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DavidBenAkiva
03-23-2014, 03:51 PM
Now that 48 hour have passed since the season ended, I've been thinking a lot about the recent past and future of Duke Basketball.

Looking at the team over the past 15 or so years and what I expect the team to look like for the next two years, a clear strategy emerges. That strategy is to recruit a core of solid 3-4 year players every two years. 10-15 years ago, some of the previous core would be around when the next core would emerge as sophomores to form consistently good-to-great teams. Here are the core recruiting classes:

1997 Core: Shane Battier, Elton Brand, and William Avery (Chris Burgess transferred)
1999 Core: Jason Williams, Carlos Boozer, Mike Dunleavy, Jr., and Casey Sanders
2002 Core: J.J. Redick, Shelden Williams, Shavlik Randolph, Sean Dockery, and Lee Melchioni (Michael Thompson transferred)
2005 Core: Josh McRoberts, Greg Paulus, and Martynas Pocius (Eric Boateng and Jamal Boykin transferred)
2006 Core: Jon Scheyer, Gerald Henderson, Lance Thomas, and Brian Zoubek
2007 Core: Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith (Taylor King transferred a couple of times)
2009 Core: Mason Plumlee, Ryan Kelly, and Andre Dawkins (Seth Curry transferred in)

In between these core classes, an elite talent would be added (Corey Maggette, Chris Duhon, Daniel Ewing, Kyrie Irving, Austin Rivers, Rasheed Sulaimon, and Jabari Parker). In recent years, those elite complimentary players have become one-and-done types that have gone to the NBA after a single season. The coaching staff didn't expect that with Maggette, but they certainly understood that Irving, Rivers, and probably Parker will go to the NBA.

It seems to me the frequency of core players being added is increasing. I would put Amile Jefferson and Marshall Plumlee as core players this year and for the next two. Likewise, Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow, and Grayson Allen will be expected to be a core in 2-3 years with Jahlil Okafor being the one for-sure one-and-done candidate. If Duke lands Luke Kennard, Chase Jeter, and Diamond Stone, that would be 3 classes of core players in 4 years (I just don't see Matt Jones and Semi Ojeleye becoming a "core" of a team. They will, hopefully, contribute like Tyler Thornton and Josh Hairston did throughout their careers).

Given the arc of the program, the core needs to mature into a cohesive team a la Louisville last year for Duke to be successful in the way the fans want and expect. We just have not experienced success in recent years when fielding a freshman- or sophomore-led team (McRoberts and Paulus-led team in 2007, Rivers being the leading scorer in 2012, and Parker and Hood being the leaders in 2014). Meanwhile, outside of Kentucky in 2012, most of the good or great teams in the NCAA Tournament have been junior- or senior-led teams (UNC in 2009, Duke in 2010, Connecticut in 2011, Louisville in 2013).

Looking into the crystal ball, Duke should expect a talented team next year with a senior Cook, and juniors Sulaimon, Jefferson, and Plumlee being supported or complimented by the next incoming core class plus Jahlil Okafor. Now, if Parker sticks around for a year, Duke should have an unquestionably good and talented team. Even without Parker, Duke in 2014-15 will have size and depth in the post, talent, depth, and experience on the perimeter.

We are all excited about the potential of having a legit low-post scorer next year. The next time I expect Duke to have a really solid shot at a Final Four and National Championship will be in 2015-16 when Duke will likely field a starting five of Tyus Jones (hopefully!), Sulaimon, Winslow, Jefferson, and Plumlee. Many of those guys will have played together for several years and matured into a really solid group like the 2010 and 2013 teams displayed.

CameronBornAndBred
03-23-2014, 04:21 PM
(I just don't see Matt Jones and Semi Ojeleye becoming a "core" of a team. They will, hopefully, contribute like Tyler Thornton and Josh Hairston did throughout their careers).
1st. Strong post, mostly agree.
2nd. If you are right about Jones and Ojeleye, Loran is off somewhere practicing typing "Ojeleye" so he can yell at them both proficiently in chat.

SoCalDukeFan
03-23-2014, 09:56 PM
Now that 48 hour have passed since the season ended, I've been thinking a lot about the recent past and future of Duke Basketball.

