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ESPN 30 for 30 aka ESPN Documentaries
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jdw
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good points, Rich. It was a head scratching one, where you wonder if Singleton even studied his subject and instead was simply pitched the idea by someone who bought Jones' story, and Singleton inturn bought it.

Contrast it with the Bias one. While that clearly had a fanboy perspective on how great a talent Bias was, it didn't shy away from the coke issues and usuage.

John
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Yakuza Rich



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jdw wrote:
Good points, Rich. It was a head scratching one, where you wonder if Singleton even studied his subject and instead was simply pitched the idea by someone who bought Jones' story, and Singleton inturn bought it.

Contrast it with the Bias one. While that clearly had a fanboy perspective on how great a talent Bias was, it didn't shy away from the coke issues and usuage.

John


Bias is tough for me because I was just a kid when he was drafted and I remember thinking he was awesome because of his dunking ability, but couldn't decipher if he was truly great or just 'flashy.'





YR
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Yakuza Rich



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just got done watching the episode on the recruitment of Marcus Dupree.

I had heard and read a little about Dupree before this. I thought he was more or less some dumb jock who was great in high school, but when the players got bigger in college and in the pros, he wasn't so great.

What's funny is that it reminds me a bit of former bball player Lloyd Daniels and that about a week ago a friend and I were talking about 30 for 30 and I mentioned I thought Lloyd would make for a great episode.

Lloyd was the greatest high school bball player I ever saw. In the game I watched live, he had a triple-double, putting up something like 38 points, 18 boards, and a dozen assists or so. I had heard before then that he was like Magic Johnson with Larry Bird's jump shot and I thought that was impossible, but in that game he changed my mind.

Still, even if Lloyd wasn't such a headcase I kind of doubt he would've been Magic with Larry's jumpshot in the pros because he really didn't have that athleticism to get to that level and as we later found out, he wound up being a lengthy player with a good jump shot. I think if he wasn't a head case, he probably would've wound up being an HoF'er, but not being a top 5 player of all time.

Anyway, my thoughts on Dupree were that not only was he probably the greatest high school player ever, but he certainly could've been the greatest tailback ever. 6'3" 228 lbs, ran the 100 meters in 9.5 seconds, could cut, had great vision, never really got hit too hard because he was too fast and when he couldn't avoid the hit, he would just steamroll defenders.

Unfortunately he had some people that were speaking to him that weren't in his best interests. Ken Fairley came off about as shady and slimey as they get.

But overall Dupree, who is now driving truck, seems pretty happy with his life even if it's not the most glamorous of jobs. Dupree grew up in Philadelphia, MS which is where the 2 civil rights activists and the black person they were with were brutally murdered (think Mississippi Burning) and they actually showed nicely the effect Marcus' football had on the town in a positive manner and the story of Marcus and his brother Reggie was extremely touching.

Really good episode, glad I got to watch it.






YR
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Rian



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember Marcus blowing his knee out on the old Civic Stadium turf that was like playing on concrete for the Portland Breakers. That was the end to his football career.

Lloyd Daniels couldn't tie his own shoelaces himself, no wonder Tark loved him.
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jdw
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend to think even without the people in his ear and his own issues, Dupree had a body that just wouldn't hold up very long in the pros. He didn't even get through his freshman year without injuries, and his sophmore year was toasted by them. Even before the knee injury Rian mentions that destroyed him in his second USFL season, his first year was banged up as well. He just never was going to be able to sustain the workloadin the pros. I don't even think it's a Barry Sims case where it was simply one career altering injury: over time they would have cut away and cut away at Dupree's talents and speed.

It's quite probably that the best back out of that era is the guy everyone thought was the best back when they were in college: Herschel Walker.

