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NashvilleDevil
12-26-2016, 01:11 PM
Phase III is the start of conference play. Duke will be on the road for three of the games (Va. Tech, FSU, Louisville) and two (hopefully) easier contests at home vs. BC and Ga. Tech. Obviously the big question hanging over this phase is if Duke will rock the Kyrie IIIís, those kicks are legit.

Below are the major questions for this Phase. What do you guys think? Feel free to do what DBR does best and that is have a quality discussion about our favorite college basketball team.

How will this team respond to Graysonís suspension and eventual reinstatement?

This board and the national media have discussed Graysonís incident ad nauseam, now we will see how this team responds in a hostile environment with Grayson in street clothes. Many have mentioned in the post-game threads that this team has been trending towards Luke and Jayson and now they will have a few games to figure it out. I think having, Amile and Matt as leaders will help this team get through some of the initial bumps.

I think the bigger issue is when Grayson returns to the line-up. How will he handle the spotlight and how will the team handle integrating him back into the offensive flow? Will this time away let him focus on not forcing things on offense like he tends to do? This suspension could end up being a blessing for this team. It can make them closer and Grayson can hopefully harness the emotions and use it on the court.

How quickly can this team get up to speed?

In his post-game press conference after one of the post exam games, Coach K said that this team is still in October in terms of preparation and we know why that is. How quickly will this team show cohesiveness on the court? I expect it to come during this phase. We saw flashes of how devastating Duke can be against Elon and TSU, will we see it in longer stretches against quality opponents that they will face during this phase. I think getting a nice break from school will allow this team to gel and we will see a return to the offensive flow we saw before exams. This means getting Amile involved and finding a way to get Harry involved in the offensive flow.

Will Duke get through this phase healthy?

After the start of this season this is a topic on all of our minds. Va. Tech, FSU, and Louisville are historically physical teams. Will Duke be able to play these three teams on the road and not suffer another injury?

Will Harry and Marques be ready to contribute?

It did not take long for us to see how special Jayson is at playing offense and his defense has been awesome. Now we need to see what the two big freshmen can bring to the table. In his very limited appearances Harry has been a mixture of unsure of what to do and pressing to do too much. Marques, has looked lost for the most part. Will this break where no exams or class interfere help these two talented big men find their mojo on the court? I think Harry will start showing flashes of it soon and I think Marques may take a little longer but a nice series against Va. Tech may be all he needs to get his confidence back.

Can this defensive effort continue?

During this phase Duke is not playing an efficient offensive team like Notre Dame but that does not mean that we will not be watching what they do defensively. Kedsy does a much better job than anyone breaking down the numbers and I will be interested to see what he has to say. As for me, I have been blown away (hyperbole, yes) by this team defensively. It does help that Matt, Amile, Luke, and Chase have been in the system for a year but I think just about everyone has been surprised at Jaysonís effort on defense he has been something else and I hope he continues to improve in that area. Now we need to see if Bolden and Giles can become the intimidating presences we were hoping to see.

How will the youngsters handle playing true road games?

On Saturday, the freshmen will get their first taste of ACC play away from Cameron. How will they handle playing in front of a true hostile crowd? Va. Tech has been a place where Duke does not always play their best and judging by the pre-game thread Saturdayís game will be no different. Then after BC and Ga. Tech at home they travel to FSU and then Louisville. Both places are raucous and Louisville will be fired up to beat another highly ranked team at the Yum. Again, it helps that there are some veterans on this team that have been in these situations before and will help the youngsters. I also think Grayson returns for both of these games and then we wonder how he handles playing in a hostile environment?


Use this post as a starting point to start the discussion. I think Duke is going to surprise us (in a good way) in how they play against Va. Tech. As a fan I want them to go 5-0 during this phase but 4-1 would be fine considering the locales of the road games.

Kedsy
12-26-2016, 01:41 PM
Mods, please move the health question to the top of the preceding post. Thank you. ;)

Kedsy
12-26-2016, 02:09 PM
Can this defensive effort continue?

During this phase Duke is not playing an efficient offensive team like Notre Dame but that does not mean that we will not be watching what they do defensively. Kedsy does a much better job than anyone breaking down the numbers and I will be interested to see what he has to say. As for me, I have been blown away (hyperbole, yes) by this team defensively. It does help that Matt, Amile, Luke, and Chase have been in the system for a year but I think just about everyone has been surprised at Jayson’s effort on defense he has been something else and I hope he continues to improve in that area. Now we need to see if Bolden and Giles can become the intimidating presences we were hoping to see.

Nice Phase post, Nashville. The defensive numbers thus far have been impressive, but we have to remember that those numbers have been put up against the weakest segment of our schedule. But since you asked...

Comparing how we've done in each of the "four factors" over the past 30 seasons (going back to 1987, the first year of the three-point shot, and the first year offensive rebounds were kept as a separate stat), we're doing pretty well.

A. Starting with defensive rebounding, if we keep up our current defensive rebounding percentage (74.0%), it would be the best ever for Duke under Coach K. By a lot. Here are the top DR% performances Duke has had over the past 30 years:

1. 2017 (partial season): 74.0%
2. 2015: 69.8%
3. 2007: 69.6%
4. 1989: 68.8%
5T. 2016: 68.7%
5T: 2014: 68.7%
7. 2012: 68.1%

Obviously, based on this list, having great defensive rebounding doesn't necessarily lead to great Duke defense (e.g., 2016, 2014, 2012) or great post-season success (e.g., 2014, 2012, 2007). Still, it can't hurt.

B. Looking at our current defensive turnover percentage (20.7%), historically it's not such a great number for Duke (if it continues, it would rank 26th out of Duke's past 30 seasons). But the good news is our current turnover percentage is Duke's best since 2011 (when we finished the season at 21.0%).

C. Our current free throw rate (25.0%) would rank as Duke's third best over the past 30 seasons. Only 2015 (24.0%) and 2000 (24.0%) were better. So, we haven't been letting our opponents get to the line so much. Which is good.

D. Our eFG% allowed (43.9%) would rank as Duke's fourth best over the past 30 seasons, behind 2005 (42.2%), 1999 (43.0%), and 2010 (43.6%).

Breaking that down, we've forced opponents to shoot only 28.3% on threes, which would be Duke's second best performance over the past 30 seasons, behind only 2010 (28.2%), and a bit ahead of 1993 (28.9%), 2013 (29.0%), 1994 (29.7%), and 1999 (30.1%). Opponents have shot 44.6% on two-point shots this season, which would be tied for 8th best in the past 30 seasons (2005: 41.3%; 1999: 42.2%; 2011: 43.2%; 2004: 43.5%; 2000: 43.7%; 2001: 43.9%; 2010: 44.1%; 1989: 44.6%). We've also limited opponents to taking only 31.6% of their shot attempts from behind the three-point line, which is our lowest percentage since 2006.

In sum, if we can keep up our current numbers, our performance will be one of Duke's best under Coach K at three of the four factors: defensive rebounding, keeping opponents off the line, and forcing them to miss their shots; and in the fourth factor would be our best turnover performance in six years. And that's with our two big freshmen intimidators playing a total of 46 minutes in 13 games.

So far, so good. If we can keep it up, and if Marques and Harry help our defense once we get up to speed, we could be looking at a historic defensive season for this year's Blue Devils.

Neals384
12-26-2016, 03:17 PM
This season has to be one of the toughest coaching challenges any coach has ever faced. Three of the rotation players (Jefferson, Kennard, Tatum) have clearly exceeded expectations, three have performed about as well as I might have guessed (Jeter, Jackson, Jones) and three (Allen, Bolden, Giles) have clearly not been able to contribute to the extent we would have liked, mostly because of health issues. It's time for conference play, and we still don't really know how all the pieces fit, and with Allen's suspension, we won't really get to see the entire 9 man rotation completely integrated for at least one more game. K has called it "October in December" which is a simple way of saying this team is behind, way behind, in building a machine that can dominate the ACC and beyond like we expected at the start of the season.

Add in the fact that up to 8 of the rotation players could be in their final year of college ball, with all that implies about the potential for individual goals to compete with team goals, and it really is a very tough challenge for K & company. Do we believe in K's ability to get the job done (if anyone can)? Of course. But realistically, I think we have to list "Can the coaching staff build a team that achieves its potential" as a question for this phase and beyond.

Newton_14
12-26-2016, 08:54 PM
Great post ND. It covers all the key questions at this current moment imo. Given the suspension is indefinite, we are travelling down the road without knowing how far it is to the next destination so to speak. I personally think the suspension will be for two games, but it depends on how Coach K judges the progress Grayson does or does not make, so it could be 1 game, 3 games or some unknown larger number. I just can't see it lasting past 3 though. While Luke has led the team in scoring since day 1, and Jayson has played very well since his 2nd game, I don't agree that we have seen a transition from "Grayson's team" to "Luke's/Jayson's team". It was only 3 games ago that we annihilated UNLV on their floor behind the great play of Grayson. Grayson also led the way against Mich St with 24 points. Even while shooting poorly due to a bad shooting night against Florida, Grayson had 8 assists. The true leader of this team is Amile, and I personally feel Amile and Matt are the guys that command the most respect from the underclassmen. Point being, when Grayson returns I fully expect we will see Grayson, Luke, Tatum, Amile, and Jackson to trade leading scorer honors back and forth with one another. That doesn't even include Giles who I fully expect at some point to get his mojo back on the offensive end.

We have a juggernaut offensive team that can score in every possible way there is to score, and do it efficiently. 3's, post play, drives to the basket, post play, mid-range... it's just an embarrassment of riches, and the guys are still very much learning to play with each other and get into a consistent groove. Which to me personally, is why I am not bothered at all if Matt isn't scoring. I do hope he shakes his shooting slump from behind the line but only because it will keep defenses honest for one, and two, it will keep his confidence high. Matt, in my personal opinion, is a rock for our defense, helps our team defense tremendously, and doesn't hurt our offense capabilities one bit. Like I said we have more than enough scorers and we don't need 5 scorers on the floor at all times to be effective. If he comes out of his slump that part won't matter anyway as he will be a 5th scorer.

Defense- I like where we are at as of right now. Once we start playing teams with inside bulk/scorers, we are going to need at least one of Bolden/Giles to be able to play effectively and defend the bigger opponents in the post for extended minutes. Amile and Tatum are going to need help in there against those type teams. Tatum has been a nice surprise defensively, using his length and instincts very effectively to both block/bother shots and rebound. It has taken our team defense up a notch. We need Bolden/Giles imo to get to that next level of defense.

Health- The latest is Javin, which I know hurts us more in practice than it does in games, but it does hurt us nonetheless. Fingers crossed that he heals up quickly and the injury gods leave us alone the remainder of the year.

It is a long time until Saturday/Va Tech... it feels like forever... however, with how poorly the team played in the two post exam games, and the situation with Grayson, a long layoff was just what the doctor ordered for the team, even though it causes us as fans to go through withdrawals. I will take the tradeoff though because I have a strong feeling we will see a very different and very improved team come Saturday Night!

Go Duke!

P.S.> Strong write up by Nashville so give the man some sporks points!

Saratoga2
12-26-2016, 10:13 PM
How quickly can this team get up to speed?

In his post-game press conference after one of the post exam games, Coach K said that this team is still in October in terms of preparation and we know why that is. How quickly will this team show cohesiveness on the court? I expect it to come during this phase. We saw flashes of how devastating Duke can be against Elon and TSU, will we see it in longer stretches against quality opponents that they will face during this phase. I think getting a nice break from school will allow this team to gel and we will see a return to the offensive flow we saw before exams. This means getting Amile involved and finding a way to get Harry involved in the offensive flow.

