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  1. #1
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    Mar 2008
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    A new comparison...

    So after watching one of Duke's basketball's Okafor vids, I came to a shocking conclusion. Okafor reminds me a LOT of Patrick Ewing and I had never really thought about it. But his footwork and shot blocking are right there with the big fella. Additionally they both have a very straight up posture that seems to give them similar statures.

    But it doesn't stop there. This got me to thinking about the whole team and another surprise is that the line up quite well with the make up of the 1983-1984 Hoyas who went and won it all. I'm talking complete with JR. starter turned 6th man. That team was a bit more mature but like Duke they started a JR, a SR, and a frosh. The other two starters were sophomores but it's arguable that all our frosh are sophomores compared to back then.

    I could go on but now I wanna go watch a little film.

  2. #2
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    Sep 2007
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    Jah can dribble in the open court and catch well on the break. I always think of Ewing more as a guy who dug position on the blocks and then just powered. I think Jah has more finesse. But my memory could be wrong.

    I remember Tim Dincan at Wake -- that's the best I can come up with.

    Either way, it's damn good.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2008
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    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    Jah can dribble in the open court and catch well on the break. I always think of Ewing more as a guy who dug position on the blocks and then just powered. I think Jah has more finesse. But my memory could be wrong.

    I remember Tim Dincan at Wake -- that's the best I can come up with.

    Either way, it's damn good.
    I thought about Duncan, too. But you're right - Jah has more finesse. Duncan didn't have the post moves and had a better jumper. Also was a better rebounder.

    However, Jah has the Duncan bank shot down pretty well.

    I also thought about Anthony Davis, due to Jah's ability to handle in the open court. But Davis was a better defender and better shooter.

    I can't really think of a solid comp, as Jah has so many different qualities and is missing a few. He's his own dude so far.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by SupaDave View Post
    So after watching one of Duke's basketball's Okafor vids, I came to a shocking conclusion. Okafor reminds me a LOT of Patrick Ewing and I had never really thought about it. But his footwork and shot blocking are right there with the big fella. Additionally they both have a very straight up posture that seems to give them similar statures.

    But it doesn't stop there. This got me to thinking about the whole team and another surprise is that the line up quite well with the make up of the 1983-1984 Hoyas who went and won it all. I'm talking complete with JR. starter turned 6th man. That team was a bit more mature but like Duke they started a JR, a SR, and a frosh. The other two starters were sophomores but it's arguable that all our frosh are sophomores compared to back then.

    I could go on but now I wanna go watch a little film.
    Sorry, I don't see it ... Ewing was a totally different player as a freshman than Jah -- not nearly the offensive player, not quite the rebounder, but a much better shotblocker. They were similar in size -- Ewing listed as 7-0, 240 ... Jah at 6-11, 270.

    As a freshman, Ewing averaged 12.7 points a game -- about two thirds of Jah's current 18.8. He shot 63.1 percent to 68.0 percent for Jah. He averaged 7.5 rebounds (to Jah's 8.8).

    The one thing Ewing did MUCH better is block shots. He averaged 3.2 blocks a game -- more than twice Jah's average so far (1.5).

    I agree with OldPhiKap about Jah's superior ability in the open floor. But buddy, when you compare him to Tim Duncan, you are thinking about a much older Tim Duncan. As a freshman, Duncan had no offensive game -- he averaged less than 10 points a game and he got that on stickbacks and layups -- almost never on a post move. Duncan was a better rebounder and a shot blocker, but he was not in Jah's class as an offensive player until he was much older.

    As a team, I don't see a comparison with 1984 Georgetown -- the only freshman they played was sixth man Michael Graham. Ewing was a junior. They played a small point guard (6-1 Michael Jackson) and three slender wings in the 6-5/6-7 range (Bill Wingate, Reggie Williams and Bill Martin). They played a much slower tempo than this Duke team

    I keep arguing that the best team comparison was the 2007 Ohio State team that lost to Florida in the title game. That team was built around three freshmen starters -- a great big man in Greg Oden, a future pro point guard in Mike Conley and a very talented wing Daequan Cook. Their number two scorer was senior guard Ron Harris. Now, Oden wasn't quite as polished a scorer as Jah (although he was better than Ewing or Duncan as a freshman), but he was a better rebounder and shot blocker (better than Ewing, in fact).

