple scoring options. It's optimistic, I know, but within reach...

CDu
06-10-2008, 01:00 AM
Actually I expect between 85 to 90... I lean more to the high end mainly because of the experience this team will have, and the multiple scoring options. It's optimistic, I know, but within reach...

85 is certainly within reach. 90 is probably slightly out of reach. But 85-87 ppg is not out of the question, in my opinion.

Carlos
06-10-2008, 11:21 AM
If you look back through the whole of K's tenure there were no other instances of Duke averaging over 90 ppg. The 1992 team came close (88 ppg) as did the 1990 team (89.1), but that's it.

The 90 ppg threshold isn't too realistic not because Duke plays a low-scoring style of basketball. In fact, Duke is typically one of the higher scoring teams in the nation - 3rd last year and in 2006, 10th in 2005, 12th in 2004, 7th in 2003, and 2nd in 2002. What makes the 90 ppg threshold unrealistic is that so few teams actually accomplish it. If you look at all teams in the NCAA you'll see that only three teams in the last 7 years averaged 90 ppg or better.

Cdog923
06-10-2008, 05:42 PM
A few points:

- If Henderson develops a reliable mid-range jumper to compliment his driving skills, he will be 1st Team AA next year, easy. Even without it, he's a threat to make AA. I'm praying he stays for his Sr. season, because we could be downright scary in '09.

- In terms of redshirts, if someone does, I would prefer to see Czyz take a redshirt rather than Plumlee. Miles offers a bit more in terms of size in the paint, and Czyz, with his athleticism, is fit for a role very similar to what Kyle plays now. If Plumlee can some in right away and offer some positive output in the post, we can be more flexible in playing more natural bigs and letting Kyle play in a sort of hybrid Point-Forward type of role. However, I don't see Czyz or Plumlee redshirting at all; Miles gives us the depth at the 4/5, and Czyz has the athleticism to come in and make an impact.

- We need AT LEAST 20 ppg from a low post combo of Zoubek, Thomas, Plumlee, Czyz and McClure. That shouldn't be too hard to attain; an average of 4 ppg from those 5 would release a ton of pressure from the main scoring threats on our team.

gw67
06-11-2008, 08:54 AM
As I discussed earlier in the thread, Henderson improved in several aspects of his game last year and I hope that he continues to improve this year. Every one is free to have an opinion but I find it very difficult to compare a player who has scored 652 points in 66 games (less than 10 ppg) with Kobe or Grant as many have done, or to conclude that he is a lock for first team All American honors. Henderson is an extraordinary leaper but he has some holes in his game Ė long range shooting, ballhandling, passing and foul shooting. I expect him to have a very good year but the Devils have a number of good perimeter players plus Singler to distribute the scoring. He and Singler should be candidates for All ACC but I donít believe that either will have the stats for first team All American. Of course, time will tell.

gw67

DevilDan
06-11-2008, 09:44 AM
Agree with gw67. Henderson showed flashes of brilliance, but has to come back and be "the man" for any of those awards & honors. The problem is, he also had periods on the floor where he seemed to disappear from the action. Singler was outstanding in the first 15 games or so, with the fundamentals and the poise of a veteran. But from mid-February on, he just ran out of gas. By the end of the season and post-season, his role was reduced to that of a rebounder.

The key this coming year is that these two come back stronger and more consistent over the 30+ game season. But even if they do, will they be posting 18-20 pts per game? Doubtful in the Duke system. It's more likely that the four lead players (adding Paulus and Scheyer) will all be around 11-15 per game, with scoring help from Smith and Williams, AND I HOPE TO GOD the frontline guys. It would be great to get 15&10 out of Thomas/Zoubek/Czyz/Plumlee.

It'll be a true TEAM attack, likely without a superstar, or standout scorer. All-American selections? Probably not. All-ACC players? I predict 3-4 Duke players among the 1st, 2nd, 3rd teams. This team should get 28+ wins, and go deep in the NCAA's ... !

CameronCrazy'11
06-11-2008, 04:39 PM
Obviously it's impossible to predict the future, but I can see either Henderson or Singler shaping into a NPOY or retired jersey player if they stick around till their senior years.

greybeard
06-11-2008, 04:43 PM
I'd compare Henderson with David Thompson, not Grant or Kobe, both of whom possess much better ball handling and vision (basketball-creativity) related skills than either Henderson or Thompson.

