Well, just wanted to get this out of the way, as I am sure someone will be freaking out about this any second now. Andre Drummond went scoreless in his first (regular season) college game. He did not play very much, got 3 fouls, but I felt he looked pretty solid otherwise. Feel he was also incredibly uncomfortable in his mask (he has to wear due to his broken nose), plus he never got a chance to take FT's he would have had, but due to being smacked right in the face, he left the game (FT's went to Roscoe Smith).
So, my advice is PANIC! FREAK OUT! AAAAAAAAH!
On a serious note, I am not to worried about Drummond. He still has a lot to learn, his only miss was a fade away on a guy much smaller than him, but he had great court vision and a solid defensive presence. As far as not working hard, I do not believe he had to many hard lapses. As has been the case in most of college basketball with big men, they may have a difficult time getting him the ball. Still, I have faith that Drummond will turn it around, and it will take a lot more than this for me to not view him as the probable first pick in 2012.
Just wanted to break down that their seems to be three players battling for the first pick in the draft, possibly more. But, the candidates I think stand out are Drummond, Anthony Davis and Harrison Barnes (that is the order I rank them right now, as well). I just wanted to break down how they each did tonight. I had the chance to watch some of Drummond, the entire Carrier Classic and none of Anthony Davis unfortunately. Nonetheless, here is the break down of how they all did in their first (real) game of the year:
0 pts (0-1 FG), 4 reb (1 orb), 2 ast (one nice cross court pass to Jeremy Lamb and a monster outlet), 1 stl, 1 blk, 1 TO, 3 PF's (Does not show his minutes, but not very many at all)
23 pts (10-13 FG, 3-3 FT), 10 reb (3 orb), 3 ast, 5 blk, 2 PF, 2 TO
17 points (box score is not up yet)
Well, my synopsis after one game? Not much has changed for me. It is good to see Davis and Barnes off to nice starts (albeit Barnes was against a much better opponent, on an aircraft carrier), but I am guessing something must have been up with the whole Drummond thing. I know reviews on Drummond are mixed, but I just think he is to talented not to make a big impact.
I am not saying Drummond is Tim Duncan, because he is not, but Timmy also had a donut in his first collegiate game. So, I was guessing the freak out would be immediate and I am sure it will just add fuel to the fire of the debate for the first pick in the draft. Guess we will wait on it, but I am not going to be quick to knock Andre Drummond down the draft board.
Great first night of college basketball, definitely was disappointed not to see more of Drummond, but will definitely give him the benefit of the doubt. Looks like Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist were solid, Jeremy Lamb and Shabazz Napier looked great to me and John Henson is insanely long. Kendall Marshall always has his head up the floor (Dick Vitale said that 12,000 times. If you are a basketball player who does not have his head up the floor, you are probably not very good), but NC looked beatable. I still think they will be hard to beat come March, but they can be beat, especially if they rebounded the way they did tonight. Really liked Branden Dawson, but those floor stickers at center court are stupid. Could not imagine if he had gotten seriously injured. Hope you all are enjoying the first night of college basketball. Have a feeling you will all be hearing me talk a lot more NCAA Daily (coming soon).
I watched a decent portion of the game and he only played what 12 minutes? He had a really nice spin move but he lost the ball and then a short while later got hurt. Not to much to evaluate him on.
Just know that people tend to get riled up. Like someone saying Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is a top 5 prospect after seeing him do well in the first half against Marist (kidding, kidding). I like Mike, but I might put him in my top 10, not sure if he is in my top 5. Probably have Drummond, Davis, Barnes, Jared Sullinger and Quincy Miller right now. I love Kidd-Gilchrist's energy and the way he plays defense, but I am not incredibly sure about his ability to score at the next level.
His shot has such a strange hitch, he is not a bad shooter, but I am not sure he will ever be great. He is a prospect I do like a lot, but I am not sure I take him top 5. He impressed me greatly at the Hoop Summit, he seems like a winner, but he might be more of a role player than a franchise player. Not that it is a bad thing, franchise players are rare, but I think a team might want more out of a top 5 pick. We will see how he develops, but right now I have him outside my top 5.
