2020 - Big - Walker Kessler (Offer)


I would not really call him a stretch four or five. He took the vast majority of his shots from about five feet from the basket last year, at least in the games I watched. And he would literally be about the only guy I could think of who maybe, sorta fits the profile.


Kyle Singler?


Yeah, not a bad example, although he was really more of a 2 or 3 in the NBA.

I’m talking about guys like Wagner and Wilson - 6-10 center/power forward type guys who run the pick and pop and step out and shoot threes. Duke hasn’t really had those types for a long time.


I’d consider Jabari Parker a small ball 4 or combo forward in today’s game. Luol Deng maybe but prolly not.


Not really what it is about, is it? The question is who is the last recruiting target that Duke really wanted that Duke didn’t get? Especially against a Big Ten school? The situation isn’t about whether Duke is good at developing stretch big men, the question is how do you beat Duke head to head in recruiting?

That being said, I have no idea what their priorities are in the class and obviously an offer can mean different things.


Mitch McGary? That was a while ago,


I certainly agree they seem to generally get who they want.

With that said, our recruiting profile is definitely on the rise. We made the title game last year and we’re ranked #2 in the country. If we can stay top 5 all year, or close to that level, and grab a 1/2 seed in the tourney, it’s no longer a big step down from Duke to UM. And Duke will lose some games in the ACC.

And that’s where I think our style of play and the way we use bigs could help us. It’s one thing we do better than Duke.

And as you say, while they offered, who knows how much of a priority he is for them.


McGary was unique in his connection to Novak and GRIII. It’s clear Kessler knows his game fits at UM but have they done enough to build a relationship that Duke can’t swoop in and grab him?


Kids are irrational but I like to think rationality will win out in the end. A corner needs to be turned… Pointing out that we have a better history of developing stretch 4’s and 5’s can’t hurt.


There is also a thing called seeing what is in front of you and seeing past history and the situation before you. Like @umhoops said, when Duke truly wants a player, they almost never miss. Especially against Big Ten teams. Rising profile or not, even 6 or 7 years ago when MSU was still generally considered better than Michigan, and probably a even higher profile than what Michigan is now, they still frequently lost to Duke in recruiting battles and still do today. I’m not trying to be a downer but if Duke REALLY wants Kessler, it’s going to be insanely hard to land him. It’s just how it currently is. So we will see what happens. Even if Duke is going all out for Kessler i still wouldn’t back down if I was Michigan. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take so may as well swing anyway. May hit a walk off.


I think one difference between UM and MSU is that Izzo has a growing reputation as a guy whose players take much longer to develop into pros (if they do at all). Beilein is fantastic at highlighting his players’ offensive skills.

But sure, Duke is Duke. They win recruiting battles most of the time.


He has a who’s who of elite schools on him, as he should. Duke offer means a lot to most kids. He’s a 5 in any system and at any school.

If research is done, what school(s) provide what he wants as far as basketball and academics go? Obviously, Michigan, Duke, and Vanderbilt all fit the basketball and academic side of things. Georgia will have pull because of the family connections.

Beilein has a had a slew of bigs like him with Pittsnogle, Wagner, etc. Duke has had Josh McRoberts. Vandy has Luke Cornet but not coached by the current staff. Basketball says UM but we never know all the other factors.


As always, recruiting is about how you sell not what you sell :slight_smile:


Cole Anthony?


I’m just not getting this argument. Other than Wagner, what centers like Kessler has Beilein put into the NBA? I don’t think Wilson is that similar a player and Pittsnogle vs Laettner is no contest if we’re going way back in time. Coach K can always show kids that he utilizes a wide array of talent and puts them into the draft lottery. I get that Beilein likes bigs with Kessler’s skill set, but whose film is he showing him? I fear that Pittsnogle, Wagner and a slew of other bigs is really just Wagner when you get down to it. Maybe a little Wilson and McGary.


Kids at Kessler’s level tend to think they are already future pros so just want to see an offense that fits their game. Beilein has a much more recent example with Wagner and they continue to run pick and pop with Teske and Livers this year.
If Kessler picks Duke it will be because Duke is Duke and they know how to get what they want.


If this was really true, then why do they all pick the same few schools? Often, they don’t seem like such great matches for style either. Coaches know how to sell kids on their ability to use their talent.


Very few of these kids even know who Christian Laettner is. If he goes to Duke, there is no current example of how he would be used. Regardless of the NBA or not, Mo Wagner’s name is there for HS kids. He was at the forefront of everything in the recent NCAA tourney.


I think all the talk that Duke has had zero examples of stretch 5s is a little misleading. They have put at least one frontcourt player or wing in the lottery for five straight seasons. Just last year Wendell Carter shot 41% from three at Duke and then he got drafted 7th overall.

Duke lands players that think they can go anywhere and be successful. McDonalds all-Americans more often than not think they don’t need to be developed into a pro. And many times they are right. The “JB develops stretch 5s into pros! Look at Moe Wagner!” pitch makes way more sense to sell to a semi-under the radar recruit like Colin Castleton than it does to a consensus 5 star recruit with a Duke offer IMO.