I am not saying that Henderson has Thompson's game yet or perhaps ever (mostly a shooting range issue), but I thank that Henderson has shown enough to warrant the comparison I make.

The game today is much more complex, particularly as it relates to defense, than in Thompson's day, and Burleson was an attention getting presence that gave Thompson much more room to operate than Henderson has.

I think that Henderson is tougher than Thompson was, and that, if he continues to mature as a man under K at Duke for four years, he could be a very, very special player, but not Grant or Kobe.

slower
06-11-2008, 04:49 PM
I'd compare Henderson with David Thompson, not Grant or Kobe, both of whom possess much better ball handling and vision (basketball-creativity) related skills than either Henderson or Thompson.

I am not saying that Henderson has Thompson's game yet or perhaps ever (mostly a shooting range issue), but I thank that Henderson has shown enough to warrant the comparison I make.

The game today is much more complex, particularly as it relates to defense, than in Thompson's day, and Burleson was an attention getting presence that gave Thompson much more room to operate than Henderson has.

I think that Henderson is tougher than Thompson was, and that, if he continues to mature as a man under K at Duke for four years, he could be a very, very special player, but not Grant or Kobe.

This should be interesting. When you start tugging on David Thompson's cape, I think a lot of "old timers" will soon be rising to his defense. I just don't know that putting Henderson in the same sentence with Thompson is very wise, much less implying that Henderson is "tougher".

greybeard
06-11-2008, 05:52 PM
This should be interesting. When you start tugging on David Thompson's cape, I think a lot of "old timers" will soon be rising to his defense. I just don't know that putting Henderson in the same sentence with Thompson is very wise, much less implying that Henderson is "tougher".

No one ever accused me of wise. Burleson had a terrific, terrific ACC and NCAA tournament. Played the best basketball of his life and he was 7'4". State's other starting big became a PROFESSIONAL athlete; Monte and Rivers were a great, great starting backcourt, and, if memory serves, they had a strong big to spell Burleson.

Thompson had a great jump shot with better range than what Henderson currently has shown. He had no better handle than Henderson, and did not face the complexity of defenses that the modern game brings.

Henderson is as tough a player for his size as there is or was. Period! Don't ask me, ask Hansbrough. ;)

My comparison, wise or not, stands.

roywhite
06-11-2008, 06:09 PM
No one ever accused me of wise. Burleson had a terrific, terrific ACC and NCAA tournament. Played the best basketball of his life and he was 7'4". State's other starting big became a PROFESSIONAL athlete; Monte and Rivers were a great, great starting backcourt, and, if memory serves, they had a strong big to spell Burleson.

Thompson had a great jump shot with better range than what Henderson currently has shown. He had no better handle than Henderson, and did not face the complexity of defenses that the modern game brings.

Henderson is as tough a player for his size as there is or was. Period! Don't ask me, ask Hansbrough. ;)

My comparison, wise or not, stands.

I like Gerald Henderson---a lot.

But here are David Thompson's career ACC stats:

55.3% FG 76.3% FT 8.1 reb/game 26.8 pts/game


Henderson has a long way to go to reach that level of excellence.

Turtleboy
06-11-2008, 08:19 PM
I like Gerald Henderson---a lot.

But here are David Thompson's career ACC stats:

55.3% FG 76.3% FT 8.1 reb/game 26.8 pts/game


Henderson has a long way to go to reach that level of excellence.I feel confident in saying that it would be next to impossible.

Newton_14
06-11-2008, 09:12 PM
David Thompson was the greatest player ever to play in the ACC, period. (and please do not offer MJ as better as I am talking college career)

I love Gerald and he has a ton of potential and I hope he stays 4 years, but let's just let him be Gerald Henderson Jr and not burden him with comparisons to anyone.

He has a unique skill set with lots of room for growth. And even with the wrist injury he greatly improved his free throw shooting in the final stretch of the season. I think he will improve his outside shot and decision making, overall game, and grow into a tremendous player....

sagegrouse
06-11-2008, 10:15 PM
I'd compare Henderson with David Thompson, not Grant or Kobe, both of whom possess much better ball handling and vision (basketball-creativity) related skills than either Henderson or Thompson.

I am not saying that Henderson has Thompson's game yet or perhaps ever (mostly a shooting range issue), but I thank that Henderson has shown enough to warrant the comparison I make.

The game today is much more complex, particularly as it relates to defense, than in Thompson's day, and Burleson was an attention getting presence that gave Thompson much more room to operate than Henderson has.

