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  1. #21
    Lots of reason for optimism. We're still, in a "worst reasonable case" scenario, a sure-fire tournament team with at least one if not more All-ACC quality players returning and a couple of terrific players coming in. That's worst-case. There's also the chance that (a) another All-ACC player returns and/or (b) we get another recruit/transfer or two that change the dynamics of the team. We still have lots of talent, lots of experience, and a fantastic coach.

    Granted, there are definitely some concerns. But I have nothing but optimism that Coach K will get them figured out.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Charlotte, North Carolina
    I also see a ton of reason to look forward to next season. I'm still operating under the assumptions (and you know what an assumption makes out of u and me...) that Rivers really is gone, Mason is coming back, and that we may get Jefferson but will not get either Bazz or Parker. I see that as kind of a mid-view of possibilities - we don't lose both underclassmen, but we don't get all our targets either.

    With that in mind how do we stand? Pretty well.

    Issues:

    1) The 1: We went this year without a really good solution at the point. We bring in no one new next year, but Quinn Cook could, and should, be a very different player next year than he was this year. Basically, he goes from being injured freshman to (hopefully) healthy sophomore. So, unless his evaluations as a recruit were wayyyyyyy off, we should have a very serviceable starting PG next season. Tyler is a worker, a classic lunchpail kid, but I think his ceiling is to be a defensive guy who can fill in at the point...he probably won't become a consistent scoring threat or a really good playmaker. Quinn needs to improve his D, but he all can see the potential, if he's healthy, and with work, to become a nice combo PG.

    2) The 2: No Austin? Not going to say no problem, because an NBA talent is always good to have around. But Curry will be a senior and has shown that, while he does go into slumps, he can be a nice offensive threat. Dawkins has one more year to find the consistency and defensive effort he's been lacking. It'll be nice if he gets that going, but not essential. Sulaimon is a freshman, and with the rare exception (Irving, Rivers) you don't expect freshmen to carry the load...but from what we're hearing the kid can play, and he should compete for minutes at the 2.

    3) The 3: I may be wrong, but I think Murphy is going to get a lot of minutes here. G should as well. 2 different guys, 2 strengths. We go from a team with no legitimate small forward, to a team with (assuming G and Murphy both develop their games over the summer) 2 legitimate small forwards.

    4) The 4: Start Kelly, sub in Josh. I'll take that all day long. I'm excited to see what Kelly brings his senior year. The kid could very well be 1st team all-ACC.

    5) The 5: Come on back, Mason. Starting Mason and subbing in Marshall will give us a very strong low-post. It'll also give Marshall a chance to develop without having to carry the load.

    6) Defense: This will be the biggest question again, and there are a million questions here. Can Cook upgrade his on-ball D to keep himself on the court, where we will probably need him to keep the offense humming? Curry's not a bad defender, but he needs to improve. So does Dre (needless to say). How about Rasheed...is he ready to come play Duke D? How about Alex? G has the athleticism, and should be a very good defensive option at the small forward. Our interior guys get slammed for their D, but when the perimeter is letting guards into the lane, it puts the bigs into an almost impossible position. We need to improve our D at every position. Without a bunch of new bodies, can we do that? YES. Our D was NOT our problem the last 3 weeks of the season. We went from about Kenpom 100 to Kenpom 50. The guys were finally getting it. Now we bring most of them back. We need to be better. But we can be.

    Hey, this team is not going to start the season top 5, we're not going to come in as a juggernaut. We're going to have to develop the talent we have. The five fingers will NEED to become that fist. But there is the potential there. For those who expect Duke to be the best team in the ACC and a final four contender coming out of the gate every season, you may want to look away and check the standings about February 1 to see if it's worth tuning in. For those of us who get excited about seeing the process of a team coming together, realizing that potential is not always filled but expectations are sometimes exceeded, it should be a really fun season.

    If the underclassmen at Chapa Heeya all come back, UNC is going to be a beast. If, as I expect, Barnes and Henson go, UNC will be good, but will be at a level that I think Carolina, Duke, and (assuming the freshmen are as good as advertised) State will compete for the regular season title. 3 of the Big 4 fighting on roughly even terms in the ACC? Man, I'm expecting to start hearing Van Halen, Duran Duran, and Michael Jackson on Top 40 radio...
    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."

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    raleigh
    an "optimist" is just someone who hasn't checked their email yet.....


    i'm ALWAYS an optimist...
    "Either we're going down, or they are....... Kirk out!"

