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  1. #1
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    Phase II - 2011-2012

    Phase II runs from the Colorado State game through Temple, our last pre-ACC game. We finished Phase I with a 7-1 record and are looking at a slower stretch with 4 home games plus a trip to the Garden and a trip to Philly.

    1) Health This is a pretty deep Duke team, so health is big but not necessarily a season-changer. We came through Phase 1 with one outstanding health issue - Alex. Did Alexs concussion put him on the shelf for the season? Seems possible.

    2) Team Defense Dukes defense is not up to par right now and I would expect this to be the biggest area of growth for the team in Phase 2. Through the first phase, they have played D well at times, but not for a full game and not the type of D that buries an opponent.
    Perimeter D Do we need some defensive minutes out of Gbinije in a Tyler Thornton-like stopper role? Can guards stop dribble penetration more, or do we change the scheme to contain? Ill let the x and o experts tackles that last question, but its a concern.

    Interior D I am generally pleased with how our bigs have played on D so far. Their role could adjust with the defensive scheme of our perimeter players to more help, rotations and shot blocking. One point I see the need to improve upon is our bigs getting back on D, helping to prevent transition buckets.

    Team D Rotations to the help side have improved over Phase 1. The bigs need to help out when someone dribbles into the lane and Ive seen a step in the right direction. Our guards need to help on the boards occasionally, in return. Its hard via the tele to comment on communication, but Id assume that fits with the leadership and chemistry thing mentioned at the end of this post. We seem to be playing a slightly slower pace, which could accelerate in Phase 2. But pace means learning to get back in transition and getting into the passing lanes. Can we increase pace, hurrying up lesser teams without turning the ball over too much?

    Gimmick D We used the 1-3-1 soft press once or twice in Phase 1 and the zone in Maui for one end of game possession (vs Tenn?). Those are useful tools to break out on occasion.

    Transition We need easy buckets. We need to generate them via D. How do we improve on this?

    3) Rotation - We have gone 9 deep in the first half and 7 deep in the second half, so far. Can Josh and Quinn get consistent minutes, or will they be first half guys for the most part? The only real discussion is will anyone from the 8-11 bunch get more minutes? We have a shorter bench in tight games which should be shocking to no one. We have not had a serious foul trouble gameyet. Josh will be needed at some point in a tight game, probably Phase 3 in January on the road in the ACC, so I am glad hes getting a few minutes now. I am not sure I care to speculate on minutes a ton, but Gbinije can earn some burn by performing in Phase 2.

    4) Austin Rivers - This kid can get into the lane. Hot darn. Hes elite. He needs to keep his head up and either shoot the floater or drop off a pass to a big. I think this will increase the overall team offensive efficiency, and also create space for him to finish better in the lane. I said very purposefully that he can get into the lane at will. Next step is getting to the rim. No more charges or turnovers, finish those plays. Then he can start asserting himself at the right times. Hes a smart kid and he will become a killer soon. He wants it. A nit here: He needs to only shoot 3s in rhythm.

    The biggest concern people have had about Austin was how hed fit into the team. He has a great attitude and hes reflective in a really positive way. That is wonderful to see, and has led to a ton of improvement in a month, so how much improvement can he make over the whole season? This kid is going to take off. In Phase 0, Kedsy said he thought Austin would follow the Barnes trajectory and I thought the same a month ago. But hes not had a funky stretch lasting more than a half so far. He has the ball in his hands a good bit more than Barns last year and is not dealing with Larry Drew either.

    He has only failed to score in double figures vs Michigan State this year. Hes reduced his turnovers from the first few games. Hes got 18 turnovers and 18 assists so far. Austin will make the leap in January, a month faster than Barnes. Im feeling it. Oh yeah, hes leading the team in scoring after 8 games.

    5) Big Man Offense This has been a focus so far. Lets hope it remains so for purposes of offensive balance. Mason looks good, in that he is pretty assertive and shows no fear in shooting the ball. With more attempts, hell start hitting some of those jump hooks more often and gain confidence. Mason is leading the team in turnovers, so thats a problem. He has games with 3, 3 and 5 field goal attempts, so it seems we are inconsistent in feeding him.

    Ryan is playing well as the proverbial stretch 4. He had three straight games scoring 17, then 0 vs OSU. Thats something that Im not sure how to describe: frustrating? evidence of a problem? Hmmm. Ryan needs to be more assertive and get a little meaner on the court. Hes a starter and a captain. Own it! Half his shots are 3s. Is that going to be the case all year? Do we need more rebounding and shotblocking out of him?

