I like Hendrix. At 6-8, 255 pounds, he's a brute, tough, rebounder type. He's not the most athletic guy in the world, so you won't see lots of hangtime and jaw dropping dunks. But what you will see from Hendrix is power, dependability and lots of rebounds.
He's built a lot like ex-Maryland power forward Lonnie Baxter. He'll get you 10 points, 10 rebounds and hold down the paint on any given night, that's for sure. I don't think he's going to be the best post player in that class when it's all said and done because his ceiling as a basketball player is limited -- but he'll be one of the most consistent players in that class. And consistency is underrated when it comes to ranking high school players.
As for Duke having a shot-- I've been wrong before, but I just don't see it. He had a good visit to Duke according to what I have heard, but he REALLY liked his visit to North Carolina. I think he felt a better rapport with the players in Chapel Hill overall, but even with that -- he'll be a hard get to pull out of his homestate of Alabama. Just my two cents.
Q -- I've seen so may mixed reviews of DeMarcus Nelson. Can you tell us how good he is and if he could be a great player at Duke?
Nelson isn't like any other Duke guards that you've seen before. So don't expect him to come in and be the complete guard that Jason Williams was. Don't expect him to come in and run the offense like Bobby Hurley either. And he won't swish 30 foot three-balls like JJ Redick. Expect Nelson to arrive on campus and offer a different set of skills than anyone you've seen before in a Duke uniform before.
Expect a bull. A quick, athletic and aggressive bull.
This kid is so strong that it's going to shock you. I've never seen any defender that can keep Nelson from getting to the rim. At 6-3 and 210 pounds, Nelson is probably no more than eight percent body fat, and I'm not kidding. He's chiseled. And more importantly -- he's very quick.
I think he's going to be a big scorer at Duke. He's going to excel against a man to man defense. I think he'll provide instant offense and someone who can both slashto the basket as well as knock down the three balls. And he offers someabove-the-rim athletic ability in the open floor which will get the Cameron Crazies out of their seats. He does need work on his ball-handling ability and he could use some polishing with his shot selection -- but in my opinion, Nelson has a chance to be a big time player at Duke. I'd predict instant impact, especially on the offensive end.
Q -- Does Duke recruit a post player from the class of 2004 now that Mike Thompson has left?
A -- I seriously doubt it-- because first of all -- there's not much left on the board inthe class.
Sure, Dwight Howard is there and he's the top post player in the nation, but anyone who thinks that Howard doesn't go pro after this year will need their heads examined. He's being projected as the top pick by several NBA scouts and most that I've talked with think he could slip to 3rd or 4th AT WORST.
Then, you've got Randolph Morris, who's looking at a few schools like Georgia Tech and Kentucky and possibly North Carolina, but he's also got one eye on his NBA Draft status. I think Morris goes to college in the end, but Duke would have a lot of ground to make up if they tried to get in with Morris this late. And Morris probably wouldn't open his list back up to begin with.
Other than that -- the JUCO route would be tough since that player would have to crack admissions at Duke.
Perhaps a new name could emerge this year, but I doubt that a high profile player comes out of nowhere. I think Duke puts the full court blitz on a 2005 post player, but the class of 2004 may be a lost cause.