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  1. #21

    Best starting line-up?

    The team seems to respond well to Jack coming off the bench. Given his versatility, he can sub at the 3-5 spots, which allows Coach K to respond to the flow of the game and the opponent's particular line-up. I wonder if the question is whether AOC should start over Cam, and I think the answer to that is currently "no"- both because it is better for Cam to work out some of his confidence issues in the game, and because AOC has not played that well in his limited minutes. But if AOC were to improve his defense and knock down threes like he can at his best, I think it would be a reasonable consideration (assuming Cam stays in a funk).

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by UrinalCake View Post
    I understand the reasoning that Jack makes a great 6th man because of his versatility. But here are the reasons why starting him would make sense:

    - We've made a habit of starting off games slow. Other than Texas Tech, when we started on an 8-0 run, it feels like we begin every game missing our first 8 shots and letting the overmatched teams hang around for 15-20 minutes. I have to wonder if it would help to have Jack's energy on the floor from the very tip, rather than waiting until the players have settled in.

    - Cam has also made it a habit of picking up two fouls in the first half, which then throws off his game. Coming off the bench would remove some of that pressure.

    - As we've discussed ad nauseum, a lot of Cam's struggles seem to come from adjusting to playing with other scorers around him. So instead of starting three scorers, why not start two of them and let the third come in off the bench? Let him come in for RJ or Zion after the first TV timeout and then he'll have more freedom to have the ball in his hands.
    The counterarguments to this are:

    1. You can start Reddish AND also give him all of the minutes that at least one (or both) of Williamson and Barrett are sitting. It doesnt' require bringing him off the bench.
    2. If the ideal goal is to have Reddish (one of the team's best talents) playing 30+ mpg, bringing him off the bench to start each half basically eliminates that possibility. Because then you're basically asking him to not come back out for the rest of the half once he comes in.
    3. Ideally, you want your best players to be able to play together. Bringing Reddish off the bench reduces the number of chances to get the three of them clicking together.
    4. IF (and this is a big if) you think taking him out of the starting lineup will hurt his psyche such that you may lose him, doing so may not be the best move.

    I think what Coach K is trying to do at the moment is #1 (starting Reddish but also trying to get him in whenever one of Williamson or Barrett comes out) all the while trying to get Reddish assimilated into the juggernaut offense with Barrett and Williamson by the time the tourneys roll around.

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by mike88 View Post
    I wonder if the question is whether AOC should start over Cam, and I think the answer to that is currently "no"-
    I think the answer to that is permanently "no".

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by DukeTrinity11 View Post
    I don't know if this is a controversial take but it's no secret that Cam has been in a serious funk since Maui. He's simply unable to drive to the hoop without getting stripped, is a foul machine and his shooting mechanics seem to have regressed.

    Jack White, on the other hand, is a rebounding machine whose defensive instincts are 2nd to only maybe Tre on the team. He's also clearly the best spot up 3 point shooter on the team and his motor simply far surpasses Cam on both ends of the floor.

    If I recall correctly, K brought Ingram off the bench for a few games in the 2015-2016 season. Any chance we see a repeat of that with Cam? I'm thinking it might be good for him to come off the bench for some time and regain his confidence while getting more usage on the 2nd unit. This might light a fire under him.

    I truly believe that a starter spot, minutes and playing time should be earned and not given based on your RSCI ranking and NBA potential.

    Should K institute this change with the best interests of the team in mind? I'm interested in hearing all your thoughts on this.
    It's a false choice. It's who finishes the games. Moreover, Jack is averaging 25 MPG and Cam 23. Next question?
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    Next question?
    What's the intrinsic value of CELG?

  6. #26
    I brought this up on the pre-game thread. While everyone agrees Cam is the better talent, White is playing better minutes. Someone earlier said what difference does it make stating maybe we win by +30 instead of +20. My thinking is that we have had some slow starts these past games and why not tinker some and see what results we could get making the switch, especially against teams we should soundly beat. Saturday will not be the game to try that but if Cam struggles again and the game ends up with a negative result...why not try it???

  7. #27

    I say: NON-ISSUE

    Non-issue, for all the many reasons stated earlier by others...and one that I really think may be a factor is confidence...what will happen to Cam's already fragile confidence if he loses the starting gig...BUT ALSO..,...what might happen to Jack's very high level of confidence if he suddenly faced the pressure of "starting?" (I put that in quotations because Jack already plays starter minutes in quality and quantity...just not the first 3 minutes of the game). I think this, plus the risk to chemistry, are among the most compelling notions as to why this is NON ISSUE.
    Don't waste your time on House of Cards S6!
    -We found out Frank was critical to making anyone else in the show interesting...not a surprise...

