Prior to this season, there was a lot of talk about who Duke's "Go-To Guy" would be - who would be the guy, that with the game on the line, would put the team on his shoulders and take over the game. Many suggested that the Go-To Guy would just be whichever member of our "Big 3" (G, Jon, and Kyle) had the hot hand, and others suggested that a single player would emerge as our go-to guy as the season progressed. While the first school of thought has proved to be rather true so far, I am still a firm beleiver that championship-caliber teams MUST have one guy who can absolutely take over a game. And Duke, finally, has that guy. A guy whose identity can be described in one word - G.
I know that Kyle has been our best player throughout the the season to date. I'll admit that. However, Kyle has been Mr. Steady, a guy who wil consistently put up 16 pts and 7 rebounds night in and night out. A similar case can be made for Scheyer. However, assuming Gerald's recent play is a sign of things to come, rather than just an aberration, he is the guy that I would want with the ball in his hands and the game on the line. We've seen it happen before - vs. Belmont last year, vs. FSU this year, and in the first half against Georgetown. The way Gerald just waves his arm - signaling for everyone to get out of his way - and then drives to the basket or pulls up for a J in the lane, is unreal. If Gerald continues to demonstrate this superstar ability through March, Duke has a great shot of contending for the title. (Unfortunately I'll be in Poland during the Final Four ) Thoughts...
I agree with your assessment, and my only concern about G in that role is his handle. He can be a little suspect with the ball, and that can hurt you when trying to create. Doc
Disagree with the entire premise for the discussion, not just the answer.
Florida also won the national championship with three NBA lottery picks and a top second round pick.
... is either Jon Scheyer, or Kyle Singler, or Gerald Henderson.
Hm. Isn't that nice, having three instead of one?
We have 3 go to guys(Gerald, Jon,Kyle) with good support players in Nolan and Greg. We have the luxury of having 3 very good players. As Gerald said after the game that Jon seems to be the one delivering the ball to him on alot of good plays. We are an ever improving team. Go Duke!
It is good to have three but Gerald is the person in whose hands I want the ball. Not only is he best capable of getting his own shot, he attracts the defense and has shown a ability to hit the open man. I don't think that Gerald has ever gotten the overall respect that he deserves on this board, while there is no end to the love for Singler, and Scheyer. Fortunately, it is limited to this board and not Coach K, other opposing coaches and other media who all seem to agree that Gerald is a rare talent with gifts no other Duke player has yet to display.
I do think Singer and Scheyer are special players, and, I am ready to add Nolan as a go to guy.
Last edited by Kilby; 01-18-2009 at 02:57 PM. Reason: grammar
All three of those guys have rare talents and have gifts none of the others can offer. Gerald jumps higher than the other two. Kyle rebounds better than the other two. Jon denies defenders on the wing better than the other two. And so forth.
I'll say this, though. I want the ball in Jon's hands at the end of the clock, and late in yesterday's game, we saw why. There were back-to-back possessions where Duke ran its delay. On the first one, Jon handled the ball, made a great move to get into the lane, and dished to G for an easy bucket. Jon made the play, G finished.
On the next trip, G had the ball and went to work one-on-one. When he got into the lane, the defense collapsed, and he had Scheyer open on the wing at almost the exact same spot where Jon had found him. Instead, Henderson decided to take an off-balanced shot against three defenders. I think it got blocked by Monroe and went out of bounds to Duke. There was a timeout, and you could see Jon grab G and talk to him. Not sure what actual words were said, but the subject matter was clear -- you have to see the floor and make the right decisions. In that case, the right play was to kick the ball out. Gerald didn't see the play. Jon always sees that play. That's why I want him handling the ball in those situations.
And, again, if you don't think Gerald gets immense amount of credit on this board, you're not reading very often. In fact, I'd argue that Scheyer's contributions are far, far less appreciated by his own fans than Gerald's.
There are teams that need one go-to guy and there are teams that utilize a more balanced approach. I would prefer a more balanced approach much like Kansas had last year but Duke may not have enough great players to be able to do that. Duke may need to be much like Syracuse in 03 where 2 or 3 guys carried the team with one particular go-to guy. It appears that Kyle and G are the two studs, either one capable of carrying the team much like Anthony and Warrick did for Cuse. Scheyer is also capable of putting the team on his shoulders. IMO, in order for Duke to go to the FF they need Kyle and G to have performances like they did yesterday throughout the entire tournament, maybe even a little more.
I think that the last time we went back and forth you were saying that Scheyer was the better player than Gerald. Scheyer is a key player for Duke. I like his game as long as he plays within his abilities. Whatever you opinion, when the games get tough I am glad to have Gerald.
If there was anyone who didn't get enough love on this board it is Greg Paulus.
As for this discussion, I like that fact that we have three central figures who can fit this role. Those players being Kyle, Gerald, and Jon. I would much rather have that three-headed monster than just one true go to man. Why? Because those three are all true go to men, and Gerald might just be the best of the bunch by the time March arrives.
He's carried us on his back offensively the past three games. He's been awesome for us. I was beginning to wonder if Gerald was ever going to turn off the coast button and accelerate to his true ability. He has -- and the scary part is that his outside shot's improvement has come along more so than I could have ever dreamed in one season. When he gets set, I almost expect each three he takes to fall.