As for the PF's in this scenario, Murphy is also unproven and by most accounts a natural 3 more than a 4. Yes, he may be able to play the 4 in our scheme, but he's likely to struggle against physical guys too. Hairston at this point has proven himself to be a servicable backup, nothing more. It's possible he could develop into a Lance Thomas-type, but he hasn't done that yet. He is not athletic; he plays below the rim and while he plays with great energy, his shot is inconsistent and he struggles defensively as well.
Sorry guys, but Kelly-Marshall-Hairston-Murphy isn't going to scare anybody at the 4-5 next year. Not physical, not athletic, not very good defensively.
I'm simply stating that his height is mitigated by his short arms....his effective height is more like 6'10 than 7'0.
This doesn't mean he can't play basketball or will never be a star. Simply that we can't slot him in as a first team All-ACC center next year simply because he is 7' tall, as a couple seem to be doing.
Both Mason (assuming he stays) and Marshall are more athletic than Ryan and I expect to seem them defending the opposing 5 before we resort to trying to use Ryan in that role.
If next year our bigs are doing jumping jacks under the rim while our guards are dribbling around pondering whether to shoot a regular 3 or an NBA 3, it won't matter what someone's wingspan is, our post guys won't be having a good offensive year.
I can't even wrap my head around next year without too much wishful thinking (AR and MP2 returning and at least 2 out of Bazz, Amile and Jabari). Since we are talking about Marshall, how does his skill set compare to the likes of Cody Zeller? I'd be happy if he could provide us with a similar kind of production for his RS Freshman year. I know the Zellers differ in style and skill from the Plumlees when it comes to the older brothers, but I wasn't sure if MP3 differed much at all.
As I see it, Duke's problems in the latter part of this season stemmed mostly because Duke played with five fingers not with a fist. Andre's shooting slump and Ryan's foot added to the woes of course. However there was plenty of talent to beat Lehigh in the NCAA tournament and plenty of talent to beat Miami at Cameron in February and we didn't.
This team averaged 12 assists per game, the lowest number in years. While it is only 1 less than a few years, I think it tells you something.
I really don't know how good Murphy, Marshall or Sulaimon are. However if Mason and Andre come back then we again should have plenty of talent. It will be a struggle without them, unless the new players turn out to be super stars. In any case, if we don't play as a team then the season will be disappointing, and if we do then it will be fun.
IMO, no one does - or at least no one should - disagree with your point that Mason and Marshall would play the 5 before Ryan. But as CDu has stated, very precisely .......
To me, there is a parallel with the Quinn situation. If Quinn can raise his defensive play and run the point on offense showing maturity, poise and good decision-making, the starting 1 spot is there for him to take, and I think he may be able to step into that role next season.
If Quinn can step up at the point and Marshall can step up at the 5 position, then IMO that gives us the highest ceiling next year in terms of potential.
If we are playing Tyler at point and Ryan at 5, we can win a lot of games but I don't see our ceiling being as high.
Even if Mason returns, having Marshall step up and be the first sub at the 5 position (and perhaps even sometimes playing MP3 at 5 and MP2 at 4) will still be important to realizing our potential.
We know Ryan and Josh are the other 2 bigs, or maybe "bigs." I'm thinking that when Ryan and Josh are the 2 bigs on the floor, they might well switch between the 4 and 5. Josh can't really play the 3/wing, so he's a sort of an outside-inside guy on O. On D, he could, arguably, guard certain 5s as well as Ryan. Josh has some muscle. He'll have to use it, and his footwork, effectively on D next year, whether guarding 4s or 5s.
Look at it this way: if Mason leaves, our 4-5 is Kelly, Hairston, Marshall, and Alex. Alex is going to play a more outside-inside game, and Kelly is much more dangerous on offense when he's on the perimeter. Marshall is a classic 5. Hairston hasn't shown much more range than low post play and a medium range jumper. But he's an energetic defender and rebounder. I could very easily see K looking to rotate Hairston and Marshall at the 5, opting to keep Kelly and Murphy at the 4 (with Murphy also playing some 3) to maximize their offensive skillset.
All this underscores my view that Mason staying is crucially important. Mason gives us an All-ACC caliber starter at the 5, with Marshall to back him up. It allows Ryan and Hairston to play exclusively at the four, and allows Murphy to play more at the 3 along with G.
Brian Zoubek on what was going through his mind walking to the free throw line with 3.6 seconds remaining in the 2010 National Championship game and Duke up by 1: "Fifty percent [of me is] thinking, This is what I've been dreaming of doing my entire life. Fifty percent I'm crapping my pants."
My fear is we are back here next year wondering what went wrong because we still have a ton of a. small guards who don't defend well b. Offensively unproductive big men who have had three years (in Mason's case) to develop one post move c. ZERO wing players (or at least none we actually play) d. we continue to be "Alarmingly unathletic" at the 1-4 position, relying heavily on tacticion basketball players e. Dribble, dribble, dribble, chunk a three offense.
My fear is that without the addition of a Jefferson or Muhommed, very few of these deficiencies are going to be answered by Marshall and Murphy. Yes, Sulaimon should help us with some athleticism and defense, but the glaring holes that made themselves all to easy to exploit in March appear to sadly still be lingering.
I am just tired of Duke having fewer athletes than Lehigh, VCU, Baylor, Ohio, NC State, etc.. We may have missed on too many recruits lately, but I find it difficult to believe we can't go into the 75-100 range and get a 6'6 or 6'7 slasher who can lock your butt down on defense, my god, everyteam in the tournament has 3 or four of them it seems, and here we are at home.
I don't believe K will allow this to repeat itself, but the roster is the roster, and nobody is expecting miracles, nor should they be...