I think that Henderson is tougher than Thompson was, and that, if he continues to mature as a man under K at Duke for four years, he could be a very, very special player, but not Grant or Kobe.


The interesting thing about G. is that he is not sure about how good he is -- or can be. All the Duke greats (sounds like Dick Groat, doesn't it) had an in-your-face mentality, even if they were mild-mannered off the court. Killer instinct? Probably an apt phrase.

We'll see what attitude Gerald shows up with in the fall. Gerald needs to really bring it.

While David T. may have been lacking in certain skills, he was absolutely unstoppable as a player.

sagegrouse

greybeard
06-11-2008, 10:19 PM
I feel confident in saying that it would be next to impossible.

What's with you guys with stats. No Tommy, State never reaches the tournament. Tommy, in my mind, was the MVP in the ACC tournament and allowed them to compete with UCLA, which put them in a position to beat them which they did. Maryland kills State without Tommy playing huge. Thompson put up numbers; Tommy won them the championship.

The rest is fluff.

Henderson beat Butler with no shooting hand and no help. When duke contended last year, before the three games in which Singlar got too beat up to be the force that they had been, Henderson came up huge, often off mid-range jump shots when the offense was stalling. This was against some very good teams playing their A games.

Physically, I see Thompson having nothing on Henderson. Thompson was a better shooter but mainly his last two years. Henderson is tougher. No, he won't score 25 per. When was the last Duke player that did? You can't seriously believe that, as a college player, Thompson was more effective than either Laetner or Grant; that he did more for his team. Not possible, sorry.

Before he's done, if Henderson stays, I think that he could be the most startlingly effective offensive force that Duke has had. Ever.

jimsumner
06-11-2008, 11:01 PM
Butler?

The real question isn't whether Henderson can become as good as David Thompson, it's whether he'll ever be as good as Jim O'Brien. :)

I have no idea what Tommy Burleson has to do with this discussion.

jimsumner
06-11-2008, 11:05 PM
"No, he won't score 25 per. When was the last Duke player that did?"

Em, all the way back in 2006. BTW, how many titles did Tommy Burleson win in 1972, before Thompson showed up?

I can't believe that anyone old enough to actually remember David Thompson would seriously argue that Grant Hill was a better college player. And I love Grant.

greybeard
06-12-2008, 12:31 AM
"No, he won't score 25 per. When was the last Duke player that did?"

Em, all the way back in 2006. BTW, how many titles did Tommy Burleson win in 1972, before Thompson showed up?

I can't believe that anyone old enough to actually remember David Thompson would seriously argue that Grant Hill was a better college player. And I love Grant.

Read em and weep. Grant could and did lead a team, a championship team. Thompson could score the ball. Grant could defend anybody, big or small. Thompson could score the ball. Grant was a terrific distributor; Thompson could score the ball. Grant was extremely clutch; so was Thompson. Grant was 2 inches taller yet could play the point.

Grant was among the most clever, smart, poised, leaders the game has ever known, whether he chose to take a subordinate roll or take it over and play point; Thompson could score the ball.

Me, I'm taking Grant in college over Thompson. To me, Duke was a fabulously interesting team to watch in his era, and was one of the greatest teams in multiple years of all time, precisely because of Grant's extraordinary versatility and his flat out brilliance. Thompson was a ridiculously gifted athlete who could shoot and compete on the highest of levels. Grant wins hands down.

VaDukie
06-12-2008, 02:30 AM
Read em and weep. Grant could and did lead a team, a championship team. Thompson could score the ball. Grant could defend anybody, big or small. Thompson could score the ball. Grant was a terrific distributor; Thompson could score the ball. Grant was extremely clutch; so was Thompson. Grant was 2 inches taller yet could play the point.

Grant was among the most clever, smart, poised, leaders the game has ever known, whether he chose to take a subordinate roll or take it over and play point; Thompson could score the ball.

Me, I'm taking Grant in college over Thompson. To me, Duke was a fabulously interesting team to watch in his era, and was one of the greatest teams in multiple years of all time, precisely because of Grant's extraordinary versatility and his flat out brilliance. Thompson was a ridiculously gifted athlete who could shoot and compete on the highest of levels. Grant wins hands down.


I believe K himself (someone else can find the quote) said that Grant was the best player he ever coached, and Laettner and Hurley agreed with him.

