Carlos watched practice and sent us these notes. Thanks Carlos!
I was fortunate enough to attend a semi-open practice tonight along with
Stray and Duredett. There were two great surprises- the return of Carlos
Boozer and the play of Mike Dunleavy. It was Carlos' first practice after
nearly a two month rehab period for his foot injury. Boozer looked very
mobile for someone going through his first practice. The lingering effects
of his injury could be seen in his conditioning and explosiveness.
Understandably enough Boozer grew fatigued much quicker then his teammates.
That's not to say he didn't work hard during his rehab time. In fact, quite
the opposite as his quick return to action attests. Boozer looks great at
6-10 and 265 (according to Coach K) but he did not begin full load-bearing
running on his foot until just two days ago. Prior to that he had spent a
great deal of time on an exercise bike.
Despite all that you could really see a great deal of potential in his play.
Carlos is not Elton. But then Elton is not Carlos. People looking for a
drop off in Duke's inside game this year may be disappointed. Boozer may not
have the bull power Elton gave us last year but he's very strong in the post.
He has an array of offensive moves that make him a dangerous man for the
opposition. Add to that a solid court awareness that allows him to pass out
of double teams to the open man and you get the picture of a well-rounded
post player. In the two 12 minute scrimmages Boozer had several nice
offensive moves including a 10 foot fade shot over super shotblocker Casey
Sanders. He did have several occasions where he could have slammed the ball
home but opted to finish with a layup. As mentioned earlier that is more a
result of his injury then his physical talents. By the ACC season the power
aspects of Carlos' game should be back.
Dunleavy's play was exceptional. I remember back during the spring
recruiting season last year when Duke was pursuing both Dunleavy and Casey
Jacobsen. At the time the standard line from all the recruiting gurus and
sportswriters was that Jacobsen was a better player at the time but that
Dunleavy had the greater upside. I was foolish enough to think that greater
upside meant he would develop into a very good player in a couple of years.
Well, a couple of years turned out to be a few months. The Mike Dunleavy
practicing in Cameron is a much bigger player then the one playing in last
year's Mickey D game. Dunleavy has grown from a reported 6-6 last year to
6-8. Standing next to Shane they appear to be nearly the same height.
Dunleavy is still very thin but you can see him starting to fill out.
His game is also filling out and the potential everyone was talking about is
making its way to the surface. Dunleavy was all over the court tonight. One
moment he's running as the point guard, the next moment he's nailing a three,
and the next moment he's fighting for a rebound. Dunleavy is going to earn a
lot of playing time this year and it is not inconceivable to project him in
the starting lineup at some point this season.
The rest of the guys were about what you would expect. Carrawell feasted on
slashing moves to the hoop and pull-up jumpers. Nate was tough on defense
and exhibited an improved shooting touch. Battier looked to be more
aggressive offensively. He hit several treys. Unlike last year he took many
of those under pressure after squaring up against a defender. Casey Sanders
altered a number of shots and ran the floor well. On one exchange he hustled
down court and posted up Boozer before any of the other defenders could get
back. The result was an easy hook shot down low.
Coach K seemed very happy with the team's efforts. In the second 12 minute
scrimmage the final score was 44-34. During one stretch they hit 4
consecutive 3 point shots (Jason Williams - Nate - Shane - Jason). It is an
entirely different team from last year but one which should be very