Is this a Roberts/Watkins frontcourt? | Syracusefan.com

Is this a Roberts/Watkins frontcourt?

Eric15

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What I mean by that is, is this a frontcourt with fantastic athletes that will score exclusively on dunks and put-backs? Who out of Fab/Xmas/Keita (I didn't watch last night's game so I'm legitimately curious) can be fed the ball in the post and score on a short jump hook when outside shots are not falling?

During our elite seasons... 1987, 1989, 1990, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2010, etc. we've had that presence. Who on this roster can back a Big East defender down and score consistently?
 

rrlbees

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Melo showed a nice touch out to 15 feet and Keita hit a hook shot.
 

NovaOrange

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I almost fell out of my chair when Melo hit the 15 footer where the freak was that last year it looked smooth.
 

arbitragegls

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Last night it was the bigs that were the stars of the show...Melo, Keita, and Christmas all showed more than enough that if the wings and backcourt guys play up to expectations...this will be a final 4 team...very impressed with Melo's stroke, his put backs and dunks, defensive play and boards...and he was not winded...Keita has a short jump hook..now that his hand/wrist are better he looked good...Christmas is going to be a beast...

My concern is KJ...Keita showed positive playing from getting over injury...KJ did not show improvement...he looked tentative..maybe a week off...maybe not...here is hoping.
 

RF2044

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I think that comparison only applies to Rak at this stage of his developmental curve.
 

SoBristol

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You aren't going to see crafty moves (as Jackson had) or genuine post-up, spin moves (AO). You can mainly expect a lot of dunk finishes off feeds from Scoop, or put-backs. Melo did show that jumper -- good form (showed it in his high school videos as well), nice range, should be able to shoot over most defenders and in close he bring power as well as size. He is a work in progress as far as post footwork. The revelation, as others have said, is his conditioning and secondarily, the sense that he is much, much more comfortable and confident. Just nice to see.
Baye looked real good in getting to rebounds -- reacts quickly to where the ball is coming off, and for a skinny guy, grabs the ball with authority. Just so important to have that ability (rebounding from the center position) on the court at all times. Baye also showed he is working on an inside move or two -- a hook, a dribble to try to finish on the side. In the practice video, he is using either hand. Looks like he will need quickness inside, as he won't overpower any defenders, but I think he will develop a little offense and surprise people with an occasional 10 pt/10 reb game.
Rak looked strong enough and aggressive enough to compete in the Big East on the defensive end. For me, that (plus Melo) was a big plus coming out of the game last night. Melo can run the court and will be a credible offensive threat; and Rak looks like he can play the back of the zone (mainly help on the defensive boards) right away. Doesn't need to take many shots this year.
 

Garbs

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As the season goes on, I think we will see a lot more offense going through Fab.
 

grepal

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Do not underestimate what working with Bernie Fine and an occasional assist from Derek Coleman can do for a big man's post up game. Bernie is still one of the best on the planet, and D.C.?? 'nuff said!
 

Shermthegeneral

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We haven't had a big that could consistently hit a 15 footer since JB Reafsnyder's senior year! Not even Hak could be consistent with a 15 footer.
 

RF2044

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We haven't had a big that could consistently hit a 15 footer since JB Reafsnyder's senior year! Not even Hak could be consistent with a 15 footer.

Huh? By his final two seasons, Hak was a terrific mid-range jumpshooter.
 

Shermthegeneral

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Huh? By his final two seasons, Hak was a terrific mid-range jumpshooter.

You are probably right with Hak, a lot of his scoring came from dunks his fresh and soph years...I really should have said center...because SU never has centers who can knock down a 15 footer and if Melo can, it will bring a huge element to this team that we haven't seen in a long time from a center.
 

Bornorange

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No, this is a real well rounded bunch. The talent level can not be compared to those two.
Watkins and Roberts would be riding the pine.
 

IthacaMatt

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No, this is a real well rounded bunch. The talent level can not be compared to those two.
Watkins and Roberts would be riding the pine.

People forget in retrospect, but the Roberts / Watkins teams, especially their junior & senior year, was some of the best interior defending teams we have had in a very long time.
 

OrangeMuskyFish

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Fab is going to crush Watkins in talent, effort, and impact. We won't know about statistically for sure just yet.
 

OrangeMuskyFish

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I like the Roberts vs Rak comparison though. Truth be told, I started getting that one caught in my head back in the McD game when Rak showed a smoothness to his game that I didn't really expect... but I kept thinking that the comparison didn't really fit for whatever reason and I was just an idiot.
 

RF2044

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You are probably right with Hak, a lot of his scoring came from dunks his fresh and soph years...I really should have said center...because SU never has centers who can knock down a 15 footer and if Melo can, it will bring a huge element to this team that we haven't seen in a long time from a center.

That I'll certainly agree with--we haven't had a center since JB / Otis who were comfortable hitting mid-range shots.
 

RF2044

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Fab is going to crush Watkins in talent, effort, and impact. We won't know about statistically for sure just yet.

C'mon--Watkins was perhaps the best defensive center we've had of the past 20 years--the least of which had to do with his above average shot blocking. His "impact" wasn't measured by statistics alone--don't be fooled.
 