Grant took a very average team within one tough rebound (where he fell flat on his back) and one miracle jumper (where Scotty Thurman touched the sky) from winning the title in 1994. I take Grant over any other ACC player 7 days a week.

jimsumner
06-12-2008, 10:47 AM
First, let's dispose of the Henderson-DT comparisons. Simply ludicrous. Maybe we should let Henderson at least make honorable mention All-ACC first.
Comparing Henderson to Thompson makes us look as silly as UNC fans who compared Brian Reese to MJ.

Grant and DT? VaDukie, with all due respect, I'm pretty sure K never coached Thompson so K's opinion of Grant v. the rest of his Duke players doesn't really factor in.

Grant never led a championship team. He was Duke's fifth-leading scorer in 1991. No rational person would argue that he was any more than Duke's third-best player in 1991 and 1992. Grant didn't even make first-team All-ACC until his junior year. Grant had a marvelous 1994 season but as much as we might wish to rewrite history, Duke did not actually win the title.

Thompson was three-time ACC POY on teams that lost seven games in three seasons.

Yes, he could score but Greybeard's implication that he was somehow one-dimensional does Thompson a severe disservice. Note that despite giving up the four inches that GB notes he gave up to Grant, DT averaged 2 rebounds per game more than Grant.

Could DT have played PG? State had Towe, so we'll never know. They didn't keep apg stats in college ball in those days but Thompson averaged 4.5 apg his best season in the pros, so he did have passing skills. Grant was a better defender but Thompson was pretty good in that area.

David Thompson was more than just an athletic freak. He was a smart, skilled, fiercely-competitive superstar, who IMO, was one of the five best college players ever. At the ACC level he was the best and by such a margin that the discussion really begins at number two. It does Grant and Christian no disservice to place them in that second-best discussion.

Edouble
06-12-2008, 11:02 AM
Henderson has much work to do to be legitimately mentioned in the same breath as Hill or DT, and he'll probably never be as good as either of them. I would also compare Henderson to Kobe, even though his game is nowhere near as good at this point. When I see Henderson, Kobe is the player that immediately comes to mind. Henderson's physicality, but not yet his game, is remarkabley similar to Bryants's. He's got that smooth glide across the floor that can explode at any point. His leaping ability makes his pull-up jumper and his floating finishs at the basket look very similar to Kobe's. He does not yet have the vision, toughness, or leadership that Kobe has, but with his physical tools and sharp, tapered facial good looks, Kobe is the player that Henderson's potential points towards for me.

CDu
06-12-2008, 11:26 AM
Henderson has much work to do to be legitimately mentioned in the same breath as Hill or DT, and he'll probably never be as good as either of them. I would also compare Henderson to Kobe, even though his game is nowhere near as good at this point. When I see Henderson, Kobe is the player that immediately comes to mind. Henderson's physicality, but not yet his game, is remarkabley similar to Bryants's. He's got that smooth glide across the floor that can explode at any point. His leaping ability makes his pull-up jumper and his floating finishs at the basket look very similar to Kobe's. He does not yet have the vision, toughness, or leadership that Kobe has, but with his physical tools and sharp, tapered facial good looks, Kobe is the player that Henderson's potential points towards for me.

People have to realize that player comparisons don't have to be strictly related to their game. Henderson's athleticism and style are reminiscent of Kobe, even though his game is FAR from Kobe-esque.

jv001
06-12-2008, 12:05 PM
David Thompson is the best college basketball player ever. He had unique skills that no one since has possessed. He was a great offensive player and almost as good defensively. He gave away 7 inches in height to Tom McMillan of MD and outplayed him on both ends of the court. To compare Henderson to DT is outrageous. Grant Hill is one of my all time favorites, but he was not as good as Christian. Christian to me was the best Duke player ever, because he was not afraid to take the big shot. He relished that role and was successful most of the time. Let's let Henderson play his junior year before we make such comparisons. Just my two cents worth, but I did see all of them play.

greybeard
06-12-2008, 01:13 PM
Henderson's game reminds me of Thompson's. My saying that he is or will be as good as Thompson was "unwise."

I'd take Grant Hill in college on my team before anyone in ACC history but MJ--before Laetner, before Thompson, before Larry Miller, before Art Heyman, before JWill. that's what makes Sports sports I suppose. But I certainly can see in my mind's eye why those who would chose David would.

I was a very big Maryland fan back then, and used to like to watch UNC because my boys' boy Brown was helping to coach there (I think) or because a guy from my high school captained the 63 team.

