I think that the front page piece is a bit of a reaction to the ever-present sentiment from a lot of Duke fans and posters on this board that Gbinije was some kind of cure-all to this season's ills who just couldn't get off the bench for some mysterious reason. There is a long list of Duke players who fans shouted for... Mike being the latest... who would have, should have made a difference. The reason that it gets old is because people seem to think that the staff isn't putting the best team on the floor to give us a chance to win. These cries for Player X are usually based on a high school highlight video (see Czyz, Olek) and have nothing to do with what the coaches are seeing in practice every day.
However, we do know that in several cases, Duke players haven't gotten onto the court for their lack of defensive prowess or inability to communicate. In recent memory, Elliot Williams actually played his way ON to the court by focusing solely on his defensive game under the tutelage of Nate. This was a case where we saw a player work his way onto the court... there is actual evidence.
It would stand to reason that there was a, or multiple, reason(s) that Mike didn't see PT this season. The front page article is analyzing those possible reasons in the context of what we know about K's program over the course of 30 years. There's no need to coddle the kid on his way out the door. He seems like a good kid, and we can wish him well, but we can also speculate as to why he didn't get onto the floor and why he felt that Duke was not a good fit for him. We can do this especially in light of the fact that we are also crowning him an All-ACC caliber talent without evidence to support that assertion.
Several of you had posts deleted in this thread, and while moderators who are posting on a topic try to refrain from moderating said topic, there were clear flames from a troll that I could just not leave up until another mod had time to deal with them. I am sorry that some of you had your responses deleted, and be assured that I thank you for getting after the flamer in a constructive and pretty darn polite manner. However, since a number of the posts actually quoted the flame, I took them down.
No need to give further air time to idiocy.
Last edited by -jk; 04-17-2012 at 05:29 PM. Reason: removing snark
DBR prides itself as being several notches above the competition. Its members are some of the brightest individuals around, who exhibit a solid knowledge of college basketball. You’ll find some extremely well presented cases for or against the various positions, which come up in the many different threads throughout this board. With all the intellectual prowess, which is often on display here at DBR you would think that the people running this site would have some home spun wisdom to fall back on. Namely the old saying, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
I was extremely disappointed to read the DBR article about Gbinije’s transfer. Ol’ Roy would blush with envy over the character assassination that took place in the article. I’m sure if Roy reads it he’ll be taking notes for use in the upcoming season at UNC. Not only did DBR throw Mike under the bus, they popped the clutch several times, spinning the wheels over Mike’s still warm body.
As I read the article all I could think of were the phrases damage control and spinmeister. Surely Mike deserved better than this hatchet job. Was it really necessary for DBR to get its pound of flesh?
I was thinking in context of a 5 vs. 5 scrimmage with all ACC caliber players, not walk-ons, though coaches are still a work around possibility.
With the current makeup of 5 guards, 4 bigs and one tweener it cannot be optimized.
If Alex is getting the practice against guys his own size as a PF vs. Ryan, Josh or Mason with MP3 one of the centers and one of the 3 the other center, the team he is competing vs. has an out of position WF, be it Josh or Ryan or Mason matched up with a small at WF.
If he is practicing with Mason defended by his bro, with Ryan defended by Josh and with Seth at one of the combo slots, Alex as the WF he can be guarded by Tyler who is not much of an offensive threat, by Dre who tends to camp out beyond 3 point line, or by Sheed who may be too small to really push Alex.
An 11th player be it Tony or Amile or Rodney at least for preactices, could alleviate this. So I agree in that case the point is moot.
Also agree it is likely a one year problem but an important year being Alex's first as a player rather than a red-shirt.
Hard to say after Mason and Ryan depart whether Alex will be a WF or a PF next year but this year he is the only bona fide WF.
Duke did do very well vs. top teams in early season last year with Dre as the WF and Seth as the PG, albeit with Austin too. So Dre as a starter with Alex as both Dre's backup and Ryan's backup is another possibility in games. These could both be replicated by Alex practicing with Dre to emulate the PF sub role and practicing vs. Dre (or Tyler or Sheed with 4 bigs already occupied agaisnt each other) in the Dre' sub role.
So you are right, almost invisible from a game perspective but has some potential prelude impact in practice that likely could be avoided if Mike were not transferring.
Kelly's strength is that he knows what the offensive guy is going to want to do before the guy does, and understands how, also a function of when, to act to impede--to make the guy to do something different, that makes a high percent play to a crap shoot. To do this well, you not only need to see things others don't but create "tells", subtle ones that the really good players pick up and act upon, only the tells are phony and you are reay to move to take away what you lead the offensive player to commit to, with the intent to utilizing a style, perhaps a way of ringing the ball up to shooting, that you then cause the guy to alter and distrupt his rhythm and make a shot the guy has practiced a million times just enough different to make all the difference.
This is a big part of kelly's defensive game, that and those long arms, timing, and ability to get to shots from behind or from the side, so as to avoid fouls.
To play defense like this effectively, and defensive rebound, and shoot the three and be responsible for running the offense, and to do them effectively, Ryan needs more time, especially more time that he can count on, to rest and rejuvanate, and in the meantime, assess from the sidelines what is going out in the court and how he can improve play when he returns.