Looking at the team over the past 15 or so years and what I expect the team to look like for the next two years, a clear strategy emerges. That strategy is to recruit a core of solid 3-4 year players every two years. 10-15 years ago, some of the previous core would be around when the next core would emerge as sophomores to form consistently good-to-great teams. Here are the core recruiting classes:

1997 Core: Shane Battier, Elton Brand, and William Avery (Chris Burgess transferred)
1999 Core: Jason Williams, Carlos Boozer, Mike Dunleavy, Jr., and Casey Sanders
2002 Core: J.J. Redick, Shelden Williams, Shavlik Randolph, Sean Dockery, and Lee Melchioni (Michael Thompson transferred)
2005 Core: Josh McRoberts, Greg Paulus, and Martynas Pocius (Eric Boateng and Jamal Boykin transferred)
2006 Core: Jon Scheyer, Gerald Henderson, Lance Thomas, and Brian Zoubek
2007 Core: Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith (Taylor King transferred a couple of times)
2009 Core: Mason Plumlee, Ryan Kelly, and Andre Dawkins (Seth Curry transferred in)

In between these core classes, an elite talent would be added (Corey Maggette, Chris Duhon, Daniel Ewing, Kyrie Irving, Austin Rivers, Rasheed Sulaimon, and Jabari Parker). In recent years, those elite complimentary players have become one-and-done types that have gone to the NBA after a single season. The coaching staff didn't expect that with Maggette, but they certainly understood that Irving, Rivers, and probably Parker will go to the NBA.

It seems to me the frequency of core players being added is increasing. I would put Amile Jefferson and Marshall Plumlee as core players this year and for the next two. Likewise, Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow, and Grayson Allen will be expected to be a core in 2-3 years with Jahlil Okafor being the one for-sure one-and-done candidate. If Duke lands Luke Kennard, Chase Jeter, and Diamond Stone, that would be 3 classes of core players in 4 years (I just don't see Matt Jones and Semi Ojeleye becoming a "core" of a team. They will, hopefully, contribute like Tyler Thornton and Josh Hairston did throughout their careers).

Given the arc of the program, the core needs to mature into a cohesive team a la Louisville last year for Duke to be successful in the way the fans want and expect. We just have not experienced success in recent years when fielding a freshman- or sophomore-led team (McRoberts and Paulus-led team in 2007, Rivers being the leading scorer in 2012, and Parker and Hood being the leaders in 2014). Meanwhile, outside of Kentucky in 2012, most of the good or great teams in the NCAA Tournament have been junior- or senior-led teams (UNC in 2009, Duke in 2010, Connecticut in 2011, Louisville in 2013).

Looking into the crystal ball, Duke should expect a talented team next year with a senior Cook, and juniors Sulaimon, Jefferson, and Plumlee being supported or complimented by the next incoming core class plus Jahlil Okafor. Now, if Parker sticks around for a year, Duke should have an unquestionably good and talented team. Even without Parker, Duke in 2014-15 will have size and depth in the post, talent, depth, and experience on the perimeter.

We are all excited about the potential of having a legit low-post scorer next year. The next time I expect Duke to have a really solid shot at a Final Four and National Championship will be in 2015-16 when Duke will likely field a starting five of Tyus Jones (hopefully!), Sulaimon, Winslow, Jefferson, and Plumlee. Many of those guys will have played together for several years and matured into a really solid group like the 2010 and 2013 teams displayed.

Maybe I am overly optimistic but K says he is going to make "adjustments." I hope they make his defensive system more accessible to 1 or 2 year players. I also hope that a soph or junior will step up as a leader.

SoCal

johnb
03-24-2014, 09:25 AM
Predictions are difficult. We don't really know who is going to be ready for the lottery after one year. We've had plenty of top 10 recruits and plenty of eventual lottery picks, and it's not clear whether the coaching staff knows in advance who is likely to go after 1, 2, 3, or 4 years. I imagine that some players blow everyone away in preseason practice (Deng, Irving, Hood, Parker, Brand come to mind--wherein everyone realizes they are on a different level than the other elite talents on the floor), but even then, it's not clear to me that we'll know who is going to be around in a couple of years (Jay Williams comes to mind). And there are other guys (Burgess, Randolph) who have periods in hs in which "experts" predict top tier talent, and they become workmanlike pro's who never really succeed at Duke....

Saratoga2
03-24-2014, 10:10 AM
PG Quinn is very solid with Tyus as a backup A
SG Rasheed is also solid with Matt and Grayson A
SF Justise and Semi and Matt B
PF Stronger Amile and Semi B
C Jahlil and Marshall A

The trend is toward bigger players except at PG where floor leadership, quickness and ball security predominate. Lots of teams would love our lineup, lets hope we can get the most out of it.

I'd love to see another Jon Scheyer come along. Maybe Kennard is that player.

flyingdutchdevil
03-24-2014, 10:17 AM
PG Quinn is very solid with Tyus as a backup A
SG Rasheed is also solid with Matt and Grayson A
SF Justise and Semi and Matt B
PF Stronger Amile and Semi B
C Jahlil and Marshall A

The trend is toward bigger players except at PG where floor leadership, quickness and ball security predominate. Lots of teams would love our lineup, lets hope we can get the most out of it.

I'd love to see another Jon Scheyer come along. Maybe Kennard is that player.