Anyway, my recollection, and I do not remember so good anymore, was that the reason that State beat both was that they had a 7'4" center who played his best in big games and was 5 inches taller and outpayed sginificantly the bigs on Maryland and Carolina. I think that that guy Spense or Spensor who backed him up, if he played at Duke during Shelden's era, would have displaced Shelden as the pivot for the offense and defense, and might have brought Duke a national championship last year, he was that good and rugged.

You think having a 7'4" center who could dominate the likes of Len Elmore did not help David excel and build stats, I disagree. David took an inordinate number of shots on that team, many on run outs or off of screens set by the hulk of a power forward and Spense(or).

He had a terrifically explosive and quick stop off the dribble and his elevating above anyone and dropping in a soft jump shot was spectacular. However he was not a good dribbler, nor a touch or visionary passer. He was State's JJ.

I don't know the numbers, but Larry Miller probably scored as many points, put the ball on the floor much more creatively, and dominated a fine Carolina team's offensive output every bit as much as Daviddid State's. I'd be interested in a statistical comparison.

The best college player of all time is the same guy who is the best player of all time. That would be Mr. Bill.

jimsumner
06-12-2008, 01:50 PM
You think having a 7'4" center who could dominate the likes of Len Elmore did not help David excel and build stats, I disagree."

Who said that?

"Inordinate number of shots."

Thompson made 55.3% of his field goal attempts in college and you couldn't even dunk then. Burleson, btw, made 51.3% for his career. State averaged 92.9, 91.4, and 92.7 ppg during DT's three varsity seasons. This was without a shot-clock or three-pointer. There were lots of shots to go around. I know lots of players from that team and I've never heard even a hint that anyone thought Thompson shot too much.

Phil Spence and Tim Stoddard were the other post players in '74. Spence started in '75 and '76 and averaged 13.1/10.0 and 14.6/9.1. He never played in the pros. He was a good college player but nowhere near Shel as a defender.

Burleson's career highlight was his 38-point performance in the '74 ACCT v. Maryland, prompted in part by Elmore edging Burleson for first-team All-ACC and in part by some intemperate public comments by Elmore. No one would question Burleson's importance to that team, any more than anyone would question Towe's importance. It is interesting to note that Burleson's State team went 16-10 in 1972 without DT, while Thompson's 1975 State team went 22-6 without Burleson. The two years they played together, State went 57-1.

FWIW, in the '74 UCLA game Burleson had 20 points and 14 rebounds against Walton's 29 and 18, a more than respectable showing. Thompson had 28 points and 10 rebounds. Thompson had 21 points and Burleson 14 in the title win over Marquette. Thompson was FF MOP.

I strongly disagree with your assertion that Thompson was not a good dribbler. His all-around game was notably superior to that of Redick.

Thompson averaged 26.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, shot 55.3% and 76.3%.
Miller averaged 21.8, 9.2, 51.1%, and 66.9%.

The best college player ever was Lew Alcindor. IMO.

MChambers
06-12-2008, 01:54 PM
I'd take Grant Hill in college on my team before anyone in ACC history but MJ--before Laetner, before Thompson, before Larry Miller, before Art Heyman, before JWill. that's what makes Sports sports I suppose. But I certainly can see in my mind's eye why those who would chose David would.

You know, I'm sure that Grant Hill is the best Duke player of all time, but I'd take Thompson.



The best college player of all time is the same guy who is the best player of all time. That would be Mr. Bill.
Is that the same Mr. Bill that David beat in the finals? I was in high school, but I still have a mental image of Walton trying to box Thompson out on a rebound, and Thompson jumping up, and up, and up, to the point that he reached over Walton and tipped the rebound in without fouling. I certainly think Walton was great, but best of all time? Can't see it.

This thread has overflowed its banks, I think.

slower
06-12-2008, 02:26 PM
Is that the same Mr. Bill that David beat in the finals? I was in high school, but I still have a mental image of Walton trying to box Thompson out on a rebound, and Thompson jumping up, and up, and up, to the point that he reached over Walton and tipped the rebound in without fouling. I certainly think Walton was great, but best of all time? Can't see it.

I'm guessing he means Bill Russell as best ever? Another debatable call, but more realistic than the Gerald/DT comparison.

slower
06-12-2008, 02:28 PM
I think that that guy Spense or Spensor who backed him up, if he played at Duke during Shelden's era, would have displaced Shelden as the pivot for the offense and defense, and might have brought Duke a national championship last year, he was that good and rugged.

You are seriously saying that Phil Spence > Shelden? What are you smoking, man?

