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View Full Version : Austin Daye - Tayshaun Prince: Role Model?



ZagNative
04-30-2008, 07:12 AM
Back in the "day," in an evaluation Jerry Meyer wrote for Rivals, he projected Austin as having the potential to be a Tayshaun-Prince-type of player. Some have looked to Kevin Durant as a role model, but I think CDC84 has been one here who has attempted to steer away from that comparison.

Meyer had cautioned in that eval that even to be able to compare with a very slender 6'9" Tayshaun Prince, Austin would need to add 30 lbs. of muscle. (Per his NBA page (http://www.nba.com/playerfile/tayshaun_prince/index.html), Tayshaun is now at 215#.) I don't know if Austin has added to the 190 lbs listed on his page on gozags.com.

CDC84 has been strong in saying that the Zags offense must be structured this year so Austin is the focus and everything run through him. (Forgive me, CDC, if I'm mangling what you've said.)

The other day, after a superb performance by Prince in a playoff game against the Sixers, I saw Flip Saunders talk about a chat he'd had with the 2002 draftee Tayshaun before the playoffs, essentially to the effect that, "This is your team now. Time to turn it on." Tayshaun clearly did that. Could the same magic words unleash Austin Daye? And could we be seeing Austin's future in the form of #22 for the Pistons?

Here's a story from today's freep.com (http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080429/SPORTS03/804290375/1051/SPORTS03) about Tayshaun (with the pic of him pasted in here):

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff232/ZagNative/NBA/Other%20Teams/TayshaunPrince.jpg

Pic of Austin, from the Santa Clara game March 10th:

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff232/ZagNative/Zags/Austin%20Daye/2008-03-10AustinSCUWCCSemisBryant.jpg

Why Tayshaun Prince has what it takes to be Pistons' point man

BY KRISTA JAHNKE FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER April 29, 2008

In the first four games of the playoffs, Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince has been a whirlwind of productivity, shutting down the Sixers' top scorer at one end and providing the most consistent scoring touch at the other.

That's not unexpected, Pistons coach Flip Saunders said.

Before the playoffs began, the two spoke about Prince taking on more of a front-and-center role.

"His mentality is changing now," Saunders said, "where he realizes he doesn't have to wait for those other guys to step it up."

Prince never before pushed for a larger piece of the spotlight. Since coming to Detroit as a rookie in 2002, he has deferred recognition to Richard Hamilton, Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace.

While those three piled up All-Star bids and most of the attention, Prince perfected his glue-man role, doing a little of everything. He picked his spots, always playing smart and strong on the defensive end, sometimes showing his aggressive side and leading the team in scoring.

But he often took a backseat as others led the way, never complaining, even as outsiders pointed out he could be a leading scorer, a 20-point guy on another team.

Now Saunders thinks it's getting closer to the time for Prince to be that man on this team.

"As a young player, you come into a tough situation," Saunders said. "You've got veteran players, All-Star-type players, and you kind of want to blend in. As I told Tay prior to these playoffs, it was time for him to step out of their shadow. It was time for him to have those other guys playing off of him and to be more assertive."


His play this series shows that message has landed.

At the offensive end, Prince is shooting 66%. He went 19-for-21 in two games in Philadelphia. In Game 3, when the rest of his teammates shot 33%, he made eight of nine shots. In Game 4, he was even better, scoring 23 while shooting 11-for-12.

What's behind it all? Saunders suggests it's his defensive work -- one positive feeding another.

"I think what's happened is he's being so aggressive defensively, he's carried that over to offense," Saunders said, "and hasn't gotten in a situation with a lot of rest. I think because his offense has been so good, it's helped his defense because (Andre) Iguodala's had to guard him a lot, and it's worn him down, too."
Looking at DraftExpress's eval of Austin from January (http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Austin-Daye-1316/) just as a starting point, it's clear that Austin has furthest to go in approaching Tayshaun's game in the defensive area.

