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  1. #121
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Cambridge, MA
    Quote Originally Posted by moonpie23 View Post
    i'll prolly get slammed for saying this, but, i think that nolan was a better player when he left duke than AR is now....take the name "rivers" off, and there's a different perception of him. I think he WILL be the man next year if he stays.......if he goes, he'll make $$$ and get lots of pine time...
    Why would you get slammed? Nolan is one of the most beloved players in recent school history, not to mention a serious national player of the year candidate his senior season.

  2. #122
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    Feb 2007
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    Washington DC

    Chad Ford's mock

    Austin #21, Mason #29. Four Uncers in the top 12.

  3. #123
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    Feb 2007
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    Washington, DC
    Quote Originally Posted by Matches View Post
    He may or may not be ready to make an impact on an NBA team but I think we have *plenty* of evidence (including Scheyer who you cite) that NBA GM's draft more on who they believe a kid will become than who he is at the time he's drafted.
    Which honestly is what frustrates me about the NBA. Austin (and Mason) should make whatever decision they feel is best for what advances them in what they want to do. But when I think of players leaving school early, I used to think that the guys who should go were guys who could regularly dominate game at the college level (say, Elton Brand). But when Gerald Henderson went pro, I thought that was a borderline case of a guy who might or might not be ready.

    Anyway, that's a long way of saying, the big question isn't whether they've done all the can at the college level, but will they improve more here or in the NBA. And I sure wish I had time to study that, because I'm not sure their is an obvious answer.

  4. #124
    Quote Originally Posted by dyedwab View Post
    Anyway, that's a long way of saying, the big question isn't whether they've done all the can at the college level, but will they improve more here or in the NBA. And I sure wish I had time to study that, because I'm not sure their is an obvious answer.
    I think it's different for every player. Different guys thrive in different environments. The problem from our perspective is that we can only analyze the road that's traveled - the road not taken is always an unknown.

    I made my peace a long time ago with the idea that the college and NBA games are different from one another, and that success in college (or lack thereof) doesn't always translate to similar results at the next level. I enjoy both the college and NBA games but they're completely different animals.

  5. #125

    Does Leadership Count for Anything?

    Hi,

    I feel part of the woes of our team (yea, I know I didn't play on it, I just use those terms and am sorry if I offended anyone) were a decided lack of leadership. Physically Austin might be able to handle the NBA grind (though I think his body could stand getting stronger), but I don't think he is mentally mature enough--in terms of being a leader or really even how to defer properly--to be a good NBA player. He might grow into it. Kobe Bryant sure got better as a leader as time went on, but my oh my, if Coach K had him at Duke for 2 years I think he would have made a much better teammate and effective leader earlier in his career.

    Mason, as much as it pains me to say this because I want him back, I don't feel has much to gain by staying. At least he seems to have learned to keep the ball over his head, something Miles never seemed to fully grasp the importance of. There is one intangible and that is Marshall. Something tells me that Mason and Marshall really want to play at Duke together. I don't know the Plumlee's financial situation. They might need the money and so going now makes a lot of sense. One more year might help Mason's leadership skills too, but if he didn't learn those in three years I don't think he will in four. I can't wait to see Marshall on the floor, something tells me he has more leadership skills than his two older brothers.

    GO DUKE!

  6. #126
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    Mar 2007
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    Virginia
    Quote Originally Posted by gus View Post
    2.1

    surprise!

    I think if his teammates had moved better without the ball, the number would have been higher.
    Or in some cases shot better. I remember several drive n dishes/kicks that didn't end up in an assist because teammates either didn't handle the pass cleanly or just missed the open look. I think that the notion that Rivers didn't pass enough was true early in the season but clearly not true in the middle of the season and then slightly true in the last couple of weeks but I think that was because some of the other players just weren't shooting well and Rivers really wanted to win.

    If he comes back, I would expect his assist numbers to go up next season. He will have more familiarity with the rest of the team and if MP2 comes back, he should have a great interior target.

    Speaking of MP2, one thing to really think about is the potential implications of his late season improvements in free throw shooting. If he can can continue to improve from the line, that would drastically help his game in a number of ways. A) It would improve his scoring average because he wouldn't be missing as many foul shots B) he can be more aggressive because he can actually try to draw the foul instead of trying to avoid it and C) and maybe more importantly, confidence in from the line should bolster confidence in the 12-18' jumper that is completely missing from his game. If he can his the mid range shot (like MP1) that makes guarding him much more difficult. It also decreases the pressure of getting him the ball close to the basket opening up his offensive game considerably. This is the area where a noticeable improvement could drastically improve his draft position.

