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  1. #1

    What Is Your Duke Offseason Wishlist?

    There are 5 moving parts left when thinking about the Duke 2017-18 MBB Roster: Grayson Allen, Luke Kennard, Trevon Duval, Kevin Knox and Mo Bamba.

    How would you rank these players in your opinion based on their importance to the overall success of the team next year?

    I would of course love to have all 5 of these young men but here's who I want in order of importance:

    1. Trevon Duval: He will be the straw that stirs the drink for a potential championship team next year. Trey is a pass-first PG who is like a bull in a china shop when it comes to penetrating to the rim and has the potential to be a great on-ball defender. I haven't wanted a recruit for Duke this bad since the Black Falcon broke my heart in the Summer of 2009.

    2. Grayson Allen: The redemption tour begins for Allen next year if he chooses to return and he could give us the senior leadership that every other past Duke Final 4 team has had. He should be a good defender if he's healthy and his spot up shooting should be deadly on the wing with Trey and Jackson feeding him the ball. Allen has the potential to have a Frank Mason like senior season.

    3. Mohammed Bamba: Mo has the potential to be a terror on the defensive end and one of the best rim protectors in the country right out of the gate as a freshman like Anthony Davis was. He's raw on the offensive end but he"ll function as a human eraser as the rim if Allen/Kennard/Jackson get beat off the dribble by opposing guards. A healthy Carter/Bolden/Bamba frontcourt would be the best in the country hands down.

    4. Luke Kennard: Luke could potentially be the best offensive player in the country if he were to return to Duke. My only major issue with him is his egregiously terrible play on the defensive end and inability to keep tabs on the man he's guarding. I think the up tempo nature of Duke's offense next year with Duval at the helm would suit Grayson better than Luke.

    5. Kevin Knox: Knox would seemingly be a plug and play version of what Tatum/Ingram/Winslow/Parker were the past 4 seasons but I don't believe he's quite as talented or ready to be an immediate contributor in college as those 4 guys. I would also like to see Coach K take advantage of our frontcourt depth and play 2 of Carter/Bolden/Bamba/Vrankovic at all times. Knox would be a fine addition to our team but I would also like to give more minutes to multi-year players Jack White and Javin DeLaurier to help them develop so that they can be major contributors later in their careers at Duke and we can build some stability within the program.

    I'm not including Frank Jackson in this discussion as I believe that he's 100% coming back to Duke next year and have not heard any information suggesting that he's testing the draft waters.

    What is your order of preference?

  2. #2
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    With the news that Bolden will return next year, I'd say:

    1/2. Allen/Kennard. In no particular order. Getting one of them back is #1 for me. Either will be the best player on the team, and a strong candidate for ACC and National Player of the Year honors. Also, I'm not a fan of prioritizing someone we don't already have over someone we do. Especially when the someones we do are both former All-Americans.
    3. Duval. He's a PG, and the best available PG. That's a great thing to add.
    4. Knox. Mainly because I don't want him going to UNC to pair with Berry, Pinson, and Bradley.
    5. Bamba. I think he'd likely be better than Bolden. But I think Bolden can give a close enough approximation of Bamba that I'd rate the others as more important. Plus, I want Bolden's discussion to return to be a positive, and him getting buried on the bench behind two freshmen wouldn't be a positive.

  3. #3
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    Man, we're really getting into the thread retreads now. Didn't we just have the "pick 2" thread like a week ago? Mine still hasn't changed:

    1. Luke or Grayson
    2. Duval
    3. The other of Luke or Grayson
    4. Knox
    5. Bamba

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    With the news that Bolden will return next year, I'd say:

    1/2. Allen/Kennard. In no particular order. Getting one of them back is #1 for me. Either will be the best player on the team, and a strong candidate for ACC and National Player of the Year honors. Also, I'm not a fan of prioritizing someone we don't already have over someone we do. Especially when the someones we do are both former All-Americans.
    3. Duval. He's a PG, and the best available PG. That's a great thing to add.
    4. Knox. Mainly because I don't want him going to UNC to pair with Berry, Pinson, and Bradley.
    5. Bamba. I think he'd likely be better than Bolden. But I think Bolden can give a close enough approximation of Bamba that I'd rate the others as more important. Plus, I want Bolden's discussion to return to be a positive, and him getting buried on the bench behind two freshmen wouldn't be a positive.
    I kinda agree with this list. But I will say that I would rather have 3. than 1/2. Because there is only one Duval. There is only one player who can be a game changer at the 1 for us next year. Jackson, Kennard, and Allen are game changers. But they aren't game changers at the 1. Duval is. He has the ability to make everyone that much better. Think Kyrie in his first 9 games at Duke. What a stud!

