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  1. #3141
    Quote Originally Posted by ChillinDuke View Post
    My opinion is we shouldn't be so certain about how things are going to play out. The Goldilocks Theory of Recruiting, that was debated nearly ad nauseum, went up in smoke in mere days this offseason. I fear the bolded may be the next example.

    Cooper Flagg has been described (not by me) as a "generational talent". Many expect him to contend as the #1 pick in next year's NBA Draft. I can't imagine any top-tier college coach (or Cooper himself) not asking Cooper to do multiple different things in multiple different situations at multiple different times. Why on earth would we ask him to be a 4 and only a 4? He's going to be asked to be versatile as heck in a matter of months in the NBA, why would we not utilize him to a similar standard in college?

    Cooper Flagg should be used as a 4. He should also be used as a 3. Maybe he should be used as a 1? Or even a 5? An incredibly gifted, versatile basketball player should absolutely be utilized in a whole myriad of ways. I'm not certain Scheyer will find as many ways as K would have to utilize Cooper. But I am certain that he should be utilized in many ways that don't align to this "he's a 4" / "he's a 3" argument.

    We should use him as a 4 when we need shooting. We should use him as a 3 when we need size. We should use him as a 1 when we have guard foul trouble. We should use him as a 5 when the other team has no height and we have big man foul trouble. A prospective #1 pick should be well capable of holding his own in all these scenarios when called upon. And he should want to - because he's the #1 pick and he's simply that good at basketball.

    - Chillin
    I think you're mistakenly equating playing Cooper exclusively at the 4 (or the 3) as not taking advantage of his versatility. That's just not how it works.

    I'll ask again. Who was the last Duke superstar freshman recruit that played multiple positions in a game? Is there one? Kyrie, Tatum, Zion, Banchero. We put them at their natural position and built the offense around them. Why would any coach not do the same with Cooper?

    I would say look at RJ Barrett as a relevant example. He could have split time with Tre Jones at PG and played some SG or SF. But Coach K made the decision to move Tre to an unnatural position and lock in the offense with RJ at PG because he only had this team together for about 7 months.

    That's a pretty extreme example of simplifying an offense around a superstar. Jon wouldn't be playing Brown out of position like Tre Jones by playing him 15mpg at the 5 and 10mpg at the 4.

  2. #3142
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    New York, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by SkyBrickey View Post
    I think you're mistakenly equating playing Cooper exclusively at the 4 (or the 3) as not taking advantage of his versatility. That's just not how it works.

    I'll ask again. Who was the last Duke superstar freshman recruit that played multiple positions in a game? Is there one? Kyrie, Tatum, Zion, Banchero. We put them at their natural position and built the offense around them. Why would any coach not do the same with Cooper?

    I would say look at RJ Barrett as a relevant example. He could have split time with Tre Jones at PG and played some SG or SF. But Coach K made the decision to move Tre to an unnatural position and lock in the offense with RJ at PG because he only had this team together for about 7 months.

    That's a pretty extreme example of simplifying an offense around a superstar. Jon wouldn't be playing Brown out of position like Tre Jones by playing him 15mpg at the 5 and 10mpg at the 4.
    We played Banchero all over the court! We would post him and bang him down low, we would play him on the wing, he had the green light to shoot threes, he even initiated the offense toward the end of the season if memory serves. Just because he's the 4 in a height sorted lineup picture doesn't mean he's utilized as a 4. We didn't "simplify" the offense around Banchero. We made the offense as complicated as we could so that Banchero could be used in various different scenarios depending on situations. And then we taught him (as best we could) to recognize those scenarios, react to them, and take advantage of them.

    - Chillin

  3. #3143
    Quote Originally Posted by azzefkram View Post
    Again, a backup will be squeezed for minutes in a tight game. Against Tenn, Flip played 38 and Dereck played 36. Six minutes is not starters minutes. Against UNC, Flip played 35 and Dereck played 34. 11 minutes is not starters minutes. This happens again and again and again. You want the best 5 playing the most minutes in the most important games.

    As for guarding Lubin or Jackson, give me Jackson seven days a week and twice on Sunday. Why would Duke put its (potentially) best defender on UNC's (at best) fourth option? That doesn't even take into account that Lubin has 25 lbs and at least 3 years more physical maturity. That game at UNC should be a blast. Cooper will "foul out" before the under-12 media timeout.

