Coach K had a memorable quote a few years back when he was asked what position Kyle Singler played, at a time Kyle was being moved around all over the court to shore up some areas in which the Blue Devils needed some help. K’s response: “What position does he play? He plays winner.”
Same deal with key 2014 recruit Justise Winslow, the 6’6″ lefty out of Houston. This guy really does it all. I liken him not only to Singler, but also to Grant Hill in terms of the “queen on the chessboard” qualities that he brings to a team.
The first thing you notice about him is the rock-solid body, the body of a pro. He can play inside or out; he makes the midrange jumper, and even steps out a little further on occasion. He can drive the ball to the hoop; he is very, very good in transition, and he hits the boards hard at both ends. He is an outstanding passer. And he can D it up against just about anybody. I’ve seen him play a number of times now, and seen him shut down everyone from point guards to power forwards and everyone else in between.
One thing I love about Winslow’s game is that while he can get buckets if he needs to or wants to, he doesn’t seem to need to be the leading scorer on his team every time out. No, what he gives the team is whatever it happens to need at any given moment. Guys like that help teams win championships. He could probably lead any team he wanted to in scoring, but he doesn’t seem to have an ego that requires him to be the #1 scoring star. He knows that he can do it all on an as-needed basis; coaches know it; and everyone knows that translates into winning. He’s not as flashy as some other guys out there, but he’s a guy you win with, and he would be a huge asset to the Blue Devils should he pull the trigger for Duke. Here’s what Justise had to say last weekend at the Adidas Nations event about his recruitment, what he’ll be considering, his experience with Team USA this summer, and other issues.
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Winslow Adidas Nations