Though hard to show quantitatively, the other thing that happens with each year in the Duke system is their defense and their consitency improves. Seniors know best when to rotate and they have been in every ACC opponent's gym at least once and usually about 3 or more times.
Depending on what happens with Mason, Duke could be in the position only mid-majors are in having potentially 4 senior starters, with Seth actually in his fifth year.
So unless a Shabazz comes on board in limelight like a Kyrie or Austin, the nucleus would be the seniors:
Mason at center if he returns, or the senior Oriakhi? possibly if Mason goes and Tony Parker does not join first. Seemsl ike Tony will decide before Alex. Not sure which of the two Duke would prefer but go with the sure thing.
Ryan at PF unless he has to play center if Mason goes and no Parker nor Oriakhi.
Dre at a guard spot, possibly a 3 guard lineup. He's just too much of a weapon when he's on, not to leverage him his final year, and hope his senior maturity leads to consistently good rather than consistently inconsistent. Coach K has plenty of weapons if Dre does nto do his part Alex/Mike/Sheed plus possibly Amile?/Trey?.
Seth at a guard spot, either SG or PG depending on who the fifth starter is.
If Ryan has to defend at center and spread the floor on Offense, then I would think Duke would need the height and have Alex and Mike (or Amile) at the two forward spots with Josh in reserve capacity as more traditional PF as MP3 is at center, relegating Seth to PG.
The defense has to start with the bigs and work its way down but still play the best 5 which would exclude MP3 and Josh most likely.
If Mason is at center (or Oriakhi or Parker) the Ryan is the spread the floor PF he has been.
Dre and Seth are two of the guards and then a decision whehter to go with a traditional PG Quinn or Tyler or to go with a traditional SF Alex or Mike (or Amile or Trey if eleigible a no decision if it's Shabazz).
This could aslo vary by opponent sometimes being Mason-Ryan-Dre-Seth and Quinn/Tyler.
At other times Mason - Ryan - Alex/Mike (or Amile?/Trey?) - Dre - Seth
Having seniors is a big advantage as evidenced by FSU winning 4 out of 5 versus Duke (2-1) and UNC (2-0). With the presure to go pro early typically these seniors are not lottery pick type of guys but still very experieinced relative to hot shots who were in HS the prior year, and quite often first or second round NBA draftee candidates.
That being said, it is certainly much more common that a player gets more productive than that he gets less productive.
PG: Starter: Cook backup: Thornton, Sheed
SG: Starter: Curry Backup: Dawkins, Sheed
SF: Starter: Gbinije Backup: Murphy
PF: Starter: Hairston Backup: Kelly
C: Starter: Marshall Backup: Kelly
Kelly coming off the bench can play either PF or C depending on the matchup and game situation
Dawkins will probably start at SF, but I rather have either Gbinije or Murphy start and rotate for each other.
Sheed will be a combo guard, but I rather see him primarily at SG behind Curry, instead of PG.
Hopefully Cook is Duke's starting PG, Thornton is better as a backup.
I would love for Andre to start, but the problem with him is that his handle isn't good enough to warrant heavy minutes at the 2 and he's too small to warrant heavy minutes at the 3. During his sophomore year, the team could afford to start him at the 2 for a few games because Kyle could serve as a competent second ballhandler when necessary. If Andre does get significant minutes at the 2, I'm wondering if Alex or Michael could adequately help with ballhandling. Or, hopefully, Andre can get strong enough with the ball to the point where he can handle backcourt ball pressure and not just pass the ball off like a hot potato.
I know you can point to just as many box scores where Dre was on 0-for, but why throw a 3 year investment down the drain. Many wanted to do with same with Zoubs.
Duke should start at least 3 seniors. Whether the third is Mason or Dre depends on Mason's decision this week.
Starting 4 seniors is something usually restricted to mid-majors and can be a huge advantage.
I think Andre should be able to play 20-25 min at the 2/3, perhaps more at the 3. Coming off the bench as the third guard would probably give him more favorable offensive and defensive matchups than starting would.
That Andre, combined with the Ryan Kelly we saw in Maui, made Duke a top 5 team. The 0-for Andre, brought Duke down a few notches. With his hops and strength, Andre should be getting 2 to 3 dunks a game. He had a few drives from the baseline or wing this year, where the path to the rim was clear except for a weak side defender rotating over, and even with a full head of steam, each and every time, Andre slowed his pace and went up weakly. Sometimes drawing the foul, sometimes not. Very frustrating to see. I wanted to just will him into attempting to dunk hard, or taking hard directly to the defenders chest to insure the foul call. It never happened.
I also watched him last summer work very hard on his ball handling, and taking it to the rim to do what I described above on drives. He did it numerous times. Sadly, he did not gain enough confidence practicing those drives, and the ball handling in the Summer League to try to do those things in Duke games. He treated the ball like a hot potato so badly during the season, that when the PG brought the ball up, you knew for certain he was going to the wingman opposite of Andre every time to start the set. Which meant the defense always knew exactly where the set would start from.
I love the kid, and want him so badly to play consistently well, but I am close to losing hope that he will ever put it together. While he isn't a great ball handler, he is much better than he shows in College games. It comes down to confidence and lack of faith in his ball handling abilities. The driving thing is confidence as well, and possibly a fear of getting hurt attacking the rim.
Add it all up, and it becomes "The Curious Case Of Andre Dawkins". There is a lot of talent there. I see no reason why he cannot be an above average college player. Yet, at this point he isn't and he only has one chance left.
I want Andre to have a great Sr year, but at this point, I will not be surprised if it does not happen.
