Kyle Filipowski – Duke – Forward/Center – 7’0, 230 lbs – November 2003
Filipowski continues to grow on me a bit as the season has progressed. He’s been the most productive of the Duke freshmen, scoring double-figures in every game. He was crucial in the Oregon State game, with his pick-and-pop ability stretching the defense. He isn’t super strong inside, but has some touch and is tough. He’s at 36% from three on the year, and while I don’t think he is/will be an elite shooter, he should at least draw defenses out to the perimeter.
I still question what Filipowski’s true position is. Duke has primarily been using him at the four, and that’s led to some matchup advantages for him. But his lateral movement and general defense don’t totally behoove me right now. He doesn’t rebound well enough or protect the rim to survive as a full-time center so the fit is wonky.
Filipowski is a pretty large human (legit seven-feet) with some skills and a good motor and you can’t knock the production. Those are ultimately players that stick in the NBA in some capacity, even if I don’t love the athletic tools. He’s probably a first-rounder but I am not sure I’d be too enthused about him in the lottery.
Dariq Whitehead – Duke – Wing – 6’7, 220 lbs – August 2004
Whitehead missed the Champions Classic and is just coming off of injury, so I am willing to be a little more patient with him. But he doesn’t look ready yet. He played under 20 minutes in each game, and struggled to make an impact.
Physically, he looks a little thicker than I thought he would (and not in a good way). He looks closer to 6’5 than 6’7.
He showed some flashes of tough shot-making, But I have always questioned how good of a shooter he is, and the catch-and-shoot stuff and warm-ups were inconsistent. Whitehead pressured the rim a ton in high school, but his strength-based driving has been mitigated a bit in college. His lack of shake with the ball and handle has been exposed a bit.
Quitting on Whitehead now would be silly. He’s still incredibly young (21 months younger than Brandon Miller) so I am going to give him some leeway in his return from injury. Whitehead was the best wing in the class throughout high school and EYBL. He needs to become a more consistent shooter, and I’d like to see some self-creation, but I’m going to wait and see with him for a long-term evaluation.