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  1. #1

    Zion's place in the pantheon of freshman greats...

    So obviously this will be more and more a point of discussion with the end of the year coming, but might as well start thinking about it!

    For comparison...

    (rounding to nearest whole number, ignoring stats under 2)

    Zion (as of post-Syracuse game of ACC tourney)
    22 pts, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals, 70% from 2, 31% from 3, 65% from FT, 42.8 PER


    Jah Okafor
    17 pts, 9 rebounds, 66% from 2, 51% FT, 30.7 PER

    Jabari Parker
    19 pts, 9 rebounds, 47% from 2, 75% FT, 28.4 PER

    Marvin Bagley III
    21 pts, 11 rebounds 2 assists, 61% from 2, 40% from 3, 63% FT, 30.6 PER

    Kevin Durant
    26 pts, 11 rebounds 2 steals 2 blocks, 47% from 2, 40% from 3, 80% FT

    Anthony Davis
    14 pts, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks, 62% from 2, 71% FT, 35.1 PER

    Mike Beasley
    26 pts 12 rebounds, 53% from 2, 38% from 3, 77% from FT

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Ash View Post
    So obviously this will be more and more a point of discussion with the end of the year coming, but might as well start thinking about it!

    For comparison...

    (rounding to nearest whole number, ignoring stats under 2)

    Zion (as of post-Syracuse game of ACC tourney)
    22 pts, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals, 70% from 2, 31% from 3, 65% from FT, 42.8 PER


    Jah Okafor
    17 pts, 9 rebounds, 66% from 2, 51% FT, 30.7 PER

    Jabari Parker
    19 pts, 9 rebounds, 47% from 2, 75% FT, 28.4 PER

    Marvin Bagley III
    21 pts, 11 rebounds 2 assists, 61% from 2, 40% from 3, 63% FT, 30.6 PER

    Kevin Durant
    26 pts, 11 rebounds 2 steals 2 blocks, 47% from 2, 40% from 3, 80% FT

    Anthony Davis
    14 pts, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks, 62% from 2, 71% FT, 35.1 PER

    Mike Beasley
    26 pts 12 rebounds, 53% from 2, 38% from 3, 77% from FT
    While I have no desire to do the research, Carmelo Anthony should be on this list. Maybe Derrick Rose, too.

  3. #3
    I think Carmelo takes it because he won a nat title. If Zion leads us to a NC then he supplants Camelo.

    others...
    D Rose
    Magic
    Ewing
    Pervis Ellison
    Kevin Love
    Iverson
    Wayman Tisdale (RIP)
    Chris Jackson
    Jared Sullinger
    Jason Kidd
    Greg Oden
    Kenny Anderson
    Chris Webber
    Mark Aguirre
    TJ Ford
    Shaq
    Bernard King
    Derrick Coleman
    Ralph Sampson
    Shawn Bradley (averaged 5 bpg)
    Omar Cook
    Joe Smith
    Isiah Thomas, first Freshman named 1st team All Big 10
    Eddie Griffin
    Larry Hughes
    Alonzo Mourning

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Virginia
    Quote Originally Posted by DarkstarWahoo View Post
    While I have no desire to do the research, Carmelo Anthony should be on this list. Maybe Derrick Rose, too.
    Agreed about Melo but there is another very prominent freshman that has also been left of the list. Someone closer to our hearts that I suffering from proximity to a rather large gravitational force 😁

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    D Rose has no business on any all time great list- he averaged less than 15 points and 5 assists. JWill was better. Iíd think Duke fans might include Mark Macon despite Billy King shutting him down in the Elite 8. Trae Young should be on that list above although Iím not a huge fan.

    Zionís numbers are discounted because he basically missed an entire game that counts as well as a half against FSU. You can add around a point to his scoring average and about .5 to his rebounds. Definitely top 5 and probably top 3...

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by AGDukesky View Post
    D Rose has no business on any all time great list- he averaged less than 15 points and 5 assists. JWill was better. Iíd think Duke fans might include Mark Macon despite Billy King shutting him down in the Elite 8. Trae Young should be on that list above although Iím not a huge fan.

