To me the only problem with Seth is that he really can't push the ball. With Mason, Miles, and Kelly, bigs that can really run the floor it would be nice to have a pg that could play in transition. I think Rivers rather than Quinn needs to be the guy with the ball in his hands more often. Cook will obviously play a big role off the bench, but I don't think he is ready to be a starter especially at the expense of Dawkins, Rivers, and Curry who are all among the best scorers in the country.
I started this thread so let me be clear if I wasn't clear before- I was not suggesting that Austin or Seth's minutes should be cut. I was only suggesting the possibility that the point guard rotation MIGHT be changed to allow Seth to play some at the point and sometimes at shooting guard. The combinations of Tyler and Austin and/or Seth and Quinn (or some combination thereof) might be more effective than Seth/Austin and Tyler/Quinn.
As Jason correctly pointed out- it is not who starts the game but who finishes it.
It's worked so far without Tyler or Quinn starting (or finishing, for the most part). And the only way Quinn's and/or Tyler's role can increase is if somebody's minutes are cut. It might happen, or it might not, but I assume that if it does happen, it won't be because Quinn and/or Tyler are "pure points."
With respect, PG is not just a label. Great PGs see the whole floor quickly, intuitively, and they have an uncanny ability to make the right decision, the way KI did [and every other great PG we have seen over the years -- think Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, etc, etc. -- it's a special art and a joy to watch.] Yes, our current lineup has "worked so far" but our sample size is very small and some of us [me, of course, and others] see the signs of an offense that "works" but doesn't work at the level it could be. Sometimes it's passes that aren't made, brief hesitations, passes to receivers under pressure and at inopportune spots.
I watched KI come down the floor -- he looked at the entire court, scanning for something I know that I cannot understand, but resulting in the ball in the hands of the right person at the right moment and place. I have watched Seth coming down the floor, looking at one teammate, and then, maybe, another, but not at the whole court. I know that Coach K has our current guards passing to the wings. This is a sensible offensive strategy given the guards we now have. But it's not the formula when one has a true, great PG.
Certainly some minutes of other proficient players [guards] would have to be cut. Andre's minutes are the most likely expendable. This is not a zero-sum situation -- this is about the catalytic value that a true PG brings. I am well aware that Quinn is not there yet. My belief is that he is our best investment for a winning team come March and April.
Right now, today, I disagree with you. I'd rather have Andre out there with Seth and Austin than Quinn with Seth and Austin. I expect that come March 2012 I'll still rather have Andre in there than Quinn (don't have a clear vision as to whether, come March, I'll rather see Quinn than Tyler, though). At the present time, I think Quinn's best role is as a backup, learning how to play at this level, especially defense. No need to rush it.
And if Quinn's that far away at this point, I can't see why we should disrupt Seth and Andre to forcefeed Quinn. Despite your belief, there's insufficient evidence "that he is our best investment for a winning team come March and April."
Hopefully if we revisit this question in a few months, Quinn will be further along.
Cook has not shown you his dribble penetration game yet, because, as a freshman getting little playing time, he sticks to the paradigm. You don't get assists giving it up easily to a teammate who has a better angle to an opening that a big can and will get to as the ball arrives, a better pass penetration possibility than Cook himself has, or Cook will see an interesting pass penetration opening and let it go himself. Much different game that produces team offense and inside dominance but much fewer assists for the point. Cook can finish as well as or better than Curry and has an in-the-lane short shot game, and an assist game, that puts your boy KI away. KI, in my opinion, made last year's team less effective, even while he put on a terrific show. The only guy in the country who could stop Nolan was not his coach, aka el Deano and Michael, but rather his running mate when KI was in the game, or am I the only one who noticed that?
I am very impressed with Curry's game on both ends. But, please, if K gave Cook the ball and said "do your thing" and the playing time to do it, you'd see assists and scoring inside the lane that I believe would have you wondering who on Duke was actually the best at going to the basket, Cook or Rivers. By the way, if you want to wear the other team's bigs out, to deflate their spirit, to elevate the all around play of Duke's bigs, even money sys that that guy would be Cook. But I don't think that we'll see that game from Cook this season, unless something happens to Curry, and maybe not even then--Thorton is playing spectacularly, imo, and some of Duke's very best play happens when he is on the floor. If you see Cook with the same green light that Curry has and the time to get a feel for the game to really be effective, well, I'm thinking that we'd all enjoy it very, very much, and you'd see more assists from the kid than you've seen in Cameron in years.
Last edited by greybeard; 11-21-2011 at 01:40 AM.