  7. #127
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    Jan 2009
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    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Quote Originally Posted by Cameron View Post
    If poor is some sort of ghetto-slang synonym for really good, like ill is for tight or sweet then, yes, you are correct in your observation.

    Paulus averaged 11.4 points, nearly 4 assists and hit a career-high 83 three-pointers during his junior season for Duke. While a Chris Duhon-level defender he was not, Paulus played with unrivaled heart, momentous effort and was often times the most vitally-important offensive player on the team due to his unlimited range and ability to take a game over from the outside. Paulus was absolutely deadly from 25 feet and in that year, nailing four or more threes on eight different occasions. He was our best shooter and, many times, most reliable scorer in big-game moments.

    Without Paulus, we don't win in Chapel Hill in 2008 and suffer a spell of four years without a victory against the Heels. In that early February contest in the Dean Smith Center, he netted 18 points and dropped six threes in one of the more memorable shooting performances from any Blue Devil in the rivalry in recent years. It was a very coolheaded and J.J.-like display. Also, in the second round that March against West Virginia, it was the superior shooting of Paulus early that spurted Duke out to a double-digit lead in the first half. Things didn't end as we all would have liked, but Paulus was very much a positive factor in 2008 and, when I look back on his career in Durham, that junior season is a pretty fond memory.
    I agree that Paulus sometimes gets a bad rap for the way his career ended, but he certainly had a lot of good moments in a Duke uniform (that UNC game deserves to always be remembered) and had a solid career. (8th all-time in 3 pt.%, 9th in assists, 10th in 3s made, 15th in steals, 1000 point scorer) He was certainly a favorite of mine.
    Quote Originally Posted by superdave View Post
    No, I think you are exactly right. Nolan could play point and distribute, play off the ball and move well, or take over one on one or via pick and roll. He had lots of options, and was an A+ defender to boot.

    You make a good point about Austin guarding a guy like Westbrook. Austin needs to get physically stronger, to both body up on D and to finish stronger in the lane by absorbing contact.

    Super "Took the liberty of capitalizing proper nouns in your quote above...." Dave
    I don't think there is any doubt that Senior Nolan was a better player than Freshman Austin for all the reasons superdave mentioned. Freshman Austin has, however, had one of the best freshman seasons in Duke men's basketball history. I expect he will be a very good pro and would not be sitting on the bench if he chose to go pro and get picked somewhere in the middle of the first round. I also think he will play as a combo guard or as a shooting guard in the NBA instead of as a point guard. I think this would be good for him, as there are more elite point guards in the league right now than elite shooting guards and he has not yet shown a great ability to create scoring opportunities for others. He has shown that he has an extremely quick first step that allows him to get by just about anyone one-on-one. He has also shown that he is a very good three point shooter with NBA range off the catch or off the dribble. He has shown that he is willing and able to defend, though he will certainly have to improve to defend at the NBA level.

    I very much hope Austin returns to Duke and hope and expect he would continue to improve on the fabulous season he just had. If he decides to declare for the draft, I expect he will be another great ambassador for Duke basketball in the NBA and will become a very good player with a long career. I think either decision will be a good one.

    I also think Mason has two good choices and will make a good decision whichever one he chooses. One skill that translates well from college to the NBA is rebounding and Mason certainly does that well. He runs the floor well, has continued to improve defensively, blocks some shots and showed great improvement as a post up threat this year. I certainly hope he returns to Duke and has a monster all-ACC senior season. If he chooses to start his career next year, I believe he also has the potential to have a long, successful NBA career. I expect it may take him a bit more time to develop a role than it would for Austin, but expect he will be a solid player. I hope he gets to compete against his older brother in the NBA for many years.
    “Those two kids, they’re champions,” Krzyzewski said of his senior leaders. “They’re trying to teach the other kids how to become that, and it’s a long road to become that.”

  8. #128
    Quote Originally Posted by superdave View Post
    Beal is listed at 6-3, 207 and 6'7'' wingspan. Austin is listed at 6-4, 200, 6'7'' wingspan.

    Beal averaged 14.6 points on 43% field goals and 33% on 3's in 34 minutes. He averaged over 6 boards and 2 assists. He scored 20+ 5 times this season so far (still playing).

