Josh Duncan profile
RCSI: 108 (2004)
Height: 6'9" (206 cm)
Weight: 230 lbs (104 kg)
Position: PF
High School: Archbishop Moeller High School (Ohio)
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
College: Xavier
Current Team: Ryukyu Golden Kings
Win - Loss: 46 - 23


NBA Pre-Draft Camp, Day Three

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
May 30, 2008, 08:35 am
The second game turned into an up-tempo blast in your face high-scoring affair, finishing up 101-93 in favor of team 5. For the winners, Josh Duncan continued the trend of Portsmouth Invitational Tournament standouts who were able to translate their excellent performance from the all-senior pre-draft camp in April to this setting as well—scoring 20 points (5-8 FG, 9-10 FT) and pulling down 6 rebounds. Duncan knocked down a number of open shots from the perimeter, scored a bit in the post off good feeds from his guards Ramel Bradley and Jeremy Pargo, made some nice passes himself, and was extremely aggressive getting to the free throw line. His lack of athleticism was evident at times, particularly with his attempts to face-up and put the ball on the floor, and he struggled staying in front of quicker forwards defensively. He is a very good basketball player, though, there is no question about that.

All-Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, Second-Team

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Joseph Treutlein
Joseph Treutlein
Joey Whelan
Joey Whelan
Apr 16, 2008, 03:57 am
We last wrote about Josh Duncan just a couple of weeks ago shortly after he had helped spark Xavier to an Elite Eight run in the NCAA Tournament. The power forward received praise for his ever increasing versatility and aggressiveness on the offensive end of the ball. While it is rare to see any player make major strides in just a few weeks time we did notice some slight improvements in certain aspects of his game, while he also reverted back to some habits that he was showing prior to his impressive stretch in the NCAA Tournament.

Duncan's offense continued to be a combination of spotting up on the perimeter and relying on his raw strength in the post. We did notice that Duncan took a slight step backwards during the week in terms of his ability to attack the basket off the dribble, something that initially grabbed our attention about him. He was less aggressive off the dribble, a lot of this may stem from the makeup of his team though, as the Tidewater Sealants featured a lot of perimeter players. However, on the occasions that Duncan did put the ball on the floor he experienced limited success, often being stripped by defenders or finding that he was unable to create good looks for himself.

With that said, we did notice a change in Duncan's shooting form. While during the season he had an awkward push shot that involved him contorting his body as he released, his stroke looked a lot more fluid during his three games in Portsmouth. While there was almost no effect on his shooting percentage from this range, he did seem more inclined to fire away from the outside, as one third of his shots came from beyond the arc.

While his massive build may have you think otherwise, Duncan still looked more comfortable facing the basket than he did with his back to it. His post game isn't horrible, showing signs of a drop step and developing baby hook, but he still relies more on brute force than skill or finesse to get the job done inside. While this may have worked in college and at Portsmouth, at 6'9” and lacking anything more than a slightly above average vertical, Duncan will need to further refine his back-to-the-basket game in order to be a scoring threat here at the next level. We also noticed that he tends to force the issue when he is double teamed on the block, which was often the case. Rather than recognizing that help defense coming over and looking to kick out or skip a pass over the top of the defense, Duncan would typically try to power his way through and force up a shot. While he did earn some trips to the foul line with his aggressive play, these plays often resulted in turnovers.

What we did get a glimpse of that we hadn't seen in the past was Duncan's ability to handle the ball in the open floor. Most of the time it was nothing more than grabbing a rebound and taking the ball across mid-court before deferring to a point guard, but on a couple of occasions when he saw a lane to the basket, Duncan showed some surprising agility. On one particular play in his first game of the week, Duncan took a rebound coast-to-coast, finishing with a left-handed finger roll in traffic. These are the types of flashes that will raise eyebrows and make spectators take notice. We did hear from a few scouts that they liked Duncan's strong build and his hard work inside, but they certainly won't complain if he continues to develop his open floor abilities.

Defensively Duncan was fairly consistent during the week with what we saw of him during the season. His strength allows him to hold good position on the block when opponents post him up, but his lack of explosiveness from a stand still allows taller players to shoot over him relatively easily. Even players like Will Thomas, not noted for his leaping ability, were able to get pretty good looks inside against Duncan. When he was forced out to the perimeter though, Duncan looked pretty comfortable defending here. He continued to do a nice job of hedging out on screens, but needs to do a better job of recovering to his own man. While his lateral quickness isn't great, his wide frame helps him to keep from getting beat off the dribble on a regular basis by quicker players. However, his level of speed will likely dictate that he spend more time inside that on the perimeter at the next level.

Duncan certainly helped himself a little at Portsmouth; while his averages dipped from his fantastic play in the NCAA Tournament, they were still higher than his regular season numbers. By no means has he played himself onto any draft boards, but he has likely earned himself an invitation to Orlando for the pre draft camp. This will be a huge test for Duncan as players there will be bigger and more athletic than the ones he saw this week.