    For your 1/2, there are two of them so the odds that we get at least one are fairly high. If we assume 50% for Allen and 25% for Kennard, there is still a ~63% chance we get at least one them for next year. Of course, I understand that Allen's and Kennard's decisions likely aren't independent, but you get my drift.

    The uniqueness of Duval makes him that much more important.
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    I kinda agree with this list. But I will say that I would rather have 3. than 1/2. Because there is only one Duval. There is only one player who can be a game changer at the 1 for us next year. Jackson, Kennard, and Allen are game changers. But they aren't game changers at the 1. Duval is. He has the ability to make everyone that much better. Think Kyrie in his first 9 games at Duke. What a stud!

    For your 1/2, there are two of them so the odds that we get at least one are fairly high. If we assume 50% for Allen and 25% for Kennard, there is still a ~63% chance we get at least one them for next year. Of course, I understand that Allen's and Kennard's decisions likely aren't independent, but you get my drift.

    The uniqueness of Duval makes him that much more important.
    Whoa, let's slow down on the Kyrie hype. Duval is not Kyrie. Not even close. He's a good ball handler, but Kyrie is in a class by himself, or maybe a 2 person class with Steph Curry. Kyrie is also a WAY better outside shooter than Duval. The only thing Duval has on Kyrie is maybe a little strength and a bit better vertical. I can't even say he's a better finisher at the rim than Kyrie, because Kyrie is also amazing at that.

    Just because we are likely to get one of those guys back doesn't make them any less important . . . I think their leadership could be just as important as anything Duval brings to the table. I'm really tired of the "we lost this year because we didn't have a point guard" argument. Not saying you were one of those people, but there are quite a few of them. We beat the national freaking champions twice with no point guard. We did just fine. Could a point guard have helped? Maybe, but would a point guard have been more important than having Grayson or Luke? Hard to say. I think you still have to have one of those alpha dog scorers. Duval makes them better, but he's not more important than having one of them, in my opinion.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kAzE View Post
    Whoa, let's slow down on the Kyrie hype. Duval is not Kyrie. Not even close. He's a good ball handler, but Kyrie is in a class by himself, or maybe a 2 person class with Steph Curry. Kyrie is also a WAY better outside shooter than Duval. The only thing Duval has on Kyrie is maybe a little strength and a bit better vertical. I can't even say he's a better finisher at the rim than Kyrie, because Kyrie is also amazing at that.

    Just because we are liekly to get one of those guys back doesn't make them any less important . . . I think their leadership could be just as important as anything Duval brings to the table. I'm really tired of the "we lost this year because we didn't have a point guard" argument. Not saying you were one of those people, but there are quite a few of them. We beat the national freaking champions twice with no point guard. We did just fine. Could a point guard have helped? Maybe, but would a point guard have been more important than having Grayson or Luke? Hard to say. I think you still have to have one of those alpha dog scorers. Duval makes them better, but he's not more important than having one of them, in my opinion.
    Firstly, I'm not saying we lost because we had no PG. I've been harping that our backcourt D sucked and that's why we lost.

    Secondly, you hit the nail on the head and what I've been arguing: we have to have ONE alpha dog scorer. Two is great. But one is necessary. And given there are TWO decisions on alpha dog scorers and only ONE PG, I'm going with Duval being more important than EITHER Kennard or Allen but not the collective Kennard/Allen.

    Thirdly, I don't think Duval is Kyrie. But Duval is the best PG in a solid recruiting class. And he is a better distributor than most give him credit for. And he has the tools to be an amazing defender (arguably better than Allen. I'm not even going to mention Kennard when it comes to D...)
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kAzE View Post
    Whoa, let's slow down on the Kyrie hype. Duval is not Kyrie. Not even close. He's a good ball handler, but Kyrie is in a class by himself, or maybe a 2 person class with Steph Curry. Kyrie is also a WAY better outside shooter than Duval. The only thing Duval has on Kyrie is maybe a little strength and a bit better vertical. I can't even say he's a better finisher at the rim than Kyrie, because Kyrie is also amazing at that.