Despite the indefinite loss of Grayson, Duke can put an experienced team on the floor that can play with almost anyone in Div I ball. Amile, Luke, Jayson (not as experienced but good), Matt and Chase have experienced playing together and can put up points and also defend. They have Frank who should not be as troubled with lingering injuries as a backup guard. The big question is how quickly Harry and Marques can integrate into the team and make significant contributions. Both are needed but having either make a step forward would add a dimension to this team. The time between games has given Duke an opportunity to get much needed practice in and we shall see how that practice has impacted the level of play.

Of course missing Grayson will hurt. Having another experienced high energy player that also poses a big time scoring threat causes defenses to spread their effort. For his sake and for the teams full development, I hope he can get back fairly soon.

OldPhiKap
12-27-2016, 07:40 AM
This is the strangest season I can recall in Durham. Sooo much talent, sooo many weird things happening.

K's got his work cut out for him.

Troublemaker
12-27-2016, 09:33 AM
Terrific Phase post, Nashville!



Will Harry and Marques be ready to contribute?

It did not take long for us to see how special Jayson is at playing offense and his defense has been awesome. Now we need to see what the two big freshmen can bring to the table. In his very limited appearances Harry has been a mixture of unsure of what to do and pressing to do too much. Marques, has looked lost for the most part. Will this break where no exams or class interfere help these two talented big men find their mojo on the court? I think Harry will start showing flashes of it soon and I think Marques may take a little longer but a nice series against Va. Tech may be all he needs to get his confidence back.


I'm hoping Harry can give some solid minutes versus VaTech because, based on Elon, Coach K will opt to play him over Marques against a small team with big men that can step outside. I think Zach LeDay, a mobile big who shoots some from outside (albeit with a poor pct), will be guarded primarily by Amile with some help from Harry.

But then the next game, GaTech has a traditional center in Ben Lammers, and hopefully Marques can provide some solid minutes there.

Spanarkel
12-27-2016, 10:46 AM
I will take the tradeoff though because I have a strong feeling we will see a very different and very improved team come Saturday Night!

Go Duke!

P.S.> Strong write up by Nashville so give the man some sporks points!



Great posts by NashvilleDevil and Newton_14! Hope the improvement starts right AT NOON this Saturday when the opening tip goes up.

MarkD83
12-27-2016, 10:52 AM
It has been 5 years since the men's bball team has won an acc regular season or tournament championship. The last time a coach K team went this long without an acc championship was coach K's first 5 years. I believe coach K is aware of this and an acc championship is a priority. Therefore expect him to use only the players he thinks he needs to win each game and no more. That means if we see 6 players against Vt and a different group against Louisville read only that coach K picked the players who could get him a win and not anything about who is in the doghouse or who is out of shape or who is an upperclassmen. Every game from here on out will be survive and advance and how duke wins won't matter

LasVegas
12-27-2016, 11:59 AM
It has been 5 years since the men's bball team has won an acc regular season or tournament championship. The last time a coach K team went this long without an acc championship was coach K's first 5 years. I believe coach K is aware of this and an acc championship is a priority. Therefore expect him to use only the players he thinks he needs to win each game and no more. That means if we see 6 players against Vt and a different group against Louisville read only that coach K picked the players who could get him a win and not anything about who is in the doghouse or who is out of shape or who is an upperclassmen. Every game from here on out will be survive and advance and how duke wins won't matter

I'm not sure about this. I have the opposite thinking. In my opinion, this team has its sights set on the ultimate goal. To reach that, I think you really need to create a lineup with defined roles and have consistency. Switching starters and a large inconsistency in minutes from game to game is a tough way to do that. Small changes are ok, like favoring Giles over bolden in a game, but the identify of this team needs to form quick. The last 2 games it seems like no one knows what their role is and just run around like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off.

Troublemaker
12-27-2016, 12:24 PM
My read of how Coach K is currently mixing in Harry and Marques is that they will get a stint in the game no matter what. In fact, they will sub in ahead of Chase, and if Coach K likes what he sees from them out on the floor, they will receive a second stint. If Coach K doesn't like what he sees, then he'll go to Chase.

NashvilleDevil
12-27-2016, 12:25 PM
It has been 5 years since the men's bball team has won an acc regular season or tournament championship. The last time a coach K team went this long without an acc championship was coach K's first 5 years. I believe coach K is aware of this and an acc championship is a priority. Therefore expect him to use only the players he thinks he needs to win each game and no more. That means if we see 6 players against Vt and a different group against Louisville read only that coach K picked the players who could get him a win and not anything about who is in the doghouse or who is out of shape or who is an upperclassmen. Every game from here on out will be survive and advance and how duke wins won't matter

With expansion I don't think the ACC regular season title means as much since the schedules are no longer balanced. I would like to see Duke win the ACC tournament again but the 2015 team didn't and that turned out ok.

DukieTiger
12-27-2016, 12:54 PM
Defense has been the most encouraging thing to me about this team. Ignoring the numbers, the eye test (at least from my eyes) tells me that this is a very good defensive team. In past seasons, when Duke has struggled against a team like Elon, it's been on the defensive side of the ball. This year, when Duke has "struggled" - it's been the offense that has lagged significantly. Duke's only fallen in the KenPom rankings because he expected them to put up historic offensive numbers this year, and they have not.

I take that as a good sign, because I think the offense will click but it shows that they might be able to win games with their defense as competition increases - and that's not something that is a sure thing in any given year.

NYBri
12-27-2016, 01:22 PM
This is the strangest season I can recall in Durham. Sooo much talent, sooo many weird things happening.

K's got his work cut out for him.

Strange is right. Very disorienting.

Kedsy
12-27-2016, 02:58 PM
Duke's only fallen in the KenPom rankings because he expected them to put up historic offensive numbers this year, and they have not.

Duke has "fallen" in the KenPom rankings from #1 all the way to #2. We have "fallen" on offense from #1 to #3.

His pre-season expectations were for Duke to have an adjusted offensive rating of 120.8. Last season, our adjusted offensive rating was... 120.8. The year before, it was 122.5. The year before that, it was 124.1. So I'm pretty sure his expectations were not that Duke would put up "historic offensive numbers" this season. Plus, I'm also fairly certain KenPom didn't predict all our injuries when he set those expectations. In that light, we haven't really lagged at all.

CDu
12-27-2016, 03:09 PM
I am just excited that, in four days, we basically begin a stretch of 2 Duke men's bball games per week almost uninterrupted until at least March. And typically those games will be against good to great competition. Stuff is about to get real. I am psyched!

There are lots of questions remaining. Will Giles emerge as the star everyone expected? Will Bolden find his legs? Will Tatum continue his ascent? When will Allen return? Will Jackson step up while he is out? Will Kennard continue to shine as the frosh and Allen return to form? Will the cohesiveness develop between this group of individually talented players?

Let's go 2016/17 season. Time to roll!

DukieTiger
12-28-2016, 12:53 AM
Duke has "fallen" in the KenPom rankings from #1 all the way to #2. We have "fallen" on offense from #1 to #3.

His pre-season expectations were for Duke to have an adjusted offensive rating of 120.8. Last season, our adjusted offensive rating was... 120.8. The year before, it was 122.5. The year before that, it was 124.1. So I'm pretty sure his expectations were not that Duke would put up "historic offensive numbers" this season. Plus, I'm also fairly certain KenPom didn't predict all our injuries when he set those expectations. In that light, we haven't really lagged at all.

I didn't mean to suggest some sort of free fall- merely that Duke has dropped a whole point in adjusted efficiency margin and that its been due to a few off-nights offensively, rather than on the defensive side of the ball as it has been in years past. As for the historic offensive numbers bit- I was misremembering the preseason ratings, my apologies.

I still think the point remains that the offense hasn't quite clicked just yet. Obviously, injuries have played a large part, but that just makes me feel even more strongly about the defense thus far.

Bob Green
12-28-2016, 07:33 AM
Phase III is the start of conference play. Duke will be on the road for three of the games (Va. Tech, FSU, Louisville) and two (hopefully) easier contests at home vs. BC and Ga. Tech.

Nice job with the Phase III post NashvilleDevil.

Three things I am interested in paying attention to over the next five games are:

1. HEALTH - First and foremost, this team cannot afford anymore injuries. Next, Giles and Bolden need to finish healing and be integrated into the rotation. This team is super deep from a talent perspective but thin from an available to play and contribute perspective.

2. DEFENSE - This team's identity has been defense through the non-conference schedule. Can that continue against tougher conference opponents? Jayson Tatum is a tremendous defender, as are Amile Jefferson and Matt Jones, so I expect those three to continue to shine in Phase III. Frank Jackson's on the ball defense is what I will have my eye on. Can Jackson contain ACC point guards? That is a huge question in Phase III. Basketball 101 - stop the ball! Can Duke do it?

3. ROTATION - This concern is directly tied to Item 1 and exacerbated by Grayson Allen's suspension. How deep is the rotation in January? Six, seven or eight? Who plays? Kennard, Jefferson, Tatum, Jones and Jackson are locks. Does Chase Jeter play significant minutes off the bench? Or will we see Giles and/or Bolden emerge as legitimate rotation players? Jeter remains offensively challenged in my opinion so it is imperative either Giles or Bolden, and preferably both, start to contribute meaningful minutes.

So those are my concerns moving forward into January and conference play. Overall, I am extremely optimistic about the team. There are challenges which have to be overcome but this team is super talented and we have the greatest coaching staff leading them so the prospects for continued success are high. I intend to enjoy the ride!

FadedTackyShirt
12-28-2016, 09:19 AM
Great thread/posts. Thanks all y'all. Definitely concerned about VPI , but mainly based on timing, injuries, and experience.

Florida State and Lville back to back on the road will give everyone a pretty good idea of what this team's ceiling might be. Unfortunately that stretch is in mid-January rather than mid-February.

NSDukeFan
12-28-2016, 09:29 AM
Nice job with the Phase III post NashvilleDevil.

Three things I am interested in paying attention to over the next five games are:

1. HEALTH - First and foremost, this team cannot afford anymore injuries. Next, Giles and Bolden need to finish healing and be integrated into the rotation. This team is super deep from a talent perspective but thin from an available to play and contribute perspective.

2. DEFENSE - This team's identity has been defense through the non-conference schedule. Can that continue against tougher conference opponents? Jayson Tatum is a tremendous defender, as are Amile Jefferson and Matt Jones, so I expect those three to continue to shine in Phase III. Frank Jackson's on the ball defense is what I will have my eye on. Can Jackson contain ACC point guards? That is a huge question in Phase III. Basketball 101 - stop the ball! Can Duke do it?

3. ROTATION - This concern is directly tied to Item 1 and exacerbated by Grayson Allen's suspension. How deep is the rotation in January? Six, seven or eight? Who plays? Kennard, Jefferson, Tatum, Jones and Jackson are locks. Does Chase Jeter play significant minutes off the bench? Or will we see Giles and/or Bolden emerge as legitimate rotation players? Jeter remains offensively challenged in my opinion so it is imperative either Giles or Bolden, and preferably both, start to contribute meaningful minutes.

So those are my concerns moving forward into January and conference play. Overall, I am extremely optimistic about the team. There are challenges which have to be overcome but this team is super talented and we have the greatest coaching staff leading them so the prospects for continued success are high. I intend to enjoy the ride!