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, D.C.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gthoma2a View Post
    Yeah, but the definition of dominant has changed for them. With the 2009 team, we had a dominant front court in defense and rebounding. Our wings were the skill players on the team that executed the sets to perfection. The bigs there were hard working players who feared nothing, knew their goals and refused to let anybody get the best of them on the glass or in the paint. They were great for that team, but would not have been considered "great" by the same standards that 1992/1993/2001 were. I'd like to get Parker just to have a little more depth on the inside. We could use it. That is not to mention that it would be a change of pace that could confuse our opponents. If we don't get him, Mason needs to stay to help his little brother handle the load on the inside. Ryan is a key, but we need more than two true bigs.
    Zoubek's screens made the offense. Those multiple screens, some of which were according to plan, others I['m sure were ad lib, were brilliantly executed. Zoubek's role in freeing the three scorers for open looks, taking and keeping the other team's center away from the basket opening passing lanes, and then beating the big back inside, getting rebounds and throwing them out for put back threes created an offense that nobody had seen before or since that was impossible to practice against, and more difficult than teams could even imagine to play against. Without Zoubek's role on offense, that team was an early out, as all the heads predicted, not recognizing how potent the "Zoubek" ffense was.

    By the way, Zoubek's basketball IQ was a high as anyone else's on that team; his speed, determination, stamina, selflessness, and skill in setting multiple screens on nearly every half court set (how many fouls do you recall being called against him for setting an improper screen) were remarkable.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by greybeard View Post
    Zoubek's screens made the offense. Those multiple screens, some of which were according to plan, others I['m sure were ad lib, were brilliantly executed. Zoubek's role in freeing the three scorers for open looks, taking and keeping the other team's center away from the basket opening passing lanes, and then beating the big back inside, getting rebounds and throwing them out for put back threes created an offense that nobody had seen before or since that was impossible to practice against, and more difficult than teams could even imagine to play against. Without Zoubek's role on offense, that team was an early out, as all the heads predicted, not recognizing how potent the "Zoubek" ffense was.

    By the way, Zoubek's basketball IQ was a high as anyone else's on that team; his speed, determination, stamina, selflessness, and skill in setting multiple screens on nearly every half court set (how many fouls do you recall being called against him for setting an improper screen) were remarkable.
    ZOUBS!!! YES!!! I remember one game, where the color commentator specifically mentioned that Zoubs set 5 screens in one single possession, emphasizing on slow-mo replay, resulting in a score. Zoubs mastered his role. And getting the offensive rebound, and passing out to the open 3-point shooter... PRICELESS.

    For next year... MARSHALL PLUMLEE!!!! Maybe not Zoubs role, but in his own role... YES!!!

    GO DUKE!!!

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by davekay1971 View Post
    I also see a ton of reason to look forward to next season. I'm still operating under the assumptions (and you know what an assumption makes out of u and me...) that Rivers really is gone, Mason is coming back, and that we may get Jefferson but will not get either Bazz or Parker. I see that as kind of a mid-view of possibilities - we don't lose both underclassmen, but we don't get all our targets either.

    With that in mind how do we stand? Pretty well.

    Issues:

    1) The 1: We went this year without a really good solution at the point. We bring in no one new next year, but Quinn Cook could, and should, be a very different player next year than he was this year. Basically, he goes from being injured freshman to (hopefully) healthy sophomore. So, unless his evaluations as a recruit were wayyyyyyy off, we should have a very serviceable starting PG next season. Tyler is a worker, a classic lunchpail kid, but I think his ceiling is to be a defensive guy who can fill in at the point...he probably won't become a consistent scoring threat or a really good playmaker. Quinn needs to improve his D, but he all can see the potential, if he's healthy, and with work, to become a nice combo PG.

    2) The 2: No Austin? Not going to say no problem, because an NBA talent is always good to have around. But Curry will be a senior and has shown that, while he does go into slumps, he can be a nice offensive threat. Dawkins has one more year to find the consistency and defensive effort he's been lacking. It'll be nice if he gets that going, but not essential. Sulaimon is a freshman, and with the rare exception (Irving, Rivers) you don't expect freshmen to carry the load...but from what we're hearing the kid can play, and he should compete for minutes at the 2.

