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Friday, December 24, 2004

Who the hell is Larry Lakins?

The N&O's Caulton Tudor says Shavlik Randolph is a dud:

"It will forever be argued that Mike Krzyzewski turned a potential Larry Bird into a poor man's Larry Lakins."

Still, Tudor says that, at the time, Duke was the best option for a high school player with Randolph's talent:

"Put yourself in the same situation. What would you have done? At the time, State was struggling, and Pack coach Herb Sendek wasn't popular with fans. North Carolina's program was on the verge of upheaval."

Tudor also makes the case that K aggressively went after Randolph just to tweak State and Carolina. The Heels had it coming:

"It will be said that Krzyzewski brought in Randolph for no better reason than to torture Sendek on one front and Carolina on the other.

"The same was said of Dean Smith when he signed Southern Durham High's Curtis Hunter- often called 'the next Michael Jordan' in those days-to fight for playing time at North Carolina when Duke and State were clamoring for Hunter to carry their programs to a higher level.

"It turned that Hunter was no more the next Jordan than Randolph is the next Laettner."

We'll see how Randolph's career plays out at Duke. In my mind, State was the logical choice. But would the expectations not have been higher with Shav following his grandfather's footsteps?