I wrote a few years ago about how hard it is for a player to score 2000 points in their career these days. Trajan Langdon came up one good scoring game short of 2k, finishing with 1974 points. If he had not been injured and missed a few games late his senior season, he would certainly have made it.
When Trajan came up short, I said he was likely the last Dukie to get that close to the mark. I thought it simply could not be done in three years and no one who scored that well would stay all four years in college. Even the prolific Johnny Dawkins, the leading scorer in Duke history and a kid who was a scorer from day one his freshman year, could not make it to 2000 after three years. And we all know how unlikely it is for kids to stay four years any more.
In both regards, I am delighted to say it looks like I was wrong.
First, the three year kid. Obvisouly, I am speaking of Jason Williams. His stunning scoring ability and Duke's propensity for playing a lot of games have conspired to put him in great position. So far in his career (through the Wake game), Jason has 1705 points scored. He needs 295 more points to reach that fairly magical 2000 point plateau. The question now is, how many games does he have to get those points?
Duke has 12 regular season games and a minimum of 2 post season games left. If Duke makes the ACC and NCAA championship games, they will play 9 post-season games. Most folks would say a team as accomplished as Duke is going to have at least 5 post-season games, and that is being conservative. So, lets look at what Jason needs to average to make it to 2k, depending on how many games Duke plays:
|14 games||21.1 ppg|
|15 games||19.7 ppg|
|16 games||18.5 ppg|
|17 games||17.4 ppg|
|18 games||16.4 ppg|
|19 games||15.6 ppg|
|20 games||14.8 ppg|
|21 games||14.1 ppg|
I may be going out on a limb here, but I think Jason is going to make it. Especially when you consider that he is currently averaging close to 22 points per game. In case you are wondering, Jason's chances of being the leading scorer in Duke history are pretty slim. Johnny Dawkins scored 2556 points in his career. If Duke plays 21 more games (I hope!!), then JWill would need to average 40.5 ppg to make it to Johnny. Oh well.
Next up, the four year kid. I am speaking here of Mike Dunleavy, Jr. While there is no certainty that he will stay for his senior season, it appears very likely. Mike's first two season gave no indication that he would be a candidate to be part of this conversation. But he has increased his scoring so much this year, it is becoming more and more likely to get there.
As of today, 17 games into his junior year, Dunleavy has 1064 points for his career. As mentioned earlier, Duke has 12 more regular season games left and anywhere from 2-9 post season games. Barring a fairly large upset, they will play at least 6 of those games. Lets be conservative and say they have 18 games left this year. At his current 17.5 ppg pace, Mike will have 315 more points this year for a three year total of 1399 total points. If Duke plays 35 games next year, again a reasonable forecast considering Duke's history, Mike will need to average 17.2 ppg to reach 2000. That certainly seems likely for him.
Why does any of this matter? Well, it really does not matter all that much. Duke currently has 7 career 2000 point scorers (Dawkins, Laettner, Gminski, Ferry, Alarie, Banks, Spanarkel). No other school has that many. Kentucky and UCLA have only had 3. North Carolina has 5. Maryland and Wake have 4 each. Anyway, it is yet another statistic to show how wonderful our present and our past have been... and what a great future we have ahead of us too!