Quinn is our best point guard, that is not disputable, but he is a defensive liability due to his size, no matter how much he has improved on D. He will be our starting point guard, but I think next year will be his year, after Seth graduates. Then Rasheed can slide over to the starting 2 guard spot and shore up the perimeter with his long arms and athleticism.
I think we'll win the ACC, the ACC regular season, and be a top-5 team and strong contender for the FF and NC. I think we'll beat Kentucky to open the season.
Cook will be the key. Reading the very smart people on this board has convinced me that Cook is going to step up big this season. I'm buying in with you guys in thinking that a healthy Cook will be a very good college point guard. I have full confidence in the frontcourt of Murphy, Kelly, and MP2. And I believe Amile will be the first big off the bench and a quality backup. This is our strongest frontcourt in years.
The question is at the 2-spot. I think Curry will be given every chance to win that role and become one of the league's best scorers. But in the end, he will be surpassed in the rotation by Thornton's combination of defense, intangibles, and shooting (the latter of which, while not at Seth's level, will be good enough so that his other advantages carry the day). Sheed will play about 10 min a game. It'll be a learning year for him. I've basically done a complete 180 from what I thought the backcourt would be earlier in the summer. I believe in Cook and Thornton as the predominant backcourt by the end of the season, and as the backcourt that finishes games, and as the backcourt that combines with a great frontcourt to be a top-5 team.
I fear by mid season we'll be looking at a lineup and major minutes for Cook/Thorton, Curry, Suliamon, Kelly and Mason. Three guard lineups will get us in trouble in a Sweet 16 Tournament game against a team from a top conference that can exploit our small size in spots.
I truly hope that Rasheed is physically -- and mentally, for that matter -- ready to contribute a significant portion of minutes from the get-go, because, and this is the bottom line, we will absolutely need his length, speed and athleticism on the perimeter as a defensive stopper. Seth Curry may provide a nifty presence on defense occasionally thanks to his quick hands and heady court demeanor, but his undersized stature and underwhelming past performance on that end of the floor indicate that he will need to carry a shotgun in order to effectively stop dribble penetration. I haven't glossed over the handbook in awhile, but I assume gunfights are still illegal.
As others have hypothesized, I also think it is more likely that Rasheed earns his minutes as a combo backup for both Seth at the two and Alex at the three, than it is for him to assume a share of point guard duties. But I can't help but wonder if it could work. (With that said, I hope Quinn blows my mind and proves he's our next great point guard.)
On , I grant the point that anyone would care to make that Jefferson isn't really a 3, even if he sort of looks like one. I agree that he isn't a 3, but is basically a 4. But I've seen his defense, and he seems capable of providing solid D against opposing players in the 6'5"-6'8" SF range for a few mpg. True, Jefferson is only a frosh, but then so is Sulaimon. IMO, while neither is likely to provide the proverbial lock-down-D, we'll be pleased enough with both these young guys on D.
But my real disagreement concerns point , for your fear surely implies that Murphy can't play major minutes at the 3. My recollection is that last preseason, prior to his injury, he was said by the staff to be likely to play, possibly, possibly, even start. I expect Murphy to start at SF and play 20-25 mpg, at that position. Although I assume K will, yes, play some 3-guard this season, I'd guess more like 10-15 mpg, which isn't major minutes. And actually, in some - ok, fair enough, limited - circumstances, I'd think a 3-guard lineup makes sense.
But the Duke coaches expect Murphy to be able to handle the bulk of the minutes at the 3 and do so with reasonable effectiveness. I would expect 25 mpg as a minimum.
BTW, as the board spell-checker emeritus, let me note the correct spelling of Sulaimon and Thornton. They're our guys and we should try to get this right on a Duke board.
To me, there seems to be a white elephant in the posting room. The elephant is the playing status of Seth Curry. It seems like most posters would like to see Quinn as out starting point guard, I, for one, have been on the Quinn bandwagon since last December when there was a pretty vocal group of folks on this board that wanted Quinn to start and play more minutes at the point.
Anyway, I wonder if there are posters out there that would rather see a backcourt of Quinn and Sulaimon, but just feel a bit sheepish about saying this. I think that Seth is more talented and capable than some past Duke seniors of note that have lost their starting spot late in their careers (Paulus, Capel, Newton) but it seems that there is some concern about overall backcourt size and defensive ability.
