So while trying to pass time until tonight's game.....I was thinking about some different topics I'd like to hear people talk about and I came up with this.
I thought about how well this years team has played together and grown together throughout the year and how pleased I am with all of the players...starters and bench players. But being as to how crucial this years freshman will be going into the near future I wanted to speak a little on that.
I feel we all know Andre's story, overcoming tragedy and hitting some big shots in some crucial games this year...true definition of clutch. Then, we have Mason and him overcoming his injury and putting together some solid performances here and there and showing the next year will prove to be a BIG year for Mase....but then I came to Ryan Kelly.
I like Ryan and I think once he gets on the floor a little more he'll be able to prove he can shoot a little but I'm unsure as to the following:
- what to expect going forward?
- how we'll even use him?
- will he even be a factor?
- Can anyone even remember a past player to compare him to?
I just feel this season may have been a little disappointing for him and I just don't know what to think...I like having him on the team but I wish I knew what his role would be...when I think of a player from the past I guess Lee Melchionni? I don't believe anyone ever expected much from Lee but atleast he had extreme passion and always brought energy...I don't get this from Ryan and unsure if this a good comparison.....with that said.....please....have at it....thanks
Skills-wise, I see more of Shavlik Randolph in Kelly's game coming into college. He was a guy who could score with his back to the basket but preferred the face-up game and had very good shooting touch and dribbling skills for a big man.
I think that Kelly will over the next two years develop into a very good player for us. With his height/length, shooting ability, passing ability, and basketball IQ, it's just a matter of getting physically stronger and more ready for the size/strength/speed of major college basketball. I think he'll make a terrific combo with the Plumlees.
The big "if" is whether or not he ever gets strong enough to make it at this level. But the player I could see him developing into (and this is the type of player I had hoped Randolph would become) is a Tom Gugliotta type.
So to answer your four questions:
- I think he'll be the third big (first off the bench) and play15+ mpg next year
- we'll use him primarily as a face-up 4, but we might also play a lot of switching high-low with him and the Plumlees
- If he gets a little stronger, he'll absolutely be a factor
- As I said, Randolph/Gugliotta
don't forget Carrick Felix and Seth Curry are also part of this class! I do think Ryan will be a very big contributor by his junior season. If he keeps in it and continues to work hard without transferring, he wil be a big piece by his junior year.
You gotta like what he says:
"At this point I do whatever Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] asks of me, like I've done all season," Kelly said. "Everybody wants to be the guy that hits the game-winning shot in the national championship game. But that's not my role right now, and I accept that completely. That's what pushes me to get better every day in practice, to work hard, to push my teammates in any way I can and just be ready to get on the floor whenever that opportunity comes.
"When the season is over we can talk about stuff like that. But right now I'm enjoying the ride. Not many people get the opportunity to be in the Final Four and that's certainly going to be a goal for years to come. But as we've seen, even at Duke, guys that are seniors now had never gotten to this point. So you never know what's going to happen. You've got to take advantage of the opportunity."
"All I know is that I've become a much better player," he said. "I don't think back to specific moments in games. I know I've become a lot better player than I was a year ago. I know I have a bright future ahead of myself and I'm going to become an even better player. Right now I'm enjoying the moment being here in the Final Four and ready to do anything the coach asks."
Read more: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/accnow...#ixzz0k3TmlN3k
I'm all about today and hopefully Monday but looking ahead to next year I'm afraid Ryan could be the odd man out next season. If Singler returns (which IMO is 50/50) he and Felix offer the 6-6 to 6-8 inside/out type guys. The back court will be stacked with Irving, Thornton, Dawkins, Curry, and Smith leading that pack. Up front we will have 3 athletic bigs who will be willing to get physical with the Plumlees and Hairston. That's 10 guys right there and there can only be 5 on the court at a time with one ball to go around. Granted Thornton and Felix may not see that many minutes in their respective first seasons and Singler could leave opening up more court time for Kelly. I foresee Kelly in the Singler\Felix category and competing for time as a hybrid big for defense and rebounding and utilize his shooting range on offense to create mismatches. I hope he can find a niche next year and be patient within the system. He could possibly be like Lee Melchionni in terms of someone who stuck with the system and became a integral part of teams his junior and senior years.
Ryan will get alot more playing time next year. He's a good, smart player.