What do you think? If not Tayshaun as a role model, who would you have Austin emulate? If his career at Gonzaga is to mean more to him than winning games for the Zags and as much about shaping him as a future NBA draft pick, how do you see this coming season impacting his game and what do he and the staff need to be focusing on?

cjm720
04-30-2008, 07:40 AM
Prince would be a fantastic role model...he's been one of my favorite players in the league for a while. He was one of those players that slipped in the draft, and Detroit picked up a player that could play both sides of the ball from day one. If AD can emulate one thing, I'd like to see him stay in school 4 years as did Prince!

CDC84
04-30-2008, 08:02 AM
The reason why the Daye/Prince comparison is compelling to me is because they share a similar body type and wingspan. You don't see players who like they do on a basketball floor very much. Both are So Cal guys too.

But they are different players. I don't know if Austin will ever be the defender that Tayshaun is, but I also feel Daye is way more offensively skilled than Prince was at the same age.

As far as the player role model angle is concerned.....Prince has just continued to get better and tougher as a player as time has moved along. He clearly has a passion for the game and a desire to work. I remember him when he was just a long and lanky skinny freshman at Kentucky. I mean, can you imagine how great Austin could be if he had the physique that Tayshaun has in that photo? With enough hard work and proper guidance, it may happen one day.

thespywhozaggedme
04-30-2008, 08:05 AM
Unfortunately a lot of these "comparisons" are simply based on physical appearance. Since both Austin and Tayshaun play a similar style and both look somewhat alike, the writer compared the two. It's lazy journalism at it's worst.

For the last year or so, I've taken to referring to him in all of my posts as OKD (Our Kevin Durant). Hyperbole? Yes. Potential to become true; absolutely. OKD however will be a much better rebounder that KD.

ZagNative
04-30-2008, 08:10 AM
Prince would be a fantastic role model...he's been one of my favorite players in the league for a while. He was one of those players that slipped in the draft, and Detroit picked up a player that could play both sides of the ball from day one. If AD can emulate one thing, I'd like to see him stay in school 4 years as did Prince!Excellent point!

From Prince's Wiki bio:
Tayshaun Durell Prince (born February 28, 1980, in Compton, California) is an American basketball player for the Detroit Pistons in the National Basketball Association. Prince is a small forward, listed at 6 ft 9 in .. and 215 lb ... A graduate of Dominguez High School and the University of Kentucky, Prince was drafted in the first round (23rd overall) by the Detroit Pistons in the 2002 NBA Draft. Prince wears the jersey number 22 as a result of his draft position, signifying the 22 teams that passed on drafting him. ....

Tayshaun Prince played four seasons (1998 to 2002) for the University of Kentucky Wildcats, averaging 13.1 points and 5.6 rebounds as the Wildcats posted a 97-39 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament each year. Prince won SEC Player of the Year in his junior season (2000-2001) - also leading the SEC in free throw percentage (84.3%) - and was named to the Associated Press All-SEC Teams in both his junior and senior years. Kentucky won the SEC Tournament in 1999 and 2001, and Prince was awarded the 2001 tournament's Most Valuable Player award.
It's interesting to me that he's been the glue-guy for the Pistons. No accident, perhaps, that Austin's road roomie and main mentor on the team has been Pendo, one of the great Zag glue guys of all time.

ZagNative
04-30-2008, 08:31 AM
Unfortunately a lot of these "comparisons" are simply based on physical appearance. Since both Austin and Tayshaun play a similar style and both look somewhat alike, the writer compared the two. It's lazy journalism at it's worst.

For the last year or so, I've taken to referring to him in all of my posts as OKD (Our Kevin Durant). Hyperbole? Yes. Potential to become true; absolutely. OKD however will be a much better rebounder that KD.I disagree with you strongly about the "lazy journalism at it's [sp] worst" comment and object to your unsubstantiated characterization.

Here's Meyer's full eval in the Rivals story (http://basketballrecruiting.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=606182) to which I was referring:

Austin Daye - Think Tayshaun Prince. Much more of an offensive oriented player at this stage in his career, Daye has a similar body type as Prince (except Prince has a better wing span and broader shoulders). Daye is more of a pure shooter than Prince, but Daye is far behind Prince on the defensive end. I don't think he will ever be the type of defender that Prince is, but if Daye gets stronger and tougher, he will get a whole lot better on that side of the ball. Daye is the same height as Prince, but is a remarkable 30-pounds lighter than Prince. Another big positive for Daye is that his father, Darren, played in the NBA.