PS: I take back what I said about destroying you in Fantasy Football. I will only win by a bit :) (kidding again, all of my players on Thursday sucked. It is more than likely yours for the taking this week)
Honestly, I don't see many franchise players in this draft. I think it's full of great #2 options and has incredible depth and I think MKG can be a great #2 and like you said he's a winner.
Edit: Good, I could definitely use a win here!
Watched most of the UCONN game. Drummond underwhelmed. He didn't get that much PT, and got in foul trouble early in the 1st. He still doesn't know how to use his strength to his advantage. He only took 1 FG, and he was on the right block, and instead of trying to get good position and back him down, he settle for a turnaround jumpshot. It also doesn't seem like he has very good fundamentals on D, and looked a little slow recovering to his man on PNR's. And he got hit on that broken nose in the last minute, and had to leave the game. But going to college this year was a good decision. Instead of dominating HS scrubs and people smaller than him, it's not going to be easy for him in the Big East, and he'll have to work harder. He still looks pretty raw though, and has a steep learning curve. And he runs kind of like Chris Bosh lol. Take that as you want it.
And Jeremy Lamb looked legit. His stroke looked on point, was moving well without the ball, played the passing lanes and had a sick poster.
In Drummond's defense,alot of coaches would've suggested he sit out until he was healed...Having a broken nose affects your nasal passage and cause swelling inside & outside your nose...It can affect your bone and cartliage...Playing with a broken nose can make it difficult to breathe..
And playing a competitive sport like basketball, in 1 of the toughest conference's in the nation makes it even more hard...
Drummond had 16 and 10 the last scrimmage they played after the broken nose.
Davis looked very good as a pick and roll and offensive rebounder as well as running the floor. Doesn't have much in the half court set unless he's driving past a big man. Raw in the half court but damn you can see the potential
MKG shot is UGLY. Not very bad but looks bad, hopefully he will progress like M.Redd who had a ugly shot and who's jumper got better with time. I see some potential 1st options but how many guys look like first options in year one? Roy didn't, Wade didn't,Dirk in Germany didn't,CP3 didn't, etc. Only a select few look like Franchise guys even after their first year in college.
Very impressed with Lamb and Napier.
you really dont see a lot of franchise players in this draft???
A franchise player is in my opinion someone who will be the #1 guy on their team. When I look at this draft I see a couple franchise guys (with a good amount of others who have that potential) but I see a lot of very good number two's and three's who will make all star games. The thing is this draft is so deep you can probably pick up a starter who would probably go lottery another year in the 30's.
After talking about there being no "real" franchise players in the 2011 draft. I pretty much tend to agree, because I think their are very few in the league who you can really build a championship team around. The last team I believe that won a championship with no "real"franchise player was the 2004 Detroit Pistons, who instead had 4 All-Star caliber players, a fantastic role player and a deep bench. I would say that the 2004 Pistons and 1979 Seattle Supersonics are probably the only teams in NBA history (at the very least, post NBA/ABA merger) to win championships without one player or more who might be considered the top 10 players in the league.
I will even give a break down:
2011: Dallas (Dirk Nowitzki)
2009-10: Lakers (Kobe Bryant)
2008: Celtics (I believe Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were both top 10 caliber at the time)
2007: Spurs (Tim Duncan)
2006: Miami (Dwyane Wade. Shaq may have slipped, but he was around that range)
2005: Spurs (Timmy)
2004: Pistons (Nope)
2003: Spurs (Timmy)
2000-02: Lakers (Shaq and Kobe)
1999: Spurs (Timmy)
1996-98: Bulls (Michael Jordan. Possibly Scottie Pippen)
1994-95: Rockets (Hakeem Olajuwon. Maybe even Clyde during the second run)
1991-93: Bulls (Michael and maybe Scottie)
1989-90: Pistons (Isiah Thomas)
1987-88: Lakers (Magic)
1986: Celtics (Bird. McHale close on this one)
1985: Lakers (Magic and Kareem)
1984: Celtics (Bird)
1983: 76ers (Moses Malone and Dr. J)
1982: Lakers (Magic and Kareem)
1981: Celtics (Bird)
1980: Lakers (Kareem. Magic probably not there yet, but damn close and sure played like it in Game 6 of the Finals)
1979: Sonics (Nope)
1978: Bullets (Elvin Hayes, Unseld definitely close as well and won Finals MVP)
1977: Trail Blazers (Bill Walton)
Well, that takes it up to the merger. It is not a must to have a top 10 player on your team to win a championship, their is definitely more to it than just that. But, it most definitely helps. It all depends on your definition of franchise player, but you definitely want whoever it is to not just put up numbers, but lead you to wins and hopefully make you a competitive team in the play-offs.
