We live with media hype all season that Duke's Gerald Henderson was vastly superior to Wayne Ellington. In fact we were also told repeatedly that Henderson was the can't miss NBA prospect and Ellington would struggle to make a mark. According to CBS Sports, the draft process is revealing Ellington to be moving up and Henderson going down:
Wayne Ellington, G, North Carolina
As high school teammates, Ellington and Duke's Gerald Henderson were both considered can't-miss prospects, but it was Henderson who was labeled as the better athlete. It didn't look that way in Chicago. Ellington tested through the roof (a maximum vertical of 38 inches and bench-pressed 185 pounds 13 times). Combined with his shooting range, which stretches beyond the NBA 3-point line, and his alpha dog showing at the Final Four, teams are finally warming up to Ellington as a potential immediate contributor in the NBA. Once considered a borderline first-round pick, Ellington has basically locked himself into the middle-to-late first round with his surge.
Gerald Henderson, G, Duke
Don't let the chiseled frame fool you. According to the tests administered in Chicago, Henderson isn't close to the athlete he appears to be on the court. He showed up with huge expectations and simply didn't deliver. His maximum vertical of 35 didn't come to close to what was forecast, and he benched 185 pounds just eight times. Stephen Curry bested him in both categories. Henderson's showing perpetuates the theory that Duke players arrive in the NBA as unfinished products, Shelden Williams and J.J. Redick being the most recent examples. Henderson was a player some believed could lock himself into the lottery with a strong showing in Chicago. Now, he'll have to fight in individual workouts to hold his ground in the mid-teens.
It should be noted some other outlets are reporting Ellington is not as high as CBS Sports is putting him here. This will be one of the more interesting things I will be watching on draft night.
Exit question: The article mentions Shelden Williams, J.J. Redick and now Henderson was "unfinished products" out of the Duke system. Could the constant media hype of Duke make these guys to be better than they actually are? At least in Redick's case, he has started to make some waves.