I know that Coach K doesn't promise anybody anything when he recruits them, and you're not guaranteed to continue in a starting role, just because you have had one in the past. Without knowing much more than a few highlight reels about Sulaimon, I can still say that his size and defensive reputation intrigues me. This will be Seth's fourth year in the program. While it may be a bit embarrassing to "lose" his spot to a freshman, I wonder if the team wouldn't be better served with Seth coming off of the bench as a 3-point sparkplug (as Paulus towards the end of his senior year).
I would personally like see Sulaimon get a lot of PT early and be ready as a taller, defensive-minded, 3-point shooting guard for when March rolls around. Obviously, he would have to really show it in practice for this to happen.
I wonder if Seth hasn't just run into a situation where he is not the best fit for this particular team, late in his career. With Quinn as the point guard, we really need a little more size on the perimeter. Alex definitely ups the overall team size, but I'm not sure if that's enough to absorb two 6-footers in the backcourt (that are not Duhon and Williams).
Obviously, we'll have to see about Rasheed. Based on his recruiting ranking and his defensive reputation, I would be very surprised if he averaged as little as 10 mpg.
Seth Curry was All ACC last year. Of returning ACC players, he received the 4th most votes in the All ACC voting.
Last season, Seth was 2nd on Duke's team in scoring and minutes played (and is our leading returning scorer and minute-getter) and led the team in assists, steals, and FT%. He is also our 2nd leading returning 3-point % shooter (to Ryan who shot 69 fewer 3-point shots).
Coach K has publicly opined that Seth will be the team's leading scorer and is our best perimeter player.
You really think he isn't going to start?
I think Curry will thrive not having to play PG with Cook coming along, Thornton being a year older and Sulaimon being able to handle the ball.
I think we will rebound better from the 1-3 positions.
I think the defense will be better, but not as good as Duke defenses have been in the past.
I think Amile Jefferson will only play spot minutes as he develops.
I expect this Duke team to finish with either the regular season ACC crown or the ACC tourny crown, but not both. A top 15 finish in the AP polls and likely a Sweet 16 or Elite 8.
I also hope I'm wrong and they're way better.
I have absolutely no qualms in stating that any time Seth Curry is on the floor we are playing with four defenders and a pair of arms (which are there to launch threes and pick up the occasional backcourt theft). He is an alarming liability when asked to pony up and play D against elite guards. That really cannot be debated, at least too successfully, IMO.Originally Posted by Edouble
With that said, Seth is a vaunted shooter, one of the most prolific in the entire game. When he gets on a roll, he's like Super Mario with unlimited fire power. Just as it is when Andre gets on one of those delicious rolls, and as it was with J.J. before him, when Seth gets into an I-am-in-a-f'ing-zone rhythm, you might as well just flip the switch and turn the building's lights out. It's over. And in order for Coach K's open, spacing-predicated offense to really work, it is imperative we have that variety of shooter stalking the perimeter.
He is going to play. Unlike Greg Paulus, who is among my favorite five Blue Devils ever, without question, Seth has enough of a handle and the creativity with the ball in his palms to take a game over offensively on his own. He is that kind of scorer. It just becomes an issue of the staff finding some sort of defensive wrinkle that will help to offset Seth's defensive woes (likely a difficult task as we are certainly never going to seriously entertain the idea of any sort of long-term zone, and I am fine with that), or pairing him, as I have been suggesting, in the backcourt with Rasheed at the point (if Rasheed proves ready), at least against teams where we are likely to get abused by quicker, taller, more athletic guards. Something will have to be done in those instances, because a Seth and Quinn backcourt versus an All-American caliber backcourt is a recipe for a lot of heart attacks.
Last edited by Cameron; 10-11-2012 at 03:18 PM.
I agree he is a very strong offensive player, but don't see coach K trying to offset anything about Seth's game.