So, in that sense, it does not look like there will be to many franchise players in the 2012 Draft. It is not that there are possibilities, certainly more so than last year, but I do not know if their will be a bunch of players in this draft amongst the leagues top 10 players, which, as you can see, are usually visible on championship teams. It depends on whether you want your franchise guy to put up huge numbers, but more than likely not lead a team very far in the play-offs or put up winning records, or if you want a guy you could possibly build a title team around.
I see 10 guys like that currently fitting the description, and two guys (Blake Griffin and John Wall) who are possibilities to be mentioned in that same vein. Some may think there are more, but I think it is all in ones definition. Everyone I mentioned in the list (besides the two possibilities) have at the very least, lead a team to a Conference Finals besides Chris Paul (who has never had the supporting cast to do so, I believe). Winning a championship if definitely based on having a great team, but sometimes having one or two great players can raise everyones level of play to that level, as history shows:
Big men always get the benefit of the doubt from me, especially this early on. I'm willing to bet he hits stride by the Big East slate, at the latest he might be really rolling by the Big East tourny
I felt the same thing about Harrison Barnes last year when people were freaking out about his early season shooting slump and his 0-12 game against Minnesota. Sure enough, he was great in ACC play, made 2nd Team All-ACC and had a great conference and NCAA tourney. I have no idea if Drummond will do the same thing, but I am guessing as the season progresses, he will get better and better, health permitting.
Why is Andre not getting PT. I didn't watch the game but to hear the "number 1" player in college not to see the floor doesn't make sense. I seen players play longer NBA games with the mask on so that can't be it.
He came into the game hurt with a broken nose/concussion and wore a mask, then at the end he got smacked in the nose and left.
Drummond didn't see a ton of time for a few reasons. Firsts off, he didn't start, but did enter around the 17 minute mark. He picked up his 2nd foul probably around the 10 minute mark, and sat the rest of the 1st half. Again, Drummond did not start in the 2nd half, but yet again came in around the 17 minute mark. And he didn't finish the game. That's basically why he didn't get a ton of minutes.
One thing he needs to work on is being more assertive. Too many times I saw him standing around, watching shots go up without boxing anyone out. He also looked lost defensively at times. Offensively he also needs to become more aggressive and fight to get open. One shot in 17 minutes is unacceptable for his talent level, especially against a team like Columbia. He should have been fighting for position down low, and using his strength and ability to get easy shots near the hoop. The one shot he took was a turn around 12 footer.
It's one game, so people who are already jumping off his wagon should relax. Maybe the mask and his broken nose was partly to blame for his lack-luster performance. Last year Harrison Barnes started out slow and everyone thought he was a bust, and then he killed it the second half of the season. It might take Drummond a little bit of time to get adjusted, but he will show he's the beast eveyone has billed him to be.
The season starts for UConn Thanksgiving weekend in the Bahamas. Guarantee games are used for different purposes by different teams. Coaches can use these games to pad stats, send messages positive or negative to certain players, give different looks with schemes, and take a look at different personnel groupings. The results don't really tell much, because the results are basically predetermined. Does someone want to step forth and say Henry Sims is now good? Maybe he will be, but it will have nothing to do with Savannah State. Florida's success will have nothing to do with Jackson State. Wisconsin's season is no better or worse for how the Kennesaw State game went.
