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  1. #1

    Vernon Carey Jr.

    Question #1: Is the best Duke big man since Shelden? or maybe even since Boozer or Elton? (I don't consider Bagley to be a true big man)
    I like his game a whole lot. What he did to the purported best big man in the country, Azubuike, was unreal. Love this guy.

    Question #2: Does he have stamina issues? I see Coach k subbing him out a lot, particularly late in games when we might need him. Are they short term issues? or long term?

    I love a lot of guys on this team, but he's the most impressive, IMO.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevilYouKnow View Post
    Question #1: Is the best Duke big man since Shelden? or maybe even since Boozer or Elton? (I don't consider Bagley to be a true big man)
    I like his game a whole lot. What he did to the purported best big man in the country, Azubuike, was unreal. Love this guy.
    that's a bit of a no true scottsman argument.


    Question #2: Does he have stamina issues? I see Coach k subbing him out a lot, particularly late in games when we might need him. Are they short term issues? or long term?
    We were spoiled with the amount that the guys the past couple of years have been able to play, but it's not often that freshman big men can put in huge minutes. I recall someone did an analysis at one point, but going past 25 minutes was pretty rare for most of K's career. Okafor averaged <30, for instance.
    oof

    "If you don't address the things you're not doing well when you're winning the winning will eventually stop."

    -David Cutcliffe

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilYouKnow View Post
    Question #1: Is the best Duke big man since Shelden? or maybe even since Boozer or Elton? (I don't consider Bagley to be a true big man)
    I like his game a whole lot. What he did to the purported best big man in the country, Azubuike, was unreal. Love this guy.

    Question #2: Does he have stamina issues? I see Coach k subbing him out a lot, particularly late in games when we might need him. Are they short term issues? or long term?

    I love a lot of guys on this team, but he's the most impressive, IMO.
    Re: #2, my opinion based on observing him during the Winthrop game is that he does have stamina issues. There are times when he looks tired and unaware, even disinterested regarding what is going on while playing defense, and he won't necessarily hustle down court if someone makes a steal and a break for the basket.

    He's not the only one, either. Matt Hurt pretty clearly has some stamina issues as well (unless I what I observed was caused by some confounding factor, like being sick). He was hustling, but was obviously gassed at multiple points in the second half. I mentioned it to someone during the Winthrop game, saying Coach should really have taken him out for a rest after the last stoppage, at which point his man got the ball and Hurt basically just fell over on court.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    The early returns on Vernon Carey indicate he is very good. It is going to be entertaining to watch him play this season. However, the season is young so I will hold off on the labels for the time being.
    Bob Green
    DBR Survivor Football Champion
    2010 & 2016

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Dallas, TX
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilYouKnow View Post
    Question #1: Is the best Duke big man since Shelden? or maybe even since Boozer or Elton? (I don't consider Bagley to be a true big man)
    I like his game a whole lot. What he did to the purported best big man in the country, Azubuike, was unreal. Love this guy.

    Question #2: Does he have stamina issues? I see Coach k subbing him out a lot, particularly late in games when we might need him. Are they short term issues? or long term?

    I love a lot of guys on this team, but he's the most impressive, IMO.
    Wait, why is Bagley not a big man? His best position in the NBA is center . . . he should have played center at Duke, but he was in the same class as Wendell Carter.

    It's still too early for me to make a call on Vernon Carey. I need to see more games.

    But the answer (who I am shocked that no one has mentioned yet) is Zion Williamson, the best Duke big man of all time. Laettner #2, Elton Brand #3.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilYouKnow View Post
    Question #1: Is the best Duke big man since Shelden? or maybe even since Boozer or Elton? (I don't consider Bagley to be a true big man)
    I like his game a whole lot. What he did to the purported best big man in the country, Azubuike, was unreal. Love this guy.
    I'm confused why Bagley would not be a true big man. That seems pretty arbitrary. Also, Zion was a big big man just a year ago.

    I would also point out that Jahlil Okafor was pretty darn dominant in the post for Duke just five short years ago.

    Here is how their stats match up through 9 games played:
    Okafor - 18.0PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.7BPG, 65.4%FG
    Carey - 19.2PPG, 9.7RPG, 2.4BPG, 60.0%FG

    I would love for Carey to have the same kind of impact and season as Oak did!
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kAzE View Post
    But the answer (who I am shocked that no one has mentioned yet) is Zion Williamson, the best Duke big man of all time. Laettner #2, Elton Brand #3.
    Pure recency bias. Laettner was clearly better. An argument could be made for Mike Lewis and Randy Denton as well.

    Williamson is the most athletic but not the best.
    Bob Green
    DBR Survivor Football Champion
    2010 & 2016

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Green View Post
    Pure recency bias. Laettner was clearly better. An argument could be made for Mike Lewis and Randy Denton as well.

    Williamson is the most athletic but not the best.
    Hard disagree. Zion was the most athletic and possibly the most skilled. I'll take Zion at any level over Laettner, college or NBA. He's a much more versatile player, and able to affect to game in several more ways than Laettner could.

    Laettner's best season at Duke: 21.5 points, 7.9 rebounds 2.0 assists, 2.1 steals, 0.9 blocks, 3.3 turnovers, 57.5% FG

    Zion's freshman season at Duke: 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.1 steals, 1.8 blocks, 2.4 turnovers, 68.0% FG

    He's better in every statistical category as a 18 year freshman than Laettner as a senior, and those stats are somewhat brought down because he only played 30 seconds in the shoe explosion game.
    Last edited by kAzE; 12-06-2019 at 02:56 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kAzE View Post
    I'll take Zion at any level over Laettner, college or NBA.
    When Zion leads Duke to back-to-back National Championships, get back with me.
    Bob Green
    DBR Survivor Football Champion
    2010 & 2016

  10. #10
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    Tucson, AZ
    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    that's a bit of a no true scottsman argument.
    Because his grass isn't green enough?

