Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Recruiting Wall a desperate act by Duke

AP Photo

Duke's pursuit of Raleigh's John Wall (above), a presumed "one-and-done" basketball recruit, illustrates both a shift in Mike Krzyzewski's recruiting philosophy and just how desperate the situation is for Duke.

In the aftermath of the 2004 Final Four, losing Luol Deng after one season and Shaun Livingston before he got to campus, Coach K made a conscious decision to avoid one-year college players.

Maintaining some semblance of academic integrity was an ancillary benefit to the decision but not that primary motivating factor. The disruption of the recruiting cycle is what kept Coach K away.

Two years after Deng departed in '04, before what would be one of K's worst teams (worst being a relative term) since the early 1980s, the Duke coach was still stinging from the twin decisions of Deng and Livingston, both of whom he thought he would have for at least two seasons each.

Asked in Greensboro in the preseason how the program got the point that '06-'07 would be a rebuilding season and why Duke had lost in the Sweet 16 in two straight years, Coach K said:

"We had Luol one year and we never had Shaun," Krzyzewski said. "Those two guys would have made a huge difference."

Duke went two recruiting classes without a serious pursuit of a one-and-done prospect. Josh McRoberts, the No. 1-rated prospect in the class of '05, stayed two seasons.

The Blue Devils did sign mid-level forward prospects David McClure (in '04) and Jamal Boykin (in '05) based on the premise that both would stick around for four years, and perhaps develop into senior leaders in the mold of Shane Battier, albeit less talented.

Neither four-year project worked out according to plan. McClure, as a fifth-year senior, eventually became a functional role player. Boykin transferred to Cal after one-and-half seasons.

Only after the disappointment of 0-4 finish in March '07 did the reality of the changed recruiting landscape hit Duke.

The Devils pursued blue-chip forward Patrick Patterson, who chose Kentucky instead, and settled for another late signee, Lance Thomas, a McDonald's All-American who has started 62 games in three seasons but not made a high-level impact (see: career scoring average, 4.6).

They struck out again in the spring of '08 with top forward prospect Greg Monroe, who chose Georgetown. Again, Duke decided to add another late recruit in forward Miles Plumlee, who had committed to Stanford but decided on Duke after Cardinal coach Trent Johnson left for LSU.

Despite his size, 6-10 and 235 pounds — and Duke's need for interior size — Plumlee averaged less than 2 points in less than 7 minutes a game as a freshman.

In the immediate aftermath of the successful yet unconventional '08-'09 season, which included the ACC title, Coach K promised to hit the recruiting trail in search of a conventional point guard and a capable post option.

On Sunday, the Devils landed Seth Curry, who'll transfer from Liberty after leading all freshman scorers this past season. Curry plays neither of K's intended target positions, but he will slide nicely into the combo guard role of Jon Scheyer in '10-'11.

But Curry can't help Duke in '09-'10, a potentially great Duke team if both Gerald Henderson and Kyle Singler return. Wall can, hence the mercenary's visit with Duke on Monday, a recruit K wouldn't have touched five years ago. A less desperate Coach K would have wished Wall good luck, not promised him Jason Williams' playbook.

The truth is, as Krzyzewski himself admitted it after UNC's win in Durham on Feb. 11, UNC's just better than Duke right now. And despite public protests to the opposite, by both sides when the subject is brought up, beyond winning, what matters most to both Duke and Carolina is keeping up with the other side.

Since Duke's most recent Final Four appearance ('04), UNC has been to the Final Four three times, with one title in the bag and another just 80 minutes away.

That's why Duke is back in the one-and-done business. Right or wrong, it's that simple.

####

Either by their own volition, or their own recruiting failures, Duke has avoided one-and-done recruits.

While Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has been criticized for this decision, Ohio State's Thad Matta has been burned by it.

Ohio State freshman B.J. Mullens declared for the NBA Draft earlier this week. Since '06-'07, OSU has had five players (Greg Oden, Mike Conley Jr., DeQuan Cook Kosta Koufos and Mullens) leave after just one season.

No Duke players have left after one season over the same period.

How does Duke's record compare to Ohio State's?


DUKE OHIO STATE

Overall ACC NCAA Overall Big Ten NCAA
2008-09 30-7 11-5 2-1 22-11 10-8 0-1
2007-08 28-6 13-3 1-1 24-13 10-8 0-0
2006-07 22-11 8-8 0-1 35-4 15-1 5-1
Totals 80-24 32-16 3-3 81-28 35-17 5-2

They have virtually the same overall winning percentage and the same conference winning percentage.

They each have a conference title — Duke in '09, OSU in '07.

They each have one Sweet 16 appearance — Duke '09, OSU in '07.

OSU went to the Final Four in '07 and Duke did not reach the Final Four in the three seasons. Duke did make the NCAA Tournament all three years, OSU did not (missed in '08).