If Ryan sees less time, and if this new guy Sheed presents the speed, size, temperment, and arrange of skills that short snippets suggest to me he might well have, Ryan I think wiol do much better on the defensive end and will have the energy to play inside the three line as well. Sheed, in the meantime, might greatly contribute to Duke's offense: he has the body, smarts, and disposition to both defend very well on the exterior, get long rebounds, compete well for rebounds among the trees,shoot the passing lanes, and pose enough of a threat to get inside and hurt people that he will draw help defenders off shooters like Curry and generously give the ball up when he does. Getting inside the defense and 3 or 5 steps closer to the lane than guards commited to the three, I think that Sheed will create the type of passing lanes that will test Mason's ability to move without the ball and set defenders up so he will be able to make perentages in the paint that lead to easy scoring chances. I expect Sheed to get out on the break, show real speed but also the ability to make runers and finishers of his teammates. I really like this guy, and think that he will be very good.
Finally, when K said that G would have got more playing time if he showed better as a defender, might notK have been saying that he had a large array of outside players and therefore the only way for G to have gotten on the court to present as McClure-like on defense (You might recall that McRob's last year, Duke had a sufficating efense and that McClure did not switch off screens when guarding the other team's best exterio player but would switch when it would mean picking up that player. So, McClure would be guarding the best outside players the opponent possessed and would be dogging them far into the shop clock. McClure got plenty of minutes. Perhaps G did not have no McClure in him, McClure was a phenom in his own right, and saw no future in tryin to must an offense that had lots of skilled exterior players, all of whom could shoot the three ball. Just speculation on my part, but that is how I hear what K had to say about G; not that he didn't satisfy on defense, but that he could ot push Curry, Ryan, Dre or Tyler aside because he wasn't exceptional on the defensive side of the ball and there was no space for him that he could earn based upon his potential contributions on offense.
If what I just said approximates meaningfully the facts on the ground than G might not have seen anything changing for him anytime soon or perhaps at all during his time at 'Duke." That takes nothing away from G's game, nor do I think it dtracts from G's character or anyone else's. For players who have investe so much of themselves and self idenfications in being a basketball player, not being willing to consider transferring a program where there services were needed is, I should think being out of integrity with who you are. I think that few things could be worse than compromising on so important a matter without considering an attractive offer from another program, and taking it if the player likes and trusts what he sees. Playing ball in college, especially on a high level, is a big part of these kid's dreams. Giving up on them for a lesser role on a storied program for some might work best for some. For others it woul simply depriving one a real shot, probably not otherwise available, to live one's dreams. How can you be hatin on a young man for doing that.
-Duke's way is defense and trust.
-If you do those things, you earn playing time.
-Gbinije didn't earn playing time, so he must either be lazy in practice and games and/or play bad defense
-Since he's so bad at those things, it's no big deal he left.
It's verbose and slightly subtle, but it's definitely still sour grapes. I never read these criticisms before his departure, and writing them after is the very definition of sour grapes and character assassination after the fact.
Here are some quotes from the article that are downright presumptive, snarky, etc.
I'm not sure how you're sure he is bad at defense. They go on some ramble about the Kentucky game and Ricky Price, basically implying that Silent G failed to embrace some moment. Why don't you just blame the Lehigh loss on the kid and get it over with.We’re not quite sure why Gbinije never got there on defense
You're right Duke needed defenders. But to lay it at the feet of a freshman that he didn't step up his first year on campus is really lame. How many freshmen across the country sit the bench and go on to be not only good players but good defenders? Hell, how many Duke players do this? Zoubek didn't see much of the floor his freshman year. Surely he was bad at hustling and was doomed to play sorry defense.We’re not ripping him. It’s just a quiet realization. Duke needed defenders;
I'm sorry, but when a player transfers, you don't rip him and say he must have been a bad defender and shown no intensity. Maybe you should have played hard and you could have saved our season. Goodbye, but we'll hardly miss you. That's just wrong.
I have seen many people bemoan DBR's assessment of why Mike may have left, yet I haven't seen anyone else offer an alternative hypothesis for why he didn't get on the court this season. There must have been a reason, right? Don't you think that its conceivable that Mike didn't pick up the intricacies of Duke's D as a frosh? This has been the case for many players. Its not character assassination, its simple fact. That's part of what makes his transfer so disappointing, in that he probably would have made a nice jump with another year in the system.
The Ricky Price analogy is pretty apt, if you have any memory of the Kentucky game. Duke got up big and then couldn't stop Kentucky from getting into the lane and getting kick outs for open threes as they made their comeback. What would have been ideal was having a larger, quicker player to relieve Wojo on the defensive end. Ricky Price should have fit that bill, but wasn't used... most likely because he hadn't shown that he could be a lock down defender through the course of his career. We could have used a lock down defender on the perimeter this season, but it would seem that if MikeG had shown this ability in practice, he'd have gotten the opportunity to do this in a game. Don't you think?