    Miles can finish and he can body up on D. We can count on that. Hes got our Team D scheme down pat better than any of our top 6 in my opinion. To become a really big contributor on a title contender (our goal here), Miles should channel his inner-Zoubek and clean the glass. If he can up his offensive rebounding stats, hell be big in crunch minutes and can do that rebound, kick out for a 3 thing that Zoubek did so well. Miles stats are flat from his Sophomore to Senior years so I think making offensive rebounding his main mission could be the right thing for him. In Phase 1, his minutes have ranged from 8 to 23. If 23 is the upper bound and 17 is most likely, he should play with incredible intensity when hes in there. Hes a fully evolved senior right now. He is who is, so now is the time to maximize what hes good at (physical D, leaping ability, second leap) and minimize fouls and TOs.

    Josh? He has two games with double figure minutes PC and OSU 29 combined minutes, 15 pts, 7 rebounds, 7-9 fgs. Will his productivity increase with increased, consistent usage? Hes not going to be a big offensive option, but he can help open things up for others and earn some minutes.

    6) Andre Dawkins Dawkins can disappear, reappear, etc. I really think his role is determined by the coaches and if they want more Andre, they need to adjust the offensive sets to get him shots. They can do that with more set plays, including set plays out of timeouts. Andre needs to develop a shot fake, his dribble drive and some mid range game to take a step as an offensive player. I also think he would get some nice open looks in a transition game. Andre (and maybe Ryan too) needs to play not just with sense of urgency, but also aggression. Andre can become our knockout punch guy.

    Heres a look at his stats:
    Minutes (and points) so far: 21 (6), 22 (4), 38 (26), 20 (5), 32 (10), 35 (14), 34 (6), 19 (0).
    8.9 ppg, 27.6 minutes. Throw out the 26 vs. Mich St and its 6.5 points a game.
    Shooting .447 from 3. (Get him more shots!)

    7) Point Guard - Seth is our starting point guard. Austin has the ball in his hands a lot. Thats the way it will be going forward. One of the things we can get better at is post feeds and pushing the pace. In Phase 2, against lesser teams, well push the pace more, right?

    I am pretty sure our offensive chemistry is not yet where it will be by the end of the year. But its getting better on the offensive end. The timing and location of screens needs to get better. Guys need to settle into better defined roles. How much of this is incumbent upon Seth growing into a more true point? I dont know exactly, but Im guessing its going to be a mix this year. The point guard position can collectively get us easier buckets (push the pace, execute) and also cut down on turnovers (get the ball in right place, right time). They can also force some turnovers by pressuring the ball.

    I think well see some new wrinkles in Phase 2, on set plays like lobs, out of bounds plays, and at the end of half. This is an incredibly valuable month to practice as a team and get better, as opposed to the rapid pace of games we had in November and will have from January on. I think Seth improves a lot during Phase 2 at running the team.

    8) Leadership, Chemistry and Communication This team is built out of former role players and a freshman. So while some of these guys have a lot of playing time the last few years and are talented, they were typically deferring to Jon, Kyle and Nolan. As they settle into their on-court roles I hope to see the killer instinct grow. In Phase 1 they allowed Belmont and Michigan State to sneak back into games. So the goal for Phase 2 ought to be to finish off an opponent.

    Mason and Seth are emerging as leaders. Austin is emerging as our best offensive player. Coach K seems to trust Tyler as much as he did past leaders, like he is the coachs proxy on the court like Duhon or Battier or Hurley were.

    Coach Ks record is over and done with, a tough stretch of games behind us. We have a month of practice to get better, learn new things, get reps. This is the stretch of the season where Duke will either become a title contender or will be an inconsistent but really good team. With the wake-up call that was Ohio State, Duke should be properly motivated to work hard and get better.

