Also, good point with Andre Dawkins' high school freshman year, again I was not aware of that.
Transfers sitting out are still permitted to participate fully in practices and other team activities; they just can't play in games.
While it's true you spent the entire off-season touting how Seth was going to start, play big minutes, and dominate, it's also true that when Andre was playing well and Seth wasn't, you mischaracterized your previous position to suggest you said the two were interchangeable.
And since you bring up defense, up until the last couple games it was Andre and not Seth who was getting the most raves for his D. The fact remains that Seth is way too small to guard most SFs in the ACC. Boston College might be the only ACC team against which we can get away with Nolan/Seth/Tyler (or Nolan/Seth/Kyrie, if Kyrie were available) for any length of time. This is why in my opinion, Andre is more of a "key factor" than Seth, although obviously the ideal situation would be if both Andre and Seth play well, because if they're both hot from the outside, we are awfully hard to stop.
I'm thrilled Seth played so well last night, and hope he keeps it up. But please stop patting yourself on the back for nothing.
Both players have key roles this year. Seth's ability to bring the ball up (and slide Nolan over to the wing or for a bit of a breather) is something Andre has not developed yet. But I disagree with the idea that Andre is pouting or that there is "something wrong" here. He is in a bit of a slump, and I am sure everyone on the team and staff is telling him to keep having faith in himself and to keep shooting.
Andre and Seth are both running their own races. Both are big contributors to where we are so far, and where we hope to go.
"Enjoy every sandwich" -- Warren Zevon
First, as I have stated before, Seth is a more important factor in Duke success, right now than Andre is. That does not mean Duke doesn't need Andre, because they will for sure.
What Seth brings to the table is that he can run the point. He was a point guard at Liberty and showed he could be a big time scorer from there. Lead all freshman in scoring with a 20+ ppg average. Playing Seth at the point allows Nolan to roam. Nolan put up good points when Kyrie was at the point (and Jon), thus I believe Coach really doesn't want to use Nolan at the point and Seth is the best match for that. Tyler can play the point but he can't score like Seth. Andre can score like Seth but he can't run the point.
Thus, IMO, if Duke wants to be as close to being a threat to win it all, without Kyrie, Seth has to run the point.
Andre, much like Miles, needs to build his confidence up and needs to understand his role. A role of him coming off the bench to spell someone and be a contributor. Every team that wins a title has done so because they had role players who contributed in their own way.
Last year was a prime example. Mason and Miles came off the bench to spell Lance and Zo. Without them being contributors off the bench I don't think Duke wins it.
Andre, and Miles, time is coming. They just need to know when it will be. Much like Andre's 3's last year against Baylor.
The problem is, too many people think someone needs to fill the stats line to be considered a contributor. Lance didn't fill the stats line last year but he was a huge contributor. Don't discount what guys like Andre and Miles mean to this team.
As you note, Mason's offensive game is still very limited and his FT shooting is atrocious. That could be a problem when we face better teams. He's been terrific on the boards since 2011 began, and had several monster rebound games in November/December as well. He's getting better in terms of his decision making on the offensive end, too. The next step for him is to figure out a way to be a bit more relevant offensively, and to start hitting those FT% at least 50-60% of the time moving forward.
Miles has shown flashes of some real offensive gifts. Mason has, too, but Miles moreso. Where Miles seems to be struggling is in consistency. The guy seems to have a couple of solid/strong outings and then disappears for a few games. We don't need him to be a force every night out. He just needs to be a presence more consistently.
It would help both players if there were a few more easy opportunities for them. Our wing players are very good, but they're score-first, drive-and-kick-out guys for the most part. That doesn't play to the Plumlee's strengths. And because neither is a consistent back to the basket threat yet, their opportunities on offense are limited.
Nolan has the ball in his hands on most every trip down the court(offense). Seth does help handle the ball in some sets, but Nolan usually has the ball in his hands. However Seth at times will guard the opponents pg and take some pressure off of Nolan in that regard. Tyler plays basically the same way when he's on the court. Andre does not have the handle to help with ball handling duties and he cannot guard the opposing pg. So in essence, Nolan is the point guard most of the game. Go Duke!
Nolan seems to have stopped over-forcing the action, but that may just be my perception because no one since FSU has been able to stop his penetration.
Good news for Mr. Dawkins and Duke...everytime someone gets criticized...they step up...see Zoubs, Lance, the Plums, Kelly, etc., etc., etc.
The criticism of Dre is way out of line IMO. He has had a very, very good sophomore season and has been an important part of the team this season (including the second half against UVA and first half against State during his "slump"). I will acknoweldge that Andre has had a couple rough games defensively but he seemed to make great effort on defense last night (he had 6 points scored against him by my count -- on a 3 and an and one -- and saved a sure bucket with a great block). Also, credit to him for playing within the offense rather than forcing bad shots the last few games. Many players of his offensive ability would be unwilling to be a good teammate and play within the team structure when they aren't scoring to the extent they are used to. He is also actively cheering on his teammates when they make good plays...if you don't see that, you aren't watching.
The last few games, Dre has not had as many offensive opportunities as earlier in the season for a variety of reasons (1. Not being the top option, 2. A lot more defensive focus on him at the 3 point line, 3. Less minutes, etc.). Also, as much as Dre spoiled us with great shooting early in the season, even great shooters like him miss sometimes. Let's cut the guy some slack -- besides most of his shots are right on line and just missing by a bit.
Glad to see Curry step up, and he certainly earned the time he got last night. I expect that both Curry and Dawkins will step up for us down the stretch, and we will need them both to do so with or without Kyrie. Thank goodness we have so many great options...Kyle, Nolan, and Kyrie can't do it all, and they are not going to be "on" every game. I imagine Dre, Seth, the Plums, and Kelly would be primary scoring options on many ACC teams. They are sacrificing their own stat lines for the good of the team. Let's not lose sight of this and the larger picture in our haste to jump on what we perceive as a disappointing performance or two.
I think it is attitude related. I posted back last month that right before the end of the first half in the St Louis game, Andre could clearly be seen talking back to the coaching staff. I presumed it was due to a missed defensive assignment because as he sat there pouting, that quick little guard for the Bilikins turned the corner on Nolan, and you could see Andre throw out his arms like to say "see, he isn't guarding him any better". Obviously I could not hear the discussion, but I was surprised to see Andre's body language and facial expressions. He was obviously not liking what he was hearing. They were "childish" to say the least. To be honest I was surprised that he started the second half, but he got pulled pretty quick and sat the rest of the game.
May not be anything related to this, but that is my guess....
Nolan's soph year - Played in 34 games with 21 starts ... averaged 8.4 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game
Andre - played in 20 games started 7.... 10.4 points 2.4 rbs and .9 assts
Seth - played in 20 started 5 .... 8.3 points, 1.4 rbs and 1.8 assts
Not to say either will be a Nolan but we all remember some real up and down times for Nolan duing that year. Never thought he would be effective running the point from his performance that year. I believe both Dre and Seth will be developing in their own ways at their own pace and we will be pleased with the results from both.
I'm surprised this article hasn't generated a bit more discussion. It's a great breakdown of Mason on offense. I don't want to be critical of Mason. He's a great kid and has been playing good defense and rebounding like mad, but our team offense could elevate to another level if Mason were to become a bit more of a threat. He's clearly athletic enough. Maybe he just needs more confidence, a little mean streak/aggression when he receives the ball.
Last edited by Bob Green; 01-28-2011 at 08:10 PM. Reason: Fix quote tag