    3) The 3: I may be wrong, but I think Murphy is going to get a lot of minutes here. G should as well. 2 different guys, 2 strengths. We go from a team with no legitimate small forward, to a team with (assuming G and Murphy both develop their games over the summer) 2 legitimate small forwards.

    4) The 4: Start Kelly, sub in Josh. I'll take that all day long. I'm excited to see what Kelly brings his senior year. The kid could very well be 1st team all-ACC.

    5) The 5: Come on back, Mason. Starting Mason and subbing in Marshall will give us a very strong low-post. It'll also give Marshall a chance to develop without having to carry the load.

    6) Defense: This will be the biggest question again, and there are a million questions here. Can Cook upgrade his on-ball D to keep himself on the court, where we will probably need him to keep the offense humming? Curry's not a bad defender, but he needs to improve. So does Dre (needless to say). How about Rasheed...is he ready to come play Duke D? How about Alex? G has the athleticism, and should be a very good defensive option at the small forward. Our interior guys get slammed for their D, but when the perimeter is letting guards into the lane, it puts the bigs into an almost impossible position. We need to improve our D at every position. Without a bunch of new bodies, can we do that? YES. Our D was NOT our problem the last 3 weeks of the season. We went from about Kenpom 100 to Kenpom 50. The guys were finally getting it. Now we bring most of them back. We need to be better. But we can be.

    Hey, this team is not going to start the season top 5, we're not going to come in as a juggernaut. We're going to have to develop the talent we have. The five fingers will NEED to become that fist. But there is the potential there. For those who expect Duke to be the best team in the ACC and a final four contender coming out of the gate every season, you may want to look away and check the standings about February 1 to see if it's worth tuning in. For those of us who get excited about seeing the process of a team coming together, realizing that potential is not always filled but expectations are sometimes exceeded, it should be a really fun season.

    If the underclassmen at Chapa Heeya all come back, UNC is going to be a beast. If, as I expect, Barnes and Henson go, UNC will be good, but will be at a level that I think Carolina, Duke, and (assuming the freshmen are as good as advertised) State will compete for the regular season title. 3 of the Big 4 fighting on roughly even terms in the ACC? Man, I'm expecting to start hearing Van Halen, Duran Duran, and Michael Jackson on Top 40 radio...
    Interesting post and I agree with some of your opinions.

    My question though is , who is going to rebound if Mason leaves ? Actually who will rebound , other than Mason, even if he stays...Kelley, Marshall ?

    As I said on another post, Coach K and staff should do everything they can to get Oriaki who would make a huge difference.

  7. #27

    2 pages v 6 pages

    Does anyone else find it odd that this thread has only 2 pages while the thread discussing Duke's problems has 6 or 7?

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by NashvilleDevil View Post
    Does anyone else find it odd that this thread has only 2 pages while the thread discussing Duke's problems has 6 or 7?
    Nah. It's the same reason the TV news reports on more murders than good deeds--bad stuff is just more compelling, for better or worse, than good stuff.

  9. #29
    Ryan has improved significantly the past 2 years, and I expect to see more next year.

    Seth has the talent to be a great college guard.

    Quinn is full of potential, as soon as he figures out defense and his knee recovers.

    I fully expect to see a top 10 team next year, but I don't call that optimism. I was bullish on this team all year, and I like our returning players a lot. Especially now that they don't have to defer to a freshman.

  10. #30

    2012-2013

    Quote Originally Posted by davekay1971 View Post
    I also see a ton of reason to look forward to next season. I'm still operating under the assumptions (and you know what an assumption makes out of u and me...) that Rivers really is gone, Mason is coming back, and that we may get Jefferson but will not get either Bazz or Parker. I see that as kind of a mid-view of possibilities - we don't lose both underclassmen, but we don't get all our targets either.

    With that in mind how do we stand? Pretty well.

    Issues:

    1) The 1: We went this year without a really good solution at the point. We bring in no one new next year, but Quinn Cook could, and should, be a very different player next year than he was this year. Basically, he goes from being injured freshman to (hopefully) healthy sophomore. So, unless his evaluations as a recruit were wayyyyyyy off, we should have a very serviceable starting PG next season. Tyler is a worker, a classic lunchpail kid, but I think his ceiling is to be a defensive guy who can fill in at the point...he probably won't become a consistent scoring threat or a really good playmaker. Quinn needs to improve his D, but he all can see the potential, if he's healthy, and with work, to become a nice combo PG.