And well it is unfortunate, it is very true that few players that have transferred from Duke have gone on to significant things at the schools they transferred to. Billy McCaffrey is probably the best example of a player who went on to big things, but in recent memory, which of our transfers even ended up starting? Boykin at Cal? Olek at Nevada? These aren't to speak poorly of these kids because they left or because of what they did later, these are simple facts. (Frankly, I will always be disappointed that Jamal needed to leave because he played with so much passion and energy and was exciting to watch. But did losing him cost us the National Title? Not so much.)
The front page article is a pretty reasonable assessment of what we know about the MikeG situation. There may be other things that we don't know. You need to check your attitude and go back and re-read the article.
While the timing of the front page article was a little, let's say, "obvious," I can't think of anything presented in it which was egregiously inaccurate.
To add to MulletMan's good points, I'm not sure why people keep saying we haven't seen enough of Gbinije to make any judgments about his defense. He saw the court this year for a grand total of two hours (1:51). True, that's not much in terms of a season's playing time. But it is more than enough tape to show that Gbinije had not yet become the lockdown defender we so badly needed last year. I have no doubt he will eventually get there -- he has all the tools -- but he simply was not ready yet as a freshman. That's not a knock on Gbinije; it's true for 99.9% of freshmen. And I don't think it is "character assassination" to acknowledge that fact.
Must admit, I do wish he stuck around, since I suspect he's going to be really, really good. But that doesn't make it forbidden to say that he wasn't quite ready this year.
But hey, that's my take. There's always the possibility that I just really am bitter. **shrugs**
Last edited by Jderf; 04-18-2012 at 10:56 AM.
"With seven national titles and 20 Final Fours in the 64-team NCAA Tournament era, Duke and UNC have had more playoff success than any other CONFERENCE." - Al Featherston
I remember that Kentucky game in 1998 and after the game a lot of people thought that a.)Avery should have played more instead of Wojo, and b.)we should have gone to a zone defense. Once again reminiscent of the current Cook-Thornton debate. I don't recall thinking that Price should have been guarding the point, he wasn't that kind of player at all and besides he had long since entered Coach K's doghouse.
Also the point guard for Kentucky was Wayne Turner (the front page story had it wrong). Turner was a punk of the highest degree and is one of the primary reasons I hate Kentucky. He shouldn't have even been in the game. Shortly before the tournament he was accused of committing a hit-and-run. He was brought before a judge who decided to postpone the case until after the tournament so that Turner could play. When questioned about the Turner case, the judge responded something to the effect of "I love Turner, he can shoot, he can dribble, he can pass..." even though the question was clearly made in reference to the legal process.
Seriously, I don't think that Mike G could not have done "any worse" than some of the other players on any given night. However, for whatever reason he wasn't given the opportunity to do so (meaningful minutes not garbage minutes) even in the wake of a Ryan Kelly's injury. If he had so many weaknesses to his game, I'm sure the coaches noticed his deficits during his recruitment? Hence why not redshirt him and allow him to develop versus basically losing a year of eligibility riding the pine. I wholeheartedly bid the guy farewell and hope he find happiness somewhere but I will not spew out sour grapes simply because he seeks happiness elsewhere. Heck, life is wayyyyyy to short to be unhappy whether it's at Duke or some other university. I just truly regret not seeing him have the opportunity to swat away a Black Falcon jumper or flush down a dunk in transition on a UNC's player's head! (I still think he would have been a good match-up against HB and other 6-7 or 6-8 players that wreak havoc on our undersized perimeter players)
A few comments:
1. I wish Michael the best at his next school.
2. The DBR story was a bit of a cheap shot because it implied his is transferring because he couldn't hack it at Duke and offered no support for that being the motivation.
3. I was puzzled reading people all season long who wanted to have him play more. As much as I would have wanted to have athletic wings out on the floor, he looked lost on both ends of the court. That said, there is no reason to think he would not have improved the next season.
And there's nothing that a callow freshman like Will Avery, who was no lockdown defender to begin with, would've been able to do about it either.
Count me on the side that says the front page article was unnecessarily harsh on Mike Gbinije.
His defesne was no worse that most incoming frosh, and it smacks of sour grapes.
The only redemption is the prior article hoped the transfer rumors were not true.
As for the joke about being one and done, with the transfer Mike cannot play next season and is assured of being at least 3 years in college. So no way to attribute that joling to reason why he requested the transfer.
Whole thing puzzles me. He could have accomplished the same thing by red-shirting this coming year and having 3 years of eligibility in a system he then had two years experience in, rather than starting anew, unless the desire was to be closer to VA home with Nova or G-town.
By the way, let me propose the "Silent G Transfer" as the perfect storm in terms of a high ratio of heat (passion) to light (insight).
A. Silent G was a highly regarded recruit.
B. He had obvious length and possible quickness not present on the roster and seemingly useful on a team whose defensive skills and intensity were often lacking.
C. Yet he played only 111 minutes in 34 games (3.3 MPG), so no fan could guage how good he was.
D. He transferred after his freshman year and will not surface as a player until November 2013.
Now, I ask you, what useful insights could any poster possibly offer on this topic?
'But, of course, we all tried'