I didn'tcare for Herschel when he was in college as he was SEC rather than Pac 10, and enjoyed Marcus having the monster year in 1982 to win the Heisman instead of Herschel. Didn't care for him in the USFL because I thought it was a joke league. Then he went to the hated Cowboys... so he had a lot of reasons for me to dislike him and underrate him. :)

But he had the speed, probably as much as any of the high end backs. He was a freakishly big back for the era, and a fitness hardcore. I don't recall any issues with him coming in out of shape. He wasn't Barry Sanders in terms of cutting and vision, but he wasn't bad at those and seemed much more physical that Barry when they were young. I don't recall any injuries until his 5th pro seasons (after 3 college seasons as well), and don't think he got banged up again for some time after that. He turned into one of the best receiving backs of all-time, which he seems to have picked up in the USFL. With the Cowboys he got stuck in that partnership with TD, which wasn't good for either of them. The Cowboys were also falling apart at that time. His "big" NFL season was his 6th pro seasons. SuperDuperGreat Backs out of college typically pile big numbers in their first 5 years.

I think it's hard to project what he would have done if he want to the NFL in the days before juniors could go to the NFL. He rushed for 1812, 1339 and 2411 in the USFL. We all would agree that despite the high end stars, the USFL overall was a jobber league. Still... here's what someone else coming into the NFL did in those same seasons in his first three years from 1983-85:

1983: 1,808
1984: 2,105
1985: 1,234

No one thought Eric Dickerson was better than Herschel. He was the #2 pick behind Elway. If Walker had been in the NFL draft, it's a toss up whether Elway or Herschel would have been a Ram while the other was a Colt. Either way, Dickerson would have been down at #3 instead of Curt Warner.

Playing for the Rams, Walker would have put up numbers every bit as good as Dickerson did in his first four years (another 1800 yard season in 1986). That was a strong offensive line, and John Robinson liked to run.

Don't know what he would have done for the Colts, other than they would have fed him the ball a ton and he would have piled up the yards.

I think we got robbed of the best back of the era being known as the best back of the era due to the USFL popping up at the wrong time and the NFL's stupid rule about underclassmen at the time.

John
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Yakuza Rich



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was into many sports in '83, even though I was only 7 years old. But college football really wasn't one of them so I was just never familiar with Dupree. To me, if he had the work ethic he could've kept the body in line to be the back he was. The Jim Brown comparisons are interesting given that they appear to have the same type of bodies, but Brown was facing far smaller and slower defenders.

I think Hershel was more or less figured out. Teams finally understood that he's a straight line runner and if he's going north-south, defenders don't stand a chance. If he has to go east west and then cut up north-south, he just can't do it.

I watched Hershel a lot because I liked the USFL and was a fan of the New Jersey Generals and then he went to Dallas.

The Hershel trade is a bit overblown, although they wound up landing Emmitt with that trade (but they traded down and then took Emmitt so it wasn't really the Hershel pic that got Emmitt). But if anything the Cowboys just understood that he was easy to figure out and they got rid of him at the best moment possible.

Hershel is a freak though. Last I knew he not only does 2,000 sit ups and push ups a day, but only eats 1 meal a day, a habit he developed in high school.






YR
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jdw
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eric Dickerson was largely a north-south runner: find the hole, and go through it. Hershel was better, faster, stronger at it. Mix in being a vastly better pass catcher, and my recollection is that he was a more willing blocker on the pro level. I think it was an era where you could still be north-south as insane speed+mass combos on defense hadn't yet taken over. LT was something of the start of that, and by the 90s there were king. In fact, it's probably one of the reasons LT stood out so much: he was a freak ahead of his time in terms of speed+power. Kenny Easley as well at safety was a freak ahead of his time. People like to pimp how tough Lott was, but he was a converted CB turned into a saftey when he slipped as a CB. Easley... that was a freaking LB playing safety. :)

Anyway, I think we had a fair number of north-south guys who did well in the 80s, and that it hit the wall a bit more after that. Dickerson was the "king" of that style because he was fast, very quick at hitting the hole and not wasting too much time farting around. Walker was faster, and I don't recall Dickerson being better at reading the holes opened up by his line He just had great lines in LA. :)

I tend to think that if they switched places on their pro careers, he would have topped Eric's numbers (both seasonal and career) comfortably.