Well, they are both 6'5". Although I assume Kennard has better basketball height because he doesn't have the longest neck in college basketball history ;)

My God, Scheyer was such an under appreciated player.

CDu
03-24-2014, 10:32 AM
I mentioned this in another thread, but recruiting is a difficult animal. I don't think our recruiting strategy has really changed at all over the last 15 or so years. I just think the landscape of the college game has changed. We seem to be recruiting the same types of kids. It's just that top-50 recruits don't buy into riding the pine for 1-2 years as easily today as they did 20 years ago.

I mean, in the past 10 years we've recruited the following guys (RSCI ranking in parentheses):
2005: McRoberts (1), Paulus (13), Boateng (39), Pocius (53), Boykin (60)
2006: Henderson (10), Thomas (20), Zoubek (25), Scheyer (28)
2007: Singler (6), Smith (18), King (27)
2008: Williams (15), Czyz (66), Plumlee (81)
2009: Kelly (14), Plumlee (18), Dawkins (unranked due to late reclassification; top 20 in the 2010 class before reclassification)
2010: Irving (2), Hairston (32), Thornton (unranked)
2011: Rivers (2), Gbinije (28), Cook (31), Murphy (49), Plumlee (61)
2012: Sulaimon (12), Jefferson (21)
2013: Parker (3), Ojeleye (32), Jones (34)
2014 (summer): Okafor (1), Jones (5), Winslow (12), Allen (34)

So in every class we've had a couple of top-20 guys and at least one guy outside the top-25. Some of those top-20 guys end up being 4-year guys (Singler, Paulus, Smith, Kelly, Plumlee so far). Some left after one or two years (McRoberts, Irving, Rivers so far).

The issues have been that we've had a wide variety of outcomes in three ways:

1. We don't always know for sure whether guys will be one-and-done or multi-year guys; even the top-10 guys.
2. The guys outside the top-25 haven't panned out consistently.
3. The guys outside the top-25 haven't been consistently willing to ride the pine for one or two years, and several have transferred.

The staff has tried to have a breadth of talent, including elite guys (high risk of early entry) and "second tier" guys (guys we hope stay four years and develop). But it is getting harder to keep the "second tier" guys in the system without giving them real playing time early in their careers, as all of these guys want to play.

UrinalCake
03-24-2014, 10:33 AM
I'm starting to really question whether the one and done's fit into Coach K's system, which relies on experienced leaders especially at guard, lots of communication, and a commitment to defense. The one and done's have a ton of talent especially on offense, they develop over a year and then leave, and we're left to start over. Meanwhile we could have instead brought in a guy who was maybe ranked a notch lower out of high school but stays for four years.

Would we have traded Irving and Rivers for, say, Joe Harris who would be a senior on this year's team? (Just pulling a name out of the air, I have no idea if he was interested in us). The one and done's including Parker gave us a sweet 16, a first round loss, and another first round loss (obviously Kyrie's injury was huge). Conversely, our most successful teams of the past decade (2010 and 2013) each started three seniors. In an ideal world you'd have both - talented, experienced players plus a one and done - but that requires a degree of good timing and luck.

Next year we'll have talented freshman and some experience as well, but is that enough to make a deep tournament run? And if not, then Okafor leaves and we again have a hole to fill.

flyingdutchdevil
03-24-2014, 10:40 AM
I mentioned this in another thread, but recruiting is a difficult animal. I don't think our recruiting strategy has really changed at all over the last 15 or so years. I just think the landscape of the college game has changed. We seem to be recruiting the same types of kids. It's just that top-50 recruits don't buy into riding the pine for 1-2 years as easily today as they did 20 years ago.

I mean, in the past 10 years we've recruited the following guys (RSCI ranking in parentheses):
2005: McRoberts (1), Paulus (13), Boateng (39), Pocius (53), Boykin (60)
2006: Henderson (10), Thomas (20), Zoubek (25), Scheyer (28)
2007: Singler (6), Smith (18), King (27)
2008: Williams (15), Czyz (66), Plumlee (81)
2009: Kelly (14), Plumlee (18), Dawkins (unranked due to late reclassification; top 20 in the 2010 class before reclassification)
2010: Irving (2), Hairston (32), Thornton (unranked)
2011: Rivers (2), Gbinije (28), Cook (31), Murphy (49), Plumlee (61)
2012: Sulaimon (12), Jefferson (21)
2013: Parker (3), Ojeleye (32), Jones (34)
2014 (summer): Okafor (1), Jones (5), Winslow (12), Allen (34)

So in every class we've had a couple of top-20 guys and at least one guy outside the top-25. Some of those top-20 guys end up being 4-year guys (Singler, Paulus, Smith, Kelly, Plumlee so far). Some left after one or two years (McRoberts, Irving, Rivers so far).