I disagree slightly with this team not being able to afford any more injuries. I would argue that may be the case for the team to reach its potential, as the rotation needs to be solidified and everyone has to get more comfortable with each other. This team has shown they can still be a top 5 team even with a bunch of injuries, so if there were any more injuries, (hopefully not) this team still might be able to compete for banners.

Kedsy
12-28-2016, 10:35 AM
I didn't mean to suggest some sort of free fall- merely that Duke has dropped a whole point in adjusted efficiency margin and that its been due to a few off-nights offensively, rather than on the defensive side of the ball as it has been in years past. As for the historic offensive numbers bit- I was misremembering the preseason ratings, my apologies.

I still think the point remains that the offense hasn't quite clicked just yet. Obviously, injuries have played a large part, but that just makes me feel even more strongly about the defense thus far.

That's fair. No need to apologize. I agree with you that our defense has been very strong and should potentially get stronger, once one (or two) of our freshman rim protectors get up to game speed. I'm even a little concerned about our offensive balance while Grayson is out, if those same two freshman bigs aren't ready for rotation minutes (especially if Frank isn't 100%). But once our team gets to full strength, I believe we have the best offense in the country, so in my mind offense is at worst a short-term concern.

Kedsy
12-28-2016, 10:38 AM
1. HEALTH - First and foremost, this team cannot afford anymore injuries. Next, Giles and Bolden need to finish healing and be integrated into the rotation. This team is super deep from a talent perspective but thin from an available to play and contribute perspective.

2. DEFENSE - ... Frank Jackson's on the ball defense is what I will have my eye on. Can Jackson contain ACC point guards?

I'm a bit concerned about Frank's injury situation. I've heard he didn't practice for most of December and, if true, it showed. With Grayson out, we need Frank at 100%.

Bob Green
12-28-2016, 10:52 AM
I'm a bit concerned about Frank's injury situation. I've heard he didn't practice for most of December and, if true, it showed. With Grayson out, we need Frank at 100%.

A very valid point which I didn't include in my comments. Thanks for pointing it out.

Kedsy
12-28-2016, 02:37 PM
While Luke has led the team in scoring since day 1, and Jayson has played very well since his 2nd game, I don't agree that we have seen a transition from "Grayson's team" to "Luke's/Jayson's team".

While I wouldn't say this rises to the level of a "concern," I'm a little nervous about this team becoming "Jayson's team." I agree he's played well and looks like a top five draft pick, but I'd like to analyze the numbers from Jayson Tatum's first five games:

THE GOOD:

(a) Defensive Rebounding. Jayson has rebounded extremely well on the defensive end (23.3% DR%; 2nd on team after Amile). To put that number in perspective, here are Duke's top defensive rebounding percentages since 2010:

(1) Amile Jefferson (2017, partial): 26.9%
(2) Mason Plumlee (2012): 24.5%
(3) Jayson Tatum (2017, partial): 23.3%
(4) Mason Plumlee (2013): 23.3%
(5) Brian Zoubek (2010): 23.1%
(6) Jabari Parker (2014): 23.1%

That's pretty amazing, in context.

(b) Free throw shooting. His free throw shooting has been outstanding at 92%. That's JJ territory. He also gets to the line at a decent rate (39.7% free throw rate).

(c) Defensive stats. His steal percentage (3.6%) and block percentage (7.1%) are both best on the team. I don't know the last time a Duke player has led the team in both these percentages, but I do know it hasn't happened the past seven seasons. Also, if he keeps up these numbers, his steal pct would be Duke's 2nd best performance over the past seven seasons and his block percentage would be Duke's best over that time. Heady stuff for a player who didn't come to Duke with much of a defensive reputation.


THE LESS GOOD:

(a) Low efficiency. Right now, Jayson's eFG% is 42.9%. That's the worst on the team (of everyone who's played more than 10 minutes total this season). His three-point shooting percentage of 26.7% is worst on the team (among players who have taken more than two three-point shots); his two-point shooting percentage of 43.8% is also worst on the team (among players who have taken more than three total shots). His offensive rating of 108.4 is 8th on the team (worse than Matt Jones), and he has more turnovers (11) than assists (10).

(b) High usage. So far, Jayson's usage percentage of 30.0% is by far the highest on the team (Grayson is 2nd, with 25.3%). His 18.1 shots per 40 minutes leads the team by a fair amount (Grayson has 15.5 shots per 40 and Luke has 15.0 shots per 40).

(c) Clogging the mid-range area. Two-point jumpers represent 43.8% of Jayson's shots (that's the most on the team among players taking more than 11 shots). The person with the second-highest percentage of two-point jumpers? Luke, with 34.3%. The difference is that Luke's two-point jumper is a devastating weapon -- he makes 56.7% of those jumpers -- while Jayson's is (at least so far) a liability (he only makes 28.6% of his two-point jumpers). My worry here is that with Jayson taking up that area for his offense, Luke won't have as much room to take his, and thus Luke could be reduced to becoming more of a three-point specialist, which I don't think is his biggest strength.


I probably don't have to say (though I guess I'll say it anyway) that low efficiency combined with high usage is bad for offense. My worry is that, with Grayson out, Jayson will try to put the team on his back and take even more shots, making it more difficult for Luke (or anybody else) to get theirs. If Jayson doesn't drastically improve his efficiency, then his usage going up could potentially be like an anchor on Duke's overall offensive efficiency.

Like I said, I'm not overly concerned, but I am a little nervous.

BD80
12-28-2016, 02:59 PM
... My worry here is that with Jayson taking up that area for his offense, Luke won't have as much room to take his, and thus Luke could be reduced to becoming more of a three-point specialist, which I don't think is his biggest strength. ...

I generally agree with your point about Jayson "clogging" (my word, not yours) the middle, but I see much room for improvement.

1) I expect Jayson's efficiency to improve as he gets used to the team and competing at this level

2) I HOPE to see a level of high-low passing from Jayson that we haven't seen in a long time (Ferry?). Having Giles round into shape would make this more likely.

3) Jayson is the perfect zone buster to deploy against the 'Cuse. Again, Giles in top form would also fill this role.

4) I see Luke as our best 3-point specialist. I feel more comfortable with him shooting a 3 than any other player on the team. Luke can initiate his offense from that position, once Jayson learns to speed up his portion of the possession, leaving more time for the second offensive run through.

Kedsy
12-28-2016, 03:11 PM
I generally agree with your point about Jayson "clogging" (my word, not yours) the middle, but I see much room for improvement.

1) I expect Jayson's efficiency to improve as he gets used to the team and competing at this level

I agree, that's why I'm not overly concerned, just a little nervous.


2) I HOPE to see a level of high-low passing from Jayson that we haven't seen in a long time (Ferry?). Having Giles round into shape would make this more likely.

I hope this too, but I don't know how likely it is. So far, I think Amile is a better high-post passer than Jayson.


3) Jayson is the perfect zone buster to deploy against the 'Cuse. Again, Giles in top form would also fill this role.

I agree wholeheartedly with this, Jayson's the perfect guy to take that high-post shot from the "hole" in the middle of Syracuse's zone. Though Luke might be even better -- every time he takes that mid-range shot I think it's going in. Harry, I don't know; I'm waiting to see him take a few shots before I decide how many 18-footers I want him to put up.


4) I see Luke as our best 3-point specialist. I feel more comfortable with him shooting a 3 than any other player on the team.

Well, his percentage is the highest, but I don't know. His form is still a little funny, and he appears prone to long cold streaks (like his 3 for 20 from three-range during late November). The worry is that in any particular game if Jayson shoots 7 for 22 and Luke goes 1 for 8 from three, then without Grayson our offense could be in trouble.


Luke can initiate his offense from that position, once Jayson learns to speed up his portion of the possession, leaving more time for the second offensive run through.

This is a great point I hadn't mentioned earlier. I don't have numbers on this but it does seem that Jayson uses up a fair amount of the shot clock with the ball in his hands. Then, if he doesn't score it makes it that much harder for the rest of the offense to run in just a few seconds.

But as you say, presumably he'll learn to take less time to do what he does, and then it should all work out.

BD80
12-28-2016, 05:20 PM
... So far, I think Amile is a better high-post passer than Jayson. ...

You just haven't seen Jayson pass yet ...

ever

mgtr
12-28-2016, 09:06 PM
I will opine that by the end of the season Duke will have the best team in the country. IN fact, the best by far team in the country. But, we sure are not there now. So, how do we get from a to b? No one, not even our honored posters know how that will happen. But I will bet the farm (nb, I don't have a farm) that we will at a minimum reach the final four, and will probably win the national championship.
Sadly, not even that performance will lead the G.O.A.T. to another coach of the year award.

dukejim1
12-28-2016, 09:16 PM
VT got in a warm-up game tonight which is a huge plus for them. I believe Jackson and Jones staying out of foul trouble will be a key as VT has several decent perimeter players with Seth Allen apparently coming off the bench tonight for 17.

MarkD83
12-29-2016, 08:33 AM
I'm not sure about this. I have the opposite thinking. In my opinion, this team has its sights set on the ultimate goal. To reach that, I think you really need to create a lineup with defined roles and have consistency. Switching starters and a large inconsistency in minutes from game to game is a tough way to do that. Small changes are ok, like favoring Giles over bolden in a game, but the identify of this team needs to form quick. The last 2 games it seems like no one knows what their role is and just run around like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off.

Before we "nit pick" about Coach K's priorities : an ACC championship vs an NCAA championship or both, let me state that we may be in vehement agreement.

I believe that Luke, Amile, Matt and Jason are playing the best of anyone (I will exclude Grayson due to suspension). So to get a good match-up the fifth person to get a lot of minutes would depend upon the ACC team Duke is facing and whether that extra player gives Duke the best chance to win. So for example...

VT is small and likes to push the ball so perhaps Frank logs the most minutes. In addition, Harry and Marques may still not be at 100%.

Against FSU that has lots of big guys perhaps Chase gets the start and Harry and Marques get the most minutes rotating in.

Switching in the fifth starter and a tweak to the end of the rotation to get the best match-ups to win a game is all I am talking about.

I still believe that winning the ACC is high on K's and the team's priority list.

LasVegas
12-29-2016, 11:46 AM
Before we "nit pick" about Coach K's priorities : an ACC championship vs an NCAA championship or both, let me state that we may be in vehement agreement.

I believe that Luke, Amile, Matt and Jason are playing the best of anyone (I will exclude Grayson due to suspension). So to get a good match-up the fifth person to get a lot of minutes would depend upon the ACC team Duke is facing and whether that extra player gives Duke the best chance to win. So for example...

VT is small and likes to push the ball so perhaps Frank logs the most minutes. In addition, Harry and Marques may still not be at 100%.

Against FSU that has lots of big guys perhaps Chase gets the start and Harry and Marques get the most minutes rotating in.

Switching in the fifth starter and a tweak to the end of the rotation to get the best match-ups to win a game is all I am talking about.

I still believe that winning the ACC is high on K's and the team's priority list.

I can get down with that. My worry is we are still having this discussion come feb. or later. Which would mean Giles and/or Bolden haven't reached their potential and our ceiling becomes a lot lower at that point. Still top 5 good but I (and I think many others) were looking forward to seeing a DOMINATE Duke team this year that just beat the living snot out of everyone.

MChambers
12-29-2016, 12:07 PM
VT got in a warm-up game tonight which is a huge plus for them. I believe Jackson and Jones staying out of foul trouble will be a key as VT has several decent perimeter players with Seth Allen apparently coming off the bench tonight for 17.