Walker's problem was:

* not underclass to NFL
* left early for the USFL rather than stay one more year
* 5562 USFL yards that "don't count"
* 5147 is what Dickerson did in those same three years
* Dallas was declinging-to-awful when he joined them
* TD in place
* whole controversy over TD vs Walker didn't help
* Vikings were poor when he went there
* talent lost by Vikes didn't help either

The Bills and Bears were medicre teams when OJ and Payton got there, but they did focus on supporting the run. The Rams were middling when Dickerson got there, but their offensive line was loaded, and Robinson loved to run. The Lions were poor for a lot of Barry's time there, but always supported the run.

Walker just got hit with a bad set of circumstances that started with the NFL's ban on underclassmen. That was gone by the time Barry came along. :)

Despite all that, he still ran for 8225 yards with a decent Y/A given the support he had. 4859 catching, which is high on the list of RB. That's missing the three "USFL Don't Count" seasons, the mess in Dallas the first two seasons, etc.

I don't know if he was better than Barry/Emmitt, but think that of the group between OJ/Payton and Barry/Emmitt, he probably was the best. Earl was more insanely destructive, but it became clear that it was a style that would kill him. Billy Sims was freakish as well, but he was also another one who had the feel of "this will burn out fast". It's funny, but by that point I was already aware of coke and the fast lane, and Billy just felt like one of those guys who would blow up and peak early in contrast to the machine that Walter was. :/

Walker felt like a machine along the lines of Walter... just bigger, faster. Different style runner, but same work ethic and ability to stay healthy in through their 20s. Walter stayed healthly longer, but he was the extreme in that.

John
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jdw
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a side tangent, looking back... what should the Cowboys have done when the USFL went belly up?

TD was 32 in 1986 coming off a 1307 season with 4.3. He didn't look washed up, despite being up there in age. The Cowboys were 10-6, getting bounced in their first round of the playoffs by the Rams in a 10-7 game.

Then you have HW drop in your lap.

You really can't play both, right?

That's what the Cowboys tried to do... for two years. It wasn't good for the RB's. The team slid. Etc.

Would they have been better off trading TD? Or if he's an icon, trade HW for a boatload and start real rebuilding? Trade TD and other parts (like White) and jumpstart rebuilding that would take 2+ years but you have HW in hand?

Pretty much anything would have been better than what they did.

While we're at it, here's the famed Dickerson Trade:

Eric Dickerson Trade: Trick-or-Trade: Blockbuster Trade on Halloween 1987

Quote:
One of the largest trades ever made in National Football League history occurred on Halloween Day in 1987. The marquis name in the three-way deal between the Los Angeles Rams, Buffalo Bills, and Indianapolis Colts was Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson.

In all, the deal involved 10 players and draft choices. Only four other deals in NFL annals ever had more players involved.

Here's a breakdown of the trade made on October 31, 1987:

RAMS

TRADED:
Eric Dickerson, RB

RECEIVED
Greg Bell, RB
Owen Gill, RB
Buffalo No. 1 1988 (Gaston Green, RB, 14th overall)
Indianapolis No. 1 1988 (Aaron Cox, WR, 20th overall)
Indianapolis No. 2 1988 (Fred Strickland, LB, 47th overall)
Buffalo No. 1 1989 (Cleveland Gary, RB, 26th overall)
Indianapolis No. 2 1989 (Frank Stams, LB, 45th overall)
Buffalo No. 2 1989 (Darryl Henley, DB, 53rd overall)

COLTS

TRADED:
Owen Gill, RB
Rights to Cornelius Bennett, LB
No. 1 - 1988
No. 2 - 1988
No. 2 - 1989

RECEIVED:
Eric Dickerson, RB

BILLS

TRADED:
Greg Bell, RB
No. 1 1988
No. 1 1989
No. 2 1989

RECEIVED:
Rights to Cornelius Bennett, LB


I'm not completly sold that Rams made a Bad Deal. They had to trade Dickerson because he wanted out of town and things reached a point where they couldn't be repaired.