NCAA Tournament Performers, 4/1/08-- Part One

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Mike Schmidt
Mike Schmidt
Joseph Treutlein
Joseph Treutlein
Joey Whelan
Joey Whelan
Apr 01, 2008, 02:18 am
After a regular season that didn’t garner much attention outside of the Atlantic 10, Josh Duncan made himself known during an Elite Eight run in the NCAA Tournament. His offensive output increased nearly 50% in the four games he played, while his rebounding numbers went up slightly as well. By far the most encouraging thing we saw from Duncan in his two week run in the tournament was the increased diversity in his means of scoring. While the main staple of his game is as a catch and shoot type of player, the senior showed flashes of other aspects of his game.

At 6’9” and a rock solid 238 pounds, Duncan has a strong frame that reminds of Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin. He is slightly undersized for the post at the next level, but his versatility makes him appealing as a face the basket-type power forward. The biggest limitation for Duncan is his lack of tremendous athleticism. He doesn’t possess a great vertical leap, which severely hampers him in the post, as well as on the glass. While he may be able to take mismatched post players off the dribble in college, his first step isn’t all that impressive, and he doesn’t appear to have the necessary quickness to guard perimeter players in the NBA. With that said, though, Duncan does possess a bruising frame, one that is capable of handling and dishing out punishment.

Duncan is really an anomaly for the college game, in that we don’t often see players that are so physically imposing, spend so much time out on the perimeter, but this is where he makes his living. Duncan’s shooting form is unorthodox to say the least; he pushes the ball and has a tendency to contort his body when he shoots. Despite the less than picture perfect form, you can’t really argue with a 42% shooting percentage from beyond the arc. Duncan is a smart player who knows how to maneuver without the ball to get himself open looks. He likes to pick and pop, stepping back behind the play to set up. Duncan also does a nice job of rotating behind the play working as a safety valve when teammates find their drive to the basket stalled. If left open on the outside he can do some damage, but he isn’t a player that is going to create his own shot from the outside.

In the four tournament games Duncan drove to the basket a lot more than he did during the regular season, this is an area that he excels in though, connecting on 70% of his shots around the rim, excluding post moves according to Synergy Sports Technology. While his quickness off the dribble isn’t tremendous and his ball handling skills are just average, if given a line to the basket, Duncan showed that he can attack the rim and score, aided greatly by his chiseled frame, soft hands, nice touch and excellent feel for the game. This added aggressiveness is particularly evident in the number of free throws he attempted. After averaging just 3.4 free throw attempts per game during the regular season, the senior upped his attempts to nearly 8 per game during his four tournament games. In general, Duncan was much more aggressive during the tournament, something we didn’t see during the regular season, partially due to the tremendous amount of offensive balance Xavier has.

From what we have seen of Duncan in the post, it is clear he needs to improve on this area of his game. His back to the basket game is pretty underdeveloped, consisting of an inconsistent hook shot and facing up on his defender. While he was able to operate well enough against defenders of equal or smaller stature in the tournaments early rounds, he clearly struggled against Kevin Love in the Elite 8. Duncan’s lack of explosiveness really hurts him here; since he doesn’t do a great job of creating separation and he can’t elevate over most defenders, he often has his shots blocked or altered in the post.

There is no question though, Duncan can score. When his number are adjusted to a 40 minute pace, he scoring output jumps to over 22 points per game, and we saw in the tournament what happens when he becomes a little more selfish on the offensive end. While his shooting percentages did drop somewhat, he still shot a solid 42% from the field.

Where Duncan does lose points though is with his ability to rebound. His 4.7 rebounds per game aren’t very impressive, not for a player with his frame, even when adjusting for minutes played. Playing in the Atlantic-10, there really is no reason why he shouldn’t be doing a better job on the glass, as it’s not like he was going up against NBA post players every single night. It was pretty evident in the UCLA game just how much he needs to improve here, as Kevin Love dominated him on the boards, often taking rebounds right out of his hands. Even though he doesn’t have a tremendous vertical leap, with his strength, he should be able to outwork other players for the ball.

Defensively, there are going to be a lot of questions surrounding Duncan in regards to the NBA. Ignoring the fact that he doesn’t get many blocks or steals, the real conundrum lies with just who will he match up with at the next level? He isn’t fast enough laterally to cover most small forwards on the perimeter, and while he may be strong enough to hold his own against many power forwards, his lack of size, quickness and leaping ability will hurt his ability to alter shots and rebound. Duncan really looks like he will have to be the type of player that just busts his tail on the defensive side of the floor and develops into a scrappy defender.

At the end of the day it was a nice run in the tournament for Duncan and Xavier, but it may have been too little too late for the senior. While he certainly has drawn some intrigue, he still has a tremendous amount to prove. There is plenty to like about a strong 6’9” player who is a threat from the outside, but he will have to continue to prove his perimeter shooting prowess, as it looks like this will be how he makes his living at the next level. Duncan will have to be a guy that does all of the little things well in order to draw further interest from scouts. He certainly has shown that he has no qualms about deferring to teammates on the offensive side of the floor, now he must become a better rebounder and defender. A deep run by Xavier helped his stock, if for no other reason than the extra chances scouts had to see him on the national stage. Now Duncan needs to put together strong showings at events like Portsmouth (which he’s already been invited to) and the Orlando pre-draft camp.

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