    2) The 2: No Austin? Not going to say no problem, because an NBA talent is always good to have around. But Curry will be a senior and has shown that, while he does go into slumps, he can be a nice offensive threat. Dawkins has one more year to find the consistency and defensive effort he's been lacking. It'll be nice if he gets that going, but not essential. Sulaimon is a freshman, and with the rare exception (Irving, Rivers) you don't expect freshmen to carry the load...but from what we're hearing the kid can play, and he should compete for minutes at the 2.

    3) The 3: I may be wrong, but I think Murphy is going to get a lot of minutes here. G should as well. 2 different guys, 2 strengths. We go from a team with no legitimate small forward, to a team with (assuming G and Murphy both develop their games over the summer) 2 legitimate small forwards.

    4) The 4: Start Kelly, sub in Josh. I'll take that all day long. I'm excited to see what Kelly brings his senior year. The kid could very well be 1st team all-ACC.

    5) The 5: Come on back, Mason. Starting Mason and subbing in Marshall will give us a very strong low-post. It'll also give Marshall a chance to develop without having to carry the load.

    6) Defense: This will be the biggest question again, and there are a million questions here. Can Cook upgrade his on-ball D to keep himself on the court, where we will probably need him to keep the offense humming? Curry's not a bad defender, but he needs to improve. So does Dre (needless to say). How about Rasheed...is he ready to come play Duke D? How about Alex? G has the athleticism, and should be a very good defensive option at the small forward. Our interior guys get slammed for their D, but when the perimeter is letting guards into the lane, it puts the bigs into an almost impossible position. We need to improve our D at every position. Without a bunch of new bodies, can we do that? YES. Our D was NOT our problem the last 3 weeks of the season. We went from about Kenpom 100 to Kenpom 50. The guys were finally getting it. Now we bring most of them back. We need to be better. But we can be.

    Hey, this team is not going to start the season top 5, we're not going to come in as a juggernaut. We're going to have to develop the talent we have. The five fingers will NEED to become that fist. But there is the potential there. For those who expect Duke to be the best team in the ACC and a final four contender coming out of the gate every season, you may want to look away and check the standings about February 1 to see if it's worth tuning in. For those of us who get excited about seeing the process of a team coming together, realizing that potential is not always filled but expectations are sometimes exceeded, it should be a really fun season.

    If the underclassmen at Chapa Heeya all come back, UNC is going to be a beast. If, as I expect, Barnes and Henson go, UNC will be good, but will be at a level that I think Carolina, Duke, and (assuming the freshmen are as good as advertised) State will compete for the regular season title. 3 of the Big 4 fighting on roughly even terms in the ACC? Man, I'm expecting to start hearing Van Halen, Duran Duran, and Michael Jackson on Top 40 radio...

    So...wait...

    A possible starting 5 of:

    Quin Cook - Elite Passer who should improve his quickness and lateral speed following a year of rehab after knee surgery
    Andre Dawkins - One of the purest shooters in the land with good size and athleticism as a senior with motivation to prove he can be consistent
    Michael Gbinije - Physically gifted sophomore with smarts and a year of experience in the system
    Ryan Kelly - Highly skilled 6-11(!) senior captain with a variety of skills, great range out to the 3 point arc and a high basketball IQ
    Mason Plumlee - In the discussion as a 1st or 2nd team all American, one of the great rebounders in Duke history and also in the conversation as one of the most athletic bigs Duke has ever had

    THAT is a starting 5 with skills, athleticism, and experience.

    Oh...and we have a bench of:

    Tyler Thornton - Tenacious defender and leader. Sets an example day in and day out. Relentless in practice and games, making his teammates better. Improving 3 pt. shooter
    Seth Curry - Highly skilled and very crafty 5th year senior guard with excellent range and an improving mid-range shot. Known for steady/heady play and spurts of brilliance
    Alex Murphy - Highly touted red-shirt freshmen, who is noted for his versatile skill set. Has very good size and is still growing. Added strength and familiarity with the system with the red shirt year.
    Josh Hairston - Physical junior who has consistently exhibited great energy, good hands, and a good jump shot. Willing to mix it up and is a positive contributor in practice and in games.
    Marshall Plumlee - Redshirt freshmen, with loads of moxie and a personality that exudes confidence. 7 footer with above average athleticism and a year of experience in the system.

    Oh ... and we have recruits....