    Brown may cause potential issues with spacing, but so may James (short track record of success from outside), Evans (no track record), and K2 (no track record). Brown will be at least a good defender with the possibility of being excellent. Evans and K2 have a much higher probability of being poor defenders. Is it worth the downgrade in defense to improve the third but more likely fourth option on offense?

    Who was the first person Jon brought in? Maybe it was just timing or maybe that was the guy he wanted the most.
    I respect your opinion, but we view Cooper's value on defense very differently.

    He is absolutely elite at help side defense - cleaning up on blocked shots in the lane when our other defenders get beat. This is his #1 skill. He may end up being one of the all time great weakside help defenders ever to play the game. He's 6-9 with long arms and an incredibly quick leaper.

    If he's guarding opposing wings who are threats from 3, you are taking him out of the lane and away from this elite strength. Could he cover Ian Jackson? Sure. But you want Cooper sagging into the lane for defense and rebounding, not locked up on a perimeter shooter.

  4. #3144
    Quote Originally Posted by ChillinDuke View Post
    We played Banchero all over the court! We would post him and bang him down low, we would play him on the wing, he had the green light to shoot threes, he even initiated the offense toward the end of the season if memory serves. Just because he's the 4 in a height sorted lineup picture doesn't mean he's utilized as a 4. We didn't "simplify" the offense around Banchero. We made the offense as complicated as we could so that Banchero could be used in various different scenarios depending on situations. And then we taught him (as best we could) to recognize those scenarios, react to them, and take advantage of them.

    - Chillin
    With all due respect, you are confused. Just because we played Banchero all over the court on offense doesn't mean he was switching between the 3 and 4 and other positions. He played the 4 exclusively and we designed the offense around his versatility. I am saying we will do the EXACT same thing with Cooper.

    And to a lesser degree we did the same thing with Flip this season. But no one would argue he played any position other than the 5.

    Edit: I do seem to recall that Banchero might have played the 5 some out of necessity (injuries?) but it was less than ideal. Anybody with a better memory?

  5. #3145
    Quote Originally Posted by SkyBrickey View Post
    I respect your opinion, but we view Cooper's value on defense very differently.

    He is absolutely elite at help side defense - cleaning up on blocked shots in the lane when our other defenders get beat. This is his #1 skill. He may end up being one of the all time great weakside help defenders ever to play the game. He's 6-9 with long arms and an incredibly quick leaper.

    If he's guarding opposing wings who are threats from 3, you are taking him out of the lane and away from this elite strength. Could he cover Ian Jackson? Sure. But you want Cooper sagging into the lane for defense and rebounding, not locked up on a perimeter shooter.
    I have also heard him described as being the greatest high school on ball shotblocker an analyst had ever seen, so I wouldn't be so sure that having Flagg defend wings is the worst idea.
    If you really want to maximize his use in the way you're describing, then I would play a 1-3-1 zone, put Brown at the top and Maluach at the bottom, and let Flagg go nuts. I don't know if that would be our best defense, but it would be a blast to watch.


    Quote Originally Posted by azzefkram View Post
    Again, a backup will be squeezed for minutes in a tight game. Against Tenn, Flip played 38 and Dereck played 36. Six minutes is not starters minutes. Against UNC, Flip played 35 and Dereck played 34. 11 minutes is not starters minutes. This happens again and again and again. You want the best 5 playing the most minutes in the most important games.

    As for guarding Lubin or Jackson, give me Jackson seven days a week and twice on Sunday. Why would Duke put its (potentially) best defender on UNC's (at best) fourth option? That doesn't even take into account that Lubin has 25 lbs and at least 3 years more physical maturity. That game at UNC should be a blast. Cooper will "foul out" before the under-12 media timeout.

    Brown may cause potential issues with spacing, but so may James (short track record of success from outside), Evans (no track record), and K2 (no track record). Brown will be at least a good defender with the possibility of being excellent. Evans and K2 have a much higher probability of being poor defenders. Is it worth the downgrade in defense to improve the third but more likely fourth option on offense?

    Who was the first person Jon brought in? Maybe it was just timing or maybe that was the guy he wanted the most.
    Pretty sure the first guy Coach S signed was Harris.

  6. #3146
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    New York, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by SkyBrickey View Post
    With all due respect, you are confused. Just because we played Banchero all over the court on offense doesn't mean he was switching between the 3 and 4 and other positions. He played the 4 exclusively and we designed the offense around his versatility. I am saying we will do the EXACT same thing with Cooper.
    The only thing I'm confused about is how you define "playing the 4 exclusively"? If someone is shooting threes, slashing, banging, and even initiating offense, I think a majority around here would agree that's not a "4".