Doubt he does what Barnes did because
1. He's not a wing so he won't be having the ball alot
2. The big east is not kind to Freshmen bigs
3. They already have a first and second option.
This all applies to offense by the way so i think he could step up and become a good rebounder and shot blocker but it wouldn't surprise me if he had a season close to Favors with lower numbers. As far as Franchise players did Paul P,Blake,Timmy, Look like Franchise or future top 10 players in year one?
He is not going to be Barnes. But, it seems like it could be a comparable situation in that we feel early season struggles will more than likely turn into a better late season. UNC had a first and second option as well, Tyler Zeller and John Henson were scoring more than Harrison Barnes early on and were also 2nd Team All-ACC. What separates Drummond from a typical Big East freshman is that his size, strength and speed, are ridiculous. Their is no one in the Big East right now with that combination.
Jeremy Lamb was always going to be their first option and it is certainly possible that Oriakhi or Napier take over their second option. But, I feel that Drummond will somehow manage to be a part of this team sooner or later. You are taking things way to literally as far as the comparison to Barnes, they are not comparable players, but I believed that many would comparably freak out to this one game by Andre Drummond.
As far as your last point, I guess you are talking about college and you do have a point. Still, I did not really make a definitive statement, more so an observation that their are none that seem to scream it out loud. I do believe their are definite possibilities in this draft, but they all have some uncertainty. Not everyone is LeBron James, Dwight Howard or Derrick Rose. Yes, most of these guys have an air of uncertainty as to whether they will be franchise players, it is very hard to tell after their freshman year.
Even so, I am not ruling it out that their could be some in the 2012 draft. I was more stating that their are no certainties (either way) and was showing something I had written which showed how rare it is for drafts to have these "franchise players". It is most definitely possible for this draft to produce some top notch talent, but, as history shows, these players are very rare, most of the time their are only a few per draft. So, while it is possible this draft could produce a couple, history shows that it may produce one or none at all. The talent in this draft is huge, but it is an utter unknown as to whether a player in this draft will be the player you build a title team around. I think you could probably tell more after their rookie year in the NBA, but as I said, I was not making a definitive statement, more of an observation based on history.
i don't question his talent, that's undeniable. But his drive just isnt there and according to Uconn fan sites he is showing that lack of drive in practice still which is why he has come off the bench in the scrimmages and the first game of the season. At least with Barnes he was gonna work hard all the time with Drummond you are not gonna get that effort all the time. The ACC is much more kind to players than the big east is to freshmen big's.
None of my three point's showed any signs that i took the comparison's literally, not sure what made you assume that. When you are a wing its much easier to get you're offensive game going because you will have the ball more often than a big,Drummond is more of a 3rd,4th option on this team not because of lack of talent but the drive and unselfishness. There's a reason why he had many games in H.S and AAU where he didn't dominate on offense and it wasn't just his drive but because he's a very unselfish and very good passing big man.
If someone would just pull him aside and say " look you are the most talented player any time you step on the floor against any team in college and the case would be the same if you were in the NBA, i need you to start using that god given physical ability and punish people and go hard at all times because if you do that only Dwight Howard can slow you down and he isn't in college"
As far as franchise guys i agree with you, my post was more towards Yupyup's comment of there being no franchise guys
DeMarcus Cousins kicked off his career at Kentucky slowly from what I remember.Greg Oden was hurt and kind of thrown in the fire with a hand injury at Ohio State early on. Drummond is injured, didn't have the benefit of a full summer as apart of the team after deciding he was even going to go to a major school late. And he also is a young big man, who is still learning how to use his tools and adjusting to the college game where being big doesn't mean production. It's wayyyy too early to have any doubts about him, too many factors. If he's healthy and more experienced, and still looking confused, fouling, and putting up meager stats then maybe expectations will rightfully flame out. But lets be patient. I understand it may be hard, but for a big man it will take time. It always does.