Which program would you rather be? -- J.P. Giglio

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

If Wall goes to Duke he will bever attend class. The Duke program is fast becoming another NC State.

Anonymous said...

Fast becoming another NC State?! HAHAHAHAHA! That is a joke, right? Recruiting one player that they may or may not get doesn't make them any better or worse than any other program. How many 1 and done players has UNC had? How about NC State since you brought them up? Ga Tech (a bunch)? The list goes on. But to put the Devils and Wolfpack in the same boat in any category is a laughable.

Anonymous said...

Especially in football

Anonymous said...

Nc state is nothing to write home about in football either...State hasn't been relevant in football since rivers and basketball since Julius Hodge.

Anonymous said...

Duke fans....Saturday Night 8:57PM.

Anonymous said...

Basically what you're saying is since Ol' Roy came back home dook has not been able to keep up with the MIGHTY HEELS!

Frankie said...

Duke may be over-rated academically as well. I went to Furman, and I had a friend at Duke, and his course-load wasn't any different than mine.

Anonymous said...

Then your friend went to Drake, not Duke. There are some disciplines at UNC that are as tough as or harder than Duke (Biology, Chemistry, Law, and Medical School), but as a whole university it is a much harder route. My family has went to college at Duke, UNC, and NC State and the Dukie would always take summer courses at UNC for the break :).

Anonymous said...

This is quite possibly the worst piece of "journalism" I have ever read. It could have easily been written by a collection of nut-cases from a UNC internet messageboard.

Anonymous said...

Double D's.......Desperate Duke....Poor Coach K cannot coach and now cannot recruit....Like someone said earlier, headed down the NC State path....Maybe K can get a red sports jacket....

Anonymous said...

Coach K recruits a black kid? He's lowering his standards. Coach K recruits white kid? He's kepting the academics standards?

Jolly said...

Of the last 12 ACC Tournaments how many has Duke won? 8 or nine? That is hardly State material. Let's not give Ol' Roy so many props yet, he won his title Ol' Matt's players. In fact he has never won a title with his own players. Has a chance this year though. Which would mark the first time in history the so called "Mighty Heels" have won two titles in the same decade. Maybe you folks should get some perspective before arguing like these are the only two programs in the country. To the author, "Desperate"? Get a clue.

Anonymous said...

You guys are a joke when bringing up "Matt's players"...lol....You talk like these kids could just walk out on the court and win without coaching....These guys would have never won under Coach Matt and you know it. These kids do have talent but need to be coached and trained how to play together....Roy is dominating coach K now in recruiting and Dook is done....Mediocre program from now on and middle of the pack runner...Yes I said Pack (Duke) same same....

Anonymous said...

If the posters on here followed Wall's recruiting sagal, you would be shocked that K extended Wall an offer (and even more shocked that K apparently allowed Wall's handler to be present at the meeting between K and Wall. It makes no sense that K would take those steps.

Anonymous said...

Saying duke is another NCSU is so far from the truth. Wall would comein for a year and then leave, duke already has a nice recruiting class two years from now, even with out Curry.NCSU recruited JJ hickson to be the savior,built the offense around him only to have him leave after one year. Any blue chip prospect from any of these schools can leave after a year.Ask syracuse how they liked the one year with Carmaelo.How would Wall coming in for a year be any different from Brandon Wright or Marvin Williams, maybe even Ed Davis. Players are leaving earlier than they used to, anything after a first year is a gift.

Duke Reality said...

Bottom line is....UNC is playing for another championship. DUKE IS HOME trying to wine and dine a LIBERTY player! LoLoL

Anonymous said...

Nothing to write home about in football? I think State dominated every team in North Carolina last year and Tom O'Brien has owned Butch Davis since the two have arrived. Am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

Yeah Carolina is soooooo **** good! Let's see, didn't they have the "best player ever" in Jordan? Haven't they always supposedly had better NBA talent than Duke? How many titles do they have? How many titles does Duke have? 'NOUGH SAID! ;)

Anonymous said...

This article is the most trash nonsense I have ever heard. 100% garbage. The writers for this blog are UNC extremist far left clowns.

Anonymous said...

I'm the biggest Carolina fan I know but we should be fair: Dook is not becoming State. The fact is there are cycles in the rivalry where one team is not as good as the other and this is one of those cycles. There is truth in the statement that Roy is beating K in recruiting.

Anonymous said...

Just look at Duke's 2010 class...

...and then tell me Coach K is struggling to recruit.

Now add Seth Curry to that list.

30 wins, and Duke is no good.

So if you don't win it all, it's a failure...I guess...pretty dumb if ya ask me.

Anonymous said...

It's going to be funny watching the faces of all these skeptics when Duke is cutting down the nets sometime in the near future and Tyyyyyler is putting up 3 points a game in the NBA...

It all changes...