    Heres some point in time metrics, closing out Phase 1.
    .469 FG% (down from .492 pre-OSU. Darn).
    .446 Opp FG%.
    .681 FT% (229 to 152 in attempts).
    .432 3pt%.
    +8 Rebounding differential on the season (total, not per game).
    -4 Offensive Rebound differential on the season, total. Doh!
    A:TO ratio: 93:108. Doh!
    7.8 Steals per game.
    KenPom: 7th overall; AdjO: 116.3 (7th); AdjD: 90.6 (18th).
    Only averaging 77 points a game. This should increase in Phase 2, but we need to push pace more and get more secondary break points.
    Good: 23rd in FG %. 20th in 3pt % - 8 for 19 per game.
    Bad: 274th in rebounding, 249th in assists. 200th in steals. 217th in blocks.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by superdave View Post

    6) Andre Dawkins Dawkins can disappear, reappear, etc. I really think his role is determined by the coaches and if they want more Andre, they need to adjust the offensive sets to get him shots. They can do that with more set plays, including set plays out of timeouts. Andre needs to develop a shot fake, his dribble drive and some mid range game to take a step as an offensive player. I also think he would get some nice open looks in a transition game. Andre (and maybe Ryan too) needs to play not just with sense of urgency, but also aggression. Andre can become our knockout punch guy.

    Heres a look at his stats:
    Minutes (and points) so far: 21 (6), 22 (4), 38 (26), 20 (5), 32 (10), 35 (14), 34 (6), 19 (0).
    8.9 ppg, 27.6 minutes. Throw out the 26 vs. Mich St and its 6.5 points a game.
    Shooting .447 from 3. (Get him more shots!)
    Andre Dawkins is a key element to our success this season. He needs to play 25+ minutes at small forward/third guard, be a defensive presence and a double digit scorer. Dawkins is in his third season so it should be clear to all that he is a streak scorer - some games he goes off (Michigan State) - while other games he doesn't (Ohio State). Yes, the 26 points he dropped on Michigan State skews his points per game upward, but the goose egg against Ohio State when he only attempted one shot in 19 minutes skews it downward. Throw out the goose egg and his average is at 10.1 points per game.

    Perhaps more important than scoring, or at a minimum, equally important is his continued development on defense. Duke will definitely play Carolina twice down the stretch of the regular season and perhaps a third time in the ACCT, with the match-up between Dawkins and Harrison Barnes being critical. A potential preview of that match-up will be available in Duke's upcoming game at Madison Square Garden against Washington and Terrence Ross. Ross is an exceptional player who isn't quite as big as Barnes but he has superior athleticism and is equal to Barnes as a shooter.

    I have lots more thoughts on Phase II so I'll be back...
    Bob Green
    United States Navy (Retired)
    @JBobGreen

  3. #3
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    I love these analyses, thanks.

    Rebounding looks like a very big concern. That's been the case with other Duke teams, but the feeling was that what we gave up on the boards we gained through great perimeter defense and steals. Unfortunately, that's not the case so far.

    Hard to complain about a 7-1 record against really good competition, but that's where I would most like to see improvement.
    Quel est si drole de la paix, de l'amour, et de la comprehension?

  4. #4
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    Well done superdave! A very balanced write-up, articulating both the positives and negatives.

    Austin Rivers: I'm very impressed by how quickly he's been improving his game. The attitude issue, which was my greatest concern about this kid has been put to rest. I wonder, if his game continues to develop at the pace we've seen so far, does K eventually make this Austin's team?

    Big Man Offense: Probably the nicest surprise of the season has been the play of Mason. Watching the overseas games, I felt we were in for another year of ugly looking fade away jumpers. WOW, was I wrong. He's really becoming the total package as a post player. Hopefully his decision making will improve, as he becomes more accustomed to his new found post game. Ryan is exactly what we thought he could be. I don't mind his shot selection as the 3 ball is what his game revolves around. He still plays heady D and honestly I don't want him to attempt to be a banger in the post. Miles is as you say, "what he is." I'm quite happy with him being the team enforcer, the muscle in the post. Just play smart and lay the proverbial wood on the opposition when they try to score in the post.

    Andre: Amazing how this kid continues to get his very own paragraph every write-up. We've had several long discussions in the past few days about his role with the team. Hopefully we aren't putting to much weight on his shoulders.

  5. #5
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    Good job, superdave. You hit most of the points, especially about defense, which will probably be our biggest question mark for the rest of the season.

    To me, the next biggest question (after defense) for Phase II is the Quinn saga. Will Quinn step into a more prominent role, pushing Seth out of the PG role and Andre to the bench? If so, will our defense suffer even more as we get smaller and younger on the perimeter? How will Seth and Andre react to the change/reduction in role? This is probably the set of unanswered questions for which we have the least idea of the answers.