    Rivers averaged 15.4 points on 43% field goals and 36% on 3's in 33 minutes. He averaged 3 boards and 2 assists. He scored 20+ 8 times this season.

    So it sounds like they are pretty even, although Austin may have had a few more big games.

    But when you start talking draft, Beal is on Chad Ford's board at #4 and Austin #20. NBADraft.net has Beal at #8 and Austin at #11. Hoopshype.com has Beal at #7 and Austin at #9. DraftExpress has Beal at #7 and Austin at #16.

    If you take the Real Clear Politics method and average them, Beal's at 6.75 and Austin is at 14.

    That's a wide discrepancy for two players who are pretty similar in skill and size and stats this past season. Why is that? For one thing, Austin got a lot of negative press early in the season. Most of the articles were dumb because they came after about two weeks of the season, and Austin has improved considerably. The rebounding discrepancy tells me Beal might be stronger and more physical at this point.

    Here's what some of the writeups say -

    Beal - decent size for an NBA 2; good decision maker; inconsistent shooting #s; good jumper off the dribble; not an elite athlete; undersized/tweener; played with other ball-dominant guards this year which didnt help stats.

    Austin - not a point guard; looks for iso too much; excellent pick-roll player; combo guard; adequate explosiveness; needs to become less selfish; no left hand; great floater; struggles off the ball.
    If I had to guess the discrepancy has significantly less to do with early press and more to do with Beal having a better year and, as you mentioned, Beal being stronger. If you look at advanced stats like PER, TS%, eFG%, USG% and so on, Beal was markedly better than Rivers. That doesn't mean that Rivers is a bad player, but it may help explain the discrepancy you are wondering about.

  9. #129
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by azzefkram View Post
    If I had to guess the discrepancy has significantly less to do with early press and more to do with Beal having a better year and, as you mentioned, Beal being stronger. If you look at advanced stats like PER, TS%, eFG%, USG% and so on, Beal was markedly better than Rivers. That doesn't mean that Rivers is a bad player, but it may help explain the discrepancy you are wondering about.
    Can you share those stats in comparison? I'd be interested. Is that KenPom stuff?

    I suspect that Beal did not exactly have to carry as much of the load as Austin this year, although both led their teams in minutes. Boynton and Irving Walker had the ball in their hands more, whereas Austin became more of a playmaker as the season went on.

    Also, Duke had a substantially better regular season with Austin as its #1 option than UF did with Beal as its #2 option. Hmmmm.

  10. #130
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Cary, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    I am one of those who believes that Avery needed another year to refine his game at Duke before being thrown into an NBA situation where he never got a chance to play or develop. He did come from a poor background and needed the money to help his mother, who was on disability. In those terms, he made $2.4 million on his first contract before he was out of the league.In financial terms, he earned one big payday, whih is what he wanted. basketball wise, it was a disastrous decision.
    I agree, and you could also say that it was a disastrous decision financially in the sense that had he stayed another year and developed, not only could he have been drafted higher and gotten more money in his first year, but he could have gotten a better chance at sticking in the league and continuing to make money. With that said, I don't know his personal situation and maybe waiting a year wasn't feasible. I think a lot of us forget how good Avery was even as a freshman and it's a shame he had to serve as a cautionary tale for early departures.

    It's a gamble that these players make - leave too early and you risk riding the bench and never getting a chance to prove yourself. Leave too late and you could waste a year of income, or your stock could slip. I don't think Austin has much to lose by staying, except for the fact that this year's class is weak on point guards. But he has a lot that he could improve. In Mason's case though, I think he'd be better off going as he has more to lose than gain by staying (unfortunately for us).

  11. #131
    Quote Originally Posted by superdave View Post
    Can you share those stats in comparison? I'd be interested. Is that KenPom stuff?

    I suspect that Beal did not exactly have to carry as much of the load as Austin this year, although both led their teams in minutes. Boynton and Irving Walker had the ball in their hands more, whereas Austin became more of a playmaker as the season went on.

    Also, Duke had a substantially better regular season with Austin as its #1 option than UF did with Beal as its #2 option. Hmmmm.
    Here's a link for Austin.

    http://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/...-rivers-1.html

    In the search field you can type in Beal's name. Hollinger does some stuff on ESPN as well but it is a royal PITA to find. Austin definitely had a higher usage rate than Beal but that just makes Beal's stats look better.

