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Surfsideron
02-14-2008, 12:38 AM
College players come in all shapes and sizes and many have some amazing physical talents.

Duke has those players but they also have something in quantity and quality that many other teams are missing: Players who have amazing court smarts.

Paulus, Scheyer and Singler have a tremendous awareness of the game. Most teams do not have one player with the basketball intellect that our team possesses.

I marvel at all of them but special respect goes to the freshman, Singler. He is so far ahead of almost every player in the league in all aspects of the game but he has a huge advantage in the court smarts department. His decision making is unbelieveable for a freshman.

Scheyer is right there with Singler. His recognition of situations on the floor and how to take advantage of them is a great asset.

Paulus has made tremendous strides this year in all physical phases of the game but his court awareness is also exceptional. I really thought he would lose his point guard position to Nolan by mid-season but Paulus has proven that he is the one we need out there when things get tight.

wilson
02-14-2008, 08:54 AM
"Brains on the court" sounds painful. And gross.

Troublemaker
02-14-2008, 10:36 AM
Much like previously voiced concerns that we don't want to use the term "athletic" as a code word for "black," let's be careful not to use "smart" as a code word for "white."

Demarcus Nelson, for example, has played very smart basketball this season and deserves to be lauded as a smart player as much as anyone on our team.

Surfsideron
02-14-2008, 03:17 PM
Much like previously voiced concerns that we don't want to use the term "athletic" as a code word for "black," let's be careful not to use "smart" as a code word for "white."

Demarcus Nelson, for example, has played very smart basketball this season and deserves to be lauded as a smart player as much as anyone on our team.

Nothing racial was meant by this post, in fact it never crossed my mind until I read your post. The fact that these 3 players have a high degree of court smarts is not intended to separate one player from another. Just as a kid or two in a classroom seems to catch on quicker than others and have a better handle on the subject, so it is on the basketball court.

Most of the Duke players have good court smarts, these three just happen to excel.

Me thinks that you may be a bit too sensitive.

BlueintheFace
02-14-2008, 03:26 PM
True, and Coach K has said as much about those three specifically on numerous occasions. LUCKY US!!!

hc5duke
02-14-2008, 03:55 PM
Much like previously voiced concerns that we don't want to use the term "athletic" as a code word for "black," let's be careful not to use "smart" as a code word for "white."

Demarcus Nelson, for example, has played very smart basketball this season and deserves to be lauded as a smart player as much as anyone on our team.

let's not forget how "deceptively fast" Scheyer is

Troublemaker
02-14-2008, 04:45 PM
Nothing racial was meant by this post, in fact it never crossed my mind until I read your post. The fact that these 3 players have a high degree of court smarts is not intended to separate one player from another. Just as a kid or two in a classroom seems to catch on quicker than others and have a better handle on the subject, so it is on the basketball court.

Most of the Duke players have good court smarts, these three just happen to excel.

Me thinks that you may be a bit too sensitive.

Nelson excels with his court smarts as well. I agree that I'm being too sensitive, and I knew that you didn't mean anything racial with your post, and I should've stated that I knew that. My comment was more obligatory and a general comment rather than anything directed at you (but I didn't make that clear).

4decadedukie
02-15-2008, 04:37 AM
Much like previously voiced concerns that we don't want to use the term "athletic" as a code word for "black," let's be careful not to use "smart" as a code word for "white."

Demarcus Nelson, for example, has played very smart basketball this season and deserves to be lauded as a smart player as much as anyone on our team.

I, too, never considered a racial component until I read your post (and I certainly believe none was intended). In Duke's recent history, superb players -- and leaders -- like Dawkins, Williams, and Battier would be immediately head any reasonable "Brains on the Court" list.

Surfsideron
02-15-2008, 09:19 AM
In Duke's recent history, superb players -- and leaders -- like Dawkins, Williams, and Battier would be immediately head any reasonable "Brains on the Court" list.

I would have to rank Shane at the top of the list in that regard! He may be my all-time favorite Duke player, although I did love JJ and Bobby and Jason and.................

hurleyfor3
02-15-2008, 09:33 AM
"Brains on the court" sounds painful. And gross.

Yeah, sounds like something the ballboys would have to come out and wipe up.

greybeard
02-15-2008, 10:01 AM
I think that it goes much deeper than Paulus, Singler, and Scheyer, and I do not think that "basketball smarts" can be divorsed from the effectiveness of all aspects of play, in particular, getting one's shot off in an effective manner.

Demarcus and Henderson have always exhibited "basketball smarts" on the defensive end. Their genius on the offensive end was hampered in past years by K. That's right, you're eyes heard me right. He had a system that did not fit their abilities to see and execute on offense, at a very high end.

Demarcus and Nelson have an ability to outperform opponents with equal or superior "athletic" ability to them because they are smarter, and have honed the ability to match those smarts with their skills, to measure their opponents and beat them, and to do so at the high end of speed, explosiveness, etc.

That is what distinguished them from the pack in their high school years. They now have an offensive set that allows them to do that in college. Demarcus is more mature and experienced in high end college competition than Henderson. I think that he makes loads of terrific, terrific decisions on offense, and creates in other teams the need to be concerned about defending the goal as well as all but perhaps a few previous Dukies have (think JWill and Grant here) and I'm not even sure about them.

Demarcus seems in complete control much of the time on offense, and causes defenses to have to start preparing to guard the basket when he is 20 something feet from it. He rarely charges all the way without having a very high percentage finish, and the finishes too are informed by intelligence matched to ability (they are really of one piece).

I will skip Henderson and go down the line to another player in the interest of brevity (yeah, we passed brevity about 18 months ago, grey). Let's talk Lance. If K wanted to make the kid dangerous, he has shown he can be amazingly clever inside. That performance against NC was aberrant, in my view, only because K decided to use Lance aggressively in the play in that game. Lance will not hurt you catching from a static, post-up position. He will hurt you badly catching it on the move, and when he is on the move he is hard to catch. Call it his lean body and quick feet. Feet are quick if you think quick and execute without hesitation; if you are clever and sure.

Lance is a very smart player who is asked to do things that suit him less well than others but does them with ever increasing effectiveness. He is a smart player, who is showing an ability to adapt his play to suit the rest of the team. He has gotten better and better at it, and occasionally even gets a chance to do what he really can do best. You can't count him out of the equation of top basketball minds, at least in my opinion.

Anyway, it is rare to see on a high-end squad, in particular, the array of really smart and flexible players that this Duke team comprises. It is rarer still that those players possess the degree of performance-abilities that these kids possess. And, it is insanely rare to see a coach display the adventuresome and flexible spirit to deploy these players in a way that has the entire basketball world having to catch its collective breath.

So far, the best that the talking heads can do is talk about how cool it is that K was able to learn from his assistants on the US National team. Not bad for a start; a tad slow, but not bad. We'll see if they ever catch up with the reality of what has been happening here. Extraordinary, in my view, and I've been following ball for a long, long time.

throatybeard
02-15-2008, 10:04 AM
http://www.grumpygourmetusa.com/brains_200.jpg

rasputin
02-15-2008, 02:42 PM
Yeah, sounds like something the ballboys would have to come out and wipe up.

Except that at Carolina, they would be too slow.