    I agree with you that the "Andre question" is a big one for this phase. Whether he's starting or coming off the bench, we need him to be a major offensive threat. His usage % is lower than everyone on the team except Mike and Tyler (and Tyler at least handles the ball a lot when he's in). If the coaches coaxed Andre's usage % higher, either by asking him to be more aggressive or by running plays for him, would we see more performances like we saw against Michigan State? Having said that, I think Andre is an offensive threat even when he doesn't see the ball because he's so dangerous the defense can't ignore him.

    I'm really anxious to see if Andre can gain some consistency and get into a groove during Phase II. I believe to be a great team, we need him to play a major part. On the other side of the coin, I'm sort of dreading the hypothetical possibility that he'll drift out of prominence and end up the 8th man, playing 10 minutes a game and taking two shots. I think if it happens that way, the team will be much worse for it.

    I am dubious that by the end of this phase we'll have more than one of Quinn/Mike/Josh in the rotation. Assuming a 7 or at most 8 man rotation, Austin/Seth/Mason/Ryan/Miles/Andre/Tyler/Quinn would seem to negate the possibility of Mike or Josh getting a big role in important/close games. Although I suppose if Quinn plays a lot and we need more D at SF than at PG/SG, then conceivably Mike could replace Tyler in the rotation -- but personally I doubt that will happen. As you point out, Tyler is doing well and has Coach K's confidence.

    However, having said all that, Phase II will be the time where we get to see if the guys currently at the bottom of the rotation will expand their roles.

    Finally, Alex? Will he play at all, or is he really going to redshirt? This phase is when we'll probably find out the answer to that question.

    Quote Originally Posted by superdave View Post
    If [Miles] can up his offensive rebounding stats, he’ll be big in crunch minutes and can do that rebound, kick out for a 3 thing that Zoubek did so well.
    Miles currently has an offensive rebounding percentage of 16.3%, 44th best in the country. I don't think it's fair to say he needs to "up" his offensive rebounding stats. Zoubek had a once-a-decade sort of proficiency at it, and we can't expect Miles to reach that far, but 44th in the nation is pretty darn good.

    What I think Miles has to do is cut down on his concentration lapses (fouls/missed defensive assignments/missed dunks, etc.) so he can stay in the game more and show off his already impressive offensive rebounding skills.
    Last edited by Kedsy; 12-04-2011 at 12:36 PM.

  6. #6

    Andre, Seth and Miles

    In phase 2 we need to find out if Andre is really going to be able to contribute like a starter should. This is the perfect time to compare him to what others can do at small forward. I think the other starters are pretty well set, with Mason, Austin, Seth and Ryan all good to very good players with reasonble consistency. We should be able to win games during phase 2 if those four get starters minutes and we experiment with the small forward position. Giving Michael, Alex if he is physically able and Andre something like equal time should give the coaches a better idea of who can step up without risking too much. I wouldn't play Austin at Small forward since we really need him to avoid the fouls and banging against larger and stroner players. We need to keep him fresh and in the game for 35 minutes.

    In Seth's case, he is wily and has a very good shot, however he is not super quick and he is unlikely to break down defenders off the dribble. I still think he should start, since he offers the best overall game at PG. Given that Austin will also be in the game a lot. I see Tyler as a substitute when Austin goes out and either Quinn or Tyler when Seth goes out. Quinn seems to have the highest potential to become a penetrating PG and one who is pass first but also has some scoring potential. I don't see a three guard lineup with a combination of Quinn, Seth, Tyler and Austin being viable other than perhaps an end of game scenario.

    Miles actually played better against OSU than he has in most other games. He will probably remain first sub off the bench for Mason and Ryan. Someone said he seems to lack focus out there, picking up cheap fouls and losing the ball. I agree, and having watched him now for a number of years, while he has gotten stronger, his composure on the court hasn't gotten to be a strong point. Could he have a Zoubek type of metamorphasis? Anything is possible, but he probably will play at an acceptable level for a sub and that will be what I expect going forward.

    Lets hope that in phase 2 that the determination and toughnss shown by Mason and Austin in the OSU game will become be copied by our other players.

  7. #7
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    Miles

    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    Miles currently has an offensive rebounding percentage of 16.3%, 44th best in the country. I don't think it's fair to say he needs to "up" his offensive rebounding stats. Zoubek had a once-a-decade sort of proficiency at it, and we can't expect Miles to reach that far, but 44th in the nation is pretty darn good.