    We tend to forget how great Oden was coming up because of the way injuries derailed his game in the NBA.

  5. #5
    I've never seen a college player much less a freshman with Okafor's ability to post. Maybe Walton? Guys like Alcindor, Wilt, Sampson and Shack may have been as effective or more so but I think that was more about having an overwhelming size advantage at the time. One thing Jah does have in common with those other Centers though is poor free throw shooting IIRC.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    Sorry, I don't see it ... Ewing was a totally different player as a freshman than Jah -- not nearly the offensive player, not quite the rebounder, but a much better shotblocker. They were similar in size -- Ewing listed as 7-0, 240 ... Jah at 6-11, 270.

    As a freshman, Ewing averaged 12.7 points a game -- about two thirds of Jah's current 18.8. He shot 63.1 percent to 68.0 percent for Jah. He averaged 7.5 rebounds (to Jah's 8.8).

    The one thing Ewing did MUCH better is block shots. He averaged 3.2 blocks a game -- more than twice Jah's average so far (1.5).

    I agree with OldPhiKap about Jah's superior ability in the open floor. But buddy, when you compare him to Tim Duncan, you are thinking about a much older Tim Duncan. As a freshman, Duncan had no offensive game -- he averaged less than 10 points a game and he got that on stickbacks and layups -- almost never on a post move. Duncan was a better rebounder and a shot blocker, but he was not in Jah's class as an offensive player until he was much older.

    As a team, I don't see a comparison with 1984 Georgetown -- the only freshman they played was sixth man Michael Graham. Ewing was a junior. They played a small point guard (6-1 Michael Jackson) and three slender wings in the 6-5/6-7 range (Bill Wingate, Reggie Williams and Bill Martin). They played a much slower tempo than this Duke team

    I keep arguing that the best team comparison was the 2007 Ohio State team that lost to Florida in the title game. That team was built around three freshmen starters -- a great big man in Greg Oden, a future pro point guard in Mike Conley and a very talented wing Daequan Cook. Their number two scorer was senior guard Ron Harris. Now, Oden wasn't quite as polished a scorer as Jah (although he was better than Ewing or Duncan as a freshman), but he was a better rebounder and shot blocker (better than Ewing, in fact).

    We tend to forget how great Oden was coming up because of the way injuries derailed his game in the NBA.
    I like the 2007 Ohio State team comparison. It seems a bit spot on but this team seems to have bit more nasty to them than we've seen in years past. That Ohio State team was extremely athletic if I recall correctly. Even Conley would be considered physically superior to what we have in Jones (although still very much in the same ball park).

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by FerryFor50 View Post
    I thought about Duncan, too. But you're right - Jah has more finesse. Duncan didn't have the post moves and had a better jumper. Also was a better rebounder.

    However, Jah has the Duncan bank shot down pretty well.

    I also thought about Anthony Davis, due to Jah's ability to handle in the open court. But Davis was a better defender and better shooter.

    I can't really think of a solid comp, as Jah has so many different qualities and is missing a few. He's his own dude so far.
    I agree- I don't see a comp in recent years. He is a unique talent.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2007
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    Greenville, SC
    Doctor J.

    Not the entire J thing, but the way he can control the ball with a single ginormous hand.
    Last edited by camion; 01-03-2015 at 12:00 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by camion View Post
    Doctor J.

    Not the entire J thing, but the way he can control the ball with a single ginormous hand.
    well, that's the thing...when's the last time a duke player had the GH?
    "Either they're going down, or we are! Kirk out!"

  10. #10
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    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by moonpie23 View Post
    well, that's the thing...when's the last time a duke player had the GH?
    Elton Brand is the last player with the GH. Now that young man had some paws on him. GoDuke!

  11. #11
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    Feb 2007
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    Lompoc, West Carolina
    Compared to Wilt, maybe a stretch. You know, Wilt wasn't too bad a free-throw shooter in college, over 60%. That underhanded stuff became a bit different in the pros, but so did his efforts. He was likely a tad more spent and winded when standing at the line then. I'm not suggesting that Ja copy the style. You'd better make that type of style because it's highly unlikely your team mates will come up with the rebound. It doesn't travel far from the rim like that.

