You Remind Me Of...: Justise Winslow

It's always helpful for fans to have a point of reference when learning about new players that will be in Durham on a year to year basis. Often, it's helpful to compare a new recruit to a former Blue Devil. We've done just that with the help of the national recruiting team and Duke historian/author Jim Sumner.

When looking for the best formula for comparison, we decided on a three-step process:

First, we asked the national recruiting team of Evan Daniels, Brian Snow, and Josh Gershon to provide a scouting report of each of the incoming freshmen as well as some of the top Duke targets in the class of 2014.

Next, we compiled the data and then removed the names associated with each player card.

Finally, those blank player cards were presented to Mr. Sumner. We asked Jim to name the first former Blue Devil that came to mind based on the scouting report.

Here's the result…

Justise Winslow
Height: 6-foot-6
Weight: 210 pounds Scouting Report:

  • Can score in a variety of ways
  • Elite level athlete
  • Top level defender, can guard four positions
  • Very good rebounder from the wing
  • Scores off the bounce
  • Average jump shooter
  • High basketball IQ
  • Very good ball handler for a wing
  • Quick Description: One of the most cerebral and versatile players around. He has the size and skill to play any of the three backcourt positions, though he is best on the wing. A very good shooter and athlete, he just knows how to make plays and will do whatever his coaches ask. - Evan Daniels

    Winslow is a unique wing prospect. He's skilled and plays well with the ball in his hands. He's strong, active, defends, rebounds and makes plays going towards the rim. - Brian Snow

    Sumner Says…: Grant Hill (1991-1994)

    Perhaps the most defining characteristic of Grant Hill's game over his four years in Durham was his versatility. From 1991 through 1994, Hill lead the Blue Devils to three NCAA Finals appearances, winning two in 1991 and 1992, and nearly pulling off the upset of Arkansas in 1994. All of this was accomplished with Hill playing all five positions on the court at some point during his career - though he was listed as small forward at Duke.

    Similarly, Winslow projects as a small forward at the college level, but has spent the summer playing mostly point guard for the Houston Hoops AAU team. Back home for his high school team in Houston, Winslow has run the offense, but he's been known to go inside where he's too quick and fluid for bigger players to deal with, and much too strong for those who are smaller.

    During his last few seasons as a high schooler, Hill was also known for his versatility while playing for South Lakes High in Reston, Virginia. Hill is still the school's second all-time leading scorer with 2,028 points (Former Duke player Joey Beard is first with 2,138). He holds the school records for rebounds (942), blocked shots (160), steals (274) and assists (311). He was named to the McDonald's All-American game in 1990.

    With the ability to beat his opponents in so many ways, it was no surprise that Hill had his pick of high major programs. He committed to Duke and was immediately inserted into the Blue Devils' starting lineup as a freshman. Almost from the start, Hill was a difference maker for Duke. During the 1990-1991 season he appeared in 36 games, starting 31. As a true freshman he averaged 11.2 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 52 percent from the floor.

    Much like the scouting report on Winslow, Hill entered Duke needing to work on his jump shooting ability. Getting to the rim and finishing in traffic was easy for Hill, but he needed that extra component to keep defenders honest. Over the next two seasons, Hill would steadily work on the rest of his game, upping his scoring averages to 14.0 and 18.0 as a sophomore and junior. Through three seasons, however, Hill had attempted just 17 perimeter jumpers, and made five of them (29 percent).

    During his senior season, Hill would solidify himself as one of the all-time best players in Duke history. He averaged 17.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game while shooting 46 percent from the field, 39 percent from the perimeter, and 70 percent from the foul line. He started all 34 games and lead Duke all the way to the national title game. He finished his career as the first player in ACC history to score more than 1,900 points, 700 rebounds, 400 assists, 200 steals and 100 blocked shots.

    At the college level, Winslow will has all the tools to produce similar numbers to Hill. Though he's a few inches shorter than Grant, Winslow is versatile enough to handle the ball (he leads the Houston Hoops with 54 assists in 13 Nike EYBL games), and he'll likely make a living scoring the ball off attacking the basket early on in his career.

    Much like Hill, however, he'll need to continue to diversify his game in order to take the next steps. That means refining his jump shot, and improving his shooting percentages from the perimeter, or at least out past the mid-range area (he's shooting just 2-go-16, or 13 percent from the perimeter in the EYBL).

    Turning to recruiting, Duke has been involved with Winslow for quite a while, and the Blue Devils have made it clear that the five star prospect is their top choice at the small forward position in the class of 2014. The reasoning is the same as it was more than 20 years ago when Mike Krzyzewski recruited Hill: Versatility.

    During his March visit to Durham, Winslow had a chance to sit down and talk about his game with Coach K. And while the Duke coach compared him with Gerald Henderson early on, much was made of the lineage of versatile wing players to come to Duke under K. And that seemed to hit home with Winslow.

    "The Duke staff covered a lot of things with me on that visit," Winslow told TDD. "Stuff like style of play, how they would utilize me, the academic setup,and just what they would expect of me as a player. They did a great job at explaining to me what they expect of their players."

    "I had quite a few meetings with Coach K and the staff over breakfast and other topcs. All were on campus, and we just had a lot of time around each other where they were honest with me and I was honest with them about how I felt about myself as a player, what their expectations are about the players in the program, what our feelings are about the recruiting process, academic side of things, how do they blend guys together in the program. I felt like it went really well with what we talked about."

    Currently, Winslow is considering Duke, Arizona, UCLA, Kansas, Florida, Baylor, and Michigan. He has taken a number of unofficial visits recently, and is expected to make an early decision.

    About Jim Sumner: Jim Sumner specializes in southern sports. He is a columnist for Go Duke: The Magazine, Inside Carolina magazine, Duke Basketball Report and College Sumner is a regular contributor to The Associated Press, the Durham Herald-Sun, the Wolfpacker, Basketball Times, ACC Sports Journal,,, Tar Heel Tipoff and Blue Devil Tipoff. He has written for The ACC Handbook, Baseball America, Duke Magazine, Basketball America, Our State, Metro Magazine, and numerous other magazines, journals, and websites.

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