  8. #28
    It is obvious to say K knows best on this one but I truly think for this one, that is especially acute. There is more at work here than just raw numbers. Cam in clearly not playing his best but weve seen some really good games too. He is young practice must be earning the PT. He needs to slow down, needs to hit a few shots and stop the early fouls. With that said the versatility of Jack and mental toughness is important too.
    I think K believes Cam playing with the other starters is his best lineup over the course of the season and wants them to continue to build together and grow.
    I am certain its coming. K is at his best connnecting with players and Cam needs that expertise right now.
    The ceiling is the roof

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Vermont
    Quote Originally Posted by tbyers11 View Post
    I'm not typically a member of the Duke Player Name Spelling Police, but I thought Jack was an Aussie not a Frenchman

    Perhaps residing in close proximity to the French part of Canada has affected your spelling?

    To your actual point, I agree that I think Jack as 6th man and Cam in the starting lineup is still the way to go. I think Cam as a starter is still the best way to go for long-term growth of this team.
    Common misperception! IIRC from a history course I took at unc decades ago, shortly after I graduated from Duke (great course, though I don't actually remember any classes, nor the professor), the French freaked out
    after Wellington and the boys routed Nappy at Waterloo. The major fear, of course, was that the Brits would get their hands on millions of bottles of Bordeaux (mon Dieu!) and rename them Claret!

    So a group of Frenchmen set sail with "le vin" for the most remote land they could find, and Voila, L'Australie (later renamed by Queen Victoria or one of her ilk), where they hid the gargantuan cache of Bordeaux really really well.
    So well, I believe, that it has yet to be found.
    Later, of course, in another typical British land grab, it was renamed Australia, and governed as part of the Commonwealth.
    You can confirm this, of course, with Kyrie Irving, fine Dukie, Australian citizen, and a chap well regarded for his knowledge of science and history.

    As for Jacques White, as they say in Quebec, "Je me souviens! I remember!)

    final bonus factoid: Queen Victoria didn't look anything like Jenna Coleman.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    Really? If Cam gets stripped driving to the hoop when both Zion AND RJ are on the floor, what makes you think he'll be more effective when they aren't and the defensive attention is solely on Cam?

    I like Cam starting. Agreed that Duke starts slow and Cam is foul prone, but taking him out may easily:

    -Destroy his confidence
    -Prevent Cam from working on fouling less
    -Put more pressure on Zion and RJ to put up points that may lead to more offensive fouls

    It's a trade-off and not clear-cut.
    We've already debated this, so I'm not trying to stir the pot again, but just to play devil's advocate on your first point, I think it's possible he would get stripped less if he got more touches. I mean, a lot of the time, he doesn't even get stripped, he just loses the ball inexplicably, which I'm sure was not a regular occurrence when he was the go-to guy on most of his teams before Duke.

    I think all of us would agree this slump is 100% mental. He doesn't get the volume of touches he's used to, so when he gets the ball, he tries to do too much. It's speculation, but that has to be part of his inexplicable propensity to cough up the ball. Maybe if he's the 2nd option, after subbing in for RJ or Zion, he 'd relax a little bit knowing that he'll still get the ball even if he screws up. Maybe. Or maybe not. Worth trying? Possibly.

    We made a clear effort to get him the ball more against Wake, that seemed like a point of emphasis. So regardless of whether he starts or comes off the bench, we need to keep giving him the ball. But the opportunity cost of that when he's with the starters is fewer touches for RJ and Zion, which is why some people think it's worth a shot to try bringing him off the bench. I'm not saying either approach is right or wrong, we know there's pros and cons to both sides of this.

    Would it really "destroy his confidence" though? It's possible. Is he really that sensitive? I don't know. I have no idea what his personality is like, but if it doesn't work, then just put him back in with the starters. Would it hurt so bad to try it? I think it's very possible Coach K could try it if the next couple of games don't go well for Cam.

    I do think the long term goal is to have Cam start, but IMO it's worth trying some different things to get him jump started. Jack is obviously capable of starting, so we're not really getting much drop-off on either end of the floor right now. What happened to "earn everything?" You could probably even argue Jack is just better at the moment and has earned a starting spot. Against a foe like Virginia, we might need to go with the best possible lineup we have.
    Last edited by kAzE; 01-09-2019 at 12:41 PM.

  11. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    It's a false choice. It's who finishes the games. Moreover, Jack is averaging 25 MPG and Cam 23. Next question?
    Who starts the games also matters in terms of setting a tone for the game and establishing tempo. Duke has largely played far lesser opponents besides Texas Tech since Maui and we've gotten off to slow starts in nearly all games with Cam often missing wide open 3s and turning the ball over to start.

    If we get off to slow starts vs FSU and UVA on the road, we could be in a world of trouble in those games.

