Goodman: Scouting Paulus and McRoberts

Jeff Goodman was on hand at the annual Kingwood Classic watching the Duke bound duo of 2005 prospects. While they hand trouble early on, both Josh McRoberts and Greg Paulus eventually showed why the Blue Devils took such early commitments.

Greg Paulus wasn't, well, Greg Paulus on Friday night.

The floor leader just wasn't making his teammates better or getting into the lane and making things happen. His final stat line looked good with 27 points and his team found a way to pull out a triple-overtime win against the Illinois Fire, but it came with 6-11 Andray Blatche running the point and Paulus on the sidelines after fouling out.

Paulus hit his fair share of long-range shots – four trifectas in the game – and also had plenty of layups in transition. However, he only dished out a few assists and didn't really get to the basket in a half-court game like he normally does so well.

In fact, a few coaches in the stands were extremely critical and felt that Duke was a major reach for Paulus.

``That first game I was awful," admitted Paulus. "But after that we played real well."

``I don't really care what other coaches think," he added. "There are going to be people who are critical all the time. I just want to keep getting better. I don't care if coaches like me or not."

However, Paulus really picked up his game for the rest of the tournament and played more like himself. He had his best game against the Arizona Magic and also played extremely well in a loss to Team Texas.

Paulus scored from all over against Team Texas, found the open man and just basically controlled the game. Team Texas tried to apply full-court pressure on numerous occasions, but Paulus had no difficulty breaking the press – by himself.


Josh McRoberts played on a loaded Spiece Indy Heat team that features future NBA lottery pick Greg Oden, sophomore point guard Mike Conley Jr., big-time sophomore Daequan Cook and freshman Eric Gordon.

McRoberts' stats don't look overly impressive after each game, but he does a little bit of everything.

On one game, the 6-8 _ McRoberts had seven assists. In another, he scored 15 points. In yet another, he pulled down 11 boards.

Basically, whatever you need, McRoberts will give you.

McRoberts showed a variety of low-post moves and up-fakes in the paint, also ran the court well and had one play in which he drove the right side and dunked over a defender to showcase his deceptive athleticism

McRoberts, who said he feels about 90 percent healthy, is still getting used to playing without his back brace, which he shed after the final game of his junior campaign.

``I just want to continue to rehab and get stronger," McRoberts said. "I lost a lot of strength this year, so I'll try to strengthen up my back."

McRoberts will have an abbreviated schedule this spring and summer. He said he'll attend the Tournament of Champions in May, the USA Festival, one of the shoe camps and then play in Las Vegas in July.


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