My doubts have nothing to do with his first game and more of how he has played for his career. Cousins was always a Banger as well as Oden, Drummond rarely bangs like he should which worries me. Has all the tools in the world but has always played like he wants to be a face up big more so than a banger. Alot like Greg Monroe
Cousins used to shoot jump shots and float just like Drummond did before he went to Kentucky. That was apart of the reason he started so slow actually. He wasn't used to playing with his back to the basket almost 100% of the time early on, he shot ALOT of jump shots and faced up in HS
Cousin's did shoot jummpers but he banged down low ALOT more than Drummond in H.S
"As far as Franchise players did Paul P,Blake,Timmy, Look like Franchise or future top 10 players in year one?"
Tim Duncan averaged 21 and almost 12 as a rookie so yes to him. Blake didn't play at all as a rookie and last year in his first year playing averaged around the same, so yes. Even Pierce played pretty good, although he probably didn't look like a franchise changer at that point.
Cousin's did shoot jummpers but he banged down low ALOT more than Drummond in H.S. even for those who might have had seen both Drummond's scouting reports always said likes to face up and shoot jumpers and needs to bang,use his size more,also looks more average in more games than he looks dominate. That's the reason Cousin's would score more in H.S because he would bang where as Drummond put up 15-16ppg because he wouldn't bang as much as he should (that and effort)
A thing with Cousin's is he always wanted to dominate, didn't always wanna give max effort but always wanted to dominate, Drummond rather just be out there more so than dominate (every where i read scout's say they have seen more games where he's just out there than they have seen games he dominates). Calhoun is also a coach that will sit you down until that mental switch turns on to play hard where as Cal will yell at you and keep you out there till you make that switch turns on. If Cousin's went to Uconn he would probably not be as successful in year one because Calhoun would have sat him down for being lazy. Drummond is also at a disadvantage because Uconn can win games without him with all the talent they have so if he doesn't play hard or push his self Calhoun won't hesitate to sit him down and play Olander who is a very hard worker (which is why he starts over Drummond)
Like i said before his skills are unquestionable, it's just up to him if he wants to turn it on or not (as far as effort). I've seen from archives y'all have had this same type of disscussion with Favors as far as skills and effort, although he's much more skilled than Favors/Perry Jones but show's less effort (H.S and from reports practice)
These guys aren't rookies they are freshmen and soph's so you have to compare Timmy and the rest to these guys in there freshman and soph years correct?
Lets just wait until late on to give judgment on him. As I've said, he's a big man who's had less time than most other college Fr. and players to adjust, he's a big man who's still growing up, and he's hurt. It's one game at the end of the day, and other big men have also started slow. That's all Im saying
I see what you're saying. I'm going by his track record for his career plus what i hear from how he does in practice (which is the same that has been said about him in H.S as far as motor). I don't even take his first game into account just like i didn't take his 16pts and 10reb scrimmage into account, i take his effort/motor that he has displayed into account. If he changes it that's gonna determine how good his season ends up being. Maybe he will be the rare case of a guy who flips the switch and plays hard all season long when his profile has been the opposite of that through out his young career. Hopefully he does.
As far as yupyup's answer, I initially had the same confusion to what you said about Duncan, Griffin and Pierce. You probably should have said "first year in college" instead of "year one", because it was difficult to distinguish what you were trying to get at. Here is where these guys were at "year one" in your terms:
Tim Duncan (as a 17 year old freshman):
30.2 mpg, 9.8 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 0.9 apg, 0.4 spg, 3.8 bpg, 2.5 fpg, 1.2 TO (also impressive)
54.5% FG, 74.5% FT (Plus he made his only three pointer that year, lol)
25.4 mpg, 11.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.3 spg, 0.8 bpg, 2.4 fpg, 2.4 TO
41.9% FG, 30.4% 3PT, 60.6% FT
28.4 mpg, 14.7 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1 spg, 0.8 bpg, 2.5 fpg, 2.3 TO
56.8% FG, 58.9% FT
So, we may not have been absolutely sure about any of these players after their first year in college. However, I will say, they improved drastically that next year (which all of them played) and we at the very least had strong inclinations about Tim Duncan and Blake Griffin. Tim Duncan was projected as the first or second pick in the 1995 draft and I have 0 doubt that had he been in the 1996 Draft, he would have been the 76ers first pick. You could even have a scenario where Timmy could have possibly been a high draft pick after his first year with the flashes he showed, but this was before guaranteed rookie contracts (which came in 1995) and I do not even believe it was considered a very viable option to leave after your freshman year. In fact, the first "one and done" to be a top 5 draft pick was Stephon Marbury in 1996 (though KG was 5th pick out of HS in 1995).
