For a long time, Mike Krzyzewski had to recruit imaginatively. In his early years, he wasn’t able to get top-shelf talent and in the very beginning, he whiffed.
In his first big attempt, he lost just about every major target he went after. Then he narrowed his focus and, for a while, told players that he was recruiting him and this other guy and he’d take whoever committed first.
Effectively he reversed the pressure, which was pretty brilliant.
Still, other than Danny Ferry, he wasn’t always getting the huge talents. It took a few years for that to start happening and even then, some things didn’t work out the way he expected. Bobby Hurley chose Duke because UNC was homed in on Kenny Anderson (who ended up going to Georgia Tech, which meant UNC lost out on both great point guards). A lot of people thought Crawford Palmer might be better than Christian Laettner.
Lately of course, Duke has brought in tremendous classes and put tons of players in the NBA. It’s been fun to watch.
So Kyle Filipowski, in one sense, is a bit of a throwback.
Duke caught him on the rise - he’s not a Top Ten recruit right now - but he’s generally expected to move in that direction.
In another sense though he’s anything but a throwback. Starting with Ferry, Duke has consistently recruited versatile big men. Despite Duke’s insistence on not listing positions, they’ve been tagged as Stretch 4’s.
Ferry, Laettner, Roshown McLeod, Shane Battier, Mike Dunleavy, Ryan Kelly, Kyle Singler, Marvin Bagley, Cam Reddish, Justin Robinson, Vernon Carey and Matthew Hurt all played the role in different ways.
This year it’ll be Paolo Banchero.
And next year, Filipowski.
The Duke Chronicle looks at what he brings to Jon Scheyer’s first team.
Filipowski’s high school coach, Mike Mannix, says this about his star:
“He loves to win and when he doesn’t win, he takes it to heart and it’s more motivation. When he does win, he doesn’t get complacent...I’ve said tongue in cheek, show me another frontcourt player in the country or a combo forward in the country that can average 13 rebounds and handle the ball like he does, and then shoot 39 percent from three.”
Sounds like he should fit right in.