United States Navy (Retired)
During the Duke-MSU TV broadcast, Coach Knight stated, "I don't know what a point guard is."[/QUOTE]
And I'm assuming you are not interpreting this literally, I appreciate the humor here. Coach Knight has been known to be just a bit contrary at times.
But if Coach Knight is in fact agnostic about PGs, I suggest he call my good buddies Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Walt Frazier, Chris Paul, Bobby Hurley, KI, [they may not remember me right away], and so forth. These guys will explain what they do and why they are so important. Also, on NBA Classics they can be spotted running their offenses -- not hard to miss -- whatever we do or don't call them!
And re several earlier replies to my prior post, I know that Quinn is not nearly ready to excel right now. He played 8 minutes tonight against UT, and he made mistakes but also showed flashes of what will help us down the road, particularly with this team that is relatively inexperienced in their current roles. Quinn's development will be fun to watch.
I think Curry could possibly be best-suited towards coming off the bench for this team, similarly to Terry. Aside from him not turning the ball over very much, I have been underwhelmed by Curry's point guard skills. Curry's ability to run the team - at least in the mold of Jon Scheyer - is mediocre. One issue with Duke's offense is that both Rivers and Curry are combo guards. Each is capable of bringing the ball up the floor and initiating the offense, but neither excels at running the team in the Bobby Hurley/Jason Williams/Kyrie Irving mold. Furthermore, with big men like Mason and Miles, who would both benefit greatly from a breakdown point guard and facilitator, Duke's perimeter interaction with the post could stand to improve greatly. Bottom line, I think Duke should give Quinn Cook a more extensive look as a more integral part of the rotation running the team.
If Curry were to come off the bench, I think the starting lineup should ideally be Cook/Rivers/Dawkins/Kelly/Mason. Curry should get his minutes at the expense of Dawkins.
I think the most alarming stat for this Duke team, and a metric which I feel has been greatly overlooked by the fan base thus far, is the team's current assist to turnover ratio. 5 games is a very small sample size, but the team currently has a negative assist to turnover ratio - 70 assists to 86 turnovers. Despite the small sample size, I think that given our roster makeup and our style of play, those numbers are still a decent indicator of our team's efficiency. With Michigan, Ohio State, and potentially Kansas on the schedule in the near future, and with ACC play not too far behind, it's quite possible our assist to turnover ratio could actually worsen. I don't expect it to improve drastically.
This Duke team, if it keeps up anywhere near it's current pace, could potentially be the first team since 2006-2007 Duke - one of the worst Coach K teams in the past 15 years - to have a negative assist to turnover ratio. Even if Duke manages a positive ratio this season, this team looks to be the worst A/T team since 2006-2007. Luckily, this team not only has much more talent and depth than the 2006-2007 edition, but it has a few quality guards who are capable of improving the current A/T ratio. Installing a pure point guard as a more integral part of the rotation will be key to improving Duke's efficiency.
I think Greybeard is spot on in his assessment of Quinn Cook's skills, as well as how he would impact the team if he were given more playing time. I think that Cook will need some more time to establish himself, but I also think that Coach K will need to actively seek to give Cook more PT and leeway to make mistakes and learn the defensive schemes if Duke is going to take steps forward and realize its full potential. One of Coach K's signatures is having a great point guard leading his teams. Sure, the 2011 championship Duke team featured a lead guard in Jon Scheyer who was more about valuing the ball than explicitly setting up and facilitating his teammates. But I would be very surprised if K leaves his most talented PG very far down in the rotation for too long. The only other time I can recall a PG of Cook's caliber being relegated to a strict backup role was William Avery in 2007-2008. But on that team, Wojo was a senior PG who was a clear pass-first option who could effectively run an offense, and I believe that Avery's passing and team-running skills were not quite as advanced as Cook's are at the same stage.
This Duke team does not currently have a guard who can consistently run an offense at a high level and set up his teammates - aside from, potentially, Cook. Curry is a featured guard in the Scheyer mold, but he falls well short of Scheyer in terms of running an offense, and I believe that Cook could very well be the ultimate answer at the PG position this season.
FGA - off reb + turnovers + FTA*0.475
So, the factors determining efficiency are turnovers, offensive rebounding, and shooting percentages. After five games, this year's team has a lot more turnovers than its immediate predecessors (86 in 2011-12; 68 in 2010-11; 56 in 2009-10). It also has fewer offensive rebounds (59 in 2011-12; 63 in 2010-11; 71 in 2009-10). Our free throw shooting is significantly worse (.684 in 2011-12; .736 in 2010-11; .743 in 2009-10). None of those things have anything to do with assists.