    Rasheed and others, welcome to one heck of a team. The second 5 alone as starters would be in the upper division of the ACC next year with talent, experience, and skill.

    Oh....and....er....we have a pretty good coaching staff with a man who leads the conversation on greatest basketball coaches of all time.

    Nah, I don't think there is cause for optimism...!

  11. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluealum View Post
    So...wait...

    A possible starting 5 of:

    Quin Cook - Elite Passer who should improve his quickness and lateral speed following a year of rehab after knee surgery
    Andre Dawkins - One of the purest shooters in the land with good size and athleticism as a senior with motivation to prove he can be consistent
    Michael Gbinije - Physically gifted sophomore with smarts and a year of experience in the system
    Ryan Kelly - Highly skilled 6-11(!) senior captain with a variety of skills, great range out to the 3 point arc and a high basketball IQ
    Mason Plumlee - In the discussion as a 1st or 2nd team all American, one of the great rebounders in Duke history and also in the conversation as one of the most athletic bigs Duke has ever had

    THAT is a starting 5 with skills, athleticism, and experience.

    Oh...and we have a bench of:

    Tyler Thornton - Tenacious defender and leader. Sets an example day in and day out. Relentless in practice and games, making his teammates better. Improving 3 pt. shooter
    Seth Curry - Highly skilled and very crafty 5th year senior guard with excellent range and an improving mid-range shot. Known for steady/heady play and spurts of brilliance
    Alex Murphy - Highly touted red-shirt freshmen, who is noted for his versatile skill set. Has very good size and is still growing. Added strength and familiarity with the system with the red shirt year.
    Josh Hairston - Physical junior who has consistently exhibited great energy, good hands, and a good jump shot. Willing to mix it up and is a positive contributor in practice and in games.
    Marshall Plumlee - Redshirt freshmen, with loads of moxie and a personality that exudes confidence. 7 footer with above average athleticism and a year of experience in the system.

    Oh ... and we have recruits....

    Rasheed and others, welcome to one heck of a team. The second 5 alone as starters would be in the upper division of the ACC next year with talent, experience, and skill.

    Oh....and....er....we have a pretty good coaching staff with a man who leads the conversation on greatest basketball coaches of all time.

    Nah, I don't think there is cause for optimism...!
    Considering that Curry was All-ACC last year, I'd be shocked if Dawkins started over Curry. Dawkins might start over Gbinije and Murphy at SF, but I really can't see Curry getting bumped from the starting gig. I'd also venture a guess that Murphy may push for a starting spot as well. There was lots of talk about him pushing for a starting job this past year before he decided to redshirt. I suspect with a year of development he'll be really pushing for that this coming year.

    Other than that, though, I agree. Lots of reason for optimism. The team will likely have a very different look and feel from this past season. But I think it'll be a really good team. Especially if guys like Sulaimon and Murphy are as good as some are predicting.

    Will it be a world-beater type of team? Probably not. But I fully expect us to compete for an ACC championship (especially if Leslie and a few UNCers go pro).

    Losing Mason and not getting a replacement would make things tougher. But we'd still be a sure-fire tourney team and Top-25ish team without Mason. There's just a lot of really good players and a lot of experience.

  12. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Considering that Curry was All-ACC last year, I'd be shocked if Dawkins started over Curry. Dawkins might start over Gbinije and Murphy at SF, but I really can't see Curry getting bumped from the starting gig. I'd also venture a guess that Murphy may push for a starting spot as well. There was lots of talk about him pushing for a starting job this past year before he decided to redshirt. I suspect with a year of development he'll be really pushing for that this coming year.

    Other than that, though, I agree. Lots of reason for optimism. The team will likely have a very different look and feel from this past season. But I think it'll be a really good team. Especially if guys like Sulaimon and Murphy are as good as some are predicting.

    Will it be a world-beater type of team? Probably not. But I fully expect us to compete for an ACC championship (especially if Leslie and a few UNCers go pro).

