I loved watching Kyrie play this year, but I think I might be more excited to see Austin. Austin is rated higher on most sites than Kyrie was. Which player do you guys think is better and which would you rather have on this years team?
I'd rather have Austin Rivers. If we play Kyrie Irving, we'll have to forfeit all the games he plays in because he is ineligible.
Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!
Go To Hell carolina, Go To Hell!
9F 9F 9F
I was very excited to have Irving coming in last year. I'm very excited to have Rivers coming in this year. Both are very highly-touted incoming freshmen, and are the top guards in their respective classes. Both played well in at least one of the two all star games I saw them play. Beyond that, I don't know what to expect (just like I wasn't certain what to expect from Irving last year).
I'd have loved to have had Irving next year. I'd have loved to have had both. But that's not going to happen, so there's no use in worrying about it. I'm just hopeful that Rivers exceeds any expectations. Since he'll be here and Irving will be pursuing his NBA dreams, that's all that matters now.
Taking your question straight up -- I am happy with either, but Kyrie was the best freshman I ever saw at Duke. I am not going to load those expectations on Austin, who I believe will make a large contribution this year.
The only thing I'll say to this question is that Kyrie exceeded my expectations in terms of his overall talent and the way he changed the game (when he was completely healthy). He was a money guy and from the little I've seen of Austin he's got the same mentality. I hope he blows me away like Kyrie did. The only difference between the two is that when you have a dynamic, true PG like Irving it really changes and affects everything in a way that no other position on the court can. I know Rivers can handle the rock and everything, but he's not a true PG like Kyrie was so it's very tough to compare the two in that sense. I'm just happy we got back to back game-changers!
EDIT: DukieinSoCal beat me to the punch, but I very much agree with their point. And I can't go against Sage either.
Reading and posting at DBR for over 20 years and loving every... well, almost every minute of it!
Instead of trying to compare "who you rather have on this year's team," I think we should reflect on how lucky we are to have these players.
Kyrie, not even close.
A bird in the hand...
Austin will be awesome.
1. They'll be higher than 5th preseason; I'd say no lower than 3rd. We have too much talent returning/coming in to be much lower.(Austin) will be in all likelihood asked to score a lot for a team ranked anywhere from #5-10. Personally I feel more pressure was on Kyrie due to the pressure on Duke to repeat as champions, but Austin will be asked pick up a heavy scoring load if other players don't develop?
2. Both Seth and Andre have proven they can score; the issue has always been defense and ballhandling. For that reason, I think you'll see more of Tyler than this year; he can do both, and may push Andre (or Austin) up to SF a lot, or maybe they'll play a 3 guard, double Plumlee low post offense where both Austin and Andre play together.
Probably Kyrie because not only does he have the ability to make jaw-dropping offensive plays but he also is very good at managing the game, letting the game come to him, getting others involved, and being very comfortable as a leader and getting the team into its sets every possession. Kyrie has a very mature approach to his game, he played well beyond his years.
I don't know what to expect from Austin. On the one hand, he's a spectacular talent with the ability to be a game changer and one of the better scorers Duke has ever had. On the other hand I question his maturity and ability to handle failure. However, that isn't something that is just exclusive to Austin Rivers. The majority of young players, sometimes even older players, may have some maturity issues but sometimes it doesn't negatively affect the individual performance of the player or the team performance.
Maybe it had something to do with having 2 seniors returning but I felt more sure about Kyrie as a player who could be the go-to guy and lead the team to a title than I do about Austin. If Duke is relying heavily on Austin, in other words if the upperclassmen don't improve and become leaders, then it will be a long season. For Duke to be a Final Four contender it will all hinge on what the group of Mason, Miles, Ryan, Andre, and Seth do (how much they improve their skills and leadership).
Kenpom numbers speak for themselves. His turnover rate was second only to Kyle at 13.3%, which was good enough for 181st among all players on every team in all of NCAA basketball who played enough minutes to qualify. That's really good for a redshirt sophomore playing a significant ball-handling role on an ACC team (quick note, I know that Andre had a strong turnover percentage, as well, but his usage rate was significantly lower and he was NEVER the primary or even secondary ballhandler as Seth often was). In addition, his assist rate was a solid, although unspectacular 13.5%, which is not bad at all for someone who spent most of the year as the second or third option at point guard. Tyler will be important for next year's team, no doubt, but his turnover rate was a whopping 33%. This is partially because he didn't do much else besides dribble the ball up the court and then pass it off to someone else, but it also shows that Tyler probably has farther to go to develop into a reliable ballhandler than Seth. Tyler might be a more natural pass-first point guard, but Seth has proven more as a reliable ball-handler at this point in his career. I've said it before, but I'll mention it one more time. I think Seth gets overlooked as a point guard because he is far more Scheyer-like than Irving/Williams-like or even Duhon-like. Seth's offensive efficiency numbers fit nicely in between Jon Scheyer's strong freshman numbers and Jon's sophomore numbers. I'm not saying that Seth will be able to dictate a game the way Jon was able to, but I will say that unless he suffers a serious decline in his decision-making next year, we will be fine during the possessions that he is handling the ball.
Back to the question at hand, I'm just glad we don't have to choose between Austin and Kyrie. I'm glad that we get to see both suit up for Duke.
We are fortunate that Austin Rivers has chosen Duke. Austin will contribute much to the 2011/12 season. I agree, no one should place too many expectations on these young men. They are only 17, 18 or 19 years old. Looking forward to our new recruits, all of them!
The best to Kyrie in the NBA. 4ever a Dukie!
I agree that Kyrie came into a perfect situation for him to succeed - the two seniors, with Nolan in particular to serve as a mentor, an offense that was designed entirely around his strengths, and a defense that could similarly maximize his abilities. It was natural for him to defer to his teammates, even though he had more talent. Austin's scenario is not quite as perfect but still very good. There are a lot more question marks and a lot less established leadership.
It's kind of hard to say which player I would "prefer" because I'm comparing a mostly known quantity (Irving) with a largely unknown (Rivers). Coming into last season I was excited about Kyrie but also maintained my reservations as you can just never tell with freshmen how quickly they'll adjust. So I'll take the cop-out answer and say I'm happy to have them both 8-)