Our three-point shooting this season (.410) is similar to 2009-10 after 5 games (.415) and worse than 2010-11 (.434). Our two-point shooting this season (.503) is much better than 2009-10 after 5 games (.478) and worse than 2010-11 (.531). One could argue that the reason we shot better last year was because of Kyrie's assists, but I'm not sure if we can show it statistically or not. It may simply be a function of the competition. Since we've shot better than in 2009-10, it would seem the better passing that season did not contribute to that team's much higher offensive efficiency (although the lack of turnovers for that team clearly did).
We've also played a much tougher schedule this season (in my opinion), which may have led to our seemingly low raw offensive efficiency (especially our higher turnovers and possibly our lower shooting percentages). Pomeroy adjusts for schedule (and on his page we have the 7th best offensive efficiency in the nation, a bit ahead of UNC), but it's too early for his adjustments to be reliable.
So I would argue that while we do have to cut down on our turnovers to be more efficient, our assist to turnover ratio is actually not that important to our overall offensive efficiency. If we cut down on turnovers, hit our free throws and if Austin finishes a few more of his layups, our efficiency numbers will look just fine, even if our assists don't go up (although I do recognize that if turnovers go down and our assists stay the same, our a/to ratio will improve).
As far as whether Quinn Cook could help solve our problems, I don't know. So far Seth has a higher assist rate (4.27 per 40 vs. 2.50 per 40 for Quinn) and their turnover rates are about the same (1.45 (Seth) vs. 1.50 (Quinn)). Would that change if Quinn is given the reins? I don't think anybody could possibly know that, but last year Seth was pretty good about protecting the ball and, to me at least, it's hard to imagine having fewer turnovers with an all-freshman backcourt.
Last edited by Kedsy; 11-22-2011 at 10:53 AM.
Seth's turnover rate from last year (1.51 per 40) was really good, though, so I expect him to bring his turnovers under control and probably have a better turnover rate than Quinn over the course of the year.
Some have said that Cook would be the "true PG" that would improve the efficiency. But he's not really shown that in his limited time so far. Maybe he'll eventually show that this year. But given how little he's played and how little he's created for others when he has played, I'm guessing that Coach K doesn't think he's ready to run the offense at Duke yet.
By that same token, Cook's turnover rate is pretty high given that he's not been asked to carry much of the playmaking burden when out there so far this year (he's played mostly in an off-ball wing role in the half court offense this year - similar to what Curry did primarily last year).
Stats after 5 games
Looking at the numbers, the biggest discrepancy between this year and last year is offensive rebounding. In 2010-11, we rebounded approximately 36.4% of our misses over the first five games. This season we've only rebounded approximately 29.4% of our misses. The second biggest discrepancy is free throw shooting.Code:Year FGA OR TO FTA Pts Raw Off Eff 3-pct 2-pct FT pct ---- --- -- -- --- --- ----------- ----- ----- ------ 2009-10 313 71 56 101 439 126.54 .415 .478 .743 2010-11 313 63 68 125 450 119.24 .434 .531 .736 2011-12 260 45 71 155 406 112.90 .448 .531 .677
If we shot the same free throw percentage as last season in the first five games, and rebounded the same percentage of our misses, our offensive efficiency would be 118.70, pretty much the same as last year and probably much better if you adjust for schedule. Nothing that could be improved by Quinn Cook running the team.
Of course, if we turned it over significantly less, our offensive efficiency would be higher despite the poor free throw shooting and offensive rebounding. But I don't know that adding assists would help our efficiency, especially considering how well we're shooting from the field -- better than last year and significantly better than 2009-10.
1. Would Cook (or Thornton) at PG dramatically reduce the turnover rate? Given that Thornton's rate is higher than that of Curry, I doubt he'd make things better in the turnover department. Cook's turnover rate has been lower, but that's also in part because he hasn't handled much of the playmaking duties in his limited minutes. So it's unclear whether he'd improve the turnover rate over Curry. Maybe it would cut down on some of the Plumlee turnovers if they got touches in better spots, but I haven't seen much to suggest that Cook (or Thornton) is better at setting the Plumlees up than Curry.
2. Would Cook (or Thornton) at PG dramatically increase the assist rate? Again, I don't think Thornton would do so based on his low assist totals. Because Cook has not played much PG for us this year, it's just hard to say whether he'd make a difference yet.
3. Would an increase in assists lead to a dramatically higher FG%? Despite the lack of assists, we're shooting at a very high percentage on FGA. I guess it's that we could get more easy buckets and fewer foul shots (meaning fewer missed points) for the Plumlees with a better draw-and-dish option. But I doubt we'd see Curry, Dawkins, or Kelly become any more efficient than they have been so far. And Rivers has done most of his scoring as the primary creator, so I doubt a "true PG" would affect his efficiency a lot anyway.