    I don't have any expertise in physiology, someone else I feel certain can confirm, but guys with such larger hands seem to have more trouble getting the proper spin rotation on their shots, the farther out they go.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by jv001 View Post
    Elton Brand is the last player with the GH. Now that young man had some paws on him. GoDuke!
    Brand is the only one who comes to mind in the last 30 years as far as a guy who would just hold the ball away from the defender with one hand and survey the situation. And I don't recall him having the same interest/ability to find the open teammate in that scenario that Okafor does.

    Truly, it's his instincts that impress me. Lots of big guys are athletic and have speed, but don't have the immediate instinct to pass, power, drop-step, one dribble, fake, etc (see all Plumlees early in career). His basketball IQ is through the roof.

    And yes, his under the basket footwork is near magic to watch. Very very rarely makes a mistake with his feet.

  13. #13
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    Dec 2011
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    Chicago
    The guy never played college ball, but the Hornets' Al Jefferson is arguably the best comp to Jahlil. He is similarly sized (6-10 289), plays largely below the rim, but has tremendous footwork, instincts and touch in the low post. Jefferson is also a capable mid-range shooter who uses the glass well, as well as a decent but far from great defender and rebounder. Jah is obviously further along at the same age, and likely has a higher ceiling. But their games seem very similar to me.

  14. #14
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    Feb 2007
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    Asheville
    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain_Devil_91_92_01_10 View Post
    Brand is the only one who comes to mind in the last 30 years as far as a guy who would just hold the ball away from the defender with one hand and survey the situation. And I don't recall him having the same interest/ability to find the open teammate in that scenario that Okafor does.

    Truly, it's his instincts that impress me. Lots of big guys are athletic and have speed, but don't have the immediate instinct to pass, power, drop-step, one dribble, fake, etc (see all Plumlees early in career). His basketball IQ is through the roof.

    And yes, his under the basket footwork is near magic to watch. Very very rarely makes a mistake with his feet.
    I guess that is why Wojo was such a "terrible" big man coach for us. He was too short for his feet to hit the ground and, therefore, when compared to the other tall guys that coached big men at other schools, he was a bust

    ricks

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricks68 View Post
    I guess that is why Wojo was such a "terrible" big man coach for us. He was too short for his feet to hit the ground and, therefore, when compared to the other tall guys that coached big men at other schools, he was a bust

    ricks
    Yea but how good of a "big hand" coach was he?

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by SupaDave View Post
    Okafor reminds me a LOT of Patrick Ewing and I had never really thought about it. But his footwork and shot blocking are right there with the big fella.
    I'm not feeling this comparison at all. Ewing was a WAY better shot blocker than Jahlil -- he averaged between 3.2 and 3.6 bpg in his four years at Georgetown compared to Jahlil's 1.5, and even those numbers don't truly convey how far superior Ewing was at shotblocking. On the other side of the ball, Jahlil's footwork is eons better than Ewing's, at least when Ewing was in college. I remember Ewing as a no-finesse, overpower-those-puny-mortals kind of offensive player at Georgetown. Compared to Jahlil, he didn't have any offensive moves at all. Put another way, the college Ewing was an overpowering defensive force but kind of a raw project on offense, while Jahlil is a smooth offensive revelation who is still learning his way on defense. To me, they're almost opposites on the scale of superstar centers.

  17. #17
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    Jun 2008
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    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    I'm not feeling this comparison at all. Ewing was a WAY better shot blocker than Jahlil -- he averaged between 3.2 and 3.6 bpg in his four years at Georgetown compared to Jahlil's 1.5, and even those numbers don't truly convey how far superior Ewing was at shotblocking. On the other side of the ball, Jahlil's footwork is eons better than Ewing's, at least when Ewing was in college. I remember Ewing as a no-finesse, overpower-those-puny-mortals kind of offensive player at Georgetown. Compared to Jahlil, he didn't have any offensive moves at all. Put another way, the college Ewing was an overpowering defensive force but kind of a raw project on offense, while Jahlil is a smooth offensive revelation who is still learning his way on defense. To me, they're almost opposites on the scale of superstar centers.
    Yes, and as freshmen, Jah is a much better speaker with a microphone in his face. John Thompson if I remember correctly, wouldn't let Patrick do post game interviews when he was a freshman. GoDuke!

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