PDA

View Full Version : Paulus now the team leader?



roywhite
02-07-2009, 11:42 PM
http://www.wralsportsfan.com/rs/blogpost/4493493/

Seems that way. Coach K on Paulus, "He became our leader today."

1Devil
02-08-2009, 07:32 AM
I hope it's true. Pronouncements like that after just one game worry me a little bit. But it's a great story line and I'm going with it.

keithg
02-08-2009, 07:42 AM
I think Greg has been a leader all year. The way he seems to have handled an unwarranted? demotion shows a great deal of maturity.

An injury and a threatened/contemplated transfer by a teammate confused the coaching staff into focusing on the things that Greg doesn't do well instead of onthe considerable talents he does bring to the table. One of the biggest of these is leadership!

BlueintheFace
02-08-2009, 09:17 AM
This was always going to be Paulus' team if he wanted it to be. I said as much in the beginning of the season, but was promptly told that Scheyer and Henderson had become the leaders. This may have been true, and that is a good thing, but this has always been Paulus' team to take... from the starter spot OR the bench.

I'm glad that K has recognized his efforts

killerleft
02-08-2009, 01:13 PM
Greg is a senior who has led by example his entire time at Duke. Always hustling, willing and able to take and make big shots and plays. I am only surprised that he hasn't been doing this all year long.

Devil in the Blue Dress
02-08-2009, 01:17 PM
Perhaps we have witnessed an important turning point for this team. I'm eager to see the remaining games unfold in this odyssey.

Cameron
02-08-2009, 02:04 PM
This has been my contention all season long. Greg is the guy with the most experience on this team. He's been further than anyone else has, excluding Dave, Marty, and Jordan. In terms of significant playing time, however, Greg has more experience than anyone else. He is the only Blue Devil (unfortunately) who knows what it's really like to play after the first weekend in March, in that big time tournament atmosphere. He's been on an ACC Championship team. He's been the point guard on a team that's been top dog all season long. This kid knows what it takes.

Greg's play out on the court breathes success. He does everything he's called upon to do. He might not be the best defender, but he plays tough, and comes up with the big steals, the big rebounds, the big deflections. He makes plays. I think that's the best way to describe Greg. A play maker. In the overtime win against Miami, he finished with 18 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists, a couple of drawn charges, and multiple clutch shots down the stretch. As I have said before, he just doesn't back down. We need that out on the court. We need that energy out of the gate (read: Greg starting).

I'm glad Coach K came out and made this statement. I think this may be exactly what Greg needed to hear in order to get his shooting back to where it was a season ago. In other words, to get his complete game back to that undeniably confident level it was in 2007-08.

This is very good.

rockymtn devil
02-08-2009, 04:02 PM
A nice, brief blog entry about Paulus, his ups-and-downs at Duke, and how he has put himself in a position to lead this team down the stretch.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/121140-the-curious-case-of-greg-paulus

Scorp4me
02-10-2009, 02:10 AM
I've said all along I simply felt better with Paulus running the point than Smith. Smith's a great defender, but for my money I'll take Greg. He's not a slasher, but his as/to is great and you have to honor his 3 point shots. I just never felt that what Smith brought to the floor as a starter make up for what we lost with Paulus on the bench. Don't get me wrong, they both have their place and I want to see both of them playing. And Greg certainly handled the demotion to the bench maturely, but I think it killed his confidence and I hope he has it back now. I hope he plays well enough to keep the starter spot cause that means Duke is playing good. And I hope Smith is able to adjust to a difference place and bring more off the bench. Heck, I hope all our players are able to bring a little more off the bench than they have been lately. As for point next year...

heyman25
02-10-2009, 06:23 AM
Our bench has been a weak point otherwise Kyle Jon Gerald and Greg and to a lesser degree David wouldn't have had to play the minutes they did against Miami. Lance ,Brian, Marty, Elliott, and Miles have to start playing like ACC players. Nolan will be valuable to help Greg out on defending Lawson. I think Nolan will step up this game. He has a lot of pride and he knows he can play better.

jv001
02-10-2009, 06:32 AM
Greg seems to have taken leadership. It probably began in practice and carried over to the Miami game. I thought that Nolan would get better at running the team but it has not happened. Coach K even had Jon running the offense at times. However we need Nolan's defense, especially in the unc game. I expect Nolan to step it up a notch against his former teammate(lawson). Both Greg and Nolan should play major mins. Go Duke!

shotrocksplitter
02-10-2009, 10:30 AM
There was an article linked here not long ago that talked about reference points. Talked about how part of what makes Coach K so effective is his ability to use low points as motivation.