Still, all of those guys showed us a little something more to give us a better idea of what they might look like. Even in the stacked 2008 Draft, I had a hard time seeing Blake Griffin falling past the 5-8 range. I believe that people would have definitely argued over the NBA potential between he and Kevin Love, who had a stronger freshman year, but was not necessarily seen as a better long term prospect with Blake's major athleticism. With Paul Pierce, people definitely thought the Celtics got a steal at 10, that was immediate. Obviously, however, people did not really believe Paul might eventually be a "franchise player" or a Top 10 player. That distinction more went to Raef LaFrentz, Paul's college teammate :) (To be fair, Raef was a two time All-American 1st Team member, though in Paul's junior year he made it as well plus lead the team in scoring and shot over 50% from the field. People were pretty shocked Paul slipped to 10, but I did not necessarily believe he would end up being the best player on a championship team. Granted, one with two other perennial All-Stars and future Hall of Famers).
So, while it is true that it is difficult to sense how great a player might become after their first year in college, or even the pros, I think that history does sort of serve as a gauge. 15 years of drafts have produced roughly 10 right now and 2 strong possibilities in Griffin and Wall. Their will more than likely be some players from recent drafts that could make a possible claim, but I do not see any yet. Does that mean that if your team does not have one of these 12 players that you have no chance? Yes. Yes it does (sarcasm). Actually, it does not mean that your team has no hope. Rather, that it more than likely will need a great deal of strong, complimentary players working as a unit.
I think the Grizzlies showed just that when they looked fantastic in the play-offs. The key for them will be maintaining that through a regular season and hopefully maintaining some sort of home court advantage through a few rounds of the play-offs. Even the Hawks managed to take out Dwight Howard and the Magic, but again, they have that same issue with trying to get to the leagues upper echelon. Still, I feel that if you build through the draft and make some solid acquisitions along the way, any team has a possibility of winning. You may need some luck on your side, but if you spend your money in the right places and find a group that really meshes together, than you could make any team a contender.
If you build through the draft and take on role players filling a team philosophy based around the keys to winning, than your team definitely has a good a shot as any. Detroit did not necessarily use that philosophy completely in 2004, but they had a vision that was built on clever trades and signings that gave them an identity as a team that was going to beat you through defense and rebounding. Everyone on that team had a role, and they played incredibly well as a collective unit, not to mention having a solid presense running the team. It is difficult to do this, it takes time and I even think it takes some luck, but I truly think that the NBA is structured for just about any team to do what Detroit did. If they do not, than I blame that more on the basketball personnel running the team than the way the league is structured.
there aren't many players that look like Franchise players year one in college and you gave great examples of players maybe showing that potential with Duncan and Griffin,you gave great examples of those players maybe going higher earlier in their college careers(you have to believe Duncan gets picks top 3 in any draft)...could you imagine if Duncan got picked to play alongside Iverson and then paired with Pierce shaortly affter...that Team could have Challenged The Lakers throughout the Shaq/Kobe dynasty...
I can imagine they would have been a force to reckon with. Than again, I think that adding Duncan would have made Philly a play-off team right out of the box, so they probably would not have had the 8 pick in 1998 (that they used on Larry Hughes instead of Paul Pierce). What about Iverson and McGrady (If the Nets would have taken him at 7 instead of Tim Thomas in the trade for Keith Van Horn at 2)? That would have been pretty crazy. Throw in Pierce that next year with them looking for more of a SF than a 2 guard and that could have been possible.
