We had a chance to get an extended look at Josh Hairston (#42 Scout, #55 Rivals, #28 ESPN) this summer, as he played at the GBOA tournament we attended, as well as the Adidas 64 in Las Vegas and the Adidas Nations event in Dallas.
Hairston is an undersized power forward at 6-8, who does not possess great athleticism, but is smart, fundamental and versatile enough to emerge as an excellent college player at Duke.
Not overly skilled in any one area at this point, Hairston shows glimpses of potential in a number of different parts of his game, all of which can become weapons in the future if he continues to add polish. He likes to play primarily facing the basket, where he shows a very nice (although sometimes a bit flat) stroke knocking down 3-pointers, and is even capable of pulling up off the dribble from mid-range. He likes to take his man off the dribble from the perimeter, where he is an excellent mismatch threat, and shows very nice footwork and interesting pivot moves in the process, being capable of finishing with either hand around the basket.
When given the opportunity, he will not shy away from taking his man down to the paint and showing somewhat of a post game, although he doesn't possess great strength or many advanced moves down there. He's also a solid passer (especially on the outlet after a defensive rebound) thanks to his nice feel for the game, he seems to have a good demeanor on the court and is clearly a good teammate.
This same feeling is also transmitted to the defensive end, where Hairston shows good activity level, and is not afraid to stick his nose in and take a charge. He plays hard and puts a very good effort in on the glass, getting his hands on all kinds of loose balls, and even coming up with the occasional block or steal. As it currently stands, he may need to bulk up somewhat to avoid being posted up by the stronger power forwards he'll inevitably run into in the ACC, as he clearly doesn't have the lateral quickness to be effective enough defending small forwards.
Hairston epitomizes the direction many teams and coaches are moving towards these days in terms of how they expect their power forward to play, and is therefore a great get for Coach K and the Blue Devils, especially when you add in the fact that he's a seemingly very high character guy. His NBA potential may not be as high as other power forwards in this class, but that probably only makes him a more attractive option for most colleges.