On paper, they got a ton of picks along with others (ended up being the 35th and 46th in 1988, and 21st, #48 & #53 in 1989). They did a lot of dumb stuff like picking Gaston Green and Cleveland Gary in consecutive drafts rather than say... Thurman Thomas. Their WR picks were weak: could have had Anthony Miller, Andre Rison and Brian Blades *together* with the picks they had... and also Thurman... and Eric Allen... and Michael Dean Perry and Steve Wisniewski or Carnell Lake... and Wesley Walls... and Mark Stepnoski... and still have one second round draft pick left over that I'm trying to figure out who to use for.

The Rams had 11 picks in the first and second rounds over two drafts... and got ZERO Pro Bowls out of it. Zero. Gaston Green went to one as a Bronco.

That's why the Dickerson deal bombed: the Rams front office sucked.

Give those 11 picks to Bill Walsh or Jimmy Johnson, and they would have put down the foundation of a Super Bowl team. :)

John
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Yakuza Rich



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of Dickerson, I just watched the latest installment of 30 for 30, 'Pony Excess', the story of the SMU football program that received the 'Death Penalty.'

This was pretty decent. I think what it suffered from was nobody involved really wanted to give out the nitty gritty details of the cheating going on. I remember when this happened, even though I was a little kid, I still read up on sports more than any kid at that age. But at the time, the press didn't really seem to go into much detail about what exactly happened either. Even looking back with this movie, there wasn't a lot of detail done by the local reporting crew outside of two of the players.

The part that made it hard for me to watch was the local Dallas sports media, many of which are still around today. It's typical of how they think of themselves, as super talented and extremely important. Probably the guy that typifies the Dallas writers is Skip Bayless. Dale Hansen was hired by the Cowboys at one time, but was later fired and you could see at one time he was a good reporter. Now he's a reporter that is so blinded by his hatred of Jerry Jones he cannot have any rational thought towards the Cowboys. I found it funny that when he 'caught' the SMU president in a lie about paying the linebacker, he really didn't have any evidence and had to rely on catching the president in a lie instead. Randy Galloway is a gigantic piece of shit and I was glad that in what little he was in the movie, he came off like some dumb country bumkin.

I think movie probably could've stressed more about the hypocrisy of the SMU death penalty when every other team in Texas was doing the same thing. The local media tries to claim that they got on SMU because they were located right in Dallas. But the truth is that Austin and Baylor are right near Dallas and with U of Texas, getting on them may have wound up being career suicide.

Overall very decent, nothing spectacular.





YR
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Yakuza Rich



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Watched the 30 for 30 'The Fab Five.'

This was decent although to me it starts to show a major issue with sports today, particularly sports journalism. It's more about the whether or not the writer or the reporter is a fan or a hater of the team they are covering instead of trying to be objective.

Lots of good stuff on how they came about and things they went thru and had to overcome. They interviewed 4 of the Fab Five, conspicious by his absence was probably the main star, Chris Webber. I'm not sure he had much to add though and the guy who really 'stole the show' was Jalen Rose.

But, I have a hard time watching any show that tries to paint Steve Fischer as a good basketball coach. Particularly a good basketball coach with integrity. Then again, ESPN is the same company that ignored how much of a crook Jim Valvano was at NC State.

I think they portrayed the players pretty well. Webber as the great star in waiting who always wanted to falsely portray himself as a street tough guy. Rose, the tough streetball player who had a chip on his shoulder. Howard, the leader that could bring everybody together.

But as soon as it was getting really good, the constant chirping from the fanboys like Brian Burwell and others just started to get annoying. It was far better than Billy Corben's 'The U' which was more like a promotional piece for Miami and glamorized everything about the 90's Hurricane teams (which was disappointing since Corben's 'Cocaine Cowboys' was an excellent documentary).

In fact, Fischer came off more as a groupie than an actual coach and a lot of the things that the Fab Five did that was very poor sportsmanship they never apologized for back then and acted like they did nothing wrong even now. That's what happens when everybody kisses your ass.

I think they did make great points about many critics getting on them for all things besides basketball. They showed the famous Bill Walton quote where he said that they were vastly overrated, although Walton has never had a problem with streetballers if they played basketball 'the right way' and I think he did have a point, they were vastly overrated.