According to others earlier in this thread, Allen comes off the bench, but plays starters' minutes.

CDu
12-29-2016, 12:31 PM
Well, his percentage is the highest, but I don't know. His form is still a little funny, and he appears prone to long cold streaks (like his 3 for 20 from three-range during late November). The worry is that in any particular game if Jayson shoots 7 for 22 and Luke goes 1 for 8 from three, then without Grayson our offense could be in trouble.

I always bristle when folks bring up shooting form as a means of questioning a player's shooting ability. The appearance of a player's form is irrelevant. All that matters is the "repeatability" of that form. Reggie Miller had horrific-looking form. So did Peja Stojakovic. Heck, Steph Curry's shot is a little too much from the chest to be considered "good" form. But those guys were great shooters because - despite the ugliness of their shot - they were able to repeat it successfully. That's not to say that Kennard is Peja or Reggie. But shooting form is individual. If it works, it works, regardless of how it looks.

We know that Kennard was a terrific shooter in high school. We know that Kennard struggled with his % last year. We know that, through 75 shots this year, he has not struggled. We know that he has also been an extremely good free throw shooter, which is considered by many to be a better predictor of future 3pt % than past 3pt % is.

Also, pretty much every high-volume shooter is prone to somewhat-long cold streaks. Grayson Allen went 2-21 over a stretch this year had separate stretches of 5-21 and 7-27 last year. Redick had separate stretches of 6-33, 9-41, 6-27, and 8-36 while at Duke. So I don't think Kennard stands out as being overly streaky.

Now, he may or may not be the best shooter on the team. Allen's career percentage (38.7%) is higher than Kennard's (35.1%), though Kennard's is obviously higher so far this season. But I wouldn't look to his form or his streakiness as arguments as to why he may not be the best shooter on the team.

gam7
12-29-2016, 01:22 PM
Nice job with the Phase III post NashvilleDevil.

Three things I am interested in paying attention to over the next five games are:

1. HEALTH - First and foremost, this team cannot afford anymore injuries. Next, Giles and Bolden need to finish healing and be integrated into the rotation. This team is super deep from a talent perspective but thin from an available to play and contribute perspective.


One thing I find interesting about Giles - he has been playing with a knee brace on his left knee but not on his right knee. His right knee is the one that had the more recent ACL tear. The left knee had the first ACL/MCL/meniscus from a few years ago and also had the oddly timed scar tissue clean-up a couple of months ago. This tells me a few things:

(1) Harry feels comfortable enough (physically and mentally) with his most recent ACL repair to already be playing without a brace on it. This is significant, and is great news.

(2) By the time Harry tore his right ACL, he had already shed his knee brace from his left knee injury. This suggests to me that there is a real physical/mental hurdle triggered by the arthroscopic procedure he had. To the MDs/orthopods on the board, is it common for players to wear knee braces after arthroscopic procedures? I suspect the answer is "it's up to the person who undergoes the procedure." But, in my experience, if a knee brace is used at all in this context, it is usually for a very limited period of time.

All of this is to say that I hereby predict that Harry will cast aside his knee brace at some point during the first half of the conference slate (during this Phase or the next) and once that happens, watch out.

Man, this practicing medicine thing isn't so tough. PM me for orthopedic advice. My rates are very reasonable for DBR members, but I don't accept insurance.

BD80
12-29-2016, 01:39 PM
... [Luke's] percentage is the highest, but I don't know. His form is still a little funny, and he appears prone to long cold streaks (like his 3 for 20 from three-range during late November). ...

I wasn't going to rise to this bait, but I have to.

You defend Matt being a significant contributor to our three point offense and yet you say LUKE'S form is a "little funny?"

If we factor form into the equation, Matt shouldn't shoot. Ever.

Indoor66
12-29-2016, 01:51 PM
I wasn't going to rise to this bait, but I have to.

You defend Matt being a significant contributor to our three point offense and yet you say LUKE'S form is a "little funny?"

If we factor form into the equation, Matt shouldn't shoot. Ever.

It ain't how; it's how many.

Kedsy
12-29-2016, 02:21 PM
I always bristle when folks bring up shooting form as a means of questioning a player's shooting ability. The appearance of a player's form is irrelevant. All that matters is the "repeatability" of that form.


I wasn't going to rise to this bait, but I have to.

You defend Matt being a significant contributor to our three point offense and yet you say LUKE'S form is a "little funny?"

If we factor form into the equation, Matt shouldn't shoot. Ever.

When a player's form is unconventional, I believe it's harder to repeat that form consistently. If I'm right, that would mean players with funny form are more prone to streakiness. I think that in Luke's and Matt's careers so far we've seen they're both streaky shooters, so that's evidence (but obviously not proof) supporting my belief.

My point about Luke was that if Jayson is taking all the midrange shots and Luke goes on a cold streak from three, our offense would be in jeopardy of an off-night. I'm not questioning Luke's shooting ability, I'm questioning his consistency.

My point about Matt was that if he gets his form back and starts making his outside shots, then he'll be a potential offensive weapon for this team. And the likelihood is he will find his form at some point this season.

Finally, as far as the free throw performance vs. past three-point performance being a better predictor of future three-point success, I know this is an opinion held by many NBA types. But I think it must be a long-term view based on the ability to give a guy tons of shooting practice time (which they have in the NBA though they don't necessarily have in college). Jayson Tatum, for example, appears to be a fabulous free throw shooter, and long-term he may end up being a plus three-point shooter in the NBA, but I'll be very surprised if he ends up being a high-percentage three-point shooter during his one year at Duke.

CDu
12-29-2016, 02:29 PM
When a player's form is unconventional, I believe it's harder to repeat that form consistently. If I'm right, that would mean players with funny form are more prone to streakiness. I think that in Luke's and Matt's careers so far we've seen they're both streaky shooters, so that's evidence (but obviously not proof) supporting my belief.

My point about Luke was that if Jayson is taking all the midrange shots and Luke goes on a cold streak from three, our offense would be in jeopardy of an off-night. I'm not questioning Luke's shooting ability, I'm questioning his consistency.

Again, I am not sure the bolded statement is true. I pointed to Allen's and Redick's careers as evidence that most if not all high-volume shooters are prone to hot and cold streaks. Kennard doesn't appear to be any streakier than those guys.

And I don't think that unconventionality has much to do with whether or not a shot can be repeated consistently. It's whether or not you have taken that shot (unconventional or not) and repeated it enough times to develop the muscle memory needed to repeat it consistently.

Redick had as pretty a shot as you'll ever see. Same for Andre Dawkins. And both went through several stretches of multiple-game poor shooting. Doesn't mean they weren't terrific shooters. Just that even truly great shooters go through shooting slumps.

Kedsy
12-29-2016, 02:45 PM
I pointed to Allen's and Redick's careers as evidence that most if not all high-volume shooters are prone to hot and cold streaks. Kennard doesn't appear to be any streakier than those guys.

A look at Luke's game logs, especially from last season, suggests otherwise. At least it does to me. I suppose your mileage may vary.

CDu
12-29-2016, 02:48 PM
A look at Luke's game logs, especially from last season, suggests otherwise. At least it does to me. I suppose your mileage may vary.

I suggest you go back and look at Redick's game logs. Or Dawkins. They had some serious peaks and valleys too. I think that's just the way it is with high-volume 3pt shooters. They aren't metronomes.

gofurman
12-29-2016, 03:58 PM
I can get down with that. My worry is we are still having this discussion come feb. or later. Which would mean Giles and/or Bolden haven't reached their potential and our ceiling becomes a lot lower at that point. Still top 5 good but I (and I think many others) were looking forward to seeing a DOMINATE Duke team this year that just beat the living snot out of everyone.

right. If we are still having this same discussion in three weeks or so we probably aren't going to be the team we thought we were. This is why I hedge my expectations. People were thinking '99 w Elton Brand and Maggette and Langdon and Battier and Williams. Heck, if it weren't for Luke and Amile improving so much we would have 3 or 4 losses already. To reach final four level one of Giles or Bolden has to come around. And Allen will have to reintegrate himself well... that doesn't concern me as much as he has been on the team for 3 years. Just that he returns at all - if he does he will be fine I think. A little more help from Frank Jackson would help too. Aggression and superb on-ball D.

But one of Giles/Bolden HAS to come around soon. Even if they came around late Feb it would be hard for them to learn D

Bob Green
12-29-2016, 04:15 PM
People were thinking '99 w Elton Brand and Maggette and Langdon and Battier and Williams.

The 99 team did not include a player named Williams.

TruBlu
12-29-2016, 04:20 PM
I wasn't going to rise to this bait, but I have to.

You defend Matt being a significant contributor to our three point offense and yet you say LUKE'S form is a "little funny?"

If we factor form into the equation, Matt shouldn't shoot. Ever.

Bob Verga, one of the best long range shooters in Duke history* had a "very funny" form (IMHO). It appeared that his shot came from behind his head, but it was consistently from behind his head, and was very accurate.

*No, I do not have stats to back this up. Three pointers had not been invented in his day.

As a lad, I tried to shoot like him for a while, but did significant damage to the backboard and rim (and the building to which they were attached).

Kedsy
12-29-2016, 05:00 PM
I suggest you go back and look at Redick's game logs. Or Dawkins. They had some serious peaks and valleys too. I think that's just the way it is with high-volume 3pt shooters. They aren't metronomes.

I looked at them. Luke's seemed streakier to my eyes. Sadly, I'm not good enough at that kind of statistical analysis to evaluate the comparative scatter charts properly.

peterjswift
12-29-2016, 05:04 PM
How quickly can this team get up to speed?

In his post-game press conference after one of the post exam games, Coach K said that this team is still in October in terms of preparation and we know why that is. How quickly will this team show cohesiveness on the court? I expect it to come during this phase. We saw flashes of how devastating Duke can be against Elon and TSU, will we see it in longer stretches against quality opponents that they will face during this phase. I think getting a nice break from school will allow this team to gel and we will see a return to the offensive flow we saw before exams. This means getting Amile involved and finding a way to get Harry involved in the offensive flow.



This season, before conference play has even begun, is so downright fascinating that it brought me out of semi-retirement (didn't have enough free time last season to post on here...or even read regularly - still don't have enough free time, but less will power I guess) on these boards. Everything - from the incredible freshman class, to the incredible injuries to the freshman class, to the returning red-shirt Amile, a returning and reformed Grayson, a return to form for Grayson, Kennard playing out of his mind, a motley crew playing solid defense....the list goes on and on!

Like I said, it is fascinating. Even non-Duke are fascinated by all of this, and I think this will be one of Coach K's most challenging seasons in so many ways. Your question is a good one, but it needs to be repeated. How will this team get up to speed each time it has to regroup? It has already had to gel, re-gel, and re-gel multiple times...and that was before the freshman started rotating in! And now Grayson is rotating out. Between distractions, a revolving door of available players, and highest possible expectations, this is certainly a big challenge.

I feel like this "PHASE" really feels like the start of an entirely new season, and I think some of the outcome of this phase will have ramifications well beyond the Win / Loss and championship column - I think if this team is brought together and gets up to speed quickly, Coach K gets Coach of the Year.

CDu
12-29-2016, 06:22 PM
I looked at them. Luke's seemed streakier to my eyes. Sadly, I'm not good enough at that kind of statistical analysis to evaluate the comparative scatter charts properly.