    The terms 1-5 are an outdated, sometimes lazy description of how basketball is played today. Coach K used the term "positionless basketball," and over time I've come to believe that's what he meant by the term. He was just smart enough to not insinuate people as outdated or lazy. The best, most versatile basketball players would be described by K as "winner" or "basketball player" - not because it was coachspeak (I genuinely believe) but because the terms 1-5 don't do service in describing those types of players.

    Paolo Banchero was that. Cooper Flagg is that.

    They aren't "4"s. Maybe they would have been in the 90s when roles were more heavily defined. But the way the game is played today, they are roving, versatile, rangey, skilled players that are asked to react quickly to basketball situations, read, and make a high probability play.

    But I'm also just confused, so I apologize if this doesn't make sense.

    - Chillin

  7. #3147
    Quote Originally Posted by SkyBrickey View Post
    I respect your opinion, but we view Cooper's value on defense very differently.

    He is absolutely elite at help side defense - cleaning up on blocked shots in the lane when our other defenders get beat. This is his #1 skill. He may end up being one of the all time great weakside help defenders ever to play the game. He's 6-9 with long arms and an incredibly quick leaper.

    If he's guarding opposing wings who are threats from 3, you are taking him out of the lane and away from this elite strength. Could he cover Ian Jackson? Sure. But you want Cooper sagging into the lane for defense and rebounding, not locked up on a perimeter shooter.
    What makes him great is his ability to get from A to B very quickly. He does not need to be tied to the lane to impact the lane. If he can operate in space, he can use his long strides and quick leaping to impact shots in the lane without being tied up by a lumbering big. Plus Maluach will be back there (he looks like he profiles better as a drop coverer than someone who will switch).

    Cooper needs


  8. #3148
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyBrickey View Post
    With all due respect, you are confused. Just because we played Banchero all over the court on offense doesn't mean he was switching between the 3 and 4 and other positions. He played the 4 exclusively and we designed the offense around his versatility.
    Well, ChillinDuke ain't the only one, then, because I have no idea what this might mean. It kinda sounds like you think Banchero played the 4 "exclusively" simply because you want to exclude all other possibilities and he happened to be the second-tallest player on the court most of the time, not because of any identifiable role he actually was playing in, you know, the game on the basketball court. Offensively, he was used everywhere. If you want to define his position defensively, then fine, except that several times in this thread you have talked about players' roles "on offense", so I infer that you make a distinction there. Banchero's role in our offense was most certainly not confined to the traditional power forward role. He brought the ball up court, he positioned himself out on the wing, he played and banged in the mid-range, he drove and scored, and (less often) he posted up. Most of that has nothing to do with being a power forward on offense.

    In that sense, sure, we can all agree that Cooper Flagg will "play the 4 exclusively", since apparently that means he can do literally anything in the game.

    But that's not how most people discuss positions in the game of basketball.

  9. #3149
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    Jun 2010
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    Roxboro, NC
    Others may have said it differently but I don’t think Flagg’s role on offense will change based on the personnel on the court. Just because Gillis subs in for Maluach doesn’t change what Coach Scheyer wants Flagg’s role to be. He will be a versatile offensive threat and the sets can be run regardless of who else is in the game. Especially considering the versatility of our wings.

  10. #3150
    Quote Originally Posted by Phredd3 View Post
    Well, ChillinDuke ain't the only one, then, because I have no idea what this might mean. It kinda sounds like you think Banchero played the 4 "exclusively" simply because you want to exclude all other possibilities and he happened to be the second-tallest player on the court most of the time, not because of any identifiable role he actually was playing in, you know, the game on the basketball court. Offensively, he was used everywhere. If you want to define his position defensively, then fine, except that several times in this thread you have talked about players' roles "on offense", so I infer that you make a distinction there. Banchero's role in our offense was most certainly not confined to the traditional power forward role. He brought the ball up court, he positioned himself out on the wing, he played and banged in the mid-range, he drove and scored, and (less often) he posted up. Most of that has nothing to do with being a power forward on offense.

    In that sense, sure, we can all agree that Cooper Flagg will "play the 4 exclusively", since apparently that means he can do literally anything in the game.

    But that's not how most people discuss positions in the game of basketball.
    Think of it this way. Jon has certain sets and then plays/motions off those sets. Those vary season by season based on our personnel - strengths and weaknesses.

