Michael caught some pickup and sent us these
notes. Thanks Michael!
After a workout at the new Duke gym Friday (which is beautiful by the way), I
took an hour and a half out of my life to scout this year's talent playing
pick up games in Cameron. Here's my thoughts and impressions.
Battier and Matt Christens?n weren't there, but miraculously the program
managed to scrap together 10 bodies to play full court basketball. It was
very odd seeing so many unfamiliar faces and so few familiar ones. I was
glad to see that the program is getting back to family a bit as several of
the player's parents and family were in town, watching and getting to know
each other. There was Mike Dunleavey, Sr and a few other Dunleavy family
members, Chris Carrawell's mother who enthusiastically clapped every time
Chris made a good play, along with another parent.
Nate James and Chris Carrawell were the only experienced players and were
matched up against each other. Jason Williams was on Nate's team and Andre
Buckner was guarding him. Casey Sanders was with James and Williams and was
matched up against Nick Horvath. Dunleavy was also on team James and was
matched up against JD Simpson. The other two players were walkons or guys
from the area who were just running with the team. I didn't recognize them
and neither did the people around me watching. The teams split the 4 games I
watched. I got there about 40 minutes after they started playing, so I got
to see what kind of shape everybody was in.
Nate James and Chris Carrawell: Nate looks to be in spectacular condition.
He looks ready physically and mentally to be an all-acc player and a great
leader for this team. He's moving quicker laterally than he has and is no
longer showing any effects of lingering injuries. He looks like he's taken a
bit of the muscle mass off, but he's still chiseled. He defended Carrawell
very effectively, must have stolen 5 passes for uncontested layups on the
other end, and was taking the ball very strong to the basket. He's never
going to score 25 points a game, but his shot looks confident and he was
pulling the trigger on mid range and 3 point shots and hitting them.
Carrawell was passing well and was also taking the ball very strong to the
hoop and was scoring in the slippery way that we've seen him score for 3
Most importantly perhaps, he and Carrawell were the most vocal guys on the
court and were exhibiting nice leadership. They were also the two guys who
wanted to win the most and were giving it the most effort.
Jason Williams: The talent is obvious. He makes great plays effortlessly
and can do things not many point guards can do. He made some great passes
and even showed Will Avery type range on a couple of shots. You have to be
careful not to put too much into pickup games, but there were a few
disturbing things about his play. He didn't seem to relish playing defense
and he didn't take control of things the way it is clear that he is capable
of doing. I sensed no lack of confidence (quite the opposite in fact), but
he looked a bit tired and was dragging a little. He reminds me of Baron
Davis with his size, speed and leaping ability. He's really quick, but I
didn't see Allen Iverson speed.
Sanders and Horvath: Now Casey Sanders looked like he was having a rough
time. Horvath was able to push him off the blocks and Sanders was unable to
take advantage of his height and athleticism advantage. He showed a couple
nice post moves, but wasn't as strong with the ball as he'll need to be. He
was on the skins team and he's as thin as advertised. It was also clear he's
not in playing shape yet cause he was the last one up and down the court most
of the time and was grabbing his shorts an awful lot. He showed flashes and
when he did it was very encouraging. Hopefully, Coach K will toughen him up.
Horvath is better than Gibbons and the rest gave him credit for. Nothing
sensational about his game or his athleticism. Just a nice player. He knows
how to play defense and he knows how to move in an offense. He set good
screens, knew how to roll off a pick, and made smart decisions with the ball.
The guy even hit 2 out of 4 three pointers he attempted. I'd be completely
comfortable with him playing significant minutes this year. He isn't gonna
score in bunches or block lots of shots, but he'll do some little things and
not screw up.
Dunleavey: Looked tentative and a little shaky handling the ball. JD
Simpson was giving him all he could handle. But he made some good plays too.
He needs some time to develop before he's gonna be very effective I'm
Buckner: I was very impressed by Andre Buckner. He played hard, handled the
ball very well, defended Williams well, and scored a bit too. Looks like a
very solid backup point guard. He's small, but he's got that Terrell
Mcintyre thing going on that lots of the small guards have. It can be very
annoying to play against that type of guard and I'm glad we have one now.