The issues have been that we've had a wide variety of outcomes in three ways:

1. We don't always know for sure whether guys will be one-and-done or multi-year guys; even the top-10 guys.
2. The guys outside the top-25 haven't panned out consistently.
3. The guys outside the top-25 haven't been consistently willing to ride the pine for one or two years, and several have transferred.

The staff has tried to have a breadth of talent, including elite guys (high risk of early entry) and "second tier" guys (guys we hope stay four years and develop). But it is getting harder to keep the "second tier" guys in the system without giving them real playing time early in their careers, as all of these guys want to play.

I think this is right on. Ideally, we want to get the kids in between the "top tier one-and-dones" and the "second tier": guys like Singler, Russ Smith, and Adrian Payne. Players who are good enough to contribute early in their careers but absolutely explode as juniors and seniors. Judging these players is incredibly difficult, as they could be better than advertised as freshman (Embiid) or they could be role players their whole career (Josh Hairston).

Fortunately, he have a few of these players right now: Amile Jefferson and Rasheed Sulaimon are the main candidates. If the patented "Duke Junior Jump" applies to these two players, we could be in for an exciting treat.

CDu
03-24-2014, 10:50 AM
I think this is right on. Ideally, we want to get the kids in between the "top tier one-and-dones" and the "second tier": guys like Singler, Russ Smith, and Adrian Payne. Players who are good enough to contribute early in their careers but absolutely explode as juniors and seniors. Judging these players is incredibly difficult, as they could be better than advertised as freshman (Embiid) or they could be role players their whole career (Josh Hairston).

Fortunately, he have a few of these players right now: Amile Jefferson and Rasheed Sulaimon are the main candidates. If the patented "Duke Junior Jump" applies to these two players, we could be in for an exciting treat.

I would argue that we want both. We want the elite one-and-done talent. But we also want the sub-elite guys to build the program. Jefferson and Sulaimon seem to fit that mold. I would add Cook to the list as well. Hairston was supposed to be that guy for this year's team. So were Murphy, Cook, Plumlee, and Gbinije. But Hairston simply didn't quite get there, Cook was a bit too inconsistent to take that leadership role this year, Murphy and Gbinije didn't seem to pan out and transferred, and Plumlee hasn't been able to get there yet.

Hopefully Cook gets there next year and Sulaimon and Jefferson join him. Hopefully Jones and Ojeleye stick around and are ready to take on a bigger role. And hopefully Plumlee gets to where Jefferson was this year as a consistent presence, even though he'll almost certainly play backup minutes. If that happens, then I think we'll have a shot at something special; even with a team that plays 3 freshmen for heavy minutes.

gumbomoop
03-24-2014, 10:56 AM
Amile Jefferson and Rasheed Sulaimon are the main candidates. If the patented "Duke Junior Jump" applies to these two players, we could be in for an exciting treat.

Allow me to add R-Jr Plumlee. His progress may seem less crucial because of Okafor's arrival; but Okafor may not be able to go 30+ mpg, so we should be thinking of 10-15 important mpg for Plumlee. I hope Amile will be a 4, period, not a backup 5.

UrinalCake
03-24-2014, 11:13 AM
I would argue that we want both. We want the elite one-and-done talent. But we also want the sub-elite guys to build the program

This is really hard to do from a recruiting standpoint, because the one and done's want you to commit to them early and then not recruit anyone else at their positions. And the guys just below the OAD's don't want to come in with a OAD because then there's zero chance they'll play. Also, a lot of sub-OAD guys think that they are OAD (cough cough, Tony Parker).

In order to make it work you either need to time it so that you have experienced-but-not-elite upperclassmen at the same time as a OAD (like in 2011 if Kyrie hadn't gotten hurt) and then start the whole cycle over the next year, or you get lucky and have guys that stay longer than expected to go along with a OAD (like Carolina in 2009).

I think it's fair to say that relying on a OAD to carry your team is unlikely to work. When you run a system like Duke's that depends on leadership and experience, it's a guaranteed failure. Deng didn't need to be the vocal leader, nor did Irving and certainly not Maggette. They had experienced guys around them who were also very talented. In the past 20 years Melo is the only freshman I can think of who LED his team to a title, the way we expected Jabari to this year and Austin to in 2012. You could argue Kentucky in 2011 but I think their model is just a whole different animal.

CDu
03-24-2014, 11:23 AM
This is really hard to do from a recruiting standpoint, because the one and done's want you to commit to them early and then not recruit anyone else at their positions. And the guys just below the OAD's don't want to come in with a OAD because then there's zero chance they'll play. Also, a lot of sub-OAD guys think that they are OAD (cough cough, Tony Parker).