MChambers
06-12-2008, 02:53 PM
I'm guessing he means Bill Russell as best ever? Another debatable call, but more realistic than the Gerald/DT comparison.

That Mr. Bill! Sorry for my confusion. Might well be the greatest of all time. I just can't say, not having seen him, really.

greybeard
06-12-2008, 02:54 PM
I'm guessing he means Bill Russell as best ever? Another debatable call, but more realistic than the Gerald/DT comparison.

Only if you don't value winning and team play. No one in the history of sport in my lifetime did more to make his teammates better than Bill. He had a lethal hook shot with either hand; was the best combination of on-the-ball off-the-ball defender in the history of the World, was a terrific, terrific, rebounder, and ran the court better than any big man in history, including Wilt who was a near world class quarter miler, and did regularly lead his team to victory against all comers. He lead San Fran to consecutive national championships. San Fran, not Duke; not UCLA.

What I remember about Spense is that he was rugged and effective. Was Shelden anything different? Maybe Shelden might be better. The point is, he would have made the two Duke teams I mentioned, the one Shelden played for as a senior, and this past year's better, in the latter case, sufficiently better that they might have been the best. Maybe I'm wrong on this. It was a long time ago.

You disagree about Tommy and his value to that ball club? When he was playing well, Elmore could not guard him; the best big defender in a decade in the ACC had no chance left on his own. Did pose problems for the defense that a guy like David could exploit. Yes or no.

And how do Miller's stats stake up against David's. You are into stats, right? And, please don't tell me that David had a handle or could pass like Larry. That would be plain silly.

So stop the hyperbole and recognize that we are all just kicking back and talking sports on the front porch on a sunny afternoon. If we all agreed, there'd be nothing to say.

greybeard
06-12-2008, 03:02 PM
You think having a 7'4" center who could dominate the likes of Len Elmore did not help David excel and build stats, I disagree."

Who said that?

"Inordinate number of shots."

Thompson made 55.3% of his field goal attempts in college and you couldn't even dunk then. Burleson, btw, made 51.3% for his career. State averaged 92.9, 91.4, and 92.7 ppg during DT's three varsity seasons. This was without a shot-clock or three-pointer. There were lots of shots to go around. I know lots of players from that team and I've never heard even a hint that anyone thought Thompson shot too much.

Phil Spence and Tim Stoddard were the other post players in '74. Spence started in '75 and '76 and averaged 13.1/10.0 and 14.6/9.1. He never played in the pros. He was a good college player but nowhere near Shel as a defender.

Burleson's career highlight was his 38-point performance in the '74 ACCT v. Maryland, prompted in part by Elmore edging Burleson for first-team All-ACC and in part by some intemperate public comments by Elmore. No one would question Burleson's importance to that team, any more than anyone would question Towe's importance. It is interesting to note that Burleson's State team went 16-10 in 1972 without DT, while Thompson's 1975 State team went 22-6 without Burleson. The two years they played together, State went 57-1.

FWIW, in the '74 UCLA game Burleson had 20 points and 14 rebounds against Walton's 29 and 18, a more than respectable showing. Thompson had 28 points and 10 rebounds. Thompson had 21 points and Burleson 14 in the title win over Marquette. Thompson was FF MOP.

I strongly disagree with your assertion that Thompson was not a good dribbler. His all-around game was notably superior to that of Redick.

Thompson averaged 26.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, shot 55.3% and 76.3%.
Miller averaged 21.8, 9.2, 51.1%, and 66.9%.

The best college player ever was Lew Alcindor. IMO.

Couldn't refute anything you said. I disagree with your assessment of why State was as imposing as it was in the big games in the David-Burleson era.

I never said that David couldn't dribble well; rather, what I said, and stand by, is that he did not handle well. David, in my memory, was very linear. He relied on the threat of his lethal jump shot to undress his defender, got as far as he could, and then, with extraordinary balance, was able to stop on a dime in rhythm and lift over the defense and score the ball.

No comparison to his play off the dribble with someone like Grant and Larry, both of whom used the bounce to fool defenders, draw them off balance and pass them, and then created for others when help came. David had no semblence of such a game.

greybeard
06-12-2008, 03:06 PM
By the way, I agree that Thompson was a better player than JJ. However, JJ had a better jump-shot game. JJ's senior season, well, I have never seen the like. That is n*e*v*e*r*.

jimsumner
06-12-2008, 03:18 PM
"I never said that David couldn't dribble well."