OrangeMuskyFish

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C'mon--Watkins was perhaps the best defensive center we've had of the past 20 years--the least of which had to do with his above average shot blocking. His "impact" wasn't measured by statistics alone--don't be fooled.

Disagree, I will take McRae, Etan, McNeil, and Ricky as being similar effective. His shot-blocking was the best part of his game, not to mention I never once narrowed it down to just defense. Watkins was very solid, and had he not LOOKED like he was disinterested then some of the criticisms at the time would have gone away. AND you are right about not being able to judge everything by stats, but if you want to put a guy into huge impact category, the numbers should be above average at least. People were EXTREMELY impatient with Fab last year, but Watkins played in only 85 minutes as a frosh and averaged 3.7/3.4 as a soph. And it's not like anything else ever exploded in regards to Darryl after that, except the blocks.
 

RF2044

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Disagree, I will take McRae, Etan, McNeil, and Ricky as being similar effective. His shot-blocking was the best part of his game, not to mention I never once narrowed it down to just defense. Watkins was very solid, and had he not LOOKED like he was disinterested then some of the criticisms at the time would have gone away. AND you are right about not being able to judge everything by stats, but if you want to put a guy into huge impact category, the numbers should be above average at least. People were EXTREMELY impatient with Fab last year, but Watkins played in only 85 minutes as a frosh and averaged 3.7/3.4 as a soph. And it's not like anything else ever exploded in regards to Darryl after that, except the blocks.

Are you kidding me? McRae and Ricky weren't even in the same ballpark as Watkins in terms of being a position defender--not even close. I repeat: not even close [and Ricky was BEPOY defenseively last year].

Thomas was amongst the best shotblockers in program history. Otherwise, he was a relatively stiff defender who wasn't nearly as effective as Watkins at bodying his man, hitching up his shorts and playing one-on-one in the paint, and still being able to offer help defense to compensate for his teamates' defensive lapses.

I'll grant you that Watkins wasn't very polished offensively, often appeared to be coasting, and was frustrating at times--but he is the best pivot defensive presence we've had in quite some time. This was a guy who was a phenomenal athlete-- he had a rare blend of power / athleticism that allowed him to keep up with the athletic uconn centers and also tangle with powerful stiffs like Aaron Gray from Pitt and Roy Hibbert, and also bail out the rest of his teammates, as the teams he started on were relatively poor defensively.
 

OrangeMuskyFish

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Are you kidding me? McRae and Ricky weren't even in the same ballpark as Watkins in terms of being a position defender--not even close. I repeat: not even close.

Thomas was amongst the best shotblockers in program history. Otherwise, he was a relatively stiff defender who wasn't nearly as effective as Watkins at bodying his man, hitching up his shorts and playing one-on-one in the paint, and still helping on the weakside.

I'll grant you that Watkins wasn't very polished offensively, often appeared to be coasting, and was frustrating at times--but he is the best defensive center we've had in quite some time. This was a guy who was a phenomenal athlete-- he could his athleticism to keep up with the athletic uconn centers, and had the strength to tangle with powerful stiffs like Aaron Gray from Pitt and Roy Hibbert, and also bail out the rest of his teammates, as the teams he started on were relatively poor defensively.

I will take your word for the technical aspects, and I don't want this post to be a bash Darryl thing, I just don't think he produced enough for me to personally rank with Etan, AO, Ricky, Otis, and soon, Fab. The guy should have been a lottery pick and 10-year NBA veteran, and between his size and athleticism, should have dwarfed the first four names I mentioned, but he did neither.
 

RF2044

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I will take your word for the technical aspects, and I don't want this post to be a bash Darryl thing, I just don't think he produced enough for me to personally rank with Etan, AO, Ricky, Otis, and soon, Fab. The guy should have been a lottery pick and 10-year NBA veteran, and between his size and athleticism, should have dwarfed the first four names I mentioned, but he did neither.

Okay, two things. First--I agree with your overall premise. Watkins truly had one-in-a-million physical tools. With his size / physique / strength / athleticism, he should have been dunking on Alonzo Mourning and enjoyed a lengthy NBA career. Instead--and baffling-ly--he arrived at SU as a finesse offensive player, and never much developed on that end. He also was fairly passive offensively, not looking to "get his" the way most players do. Accordingly, players like AO, Otis, and Etan made a much bigger impact offensively. No argument there.

But none of those guys were in the same league as Watkins defensively--which is the point we were debating above.

On the former point--we're on the same page. I just disagree with your position on the latter point.

LGO!!!
 

OrangeMuskyFish

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Okay, two things. First--I agree with your overall premise. Watkins truly had one-in-a-million physical tools. With his size / physique / strength / athleticism, he should have been dunking on Alonzo Mourning and enjoyed a lengthy NBA career. Instead--and baffling-ly--he arrived at SU as a finesse offensive player, and never much developed on that end. He also was fairly passive offensively, not looking to "get his" the way most players do. Accordingly, players like AO, Otis, and Etan made a much bigger impact offensively. No argument there.

But none of those guys were in the same league as Watkins defensively--which is the point we were debating above.

On the former point--we're on the same page. I just disagree with your position on the latter point.

LGO!!!

Agreed.
 

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