    I agree with you about Duke's regular season but unfortunately we're home while FL is still playing. I can't speak for you but I'd rather have a worse regular season and still be in the tourney.

  12. #132
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    Jan 2011
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    Irvine, CA
    I don't think it's a matter of Austin being a selfish player. I doubt that he's a selfish person or player. I just don't think he has great basketball awareness. Whether by nature or nurture, he's programmed as a scorer, focused on getting points. He's definitely improved as a passer but it probably will never be second nature for him to look for his teammates when he has the ball in his hands. This is very different than being a selfish, me-first kind of teammate. I bet Austin would try to do anything that the coaches asked him to do.

  13. #133
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Nashville
    I'd also like to add that I don't think Josh or Gerald was a selfish player, either. There may have been attitude problems with Josh, but he wasn't selfish enough in terms of scoring. He was much better suited to being the number 3 or 4 option and facilitating others (he was a great passer at Duke). That team needed him to be a better scorer. Gerald, on the other hand, did have a bit of tunnel vision when he drove (he still does at the NBA level). However, he was always willing to do the dirty work on defense and was a great defensive player for Duke and is emerging as one of the best defensive SG in the NBA. Selfish players who have a me-first attitude don't put forth the effort on defense and rebounding that Gerald did.

  14. #134
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Arlington, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by COYS View Post
    I tend to agree with you about Mason's stock probably not likely to rise too significantly even with a great senior season, however I completely disagree about Austin. Austin has an NBA handle, NBA range on his jump shot and NBA quickness. What he lacks are NBA elite hops, NBA court vision, and an NBA midrange game. If he dramatically improves two of those three it will render his lack of elite NBA hops completely irrelevant. Also, I disagree with those who say he needs to play as a point guard at Duke to prove his NBA worthiness. He'll have the ball in his hands enough that if he gets better at creating for others as a two-guard, the NBA will take notice.

    Now, all that being said I'm not necessarily saying Austin should come back to Duke for another season. I think there is no doubt he would benefit from coming back and I'd love to see him suit up in a Duke uni again. He had a special freshman season that has, unfortunately, been overshadowed a bit by the relative disappointment of the team's performance and certain parts of the media who assume that because Austin wasn't in the NPOY conversation he failed to live up to expectations. All that being said, people who go to the NBA before they're ready to be big stars get the opportunity to work on basketball full time and get paid for their efforts. Austin is a total gym rat. If he goes to the NBA he'll have even MORE time to work on his game. My guess is that the Austin Rivers we see a year and a half from now will be a much improved version of the player he is right now whether he put in his work at Duke or for an NBA team.
    You may be right about Austin's draft prospects--I don't pretend to be an expert. But we agree on the bottom line--Austin will get better whichever choice he makes.

  15. #135
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    Feb 2007
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    Deeetroit City
    Quote Originally Posted by chazz101s View Post
    Will Avery?

    Or am I the only Duke b-ball fan who still laments the assinineness of Will Avery's going pro early?

    (Hey, my first post here--be kind ;-) Great to find, at long last, this site where real Blue Devil fans dwell and remember and predict!)

    Cheers,
    Chaz
    I prefer the term "assininity." Thus, one can refer to someone making such poor choices as an "assininny."

  16. #136
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    Mar 2007
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    Toledo
    Quote Originally Posted by dukeballboy88 View Post
    Rivers was the best 2 guard in the country and I think his game is more ready for the NBA than college. Now If he can learn to see the floor better and jump his assist average to around 6 a game like JWill and carry Duke to a final four, he could easily jump to the to 5. This is why I think he could benefit learning the game 1 more year under K.

    I see the comparisons of Jayson Williams Coach K talked about and and Rivers has better size and that makes him NBA ready. Rivers is a special player that can make his teammates better if he learns to see the floor. Duke would be unstoppable if AR avg 6 or 7 assist a game.
    I sure hope not, because Jayson Williams is a murderer and that would probably not be a positive trait for Austin to bring to the team.

    Agreed wholeheartedly, however, about Austin needing to really improve his court vision. With a split second and slither of an opening, the kid is Kevin Johnson with the ball in his hands. Absolutely indefensible. However, I think because he is so crafty and good at getting in the vicinity of the rim on dribble penetration, Austin almost always believes he can, or should, utilize that skill and get two points out of it, every time, no matter what.