...Just think if this was 01...Duke wins the title...and the Heels are gearing up for an 8-20 season...the sky is falling the Heels will NEVER get back to winning titles...EVER.

Oh yea..the Heels missed 3 NCAA tournaments this decade.

Duke hasn't missed one.

If Duke missed 3 straight, I could only imagine the crap coming out of the Duke haters...

Anonymous said...

How many titles do they have? How many titles does Duke have? 'NOUGH SAID! ;)

To bad you do not know what you are talking about; because UNC has more National Titles than Dook...Get your facts straight...

'NUFF SAID...

Anonymous said...

Of course Duke is desperate. K is past 60 now and his time for spreading darkness grows short.

Anonymous said...

It has nothing to do with recruiting. Coach Rat Face doesn't develop his talent.

Anonymous said...

To the NC State Lint Head...hope you have enjoyed your recent football success. It is coming to an end for a long long time!

Anonymous said...

It is clear that many of the comments are written by people who did not attend Dook or UNC or State. Hey, it's OK to be a fan, but why are you so adamantly defending schools you didn't attend? Most of the grammatical errors on this board make me think many of you haven't even graduated middle school. Also, enough of the racist innuendo.

Coach K needs to keep up with the Joneses. Don't blame him for going for a 1 and done player. UNC has done it (though not often). State has done it and would probably like to do it some more. The people bashing Coach K for doing this are the same jerks who bash him for losing. Don't you get it?! He needs to do what he can, as respectfully as possible, to WIN.

Anonymous said...

"To bad you do not know what you are talking about; because UNC has more National Titles than Dook...Get your facts straight...

'NUFF SAID..."

The fact is that not only has Carolina had some of the "best nba talent", they have been to more final fours than any other school(18) and they've been a #1 seed more times than any other school(13). And STILL, they only have won four titles compared to Duke's three. Anything else???

Anonymous said...

Am I missing something? When did UNC miss 3 NCCA Tourneys?

Duke fans, read up on this Wall kid. Not only is he a one and done player, he is not the type of person that you want associated with your program. Of course, when you start recruiting players from Liberty, I guess your standards have dropped. Maybe you could go after some of the players headed to the WNBA next?

Anonymous said...

OHH and dont forgot that Carolina now has the most wins ever in NCAA tournament history....thats a program for you

Philip said...

A decent sports journalist blogger would have brought up the fact that the NBA very well may extend their minimum age requirement to 20 years old. This would drastically change the landscape of college basketball and essentially eliminate the "one and done". Perhaps Coach K is looking to take advantage of this very likely change in the NBA's rules... What the Carolina fans posting here are not willing to admit is that John Wall playing for Duke scares them out of their Carolina blue panties.

Anonymous said...

Reading all the comments here and elsewhere since tournment time proves a point. UNC fans are a step below Duke fans. UNC fan, everyone of you are point blank. Uneducated.

Anonymous said...

Man people really do hate Duke... I guess thats why I Love Duke so much... It is what it is... Coach K needs more black 5 star talent... Thats why he hasnt had the success these last few years.... but hey you cant win em all... DUKE will be back... SETH CURRY BABY!!!!

Anonymous said...

Bring on Wall for a year to prep Curry and get himself ready for the NBA. The near future is looking bright for Duke fans.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe this is going to work. Wall won't be playing tonight in the McDonalds All-American game. Why you ask? He is a 5th year senior. Do you think he can handle his academics for 1 year at Duke? He has a poor attitude that comes with it as well. I don't think we'll hear about him after this year. He might go to a small school for a year (just to get by). Then he'll enter the draft. Just my opinion

Anonymous said...

"My family has went to college at Duke..." With english like that, I wonder if he is the only one in his family that missed college!?!?!?

Anonymous said...

Horrible article, Giglio is an idiot. He even points out that Duke has recruited plenty of potential 1 year players in the past: Brandan Wright, Josh McRoberts, Greg Monroe, Eric Gordon, Shaun Livingston, etc. This is not anything new. But then he says recruiting Wall is a desperate move all of a sudden?

matches said...

K recruited Josh McRoberts, who was a strong possibility to be one-and-done. He went hard after both Patterson and Monroe, both of whom were candidates to leave after one year. He recruited Brandan Wright, who ended up going to UNC and leaving after one year?

Where exactly did the notion that K won't recruit one-and-doner's come from? It seems to be entirely a media and fan fabrication.

Anonymous said...

Leave it to the TarHeel Observer to take shots at Duke's program. Comparing them to NC State & Ohio State??? PLEASE!

The past few years all we've heard is critisism on K's recruiting. Then he gets a proven player in Curry and a potential #1 PG and all of a sudden he's "desperate"? No you idiots, hes smart. Everyone knows the days of the 4 year college player are gone (unless your Cryler Hansblow and you know your gonna suck in the NBA anyway so why go). So if you want to bash him and the program for wanting a kid like Wall (which im sure EVERY school in America would), go ahead and take your shots because while Duke may be "down" now, any honest college b-ball fan knows it wont last.