If you look at the 1994 Draft, I would have a tough time seeing Duncan slipping to 6, which was actually a pick by the 76ers. Duncan definitely would not have gotten off to the start he did after another three years of college (not to mention physical and mental maturation), but I am assuming a 18 year old 7 footer with Duncan's upside would have been incredibly intriguing to teams in that Draft. Big Dog, Kidd and Grant Hill seem locked in at 1-3. Donyell Marshall and Juwan Howard could very well have been considered better NBA prospects than Duncan at the time as well. But, do the 76ers take Duncan or stick with Sharone Wright (a 6'10 and 260 pound Center out of Clemson who had three year averages of 14.2 and 9.8)? Tough to say, but I think it would have been a question.
By the next year, teams were obsessing over when Duncan would enter his name. Joe Smith seemed like a lock for the #1 in 1995. He was only a sophomore as well and had put up monster numbers as a freshman and sophomore in Duncan's same conference for Maryland. Smith's two year averages were 20.2 and 10.7, whereas Duncan had that close to a double double freshman year and than 16.8 and 12.5 as a sophomore. Duncan was good enough for 3rd Team All-American, but Smith won two College POY awards and was consensus 1st team. My guess is, Golden State more than likely would have taken Smith and let Duncan slip to the Clippers. The Clippers than hopefully would not have traded him with Randy Woods to the Nuggets for Rodney Rogers and Brent Barry (the 15th pick in the 1995 Draft), which is what they did when they drafted McDyess with the #2 pick in that draft.
1996 would have been Duncan's draft. I am sure of it. He did not win any POY awards until the next year, but he was consensus 1st Team All-America and considered a franchise changing Center. People were pretty shocked that he chose to stay his senior year and get his degree. Iverson was not exactly the clear cut first pick, but he was the favorite after Duncan. Marcus Camby definitely got some chatter for the spot as well, as he won 3 POY awards, had more than held his own in a match-up versus Duncan and had gotten his UMass team to the Final Four over Iverson's Georgetown Hoyas in the Elite 8. Iverson's explosive athleticism and scoring ability won out over Camby's worries about durability due to his very brittle frame (he was a tooth pick).
Had Tim Duncan gone to pretty much any lottery team besides San Antonio, there is little doubt in my mind he would be classified as a Center. Instead, David Robinson picked the right season to play only 7 games due to injury and he got another franchise big right next to him. Timmy dominated out of the gates, as he was First Team All-NBA as a rookie (and the next 7 years afterwards, until his 9th season he was on the second team, only to be on the first team against the season of his 4th title). Well, however things turned out for him, I do not see any big man on the horizon having his type of career. I guess it is a possibility, and their could be players who possibly challenge Timmy for a top 10 spot amongst the NBA's best players in history, but no big man was as polished on both ends of the court since Duncan entered the league. By year 10, Timmy won 4 titles, 2 MVP's and had never averaged less than 18.6 ppg, 11 rpg or 2 bpg in a season.
Dwight Howard is what comes to mind when you look at those numbers, but he has as long to go to get to Duncan as LeBron James has to get to Michael, which is definitely a long way to go. While I cannot imagine a time where players take the course Duncan decided to and stay for 4 years while being a sure draft pick, it would probably be the only thing that would give us Duncan's immediate impact. Last year, we were lucky enough to have a few top sophomores (Barnes, Sullinger, Terrence and Perry Jones) come back for another year of improvement before the NBA (that is what I call it, rather than "college"). Still, none of them look like a Tim Duncan, I am sorry to say. They could each have a nice impact, and more than likely a much more immediate impact in their first couple of years, but it seems like a person staying two years is almost the equivalent of someone staying four in 1997. We are in a time where players are wanted to do things much faster than they used to be asked to, which must be a lot of pressure. This does not eliminate the possibility of saying someone is a franchise player after a year or two of college, but it certainly makes spotting them much more difficult than it used to be.
Obviously I could be wrong, but who in this class do you think could/will be a franchise player? I only see a few.