In order to make it work you either need to time it so that you have experienced-but-not-elite upperclassmen at the same time as a OAD (like in 2011 if Kyrie hadn't gotten hurt) and then start the whole cycle over the next year, or you get lucky and have guys that stay longer than expected to go along with a OAD (like Carolina in 2009).

I think it's fair to say that relying on a OAD to carry your team is unlikely to work. When you run a system like Duke's that depends on leadership and experience, it's a guaranteed failure. Deng didn't need to be the vocal leader, nor did Irving and certainly not Maggette. They had experienced guys around them who were also very talented. In the past 20 years Melo is the only freshman I can think of who LED his team to a title, the way we expected Jabari to this year and Austin to in 2012. You could argue Kentucky in 2011 but I think their model is just a whole different animal.

Right, which is basically what I just said upthread.

flyingdutchdevil
03-24-2014, 11:24 AM
This is really hard to do from a recruiting standpoint, because the one and done's want you to commit to them early and then not recruit anyone else at their positions. And the guys just below the OAD's don't want to come in with a OAD because then there's zero chance they'll play. Also, a lot of sub-OAD guys think that they are OAD (cough cough, Tony Parker).

In order to make it work you either need to time it so that you have experienced-but-not-elite upperclassmen at the same time as a OAD (like in 2011 if Kyrie hadn't gotten hurt) and then start the whole cycle over the next year, or you get lucky and have guys that stay longer than expected to go along with a OAD (like Carolina in 2009).

I think it's fair to say that relying on a OAD to carry your team is unlikely to work. When you run a system like Duke's that depends on leadership and experience, it's a guaranteed failure. Deng didn't need to be the vocal leader, nor did Irving and certainly not Maggette. They had experienced guys around them who were also very talented. In the past 20 years Melo is the only freshman I can think of who LED his team to a title, the way we expected Jabari to this year and Austin to in 2012. You could argue Kentucky in 2011 but I think their model is just a whole different animal.

I agree - it's insanely difficult to do. A really good example, IMO, would be the 2005 UNC team. They had established upperclassmen with Marvin Williams - an athletic freak - coming off the bench as a super sixth man. That doesn't really happen anymore, simply because these players get so much more exposure from day -1 and expect to play from day 1 (damn you, YouTube and Twitter!).

2012 Kentucky was kind of the opposite - OAD guys leading the team with immense support from senior leadership. This, too, probably doesn't happen that much anymore.

Kedsy
03-24-2014, 12:28 PM
Ideally, we want to get the kids in between the "top tier one-and-dones" and the "second tier": guys like Singler, Russ Smith, and Adrian Payne. Players who are good enough to contribute early in their careers but absolutely explode as juniors and seniors.

Except Singler was a top tier guy (#6 in the RSCI) who just happened to stay four years. Far as I can tell, Russ Smith was not even top 100; no way anyone could know he'd be as good as he is and we took Tyler Thornton in that tier. Adreian Payne (#27 RSCI) possibly fits your tweener mold, but his rank is pretty similar to Josh Hairston (#32) in that same class so I'd classify him in the same tier as Josh.

Also, Smith and Payne neither played much nor contributed much their freshman seasons (Smith: 5.6 mpg in 17 games played, 2.2 ppg, 34.1% FG%; Payne: 9.0 mpg in 34 games played, 2.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg), but they both stuck it out rather than transferring, which could be considered pretty lucky for Louisville and Michigan State. As a comparison, Michael Gbinije as a freshman averaged 5.8 mpg in 19 games, a little more than Smith, but it wasn't enough for him. Tyler Thornton averaged 9.9 mpg in 34 games his freshman year (a little more than Payne) but he didn't become a star the way Payne did. Josh Hairston got 6.1 mpg in 27 games as a freshman. Redshirt freshman Alex Murphy averaged 6.3 mpg in 31 games.

The answer is ideally you want your lesser recruits to stay in town and then become stars, but there's no way to predict that with any accuracy.

CDu
03-24-2014, 12:34 PM
Except Singler was a top tier guy (#6 in the RSCI) who just happened to stay four years. Far as I can tell, Russ Smith was not even top 100; no way anyone could know he'd be as good as he is and we took Tyler Thornton in that tier. Adreian Payne (#27 RSCI) possibly fits your tweener mold, but his rank is pretty similar to Josh Hairston (#32) in that same class so I'd classify him in the same tier as Josh.

Also, Smith and Payne neither played much nor contributed much their freshman seasons (Smith: 5.6 mpg in 17 games played, 2.2 ppg, 34.1% FG%; Payne: 9.0 mpg in 34 games played, 2.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg), but they both stuck it out rather than transferring, which could be considered pretty lucky for Louisville and Michigan State. As a comparison, Michael Gbinije as a freshman averaged 5.8 mpg in 19 games, a little more than Smith, but it wasn't enough for him. Tyler Thornton averaged 9.9 mpg in 34 games his freshman year (a little more than Payne) but he didn't become a star the way Payne did. Josh Hairston got 6.1 mpg in 27 games as a freshman. Redshirt freshman Alex Murphy averaged 6.3 mpg in 31 games.