    Losing Mason and not getting a replacement would make things tougher. But we'd still be a sure-fire tourney team and Top-25ish team without Mason. There's just a lot of really good players and a lot of experience.
    CDU, I can't say I disagree that it is tough to have Curry come off the bench, but we do have 4 productive seniors (assuming Mason stays) there likely will be someone coming off the bench). I suggested that lineup in the 'optimism' thread, because there is so much anxiety over the 'eye test' of our physicality that we start reaching for recruits and transfers in our minds. If you look at a lineup with Quin, Andre, Mike, Ryan, and Mason that is a physically imposing lineup in my view. We are average to above average in height at 4 of 5 spots with inarguable athleticism. If Curry starts and Andre slides over, or if at noticeably slighter (now) Alex starts over Mike, it's not because we don't have the 'prototypical' athletes on our team. It's because we have players with such skill (Seth/Alex) that it is hard not to start them over more physically imposing players. In any case, if history is an indicator the starters will evolve over the course of the season and there will be some shuffling. It's part of the fun of watching the team grow. This year watching the late emergence of Miles was a real pleasure and one of the good memories from the season.

    We have all the talent in the world. What makes a great team is talent and a special chemistry. When that mix occurs it is sublime to watch it develop.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Nashville
    Quote Originally Posted by davekay1971 View Post
    I also see a ton of reason to look forward to next season. I'm still operating under the assumptions (and you know what an assumption makes out of u and me...) that Rivers really is gone, Mason is coming back, and that we may get Jefferson but will not get either Bazz or Parker. I see that as kind of a mid-view of possibilities - we don't lose both underclassmen, but we don't get all our targets either.

    With that in mind how do we stand? Pretty well.

    Issues:

    1) The 1: We went this year without a really good solution at the point. We bring in no one new next year, but Quinn Cook could, and should, be a very different player next year than he was this year. Basically, he goes from being injured freshman to (hopefully) healthy sophomore. So, unless his evaluations as a recruit were wayyyyyyy off, we should have a very serviceable starting PG next season. Tyler is a worker, a classic lunchpail kid, but I think his ceiling is to be a defensive guy who can fill in at the point...he probably won't become a consistent scoring threat or a really good playmaker. Quinn needs to improve his D, but he all can see the potential, if he's healthy, and with work, to become a nice combo PG.

    2) The 2: No Austin? Not going to say no problem, because an NBA talent is always good to have around. But Curry will be a senior and has shown that, while he does go into slumps, he can be a nice offensive threat. Dawkins has one more year to find the consistency and defensive effort he's been lacking. It'll be nice if he gets that going, but not essential. Sulaimon is a freshman, and with the rare exception (Irving, Rivers) you don't expect freshmen to carry the load...but from what we're hearing the kid can play, and he should compete for minutes at the 2.

    3) The 3: I may be wrong, but I think Murphy is going to get a lot of minutes here. G should as well. 2 different guys, 2 strengths. We go from a team with no legitimate small forward, to a team with (assuming G and Murphy both develop their games over the summer) 2 legitimate small forwards.

    4) The 4: Start Kelly, sub in Josh. I'll take that all day long. I'm excited to see what Kelly brings his senior year. The kid could very well be 1st team all-ACC.

    5) The 5: Come on back, Mason. Starting Mason and subbing in Marshall will give us a very strong low-post. It'll also give Marshall a chance to develop without having to carry the load.

    6) Defense: This will be the biggest question again, and there are a million questions here. Can Cook upgrade his on-ball D to keep himself on the court, where we will probably need him to keep the offense humming? Curry's not a bad defender, but he needs to improve. So does Dre (needless to say). How about Rasheed...is he ready to come play Duke D? How about Alex? G has the athleticism, and should be a very good defensive option at the small forward. Our interior guys get slammed for their D, but when the perimeter is letting guards into the lane, it puts the bigs into an almost impossible position. We need to improve our D at every position. Without a bunch of new bodies, can we do that? YES. Our D was NOT our problem the last 3 weeks of the season. We went from about Kenpom 100 to Kenpom 50. The guys were finally getting it. Now we bring most of them back. We need to be better. But we can be.

    Hey, this team is not going to start the season top 5, we're not going to come in as a juggernaut. We're going to have to develop the talent we have. The five fingers will NEED to become that fist. But there is the potential there. For those who expect Duke to be the best team in the ACC and a final four contender coming out of the gate every season, you may want to look away and check the standings about February 1 to see if it's worth tuning in. For those of us who get excited about seeing the process of a team coming together, realizing that potential is not always filled but expectations are sometimes exceeded, it should be a really fun season.