You said he "was not a good dribbler." Your words, not mine. If there's a distinction there, it eludes me.

For the life of me I have no idea what point you're trying to make about Burleson. You keep refuting non-existent posts. No one is suggesting that Burleson wasn't a very good college player, that he wasn't an important part of State's success, and that he didn't help make Thompson better, just as Thompson helped make Burleson more effective.

But Thompson was a better all-around player than Burleson and I would bet the mortgage that Tommy agrees with me.

FWIW, I also thought "Mr. Bill" referenced Walton. Both Russell and Walton would make any rational short list but at the college level I'm sticking with Alcindor.

slower
06-12-2008, 04:09 PM
So stop the hyperbole...

Now, THAT is the definition of irony!

greybeard
06-12-2008, 04:43 PM
Now, THAT is the definition of irony!

Very good! Sorry to have hurt your feelings; saying that Thompson is the BEST collegiate player ever might not be hyperbole. Let's just say it's incorrect. Bill Russell, Bill Walton, Kareem, Jerry Lucas, Jerry West, Oscar, Wilt, Pistol, Patrick, Grant, Christian, and many, many others present credible claims to such a throne.

If I had to pick one, it would, as I say, be Russell but that would really be based upon his record in college and what I observed of his body of work as a pro. For my money, his understanding of the game and his ability to put that understanding into action to allow his team to prevail places him in a category all his own. The rest of them is a matter of fandom in my view. Personally, of the rest, I'd go with Jerry.

slower
06-12-2008, 05:27 PM
Very good! Sorry to have hurt your feelings; saying that Thompson is the BEST collegiate player ever might not be hyperbole. Let's just say it's incorrect. Bill Russell, Bill Walton, Kareem, Jerry Lucas, Jerry West, Oscar, Wilt, Pistol, Patrick, Grant, Christian, and many, many others present credible claims to such a throne.

If I had to pick one, it would, as I say, be Russell but that would really be based upon his record in college and what I observed of his body of work as a pro. For my money, his understanding of the game and his ability to put that understanding into action to allow his team to prevail places him in a category all his own. The rest of them is a matter of fandom in my view. Personally, of the rest, I'd go with Jerry.

I never said DT was the best collegian ever. I just implied that Gerald didn't belong in the same sentence with him. Personally, I find it hard to argue against Alcindor as the best collegian ever.

greybeard
06-12-2008, 06:33 PM
I never said DT was the best collegian ever. I just implied that Gerald didn't belong in the same sentence with him. Personally, I find it hard to argue against Alcindor as the best collegian ever.

Sorry, got you confused with one of the other guys. You're dead right about my being dead wrong to equate Henderson with Thompson. It is hard to argue against Lou.

Next to Russell, the most complete combination of intelligence for the game and performance in the team context, the ability to make the game his team plays a work of art, that for me belongs to Jerry Lucas.

I only got to watch during the NCAAs when he was in college, but followed his game closely (13th row foul line extended) during his championship season with the Knicks. Truly a remarkable, remarkable performance; perhaps the most inventive pivot play I've seen this side of the Princeton. Then watching an ESPN special on his high school and college years, well, I love the game not players. He made the game sing.

Lou was an offensive force, but he was, to me, boring to watch. Chamberlain was anything but boring; Lou, boring. Russell was a dancer in a full court ballet. Lou, boring. Maybe he was the "best."

As a non athlete, and as a coach, I think very highly of Kareem, very, very highly. I think that a case can be made that Kareem is responsible for the Laker's success this year, almost exclusively. Here's why. He helped Bynum progress remarkably, which allowed the Lakers to win and play beautiful basketball without Kobe, whom I believe they were ready to move.

Kobe's narcissism, which had been an obstacle to the Lakers' making progress, suddenly became a plus. He simply could not abide the notion that the Lakers would both win and look good without him; so, he sublimated his narcissism and accepted the Triangle, embraced it completely, which he had never, ever done before. The Triangle is one of the most impressive offensive approaches the game has known. All credit to Tex Winter. A giant of the game.

greybeard
06-12-2008, 07:20 PM
You think having a 7'4" center who could dominate the likes of Len Elmore did not help David excel and build stats, I disagree."

Who said that?

"Inordinate number of shots."

Thompson made 55.3% of his field goal attempts in college and you couldn't even dunk then. Burleson, btw, made 51.3% for his career. State averaged 92.9, 91.4, and 92.7 ppg during DT's three varsity seasons. This was without a shot-clock or three-pointer. There were lots of shots to go around. I know lots of players from that team and I've never heard even a hint that anyone thought Thompson shot too much.