The answer is ideally you want your lesser recruits to stay in town and then become stars, but there's no way to predict that with any accuracy.

Exactly. That is what I was trying to say above. I mean, ideally you want to get top-10 guys and have them stay for 4 years like Singler did. That is rare. Heck, it is rare for them to stay 2 or 3 years (unless you're UNC). But that's what you want. Short of that, you want those guys that weren't absolute studs in high school to become studs in college over their 4 years.

The challenge seems to be finding the right guys in the 20-50 range, getting them to accept minimal PT early, and getting them to develop into stars. The problem is that for every Ryan Kelly there are probably 2 or 3 Gbinijes or Murphies (guys who just didn't want to wait any more for playing time). And for every Smith, Thomas, and Zoubek there is a Hairston, Dockery, King, etc (guys who just never quite made the jump - even as seniors).

flyingdutchdevil
03-24-2014, 12:37 PM
Except Singler was a top tier guy (#6 in the RSCI) who just happened to stay four years. Far as I can tell, Russ Smith was not even top 100; no way anyone could know he'd be as good as he is and we took Tyler Thornton in that tier. Adreian Payne (#27 RSCI) possibly fits your tweener mold, but his rank is pretty similar to Josh Hairston (#32) in that same class so I'd classify him in the same tier as Josh.

Also, Smith and Payne neither played much nor contributed much their freshman seasons (Smith: 5.6 mpg in 17 games played, 2.2 ppg, 34.1% FG%; Payne: 9.0 mpg in 34 games played, 2.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg), but they both stuck it out rather than transferring, which could be considered pretty lucky for Louisville and Michigan State. As a comparison, Michael Gbinije as a freshman averaged 5.8 mpg in 19 games, a little more than Smith, but it wasn't enough for him. Tyler Thornton averaged 9.9 mpg in 34 games his freshman year (a little more than Payne) but he didn't become a star the way Payne did. Josh Hairston got 6.1 mpg in 27 games as a freshman. Redshirt freshman Alex Murphy averaged 6.3 mpg in 31 games.

The answer is ideally you want your lesser recruits to stay in town and then become stars, but there's no way to predict that with any accuracy.

I think you just more eloquently stated what I was trying to say. The examples that I gave were all over the board, but the conclusion stays the same: players who can contribute at a freshman and sophomore level who mature and become stars / leaders at the junior and senior level are the ideal recruit. But it's like playing the lottery - some guys follow this track (Singler), some excel at the freshman and sophomore level and leave for greener pastures (Maggette) and others never pan out (Hairston). It's a crazy lottery. And I agree it's immensely difficult. If it were easy, Duke would never have players leave early who they didn't want to leave early or not pan out.

IMO, those are the players that a) I love following and cheering for (Nolan Smith, anyone?) and b) give you natties.

jv001
03-24-2014, 02:17 PM
Exactly. That is what I was trying to say above. I mean, ideally you want to get top-10 guys and have them stay for 4 years like Singler did. That is rare. Heck, it is rare for them to stay 2 or 3 years (unless you're UNC). But that's what you want. Short of that, you want those guys that weren't absolute studs in high school to become studs in college over their 4 years.

The challenge seems to be finding the right guys in the 20-50 range, getting them to accept minimal PT early, and getting them to develop into stars. The problem is that for every Ryan Kelly there are probably 2 or 3 Gbinijes or Murphies (guys who just didn't want to wait any more for playing time). And for every Smith, Thomas, and Zoubek there is a Hairston, Dockery, King, etc (guys who just never quite made the jump - even as seniors).

My how times have changed. It used to be the Duke players that stayed and now it's our most hated rival(UNC). The entire landscape of college basketball has changed and I don't think it's for the better. But that's for another thread. GoDuke!

UrinalCake
03-24-2014, 02:29 PM
Tangential to this debate about whether to recruit one and done's is the fact that our playing style on the court has changed - more isolations and one-on-one's, less ball movement, fewer pick and rolls. Less emphasis on defense. Players given more freedom and fewer set plays being called. I really feel like a big reason for this is coach K's desire to cater towards one and one players, both current and future. Playing team ball requires having guys who have played together for more than a season, and prohibits you from building around a single player and showcasing him.

Coach K's work with the national team may be influencing this change as well. I don't really know. But I don't think the results have been positive.

johnb
03-24-2014, 02:32 PM
I think we can agree that want our top 40 talent to stick around and become stars and our top 10 guys to be stars and stick around. Problem is the crap shoot quality at every stage, the transfers, the going pro early of our best players, and the lack of unity in teams that are together only one year.

