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A Nice Vernon Carey Piece From An Unexpected Source

As CBS’s Matt Norlander has some nice things to say.

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Syracuse
 Feb 1, 2020; Syracuse, New York, USA; Duke Blue Devils center Vernon Carey Jr. (1) shoots a free throw against the Syracuse Orange during the first half at the Carrier Dome.
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

CBS’s Matt Norlander is not particularly partial to Duke, not that he has to be certainly and who cares what he thinks anyway. You notice things though.

As noted before, he often checks himself before saying something he thinks better of (that’s when he goes....”Mmmmmmm” or something like that). It’s usually nothing overt, just a sense that he doesn’t care for Duke, although his mocking intro on the February 9th CBS NCAA Basketball podcast he does with Garry Parish makes an argument. If you haven’t heard it he took some comments from Coach K after the misunderstanding with the Crazies during the Pitt game, put them to goofy music and looped them.

He gloated about it on the next podcast and said it was available as a You Tube download.

So it’s no big deal really but it is nice to know where a bias lies.

Which makes his relatively complimentary article on Vernon Carey a pleasant surprise.

Norlander talks about how Carey is being overlooked as 1) the best freshman in the country, 2) Duke’s most important player and 3) a potential NBA draftee.

The first two will take care of themselves and when NBA types realize Carey also has a perimeter game that will probably make him more appealing. His toughness, his stoic attitude on the court and his willingness to work hard and embrace the less glamorous aspects of the game will also serve him well.

It’s true that the NBA has gone to a more guard-oriented approach over the last - well, let’s just call it the Curry era for shorthand.

However, fashions change in basketball just like anywhere else. You have a league now of relatively small guys that Zion Williamson can just push around at will.

Big guys are out of fashion but at some point the next Wilt/Shaq/Duncan will come along and redefine the game and then everyone will start looking for a counter (and by the way, when that guy does come along, the way three point shooting has stretched defenses out is going to make him even more effective around the basket).

Vernon Carey is not going to be that guy. He’s not a revolutionary player.

If he keeps addressing his weaknesses and adds in an effective perimeter game though, and also works hard on the boards, the NBA will be happy to welcome him.