Discussing DaJuan Coleman’s rapid ascension to the upper mantle of the nation’s future stars, Syracuse Select AAU Coach Shawn Pudney abruptly cuts himself off in mid-sentence.
“Did you see DaJuan two years ago?” Asks Pudney, stabbing me with a glance as serious as Coleman’s beefed up recruiting package. “He was terrible.”
A Lack of grit, coupled with Coleman’s struggles grasping the game’s niceties, produced a polar opposite of aesthetically-pleasing game.
Coleman was a beast amongst boys.
Yet the big neophyte was callow and confused, with coaches barking at him to snare a rebound.
Picture Stanley “Big Garbage” Roberts before his playing career was essentially deaded by Shaq.
Coleman was the most uncoordinated, lackadaisical big man on this side of Chris Dudley.
There was a search warrant out for the behemoth’s passion.
“If you can believe this, he was actually a very passive kid,” explained Pudney.
“He was a kid who was almost embarrassed about his size. He posted up with his hands in his pockets.”
Fast forward three years.
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