The other area I disagree is that Seth, Tyler and Quinn will get abused by all these teams of quicker, taller, more athletic guards. I don't think there are that many teams that have 2 big, quick and good wings that would be a difficult match up for Alex at one wing and Seth at the other wing. (My assumption: team defense is better this year.) I think anytime Duke goes against an All-American caliber backcourt this year that it will be a challenge and the team's defense will have to be at its best. Here are the teams that have at least one member of pre-season all American team in their backcourt from the lists I quickly looked at: Murray State, Ohio State, Lehigh, San Diego St., Arkansas, Louisville, Michigan, Missouri, Florida State, UCLA, Oklahoma State. UCLA has two players I have seen listed as potential wing all-Americans in Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad. In theory, if Duke played them, maybe Seth would have to guard someone much taller and slower than him (Anderson.) Otherwise, there aren't many teams that have an "All-American" backcourt that would not find it at least as challenging to guard Duke's guards.
Duke did not defend as well last year as in previous years and was small at all three perimeter positions. That is not likely to be the case for at least half the game this year. Along with some improved communication, I expect the team's defense to be much improved and do not think that any of the players will be seen as a liability if the whole team plays better as a unit.
“Those two kids, they’re champions,” Krzyzewski said of his senior leaders. “They’re trying to teach the other kids how to become that, and it’s a long road to become that.”
I remember this time last season Coach K saying that Seth was going to be our point guard.
I do not mean to sound snarky either, but I never said that I don't think he's going to start, I just wonder if the team would be better served overall with Seth coming off of the bench. I don't think that last season is particularly relevant as the backcourt that we have available this year is drastically different. We really needed Seth last year. Quinn was not at 100%, G was not ready to play it seems, Dre had pretty much checked out by Jan/Feb, Thornton's offense (or at least his green light on offense) was suspect.
After last season, the thing that really sticks with me is that we need the best defense possible. At this point, I think our best shot of having a lock down defender on the perimeter is with Sulaimon. While the comparison is not the exact same situation, it is pretty easy to see a Paulus/E. Will analogy with Seth/Sulaimon. Do we start a 6 foot senior 3 point bomber or a 6'4" freshman defender? I like Seth a lot, but I really want to see us have that traditional Duke D with that lock-down perimeter defender. Reading through this thread, I feel like this idea is on the tip of a lot of poster's tongues, but nobody wants to say it.
My expectations for this season include the coaching staff taking a long, hard look at how we can improve on D, which is why I feel like this is relevant to my expectations for 2012-13. It hurts to think about, but what if we run into another McCollum-type player in the first round next year? What player on this Duke team will make sure he is shut or at least slowed down?
In the past, the Duke defensive scheme has been successful covering for one player with a defensive disadvantage, or even two. You mention Greg Paulus, but our defensive efficiency was ranked 13th, 5th, and 9th in the country by Pomeroy during the three seasons when Greg was a primary starter for us. Last year we often played with both a size and (foot) quickness disadvantage at all three perimeter positions, so it was hard to cover for that. This season, this shouldn't be the case, even when Quinn and Seth are both in the lineup. Rasheed should measure up quickness-wise and in most cases size-wise; Alex should be taller than most of his opponents (I'm not sure how his quickness will measure up); Quinn's feet will hopefully be quicker, assuming his injury is a thing of the past. Tyler will be Tyler.
Seth's defense may not be a plus for us (other than his very quick hands), but I don't think it's the disaster some are making it out to be. Or, put another way, he brings so much on offense it would be hard to justify sitting him for defensive purposes within the context of this year's team.
So, it's not my view that Seth has "gotten worse," but moreso that he just hasn't improved all that much, at least enough to suggest a noticeable difference like was clearly evident with Nolan's game over the years. Granted, Nolan came into college as a more naturally gifted defender than did Curry.
Mainly by "offset" I just mean that against the teams that do feature elite level shooting guards like the examples mentioned in your post, it might make more sense to pair Seth with a more versatile player like Rasheed (again, if he proves up to the task) who can help Seth carry the load defensively against players who cause problematic matchups physically and/or athletically. While we may not face many of these types of backcourts throughout the regular-season (although Miami, Kentucky and N.C. State come to mind), it has been our backcourt's inability to stop the explosiveness of these precise kinds of players that has led to some of our struggles in recent NCAA Tournaments (Eric Maynor of VCU and C.J. McCollum last year, as good examples).Originally Posted by NSDukeFan
Agreed fully.Originally Posted by NSDukeFan
This is a very valid point and one I hope turns out to be true. The presence of Alex Murphy will certainly lend to helping immensely in this category.Originally Posted by NSDukeFan