    In those sets, he is labeling positions 1-5.

    Or maybe PG, W, W, PF, C since the wings are largely interchangeable although with sets you may have one W who is more likely to get a shot and the other W who is more likely to be a driver or cutter, so you want the best shooter in the shooter slot (oftentimes a corner 3).

    Or he might even label them this year PG, Shooter, Shooter, Cooper, Big.

    It's these sets (diagrams) that tell the players where to go and what to do. They learn the sets and plays not all that differently than a football team. Subtle techniques on a ball screen or shifting and reacting to the defense make a huge difference in whether you get a good shot. Also getting comfortable with what your teammates can do and will do makes a big difference and that comes with thousands of reps during practice and in games.

    You don't want to make a freshman superstar like Cooper have to learn and play two different positions on those sets/plays. He's now having to think a lot more on the court. And he's cutting all his teammate reps in half by splitting his time across two positions.

    Instead you ask your complementary players to play two positions. Foster at the 2/1 and Brown at the 5/4. You let Proctor play the 1, Cooper play the 4 and Maluach play the 5.

    On defense I see it a little differently. I think Cooper is the perfect college 4 defensively. But let's say Gillis or James or one of the freshmen is getting cooked by an All American opposing 3. Then it's easy to switch Cooper onto him with a challenge to shut him down.

  11. #3151
    Quote Originally Posted by nocilla View Post
    Others may have said it differently but I don’t think Flagg’s role on offense will change based on the personnel on the court. Just because Gillis subs in for Maluach doesn’t change what Coach Scheyer wants Flagg’s role to be. He will be a versatile offensive threat and the sets can be run regardless of who else is in the game. Especially considering the versatility of our wings.
    Yes, exactly. The offense will be designed around Flagg just like other past superstars. We will ask the personnel to adapt to Cooper, not vice versa.

  12. #3152
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    Feb 2009
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    Washington, DC
    It seems to me that the point several folks are hung up on here is whether Cooper will more often play with two bigs on the floor (two of Brown, Maluach, Ngongba) or two wings on the floor (two of Evans, K2, James, or Gillis in addition to Cooper). That seems to me to be a question that will be answered differently throughout the season based on performance, matchups, injuries and strategies. I understand the analysis above regarding Cooper's preferred role in our offensive sets, but I think he will guard both quicker wing players and stronger post-scorers and that it will depend on whether we have a big or small lineup in the game. The overall positional versatility of this team should be a strength.

  13. #3153
    Quote Originally Posted by Monmouth77 View Post
    It seems to me that the point several folks are hung up on here is whether Cooper will more often play with two bigs on the floor (two of Brown, Maluach, Ngongba) or two wings on the floor (two of Evans, K2, James, or Gillis in addition to Cooper). That seems to me to be a question that will be answered differently throughout the season based on performance, matchups, injuries and strategies. I understand the analysis above regarding Cooper's preferred role in our offensive sets, but I think he will guard both quicker wing players and stronger post-scorers and that it will depend on whether we have a big or small lineup in the game. The overall positional versatility of this team should be a strength.
    This is the essence of the question. Cooper plus two wings or Cooper plus two bigs. I don't think Duke has ever asked a superstar like Cooper to play differently based on the personnel in the game. And I don't think Jon will break that streak this season...

  14. #3154
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    Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by SkyBrickey View Post
    Yes, exactly. The offense will be designed around Flagg just like other past superstars. We will ask the personnel to adapt to Cooper, not vice versa.
    I would actually be surprised if the offense was designed around him. He’s not an offensive savant like Paolo, Zion, Tatum, etc. He’s very good at slashing and exceptional in transition and at attacking the offense glass, but his real superpower is on the defensive end of the floor. I would imagine the offense will revolve around Proctor in ball screens. I would bet that Flagg won’t lead Duke in shot attempts next year. Just speculation and we will see how this plays out.

  15. #3155
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkirsh View Post
    I would actually be surprised if the offense was designed around him. He’s not an offensive savant like Paolo, Zion, Tatum, etc. He’s very good at slashing and exceptional in transition and at attacking the offense glass, but his real superpower is on the defensive end of the floor. I would imagine the offense will revolve around Proctor in ball screens. I would bet that Flagg won’t lead Duke in shot attempts next year. Just speculation and we will see how this plays out.
    I agree, unless "designing offense around Cooper" means giving him the ball to make plays.