In Littlejohn, Greg had to watch his team throw the ball around, then got in and threw it around a bit himself. But when it came time to bounce back on Saturday, Greg was starting. If it was punishment for Nolan or not, Paulus got the call. About 25 minutes into the game, the whole team picked it up. Our three captains carried the team to a tough comeback win. The crowd was spectacular and the game was VERY memorable.

The trick will be Paulus using it as his reference point for the rest of his career. He can play just as well every night through April, but must use the motivation of defeat to make it happen.

InaudibleWords
02-10-2009, 11:01 AM
I also definitely agree. There are so many ways to be a leader and what I have loved about Greg (just like I love about Dave and what I loved about Duhon and Wojo, to name just a few) is his heart. Greg bleeds Duke Blue and he embodies so much of what it means to play for Duke. In fact, I've always liked to think that if he had of been a regular student, Greg would have been there in Kville and alongside the rest of the Crazies all season long.

...Plus his mom was so sweet and made us cookies my senior year when we were tent 1 so maybe I'm slightly biased towards the Paulus family. :D

dukeENG2003
02-10-2009, 11:26 AM
I'm not giving up on Nolan just yet. There will be games when we need him, and Wednesday nights game may very well be one of them.

I love Greg too, but this team has forged its identity on defense, something that Nolan is better at than Greg. We were in a terrible funk offensively, and Paulus helped us break out of it, but we will need to keep this game in the 70s or lower if we want to have a chance, and Nolan will be a crucial part of that. I certainly hope to see Nolan back in the starting lineup for the NCAA torunament run (mainly b/c that would mean he has finally started to produce something offensively) and I hope to continue to see Paulus provide the leadership he does and continue to be an offensive spark off the bench.

Scorp4me
02-10-2009, 12:21 PM
Oh I'm not giving up on Nolan. He definately should play, just like him coming off the bench. Though we may need him more Wednesday than we would usually, so I can see him coming off the bench but playing more minutes.

Smith definately brings the defense and Paulus definately brings the offense. So I have to look at the A/To for a point. And that's where Paulus wins it I think. Don't get me wrong though, I'd much rather have a Jason Williams starting tonight and I hope we get another one soon.

mgtr
02-10-2009, 01:09 PM
It could well be that Greg learned some things which made better while sitting on the bench. Ideally, Nolan will also learn from the bench, because we are going to need him along with Greg this year.

DeepBlue70
02-10-2009, 01:41 PM
For quite some time now everyone has been salivating about what the team might look like next year if both Singler and Hendo return along with the addition of Kelly and Plumlee and the maturation of the current players. Anyone else beginning to think we may miss McClure and Paulus more than anyone expects? In addition to all of the accolades showered on Paulus in this thread, how 'bout K's contention that McClure saved 18(!!) possessions vs Miami with his 13 rebounds and 5 tips. Wow, that's some production for an offensively challenged player, but there's more to the game than shooting alone.

arnie
02-10-2009, 09:41 PM
For quite some time now everyone has been salivating about what the team might look like next year if both Singler and Hendo return along with the addition of Kelly and Plumlee and the maturation of the current players. Anyone else beginning to think we may miss McClure and Paulus more than anyone expects? In addition to all of the accolades showered on Paulus in this thread, how 'bout K's contention that McClure saved 18(!!) possessions vs Miami with his 13 rebounds and 5 tips. Wow, that's some production for an offensively challenged player, but there's more to the game than shooting alone.

I agree, Plumlee and Kelly may be fine HS players, but they could also have similar impact as recent big men we've recruited (plus they will be freshmen). And if Nolan struggles next year, I don't think we have any other options at point. Next year, just like the remainder of this year, is still a big question to me.

roywhite
02-10-2009, 09:48 PM
It could well be that Greg learned some things which made better while sitting on the bench. Ideally, Nolan will also learn from the bench, because we are going to need him along with Greg this year.

Something about a starter or key player going to the bench seems to focus the mental process.

Cameron
02-10-2009, 09:51 PM
Whether he is or not, I think he's back where he belongs.

Classof06
02-10-2009, 09:59 PM
For quite some time now everyone has been salivating about what the team might look like next year if both Singler and Hendo return along with the addition of Kelly and Plumlee and the maturation of the current players. Anyone else beginning to think we may miss McClure and Paulus more than anyone expects? In addition to all of the accolades showered on Paulus in this thread, how 'bout K's contention that McClure saved 18(!!) possessions vs Miami with his 13 rebounds and 5 tips. Wow, that's some production for an offensively challenged player, but there's more to the game than shooting alone.

