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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Baltimore

    Keys to the Offseason

    Keys to the Offseason:

    (My rank list outside of if Kyle stays/goes on what determines how good we will be at the beginning of next year)

    1. Mason Plumlee - Bulk up. Improve offensive and defensive decision making including when to shoot (concentrate on post-up offense skills), how to help on D, how to limit fouls on D. He has a natural ability to see passing lanes both as a recipient and as a passer and that should pay HUGE dividends with Kyrie Irving coming in next year.
    2. Andre Dawkins (if Kyle goes) - Improve help defense, man-on-man defense (including lateral speed), and general defensive awareness. Will need to be able to play long minutes without being a defensive liability. Work on penetration offense, ie, decision making when driving the ball to the hoop and movement on offense.
    3. Miles Plumlee - Imrpove defensive decision making and post-up defense (how to guard without fouling). Work on post-up offense and receiving the ball in the post.
    4. Ryan Kelly - Bulk up. We will need him playing the 4 now behind one of the Plumlees. At his frame he will not have a good ACC portion of the season if he doesn't increase his mass no matter how skilled he is.
    5. Kyrie Irving - Bulk up (some). Improve man-on-man defense. Lay foundation for communication with guards in different sets (Nolan, Seth, or both in 3 guard set) as well as bigs.


    This list obviously doesn't cover everything (I honestly don't know what to expect from Seth-- though from comments generally I'm expecting a big time player) or Carrick (foul prone is likely the only big worry for me on him at this point, don't know too much about his game).

    From this list I think I am definitelly Bigs biased, but in my eyes, thats the key to next year. Will they be able to fill Z's and Lance's shoes. Those are huge shoes to fill (literally and figuratively).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Good thoughts. Basically, all of the returning freshmen and sophomores and incoming players will need to continue to work on understanding defensive effort, positioning, and help defense. That was a huge strength of the guys leaving.

    The other thing I'll add is that it would seem that everyone needs to get ready to push tempo and play aggressive defense. This team is going to play differently than it did last year due to the differences in personnel. I think we'll run more and I think we'll apply more pressure on defense.

    Aside from that, my comments on/additions to your list:

    1. I'm less concerned about Mason bulking up. He's pretty big already. I'm more interested in the second part, which is how he develops his game. Will he get more comfortable in creating for himself when given the ball on the block or on the wing? This year, he was largely a "catch-and-finish" guy rather than a guy you handed the ball and said "make something happen." Based on the discussion of his skills coming in, I hope he progresses in this regard.
    2. Miles: work on that jumpshot, work on defensive footwork and understanding of positioning on offense. He just needs to get to a point where he isn't trying to rely solely on his leaping ability to make things happen. If he can learn to be in the right spot, life will be much easier for him. And his athleticism will make more things happen for him.
    3. Dawkins: work on decision-making with the basketball and confidence/ability to handle the ball.
    4. Kelly: get stronger and get more comfortable with the speed/strength of the college game. He's got the skills and basketball IQ to be an impact player. He just needs to catch up phsyically.
    5. Smith: assume the leadership role (even moreso than he already has). It's going to be his team next year if Singler goes, and he's going to need to help the younger/new guys understand what the team needs to succeed.

  3. #3
    I'm looking for Mason in particular to make a big leap over the summer. He will almost certainly be expected to be a starter and major contributor next season. This season we saw flashes of what he can do but he wasn't able to put it together for long stretches. IMO the injury set him back quite a bit, and with a summer of work he should be poised to break out next season.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Sullivans Island, SC
    Conditioning. They better be ready to RUN.

  5. #5
    also resist the urge to ride motorcycles, unicycles, drive sports cars past any known speed limit, run with the Bulls in Spain, bungee jump at Victoria Falls, or date any woman who has Jesse James home number

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, D.C.

    Shooting

    I think that both Plumlees need to improve their shooting a little (Mason more so than Miles), both from the floor and the line. Dawkins needs to speed up his release.

  7. #7
    I have to quibble with the OP's suggestions for Andre. Defensively, the OP is spot on, but offensively, I think we are underselling him. There were times, especially earlier in the year,when Dre was offensively dynamic. He would hit the three, hit long twos to keep the defenders guessing, and drive to the basket with good results.

    I think as the season went on, Andre became constrained by his role as a purely 3-pt shooter, and also lost his confidence during the middle part of the season. Plus, tbh, at times this team blatantly ignored Andre when he was wide open. What ever the reason, they werent good at getting him the ball.

    So if he works on his defense, and becomes more assertive, I think the offensive skills are already there, as we saw glimpses of them this year. Of course, it never hurts to improve ALL aspects of your game

    Everything else you guys said, I pretty much agree. Nolan needs to learn to be a better distributer. Sometimes this season he got tunnel vision of tried to force things offensively too much. I remember a lot of over dribbling, and a few bad shots, before the tournament.