Now if CDC tells me that Daye's game and prospects are more like Kevin Durant's than Prince's, I might consider accepting your characterization of Daye as OKD, but then again, CDC usually backs up his positions with sound reasoning and facts rather than simply issuing edicts ...

MDABE80
04-30-2008, 09:16 AM
OUCH!! ZN....it's still early today. lolol...go get some soothing tea;) Besides, it's just such a gorgeous day (as I look out the office window facing the mountains and that gorgeous snow with the sun on it). Too pretty and too early to fuss. Also though, I do see the calming spires of the St Al's church. Ahhhhhh......it's a nice day:)

ZagNative
04-30-2008, 09:28 AM
You looking for a hard, twisty pinch, Abe? Pipe down or you're next up. Anytime I work hard, gather facts, and post something well-thought-out and researched and have it summarily dismissed without a thoughtful discussion, I can virtually guarantee you a scab on the end of somebody's nose, whether mine or the dismisser's.

thespywhozaggedme
04-30-2008, 09:31 AM
I disagree with you strongly about the "lazy journalism at it's [sp] worst" comment and object to your unsubstantiated characterization.

Here's Meyer's full eval in the Rivals story (http://basketballrecruiting.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=606182) to which I was referring:


Now if CDC tells me that Daye's game and prospects are more like Kevin Durant's than Prince's, but then again, CDC usually backs up his positions with sound reasoning and facts rather than simply issuing edicts ...


Calm down drama queen, sheesh. What are you the author? Look at draftexpress.com and nbadraft.net and look at the comparisons, they are almost always based somewhat on physical appearance. What do you mean "characterization? It was my opinion, that's what message boards are for. Glad to see CDC has a stalker, er..fan though.

MDABE80
04-30-2008, 09:53 AM
Now that's not gonna help Spy. Years ago, my long since gone Auntie told me never to write something in a letter that might be interped the wrong way. There's simply too much turf between the lines. Somebody....on any given day or in any given circumstance....might not take the missive in the right way. That said, let's all just take a step back, take a few deep breaths and collect ourselves. No name calling. No "nothing". We're all Zag fans. Let's be nice to each other. My dear auntie also said that "snippiness" doesn't help under these circumstances.:)

thespywhozaggedme
04-30-2008, 10:11 AM
You're right, I apologize. I just lol'd at the absurd over the top over reaction and reacted back, my bad. This is only a message board and some people act as if it's The Bible or some authoritative tome for ones guide to life.

dim4sum
04-30-2008, 10:21 AM
Prince's inner city rearing (Compton) makes him tougher than Daye( affluent Irvine) psychologically. Daye has to work at becoming tougher and involved with every play. The weight gain will come with a maturing metabolism anyway.

roxdoc
04-30-2008, 10:29 AM
Good point DimSum - Daye is a terrific player and ought to be our go-to guy next year. But much of the time last year I thought he looked to be playing very "soft". Get tough Austin! Maybe Zag Native can give you a lesson or two!:D

ZagNative
04-30-2008, 10:43 AM
Good point DimSum - Daye is a terrific player and ought to be our go-to guy next year. But much of the time last year I thought he looked to be playing very "soft". Get tough Austin! Maybe Zag Native can give you a lesson or two!:DAh, you brought back some great memories, roxdoc, of the days back when God was a boy and ZN was toiling as a paralegal in the vinyards of a large law firm. It came to ZN, through a reliable source, that a group of the young attorneys had been discussing over beers the attributes of various staffers, and the description they came up with for ZN was, "Tough but alluring." Sigh ... As the years go by, the toughness is still there. "Alluring?" Not so much ... ;)

MickMick
04-30-2008, 12:27 PM
But they are different players. I don't know if Austin will ever be the defender that Tayshaun is, but I also feel Daye is way more offensively skilled than Prince was at the same age.




That is how I see it as well.