  16. #3156
    Quote Originally Posted by azzefkram View Post
    Dereck averaged 22.5 from January on (22 games) and 26.4 from February on (14 games). Freshman bigs start slowly but by season end are playing in the 25-30 minute range. The point being playing Cooper out of position at the 4 would squeeze Maliq's minutes as the season goes on. Duke would be marginalizing one of its top 5 players to find minutes for players 8+ on the depth chart.
    Agreed. Freshman bigs are very unlikely to average 25-30 minutes at Duke. You cite a great example: Dereck Lively II averaged 20.6 MPG.

    I don’t know why you say Cooper would be out of position as a 4 at Duke. He may log more minutes at the 3, he may not. He will likely get a lot of opportunities at both the 3 and the 4 and, hopefully, the staff comes up with lineups that are devastating in a variety of ways. I don’t know whose minutes end up getting squeezed, but if Cooper is as good as advertised, I don’t think it will be his or the two guards that perform best and most consistently.
    Carolina delenda est

  17. #3157
    Quote Originally Posted by SkyBrickey View Post
    For those who don't think Cooper Flagg is a 4 at Duke, I just don't get it. Have you watched him play? The guy plays above the rim, is extremely physical, and is an absolute terror blocking shots in and around the paint.

    Just take the matchup down the road next year. Do you want Cooper chasing 6-5 lightning-quick Ian Jackson on the wing or covering 6-8 PF Lubin from Vandy? The second is a much better defensive matchup for him. And it keeps him near the lane to rebound and swat shots.

    Jayson Tatum played the 4 at Duke...
    So did Justise Winslow, Luol Deng, Roshown McLeod, Lance Thomas, etc., etc.

    During K’s tenure, Duke was a great place for someone like Flagg to play the 4.
    Carolina delenda est

  18. #3158
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    Winston Salem, NC
    I see Cooper as a player that has his hands on the ball creating shots for others just as much as he's creating his own shot. I don't see him positioned in the corner looking for the pass out for a three pointer. He will be the player passing the ball to the player in the corner. Mark Mitchell who was a 4 for Duke often set up in the corner. That's not Cooper in my estimation. On defense I see him as the Battier type of player who blocks shots coming off his man but can also play his man straight up if needed. I think rebounding will be a strength of this team as will defense. I see outside shooting as the only question mark. We have the guys with the reputation of being good shooters. Now all we need is some games to prove it.

    GoDuke!

  19. #3159
    Reread a few of these posts and I think people just have different ideas on what it means to be a 3 or a 4 or split time.

    Setting aside the numbers, here's the essence of my argument. A really fine-tuned efficient offense looks different playing Cooper alongside two bigs vs alongside two wing shooters. The sets and plays look different. The spacing looks different. Jon can't just swap in Gillis/James for Brown and run the same sets/plays IMO. That's not going to produce a top offense.

    If you agree with this, then the question becomes do you have one offense when Cooper is paired with two wing shooters and another offense when Cooper is paired with two bigs? Or, knowing that you've got a brand new team and only limited time for them to gel, do you decide to go with one offense and only pair Cooper with either two bigs or two wing shooters?

    If instead of adding Gillis (a very efficient wing shooter) this offseason, Jon had added one of the UNC big targets like Onyenso or Hawkins, then I would be on here arguing that Jon views Cooper as a 3 and had decided to go with an offense of Cooper plus two bigs... I just don't believe he's going to ask Cooper to execute different sets/plays based on which teammates are on the floor.

    It seems possible to me that a lineup of Flagg/Brown/Maluach is so devastating defensively that Jon uses it from time to time. But if it happens, I would bet Cooper plays the exact same role offensively with Brown effectively slotting out-of-position into the wing/shooter role.

  20. #3160
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    Mar 2008
    Location
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    Not Duke news, but a 2024 recruit with a familiar name and a Duke connection has decommitted.

    ESPN: Purdue signee Kanon Catchings reopens recruitment

    Catchings is a 6-foot-9 small forward who played for the Overtime Elite program last season and was expected to compete for minutes on the wing alongside rising sophomores Myles Colvin and Camden Heide. His decision comes just one week before the team's summer workouts are set to begin.
    He's #37 in the RSCI final 2024 rankings. It's unclear whether Catchings had yet arrived on Purdue's campus; I've seen conflicting reports.

    He and former Duke player Kale Catchings are both nephews of Tamika Catchings, of Tennessee and WNBA fame. Kale's Duke bio lists his siblings, and Kanon is not one of them, so I have to conclude that they are cousins.

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