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View Full Version : The Big Difference in this Team- Go-to Guys



BlueintheFace
11-17-2008, 09:57 AM
The last couple of years Duke has had some great talent and the teams have been solid. They have performed great during the regular season, but since JJ left what the team seems to have been missing (especially in March) is a player that simply won't let us lose when the game gets close and we need somebody to take over. The Rhode Island game was unnerving, but I think there is one positive that seems to overcome all the negatives:

This year it looks like we might have TWO players who won't let us lose. Kyle has played like a man possessed this season and seems to have added some swagger and cockiness in the off-season. He wanted the ball with the game on the line and went right at his man. Meanwhile, Jon's skill level seems to have visibly improved and his confidence is up to. He is the best creator on the team and is seeing the floor great right now. More importantly, he too wants the ball when Duke really needs a bucket. By March we might have two highly talented players in the game who we can feel truly confident with when the game is on the line.

Regarding Gerald: A lot of us expected G to be that go-to player this year, and he still might. Certainly K has referred to him as the third member of the trio, but he has not been as pro-active in getting the ball and making plays. He has looked passive despite having the greatest ability of all to create his own shot. My theory is this (feel free to disagree). G is at his best when his adrenaline kicks in. His best (non alley-oop/wide open dunk) plays seem to come when the game is tight... especially at the end (see- Pitt, Belmont). I think that G can become a third go-to player (which would be truly encouraging come march), but he still needs to learn to play at that intensity he gets in very close games all the time (preferably so that we don't have close games). For those of you wondering why he was not a significant presence at the end of URI... he had 4 fouls for much of the second half.

ryan
11-17-2008, 10:13 AM
There are times when he seems like his pure athleticism could dominate a game and other times he disappears. Kyle has proven himself that he's the one given the ball in tough situations and Jon has the uncanny ability to make impossible shots. However, I think Gerald could emerge this season as the guy to go to to get some buckets down the stretch.

ForeverBlowingBubbles
11-17-2008, 02:40 PM
were still yet to play what most would consider a top 50 team.

It's way too early to make any conclusions about who is a go-to guy until we play some better teams.

BlueintheFace
11-17-2008, 03:07 PM
were still yet to play what most would consider a top 50 team.

It's way too early to make any conclusions about who is a go-to guy until we play some better teams.

why is it too early? A close game is a close game. (See K's post game comments)

I fail to see the connection between your two comments...

miramar
11-17-2008, 04:58 PM
There is no question that we haven't played top teams, but we just haven't had a go-to guy for several years, no matter what level of competition. I don't think that anyone doubts that Singler and Scheyer can step up against anyone, but as noted we also need the same agressive Henderson that we saw last season.

mgtr
11-17-2008, 06:15 PM
If G steps up his game to the Singler/Scheyer level (and I am pretty sure he can do that), we will be well-nigh unbeatable. I remember teams with two go-to guys, but three? I am sure some of you will point out teams that did, and I am betting they did pretty well.

Kedsy
11-17-2008, 06:30 PM
If G steps up his game to the Singler/Scheyer level (and I am pretty sure he can do that), we will be well-nigh unbeatable. I remember teams with two go-to guys, but three? I am sure some of you will point out teams that did, and I am betting they did pretty well.

I agree we haven't had a true go-to guy in a couple years, and I think it's wonderful that we may have one, two, or even three this year. But "well-nigh unbeatable"? Does that mean G stepping up his game is the sole difference between almost losing to Rhode Island and going undefeated? Honestly, that's hard to see.

ForeverBlowingBubbles
11-17-2008, 07:37 PM
why is it too early? A close game is a close game. (See K's post game comments)

I fail to see the connection between your two comments...

I am not at all disagreeing with you that a close game is not in fact a close game.

At about this time last year after the Marquette game we were cheering about how Kyle was going to be a consistent go-to-guy after he scored a bunch and made some key free throws and had a key offensive rebound down the stretch.

However, I don't think we would say he was a consistent go-to-guy last season after he had one awesome early game (it was also against a top 25 team).

I'm saying that it might be a good idea to wait and see how our guys do against the teams they will be facing more often than not from here on out - teams that have players that are much higher caliber in most categories (better coached, better defenders, better athletes, etc...) then what we saw from Rhode Island. All though hopefully we won't see the same caliber shooter again

This isn't to take anything away from their performance - I would love to see them continue it. I'm just not ready to throw out the title "go-to-guy" after taking into consideration such a ridiculously small sample size that was played against competition that can be considered inferior to what they will face on a normal basis for the rest of the season.

mgtr
11-17-2008, 07:57 PM
I agree we haven't had a true go-to guy in a couple years, and I think it's wonderful that we may have one, two, or even three this year. But "well-nigh unbeatable"? Does that mean G stepping up his game is the sole difference between almost losing to Rhode Island and going undefeated? Honestly, that's hard to see.