    What I think Miles has to do is cut down on his concentration lapses (fouls/missed defensive assignments/missed dunks, etc.) so he can stay in the game more and show off his already impressive offensive rebounding skills.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saratoga2 View Post
    Miles actually played better against OSU than he has in most other games. He will probably remain first sub off the bench for Mason and Ryan. Someone said he seems to lack focus out there, picking up cheap fouls and losing the ball. I agree, and having watched him now for a number of years, while he has gotten stronger, his composure on the court hasn't gotten to be a strong point. Could he have a Zoubek type of metamorphasis? Anything is possible, but he probably will play at an acceptable level for a sub and that will be what I expect going forward.
    Coach K has sought to emphasize post offense this year, but I think that might be something that gets limited more to Ryan and Mason, with Miles being instructed to shoot less. I'm not sure we need Miles to look for shots in his 17-20 minutes. That's one of the reasons I suggested he concentrate on certain facets - namely offensive rebounds and D. His offensive rebounding % is impressive. Thanks for sharing that stat, Kedsy. I think his minutes are about where they should be right now, but would like to see him worry less about shooting and more with setting screens and crashing the boards.

  8. #8
    Good points, SuperDave.

    A concern of mine: Free Throw Shooting -- We have GOT to improve on this, especially Mason. This could bite us badly in a close big game.

    Quote Originally Posted by superdave View Post
    Perimeter D Do we need some defensive minutes out of Gbinije in a Tyler Thornton-like stopper role?
    If I were the coaching staff I would give Silent G more minutes at the 3. I don't think we know yet how good a defender he is or can be. We may need someone at the end of the season to give us a strong defensive effort against bigger or quicker small forwards. Maybe he can't handle that role yet, but I'd give him some minutes against different teams to give him more of a chance to show what he can do.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldSchool View Post
    If I were the coaching staff I would give Silent G more minutes at the 3. I don't think we know yet how good a defender he is or can be. We may need someone at the end of the season to give us a strong defensive effort against bigger or quicker small forwards. Maybe he can't handle that role yet, but I'd give him some minutes against different teams to give him more of a chance to show what he can do.
    Clearly we don't know, but I think the coaching staff (who watches him every day in practice) does. I don't think there's that much downside to giving him some run against our December schedule, so I don't entirely disagree with you there, but personally I'd prefer he "show[s] what he can do" in practice, rather than have us experiment during games. Guarding Seth, Austin, Andre, and Alex every day should give him a chance to show how strong he is defensively.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    Clearly we don't know, but I think the coaching staff (who watches him every day in practice) does. I don't think there's that much downside to giving him some run against our December schedule, so I don't entirely disagree with you there, but personally I'd prefer he "show[s] what he can do" in practice, rather than have us experiment during games. Guarding Seth, Austin, Andre, and Alex every day should give him a chance to show how strong he is defensively.
    We don't have talented veteran true small forwards for him to go up against in practice. There is just Alex, fresh out of high school. The others are guards.

    I am certainly not suggesting starting G ahead of Andre or giving G more minutes than Andre in most games. But I would give him more minutes at the 3, and maybe Andre would benefit from being more fresh by subbing G in more.

    Given the low opinion of Harrison Barnes' abilities on DBR, maybe I am the only one worried about defending him and other true small forwards like Kidd-Gilchrist. But I can envision everyone playing UNC to a draw at 4 positions while HB hits uncontested jump shots over a smaller defender or some other team attacks us by posting up their small forward over our shooting guard playing the 3.

    It may well end up that Andre is the optimal solution for us at the 3, taking everything into account including the alternatives.

    I wonder what Andre's bodyfat % is. Is he trying to carry more weight in order to be stronger against opposing SFs? He might be better off dropping a few lbs. and being quicker.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldSchool View Post
    Given the low opinion of Harrison Barnes' abilities on DBR, maybe I am the only one worried about defending him and other true small forwards like Kidd-Gilchrist.
    Other than Harrison Barnes, what other small forwards, on teams on our schedule, pose a problem? I've previously mentioned Washington's Terrence Ross, but how about the other ACC schools? Which other schools have small forwards we should be concerned about?

    Scott Wood at NCSU? Okaro White at FSU? Joe Harris at Virginia? I'm probably overlooking someone really talented, but I just don't see any small forwards in the league that strike terror into my heart.
    Bob Green
    United States Navy (Retired)
    @JBobGreen

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by OldSchool View Post
    Good points, SuperDave.

