After our defensive woes all season and our lack of perimeter rebounding, many have bemoaned the lack of the traditional wing/3/singler guy.
Now I konw Alex was injured at the start of the season and then the choice was made to red shirt him, but one has to wonder if a guy like him could have helped us out tonight.
Now, I know that freshmen are freshmen (especially young ones), as we saw when Quinn was hyped to death and hasn't been the major contributor many here thought he would be, so I avoid saying unequivocally "Alex would have won us the game tonight and we'd be a lot better"
but do people think that after a season of being here, had he been playing, that he might currently be a major contributor, or at least tempered some of the troubles we've had from our lack of a three?
We'll never know, but it may be fun to see how he does next year to know whether he would have been able to help us this year.
Hopefully he's fantastic for us next year. It will be nice to have him and Marshall join the mix. Murphy will give us some more versatility. If Mason sticks around for his senior year, we become very interesting.
Obviously, we can't really answer your question, because we don't see practices, and it's hard to complain about our overall record thus far.
However... I've been pretty vocal all year in my opinion that we were making ourselves very vulnerable on defense and the boards by going with such a small, unathletic perimeter; exhibit A was tonight. When K unofficially designated AR our SF and decided to start two little guards a long with him in Dec/Jan, I thought it was a mistake and I still do. Groom AR at lead guard, focus on bring along Gbinije/Murphy, and you've got a chance to have a team that's in top-tier physically. Given our current makeup, we have to play beyond ourselves or shoot lights out to beat top 5-10 teams.
I suppose that could be the best our roster would have given us, and the above strategy would have expanded the rotation past what K's comfortable with. But it's certainly one of those points I've differed with him on.
Would Murphy have played some and helped some this year?
Will he stay and play 4 more years (frankly, if he plays 3 years, finishes his academics, graduates, and leaves, the red shirt will have served no particular purpose)
On one of Coach K's TV shows, he described Alex as a kid who could be a 4-year starter and reach all-conference.
That would be nice, and would certainly justify the red shirt decision IMO.
Jeff Capel said yesterday that Alex needs to develop confidence. He's grown an inch and gotten much stronger (he needs to do more of that over the summer), and he'll be a very valuable player for us next year, but he needs to develop confidence in his abilities. If he has 1/10th the confidence and swagger that Austin does, it will serve him very well next year. He doesn't have that now. That's why redshirting was the right decision for him this year.
Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!
Go To Hell carolina, Go To Hell!
9F 9F 9F
I think another question in the same vein - should K have played Gbinije a little more, let him play through the freshman mistakes, so we wouldn't have a huge hole in our roster in term of matchups?
Sure I know, K has high expectations and what he saw in practice wasn't up to Duke standards. But you have to ask, is half a SF better than no SF? Coach K ain't perfect, and I think he may have dropped the ball on Mike's potential contribution to the team as a big wing defender with lateral quickness.
The foundational weakness in this Duke team is a lack of versatility in its roster. It is what it is. We just don't have the moveable parts this year that we've had in years past. We have depth, but lack what I believe K calls "deep depth." That's where the hope for a Gbinije or a Murphy to step up and contribute comes from. Clearly, that's not happening this year and we will just have to enjoy the ride that this particular, weirdly constructed, fun to watch, fights-like-crazy team.
Of course its a second guess of K, bug half of the things suggested are.....so its more of a pondering what might have been different rather than saying any decision was flat out wrong.
I think, as bad as it may sound, that coach K is really coaching for next year. Now, he's not trying to sabatoge this season, but I think when making major decisions (such as redshirting, player development, playing time, etc) the questins are as follows in order of importance:
1) which will be better for next years team
2) if it doesn't make any difference to next year, what is best for this years team
Now, every coach has to think for the future, but how much you do so depends on the makeup of the current team. I wonder if K's thought process this year was "we lost 3 of the best players in the country, we're not very experienced, and we have a lot of growing to do....our next best chance to be a great team is next year, so That is the ultimate goal" and then once he has decided what he needs to do for next year (which would involve redshirts, playing gbinje less? getting quinn and tyler appropriate amounts of PT) he can give whatever is left the best shot of winning this year.
I think some of this opinion stems from his saying a few times at the beginning of the year that we were young, growing, etc...and asking for patience.
shrug....just a bit of a conspiracy i guess
Also, I disagree with the notion that if you don't play in games you're not developing. Game minutes help to some extent, but practice is where most development takes place, and if a player isn't overcoming his freshman mistakes in practice, it's hard to imagine his being a big contributor in games.
Really won't know the answer to this one until we know what Alex's senior campaign will be like.
Our team defense has been subpar because we often fail to stop guard penetration and don't always rotate properly on help defense, thus giving our opponents too many easy layup opportunities. And also because we don't force so many turnovers. I strongly doubt a freshman wing would be able to help in those areas.
I realize my second paragraph was referring to the entire season. I think our lack of versatility has a lot to do with the problems you mentioned as well. I wasn't saying defensive rebounding was the primary defensive weakness on the season. Just tonight. Although in 2 of our previous 4 losses this season we have given up close to 45% offensive rebounding %, and tonight UNC exceeded 45%. I think it's absolutely a primary reason we lost tonight.
Last edited by DukieTiger; 03-04-2012 at 12:01 AM. Reason: clarification
Maybe he could have given us minutes here and there, but it's hard to say that he would be any better than Hairston or Gbinije this year. He looked like he was in over his head in the exhibition games. I think he'll be good, but I think it's fair to say in retrospect that all of the Singler comparisons that came up when he was in high school were blown out of proportion and should have been taken to refer to style, not quality, of play.
It would have been fun if Singler and Barnes could have competed for more than one year. That was a matchup for the ages.
I was thinking about this the other day. I knew that it was Alex's idea to redshirt. My thoughts were that I was proud of Coach K and Duke for redshirting him because I thought it was best for Alex for him to redshirt but I think it may have been better for Duke this year for him to play.
On a similar thought, I have to admit at that I'm a little disappointed in Silent G's season. I'm not necessarily disappointed in him just in the situation and that it's March and we can't seem to get quality minutes from him. He (or Alex) are seemingly our missing piece (a 3 with size)