    Just because we are liekly to get one of those guys back doesn't make them any less important . . . I think their leadership could be just as important as anything Duval brings to the table. I'm really tired of the "we lost this year because we didn't have a point guard" argument. Not saying you were one of those people, but there are quite a few of them. We beat the national freaking champions twice with no point guard. We did just fine. Could a point guard have helped? Maybe, but would a point guard have been more important than having Grayson or Luke? Hard to say. I think you still have to have one of those alpha dog scorers. Duval makes them better, but he's not more important than having one of them, in my opinion.
    I agree. We did not lose this year because of a lack of PG. In fact, we had a top-10 offense that scored 81 points against the #3 defense in the country in what was essentially a road game. We struggled at times this season because of injuries, not because we lacked a PG.

    And I also agree on Duval. If anything, he seems like he could be a Derrick Rose type of player: terrific athlete, good but not spectacular ballhandler, strong driver, not a great shooter and not a superlative passer (i.e., more of a scoring point guard than a passing point guard). I think he'll be really good. But I don't think he'll be as good as Tatum was this year or as good as Ingram was last year. I think he'll be better than Frank Jackson was this year.

  8. #8
    Duval is priority # one for me, and it is not even close. After that I can see valid talking points for various orders.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by NM Duke Fan View Post
    Duval is priority # one for me, and it is not even close. After that I can see valid talking points for various orders.
    This could be a case study in how perception of the guy we haven't seen is somehow better than the guys we've had. Could Duval be great? Maybe. You don't know that. Nobody knows that. Are Luke Kennard and Grayson Allen great? Heck yes.

    There's almost zero chance Duval is better as a freshman than either of those guys next year. Maybe he's as good as De'Aaron Fox. Or maybe he's Derryck Thornton. Anyone who claims they know how good Duval will be next year is just full of it. I like my known quantity All-American guards more.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kAzE View Post
    This could be a case study in how perception of the guy we haven't seen is somehow better than the guys we've had. Could Duval be great? Maybe. You don't know that. Nobody knows that. Are Luke Kennard and Grayson Allen great? Heck yes.

    There's almost zero chance Duval is better as a freshman than either of those guys next year. Maybe he's as good as De'Aaron Fox. Or maybe he's Derryck Thornton. Anyone who claims they know how good Duval will be next year is just full of it. I like my known quantity All-American guards more.
    Need to look at defense - Luke and Grayson are known negatives on the defensive end, especially Luke.
    Could Duval be better on defense? Possibly, he seems to have all the physical tools like lateral quickness to stay in front of his man whereas we know Luke does not.

    Unknown vs known negative on defense, that's we want Duval.

    Oh, that and the PG skills too.
    Duke 5 - UNC 4*

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by duke09hms View Post
    Need to look at defense - Luke and Grayson are known negatives on the defensive end, especially Luke.
    Could Duval be better on defense? Possibly, he seems to have all the physical tools like lateral quickness to stay in front of his man whereas we know Luke does not.

    Unknown vs known negative on defense, that's we want Duval.

    Oh, that and the PG skills too.
    Nice, reasoned post, instead of an emotional reaction. Some of us old timers with decades of both playing experience and carefully observing the game really value a team having more of a "true" point guard. Including one with the inherent physical gifts like lateral quickness to stay in front of his man defensively. Like it or not, many years the best college teams indeed have that player. Neither Luke nor Allen fit that bill, and i am not convinced that either of them are going to take a great leap forward in those ways. I also hope that both of them make the best possible decisions for their own futures, and I am not convinced it is in the best interests of either one of them to come back, when looking at the overall picture. And yes, by the end of the year Duval if he comes has the potential to be an overall better and more important player, considering the overall needs of the team and the deficiencies it has recently had. Plenty of room for disagreement here too, when it can be done without attacking other posters emotionally.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by NM Duke Fan View Post
    Nice, reasoned post, instead of an emotional reaction. Some of us old timers with decades of both playing experience and carefully observing the game really value a team having more of a "true" point guard. Including one with the inherent physical gifts like lateral quickness to stay in front of his man defensively. Like it or not, many years the best college teams indeed have that player. Neither Luke nor Allen fit that bill, and i am not convinced that either of them are going to take a great leap forward in those ways. I also hope that both of them make the best possible decisions for their own futures, and I am not convinced it is in the best interests of either one of them to come back, when looking at the overall picture. And yes, by the end of the year Duval if he comes has the potential to be an overall better and more important player, considering the overall needs of the team and the deficiencies it has recently had. Plenty of room for disagreement here too, when it can be done without attacking other posters emotionally.
    Not sure who you're talking about. I don't attack posters, I attack posts. Especially ones that marginalize players who have made huge contributions to this basketball program in favor of uncommitted high school seniors who may or may not be great college basketball players.