    If the underclassmen at Chapa Heeya all come back, UNC is going to be a beast. If, as I expect, Barnes and Henson go, UNC will be good, but will be at a level that I think Carolina, Duke, and (assuming the freshmen are as good as advertised) State will compete for the regular season title. 3 of the Big 4 fighting on roughly even terms in the ACC? Man, I'm expecting to start hearing Van Halen, Duran Duran, and Michael Jackson on Top 40 radio...
    This is an excellent post. Unfortunately, I have to spread the love before I can give you sporks for it. The staff faced some tough decisions this past season. None of our perimeter players emerged as a defensive cog while none of their possible replacements (Mike, Quinn) were quite ready to handle the load. We had to go for offense over defense because putting the more physically imposing players like Mike did not give us a defensive boost and also hurt our offense. I anticipate that we will not have to make such compromises next season. Mike, with his physical ability and another year to develop his skills, will be ready to compete for real minutes. Alex has already received some love from the coaching staff and will also compete from the get-go. I don't expect Rasheed to star for Duke his freshman year, but if his physical ability allows him to play defense in a similar fashion to freshman-year Nolan (14.7 mpg), it would not be surprising to see him earn some significant minutes, as well. Seth and Ryan will be a year older and a year better. Same goes for Josh and Tyler. The team will need to gel, just as you stated, but I think the talent is there for a contender, especially if Mason returns.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Nashville
    Quote Originally Posted by COYS View Post
    This is an excellent post. Unfortunately, I have to spread the love before I can give you sporks for it. The staff faced some tough decisions this past season. None of our perimeter players emerged as a defensive cog while none of their possible replacements (Mike, Quinn) were quite ready to handle the load. We had to go for offense over defense because putting the more physically imposing players like Mike did not give us a defensive boost and also hurt our offense. I anticipate that we will not have to make such compromises next season. Mike, with his physical ability and another year to develop his skills, will be ready to compete for real minutes. Alex has already received some love from the coaching staff and will also compete from the get-go. I don't expect Rasheed to star for Duke his freshman year, but if his physical ability allows him to play defense in a similar fashion to freshman-year Nolan (14.7 mpg), it would not be surprising to see him earn some significant minutes, as well. Seth and Ryan will be a year older and a year better. Same goes for Josh and Tyler. The team will need to gel, just as you stated, but I think the talent is there for a contender, especially if Mason returns.
    One other quick note. A lot of people are concerned about rebounding. I agree that it will be a bit of a concern, but this year was interesting because we got little help from our guards in the rebounding department and didn't have the size at the 3 spot to rebound. Again, with Mike and Alex getting more time next year, we will probably have a better chance of grabbing more boards from our perimeter spots which will help fill the void left by Miles (and possibly Mason).

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluealum View Post
    CDU, I can't say I disagree that it is tough to have Curry come off the bench, but we do have 4 productive seniors (assuming Mason stays) there likely will be someone coming off the bench). I suggested that lineup in the 'optimism' thread, because there is so much anxiety over the 'eye test' of our physicality that we start reaching for recruits and transfers in our minds. If you look at a lineup with Quin, Andre, Mike, Ryan, and Mason that is a physically imposing lineup in my view. We are average to above average in height at 4 of 5 spots with inarguable athleticism. If Curry starts and Andre slides over, or if at noticeably slighter (now) Alex starts over Mike, it's not because we don't have the 'prototypical' athletes on our team. It's because we have players with such skill (Seth/Alex) that it is hard not to start them over more physically imposing players. In any case, if history is an indicator the starters will evolve over the course of the season and there will be some shuffling. It's part of the fun of watching the team grow. This year watching the late emergence of Miles was a real pleasure and one of the good memories from the season.

    We have all the talent in the world. What makes a great team is talent and a special chemistry. When that mix occurs it is sublime to watch it develop.
    Maybe you know something I don't know (I don't live in Durham and don't see the players in person), but I'm surprised to hear Alex described as "noticeably slighter" than Mike. On the roster he is an inch taller and 15 pounds heavier. I believe I have read that he has grown a little taller over the course of the year; that might make him "slighter" inch for inch, but unless he has lost weight or Mike has gained a lot, I'm not sure Mike would be more physically imposing than Alex.