Height-wise and skills-wise, there's no reason he can't be an impact player next year. It's just a matter of catching up physically for him.
Ryan Kelly is an AWFUL good ballplayer. I don't think any of the new guys are going to beat him out for too many minutes, to be frank... he is a very good basketball player. And no, he isn't going anywhere.
2.) In addition, Hairston will be a freshman and he is not ranked all that highly coming in. I think Kelly will be first off the bench with Hairston being the second with respect to the 4 & 5. A lot will depend on how well each player shows, but we already know that Kelly has some good skills and only needs to get stronger to be very effective.
True that we probably have Singler, Dawkins and Felix at the 3 and we are also loaded at guard with Smith, Curry, Irving and Thornton to fill those spots. I would guess coach K will use our numbers to speed up the game with presses and fast breaks.
Our numbers will also help us deal with injuries, should they occur.
He reminds me of Nick Horvath (the twig-thin freshman Horvath, not the bulked-up-like-Carrot-top senior.)
Other than Kyrie, no other freshman coming in is being claimed as a contributor. Felix maybe a very good player but i'm concerned how he will adjust to academics at Duke. Many players that go the Junior / Community College route usually do for not so good academic reasons. That could weigh on him next year, thus reducing his on the court performance.
Kelly, Mason and Miles off-season will be critical to Duke's success next year. Can Miles play every bit as good as Zo has down the stretch? Can Mason fill in for Lance? Lance is an important 6'7" guy who can guard a wide variety of players.
If anything, I see Kelly as being a guy who can replace Lance in this role with some scoring punch.
The good thing is Kelly can talk with Lance and Zo about their slow start at Duke to where they are now. Zo and Lance have come a long long way since their freshman year but they stuck to it. They didn't jump and they have gained a great experience by sticking around. I use King as a great example of what not to do. Nova got yo the the final four last year but he wasn't playing. This year they fell short and the next few years they will not show as well with the loss of some very good players. Boykin is another good example of what not to do. They won the PAC10 tourney but nothing close to a final four. With him Duke has a good chance to go deeper last year in the tourney.
I do believe it will be Kelly's junior year when he will get some really good playing time and being a real contributor for Duke.
Thanks everyone for your replys by the way...this is why i love the forum...
Anyways, I agree with every single comment so far that is why I thought it'd be a good topic to talk about. CDU...I respect your comments very much so because most of the things you say typically tend to be very accurate and on point. But I kinda lean towards what Dukie@Wake said...
basically Kelly could be the odd man out...With Hairston coming in and IF and IF Kyle comes back that would limit Ryan very much so...I agree with the amount of talent at the guard position next year we will definitely be throwing more guards on the floor then forwards and unless Ryan makes huge strides in all the areas mentioned so far (strength most notable) I think he may be stuck having to wait until his Junior year to make an impact. Until then he may just be just eatin up space for fouls.
He would also be an ideal big for a second unit with Curry, Dawkins, Mason/Miles, and possibly Felix. He would help spread the floor on offense and provide size on defense. Basically, as long as he puts in the work during the offseason and his body allows him to pack on a bit more mass, he's almost guaranteed to get minutes next season. Add the fact that his offensive skills may even be more suited to our offense next season and I think we will see Kelly become an essential contributor.
I think Kelly will get his minutes at the 4, largely regardless of Singler's return. I think the guys that will be most affected by Singler's decision next year will be Hairston and Felix, because both appear more suited to the 3 (Hairston is more of a 3/4) than Kelly. And both are less experienced in the Duke system. I think the tendency people have is to expect too much from the recruits (especially the frontcourt recruits) and undervalue the guys with experience.
Martynas Pocius had one year of eligibility left and decided to take his game to Europe instead. He could have been very useful this year, given that we only have 3 guards, and none of them are really pure slashers the way he is. His defense was always what kept him off the court, maybe he could have improved some.
Regarding what Dukie@Wake said; Ryan is 6'10, so he's a bit taller than the 6'6-8 type players you're thinking of. Ryan is a college 4 with outside shooting skill, he should not be confused with a 3. He's not a powerful player but he is not a wing or SF.
K has only ever complemented Ryan's b-ball IQ and thinks he'll be a very good player soon, so I'll take K's word for it.