But I couldn't disagree more with the bolded part. I'd say that just about EVERY other team in the conference had a more mobile 4 than Kelly:
Maryland: the only team for which your statement holds true
Miami: Kadji, Jones
NC State: Leslie
UNC: Henson, McAdoo
Va Tech: Finney-Smith
Like it or not, next season our center is going to be Mason (if he returns) or Ryan (if Mason doesn't return). Whichever one it is, I believe he will be 2nd team All-ACC, or maybe 1st team. Despite that, I also predict people on DBR will spend most of the season complaining about him.
Count me in the camp that thinks Kelly would thrive at the 5. It would accentuate some of his strengths (versatile scoring) and minimize some of his weaknesses (quickness). I think the concerns about his strength and rebounding are overstated - especially with another summer of strength training. At the 5, Kelly is a HUGE matchup nightmare offensively, and I think he would do just fine defensively.
The debate over Ryan at the 5 will be a moot point.
MP3 will be a BEAST for us next year at the 5. I'm calling it now.
If Mason comes back, then as with this year when we had a rotation of MP1, MP2, Ryan and Josh at the 4/5, next year we'll have the same rotation except with MP3 and without MP1. We'll have an end-of-game free throw shooting lineup with Ryan at the 5, but otherwise he and Josh will be 4s and there will be some lineups with MP3 at the 5 and MP2 at the 4 while Ryan is getting a blow.
Murphy is an unknown at this point. Will he be a natural 3 or a natural 4?
Overall, i think it's a bit too early to speculate what this team will be capable of next year b/c a) our recruiting class may or may not be filled out completely yet, b) we don't know how many, if any, players will leave early and c) injuries can happen during the summer too and put guys behind the curve or put them in red-shirt category (obviously i'm hoping this happens to no one).
In spite of that, i will say this: the ability to improve on passing the ball will determine how much this team improves. This year, IMO, what reduced our effectiveness was two-fold: a) our inability to pass the ball well, especially into the post and b) defend the perimeter. A) leads to B) in that opposition transition offense off of missed shots really hurt us defensively: improve offensive efficiency and defense ought to improve as well. Most of the games we lost this year was b/c we went cold from the floor (reduced O efficiency) and gave up transition points.
If we get no additional recruits beyond Sulaimon, i think that Quinn's ability to deliver the ball will improve b/c he'll get more PT b/c he'll improve on D. Hopefully Seth and TT improve on their passing as well. I think that a matured (shh)G plus the additions of Murphy and Sulaimon to the wing will improve our perimeter D, honestly it's hard for it to get any worse.
Last edited by DukieInBrasil; 03-18-2012 at 05:19 PM. Reason: didn't want to post a 2nd comment so just merged ideas
Which is why I am confused that a high quality big man has not been recruited/signed by now.
Look at what we have. High rated players that we ARE recruiting are waiting to see if they'll be the SHOW.... waiting to see if Austin leaves so they can showcase THEIR talents already reflecting a mindset to me that does not suggest team play in the purest sense of the phrase.
IMHO, teams that show unselfish play and a balanced attack are the more successful teams.
I like Ryan very much but NOT as a center and I would not classify him as a POWER forward either.
So, what are we doing?? It appears to me that we are going to be committed to the 3 point shot again next year.
I asked the question....... Why didn't Coach K. go inside more often?? Did he feel that our bigs couldn't get it done?? Honestly, at times I thought I was watching an NBA team this year with guys standing around watching what someone else was going to do.
I have no doubt that a strong big man in either the center or power forward position would make a HUGE difference in both our offense and defense.
We have very good supporting players right now and I think a very good big is what we are missing.... it would open up our offense a great deal.
I think you're far underestimating the importance of length. Take a look at the last two national champions, Uconn and duke...both very tall, very long teams....especially in the frontcourt...
Mason and miles wingspans are 6'11 and 7'0 respectively....so despite being half an inch taller than miles, he's effectively a few inches shorter...
Being 7' tall also does not compensate for lateral reach, where he will be severely disadvantaged against other centers.
He will have to compensate for that with skill...but that will take time...and I certainly don't expect it next season.
uh_no, I'm as big of a wingspan hawker as anyone, and I agree with you to an extent - he's going to be more like a 6'10 player, for all intents and purposes.
However, I think he might surprise a little bit next year. The one advantage he's always had over his brothers is his approach to contact; he's not afraid of initiating it with his lower body, from what I've seen, but he's just always been too weak to really be effective. He also seems to execute post moves with a little more decisiveness and purpose, even if he's been very unpolished.