Well, Dawkins had a 3-20 stretch as a frosh. As a sophomore, he had a 6-30 stretch. As a junior, he had a 4-20 and a 2-17 stretch. And as a senior he had a 2-13 and a 3-19 stretch. And I mentioned Redick's long stretches of cold shooting. And these were two of the all-time great 3pt shooters in Duke history. Even in years where they were shooting 39% or better on 3s, they each had at least one extended poor stretch (if not multiple). With Redick, it might be harder to see because he took SOOO many shots each game. But he too had those long dry spells.

Now, Kennard was certainly not among the best shooters last year. Whether that was just a matter of adjusting to the college game and longer 3pt shot, I don't know. He took a shot volume like an elite shooter, though, which suggests Coach K viewed him as one. For whatever reason, they weren't falling last year. But nothing about his season this year seems any streakier than anything Redick or Dawkins did. And this season he is shooting a percentage in line with those guys' best. So I don't necessarily think he is any streakier than a typical high-volume shooter.

Even the 40% 3pt shooters are susceptible to prolonged droughts. That is just the nature of shooting a shot that one makes ~40% of the time. There is nothing overly surprising about a having a 15- or 20-shot stretch in which you only make 15%. The difference between 15% and 35% over that few number of shots is 3-4 makes. It is quite reasonable to see that happen from time to time, even for a good shooter.

Newton_14
12-29-2016, 07:59 PM
I always bristle when folks bring up shooting form as a means of questioning a player's shooting ability. The appearance of a player's form is irrelevant. All that matters is the "repeatability" of that form. Reggie Miller had horrific-looking form. So did Peja Stojakovic. Heck, Steph Curry's shot is a little too much from the chest to be considered "good" form. But those guys were great shooters because - despite the ugliness of their shot - they were able to repeat it successfully. That's not to say that Kennard is Peja or Reggie. But shooting form is individual. If it works, it works, regardless of how it looks.

We know that Kennard was a terrific shooter in high school. We know that Kennard struggled with his % last year. We know that, through 75 shots this year, he has not struggled. We know that he has also been an extremely good free throw shooter, which is considered by many to be a better predictor of future 3pt % than past 3pt % is.

Also, pretty much every high-volume shooter is prone to somewhat-long cold streaks. Grayson Allen went 2-21 over a stretch this year had separate stretches of 5-21 and 7-27 last year. Redick had separate stretches of 6-33, 9-41, 6-27, and 8-36 while at Duke. So I don't think Kennard stands out as being overly streaky.

Now, he may or may not be the best shooter on the team. Allen's career percentage (38.7%) is higher than Kennard's (35.1%), though Kennard's is obviously higher so far this season. But I wouldn't look to his form or his streakiness as arguments as to why he may not be the best shooter on the team.

I have one nit to pick here regarding shooting form... a player that gets the correct spin/rotation on the ball will make more shots over time, than does a player who has "repeatability" but does not get good rotation on the ball. A shot with proper rotation has a much better chance of going in if the shot is slightly off than does a shot w/o proper rotation. Jon Scheyer for example had side spin on his shot, which hurt him in cases where a shot was slightly off... leading to a lot of spinout misses....

I do agree with repeatability for sure, but some "non-proper" shooting motions produce proper rotation of the ball while others do not.

CDu
12-29-2016, 08:41 PM
I have one nit to pick here regarding shooting form... a player that gets the correct spin/rotation on the ball will make more shots over time, than does a player who has "repeatability" but does not get good rotation on the ball. A shot with proper rotation has a much better chance of going in if the shot is slightly off than does a shot w/o proper rotation. Jon Scheyer for example had side spin on his shot, which hurt him in cases where a shot was slightly off... leading to a lot of spinout misses...

I do agree with repeatability for sure, but some "non-proper" shooting motions produce proper rotation of the ball while others do not.

I think the degree of impact spin has on shooting percentage is perhaps a bit overstated. First, I think the degree to which the ball spins differently for different shooters may be overestimated. Shooters have a variety of approaches, but they almost all have a net backspin on their shots (some with a bit more sidespin than others). If you shoot it like a pitcher throws a curveball? Sure, that is going to reduce the chances it goes in. But at the college level shooters just don't have that wildly different spins. Second, very few 3pt shots hit a spot on the rim in which the type of spin will cause the shot to go in or out. Third, the rim is a circle, so it is just as likely that the spin works against you as it is that the spin helps you.

And Scheyer is an interesting case study. If anything, he was arguably one of the most consistent shooters Duke has had. He shot 36.5% as a frosh, and 38.8% as a soph. And then 38.5% and 38.3% as an upperclassman. And beyond that, he very rarely had prolonged slumps. He had just one stretch in his career shooting 20% or less over 15+ shots (a 5-25 stretch as a senior). So despite his unorthodox release, he didn't seem to be overly affected by bad bounces.

Newton_14
12-29-2016, 09:02 PM
I think the degree of impact spin has on shooting percentage is perhaps a bit overstated. First, I think the degree to which the ball spins differently for different shooters may be overestimated. Shooters have a variety of approaches, but they almost all have a net backspin on their shots (some with a bit more sidespin than others). If you shoot it like a pitcher throws a curveball? Sure, that is going to reduce the chances it goes in. But at the college level shooters just don't have that wildly different spins. Second, very few 3pt shots hit a spot on the rim in which the type of spin will cause the shot to go in or out. Third, the rim is a circle, so it is just as likely that the spin works against you as it is that the spin helps you.

And Scheyer is an interesting case study. If anything, he was arguably one of the most consistent shooters Duke has had. He shot 36.5% as a frosh, and 38.8% as a soph. And then 38.5% and 38.3% as an upperclassman. And beyond that, he very rarely had prolonged slumps. He had just one stretch in his career shooting 20% or less over 15+ shots (a 5-25 stretch as a senior). So despite his unorthodox release, he didn't seem to be overly affected by bad bounces.

I think this post is far far off the mark, but this will be my last post on the matter, because this argument is pointless and there are many important items to discuss in this thread, and Nashville did a great job on his Phase Post and it warrants good discussion on the categories ND chose.

Spin matters. I see shots almost every game that get the "shooters roll/touch" (and you hear the announcers say that very thing) and go in, when without the correct spin they would have not gone in. In watching lots of college games each season I see a number of players that do not get good rotation on their shots. Matt Jones is Exhibit A and that's just one player on one team. There are over 300 Div I teams. Rasheed's winning 3 pointer from the corner against Virginia in 2014 has no chance in hell of going in without good rotation as one example.

As for your baseball analogy, pitching is not a good analogy but hitting is. There are lots of flyballs that get caught rather than going over the fence because the ball didn't have the proper rotation. On a hard hit ball, too much topspin will turn into a line drive hit because the excessive top spin puts the ball on the ground quickly. Too much backspin will cause the ball to balloon and turn into a lazy fly ball. A hard hit ball in the air with perfect rotation will carry a long way and more often than not leave the yard.

But I digress. Carry on..

CDu
12-29-2016, 09:35 PM
I think this post is far far off the mark, but this will be my last post on the matter, because this argument is pointless and there are many important items to discuss in this thread, and Nashville did a great job on his Phase Post and it warrants good discussion on the categories ND chose.

Spin matters. I see shots almost every game that get the "shooters roll/touch" (and you hear the announcers say that very thing) and go in, when without the correct spin they would have not gone in. In watching lots of college games each season I see a number of players that do not get good rotation on their shots. Matt Jones is Exhibit A and that's just one player on one team. There are over 300 Div I teams. Rasheed's winning 3 pointer from the corner against Virginia in 2014 has no chance in hell of going in without good rotation as one example.

As for your baseball analogy, pitching is not a good analogy but hitting is. There are lots of flyballs that get caught rather than going over the fence because the ball didn't have the proper rotation. On a hard hit ball, too much topspin will turn into a line drive hit because the excessive top spin puts the ball on the ground quickly. Too much backspin will cause the ball to balloon and turn into a lazy fly ball. A hard hit ball in the air with perfect rotation will carry a long way and more often than not leave the yard.

But I digress. Carry on..

Newton, you know I love you, but I completely disagree here. Everything you have just said is anecdotal. Shots go in for all sorts of reasons. Attributing them all to spin is silly. Furthermore, you don't know how many shots taken with "perfect" spin missed because they caught the wrong part of the rim. The spin will have a different effect if your shot is short vs long, off right vs off left. And you are just as likely to be off your target in any direction. And that Sulaimon shot was not a case of perfect spin. It was a fluke. The ball bounced like 6 feet off the rim, at an angle that just happened to allow it to go in. The shot was so bad (about a foot off) that it happened to bounce in. And the "shooter's roll" comment is just an announcer's cliche.

Also, I am not saying that spin doesn't have ANY affect. It does, as I noted with the pitcher example. If you have extreme forward spin (like on a curveball) you are going to have trouble making shots. If you spin the ball like a top, it will have trouble going in. If you have a huge amount of backspin, problems arise. I am just saying that the differences in shooters' releases (at the college level) doesn't generate a significantly different type of spin to have any significant effect on shooting pecentages. Despite getting to different points, good shooters all have a slight backspin. Some (like Scheyer and Peja) have slight sidespin as well, but they still have some backspin. If you're good enough to shoot, say, 25% or better on 3s, the spin from your release almost certainly isn't an issue. It is at that point a matter of your shot selection and repeatability (and those two go hand in hand).

Spin is an issue at the grade school level. It isn't an issue for 3pt shooters at the D-1 college level.

Bob Green
12-30-2016, 07:37 AM
How quickly can this team get up to speed?

In his post-game press conference after one of the post exam games, Coach K said that this team is still in October in terms of preparation and we know why that is. How quickly will this team show cohesiveness on the court? I expect it to come during this phase. We saw flashes of how devastating Duke can be against Elon and TSU, will we see it in longer stretches against quality opponents that they will face during this phase. I think getting a nice break from school will allow this team to gel and we will see a return to the offensive flow we saw before exams. This means getting Amile involved and finding a way to get Harry involved in the offensive flow.



In an attempt to drive the conversation back on topic, here is some commentary on offensive flow development. The key question in my mind is who plays and who sits, will Coach K shrink the rotation? It is January, technically December but the 31st is close enough, and the start of ACC schedule so I will not be surprised to see the rotation limited to 6.5 players. In fact, I'll be surprised if the rotation does not shrink. It is what Coach K does.

Five starters (Jefferson, Tatum, Jones, Kennard, Jackson) plus 1.5 bigs off the bench. Will it be Jeter plus whoever is healthier between Giles and Bolden or will it be Giles and Bolden with Jeter seeing his playing time disappear? I say it will be Jeter plus Giles eventually morphing into Giles plus Jeter. But that is a WAG at best.

Why do I believe Coach K will shrink the rotation? Look at the Kansas game, seven players saw action with Delaurier logging one minute. Look at the Michigan State game, six players saw action. The rotation shrinks against tougher competition. Look back at last season, in the first two ACC games against Boston College and Wake Forest, eight players saw action with player seven logging six and seven minutes and player eight logging one minute each game. In the third ACC game, a 24 point blow out of Virginia Tech, eight players saw action with eight minutes and one minute for players seven and eight. The rotation shrinks against conference opponents.

Why is this germane? With a smaller rotation, the players seeing action are going to have clearly defined roles which will facilitate developing better offensive flow. At least that is my theory. Coach K is going to put his best players on the court together for the maximum amount of time possible in order to allow them to gain familiarity with each other and develop into champions.

