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This Pearl Just Wants to Be Earl : St. Monica Standout Is Set to Team Up With Syracuse Star

January 16, 1986|BOB MUIR | Times Staff Writer

Duncan, highly rated in many prep basketball magazine reports, narrowed his choices to Boston College, Kansas, North Carolina State and Georgia Tech before deciding on Syracuse. Duncan said he never really considered USC and UCLA.

"I have nothing against West Coast colleges, but they just don't go after it. The Pac-10 just isn't that competitive right now. If you look at the Pac-10 and the Big East or the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference), you can tell there is a big difference."

'An Impact Player'

Duncan believes he will have little problem fitting into the Syracuse system. "I'm an impact player. College coaches need players that can come in and take on the responsibility of running a major Division I college team. That's what (Boeheim) looks at me as, a player that can step right in and have no problem adjusting."

But while Duncan believes he will have little problem fitting into the Syracuse system, he understands that he will have to make adjustments.

"I'm going to have to concentrate more because in the college game every point counts. Every possession is a key possession. I'm trying to refine my game for the college level. I'm trying to control the ball more as well as trying to build up my stamina."

Duncan got a taste this summer as to what college ball would be like. While playing in some of the country's best basketball camps and for the AAU national champion L. A. Rockfish, the scrappy point guard played with and against some of the best prep talent in the nation, like Thompson.

Advice From Pro Wood

"I feel I played well against all those guys. They're good, but I can play with any of them."

Comparison with other other ballplayers is nothing new to Duncan. Throughout his St. Monica career, he has been compared to ex-Mariner Wood, now with the Washington Bullets. In fact, this summer, Duncan and Wood, who is the CIF's all-time leading scorer, practiced together during the off-season.

"Leon and I played a lot of one-on-one's," Duncan said. "He's given me advice on a lot of things."

As for Duncan's comparisons with Washington, Klemm said, "I think Earl will be better than Pearl Washington if he keeps working. And I believe he will keep working."

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