However, he's put on a HUGE amount of muscle over the past year. I would be surprised if he's listed as under 240 next year, to be honest. I'm optimistic that he might be physically ready before I expected, thanks to the redshirt... mentally might be another story.
Disclaimer: I enjoyed this season, and like our guys.
This year we had too many perimeter guys with comparable arguments for playing time, and the team's whole ended up being less than the sum of its parts. We were impressively deep, but somehow we could never find a combination of five guys who could consistently play like a Duke starting 5. Especially on defense.
And this problem could be worse next year.
Let's assume Austin stays. He'll be that guy that K wants to play nearly 40 minutes. The rest of our perimeter minutes will be divided between Curry, Cook, Thornton, Sulaimon, Dawkins, Murphy, and Gbinije. That's way too many guys of comparable ability and competing strengths fighting for 80 minutes of playing time.
(should Austin leave, that opens things up, but leaves a bigger problem: no Austin!)
And I fear that this logjam could undermine the team's leadership structure. Championship caliber teams need a hierarchy that's clear and consistent. Ideally your older guys are amongst your best guys, and have at the very least locked down their spots in the rotation.
Seth is a skilled offensive player, but he's a slow and undersized defender.
Andre, my favorite player, is the riddle of the century. 'Nuff said. Shades of Ricky Price (another favorite) in his regression.
Based on intangibles, hustle and gravitas, Tyler is ready for a big role, but being able to dribble the ball up and pass the ball around the perimeter is not the same thing as running the point, and he absolutely must improve his shooting (I think he will).
That's too many issues with our rising upperclassmen. And these basketball issues are not entirely disconnected from leadership/ team management issues.
Which leads us to the lower classmen. Coach K will give them whatever minutes they earn in practice.
If you believe point guards are born and not made, Quinn Cook is the former: he's got great court vision, and a good spider sense for how much space he has/needs, especially when adjusting shots to shoot over bigger guys, etc. BUT, and I don't think this gets enough recognition: he's even smaller than you think. He looks tiny out there, and though quicker than Seth, is against a lot of teams a problem to be hidden on defense.
Murphy/Gbinije: With height and defense being pressing issues, at least one of these guys has a chance to earn a spot in the rotation, and pose a serious threat to minutes to all the guys mentioned above. I won't speculate on how good/ready they'll be (we don't even know what to make of some of the guys we've watched all season), but the opportunity is there. I think back to someone like Brian Davis, whose offensive skills were inferior to many of the guys mentioned above, but who'd be starting for this team based on tenacity, size, and athleticism.
Sulaimon: If he's a stud from the get go, that's good but we face a situation in which some of the guys mentioned above will fall out of the rotation entirely. I have no problem with that if that's what's meant to be, but it could put further strain on there being a clear hierarchy within the team. If Sulaimon is good but needing work, well, then he's a lot like the other six non-Rivers perimeter guys.
To summarize: there's a shocking amount of uncertainty about which of these guys should be starting and getting the lion's share of the minutes, and even who should be getting the secondary minutes. I hope for the best, but the circumstances do not seem conducive to a solid team identity and understanding of roles and expectations.
At the 4 & 5 spots, I feel like we're in better shape, at least in terms of expectations. Should Mason return, he and Kelly will be our main bigs, and Hairston and Marshall will play supporting roles. If Mason goes, there will be pressure on Marshall to become a rebounding force from day one.
Last edited by Mcluhan; 03-18-2012 at 05:48 PM.
I think next year coming into camp, the tone needs to be, there are 5 starting spots, and anyone on the team can have them. Nobody is guaranteed to be a starter....not seth, not andre, not austin, not mason, not tyler, not quinn, not ryan....it will probably be made abundantly clear that if you expect to be starting, you better darn well play tough defense.
It'll be a dogfight for starting spots next year....outgoing seniors who want the PT, newcomers who want to prove they belong....should be fun.
- Marshall is just as athletic as his brothers and is even taller
- He's had a year already in K's system and learning from his older brothers
- He seems like a bright kid, I'm counting on him to cut down on the silly fouls MP1 and MP2 were prone to early in their careers
- I expect Cook to get a LOT of minutes at point next year, which will directly benefit the 5 position
- He is reputed to be even more of a true 5 than either of his older brothers
- He seems to get on great with his teammates which could give us better chemistry and trust on the court between the guards and bigs which we desperately needed this year.
his wingspan is 4" shorter than miles' and 3" shorter than masons.
When your wingspan is 4" less than your height, that is certainly bordering on t-rex proportions.....the opposite being gorilla proportions
and this isn't a slam on Marshall, its just his build...it is what it is...no more no less.