Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Great Wall of Hope?

I have to admit that ever since Shaun Livingston committed to Duke and then turned pro, I've hardly paid any attention to recruiting, as it seemingly became a worthless exercise. And I think the fact K started missing on stars like Boynton, Patterson, and Monroe had something to do with it. But this season got my excitement level back up about the program, and the current recruiting battle going on has led me back to and even DBR on a daily basis.

For those Dudes not following thus far, Duke is now hot after uncommitted Raleigh point guard John Wall, the consensus #1 PG and top 5 overall recruit in this year's class. Until recently, Memphis was his pretty clear first choice, with Baylor in second based on their shady hiring of his assistant coach. On Sunday, Wall met one-on-one with K, got a tour of the campus, and left with Duke at least entering the conversation for him. Then, of course, Calipari left Memphis, and it's unclear if Wall will still consider Memphis, or now take a hard look at Kentucky. This could either be great news for Duke, or have no effect.

Wall, from what I've read, pretty clearly seems to be a one-and-done guy, which led this writer from the N&O to criticize Duke for recruiting such a player. But is it really? If Duke could get Wall, and convince Henderson to come back, even without wearing my blue-tinted glasses, Duke would seemingly be a prohibitive favorite to win the title. A starting five of Wall, Scheyer, Henderson, Singler, Kelly, and second five of Smith, Williams, Thomas, Mason Plumlee, and Zoubek would be unmatched, and Duke's most talented 10 since earlier this decade. Keep in mind, Kelly just won the McDonald's three-point shootout, and Plumlee was second in the dunk contest, so we know they're at least not stiff and tall white dudes. How much of an interior presence they'll provide is to-be-determined.

If Duke misses on Wall, they're taking a hard look at Eric Bledsoe, rated as the #9 PG in the country (top 75 overall), and a dude who calls Duke his dream school. I read something about there being academic questions, and whether he's good enough of a player, but the numbers seem to back him up. You wonder though how long he'll wait around if Wall delays his decision.

So what do the Dudes think about recruiting Wall? Are you okay with an avowed one-and-done player, something K seemed to abandon after Livingston/Deng played a combined one year. In my mind, with Scheyer a senior, and Henderson/Singler having no more than one year left, I have no problem going all in given our drought over the last 5 years. And it's not like in 2010 we'd exactly be suffering with Curry eligible and a base of other talent such as Williams, Nolan, Kelly, Plumlee, etc.


ThadisRad said...

A few years ago I was against this sort of thing, but now I'm all for it. Maybe I've come to accept the changing landscape of college basketball, or maybe I just miss getting past the Sweet 16, but I vote yes. I wouldn't want to make it a habit, but in special cases, I think it's worth it.

Let's face it, the game has changed, and if Duke doesn't adapt from time to time, it will fall behind (as it seems to be doing already).

ThadisRad said...

Oh, and three dudes can vouch that you don't win championships when a guy named Bledsoe is running the show.

The Dude said...

you also don't win championships with a guy named Romo running the show.

Head Dude said...

anything substantive to add, dude, or should we make a David Carr joke?

The Dude said...

you also don't win championships with guys named Jason Terry, Devin Harris or Jason Kidd running the show.

Head Dude said...

you also don't win a single playoff round in your entire career with a guy named McGrady running the show.