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Was The 2005 Class A Turning Point In The Duke-UNC Rivalry?

It seems it was. Jim Young at ACC Sports runs down the Draft Express Recruiting Services Consensus Index. Draft Express says the class of 2005 and its relative weakness means the talent pool for the 2009 NBA Draft will basically suck. Young finds the class of 2005 interesting for what it did in the ACC, especially between UNC and Duke.

Just in case you were wondering why the balance of power between UNC (one national title, two Final Four appearances, three Elite Eight appearances since 2006) and Duke (two Sweet 16 appearances) shifted so much in the last four seasons, this is a pretty good place to start.

The top-10 guy that UNC brought in - Hansbrough - had an impact and stayed in college longer than any other top talent in the class. The top-10 guy that Duke brought in - McRoberts - was certainly not the bust that many make him out to be, but he left (after the 2007 season) before he ever became a force on the college level.

The guy in the teens that UNC brought in - Green - steadily improved throughout his college career until he became a key contributor on the best team in the country. The guy in the teens that Duke brought in - Paulus - went from a starter as a freshman to a bit player as a senior.

Of course you also have to factor in the class of 2006 as well which was a monster haul for Roy Williams. Sprinkle in the fact Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington stuck around and what you have is a fairly dominant three year span. Duke during the same time frame brought in the Jon Scheyer-Gerald Henderson class followed by Kyle Singler but in the end the table had been pretty well set with the Heels loaded with deep talent at every position and Duke struggling to put a high caliber point guard or true big man on the floor. Still, the point is taken. The 2005 recruiting class and the way it ended up developing with Hansbrough becoming a NPOY and Josh McRoberts riding the pine in the NBA is clear shift in the rivarly from Duke to UNC.