They mentioned how the team after their freshman year loss to Duke in the Finals, went right to Europe to play ball in exhibitions. Crazily enough, the coaching staff acted like the players were just spoiled and looking back the players would see that they missed out on a good time. I had to take with the Fab Five here, they should be able to enjoy their vacation and instead they were pimped around by the school.

And that of course brought up the points about whether or not college players should get paid. Well, we know Webber did.

Overall, it was decent. Probably middle of the pack for me.







YR
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jdw
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Their influence might be a bit overrated as well. Baggy pants predate them. Some of the other stuff as well.

I loved Bobby Hurley on Dan Patrick this morning. Highlights, and I paraphrase:

* we were 3-0 against them

* I would think King wouldn't be surprised by how I played in the Final: I scored 26 on him in the earlier game in Ann Arbor

* UNLV the prior two years was much better

* [on the Final] It was close in the first half as Laettner didn't play well. We blew them out in the second half

* We had tough games against UK and IU prior to that. Michigan wasn't that tough

Again, I'm paraphrasing. How he said it wasn't quite that bad sounding, and Patrick was enjoying trying to egg him on. How it came across as simply stating facts when asked questions, along with some annoyance over the 30 for 30 not really showing any respect for what was a great Duke team.

Patrick, before talking to Hurley, did point out the irony of Rose's "Duke only recruited Uncle Toms" comment: Weber almost went to Duke. It was between Michigan and Duke. The "Fab Five" allure ended up interesting him more. The point being does Duke recruiting C-Web, and C-Web almost going there, make C-Web an Uncle Tom?

Anyway...

Laettner: 4 Final Fours, 3 Finals, 2 National Titles
Hurley: 3 Final Fours, 3 Finals, 2 National Titles
Grant Hill: 3 Final Fours, 3 Finals, 2 National Titles

It's sort of forgotten that after Laettner and then Hurley graduated that Hill almost single handedly led Duke back to another Final and lost a relatively close game (far closer than Duke vs Fab Five) to an very good offensve, insanely great defensive team: Nolan Richardson's best Razorback team.

The Fab Five got to two finals. Blown out in one. Jobbed in the second to frankly a better UNC team. The Fab Five just weren't that great of a college team. They weren't better than the UK and IU teams that pushed Duke to the wall in the Regional Final and the Final Four.

And yeah... I tend to get annoyed when what Duke did in 1989-92 in the Laettner years gets underrated.

John
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JAG



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember watching that first Duke game in November of 1991 as a 10-year-old and I was enthralled. The unis, the attitude, everything.

The doc missed Webber badly since he was the star, but it was still really, really good. I believe the timeout is why we never saw Fab Five Webber in the NBA. It took away his (false) bravado.

And how the fuck were they overrated? They had two years together as freshmen and sophomores with zero veteran leadership and a mediocre coach and made two Final Fours and championship games. They would have crushed in 1994 if Webber had come back, which would have given them a complete resume. Five fucking freshmen leading the '91 Duke team at halftime in the championship isn't impressive?

And every top coach in college sports is a scumbag. It's a scumbag business at that level. Who doesn't know the exploitation that is taking place?

And Grant Hill was always the most important player on those Duke teams, he just had to wait his turn. Which is what the Fab Five didn't have to do and that's why the establishment didn't/don't like them.

Jagdip
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Yakuza Rich



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rose did say that he thought Laettner was overrated...until they played against each other. Hurley, as much as I hate to say it, was the best college point guard I ever saw.

I think the problem with Michigan was partly their lack of consistent perimeter shooting, their inability to consistently run a half court offense, and Webber was weak in crunch time. I mean, they really needed Webber on the court in crunch time but he always seemed to let them down from what I remember (terrible FT shooter as well).

