Duke – Where big men go to die

We’re throwing some random stuff out today to keep your brains active. We praised DBR in this entry, so I guess it put Duke on our mind.

With that said, we thought that you would enjoy the following comments written about the worst early-entries into the NBA draft. (Warning: the link takes you to a Gregg Doyel article. To be fair, Doyel has proven a penchant to criticize Duke as much or more, than most of his targets. This link will take you to a related entry that you will enjoy today).

2. Josh McRoberts, Duke

Before McRoberts it was Shavlik Randolph. Before Randolph it was Chris Burgess. Before Burgess it was Taymon Domzalski. Big men go to Duke with big names, and with some exceptions — but not you, Casey Sanders or Eric Boateng or Michael Thompson — they leave with diminished reputations. Such is the case with McRoberts, who was a definite lottery pick after high school and a possible lottery pick after last season but now is projected to go later in the first round. So why come out now, after his sophomore season? Because with another year at Duke, McRoberts would be a second-rounder. Imagine if he stayed through his senior year. He’d go undrafted, then get cut by some team in Korea.

^This laundry list of under-achieving big men is pretty impressive/damaging.

Sometimes I wonder if the success that Coach K had with certain types of players in the past serves to negatively impact his vision on some of his assessments in modern day recruiting. For example, guys like Wojo and Greg Paulus simply are NOT future Bobby Hurleys; Chris Burgess, Shavlick Randolph and some of these other big men that have come through are not the next Danny Ferry and/or Christian Laettner.

Of course, Elton Brand, Carlos Boozer and Sheldon Williams also came along in the middle of these names. But, didn’t these guys have ample talent BEFORE coming to Duke? Seriously…Brand lasted one? two? years in college and moved on to become an immediate home run in the NBA. Not a lot of ‘developing’ that needed to be done there. The success of a few uber-talented recruits hardly makes up for the disappointing development of so many McDonald’s All-Americans.