    Zionís numbers are discounted because he basically missed an entire game that counts as well as a half against FSU. You can add around a point to his scoring average and about .5 to his rebounds. Definitely top 5 and probably top 3...
    Ah, excellent point!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA/Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by frb View Post
    I think Carmelo takes it because he won a nat title. If Zion leads us to a NC then he supplants Camelo.

    others...
    D Rose
    Magic
    Ewing
    Pervis Ellison
    Kevin Love
    Iverson
    Wayman Tisdale (RIP)
    Chris Jackson
    Jared Sullinger
    Jason Kidd
    Greg Oden
    Kenny Anderson
    Chris Webber
    Mark Aguirre
    TJ Ford
    Shaq
    Bernard King
    Derrick Coleman
    Ralph Sampson
    Shawn Bradley (averaged 5 bpg)
    Omar Cook
    Joe Smith
    Isiah Thomas, first Freshman named 1st team All Big 10
    Eddie Griffin
    Larry Hughes
    Alonzo Mourning
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Ash View Post
    So obviously this will be more and more a point of discussion with the end of the year coming, but might as well start thinking about it!

    For comparison...

    (rounding to nearest whole number, ignoring stats under 2)

    Zion (as of post-Syracuse game of ACC tourney)
    22 pts, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals, 70% from 2, 31% from 3, 65% from FT, 42.8 PER


    Jah Okafor
    17 pts, 9 rebounds, 66% from 2, 51% FT, 30.7 PER

    Jabari Parker
    19 pts, 9 rebounds, 47% from 2, 75% FT, 28.4 PER

    Marvin Bagley III
    21 pts, 11 rebounds 2 assists, 61% from 2, 40% from 3, 63% FT, 30.6 PER

    Kevin Durant
    26 pts, 11 rebounds 2 steals 2 blocks, 47% from 2, 40% from 3, 80% FT

    Anthony Davis
    14 pts, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks, 62% from 2, 71% FT, 35.1 PER

    Mike Beasley
    26 pts 12 rebounds, 53% from 2, 38% from 3, 77% from FT
    Quote Originally Posted by yancem View Post
    Agreed about Melo but there is another very prominent freshman that has also been left of the list. Someone closer to our hearts that I suffering from proximity to a rather large gravitational force 😁
    Not sure who you're talking about but it's blasphemy that the "ceiling is the roof" guy is not on the list.

  8. #8
    Please remember Very very few are better defensively and can guard anybody like Zion can when making a decision.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    New York, NY
    As far as relatively recent freshman greats have gone, I don't think there's any question that Zion is "more astounding" than all of them. I have never seen anyone like him. At all.

    I can't speak to the early 90s and prior, but since then Zion is just an absolutely remarkable specimen of a basketball player and athlete.

    Team considerations and counting stats aside, he's clearly above Jah, Jabari, Marvin Bagley, and even Kyrie in my book. And that's Duke only and fairly recently. And all of those guys were really, really good. Just not this otherworldly in almost every regard.

    I think Zion is clearly more astounding than Beasley, who was great but in a more standard kind of way. I think he's better than AD was as a freshman. AD wasn't very "standard" in the sense that Beasley (and others) were. And my recollection is that AD came on as the season progressed and was defensively exceptional. Zion has been largely draw-dropping since Day 1.

    Durant is an interesting case. I'll think about that one.

    - Chillin

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    Yeah, Durant is the one I watched that I would probably put ahead of Zion because his offense was that advanced. Iím leaving room for 1-3 others that I didnít watch enough to have an informed decision. On paper, Trae Youngís numbers are pretty crazy but it just felt like his net impact was often not positive due to bad shot selection and turnovers.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!
    Uummmmm, let's not forget Rowan Alexander Barrett Jr. !!!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Santa Clara, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by frb View Post
    Ralph Sampson
    I think he's the only real comparison in terms of national impact on the psyche of the college hoops world. Forget the stats, as pure stats to me don't elevate a player to the top of Mt. Olympus. It's the wow factor that carries across the college hoops public. And the hype around Sampson was huge back then. Of course, it's hard to really compare since the internet and social media were not in force back then. All the others that I've seen listed here aren't in that top echelon to me. But I would listen to arguments for Patrick Ewing - after all, he started the t-shirt under the jersey craze.

