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Duke Recruiting: A Look At Joe Girard III

With a side look at Georgetown bound Mac McClung

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One of the more intriguing recruits in the class of 2019 is Joe Girard III.

A native of Glen Falls, New York, a small town (14,700) not too far from the Vermont border and on the Hudson River, Girard averaged 50.1 ppg as a junior and broke Lance Stephenson’s state scoring record (by the way, if you want to read some fascinating history on the early European presence on the Hudson, from the coast to the interior, hit the Amazon link at the bottom of this page and look up Island at the Center Of The World, by Russell Shorto. It’s an amazing book about the early days of Manhattan with some remarkable insights into early encounters between the Dutch (primarily) and the Native Americans who controlled the fur trade).

His low output, according to this story, was 44 points.

When you watch a little video, you realize two things: first, it’s hard to get a complete sense of his potential. That’s not his fault. He is in a smaller district and the opponents aren't that great.

But the other thing? He has a beautiful, soft jump shot.

Mix tapes don't usually show misses and we’re assuming that, like most good shooters, he’s hitting about 50%, so there’s a lot we don’t get to see. We’d be curious to see his misses because you can learn a lot. Are they soft too? Do they bounce around? Would he impress John Wooden and use the backboard?

We’ll find out later.

But the shot itself is high and falls through the net on the mixtapes without touching anything.

There are shooters then there are shooters.

In the Ken Burns baseball documentary, Buck O’ Neil, who played in the Negro Leagues, talked about watching Bo Jackson play for the first time and said that he heard a noise when Jackson hit the ball that he’d only heard two other players make: Babe Ruth and Negro League great Josh Gibson.

He knew he was in the presence of greatness.

There’s not really an equivalent noise in basketball, and it would be hard to hear during a game anyway, but when you are around a pure shooter and he can put the ball in consistently without touching the rim there’s a silky noise. We call it a swish but some guys can really pop the net. When you can do it over and over again in an empty gym it starts to sound like the crack of a whip.

We get the feeling that Girard might be able to do that.

Anyway, take a look. He’s got a great shot. And yes, Duke has offered.

On a different note, as you probably know former State big man Omer Yurtseven will be at Georgetown next season, assuming he doesn’t opt for pro ball somewhere.

He’ll be teaming up with a player you’re like to hear about very early in the season, guard Mac McClung.

McClung, out of Gate City, Virginia, population 2,034, is 6-2 and frequently called a freak.

It’s justified.

McClung has a 47 inch vertical and we’ll call it right now: if he’s invited to any All-Star games next year, he’ll win the dunk contest.

The idea that White Guys Can’t Jump is enough of a joke to have become a movie title, but some can. Tom Chambers never had any trouble with it, Alex O’ Connell’s dad Dave had serious hang time and Villanova’s Donte DiVicenzo is pushing a 40 inch vertical.

But there is truth in the joke. It’s not that common, which means a guy like McClung, who has shown some spectacular dunks, assuming he plays at Georgetown, is going to be everywhere you get news next year.

Check out this video. Like Girard, he’s a small town hero who is ready to take on the world. Both guys are going to be fun to watch.

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