Anonymous said...

"Reading all the comments here and elsewhere since tournment time proves a point. UNC fans are a step below Duke fans. UNC fan, everyone of you are point blank. Uneducated." By Anonymous

First of all, if you're so educated you should know how to spell "tournament" and correctly put together a sentence. Second, I am a life long fan of UNC and I hold a Bachelors Degree in Architecture what do you have? Third, to be a fan of a team doesn't require that you be Alumni otherwise you along with 80% of the other Duke fans wouldn't be qualified. How many Duke fans can honestly afford $50k a year in tuition?

Anonymous said...

State will never win 30 games!

Anonymous said...

Giglio has blind hatred for Duke, just like all the jokes who write for the Tarheel Observer. Why is it "desperate" that John Wall, the #1 prep recruit in the country, has narrowed his choiced down to Memphis and Duke?

Anonymous said...

"Duke...becoming another NC State"

hhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahhhaha win 30 games and the ACC championship in an "off" year and we'll talk.

Anonymous said...

Hey Gigolo,

Your entire basis for comparing OSU to Duke is because the Buckeyes had their best season in school history 3 years ago w/Oden. Try that comparison over the last 2 years, when the Buckeyes were in the NIT and bounced in the NCAA first round.

Anonymous said...

Wow....you're all idiots.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte Observer = UNC love / Duke Hate. Period. This paper is a joke.

Anonymous said...

Come on! Give Wall a break! Sounds like some Duke fans do not want him there since he does not fit the "Duke" mold. From some of the comments, sounds like some hidden racism to me. What? Do you think Wall will disgrace Duke with his presence? Wall is a very talented young man who could offer some help to your program. I am a Wall fan and an HBCU graduate and wish him the best of luck where ever he decides to play! GO TARHEELS!

Anonymous said...

Racism? Dont be an idiot, ever heard of Jay Williams?

Ron Galt said...

I'm pretty sure that Duke's leading scorer and first team all conference player was black too...

Anonymous said...

J. Williams has was that scholar athlete that liked ramming trees at excessive speeds with plastic motorcycles wasn't he. Brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Charlotte Observer is a joke.

Anonymous said...

I went to Duke. Coach K just isn't pulling in the talent he used to, plain and simple. Couple that with the misjudgment of talent (e.g. Paulus, McRoberts) and you have the "trouble" the program is in now. And by trouble, I use Duke's previous standards.
On teams past, only Singler and Henderson would have been definite starters out of this past bunch. The rest should be coming off the bench. This same man who brought in Scheyer, Thomas, Zoubek, Paulus, Plumlee etc...used to reel in (on a consistent basis) names like Brand, Battier, Dunleavey, Williams, Boozer, Grant, Deng. What happened???
I, for one, am glad K is going after the one-and-done to surround the good, but not great, players already on the team.

Anonymous said...

This looks more like a playground for little kids than anything else. Grow up; all of you!

Anonymous said...

He's right.

Personally I think recruiting John Wall is a good thing for duke, 1 and done and all. I'd rather have him for 1 year then Paulus for 4 years. That recruiting class was Terrible. Paulus, Zoubek, and compare that to UNC's, Tyler Hansbourough, Danny green, Bobby Frasor, and some other guys.

Also, both UNC and duke will go through a few bad years, but they always come back with really good teams. I prefer having BOTH teams good. It makes the rivalry the best in all of sport by a landslide.

Anonymous said...

Let's compare next years teams.

Duke
Elliot Williams
Jon Sheyer
Kyle Singler
Gerald Henderson-I don't think he good enough to go pro, yet
Lance Thomas
John Wall-Possibly
Ryan Kelly-Kyle Singler like recruit
Mason Plumlee-Traditional center

Anonymous said...

UNC

Larry Drew II
Tyler Zeller
Ed Davis
Deon Thompson- Is he leaving? I dont know
Justin Watts
Two All American Twins- They're bigmen
An All American Gaurd

I think Wayne Ellington and Ty Lawson will leave and I'm not sure who else is on UNC. I am a Duke fan

Anonymous said...

If the Wall kid (and all the baggage that goes with him) is being recruited by Duke et al, do you seriously think he is not on the Tarheel radar as well? Before we tear Duke up for going after the kid, TH fans might want to make sure Coach Williams does not have the kid's handler on speed dial. Keep in mind that Ty Lawson should go pro. Nobody has a crystal ball, but this seems to be one scenario no one here has mentioned. On a side note, those hacks at the Disturber have always been biased for UNC regardless of who the other team is. If the Heels lost to Jesus and the Disciples, those hacks would report on how the Heels were cheated out of the win.

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