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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Albemarle, North Carolina

    Duke's off-season work plan

    What Shawn Krest thinks the individual Duke players need to do going into next season.

  2. #2
    I don't completely agree with Krest's analysis. Here's what I'd say:

    The likely stars

    Mason: in addition to improving the 15 footer (from everywhere, including the FT line), Mason needs to continue to polish up his post moves and work on becoming a more fluid player. He had one good move (from either side) last year. He'll need 2-3 moves that he's comfortable with, and able to utilize with some fluidity. He needs to step up and be a 15 and 10 guy next year.

    Curry: continue to work on ballhandling and playmaking skills. Improve his strength and quickness as much as possible so as to be better able to handle bigger, more athletic defenders. If he can become effective both as a PG and as a SG, it gives the team a lot more versatility than if he's forced to be a SG. He needs to be a 15 and 5 (assists) guy next year.

    The next tier

    Kelly: I don't know that bulk is necessary, but strength and quickness/agility drills should be the order of the day for him. He got torched by quicker players at the PF position. And if he's going to be perimeter-oriented, he needs to be slightly quicker to the hole when he uses the pump fake and drive. It would be great if he could become a 15 and 7 guy next year.

    The "potential" guys

    Dawkins: He needs to develop his ballhandling more. He doesn't need to be a playmaker, but he needs to be able to pump-fake, take a dribble or two, and hit a mid-range shot. It'd be nice if he could also get confident enough to drive all the way to the rim. There's no reason why he couldn't be a 15ppg guy. On the other end, he needs to work on maintaining his focus. He has to stay alert at all times, including boxing out and not losing his man. He has all the physical tools to be successful at the college 3. He just has to figure it out.

    Murphy: Hard to say what he needs to work on, but based on where he was last fall I hope he's gotten a lot stronger. But he needs to make sure he's comfortable on the defensive end, because that's the key to getting on the floor.

    Cook: Get healthy, plyometrics to improve quickness/explosiveness, lots and lots of jumpshots, and lots and lots and lots of work on the defensive end. The guy has the best court vision and ballhandling/playmaking skills on the team, but he's got to be able to play on the other end of the floor, too. And he's got to be quick enough to utilize his other skills to offset his height.

    Sulaimon: Strength training and defense. Work on ballhandling as well. But learning the team's defensive concepts will be critical. If he can do that, he'll find plenty of opportunity next year.

    The role players

    Thornton: I think the ceiling for this team is highest if Thornton is not a major minutes guy. He's just too limited offensively (in terms of ballhanldling, playmaking, and shooting) and not a very good on-ball defender at the PG spot. He'll be a solid backup/energy guy, but I think it's unlikely that his limitations can be overcome enough to be a primary player on a Final Four caliber team.

    Hairston: He needs to have a heavy dose of plyometrics and cardio work to go along with continued strength training. The guy needs to get some of the bounce back in his game while maintaining the added strength. He's got a decent 15 foot jumper and is tenacious. He just needs to get the athleticism back to be more useful at the PF spot.

    Marshall: Strength and defense. Strength and defense. Strength and defense. If he can defend, box out, rebound and get the occasional putback, he'll be just fine as Mason's backup.

    Unsure if he'll be back

    Gbinije: If he stays, it's probably a matter of improving his defense. But it sounds like he might not be sticking around.

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