    Duke is definitely going the play the passing lanes this year. Seth Curry has 48 steals as a freshman, Nolan had 45 this year, a big improvement over last considering our style. Felix had 38 steals for SI last year.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Nashville
    I'm pretty excited to see what Andre can do with a full summer with Duke's facilities and strength coaches. His body was somewhat college-ready when he got here last fall, but it was more natural bulk than lean muscle. He's probably never been on a weight training program anywhere near as serious as Duke's. He's got the frame and athleticism to be a stud athlete... if he can can rework his body and become a chiseled athlete, it would make him so much more effective.

    Mason, Miles and Carrick are the three biggest wildcards to me. Those are three guys who are off the charts physical specimens, but we really don't know what we're going to get from them next year. Cautious optimism is my attitude towards them.

    Ryan certainly needs to bulk up, but he seems to put on weight fairly easily... I don't see that being an issue, especially given what Miles did in the Duke weight room last summer. I think he'll be a unique asset off the bench next year.

    I think our expectations re: Seth, Kyrie, Josh, Tyler will be fairly on target. They've all been in high-level systems, and are all fairly complete players. I don't see any of the 4 struggling too much with ACC competition, and Seth and Kyrie have shown themselves to be elite talent relative to top competition.

    And then there's Nolan, who K said may have an even bigger jump this summer than he did last summer??

    Exciting stuff!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Winterville, NC
    What player will take on the role as the head of the evil empire and be pelted with FU chants next year?

  10. #10
    The key will be who's going to be the leader on this team?

    I assume Singler's going be playing for pay in the NBA, and Nolan is more of the quiet lead by example guy, not really a vocal leader.

    Somebody is going to have to be the leader.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Wherever the wind blows and the leaves dance.

    Thumbs up Andre

    Quote Originally Posted by theAlaskanBear View Post
    I have to quibble with the OP's suggestions for Andre. Defensively, the OP is spot on, but offensively, I think we are underselling him. There were times, especially earlier in the year,when Dre was offensively dynamic. He would hit the three, hit long twos to keep the defenders guessing, and drive to the basket with good results.

    I think as the season went on, Andre became constrained by his role as a purely 3-pt shooter, and also lost his confidence during the middle part of the season. Plus, tbh, at times this team blatantly ignored Andre when he was wide open. What ever the reason, they werent good at getting him the ball.
    IIRC earlier in the year a broadcaster said during a game that some of the starters were suprised at the many different ways Andre scored the ball during practice. i think he rightly differed more this past year. I can't wait to see how he develops over this next off-season.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    That's a lot of keys. Fortunately, we have a keychain.


  13. #13

    Improvements

    Just mentioning the areas of concern with the returning players highlights where things need to improve.

    Someone already mentioned that Nolan tended to overdribble with the ball. To some extent, it appeared that Duke was spreading the floor and taking the clock down, with the intent of Nolan beating his man and getting a good shot from in close. In reality, it often resulted in a desperation shot with the clock running out. With Kyrie and Set, there should be no need to replicate that offensive strategy in the coming season.

    Defensive coverage by Miles and Mason seemed to be negatively impacted by their reluctance to sprint back on defense. Too often, you saw them jogging back and trailing the play. Coach K recognized that and took them out, but at least Miles was still doing it during the final game.

    The idea of pressing opponents may be tried again. The past seasons team tried it but was burned by teams passing upcourt on us and getting easy 3 on 2s or the like. Maybe this team will be better suited to press.

    We didn't have many drive and dish situations compared to previous years but our personnel next season will favor this approach. Quick and skilled guards and good perimeter shooters.