They didn't mention this, but Rose mentions this all of the time...he was absolutely going to Syracuse. Michigan wasn't even close. But SU got hit with NCAA violations and he changed his mind. SU actually would've had Rose and Donyell Marshall if it weren't for those NCAA violations which is funny since they really paled in comparison to what went on at Michigan at that time, but SU took a bigger beating for it. I guess it was probably due to Fischer being gone by then, but still burns me because most of the SU violations were really ridiculous.

Anyway, my feelings on them being overrated was they were treated by the entire Nation...not just NCAA fans...like rock stars. The way they were treated, IMO, felt like they should be a legendary team which outside of apparel, they really weren't. 56-14 in back to back seasons? That's really good. But, good D-1 programs do that all of the time. SU under Boeheim has pulled off better winning percentages in back to back years 7 different times since 1976.

I get the appeal that they were all freshmen, but the rock star status was a bit much.

I never thought Laettner was overrated. I think too many times fans get the idea of how a player will translate to the pros or how well a player is in the pros and judge their performance in college based off of that.







3JACK
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jdw
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JAG wrote:
And how the fuck were they overrated? They had two years together as freshmen and sophomores with zero veteran leadership and a mediocre coach and made two Final Fours and championship games.


Duke in 1990 had a soph as the leader, a freshman point guard, and when to the Final. They were crushed, but so were the Fab Five in 1992.


Quote:
They would have crushed in 1994 if Webber had come back, which would have given them a complete resume.


They would have gotten beat. They wouldn't have been able to handle the Razorbacks 40 Minutes of Hell. They had major problems at the point in terms of a natural point, and had issues with pressure defenses. They weren't smart, well drilled team, well coached team. They were quite talented, but we see plenty of talented teams not win Title. Hell, Duke beat a vastly more talented team in 1991.


Quote:
Five fucking freshmen leading the '91 Duke team at halftime in the championship isn't impressive?


No one says it isn't impressive.

What people are saying is that they're overrated.

They got hammered by Duke in 1992. Christ, go back an look at UCLA in the Walton Gang being "close" at halftime in the tourney then hammering people in the second half. Dittos some of the Jabbar teams in the tourney.

As much as I hate to say it since I have no love for Dean, the Fab Five got beat by a better "team" in 1993: played smarter, made fewer mistakes, better coached.

People treat the Fab Five like they were The Shit. They weren't. They never won anything. 25-9 and 31-5, went 11-7 and 15-3 in the Big 10... they didn't even win the Big 10. Bobby Knight's teams went 14-4 and 17-1 in the Big 10 those years.

They had Style, and made two runs deep into the tourney. 1992 was Duke's *fifth straight* year in the Final Four, third straight year in the Final.

As I mentioned, they would be back in the Final in 1994 with a one-man gang (Grant Hill) that no one ever remembers as one of th great Duke teams. It's like an afterthought of the Dynasty.

Quote:
And Grant Hill was always the most important player on those Duke teams, he just had to wait his turn. Which is what the Fab Five didn't have to do and that's why the establishment didn't/don't like them.


The most important player of the 1991 and 1992 teams was Laettner, similar to Shane in 2001. It's why the 1993 and 2001 teams got upset early: they didn't have that one player who would refuse to lose. You know... kind of like Kobe. ;)

Grant was a fine player as a freshman, and athletically a difference maker when facing UNLV. But Laettner was 9/14 from the field and 9/11 from the line. He was the man in the game. In The Greatest Game Ever, he was 10/10 from the field and 10/10 from the line.

They lost Laettner and Brian Davis off that team, with Antonio Lang and Cherokee Parks stepping into their role the next year. They went from 34-2 and the Trebble to 248, 3rd in the ACC, no ACC Tourney Title, and bounced in the second round of the Dance.

Yeah... Grant Hill was the most important player on those two national championship teams. :)

John
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JAG



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They were the Shit. Maybe not to you at the time or other serious fans, but to a generation of kids they definitely were.

And Duke doesn't beat UNLV without Grant Hill and it doesn't beat Michigan.

Thus, most important. :)

Did anyone watch the UNLV doc on HBO? Too short, too shallow and too one-sided. Interesting in parts, but it avoided most of the anti-Tark stuff, which is silly.

Jagdip
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