    There are a couple of things wrong with that thought process. For starters, it often forces Austin to take incredibly difficult, body-twisting shots that, while perhaps more times than not makeable for him, are generally just terrible shots. Many times this wouldn't matter, because Austin is pretty good at drawing contact once deep inside the key, but it certainly matters when your free-throw shooting is somewhere between shocking and caravan accident. Those are a lot of wasted possessions. Austin, and the ball movement of the team (which this season was the worst I have seen it at Duke in 15 years), would be much better suited if he learned to choose his spots more carefully and used that defense-magnetizing dribble-drive to create open jump shots and backside slashing opportunities for his teammates. Rarely do I remember Austin passing out of the middle of the key. He's already good as is. If he were ever to develop eyes, he'd be lethal.

    The coaches have to be addressing this, right?

  17. #137
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Chicago
    Quote Originally Posted by Cameron View Post
    I sure hope not, because Jayson Williams is a murderer and that would probably not be a positive trait for Austin to bring to the team.

    Agreed wholeheartedly, however, about Austin needing to really improve his court vision. With a split second and slither of an opening, the kid is Kevin Johnson with the ball in his hands. Absolutely indefensible. However, I think because he is so crafty and good at getting in the vicinity of the rim on dribble penetration, Austin almost always believes he can, or should, utilize that skill and get two points out of it, every time, no matter what.

    There are a couple of things wrong with that thought process. For starters, it often forces Austin to take incredibly difficult, body-twisting shots that, while perhaps more times than not makeable for him, are generally just terrible shots. Many times this wouldn't matter, because Austin is pretty good at drawing contact once deep inside the key, but it certainly matters when your free-throw shooting is somewhere between shocking and caravan accident. Those are a lot of wasted possessions. Austin, and the ball movement of the team (which this season was the worst I have seen it at Duke in 15 years), would be much better suited if he learned to choose his spots more carefully and used that defense-magnetizing dribble-drive to create open jump shots and backside slashing opportunities for his teammates. Rarely do I remember Austin passing out of the middle of the key. He's already good as is. If he were ever to develop eyes, he'd be lethal.

    The coaches have to be addressing this, right?

    I would have to believe so. FWIW, if Austin stays, I would not be at all surprised to see the staff give serious consideration to (or at least experiment with) shifting him to the point, and pushing Austin to use his quickness and penetrating ability in exactly the fashion you describe. If successful, our offense could improve dramatically, even without Mason. Austin's NBA potential would surely increase, too, if he were viewed as having legit PG skills.

  18. #138
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    Feb 2007
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    Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by luvdahops View Post
    I would have to believe so. FWIW, if Austin stays, I would not be at all surprised to see the staff give serious consideration to (or at least experiment with) shifting him to the point, and pushing Austin to use his quickness and penetrating ability in exactly the fashion you describe. If successful, our offense could improve dramatically, even without Mason. Austin's NBA potential would surely increase, too, if he were viewed as having legit PG skills.
    Austin played about 34 minutes per game this year, and was barely subbed out the last month of the season. If he moves to to point guard, what do you do with Quinn Cook's 12 minutes per game, Tyler Thornton's 21 minutes or Seth Curry's 30 minutes? Do they move over to split the 2-guard duties? Where does Rasheed Sulaimon fit into that new rotation? Do you see Austin's minutes going down?

    I think Austin, should he stay, will continue to play off the ball and on the wing. I could see him initiating the offense a fair amount once we get into some of our half-court sets. Because we have three other guards smaller than Austin who can all play the point, I do not see Austin moving over to the 1.

  19. #139

    Mock Draft 1.0

    FWIW, Chad Ford's first pass at an NBA mock draft has Austin going to Houston at number 21 and Mason going to OKC at number 29. If that's an accurate indicator of the consensus of NBA front office opinion, I'd bet they both come back.

  20. #140
    Quote Originally Posted by burnspbesq View Post
    FWIW, Chad Ford's first pass at an NBA mock draft has Austin going to Houston at number 21 and Mason going to OKC at number 29. If that's an accurate indicator of the consensus of NBA front office opinion, I'd bet they both come back.
    For what it's worth (and maybe not much) local sports radio (Adam Gold and chronies) believe Austin is a lock to go this year with Mason 50:50. Of course they don't know anything specific, but it's interesting to get an opinion from a relatively neutral sports fan.

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