    In order for Trevon Duval to be as good or better than Luke or Grayson next year, he would need to be at least 2nd team all-american. You obviously think he can do that, and I just don't think he's that good. I think he's solid, but nowhere near the messiah that you seem to believe he is. This is a guy who just had 3 assists to 4 turnovers in an all-star game where his team scored 107 points . . . he might be a pure point guard, but he still has a LONG way to go.

    You said:

    Duval is priority # one for me, and it is not even close.
    So I guess he's a lock for first team all-american, right?
    Last edited by kAzE; 04-05-2017 at 12:57 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by NM Duke Fan View Post
    Nice, reasoned post, instead of an emotional reaction. Some of us old timers with decades of both playing experience and carefully observing the game really value a team having more of a "true" point guard. Including one with the inherent physical gifts like lateral quickness to stay in front of his man defensively. Like it or not, many years the best college teams indeed have that player. Neither Luke nor Allen fit that bill, and i am not convinced that either of them are going to take a great leap forward in those ways. I also hope that both of them make the best possible decisions for their own futures, and I am not convinced it is in the best interests of either one of them to come back, when looking at the overall picture. And yes, by the end of the year Duval if he comes has the potential to be an overall better and more important player, considering the overall needs of the team and the deficiencies it has recently had. Plenty of room for disagreement here too, when it can be done without attacking other posters emotionally.
    I disagree a bit, on two counts:

    1. The PG thing. Jon Scheyer was a very effective PG as a senior despite not being very quick and not having ever been a PG before stepping in (ineffectively) late as a junior. Furthermore, we had the #6 offense in the country this year and the #4 offense in the country last year without a PG. That clearly was not our problem. I understand some people prefer a team with a true PG, but that doesn't make it reality that you have to have a true PG to succeed offensively

    2. The lateral quickness thing. Our best defensive player (and one of the best defenders in the country) this year was Matt Jones. He was a terrific on-ball defender. He is not at all laterally quick. What he is is extremely smart, extremely hard-working, and extremely prepared. Grayson Allen is MUCH quicker laterally than Jones, yet has not (to this point) been nearly the defender that Jones was. Last year, nobody on the team was quicker than Derryck Thornton. Yet he wasn't a very good defender last year. Same for Frank Jackson. Who is to say that Frank Jackson - with another year of development - won't be a substantially better defender than a freshman Duval?

    I'm not saying we shouldn't get Duval. I want him to come to Duke. But I think some folks just seem to default to "didn't have a PG" or "didn't have a quick guy" as the problem, when that simply wasn't the issue with this year's team. We were plenty effective offensively. We had a bad game in a bad environment against a Final Four team in the tournament, and people have jumped off a ledge into how fatally flawed the team was.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kAzE View Post
    No sure who you're talking about. I don't attack posters, I attack posts. Especially ones that marginalize players who have made huge contributions to this basketball program in favor of uncommitted high school seniors who may or may not be great college basketball players.

    In order for Trevon Duval to be as good or better than Luke or Grayson next year, he would need to be at least 2nd team all-american. You obviously think he can do that, and I just don't think he's that good. I think he's solid, but nowhere near the messiah that you seem to believe he is. You said:



    So I guess he's a lock for first team all-american, right?
    I won't go quite as aggressively on this (especially the last statement). But I agree with your sentiments. Is it possible for one of the freshmen to be an All-American next year? Sure. But it is highly unlikely. Anthony Davis is very rare. In fact, there has been just 1. People said Nerlens Noel was the next Anthony Davis. He wasn't. He was good, but not transcendent. I think Nerlens Noel is a pretty fair comp for Bamba. Bamba may or may not be a little better next year, but that's about where his skill set is. Duval COULD become the next Derrick Rose. But that's fairly unlikely as well. Rose was a rare combination of solid skills paired with unbelievable athleticism and fearlessness. Those type of guys don't grow on trees. And it is not like Duval has dominated at the national level. He was pretty lackluster in the McDonald's game, which is not a great sign for a guard.

    Again, I would be ecstatic to get any of Bamba, Duval, and Knox. I just don't anticipate that any of them will be better than Kennard or a healthy Allen will be, as both of those guys are clear threats for First-Team All-American status.

  15. #15

    I'm sure I'm in the minority here but...