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Mason Plumlee had 60 dunks last season. That's about 1.75 dunks per game. And that was the single-season record at Duke.
Dawkins clearly has a wonderful shooting stroke and terrific athleticism. If he could handle the ball confidently he would be lethal. But for whatever reason, he hasn't really progressed. If anything, he regressed a little this past year (FG% dropped 8 points, 3pt% dropped 3.5 points, FT% dropped 5.2 points). I'd love to see him really find his game as a senior. If he does so, he can be an absolute star. But he hasn't done it yet, and I'm losing confidence that he'll do it at all. And next year he'll be competing with (at least) Gbinije and Murphy - two talented prospects who now have a year of physical development and experience with the system for minutes at SF. At SG, he's competing with an All-ACC senior and a VERY talented freshman, and he just doesn't have the ballhandling skills to play the SG at the college level (you need at least two strong ballhandlers unless you have a transcendent PG).
I certainly won't rule Dawkins out as a starter and star. His size, athleticism, and shooting ability are such that he can be an impact player. But as of now I see him like a Ben Gordon/Vinnie Johnson (minus the ballhandling skills) player as a 6th man, instant offense guy. When he's on, he comes in and lights it up. When he's off, you just take him out and play your other SG and SF. If Sulaimon, Gbinije, and Murphy are ready for the responsibility of being regulars, I think this could be an excellent arrangement.
With his athleticism and stroke, Dawkins should be a more consistent and valuable offensive weapon.
But the body only goes where the mind leads. Andre's mental game needs more work than his physical game, IMO.
I don't know if this is putting Andre down, definitely not my intentions but to be fair Im starting to think a lot of our expectations for Dre were kind of far fetched.....When you actually break down his game there's not a lot there. He has a superb stroke from 3, when he's on it's a site to see, arguably one of the best shooters in CBB...but outside of that there isn't much more....He's never been a ball handler not even in HS, its not a lack of confidence in his ability, its a lack of ability...he doesn't have much of a pull up game, im sure that's compounded by the fact that he rarely puts the ball on the floor. I keep seeing people rave about this terrific athleticism and I just don't see it...he doesn't have jump out of the gym hops, he's extremely slow-footed laterally, and not very quick at all.
I was super high on Dre coming into Duke and thought by last year he would've been an All ACC guy, he honestly just has that look to him...unfortunately that hasn't happen and he's running out of time....I hope he feels that urgency and wants to leave his mark on the program this year but maybe it's just not in him. If it isn't, I honestly have no problem w/ all his minutes going to Mike/Alex.....
To be clear, I am not suggesting in any way that his performance in Duke games should match his performance in the summer league. Total different world. What I am saying is that he worked hard on his weaknesses, showed the ability to dribble on the perimeter, and attack the basket aggressively, but when the real games started, for whatever reason, he rarely ever tried to do the things he had worked on all summer.
I agree he lacks lateral quickness, which hurts him on defense. I do think he is an above average leaper, so we disagree there.
I agree with Mike Corey that much of the problem is between his ears.
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Duke is a high level div 1 team who plays some of the best teams in the nation year in and out....Summer League ball is no comparison, first no one is playing D for real, 2nd the comp isn't on the same level....I've played pick-up and summer league with D1 guys and pros and held my own but wouldn't sniff a look from Duke....its not comparable IMO.
OK I won't say confidence isn't a factor at all but the reason he isn't doing it in games is b/c he can't, the intensity and level of play is not even close. That has to cause some confidence problems, Im sure Dre's handle looks as tight as Kyrie to people who can't play but as the talent goes up and those same moves that were blow-byes before stop working you'll definitely get tentative and lose confidence in your ability to do it.
I've never seen anything from Dre that says he's an above average leaper either, compared to who?!? At his age I could do every dunk I've ever seen Dre do at 5'10...
I can certainly envision this possible scenario:
Quinn's knee is 100% healthy and he makes dramatic improvement on the defensive end of the court. With his offensive skillset he gets the nod over Tyler, as Coach K decides to install a very uptempo offense.
Seth has learned from this past season what it takes to be the go to guy and relishes in the role for his final season at Duke.
Silent G. with a year under his belt now has the confidence and experience to play in an uptempo offense, which I mentioned above. His physical tools give him a decided edge over Dre.
Josh can run the court and the toughness he brings to the table negates the loss of Miles and Mason (if Mason does leave). Ryan's lack of offseason conditioning and lack of playing time in the new uptempo offense due to his foot injury has him behined Josh at the start of the season.
Marshall does indeed get the start at center if Mason does go.
Again, I doubt things will playout like this, but you never know and I'd rather admit it's possible than have to backtrack and eat crow.
We'll know a lot more by the end of this week (hopefully).
The point was Andre played the point which meant he had to handle the ball a lot (he was not working on PG skills, it was just to insure he had to dribble the ball a lot the entire game vs just hanging out on the wing) and he showed that he actually can dribble the ball adequately. It is not a strong point, but he is good enough that he should not be afraid to put the ball on the floor in Duke games. Yet he is. It's confidence/mental.
If you can't see how good of a leaper Andre is, then we will have to just disagree on that. If you want a comparison from this years team, Andre and Austin are roughly the same height, and Andre is a far better leaper than Austin is. Andre won the dunk contest at CTC two years in a row and showed great hops in doing so. If you could match the dunks he threw down in those contests at 5'10, then my hats off to you. Are you Spud Webb by chance?
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Yea I guess we'll just have to disagree....I wouldn't put Dre in the same paragraph as guys like Deuce Bello, Shaq Johnson, JP Tokoto....those guys are great leapers