Spanarkel
12-30-2016, 07:48 AM
Why is this germane? With a smaller rotation, the players seeing action are going to have clearly defined roles which will facilitate developing better offensive flow. At least that is my theory. Coach K is going to put his best players on the court together for the maximum amount of time possible in order to allow them to gain familiarity with each other and develop into champions.



Which is why I chose 3 players to get >/=30mpg in the minutes contest(unfortunately for me I didn't think Luke would be one of them this year).

English
12-30-2016, 08:07 AM
In an attempt to drive the conversation back on topic, here is some commentary on offensive flow development. The key question in my mind is who plays and who sits, will Coach K shrink the rotation? It is January, technically December but the 31st is close enough, and the start of ACC schedule so I will not be surprised to see the rotation limited to 6.5 players. In fact, I'll be surprised if the rotation does not shrink. It is what Coach K does.

Five starters (Jefferson, Tatum, Jones, Kennard, Jackson) plus 1.5 bigs off the bench. Will it be Jeter plus whoever is healthier between Giles and Bolden or will it be Giles and Bolden with Jeter seeing his playing time disappear? I say it will be Jeter plus Giles eventually morphing into Giles plus Jeter. But that is a WAG at best.

Why do I believe Coach K will shrink the rotation? Look at the Kansas game, seven players saw action with Delaurier logging one minute. Look at the Michigan State game, six players saw action. The rotation shrinks against tougher competition. Look back at last season, in the first two ACC games against Boston College and Wake Forest, eight players saw action with player seven logging six and seven minutes and player eight logging one minute each game. In the third ACC game, a 24 point blow out of Virginia Tech, eight players saw action with eight minutes and one minute for players seven and eight. The rotation shrinks against conference opponents.

Why is this germane? With a smaller rotation, the players seeing action are going to have clearly defined roles which will facilitate developing better offensive flow. At least that is my theory. Coach K is going to put his best players on the court together for the maximum amount of time possible in order to allow them to gain familiarity with each other and develop into champions.

This is all very logical and clearly the historical trends support the logic. I'm interested to see if, since this team is still in October/November mode (as indicated by K himself), does that postpone the typical rotation contraction from years past? Or, as you say, is the timeline more married to the season opponent arc (nonconference vs conference) out of necessity, rather than the team development arc?

Furniture
12-30-2016, 08:21 AM
Will Grayson be all suited up in street clothes on the bench at VT? Whats everyone's thoughts on that?

sagegrouse
12-30-2016, 08:50 AM
Quote Originally Posted by gofurman View Post
People were thinking '99 w Elton Brand and Maggette and Langdon and Battier and Williams.

The 99 team did not include a player named Williams.
I understand William Avery was a singular talent.

sagegrouse
12-30-2016, 08:54 AM
Bob Verga, one of the best long range shooters in Duke history* had a "very funny" form (IMHO). It appeared that his shot came from behind his head, but it was consistently from behind his head, and was very accurate.

*No, I do not have stats to back this up. Three pointers had not been invented in his day.

As a lad, I tried to shoot like him for a while, but did significant damage to the backboard and rim (and the building to which they were attached).

Verga seemed to be an amazingly accurate "line-drive" shooter.

Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15
12-30-2016, 09:05 AM
Will Grayson be all suited up in street clothes on the bench at VT? Whats everyone's thoughts on that?

I suspect street clothes. But that certainly won't change how often announcers talk about him.

Over/under on number of mentions during the game he isn't playing in? I say... 14.5

sagegrouse
12-30-2016, 09:09 AM
In an attempt to drive the conversation back on topic, here is some commentary on offensive flow development. The key question in my mind is who plays and who sits, will Coach K shrink the rotation? It is January, technically December but the 31st is close enough, and the start of ACC schedule so I will not be surprised to see the rotation limited to 6.5 players. In fact, I'll be surprised if the rotation does not shrink. It is what Coach K does.

Five starters (Jefferson, Tatum, Jones, Kennard, Jackson) plus 1.5 bigs off the bench. Will it be Jeter plus whoever is healthier between Giles and Bolden or will it be Giles and Bolden with Jeter seeing his playing time disappear? I say it will be Jeter plus Giles eventually morphing into Giles plus Jeter. But that is a WAG at best.

Why do I believe Coach K will shrink the rotation? Look at the Kansas game, seven players saw action with Delaurier logging one minute. Look at the Michigan State game, six players saw action. The rotation shrinks against tougher competition. Look back at last season, in the first two ACC games against Boston College and Wake Forest, eight players saw action with player seven logging six and seven minutes and player eight logging one minute each game. In the third ACC game, a 24 point blow out of Virginia Tech, eight players saw action with eight minutes and one minute for players seven and eight. The rotation shrinks against conference opponents.

Why is this germane? With a smaller rotation, the players seeing action are going to have clearly defined roles which will facilitate developing better offensive flow. At least that is my theory. Coach K is going to put his best players on the court together for the maximum amount of time possible in order to allow them to gain familiarity with each other and develop into champions.

As a leader of the "anti-shrink" faction seeking a nine-man rotation, I would suggest the rotation against VT, even missing Grayson, will be deeper. If the "main" five players (Amile, Matt, Luke, Frank and Jayson) average 30 minutes, that still leaves 50 minutes for Chase, Marques and Harry -- which would produce a 7.5 or 8-man rotation. If a 6.5-man rotation, I assume you mean something like 12-8-4 for the three big men (in some order), then the five "main" players would have to average over 35 minutes against VT. I don't think that will happen, although I wouldn't be surprised if a couple of players reach 35 minutes.

Just my opinion.

Troublemaker
12-30-2016, 09:10 AM
In an attempt to drive the conversation back on topic, here is some commentary on offensive flow development. The key question in my mind is who plays and who sits, will Coach K shrink the rotation? It is January, technically December but the 31st is close enough, and the start of ACC schedule so I will not be surprised to see the rotation limited to 6.5 players. In fact, I'll be surprised if the rotation does not shrink. It is what Coach K does.

Five starters (Jefferson, Tatum, Jones, Kennard, Jackson) plus 1.5 bigs off the bench. Will it be Jeter plus whoever is healthier between Giles and Bolden or will it be Giles and Bolden with Jeter seeing his playing time disappear? I say it will be Jeter plus Giles eventually morphing into Giles plus Jeter. But that is a WAG at best.

Why do I believe Coach K will shrink the rotation? Look at the Kansas game, seven players saw action with Delaurier logging one minute. Look at the Michigan State game, six players saw action. The rotation shrinks against tougher competition. Look back at last season, in the first two ACC games against Boston College and Wake Forest, eight players saw action with player seven logging six and seven minutes and player eight logging one minute each game. In the third ACC game, a 24 point blow out of Virginia Tech, eight players saw action with eight minutes and one minute for players seven and eight. The rotation shrinks against conference opponents.

Why is this germane? With a smaller rotation, the players seeing action are going to have clearly defined roles which will facilitate developing better offensive flow. At least that is my theory. Coach K is going to put his best players on the court together for the maximum amount of time possible in order to allow them to gain familiarity with each other and develop into champions.

All of your examples come from periods of time when, due to injury, Coach K only had 6 players he trusted. This team, were it not for injury/suspension, would have 8 players that Coach K trusts -- Allen, Kennard, Tatum, Jefferson, Giles, Jones, Bolden, Jackson -- and he would probably be using a 7.5/8-man rotation during ACC play. The injuries and suspension kind of fog things up a bit, but as Bolden and Giles improve and after Allen returns from suspension, we definitely have hope of seeing a 7.5/8-man rotation. But, admittedly, it's not as probable as it was before the injuries and suspension.

superdave
12-30-2016, 09:18 AM
We have seen Amile handle the ball on the offensive end more than a lot for a big guy, and take a few dribbles to get by his defender to take a shot. From what I have read, this is part of our gameplan. I wonder how successful that will be against league competition. It could help our guys have a more open lane to drive. It could also work in certain matchups. But I have not seen enough to know whether it will work consistently for Amile against tougher teams.

slower
12-30-2016, 09:19 AM
With expansion I don't think the ACC regular season title means as much since the schedules are no longer balanced. I would like to see Duke win the ACC tournament again but the 2015 team didn't and that turned out ok.

Personally, I don't give a crap (relative to a National Championship) about winning an ACC title. Nor do I really care about how "the ACC" does at all. I'm a DUKE fan - the rest of them (particularly The Holes) can go pound salt.

OldPhiKap
12-30-2016, 09:25 AM
The ACC Tournament championship still means a lot to me.

The best conference record in the regular season, as Nashville says, is not a true measure given the unbalanced schedules. It is a nice thing to accomplish, though, because it shows outstanding consistency of good results even with a somewhat different road than your fellow competitors.

MarkD83
12-30-2016, 10:18 AM
In an attempt to give others a reason to believe in the ACC "regular season" championship here is why I think it is important.

1) You get to hang a banner (and I get to buy a Duke t-shirt.)
2) It gives Duke a bye in the ACC tournament (of course that also goes for finishing 1-4).
3) It allows Duke to potentially play seed 8 in the quarters rather than seed 5 or 6. The teams currently ranked in the ACC include Duke, Louisville, unc, Virginia, FSU, Notre Dame. VT and Clemson are also getting votes currently. To win the ACC tournament it would be better to play VT or Clemson in the quarters than one of the other 5.
4) Losing in the ACC semis or quarters means less than a number 1 seed in the NCAAs. It is critical to get to the finals to get a number 1 seed in the NCAAs.

Bob Green
12-30-2016, 10:31 AM
All of your examples come from periods of time when, due to injury, Coach K only had 6 players he trusted.

If Coach K only trusted six players, it was directly related to the level of competition. Three days before the Michigan State game where only six players saw action, 10 players saw action against Appalachian State with nine playing double digit minutes. When competition stiffens, the rotation shrinks.

I prefer a slightly deeper rotation so I hope I am wrong but my expectation is to see a 6.5 player rotation against Virginia Tech.

Indoor66
12-30-2016, 11:04 AM
If Coach K only trusted six players, it was directly related to the level of competition. Three days before the Michigan State game where only six players saw action, 10 players saw action against Appalachian State with nine playing double digit minutes. When competition stiffens, the rotation shrinks.

I prefer a slightly deeper rotation so I hope I am wrong but my expectation is to see a 6.5 player rotation against Virginia Tech.

Not picking one side or the other, it is also possible the difference between Appalachian State and Michigan State rotation reflects the level of trust?

CDu
12-30-2016, 11:20 AM
If Coach K only trusted six players, it was directly related to the level of competition. Three days before the Michigan State game where only six players saw action, 10 players saw action against Appalachian State with nine playing double digit minutes. When competition stiffens, the rotation shrinks.

I prefer a slightly deeper rotation so I hope I am wrong but my expectation is to see a 6.5 player rotation against Virginia Tech.

I agree with this, simply because Allen is out. If Allen were to play, I think we'd see a 7 or 7.5 man rotation. I think he'll go with the starters plus one primary big off the bench filling in for Jefferson and Tatum. Then one of the other two bigs will play as needed depending on foul trouble and how much Coach K is forced to move Tatum to the 3 (the 3 starting guards will have to rest at least a little, leaving Tatum as the only option).

If Allen was available, Jackson would move to the bench and be the primary guard off the bench, and we'd still see a big subbing in for Jefferson and Tatum. We might see a second big get sparse minutes here and there (the 0.5 in the 7.5). But I don't think Coach K is going to want to take Jefferson off the floor much, which I think will limit the availability of minutes for two of the three backup bigs.