    Going back further before my time, if freshmen had been eligible, perhaps Pistol Pete might have risen to same status. But since I think we are just talking freshmen playing varsity, he doesn't count. But then again the guy averaged a ridiculous 43 points as a freshman with no 3pt shot, so he probably could make it in.

    9F
    Bucket List - Throw a party when Duke MBB has a winning record against Carolina.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Great thread. I wouldn't focus on stats. Zion is unique in the world of basketball -- as a combination of size, muscle, leaping ability, quickness and court sense. And that's before we get to the fact that he is only 18 years and eight months old.

    The question to me is -- Which other 18-YO or college freshman stood out so much physically and in terms of basketball capability? I mean -- stood out! -- no one playing hoops could do what they were capable of.

    I think some of the best candidates did not play varsity ball at that age.

    Wilt -- who was 19 when he enrolled at Kansas. He was a great all-around athlete. Better than anyone in the NBA -- perhaps, but certainly one-of-a-kind.
    Alcindor -- who was 18 when he started at UCLA -- no freshman eligibility, but the Bruin freshman would spank the varsity in scrimmages. May not have been better at that age than the top centers in the NBA, but he was taller and longer.
    Shaq -- who was 17 as a freshman at LSU. Overwhelmingly size and strength at a young age, combined with a lot of basketball ability.
    LeBron -- who was 18 at the start of the 2003-2004 NBA season. Mature physically and a great basketball player as a very young man.

    Not so sure about the other wunderkinder.
    Magic?
    Iverson? Most talented normal-sized basketball player? Started Georgetown at 19.
    Isiah comparable with Iverson?
    Kyrie is one of a kind, and was an absolute magician as an 18-YO, but 11 games don't cut it.
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Forget freshmen . . . Only 3 players under Coach K have ever had a 25 point, 10 rebound, 5 steal game. Zion, Grant Hill, and Christian Laettner.

    We need to see what happens the rest of this postseason, but to me, Zion is past the freshman label. Pending this year's postseason results, he could be in the same conversation as the all-time Duke greats.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Virginia
    Quote Originally Posted by Reddevil View Post
    Uummmmm, let's not forget Rowan Alexander Barrett Jr. !!!!
    Ding, ding ding!!!! If it wasn't for the huge sun of Zion shinning right next to him Barrett would be getting more consideration. I know he has had some really inefficient games but his numbers are really impressive and you have to wonder what his year would have looked like if he hadn't been playing with Zion all season. I think he has had to make certain adjustments due to Zion's presence that say Durant, Beasley and Young did not. I think that due to his hype coming in being soooooo off the charts combined with Zion completely exceeing expectations has led to some people overlooking how really talented and productive he is. Will be a lot of fun to see the competivie nba rivalry the two of them will have.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    ... Which other 18-YO or college freshman stood out so much physically ...
    On the football side of the house, freshman Ron Dayne and his 2,100+ rushing yards as a freshman comes to mind: https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb...n-dayne-1.html

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by kAzE View Post
    Forget freshmen . . . Only 3 players under Coach K have ever had a 25 point, 10 rebound, 5 steal game. Zion, Grant Hill, and Christian Laettner.

    We need to see what happens the rest of this postseason, but to me, Zion is past the freshman label. Pending this year's postseason results, he could be in the same conversation as the all-time Duke greats.
    I agree. The year is not complete, but to me Zion has been having the best year of any Duke player, regardless of class, that I've ever seen. He hasn't had a single bad game. He's had the 2 shortened games with injuries, only logged 18 minutes against SD State when we won by a ton, and was limited by foul trouble against Auburn and Texas Tech. He really hasn't had a single inefficient game, and he's mostly had spectacular games. I don't recall any other player who could say that over an entire season. And, as others have said, his defense is as spectacular as his offense. I've loved the times quick guards have gotten isolated on him, and Zion has still blocked their jump shots! Amazing!

  18. #18
    The only guys in competition from the past 25 years are Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, and Carmelo Anthony. Remember, Zion is going to win NPOY, as did KD and AD. CA did not but he gets a bonus for the national championship. Zion is significantly ahead of RJ, Jabari, and the other Duke guys. We'll see how his season ends before deciding if he's #1 or not.

  19. #19
    Zion Melo and AD are the three front runners. Durant and Beasley were good but didnít impact the team

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