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Bright 'Blue' Future
No, folks, J.J. Redick is not a senior this year and will not be leaving early after winning the national championship this year...don't get me wrong, he will win a national 'ship this year, but the junior shooting guard averaging over 20 points a game will not be entering the draft early. Likewise, Redick's 6'10 counterpart Shelden Williams will do the same--or not do the same, however you look at it.
In 2006, Redick and Williams will provide the best two players in the draft from one team in the history of the NBA Draft. With Redick's sneakiness and clutch shooting, combined with Williams's tough rebounding and timely scoring, these two prospects are going to make the Bobcats, Hornets, or Hawks happy in 2 years if their trends in record remain. Hell, I wouldn't mind throwing an entire season to get one of these two future stars.
Redick, the 6'4 shooting guard, provides a "go-to" guy for the Blue Devils and has already delivered in more clutch situations at Duke than most accomplish in their entire career. Playing in the ACC will prepare him for the tough NBA schedule and competition. His first 2-3 years, as it looks, Redick will be able to provide a team with a role-playing position, coming off the bench for about 8 a game. After that, teams better watch out. Redick is already showing signs of a unique combination of John Stockton and Larry Bird, in his smooth ball-handling, ability to shoot from anywhere on the court at anytime in the game, confidence (sometimes viewed as cockiness), and unprecedented poise at the charity stripe. He would be the steal pick of this decade if selected anywhere outside of the top 5.
Shelden Williams, on the other hand, is a top 15 pick, easy. He is a bruiser down low, and seems to deliver both offensively and defensively when the game is on the line. Some look past the important of Williams and contribution to the Blue Devil's success due to the flash and confidence of his teammate, J.J. Redick. Williams is huge on the defensive boards, and manages to steal a few rebounds off of teammates' missed shots as well. 'Williams' equals 'Warrior'.
These two have a lot in store for them in the last two years of their college careers. They will win a national championship this year in St. Louis, tempting both to make that step up, but I am confident that these two individuals love the college atmosphere and will stay at Duke another year and continue to represent the bright future of the NBA. Thank you, Coach Krzyzewski, for developing your players into such well-rounded individuals, from Jay Williams to Chris Duhon to Luol Deng to Shane Battier. You have instilled in our young people the knowledge and strength to make the future even better than the past. Look out for #4 and #23 from Duke in the 2006 NBA Draft, because they know what it takes to be winners--passion.