What we could really use would be 15 man varsity rosters, a freshman team, and mandatory 3 or 4 year enrollments. Since we're at the top of the recruiting heap (along with Kentucky, Kansas, and only a couple of others), we could certainly recruit 5 quality guys per year. There are downsides, like cost (which would mostly affect non-elite programs) and parity (ditto), not to mention player satisfaction. Short of that, I don't see another UCLA-like run for us anytime in the near future. Just too many uncertainties.

BlueDevilBrowns
03-24-2014, 02:54 PM
I think we can agree that want our top 40 talent to stick around and become stars and our top 10 guys to be stars and stick around. Problem is the crap shoot quality at every stage, the transfers, the going pro early of our best players, and the lack of unity in teams that are together only one year.

I don't see another UCLA-like run for us anytime in the near future. Just too many uncertainties.

Agreed. However, as you mention, that's pretty hard to do. I think, too, the issue is also that we, quite understandably, look at things from a Duke-centric standpoint. But, we're not the only school that's found it hard to duplicate the consistent post-season success in the 21st Century.

UNC hasn't been to a FF since 2009(nor have they even won the ACCT since 08).

IU has had 1 "elite" season since '02.

MSU hasn't been to a FF since 2010(we'll see this year).

Kansas has went to 1 FF since 2008.

UCLA hasn't been to a FF since 2008(we'll see this year).

So, while our post-season "problems"(only 1 FF and 1 NC since '04) are facts, it's not exclusive to us, either. I think part of the issue is we are still holding K and the program to the standards of the late '80's, '90's, and early 00's, which just aren't reasonable in this world today.

I think it's important to have a Coach in place that can maximize a team when all of those team building elements do fall into place(like Duke 2010), even more than recruiting "strategy", because, as you say, it's very hard to intentially bring all of those elements together.

When K had Singler, Scheyer, and Smith - Duke won the NCAAT and won 3 ACCT's. Pretty impressive.

Then, on the other hand, you have, as an example, Tom Creane at IU, who had a ton of talent for a couple of years, but couldn't maximize it to it's potential.

Billy Donovan is a good example of a coach who has maximized his team the past few years(3 straight E8's and possibly a NC this year).

Even Ol' Roy got things done with Hansbrough, Lawson, & Co. from '06 - '09(2 FF's and 1 NC).

So, in summary, I liken it to the NFL where you have "windows" of opportunity, sometimes 1 year, sometimes 3 years max. And it's the best coaches that make the most of those times before they have to start back from scratch again.

Kedsy
03-24-2014, 03:44 PM
Billy Donovan is a good example of a coach who has maximized his team the past few years(3 straight E8's and possibly a NC this year).

It's worth noting that Florida's three straight Elite Eight runs were aided by a bit of "path luck." Last year the Gators faced a 14-seed, then an 11-seed, then a 15-seed, and then a 4-seed (they lost to the 4). In 2012, they faced a 10-seed, a 15-seed, a 3-seed, and a 4-seed (again lost to the 4). The year before that, they faced a 15-seed, a 7-seed, and a 3-seed (legitimate Elite Eight path), but then lost to an 8-seed. This year, if they get past UCLA (giving them games against 16-9-4, another legit E8 path) they'll face either a 10-seed or an 11-seed. You could argue that Florida has had four of the easiest Final Four paths from 2011 to 2014 and actually underachieved by not making a Final Four yet (though I expect they probably will this season).

It's also worth noting that in the three years before the three Elite Eights, Florida missed the tournament twice and lost in the first round the other time. Wonder how that sort of three year stretch would play around here?

flyingdutchdevil
03-24-2014, 03:51 PM
It's worth noting that Florida's three straight Elite Eight runs were aided by a bit of "path luck." Last year the Gators faced a 14-seed, then an 11-seed, then a 15-seed, and then a 4-seed (they lost to the 4). In 2012, they faced a 10-seed, a 15-seed, a 3-seed, and a 4-seed (again lost to the 4). The year before that, they faced a 15-seed, a 7-seed, and a 3-seed (legitimate Elite Eight path), but then lost to an 8-seed. This year, if they get past UCLA (giving them games against 16-9-4, another legit E8 path) they'll face either a 10-seed or an 11-seed. You could argue that Florida has had four of the easiest Final Four paths from 2011 to 2014 and actually underachieved by not making a Final Four yet (though I expect they probably will this season).

It's also worth noting that in the three years before the three Elite Eights, Florida missed the tournament twice and lost in the first round the other time. Wonder how that sort of three year stretch would play around here?

In Florida's defense, at least they beat the double-digit seeded teams...