    A concern of mine: Free Throw Shooting -- We have GOT to improve on this, especially Mason. This could bite us badly in a close big game.
    I agree with that, but i would also emphasize that Austin Rivers needs to improve on his FTs, maybe even more so than Mason, cuz he's gonna have the ball in his hands more than MP2 but also b/c we'll probably ask him to create O in close, end-of-game situations. We won't ever ask MP2 to create O, but having him be a better FT shooter would certainly increase his usage, or our confidence to go to him in those situations.
    If MP2 could get to ~60% FTs, i'd be pleased. If AR got to ~75-80%, i'd be pleased.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Green View Post
    Other than Harrison Barnes, what other small forwards, on teams on our schedule, pose a problem? I've previously mentioned Washington's Terrence Ross, but how about the other ACC schools? Which other schools have small forwards we should be concerned about?

    Scott Wood at NCSU? Okaro White at FSU? Joe Harris at Virginia? I'm probably overlooking someone really talented, but I just don't see any small forwards in the league that strike terror into my heart.
    We're going to be at a size disadvantage against a number of teams at the 3 position. FSU is going to be a load to handle all across their front line. As to Scott Wood, if anyone is foolish enough to play lackadaisacal defense on him, he can certainly bury a team if he starts to feel comfortable shooting. You're right about Terrence Ross, it's going to be a good test of our defense.

    I'm most concerned about the NCAA tourney, that if possible we develop Mike G during the regular season to the extent we can so that if we need to use him on a defensive matchup, at least he's got some experience going into such a situation.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldSchool View Post

    Given the low opinion of Harrison Barnes' abilities on DBR, maybe I am the only one worried about defending him and other true small forwards like Kidd-Gilchrist. But I can envision everyone playing UNC to a draw at 4 positions while HB hits uncontested jump shots over a smaller defender or some other team attacks us by posting up their small forward over our shooting guard playing the 3.
    No you're not the only one who's concerned about our wing match-up with the heels. I think we match-up extremely well at every other position, except for that one. Heck, Kyle the senior, who some believe should have his jersey retired played HB the freshman to what amounted to a stalemate in their 3 games last year. If a defensive stud like Singler can only get a draw, then why should we expect any better from Dre, who is average on defense at best?

    I wouldn't put much stock in what some people say about HB on this board. Let's remember this is the kid who Skyped us and some people will never forgive him for how all that played out. I view these folks the same I view those folks on other boards who badmouth kids just because they decided to go elsewhere. Bottom line if Coach K wanted HB, it's because the kid can play.

    Hopefully this next phase will enable us to workout the various kinks in our collective armor. Whether it's Dre, Silent G, or Alex at the 3, I don't really care, as long as they are solid and consistent I'll be happy.

    P.S. It's nice to have solid depth where we can even have a position controversy.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncexnyc View Post
    No you're not the only one who's concerned about our wing match-up with the heels. I think we match-up extremely well at every other position, except for that one. Heck, Kyle the senior, who some believe should have his jersey retired played HB the freshman to what amounted to a stalemate in their 3 games last year. If a defensive stud like Singler can only get a draw, then why should we expect any better from Dre, who is average on defense at best?

    I wouldn't put much stock in what some people say about HB on this board. Let's remember this is the kid who Skyped us and some people will never forgive him for how all that played out. I view these folks the same I view those folks on other boards who badmouth kids just because they decided to go elsewhere. Bottom line if Coach K wanted HB, it's because the kid can play.

    Hopefully this next phase will enable us to workout the various kinks in our collective armor. Whether it's Dre, Silent G, or Alex at the 3, I don't really care, as long as they are solid and consistent I'll be happy.

    P.S. It's nice to have solid depth where we can even have a position controversy.
    HB will be a load to handle. No argument there at all. I still maintain that in the game at UNC last year, and to a lesser degree during the ACC Title game, Andre did a good job defending HB. In the game at UNC, I felt it was the best defense Andre had ever played. I think the fact that we lost by double-digits in that game has clouded the memories of how Andre played that night to some degree.

    Regarding the DBR's view of HB, while the way he handled his recruitment will always be a sore spot with Duke fans, I don't feel that has anything to do with the assessment of HB's game at the moment. For one thing, the aforementioned sore spot is about how the kid handled his recruitment, and not the fact he chose UNC. At least for most here anyway.

