Players to watch: 2016/17 college season.

Not sure what's been up with some of the 5star Duke disappointments lately.

Derryck Thornton, Chase Jeter, and now Marques Bolden.
At least in the case of Derryck Thornton he reclassified pretty late from the 2016 class to the 2015 class and came in a year early. Maybe he just wasn't ready. He'll be joining a pretty good USC squad next year after sitting out this season. We'll see if his 5 star pedigree shows through in his second go'round. Kentucky has had some notable disappointments too. Daniel Orton was a top 25 guy who got lost in the mix on that John Wall/DeMarcus Cousins team. Skal Labissiere had an inauspicious season there last year. I think these programs that bring in super classes with 3 or more top 50 players every year are really only good for the one-and-done players who have no intention of sticking around for long-term development. They get a chance to compete with fellow blue chippers, a crash course in NBA preparation, and they're on to charter flights and million dollar contracts. Everyone else is probably better off finding a smaller program where they'll get more one on one attention. Coach K is bringing in the top high school guys at every position every year-- if you don't blow the doors off the place right away you risk getting left behind.
 
A year ago, I wasn't a fan of Justin Jackson. He bombed his freshmen year, and from that moment on, I had a bad taste in my mouth when I watched him play. But this year, and additionally, in the tournament, he has made a believer of me, and in my opinion, has re-entered the draft picture. Especially after I watched him chase Monk all over the court, and was able to keep up with him. No small feat! He showed me that not only could he guard SF's, he could guard SG's as well,a nd it's not often that you can find a 6'8" player capable of that.

He came into this season about 15 or so pounds of muscle heavier, and as a result, he's played a more physical game. One of my knocks on him was that I thought he played soft at times. But not this year. He also improved his 3 pt. shot. After shooting around 30% from the three his first two years, this year he's shooting a very respectable 38%, while taking more shots overall from the three.

He''s always been able to attack the basket, so the addition of the three point shot to his game moves him up a level. Lastly, he has a terrific motor. He never stops moving on offense or defense. My first choice is still Isaac and my second is Tatum, but if both those players are gone, I think Jackson would be a very good fit on the team. He's exactly what I would be looking for. He play's both ends of the court.
JJ did a pretty nice job on Tyler Dorsey on Saturday night too, who arguably was the hottest offensive player throughout the tourney. Dorsey did end up scoring 21, but JJ was the primary defender that helped limit him to 3 for 11 and didn't allow many open shots or for him to get into any kind of rhythm. You can't really overstate how important that was for UNC considering they played poorly on the offensive end sans JJ and Meeks.

I hope JJ is able to do something similar tonight against the Zags.
 
At least in the case of Derryck Thornton he reclassified pretty late from the 2016 class to the 2015 class and came in a year early. Maybe he just wasn't ready. He'll be joining a pretty good USC squad next year after sitting out this season. We'll see if his 5 star pedigree shows through in his second go'round. Kentucky has had some notable disappointments too. Daniel Orton was a top 25 guy who got lost in the mix on that John Wall/DeMarcus Cousins team. Skal Labissiere had an inauspicious season there last year. I think these programs that bring in super classes with 3 or more top 50 players every year are really only good for the one-and-done players who have no intention of sticking around for long-term development. They get a chance to compete with fellow blue chippers, a crash course in NBA preparation, and they're on to charter flights and million dollar contracts. Everyone else is probably better off finding a smaller program where they'll get more one on one attention. Coach K is bringing in the top high school guys at every position every year-- if you don't blow the doors off the place right away you risk getting left behind.
I felt like reclassifying with the right choice for Thornton. Starting off, he was supposed to be in the 2015 class.. give him 1 more year of HS, and it's just another year of dominating players younger than him.
However, he proved that he wasn't ready for college in his freshman year. He showed a lot promise, but was raw. Him transferring was a shock to me. He was getting PT at Duke. Especially on a team that had Allen and Kennard. Going into the 2017 season, it was obvious that Duke was going to need a lead guard. It would've been the perfect opportunity for him to take the job at starting PG.

I guess Duke wasn't right for him.. I think 1 sitting year will hopefully help elevate his game at USC. He's still a really talented player, but was a real disappointment.

I guess the bright side for Daniel Orton was that he still got drafted late in the 1st. You're right about Skal though. Probably the most disappointing recruit...ever. I really can't think of anyone in the top 5 who tops Skal. Yeah, Cal didn't use him in the perimeter enough..but I don't know if it was Cal's fault that Skal was rail thin and weighed as light as a feather.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
Not sure what's been up with some of the 5star Duke disappointments lately.

Derryck Thornton, Chase Jeter, and now Marques Bolden.
I think Bolden being injured to start the year hurt his chances to be relevant. He got behind the learning curve, and could never catch up.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
I felt like reclassifying with the right choice for Thornton. Starting off, he was supposed to be in the 2015 class.. give him 1 more year of HS, and it's just another year of dominating players younger than him.
However, he proved that he wasn't ready for college in his freshman year. He showed a lot promise, but was raw. Him transferring was a shock to me. He was getting PT at Duke. Especially on a team that had Allen and Kennard. Going into the 2017 season, it was obvious that Duke was going to need a lead guard. It would've been the perfect opportunity for him to take the job at starting PG.

I guess Duke wasn't right for him.. I think 1 sitting year will hopefully help elevate his game at USC. He's still a really talented player, but was a real disappointment.

I guess the bright side for Daniel Orton was that he still got drafted late in the 1st. You're right about Skal though. Probably the most disappointing recruit...ever. I really can't think of anyone in the top 5 who tops Skal. Yeah, Cal didn't use him in the perimeter enough..but I don't know if it was Cal's fault that Skal was rail thin and weighed as light as a feather.
Calapari recruited him and knew what he was getting, so I'm sure he wasn't surprised when Skal showed up weighing 195 pounds. Calapari tends to play players where they have to work on their weaknesses. He did it with Towns, who liked playing on the perimeter in highschool. It worked with Towns and by the end of the year, he turned into a pretty good post player.. Had Skal stayed in school, it might have eventually worked for him as well.

There have been a lot of highly ranked highschool players that disappointed. James McAdoo was very highly ranked and he had a terrible freshman year. Justin Jackson was another one. Antonio Blakeney was highly ranked. Of course the minute he decided to go to LSU, I knew he was doomed. I think Skal stands out more because he went to Kentucky, which is like going to the Lakers, or the Knicks. The spotlight is on you.
 
Jesus Christ, that's so dumb.
I guess they want to start their new PG off in the triangle from day one when they're too young to complain about it. :) That's going to be awkward though when Phil Jackson skips out in a year or so and now they're stuck with an offensive system that no one else seems to like very much.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
I guess they want to start their new PG off in the triangle from day one when they're too young to complain about it. :) That's going to be awkward though when Phil Jackson skips out in a year or so and now they're stuck with an offensive system that no one else seems to like very much.
I guess it's an ego thing with some PG's. The triangle is just a different version of the Princeton offense. It takes the ball out of the hands of the PG and makes them play off the ball more. So, I guess if your a PG that likes to be in control of things, then you don't like the Triangle. Hard to argue with Jackson who has more rings then fingers and he won them all with that offense. OK, I exaggerate a bit!
 
I guess it's an ego thing with some PG's. The triangle is just a different version of the Princeton offense. It takes the ball out of the hands of the PG and makes them play off the ball more. So, I guess if your a PG that likes to be in control of things, then you don't like the Triangle. Hard to argue with Jackson who has more rings then fingers and he won them all with that offense. OK, I exaggerate a bit!
Or a SF who's been handed the ball their whole career and doesn't know how to play any other way. :)