With all due respect to McClure and Paulus, I'd be absolutely shocked if next year's team isn't better than this year's team. As of today, I'm not yet convinced Duke can win a national championship this year. Next year, if Singler and Henderson come back, I'd have to believe we'll probably be the best team in the country or damn close at the very worst.

Clearly, none of us can predict the future. But let's be honest, Zoubek has faded as the season's progressed, Plumlee inexplicably doesn't play and we are playing small ball once again. I'm with Hubert Davis, until this team can get solid minutes from Zoubek and Plumlee, we are not winning a national championship in '09 unless we shoot lights out from 3 for six straight games. I bleed Duke blue but that's a tough task to ask of any college team.

This team still has the perimeter talent to challenge and beat anyone in America but has needed size for at least two years now. Next year, we're getting two kids that are 6-10 and taller. Freshman or not, we'll finally have frontcourt depth; we'll have a 7-foot Zoubek, a 6-11 MP, a 6-10 MP, and a 6-10 Ryan Kelly to go along with the ridiculous talent we'll have at the 1-4 spots. If that doesn't make that team better than this year, at least on paper, then we're looking at two different things.


Again, I'd be floored if we weren't better next year.


Just one man's opinion...

EarlJam
02-10-2009, 10:18 PM
Damn. Are you class of '06 for real?

This post reaks of one ripe with experience (seriously). Great post. I agree almost completely and have been watching Duke hoops since '78. The biggest obsticle to me is that many of these guys haven't even experienced the second weekend of the tournament. That's heavy folks.

If we go deep this year, and return Singular and Hendo, then we have a real contender next year. Still though, who knows, it would not completely surprise me if we made the final four this year.

Anyway, props for the post. Great insight.

-EJ





With all due respect to McClure and Paulus, I'd be absolutely shocked if next year's team isn't better than this year's team. As of today, I'm not yet convinced Duke can win a national championship this year. Next year, if Singler and Henderson come back, I'd have to believe we'll probably be the best team in the country or damn close at the very worst.

Clearly, none of us can predict the future. But let's be honest, Zoubek has faded as the season's progressed, Plumlee inexplicably doesn't play and we are playing small ball once again. I'm with Hubert Davis, until this team can get solid minutes from Zoubek and Plumlee, we are not winning a national championship in '09 unless we shoot lights out from 3 for six straight games. I bleed Duke blue but that's a tough task to ask of any college team.

This team still has the perimeter talent to challenge and beat anyone in America but has needed size for at least two years now. Next year, we're getting two kids that are 6-10 and taller. Freshman or not, we'll finally have frontcourt depth; we'll have a 7-foot Zoubek, a 6-11 MP, a 6-10 MP, and a 6-10 Ryan Kelly to go along with the ridiculous talent we'll have at the 1-4 spots. If that doesn't make that team better than this year, at least on paper, then we're looking at two different things.


Again, I'd be floored if we weren't better next year.


Just one man's opinion...

wallyman
02-10-2009, 10:45 PM
1. It's a huge stretch to assume Singler and Henderson are back next year.
2. Why are you talking about next year, anyway?


GTHC. Looking for a big game from the Big 2, good shooting by Jon and Greg, a bounce-back game from Nolan and Dave being Dave. Anything else is gravy.

Oriole Way
02-10-2009, 10:47 PM
With all due respect to McClure and Paulus, I'd be absolutely shocked if next year's team isn't better than this year's team. As of today, I'm not yet convinced Duke can win a national championship this year. Next year, if Singler and Henderson come back, I'd have to believe we'll probably be the best team in the country or damn close at the very worst.

Clearly, none of us can predict the future. But let's be honest, Zoubek has faded as the season's progressed, Plumlee inexplicably doesn't play and we are playing small ball once again. I'm with Hubert Davis, until this team can get solid minutes from Zoubek and Plumlee, we are not winning a national championship in '09 unless we shoot lights out from 3 for six straight games. I bleed Duke blue but that's a tough task to ask of any college team.

This team still has the perimeter talent to challenge and beat anyone in America but has needed size for at least two years now. Next year, we're getting two kids that are 6-10 and taller. Freshman or not, we'll finally have frontcourt depth; we'll have a 7-foot Zoubek, a 6-11 MP, a 6-10 MP, and a 6-10 Ryan Kelly to go along with the ridiculous talent we'll have at the 1-4 spots. If that doesn't make that team better than this year, at least on paper, then we're looking at two different things.


Again, I'd be floored if we weren't better next year.