    1. Luke
    1.5 Grayson
    3. Tremont Waters
    4. Bamba

    I for one am ready for a year like this. Waters is short but very good, and at one point referred to Duke as his dream school before committing to Georgetown (a commitment he got out of after John Thompson III was fired). I'd love to see us get a guy like Waters who could play under Frank for a year or so and hopefully blossom into a veteran starter. Is anyone else a little jealous of the Yogi Ferrells and Frank Masons and (ugh) even Joel Berrys of the NCAA? We tend to have a couple veterans in the mix, but when those guys are point guards it seems to make a difference. Quinn counts, kind of. Plus, this gets Frank the year at PG that I assume he needs to ensure his future in the NBA. Duval looks like an absolutely incredible player, but I kind of prefer this approach this time.

    I'm also wary of Knox. These freshmen capable of being "the guy" as playmakers (I'd count Austin, Kyrie, Jabari, Brandon, and Jayson) tend to make us a little predictable and stiff when things get close. The '15 team didn't have a guy like that - it had three, who played perfectly together. I'm concerned Knox is another guy who we'll depend on a little too much when the going gets tough, though obviously his talent is terrific. I think there's a chance we dodge a bullet if he ends up elsewhere. Meanwhile, Bamba would be awesome and seems like a great dude, but I'm curious to see what Bolden can do starting (and healthy).

    Potential here would be: Frank, Luke, Grayson, Carter, Bamba/Bolden starting, with Waters, Trent, Bamba/Bolden, Vrankovic, Javin, Jack, and O'Connell on the bench. I for one think Vrankovic, Javin, and Jack can all play, and I'm happy with that rotation and depth.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    I disagree a bit, on two counts:
    I'm not saying we shouldn't get Duval. I want him to come to Duke. But I think some folks just seem to default to "didn't have a PG" or "didn't have a quick guy" as the problem, when that simply wasn't the issue with this year's team. We were plenty effective offensively. We had a bad game in a bad environment against a Final Four team in the tournament, and people have jumped off a ledge into how fatally flawed the team was.
    And to be clear, I want Duval, too. I think he would help us tremendously with pushing the ball up the floor in transition, and being a quicker and more athletic team. My rankings are right at the top of this thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by kAzE View Post
    1. Luke or Grayson
    2. Duval
    3. The other of Luke or Grayson
    4. Knox
    5. Bamba
    I just think it's silly to say that "Duval is way more important than anyone, and it's not even close," when we have maybe 2 of the top 10-15 players in college basketball already in Grayson and Luke.

  17. #17
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    Wish list:

    1) Grayson Allen returns
    2) Duvall comes to Duke
    3) Knox - just because more talent is better
    4) Bamba - just because more talent is better
    5) Cheaters get hammered by NCAA
    6) All our guys get healthy

    I could be wrong but I think Luke is NBA bound, otherwise he would have been #2.
    It's too late for #5 in many respects but I still want it really badly.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by duke09hms View Post
    Need to look at defense - Luke and Grayson are known negatives on the defensive end, especially Luke.
    Could Duval be better on defense? Possibly, he seems to have all the physical tools like lateral quickness to stay in front of his man whereas we know Luke does not.

    Unknown vs known negative on defense, that's we want Duval.
    I agree with the spirit, but I think you're discounting that players can improve greatly on defense, even those that are straight up bad defenders in their early years. Off the top of my head, JJ Redick, Kyle Singler, and Quinn Cook are recent Duke players who made very large strides on defense during their time at Duke. So I wouldn't say that a junior Kennard or a senior Allen is a "known" negative on defense.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wander View Post
    I agree with the spirit, but I think you're discounting that players can improve greatly on defense, even those that are straight up bad defenders in their early years. Off the top of my head, JJ Redick, Kyle Singler, and Quinn Cook are recent Duke players who made very large strides on defense during their time at Duke. So I wouldn't say that a junior Kennard or a senior Allen is a "known" negative on defense.
    I agree. I have my doubts about Kennard, but I could absolutely see Allen becoming a good defender next year. For one thing, he has the desire. For another, he has the athletic attributes to do it. And if he returns as a senior, I'm sure Coach K is going to really push him to demonstrate it on the defensive end.

    Now, it's certainly possible Kennard could improve defensively too. Redick is an example of a guy who was a very poor defender as a freshman and sophomore who got better each year after that. So there's no reason Kennard couldn't do the same. I just think that, of the two, Allen would seem the more likely candidate to emerge as a good defender if he returned.

  20. #20
    1a. Duval
    1b. Knox
    2. Bamba

    We really don't have anyone on the current roster that profile like Knox or Duval (though we are quite a bit closer with Duval). Bonus points for keeping Knox away from the bad guys. While I'd love to see Bamba suit up for us next year I just don't see it happening with both Carter and Bolden on the roster. I am assuming (hopefully not foolishly) that one of Luke or Grayson will return.

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