    It is more than fair to state that at the moment, HB is a jumpshooter, with a handle not good enough to attack the rim in traffic. He struggles mightily when he tries to drive the lane. He often gets stopped dead in his tracks, or stripped. It is just not something HB is good at right now. He is however, deadly as a catch and shoot jumpshooter, as well as a one or two dribble pull up jumpshooter from mid-range or 3 Point Land. Which makes him a stud on the perimeter. Also, his release is really high, which allows him to get the shot off on most any defender. You have to make him drive to slow him down which is tough to do. If he was good at attacking off the dribble he would be unstoppable. We he improve in that area? Maybe. It is weird to me, because he has great length, great strength, and good jumping ability, but overall his athleticism is a bit average. For some reason he struggles to cross defenders over or make smooth spin moves. He looks very awkward trying the latter. It's just odd. But even with the weaknesses, he is a very dangerous player on the college level. Had he gotten the pass from Henson yesterday I would bet a lot of money he would have drained it.

    I do hope Silent G develops quickly enough that by the time we see UNC, we can alternate him and Andre all game long against HB. With his length and athleticism, Silent G can give HB problems, if he has progressed enough as a Duke defender. Agree with others, that would be a tremendous asset to this Duke team.

    "[T]he tarnished Tar Heels that bear little resemblance to the revered program built by Dean Smith."- Ashville Times
    "UNC and the NCAA are trying to conceal that the fraud was specifically designed to pad the transcripts of varsity athletes" - Bloomberg

  16. #16
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    Feb 2007
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    Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by Newton_14 View Post
    It is more than fair to state that at the moment, HB is a jumpshooter, with a handle not good enough to attack the rim in traffic. He struggles mightily when he tries to drive the lane. He often gets stopped dead in his tracks, or stripped. It is just not something HB is good at right now. He is however, deadly as a catch and shoot jumpshooter, as well as a one or two dribble pull up jumpshooter from mid-range or 3 Point Land. Which makes him a stud on the perimeter. Also, his release is really high, which allows him to get the shot off on most any defender. You have to make him drive to slow him down which is tough to do. If he was good at attacking off the dribble he would be unstoppable. We he improve in that area? Maybe. It is weird to me, because he has great length, great strength, and good jumping ability, but overall his athleticism is a bit average. For some reason he struggles to cross defenders over or make smooth spin moves. He looks very awkward trying the latter. It's just odd. But even with the weaknesses, he is a very dangerous player on the college level. Had he gotten the pass from Henson yesterday I would bet a lot of money he would have drained it.
    Barnes is shockingly a jumpshooter. I was pretty surprised that Barnes did not try to post up Gilchrist in the UK game Saturday. He's got a few inches and a 40 lbs on the freshman. I spoke to a Unc fan last night about the game and he said he thinks Barnes is over-rated because of the clutch plays last year, and that Barnes does not make enough of the gritty plays. I assured him Barnes would lead the team in scoring and be a top 3 pick next year, but I can see his point.

  17. #17
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    Seth and Quinn

    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    To me, the next biggest question (after defense) for Phase II is the Quinn saga. Will Quinn step into a more prominent role, pushing Seth out of the PG role and Andre to the bench? If so, will our defense suffer even more as we get smaller and younger on the perimeter? How will Seth and Andre react to the change/reduction in role? This is probably the set of unanswered questions for which we have the least idea of the answers.

    I am dubious that by the end of this phase we'll have more than one of Quinn/Mike/Josh in the rotation. Assuming a 7 or at most 8 man rotation, Austin/Seth/Mason/Ryan/Miles/Andre/Tyler/Quinn would seem to negate the possibility of Mike or Josh getting a big role in important/close games. Although I suppose if Quinn plays a lot and we need more D at SF than at PG/SG, then conceivably Mike could replace Tyler in the rotation -- but personally I doubt that will happen. As you point out, Tyler is doing well and has Coach K's confidence.

    Kedsy, It's a little surprising that you think Quinn can take away the PG spot from Seth. To clarify, are you saying Quinn CAN pull this off and become the main guy at the 1? Or are you actually advocating for this because you think we need a true point? What is the likelihood of this shift in your mind?

    I think Quinn has been pretty good defensively so far this season so I am happy to see him get more minutes. He's so fluid with the ball in his hands and seems to have good court vision. I think he could help us push the pace a little more.

    But I also know that Coach K plays his best guys heavy minutes. Unless Quinn really improves in December (or Andre stays the same and starts to lose minutes) then I am not sure I see Quinn playing more than 5-10 minutes and pushing Seth into the 2-guard spot.