Phil Spence and Tim Stoddard were the other post players in '74. Spence started in '75 and '76 and averaged 13.1/10.0 and 14.6/9.1. He never played in the pros. He was a good college player but nowhere near Shel as a defender.

Burleson's career highlight was his 38-point performance in the '74 ACCT v. Maryland, prompted in part by Elmore edging Burleson for first-team All-ACC and in part by some intemperate public comments by Elmore. No one would question Burleson's importance to that team, any more than anyone would question Towe's importance. It is interesting to note that Burleson's State team went 16-10 in 1972 without DT, while Thompson's 1975 State team went 22-6 without Burleson. The two years they played together, State went 57-1.

FWIW, in the '74 UCLA game Burleson had 20 points and 14 rebounds against Walton's 29 and 18, a more than respectable showing. Thompson had 28 points and 10 rebounds. Thompson had 21 points and Burleson 14 in the title win over Marquette. Thompson was FF MOP.

I strongly disagree with your assertion that Thompson was not a good dribbler. His all-around game was notably superior to that of Redick.

Thompson averaged 26.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, shot 55.3% and 76.3%.
Miller averaged 21.8, 9.2, 51.1%, and 66.9%.

The best college player ever was Lew Alcindor. IMO.

I completely like your style and your command of the subject matter. Completely! I love a good argument so here goes, but please take this in the spirit of competition in the silly game of barbershop talk that it is meant to be.

David averaged 55 percent shooting and 25 a game. Since in blowout games the percentage would likely have been higher but not necessarily the points (he would have played way less), and since I didn't watch unless it was interesting, he was, when I saw him play, taking a lot of shots. I didn't mean to imply that he took "too many" shots; just that he shot a lot to score a lot.

State outscored people; they didn't try to shut people down. Saying that Spence did not show on defense the way Shelden did is not the same as saying that he could not have been an equal force on defense.

As for offense, Shelden had the benefit of JJ and other lesser shooters who really, really spread the floor. I mean everybody was guarding people 19 feet from the basket. Allowed him a lot of room to operate. K made getting the ball to Shelden the number 1 priority. That made people have to try to defend the rim, like going to the body in a prize fight, and then JJ would kill you. Spence was never given that chance.

That said, Shelden did it and Spence didn't. Score another one for the other side.

Hey, this was fun, jimsummer. My hat's off to ya.

yancem
06-16-2008, 09:55 AM
The interesting thing about G. is that he is not sure about how good he is -- or can be. All the Duke greats (sounds like Dick Groat, doesn't it) had an in-your-face mentality, even if they were mild-mannered off the court. Killer instinct? Probably an apt phrase.

We'll see what attitude Gerald shows up with in the fall. Gerald needs to really bring it.

While David T. may have been lacking in certain skills, he was absolutely unstoppable as a player.

sagegrouse

I assume that you would include Grant Hill in the pantheon of "Duke greats". If so then I think that he didn't fit your mold of having "an in-your-face mentality" (at least not his first 3 years). The one knock on Hill until his senior year was that he deferred to much to Laettner and Hurley even though he had every bit as much talent (and probably then some) as either of them.

greybeard
06-16-2008, 05:21 PM
David's handle is comparable to Henderson's. In fact, one of the reasons for my comparing Henderson to David is that he looks like David to me when he puts it on the floor.

You can't call either a good dribbler, or good off the dribble, as compared to folks like Kobe, MJ, Scheyer, Grant, and any number of "good" off-the-dribble offensive players.

On the ohter hand, being a "good" dribbler per se is no great feat. I mean, one cannot miss the ground with the ball, right; all you got to do is slow it down and change the direction of mementum and wait until it comes back up. Changing the height of the bounce, giving a little direction to it; if doing such things proficiently is what you are talking about, then we have no issue.

If using the drbble as a lure, to cause defenders to commit momentum is your measure, particularly in subtle fashion off a move, or to elude a stab by a defender who is trying to help are among your measures then no, David and Henderson are not in my book "good" as in anything notable.

So, unless you are using the term "good" to describe an unexceptional skill that virtually every player 6' 5" of note possesses, you and I have a difference of opinion here. David, as I said, did not use the dribble with any aplomb, nothing notable about him in that regard. But he could dribble the ball well; he just wasn't what I'd go out of my way and call him good. ;)