Yes, I truly believe that if we have three players that play at the Singler/Scheyer level, we will go undefeated. I don't know that we will have it, but I believe that will be sufficient.

Lord Ash
11-17-2008, 08:00 PM
Has Jon really improved this year? Seems to me that he is doing exactly what he has done the last two years:)

TwoDukeTattoos
11-17-2008, 08:01 PM
Singler is our definite go-to guy. His basketball IQ is through the roof. He is Duke's most reliable player since Battier, only better. Singler brings great scoring ability and athleticism. If we're lucky enough to have Kyle for four years, he'll be a shoo-in for POY.

JDev
11-17-2008, 08:06 PM
I don't think the G we have seen thus far is the G we will get for the bulk of the season. There will be times over the course of the season where G plays outstanding down the stretch and secures a hard-fought win. He hasn't been assertive thus far, but that will change. He was playing well early against RI, but was derailed quickly by foul trouble. He will have moments, just as he did against Belmont, where he takes over.

BlueintheFace
11-17-2008, 08:16 PM
Has Jon really improved this year? Seems to me that he is doing exactly what he has done the last two years:)

I know this comment is actually pointing out how under-rated he has been the last two years and I agree with that sentiment, but I really do see some significant improvement. Last year when he drove to the basket he very often got stuck in the air with defensive hands everywhere and was forced to blindly throw the ball up (it very rarely went in). This year he comes off those screens and makes much better reads of the defense. He pulls up when he needs to pull up and takes it to the rim when he sees openings. His footwork is better when he receives the ball on the perimeter and he no longer wastes time and motion with unnecessary shot-fakes....

beltwayBD
11-17-2008, 08:46 PM
I've been thinking a lot along these lines the last couple days: Awed with Jon and Kyle, and wondering where Gerald was. I think it could be as simple as still getting over the surgery (or trying to make up for lost practice time this summer).

But Lance and Zoub have been a really nice surprise so far (especially Lance). And I think we'll see some more of E-mail (is anybody calling him that still except me???) and Miles this winter.

If anything, I remain a little disturbed that we don't seem to have an offensive system or chemistry. Partly due to the switch at starting PG. Nolan needs to learn to run the offense. I hope Greg is feeling better by Thursday, I'd love to see more of him out there against SIU!!:D

shadowfax336
11-17-2008, 08:55 PM
Yes, I truly believe that if we have three players that play at the Singler/Scheyer level, we will go undefeated. I don't know that we will have it, but I believe that will be sufficient.

I mean I'm an optimist... but thats more along the lines of delusional.
C'mon, there hasn't been an undefeated team since Indiana's championship team, when Sean May's DAD was playing. Lets calm way way way way way down....

Bob Green
11-17-2008, 08:56 PM
Yes, I truly believe that if we have three players that play at the Singler/Scheyer level, we will go undefeated. I don't know that we will have it, but I believe that will be sufficient.

Going undefeated should not be a team goal as far as I'm concerned. There are many other things the team and coaching staff should be focused on such as improved 3-point shooting, improved rebounding, and developing the freshmen so the rotation can be 9 deep in February, March and April (hopefully). Going undefeated is unrealistic.

dukebluelemur
11-17-2008, 09:02 PM
One observation I've had when watching Gerald this season is that, when he wants to, he can get to the rim. Period. But he seems to pay for it every time. He's got great hops, but often this seems to result in his feet getting cut out from under him while hes flying past/over the defense. Most of his baskets that I can remember seemed to end with him getting dropped flat on his back from about 6 feet up.

I wonder how much of his lack of assertiveness might be due to this? A jumpshooter doesnt pay for his shots with that kind of physical toll. Taking that type of thumping 10+ times a game could really wear on a guy, which might be part of why we only see him take over a couple times a game, or when things are close.

That said, Gerald has shown in the past that he has a great midrange game, that should be less physically taxing, and we haven't seen much of that yet this year. I'd like to see more of that (though there was one nice example against RIU where he cut across the lane and hit a short fade-away).

BlueintheFace
11-17-2008, 09:40 PM
Another observation, Gerald has yet to drive the ball to the hoop with his left hand out of our sets (right to left from the right wing). I'm sure we will see this eventually though.

Edouble
11-17-2008, 09:43 PM
Yes, I truly believe that if we have three players that play at the Singler/Scheyer level, we will go undefeated. I don't know that we will have it, but I believe that will be sufficient.

We've had three players at that level before and not gone undefeated.

I think the conference is too strong this year to rationally consider the possibility of us going undefeated.

Richard Berg
11-18-2008, 12:00 AM
Yes, I truly believe that if we have three players that play at the Singler/Scheyer level, we will go undefeated. I don't know that we will have it, but I believe that will be sufficient.
Do you think Singler/Scheyer/G is a better combo than Battier/Boozer/JWill/Dunleavy or Laettner/Hurley/Hill? None of those teams went undefeated.