Troublemaker
12-30-2016, 12:34 PM
If Coach K only trusted six players, it was directly related to the level of competition. Three days before the Michigan State game where only six players saw action, 10 players saw action against Appalachian State with nine playing double digit minutes. When competition stiffens, the rotation shrinks.

I prefer a slightly deeper rotation so I hope I am wrong but my expectation is to see a 6.5 player rotation against Virginia Tech.

I agree with your entire post, Bob, as I expect 6.5 tomorrow and I certainly believe Coach K trusts more against weaker competition.

I guess what I'm saying is that prior to the season, there was consensus excitement that this team will have 8 (and 9 if you were especially optimistic) players that were trustable, and I'm not ready to move off that position yet in the long run. Injuries MAY have altered how things will play out, but I'm still expecting 8 eventually. As of today, at least.

MarkD83
12-30-2016, 01:31 PM
I like the 8 trusted players theme. Luke. Matt. Amile. Jayson. Grayson (when he gets back). I believe Frank is in the group as is Chase. The issue to get to 8 or 9 is the health or game shape of Harry and Marques.

BD80
12-30-2016, 02:10 PM
Will Grayson be all suited up in street clothes on the bench at VT? Whats everyone's thoughts on that?

Street clothes, but his feet will be shackled together and his legs encased in huge inflatable casts - so he will be unable to trip anyone, even should an irresistible urge come upon him.

Too soon?

LasVegas
12-30-2016, 03:17 PM
Don't know where to put this or if it had been posted before but Frank is in a walking boot per the boarding pictures from today's flight to Vt

Edouble
12-30-2016, 03:18 PM
Don't know where to put this or if it had been posted before but Frank is in a walking boot per the boarding pictures from today's flight to Vt

Why is the team flying to Vermont? Did we book through Allegiant again?

LasVegas
12-30-2016, 03:21 PM
Why is the team flying to Vermont? Did we book through Allegiant again?

Must have a layover. I heard Vt is nice this time of year. Hot and humid.

OldPhiKap
12-30-2016, 03:23 PM
Must have a layover. I heard Vt is nice this time of year. Hot and humid.

Have to check with Budwom on that.

devilsince1977
12-30-2016, 04:20 PM
If Jackson is in a boot today, I can't see him playing significant minutes in 20 hrs. I would not be surprised to see Tatum at the 3 for a majority of the game. That puts Chase starting and Giles playing both the 4 and the 5. I also think we will see more 2 -3 and 1 -3 -1 (with Jayson at he top) than we would have seen with Grayson and Frank available.

Kedsy
12-30-2016, 04:28 PM
If Jackson is in a boot today, I can't see him playing significant minutes in 20 hrs. I would not be surprised to see Tatum at the 3 for a majority of the game. That puts Chase starting and Giles playing both the 4 and the 5. I also think we will see more 2 -3 and 1 -3 -1 (with Jayson at he top) than we would have seen with Grayson and Frank available.

Just because he's in a boot for travel doesn't mean Frank is unavailable for the game. Duke has a history of putting players in a boot during the week but taking it off for the game. That said, it may mean that Frank won't be able to play 30 to 35 minutes, which I agree would mean more time at SF for Jayson.

NashvilleDevil
01-02-2017, 02:33 PM
Certainly did not anticipate Coach K's health being a part of this phase.

superdave
01-02-2017, 03:00 PM
Certainly did not anticipate Coach K's health being a part of this phase.

Yeah, where's our vigil thread!?

There's a lot going on with this team this season - big influx of talented freshmen, lots of injuries, Grayson, and now this.

As a result we do not have a set rotation and there's guys who we dont know what we will get from them this year. It is bizarre.

But the pieces are all there. I just hope everyone keeps their head on the court and has each other's backs. The rest will come.

Kedsy
01-02-2017, 04:18 PM
Certainly did not anticipate Coach K's health being a part of this phase.

See, you should have put health first. ;)

NashvilleDevil
01-02-2017, 05:31 PM
See, you should have put health first. ;)

Rookie mistake. Won't happen again.

NSDukeFan
01-02-2017, 06:40 PM
See, you should have put health first. ;)

Every year, coach always has some surprises.

Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15
01-03-2017, 07:21 AM
Rookie mistake. Won't happen again.

"Rookie Mistakes" should probably have their own listing too.

Troublemaker
01-05-2017, 09:09 AM
The two consecutive home games against GaTech and BC are godsends. Funny -- when I was analyzing ACC schedules in the preseason, I actually hated these two games. Why's that? Well, when you do schedule analysis on a league with 2 "bad teams" and 13 "decent" to "very good" teams, you quickly realize that ROAD games against the 2 bad teams are scheduling gold, and home games against them are a big no-no. And why's that?

Because every ACC team has to play 9 road games, and if you play GaTech and BC on the road, that means two fewer road games that you have to play against the "decent" to "very good." I know that UNC choked away a game in which they were 17-pt favorites at GaTech, but that doesn't change my logic and schedule analysis from being right.

That said, the only way consecutive home games against GT and BC would be valuable would be the exact situation Duke is in. Due to injuries and a suspension and finals break and winter break, Duke's had a lot of "disruptions" as Coach K would call them. But our 8-man rotation is finally healthy and in the process of leaving all those disruptions behind and starting to come together as a team. And so, having these home games against GT and BC allows Duke to get well figuratively (and maybe literally in some cases), gain confidence, and ramp up properly for the meat grinder that is the rest of the schedule.

DukieInBrasil
01-05-2017, 07:00 PM
That said, the only way consecutive home games against GT and BC would be valuable would be the exact situation Duke is in. Due to injuries and a suspension and finals break and winter break, Duke's had a lot of "disruptions" as Coach K would call them. But our 8-man rotation is finally healthy and in the process of leaving all those disruptions behind and starting to come together as a team. And so, having these home games against GT and BC allows Duke to get well figuratively (and maybe literally in some cases), gain confidence, and ramp up properly for the meat grinder that is the rest of the schedule.

I too am glad that Duke has these 2 games for the reasons you mentioned, although, given how we played vs GT, maybe there would be greater benefit by playing a mid-level team, say Miami or Syracuse.

The growth in Giles' game that we witnessed vs GT, as well as the emergence of Tatum's high efficiency 2pt game. Giles gives us great offensive rebounding potential and therefore more opportunities to score. Prior to last night Tatum rarely flashed what is the best part of his game, going right at the tin. His mid-range and 3pt game has been by far Duke's worst offensive option. Up until yesterday when he decided to get to the rim. He shot 1-5 from the field in the 1st half and then he made 6 consecutive 2pt FGs after that, although he did miss a couple of 3s in the 2nd half. As their game improves and increases, so does Duke's ceiling.
Defensively, both are surpassing my expectations for where i thought they'd be this year. Although both make plenty of Fr. mistakes, especially in transition, they both get lots of rebounds and Tatum in particular blocks shots and gets steals. With a little more discipline and refinement to their games, i think they will enhance our team defense immensely.

Bob Green
01-05-2017, 07:13 PM
...and Tatum in particular blocks shots and gets steals.

As I stated in the MOTM thread, Jayson Tatum is a special defensive player. His length and quickness are weapons. He has the ability to impact the outcome of the game with his defensive skill set. Yes, Tatum has offensive skills which will help Duke win games but it is his defense which stands out and separates him from other talented players.

BD80
01-05-2017, 07:19 PM
As I stated in the MOTM thread, Jayson Tatum is a special defensive player. His length and quickness are weapons. He has the ability to impact the outcome of the game with his defensive skill set. Yes, Tatum has offensive skills which will help Duke win games but it is his defense which stands out and separates him from other talented players.

I wouldn't say he is a very good defender - yet.

He does make great plays, but there are times when he is well out of position from a team defense standpoint. On balance a good defender with the potential to be great.

duke4ever19
01-05-2017, 07:21 PM
As I stated in the MOTM thread, Jayson Tatum is a special defensive player. His length and quickness are weapons. He has the ability to impact the outcome of the game with his defensive skill set. Yes, Tatum has offensive skills which will help Duke win games but it is his defense which stands out and separates him from other talented players.

I'm hoping he ends up being our Justise Winslow on the defensive end.

Even as a freshman, Winslow showed a grit and savviness on defense that helped us a ton down the stretch. Tatum has shown flashes of that ability.

It's no accident that Winslow's defense is his calling card in the NBA. Tatum appears to be the better offensive player than Winslow was at this stage too.

Saratoga2
01-05-2017, 07:31 PM
I too am glad that Duke has these 2 games for the reasons you mentioned, although, given how we played vs GT, maybe there would be greater benefit by playing a mid-level team, say Miami or Syracuse.

The growth in Giles' game that we witnessed vs GT, as well as the emergence of Tatum's high efficiency 2pt game. Giles gives us great offensive rebounding potential and therefore more opportunities to score. Prior to last night Tatum rarely flashed what is the best part of his game, going right at the tin. His mid-range and 3pt game has been by far Duke's worst offensive option. Up until yesterday when he decided to get to the rim. He shot 1-5 from the field in the 1st half and then he made 6 consecutive 2pt FGs after that, although he did miss a couple of 3s in the 2nd half. As their game improves and increases, so does Duke's ceiling.
Defensively, both are surpassing my expectations for where i thought they'd be this year. Although both make plenty of Fr. mistakes, especially in transition, they both get lots of rebounds and Tatum in particular blocks shots and gets steals. With a little more discipline and refinement to their games, i think they will enhance our team defense immensely.

Giles, like a lot of freshmen, needs to let mistakes on one play go and move quickly onto the next play. Mp doubt the coaches and his team mates are educating him about this freshmen tendency.

Bob Green
01-05-2017, 07:45 PM
He does make great plays, but there are times when he is well out of position from a team defense standpoint.

Yep, I cannot disagree with you. He lacks experience. When I state he is a special defensive player, I am referring to his raw skill set: length, quickness and aggressive attitude. Jayson Tatum "brings it" on defense. The experience will come.

fuse
01-10-2017, 06:55 PM
Pulled this back up from page 3.

If we can hold serve at home, which road games can we "steal" to win the regular season? Be great to start with FSU tonight.

Let's Go Duke!

NashvilleDevil
01-14-2017, 02:39 PM
Was hoping for 4-1 or 3-2 this phase.

AFL
01-14-2017, 02:52 PM
At this point, I will be satisfied if we finish at .500 in ACC play.

NashvilleDevil
01-14-2017, 02:54 PM
At this point, I will be satisfied if we finish at .500 in ACC play.

Just stop. They will finish better than .500 in the ACC. Rough stretch considering Grayson's suspension in game 1 of this phase and Amile and Coach K's absence in the last 3 games.

YmoBeThere
01-14-2017, 10:02 PM
Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere, but how did our schedule get so many long stretches of nothingness?

freshmanjs
01-14-2017, 10:07 PM
Just stop. They will finish better than .500 in the ACC. Rough stretch considering Grayson's suspension in game 1 of this phase and Amile and Coach K's absence in the last 3 games.

Probably, but as I look at the schedule, I think 10-8 is most likely outcome. It's not at all hard to imagine something a bit worse than that (or better). I get to 10-8 based on:

Wins:

Miami
NC ST
@Wake
Pitt
NC
Clemson
Wake
FSU

Losses:
@ND
@VA
@Syracuse
@Miami
@UNC

Kedsy
01-14-2017, 11:37 PM
I think 12-6 is most likely (assuming Amile is back w/in the next couple weeks and no further major injuries), with 11-7 as the worst case scenario. I think 13-5 is more likely than 10-8.

