A Premonition of Nigel
Posted on June 5, 2017, by Seattle Hoo.
In working on State of the Nation Part V, I went to the archives thanks to Fight Club and unspooled the February 28, 2013, Joe Harris-led upset over #3 Duke. Breaking down the video was an wonderful little exercise within the context of current issues with the program. I teased out several thematic threads from the game, not least of which was in watching Jontel Evans play. The more I saw of Jontel, the more I thought of Nigel Johnson, whose meager Rutgers highlight reel I had recently digested.
Watching Evans run isolation and slice through the defense, watching him and Akil Mitchell wear Duke out with pick-and-roll, put the sword to the whole "Bennett's offense won't let a point guard create with the dribble" mantra everybody believes. I was watching Jontel Evans do it. Four years before it became a big issue. Watching Evans play was like a preview of watching Nigel Johnson play in a Virginia uniform, and I'm pretty sure it is like a preview of how Bennett envisions a guy like Jahvon Quinerly playing for him.