    Super "In all honesty, I'd like to see Quinn take a few of Tyler's minutes rather than Andre's." Dave

  18. #18
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    Sep 2008
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    Philadelphia
    Quote Originally Posted by superdave View Post
    Kedsy, It's a little surprising that you think Quinn can take away the PG spot from Seth. To clarify, are you saying Quinn CAN pull this off and become the main guy at the 1? Or are you actually advocating for this because you think we need a true point? What is the likelihood of this shift in your mind?
    Oh, I'm sorry, you've misunderstood my post. I don't advocate this at all. I'm against it. I don't think we need a "true point," I think moving Quinn into the starting lineup will hurt our defense and not improve our offense very much (if at all), and I'll be surprised and disappointed if Quinn takes the PG job away from Seth and relegates Andre to the bench. I brought it up as a question because of an external report (CBSSportsline) that it was probably going to happen, as soon as this Wednesday.

    To me, that report alone, founded or unfounded, makes the Quinn question something to watch in Phase II. Are the people (like me) who say Seth is performing well at PG and Andre needs to start correct? Or does Coach K disagree? It's something I very much want to know, and I'll be watching to see what happens in Phase II.

  19. #19
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    Feb 2007
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    Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    Oh, I'm sorry, you've misunderstood my post. I don't advocate this at all. I'm against it. I don't think we need a "true point," I think moving Quinn into the starting lineup will hurt our defense and not improve our offense very much (if at all), and I'll be surprised and disappointed if Quinn takes the PG job away from Seth and relegates Andre to the bench. I brought it up as a question because of an external report (CBSSportsline) that it was probably going to happen, as soon as this Wednesday.

    To me, that report alone, founded or unfounded, makes the Quinn question something to watch in Phase II. Are the people (like me) who say Seth is performing well at PG and Andre needs to start correct? Or does Coach K disagree? It's something I very much want to know, and I'll be watching to see what happens in Phase II.
    Yeah, I was not clear if you were advocating a larger role for Quinn or raising the possibility. With all the praise Coach K has lavished on Seth in the pre-season and in-season, I'd be shocked to see him lose any minutes. But I could see him initiating the offense less at times so he can play off the ball more.

    If only we could combine Tyler's D and Quinn's O into one guy...

  20. #20
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    20 Minutes From The Heaven That Is Cameron Indoor
    Quote Originally Posted by superdave View Post
    8) Leadership, Chemistry and Communication – This team is built out of former role players and a freshman. So while some of these guys have a lot of playing time the last few years and are talented, they were typically deferring to Jon, Kyle and Nolan. As they settle into their on-court roles I hope to see the killer instinct grow. In Phase 1 they allowed Belmont and Michigan State to sneak back into games. So the goal for Phase 2 ought to be to finish off an opponent.

    Mason and Seth are emerging as leaders. Austin is emerging as our best offensive player. Coach K seems to trust Tyler as much as he did past leaders, like he is the coach’s proxy on the court like Duhon or Battier or Hurley were.
    Good write up Dave. Thanks for putting in the work for Phase II. I listened to Coach K's daily Duke Basketball Report this morning on the ride into work. He spoke today on Leadership. Coach spoke about Leadership on and off the court and the differences. Right now, he indicated the staff is still searching for that Leader on the court. He said that right now Tyler is the closest player in terms of having the Leadership qualities the staff wants to see out on the court, but the problem there is Tyler is not on the floor enough to be the guy. K feels that of the heavy minute guys, Mason is startin to take on the leadership role they want to see, which is good, and K believes that Ryan has the personality of a guy that could also become a leader. Interesting that he did not mention Seth. I feel Seth could be that guy, but he is so quiet, maybe it just isn't in him.

    I mentioned in another thread that the thing that bothered me the most about the OSU drubbing is no Duke player stepped up and got on teammates vocally. I did notice Mason pulling the guys into a huddle on the court during dead-balls, but during timeouts no player seemed to step up and go off on the group to get their heads out of their rears and play ball ala Lance Thomas in the 74-47 Clemson game in 08. Someone has to be that guy. It can't just be a coach. Also, two years ago, during every stoppage on the floor, Lance would pull the guys together and immediately look to the bench for instructions, then bark them to his teammates. Last year it was Nolan or Kyle that did that. Seth seems to have taken on that role at least, but it may be during this Phase that Mason or Ryan step up and take on all of the responsibilities of a on-court/in the Timeout Huddle Leader.

    During this phase, Mason or Ryan, or Seth really need to step up as vocal leaders. It has to be one of them because they are the upperclassmen that will get the most minutes.

    I also got to hear Coach Capel in an interview this morning, but I will put those comments in a separate post.

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