Last season, after losing 4 of 5 at the end of January and people here were talking about an under .500 record, we still ended up 11-7.

freshmanjs
01-14-2017, 11:46 PM
I think 12-6 is most likely (assuming Amile is back w/in the next couple weeks and no further major injuries), with 11-7 as the worst case scenario. I think 13-5 is more likely than 10-8.

Last season, after losing 4 of 5 at the end of January and people here were talking about an under .500 record, we still ended up 11-7.

Sure, but last year's team was a Grayson Allen travel call and 1 pt vs UNC away from being 9-9. It's not like 11-7 was the "worst case scenario" last year. You really think there is 0 chance this team loses 5 more regular season games?

Kedsy
01-14-2017, 11:56 PM
Sure, but last year's team was a Grayson Allen travel call and 1 pt vs UNC away from being 9-9. It's not like 11-7 was the "worst case scenario" last year. You really think there is 0 chance this team loses 5 more regular season games?

I wouldn't say zero chance, but I think the odds are pretty low (with the same disclaimer about Amile coming back in the next couple weeks and no additional major injuries).

Also, I didn't say 11-7 was the worst case last year, but I think this year's team (with Amile) is significantly better than last year's team (sans Amile).

duke4ever19
01-14-2017, 11:58 PM
Who else feels like this week of practice to get ready for Miami/Wolfpack is a pretty big deal?

The light turns on for Bolden, Giles' conditioning gets better, as well as his overall game, and Amile heals up nicely.

Bonus: Grayson will have a week away from the media limelight.

The freshmen have been playing catchup all season, maybe this uninterrupted week is what they need to put some things together.

YmoBeThere
01-15-2017, 12:36 AM
Who else feels like this week of practice to get ready for Miami/Wolfpack is a pretty big deal?

The light turns on for Bolden, Giles' conditioning gets better, as well as his overall game, and Amile heals up nicely.

Bonus: Grayson will have a week away from the media limelight.

The freshmen have been playing catchup all season, maybe this uninterrupted week is what they need to put some things together.

I would contend the exact opposite, that the lack of game time will continue to hinder progress.

CDu
01-15-2017, 10:06 AM
Probably, but as I look at the schedule, I think 10-8 is most likely outcome. It's not at all hard to imagine something a bit worse than that (or better). I get to 10-8 based on:

Wins:

Miami
NC ST
@Wake
Pitt
NC
Clemson
Wake
FSU

Losses:
@ND
@VA
@Syracuse
@Miami
@UNC

I think with Jefferson we add the road games at Syracuse and Miami to the win column, along with at least one of the other road games as well.

NYBri
01-15-2017, 10:08 AM
I think with Jefferson we add the road games at Syracuse and Miami to the win column, along with at least one of the other road games as well.

I am concerned that a .500 ACC record and first round loss in the ACCT will shut us out of the big dance.

Hope we don't flirt with that.

CDu
01-15-2017, 10:10 AM
I am concerned that a .500 ACC record and first round loss in the ACCT will shut us out of the big dance.

Hope we don't flirt with that.

I don't think we will flirt with that. At all.

NYBri
01-15-2017, 10:12 AM
I don't think we will flirt with that. At all.

I will take this to heart.

freshmanjs
01-15-2017, 10:13 AM
I wouldn't say zero chance, but I think the odds are pretty low (with the same disclaimer about Amile coming back in the next couple weeks and no additional major injuries).

Also, I didn't say 11-7 was the worst case last year, but I think this year's team (with Amile) is significantly better than last year's team (sans Amile).

I agree that if Jefferson comes back at full strength in the next couple of weeks, we will do better than 10-8. That seems extremely unlikely to me. I'd expect more like the Ryan Kelly return...at least a few weeks of only partial effectiveness. It is unrealistic to expect Jefferson to be at full speed immediately upon return.

CDu
01-15-2017, 10:17 AM
I agree that if Jefferson comes back at full strength in the next couple of weeks, we will do better than 10-8. That seems extremely unlikely to me. I'd expect more like the Ryan Kelly return...at least a few weeks of only partial effectiveness. It is unrealistic to expect Jefferson to be at full speed immediately upon return.

I don't think we need Jefferson to even be close to full strength to easily clear 10-8. We just need him to the floor to help defensively. His offense can be nonexistent and he is still a huge plus.

tbyers11
01-15-2017, 11:03 AM
I would contend the exact opposite, that the lack of game time will continue to hinder progress.

I disagree. This team, particularly the big guys, need practice time. Defensive communication and rotation schemes on ball screens and penetration comes through repetition.

Now the lessons learned in practice are not truly ingrained until they are performed in a game, but you need practice.

tbyers11
01-15-2017, 11:11 AM
Sure, but last year's team was a Grayson Allen travel call and 1 pt vs UNC away from being 9-9. It's not like 11-7 was the "worst case scenario" last year. You really think there is 0 chance this team loses 5 more regular season games?

We lost one possession games in the last minute to Notre Dame and Syracuse so we were also two plays from 13-5. I think 11-7 was, to take a page from soccer terminology, an earned result last year.

Troublemaker
01-15-2017, 11:17 AM
I think it's really hard to predict the full slate because Duke will theoretically be improving all along as we proceed. And if that ISN'T the case, then that would be valuable information to know for predicting the slate as well.

I would prefer to make bite-sized predictions. Based on what I've seen so far, we should be able to beat Miami and NCSU at home. Both are good teams, mind you, but both are MUST wins for Duke.

I would like to see how the team performs at home in those two games before predicting the two road games afterwards. So, at this point, I will predict that Duke will be 4-3 after the upcoming two home games.

duketaylor
01-15-2017, 11:24 AM
I will take this to heart.

I don't either; we almost always have hiccups along the way. I would think 12-6, maybe 13-5. Team will come together sooner than later, IMO. Thought we played much better yesterday than at FSU. GO DEVILS!!

duke4ever19
01-15-2017, 12:29 PM
I would contend the exact opposite, that the lack of game time will continue to hinder progress.

It's possible that they could regress, but both K and Capel have mentioned how valuable those practices are during the season to "just work on you [the team]," which is why I brought it up.

I also agree that players need in-game action to figure some things out (obviously), but quite a few problems can be solved with a few good consistent practices.

We can all remember times that Duke got a brief respite from action mid-season and K tinkered with the lineup etc.

freshmanjs
01-15-2017, 01:14 PM
We lost one possession games in the last minute to Notre Dame and Syracuse so we were also two plays from 13-5. I think 11-7 was, to take a page from soccer terminology, an earned result last year.

Exactly. There is a wide range of possible outcomes for a given team. Therefore, hard to see how 11-7 is the "worst case scenario."

freshmanjs
01-15-2017, 05:34 PM
I wouldn't say zero chance, but I think the odds are pretty low (with the same disclaimer about Amile coming back in the next couple weeks and no additional major injuries).

Also, I didn't say 11-7 was the worst case last year, but I think this year's team (with Amile) is significantly better than last year's team (sans Amile).

It is interesting to note that Kenpom most likely outcome for us is 10-8 (worse than your worst case scenario) and that includes a mix of with and without Amile data. This is not meant to say you are wrong to be optimistic. Just that it's not an unreasonable, sky is falling position to say that 10-8 is a realistic outcome and 9-9 isn't crazy either.

fuse
01-16-2017, 12:45 PM
Anxiously awaiting insight from those who know better than I do what to expect in phase four.

Kedsy
01-17-2017, 12:35 PM
It is interesting to note that Kenpom most likely outcome for us is 10-8 (worse than your worst case scenario) and that includes a mix of with and without Amile data. This is not meant to say you are wrong to be optimistic. Just that it's not an unreasonable, sky is falling position to say that 10-8 is a realistic outcome and 9-9 isn't crazy either.

Recent slow starts for Duke MBB:

2016: 3-3 (4-4) --> final record 11-7
2015: 2-2 --> 15-3
2014: 1-2 --> 13-5
2013: 3-2 --> 14-4
2010: 3-2 --> 13-3

What was KenPom's most likely outcome for us last season when we were 3-3 or 4-4? What was it in 2015 when we were 2-2?

freshmanjs
01-17-2017, 12:39 PM
Recent slow starts for Duke MBB:

2016: 3-3 (4-4) --> final record 11-7
2015: 2-2 --> 15-3
2014: 1-2 --> 13-5
2013: 3-2 --> 14-4
2010: 3-2 --> 13-3

What was KenPom's most likely outcome for us last season when we were 3-3 or 4-4? What was it in 2015 when we were 2-2?

I'm not trying to convince you that 10-8 is "right", but I disagree strongly with anyone who says a 10-8 expectation is "sky is falling" or ridiculous.

I also believe Duke's team is not as good as 2015 and the rest of the conference is much better than it was in any of the prior years.

superdave
01-17-2017, 02:45 PM
Anxiously awaiting insight from those who know better than I do what to expect in phase four.

I am up for the Phase IV post. Lots of computation and gif watching going on. Lots of 'ifs' to consider. Getting ready.

Wander
01-17-2017, 05:14 PM
Recent slow starts for Duke MBB:

2016: 3-3 (4-4) --> final record 11-7
2015: 2-2 --> 15-3
2014: 1-2 --> 13-5
2013: 3-2 --> 14-4
2010: 3-2 --> 13-3

What was KenPom's most likely outcome for us last season when we were 3-3 or 4-4? What was it in 2015 when we were 2-2?

This is the same type of logic that led people on this board to guarantee Sean Obi would be a star player ("the only other 4 times we've taken a transfer they've been really good), that college football teams can't make it into the playoffs without a conference championship ("it hasn't happened in the 2 years of the playoffs so far"), or that NC State is going to make the tournament this year ("Gottfried has been just barely on the right side of the bubble a few years"). It's the same logic that convinces casual fans that Duke is a good regular season but terrible tournament team, or that presidential elections are decided by whether the Redskins win a football game.

In science, and I imagine many other fields, it's not enough to just make an observation. You have to have a model that explains it. Otherwise your observation is too easy to just dismiss as a coincidence, and not falsifiable. I wish the same rule would apply to sports analysis. Here's the simpler explanation for all those points above: (1) Duke generally recruits really good basketball players but like everyone else sometimes misses on them, and a similar percentage applies to transfers, (2) The college football playoff committee takes the 4 most deserving teams, which usually means they also win their conference but that is not a requirement, (3) Gottfried has NC State as a totally average power conference team, which means sometimes they will be on the right side of the bubble and sometimes not, (4) Duke can be upset by lower seeded teams just like anyone else, (5) There are hundreds of sports teams in the US, so statistically one of them is coincidentally going to have their outcomes line up with any other given event like elections.

So, unless you have a model in mind for why Duke specifically gets off to relatively slow starts in the ACC and then overachieves, I don't really buy that the pattern you're proposing is meaningful.

(As far as this year specifically, I think 90% of Duke fans are underestimating how much injuries have dominated this team, so if we get healthy I would expect that we easily overachieve what the stats predict. But that has nothing to do with past years).

JohnJ
01-17-2017, 10:06 PM
I did nit see Kesey drawing any conclusions - just giving historical data for the rest of us to ponder (which I appreciate). It's always good to have data.

freshmanjs
01-23-2017, 11:56 PM
I think 12-6 is most likely (assuming Amile is back w/in the next couple weeks and no further major injuries), with 11-7 as the worst case scenario. I think 13-5 is more likely than 10-8.

Last season, after losing 4 of 5 at the end of January and people here were talking about an under .500 record, we still ended up 11-7.

Is 11-7 still the worst case scenario?