Kedsy
03-24-2014, 03:54 PM
In Florida's defense, at least they beat the double-digit seeded teams...

Most of them, anyway. Florida lost as a 3-seed to an 11-seed in 2001, as a 5-seed to a 12-seed in 2002, and as a 5-seed to a 12-seed in 2004. They also (as I mentioned earlier) missed the tournament entirely in 2008 and 2009.

BlueDevilBrowns
03-24-2014, 03:57 PM
It's worth noting that Florida's three straight Elite Eight runs were aided by a bit of "path luck." Last year the Gators faced a 14-seed, then an 11-seed, then a 15-seed, and then a 4-seed (they lost to the 4). In 2012, they faced a 10-seed, a 15-seed, a 3-seed, and a 4-seed (again lost to the 4). The year before that, they faced a 15-seed, a 7-seed, and a 3-seed (legitimate Elite Eight path), but then lost to an 8-seed. This year, if they get past UCLA (giving them games against 16-9-4, another legit E8 path) they'll face either a 10-seed or an 11-seed. You could argue that Florida has had four of the easiest Final Four paths from 2011 to 2014 and actually underachieved by not making a Final Four yet (though I expect they probably will this season).

It's also worth noting that in the three years before the three Elite Eights, Florida missed the tournament twice and lost in the first round the other time. Wonder how that sort of three year stretch would play around here?

All very true. It plays right into the theory of Coaches having windows, or cycles, of season's where the ingredients for championship basketball just aren't there. A team will have 2-3 years of success and then 2-3 years of rebuilding. In the past, "elite" teams would have 6-10 years of success and 1-2 years of rebuilding.

But, if the "1 and done" rule stays in effect, I just don't see that happening as often again.

As fans, I think we need to adjust our expectations to match the current reality. By doing so, as you infer, K and the Duke Program look pretty favorable when viewed through that prism.

Rich
03-24-2014, 04:27 PM
All very true. It plays right into the theory of Coaches having windows, or cycles, of season's where the ingredients for championship basketball just aren't there. A team will have 2-3 years of success and then 2-3 years of rebuilding. In the past, "elite" teams would have 6-10 years of success and 1-2 years of rebuilding.

But, if the "1 and done" rule stays in effect, I just don't see that happening as often again.

As fans, I think we need to adjust our expectations to match the current reality. By doing so, as you infer, K and the Duke Program look pretty favorable when viewed through that prism.

Agree, and has been pointed out earlier in this thread, it's not just the "1 and done" players, but also the proliferation of transfers of non "1 and done" players, that affects team continuity and chemistry. The times they have a-changed.

miramar
03-24-2014, 06:00 PM
I mean, in the past 10 years we've recruited the following guys (RSCI ranking in parentheses):
2005: McRoberts (1), Paulus (13), Boateng (39), Pocius (53), Boykin (60)
2006: Henderson (10), Thomas (20), Zoubek (25), Scheyer (28)
2007: Singler (6), Smith (18), King (27)
2008: Williams (15), Czyz (66), Plumlee (81)
2009: Kelly (14), Plumlee (18), Dawkins (unranked due to late reclassification; top 20 in the 2010 class before reclassification)
2010: Irving (2), Hairston (32), Thornton (unranked)
2011: Rivers (2), Gbinije (28), Cook (31), Murphy (49), Plumlee (61)
2012: Sulaimon (12), Jefferson (21)
2013: Parker (3), Ojeleye (32), Jones (34)
2014 (summer): Okafor (1), Jones (5), Winslow (12), Allen (34)


As an aside, having this list just hammers home why they pronounce the RSCI as risky.

If you just look at the top 15 recruits, some have been disappointments, at least to me (McRoberts, Paulus, and even Rivers since he wasn't much of a team player, plus he needed more time to develop), others have been really valuable four year guys (Singler, Kelly), and several have their own particular histories that we all know about. Kyrie Irving was great, but only for 11 games IIRC. Elliot Williams showed great promise, but only stayed a year for family reasons. Henderson seemed to be underperforming for about two and half years, and then blossomed the last half of his junior year before becoming a lottery pick.

Sulaimon should be outstanding next year, but we have probably seen the last of Jabari.

So if you think about how many really strong seasons these ten players have contributed, then it's not as many as I would have expected.

If we look at the top fifteen recruits who made the all-ACC first or second teams, then it's Parker (first team 2014), Rivers (first team, 2012), Singler (first team 2010 and 2011, second team 2009), Henderson (first team, 2009), and McRoberts (second team, 2007).

That's only seven all-ACC seasons for ten guys who have played a total of 23 years (or four all-ACC seasons out of 19 for the nine guys not named Singler), although I hope to see Rasheed on the list next year. A top fifteen national recruit in theory should be a lock to become one of the top ten players in the league, but that's simply not the case.