Just one man's opinion...

These are some great thoughts, and I agree with pretty much everything. The only thing I'm concerned about, though, is our point guard position. Nolan Smith should be better next year in theory, but what if he's really just a shooting guard? We won't be able to win a national championship without better point guard play. And if we don't play a traditional point guard (ie Nolan handling the ball like he did for this season up until the last game), we need to limit turnovers. If this year is any indication, that will be our biggest problem next year, and it will be the main issue holding us back from advancing to the Final Four and further.

Scorp4me
02-11-2009, 12:18 AM
I'm just confused where the ridiculous talent at the 1 is? I agree we're great 2-4 and the new guys coming in should provide plenty of depth inside, but we'll be lacking a traditional point, one which Duke usually has, next year without some serious development from someone on the team this year. It's a shame that we seem to be missing a key component for the past several years. That's why we haven't advanced any further in the tournament I feel. Remember when we had Jason Williams at point we also had Boozer inside. Plus ridiculous talent 2-4!

I'm enjoying this year while a bit concerned. I'm excited about next year, but perhaps even more concerned. Hope I'm wrong though.

Classof06
02-11-2009, 09:28 AM
1. It's a huge stretch to assume Singler and Henderson are back next year.
2. Why are you talking about next year, anyway?


GTHC. Looking for a big game from the Big 2, good shooting by Jon and Greg, a bounce-back game from Nolan and Dave being Dave. Anything else is gravy.

1. I personally don't think it's a stretch to think they'll be back
2. My post was in response to a previous post

Scorp4me,

While I don't think Nolan has been lights out this year, I think he's taking way too much of the blame for what, at times, has been a pretty stagnant offense outside of Henderson.

Everyone talks about Nolan and how his assists aren't up to par, etc., yet nobody mentions the fact that, unlike most point guards, he has no legit big man that can get easy buckets and give him more assists. He's passing off to jump shooters, hoping they hit their 3s. That won't be the case next year.

And don't get it twisted, there are plenty of schools that would love to have Nolan Smith playing the 1; he's a good PG but he's still adapting to a Duke system that is very different from most systems. I think he'll do a fantastic job next year and with the personnel that he'll have around him in 09-10, he'll be more equipped to do so.

Scorp4me
02-11-2009, 12:09 PM
Classof06,

I'll agree with most of that. I don't mean to disparage him too much. He's not a point guard, he's a guard learning to play point. And you're right there is no Boozer or Williams inside to pass it off too. Didn't Paulus lead the ACC in assist his freshman year? Having different personel definately makes it easier. And you're right again a ton of teams would love to have him at point, I'd just prefer we had the luxury of playing him alongside point I guess. Which we do this year :)

jv001
02-11-2009, 12:31 PM
1. I personally don't think it's a stretch to think they'll be back
2. My post was in response to a previous post

Scorp4me,

While I don't think Nolan has been lights out this year, I think he's taking way too much of the blame for what, at times, has been a pretty stagnant offense outside of Henderson.

Everyone talks about Nolan and how his assists aren't up to par, etc., yet nobody mentions the fact that, unlike most point guards, he has no legit big man that can get easy buckets and give him more assists. He's passing off to jump shooters, hoping they hit their 3s. That won't be the case next year.

And don't get it twisted, there are plenty of schools that would love to have Nolan Smith playing the 1; he's a good PG but he's still adapting to a Duke system that is very different from most systems. I think he'll do a fantastic job next year and with the personnel that he'll have around him in 09-10, he'll be more equipped to do so.

I agree that Nolan is not entirely responsible for our poor offensive play, but take Jon for instance. His shooting has been off, but the other aspects of his game did not suffer. He played stellar defense and his assist to turnover ratio was excellent. However Nolan let if affect his ball handling and judgement at times. That to me is the difference between a sophmore and a junior. Next year Nolan should be much better. And we need a healthy Nolan tonight. Go Duke!

Matches
02-11-2009, 02:20 PM
Everyone talks about Nolan and how his assists aren't up to par, etc., yet nobody mentions the fact that, unlike most point guards, he has no legit big man that can get easy buckets and give him more assists. He's passing off to jump shooters, hoping they hit their 3s. That won't be the case next year.



The assist statistic is IMO overrated - by definition it it reliant on what someone else does. The deficiencies in Nolan's recent PG work go beyond that, though, ranging from being unable to get the offense "started" to failing to handle the press against Clemson. Paulus is far from perfect but at least adds a stabilizing presence back there.

I'm looking forward to Nolan's return to form, though, and expect it'll be sooner than later.