    Agree, though, excluding Bagley and Williamson is iffy, and too early to say, anyways, vs Okafor, etc.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Correct side of the Durham/CH border
    Can the thread title have a little context added? I had a heart palpitation seeing a thread title with just his name...
    “Coach said no 3s.” - Zion on The Block

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Green View Post
    When Zion leads Duke to back-to-back National Championships, get back with me.
    Ok, I guess by your standards, Tyler Hansbrough is a way better basketball player than J.J. Redick.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kAzE View Post
    Ok, I guess by your standards, Tyler Hansbrough is a way better basketball player than J.J. Redick.
    We can agree to disagree that’s no problem. I believe Laettner was better.
    Bob Green
    DBR Survivor Football Champion
    2010 & 2016

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kAzE View Post
    Hard disagree. Zion was the most athletic and possibly the most skilled. I'll take Zion at any level over Laettner, college or NBA. He's a much more versatile player, and able to affect to game in several more ways than Laettner could.
    I can't speak much for laettner from an eye test perspective, as I was in daipers when he was at duke. Zion won national player of the year as a freshman. while missing 6 games in the prime of the season. Zion was better as a freshman than laettner ever was in almost all aspects. The only exceptions I see are FT shooting, and by his senior year, Laettner was a better 3pt shooter. Zion had more points, blocks, rebounds, assists, FG%, usage, steals, and a lower foul and turnover rate.

    Numbers to numbers, Zion was better as a freshman than Laettner was in ANY year.
    oof

    "If you don't address the things you're not doing well when you're winning the winning will eventually stop."

    -David Cutcliffe

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Green View Post
    We can agree to disagree that’s no problem. I believe Laettner was better.
    Sure, reasonable people can disagree. I just find the whole "he's better because he won a title" argument silly. I think if you give Zion 4 years at Duke and a couple of years playing with Grant Hill and Bobby Hurley, he probably wins at least 2 titles, and probably 4 national player of the year awards.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    Numbers to numbers, Zion was better as a freshman than Laettner was in ANY year.
    How about leadership? The will to win? Refuse to lose?

    I’ll take Laettner every day of the week and twice on national championship night.
    Bob Green
    DBR Survivor Football Champion
    2010 & 2016

  17. #17
    Here's my optimistic view on Mr. Carey.

    I think his stamina will continue to improve as the season goes on - it's a bit of an issue now. And his teammates seem to be gaining confidence in playing through him more and more on offense. So I think his offensive numbers are only going to get better.

    We seem to be at our best when he gets lots of touches leading to easy scores or a collapsing defense with a kick-out to an open shooter. During the MSU game, we had the patience to make 4-5 passes around the perimeter until Carey could seal and we had a good passing angle in - it was beautiful basketball and I don't see us going away from it. We played through Okafor and Brand in a similar way in the past - our two best back-to-the-basket scorers over the past 30 years IMO (maybe Boozer belongs there too...). Not coincidentally, the '99 and '15 teams were also two of our greatest teams.

    I think Carey will see more double teams coming up, but he's handled them very well so far. He doesn't sit on the ball or even hesitate at all. He makes a quick move to the rim or he kicks it out - that destroys a double team. He will need to continue to knock down free throws -- 70%+ which I think he can do.

    I respect those of you withholding judgement. He's still a work in progress. But what I already see is probably the best big man in the country who could be NPOY by March. He's an automatic double-double if he plays 20 minutes. He's a much better defender than his reputation coming in. But it's not just his talent. It's also the fact that he's got good players surrounding him who can get him the ball in a position to score or punish the other team if they focus too much attention on him. And he's got the GOAT drawing it all up...

  18. #18
    He's had a good start but it's waaay to early to start putting him above recent greats: Carter, Okafor, MBIII, Zion.

    So many reasons to agree w Bob Green vs. kAzE. Take Z all you want. Laetner was not as good as Z as a Frosh but (if such a thing were possible) it would be foolish to swap Z for L in the 91 and 92 seasons. L was the best for Duke in 91 and 92, possibly ever.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Green View Post
    Pure recency bias. Laettner was clearly better. An argument could be made for Mike Lewis and Randy Denton as well.

    Williamson is the most athletic but not the best.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Green View Post
    How about leadership? The will to win? Refuse to lose?

    I’ll take Laettner every day of the week and twice on national championship night.
    Those are better arguments. All I'm saying is, you cannot dismiss Zion being mentioned here out of "pure recency bias," and emphatically say "Laettner was clearly better," because a good argument can be made for both guys.

    But we're still using different measuring sticks. Laettner was an incredible college player, one of the greatest ever. But Zion is on a different planet in terms of talent. Let me put it this way: Zion is the most talented Duke big man ever, and it's not close.

    Sorry for hijacking the thread, I'll stop now
    Last edited by kAzE; 12-06-2019 at 03:21 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kAzE View Post
    Let me put it this way: Zion is the most talented Duke big man ever, and it's not close.

    Sorry for hijacking the thread, I'll stop now
    I can agree with that wording.

    And I will also stop.
    Bob Green
    DBR Survivor Football Champion
    2010 & 2016

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