    The Plumlees, Kelly and Dawkins have the most to gain over the summer and they need to work hard on their games to make the big jump to starting players, or at least players entrusted with significant PT.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Nashville
    Quote Originally Posted by Saratoga2 View Post
    We didn't have many drive and dish situations compared to previous years but our personnel next season will favor this approach. Quick and skilled guards and good perimeter shooters.
    This is definitely true, but I hope that we keep some of the principles of the motion offense and, with Mason a year better, utilize his passing ability in the high post and at the top of the key. I think we can have a very versatile team, next season, and I expect us to show a few different looks in our half court offense.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by COYS View Post
    This is definitely true, but I hope that we keep some of the principles of the motion offense and, with Mason a year better, utilize his passing ability in the high post and at the top of the key. I think we can have a very versatile team, next season, and I expect us to show a few different looks in our half court offense.
    It'd be great to see us use Mason similarly to how G'town used Monroe against us. Put him up at the top of the key one-on-one and let him go to the basket. He showed flashes where he looked very capable of breaking another big down off the dribble. Would be great to see him get some of those looks during game action.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Nashville
    Quote Originally Posted by northernduke View Post
    It'd be great to see us use Mason similarly to how G'town used Monroe against us. Put him up at the top of the key one-on-one and let him go to the basket. He showed flashes where he looked very capable of breaking another big down off the dribble. Would be great to see him get some of those looks during game action.
    Definitely. The best thing is that I think we will have more versatility than G'Town this past season. We can run those looks, but we can also spread the floor with a lineup with Curry, Irving, Smith, Mason, and Kelly (or, we could even go with Dawkins, here). All of these players are comfortable putting the ball on the floor (I expect Kelly to be much better) and can shoot (if not from three, at least from 18 feet). I'd love to see opposing bigs having to respect Kelly on the perimeter, giving Mason the chance to beat opposing centers on drives or allow our guards to slice through the defense. Sprinkle in some spectacular fast break offense and we definitely have the potential to have an offensive juggernaut next season that can hopefully approach the efficiency of this year's team.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by wgl1228 View Post
    What player will take on the role as the head of the evil empire and be pelted with FU chants next year?
    Interesting question. We won't have a white guard, so there goes the opposing fans #1 choice for the last 9 years. (Redick, Paulus, Scheyer)

    Maybe Mason, as he throws down in sick ways. I expect whining about his under-the-basket reverse dunks.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Baltimore
    Quote Originally Posted by theAlaskanBear View Post
    I have to quibble with the OP's suggestions for Andre. Defensively, the OP is spot on, but offensively, I think we are underselling him. There were times, especially earlier in the year,when Dre was offensively dynamic. He would hit the three, hit long twos to keep the defenders guessing, and drive to the basket with good results.

    I think as the season went on, Andre became constrained by his role as a purely 3-pt shooter, and also lost his confidence during the middle part of the season. Plus, tbh, at times this team blatantly ignored Andre when he was wide open. What ever the reason, they werent good at getting him the ball.
    You are definitely right that Andre did have a better showing offensively earlier in the season. I don't mean to sell him short, and I realize his role in the year was constrained due to a variety of things. My generalization regarding him was that on the occasions when he drove (more so against ACC play or tough opponents), he was more likely to be called for an offensive charge or more likely to make an ill-advised play than many/most of the other Duke players on the floor at that time (maybe a dish out for a high % shot could've been better, but he would just barrel down with the mission of getting 2). I am speaking in generalizations obviously, sometimes he was definitely making good offensive moves penetrating with the ball. I think I am dead on with his movement in the offensive scheme. I am not sure if he was doing exactly as he was told, and it surely could have been since the guy has limitless range, but I think he can do a better job of getting open instead of floating on the perimeter waiting for the ball to come to him.

    And I know I don't have to say this, but I am the biggest Andre fan. I'm going back for alumni weekend and if by chance I see him on the quad, I'm going to flat out tell him that we could not have won it without you, I hope he knows that, and I hope greater Duke fandom knows that. Though I am sure he had bigger hopes as a contributor throughout the year, his pure grit in hitting those 3's against Baylor will stick out in my mind forever. The guy is a winner.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    This doesn't have to deal with player development but how this team handles being the hunted will be interesting. Sure teams are always going to get after it when playing Duke but next year will be different since they are the defending champs and they lose the 3 seniors and maybe Singler.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by theAlaskanBear View Post
    I have to quibble with the OP's suggestions for Andre. Defensively, the OP is spot on, but offensively, I think we are underselling him. There were times, especially earlier in the year,when Dre was offensively dynamic. He would hit the three, hit long twos to keep the defenders guessing, and drive to the basket with good results.

    I think as the season went on, Andre became constrained by his role as a purely 3-pt shooter, and also lost his confidence during the middle part of the season. Plus, tbh, at times this team blatantly ignored Andre when he was wide open. What ever the reason, they werent good at getting him the ball.

    So if he works on his defense, and becomes more assertive, I think the offensive skills are already there, as we saw glimpses of them this year. Of course, it never hurts to improve ALL aspects of your game
    I agree with you and the OP that defense is the area where Andre needs to continue improving.

    On offense, Andre has great shooting form, and the ability to get to the basket. He can certainly work on his ballhandling, but the biggest offensive improvement he needs to make is to move without the ball. In my opinion, the main reason he didn't get the ball so often is he never moved after he picked his spot. If you have the ball, it's a lot easier to see a moving player than it is to see a guy who's standing still. Plus, the defense knows exactly where the stationary player is standing, and lies in wait for the pass, meaning he may have appeared wide open but really wasn't.

    Kyrie, Nolan, and Seth are going to require a great deal of defensive attention from our opponents. If Andre can move without the ball, catch it and either shoot or drive from there, he will be a very dangerous and productive player.

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