  16. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluealum View Post
    CDU, I can't say I disagree that it is tough to have Curry come off the bench, but we do have 4 productive seniors (assuming Mason stays) there likely will be someone coming off the bench). I suggested that lineup in the 'optimism' thread, because there is so much anxiety over the 'eye test' of our physicality that we start reaching for recruits and transfers in our minds. If you look at a lineup with Quin, Andre, Mike, Ryan, and Mason that is a physically imposing lineup in my view. We are average to above average in height at 4 of 5 spots with inarguable athleticism. If Curry starts and Andre slides over, or if at noticeably slighter (now) Alex starts over Mike, it's not because we don't have the 'prototypical' athletes on our team. It's because we have players with such skill (Seth/Alex) that it is hard not to start them over more physically imposing players. In any case, if history is an indicator the starters will evolve over the course of the season and there will be some shuffling. It's part of the fun of watching the team grow. This year watching the late emergence of Miles was a real pleasure and one of the good memories from the season.

    We have all the talent in the world. What makes a great team is talent and a special chemistry. When that mix occurs it is sublime to watch it develop.
    I'd say we'd be more likely to see a starting lineup of Curry, Dawkins, Gbinije/Murphy, Kelly, and Mason than we are to see a lineup of Cook, Dawkins, Gbinije/Murphy, Kelly, and Mason. I just don't see any way a fifth-year senior who was All-ACC last year isn't a starter next year (not saying he's guaranteed a job - just that he's likely to continue to earn that job). While Dawkins is taller, bigger, and a better leaper, he's not really shown to be any more imposing than Curry in my opinion. Maybe he changes that next year.

    In any case, I agree that we have tons of talented players next year. It's just a question of how the talent fits together and who steps up.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Quote Originally Posted by COYS View Post
    One other quick note. A lot of people are concerned about rebounding. I agree that it will be a bit of a concern, but this year was interesting because we got little help from our guards in the rebounding department and didn't have the size at the 3 spot to rebound. Again, with Mike and Alex getting more time next year, we will probably have a better chance of grabbing more boards from our perimeter spots which will help fill the void left by Miles (and possibly Mason).
    I think it depends. If Mason leaves and we don't get Parker or Oriakhi, I think we'll see a significant portion of the game with Ryan at the 5 and Alex at the 4. If Mike is playing the 3 during those minutes, then I agree with you. If not, we'll have similar perimeter-rebounding issues as we had this season. If Mason or Parker or Oriakhi are part of our big man rotation, and thus Alex plays more at the 3, then I also agree with you.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Western Maryland
    I can't imagine Seth not starting next year, he is arguably our best returning player, esp if Mason goes pro. But yeah, we have loads of talent, and the future is bright.

  19. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    I think it depends. If Mason leaves and we don't get Parker or Oriakhi, I think we'll see a significant portion of the game with Ryan at the 5 and Alex at the 4. If Mike is playing the 3 during those minutes, then I agree with you. If not, we'll have similar perimeter-rebounding issues as we had this season. If Mason or Parker or Oriakhi are part of our big man rotation, and thus Alex plays more at the 3, then I also agree with you.
    Yup. We'll be a very strong rebounding team if we have one of Mason or Oriakhi (I'm not yet sold on Parker, but could be convinced) and one or more of Murphy, Gbinije, Muhammad, or Zeigler at the SF spot. I think we could still be a strong rebounding team if we lose Mason and don't get Oriakhi/Parker IF some (not necessarily all, though it'd be nice) of the following happen:

    1. Marshall is ready to play 15-20 solid minutes at C
    2. Hairston is ready to play 20-25 solid minutes at PF
    3. Gbinije and Murphy are both ready for significant minutes
    4. We get Muhammad or Zeigler

    If we go into next year with the team as is it's very possible that we're an even worse rebounding team.

    In other words, getting stronger rebounding from the SF position will go a long way toward offsetting the loss of the Plumlees (whose rebounding prowess may already be somewhat offset by Marshall, Kelly, and Hairston). If we don't get stronger rebounding from the 3 spot, it'll be critical that we get a strong inside rebounding presence at the 5 spot.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    (I'm not yet sold on Parker, but could be convinced)
    My thinking on Parker if he chooses Duke (and Mason leaves and we don't get Oriakhi) is he could get 5 or so rpg in 15 to 18 mpg. But it's not just those 5 rebounds. If Parker can play 15 to 18 minutes, then Alex Murphy would get more of his minutes at the 3 (instead of almost all his minutes at the 4, which is what I think would happen if our only "true" bigs are Ryan, Marshall, and Josh), and Alex at the 3 will lead to more rebounds for the team. Thus, Tony Parker in the rotation leads to more Duke rebounds. Does that make sense?

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