    I know Jack's been getting minutes but I think he should see closer to 30 MPG and reduce Cam's MPG closer to 18-20 till he shows some improvement.

  12. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by HereBeforeCoachK View Post
    Non-issue, for all the many reasons stated earlier by others...and one that I really think may be a factor is confidence...what will happen to Cam's already fragile confidence if he loses the starting gig...BUT ALSO..,...what might happen to Jack's very high level of confidence if he suddenly faced the pressure of "starting?" (I put that in quotations because Jack already plays starter minutes in quality and quantity...just not the first 3 minutes of the game). I think this, plus the risk to chemistry, are among the most compelling notions as to why this is NON ISSUE.
    My sense is Jack is tough as nails and he slots in perfectly into the starting lineup with 2 high usage players in RJ and Zion, a distributor in Tre and a rebounding/hustle guy in Javin.

    If Cam is so fragile as to completely lose confidence coming off the bench, do we even want him out there for us in the big conference ACC games and the NCAAT?

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Chesapeake, VA.
    One-syllable answer: No.
    A plane takes off from Baltimore and touches down on Bourbon Street

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Quote Originally Posted by DukeTrinity11 View Post
    My sense is Jack is tough as nails and he slots in perfectly into the starting lineup with 2 high usage players in RJ and Zion, a distributor in Tre and a rebounding/hustle guy in Javin.

    If Cam is so fragile as to completely lose confidence coming off the bench, do we even want him out there for us in the big conference ACC games and the NCAAT?
    Coach K knows these guys on a personal level, so whatever he decides to do is going to be the right way to do it. I'm not saying we can't debate it here, since that's the whole point of the message board, but I do see the merits of both sides of this, so whatever Coach K does is cool with me.

    But still, I don't understand the folks who are so resistant to even a temporary a lineup change. Coach K benches guys all the time for performance reasons, including highly ranked recruits. Trust the man, he's a master motivator.

  15. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    -Put more pressure on Zion and RJ to put up points that may lead to more offensive fouls
    How would putting a more efficient spot up 3 point shooter, a better rebounder, better passer, a better defender and a team oriented glue guy in the starting lineup put "more pressure on RJ and Zion to put up points that may lead to more offensive fouls"?

    Jack White is simply a better basketball player than Reddish right now. His growth curve has been incredible and while Cam has more NBA potential, I hope K isn't putting all his eggs in the Reddish basket hoping for a major turnaround and if it doesn't come stubbornly sticks with it.

    Our best lineup as of now is Tre, RJ, White, Zion, Javin which is what makes this an interesting discussion (production vs potential).

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Quote Originally Posted by kAzE View Post
    Coach K knows these guys on a personal level, so whatever he decides to do is going to be the right way to do it. I'm not saying we can't debate it here, since that's the whole point of the message board, but I do see the merits of both sides of this, so whatever Coach K does is cool with me.
    Agreed. Given that Cam has struggled offensively since the Stetson game (Dec 1), you would think Coach K would have made the change by now. But he hasn't.

    Cam is here to continue starting. And, unless he doesn't improve, Jack will continue to take minutes from him.
    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

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Dallas, TX
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    Agreed. Given that Cam has struggled offensively since the Stetson game (Dec 1), you would think Coach K would have made the change by now. But he hasn't.

    Cam is here to continue starting. And, unless he doesn't improve, Jack will continue to take minutes from him.
    I don't even know if it's a clear Jack/Cam minutes split. I think the lineup we want on the floor in crunch time is Zion, Jack, Cam, RJ, and Tre. When Cam has snapped out of this funk, I believe those are the best 5 players on the team.

    Is it an undersized lineup? Sure, but at this point, is anyone still questioning Zion or Jack's ability to control the boards and protect the rim? I'm not. Plus, RJ is a fantastic rebounder. If both Cam and Jack are stretching the floor with Zion and RJ slashing into open space, that's our optimal crunch time lineup IMO.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Beaufort, NC
    I'm not in favor of leaving Cam out of the starting lineup right now for the same reasons many others have said: not necessary for the good of the team at this time. However, the thing you mention that worries me most is the regression of shooting mechanics. I thought it was just a shooting slump, but the shots last night toward the beginning of the game gave me a bad feeling in my stomach. Don't go all "Markelle Fultz" on us dude! I still think he'll be fine, but those shots looked awful. With the talent we have around him, we really just need Cam to be a reliable 3 point shooter on this team. That's his most important role.

  19. #39

    Trust in K

    I never worry about lineups and minutes and all that since I prefer to leave that to the experts, but there are a couple of things that I find interesting.

    Captain Jack is an incredible shot blocker, which is not something I was expecting. His 23 blocks are only 3 less than Zion, which is really amazing.

    Cam's shooting form has become rather strange. He has a curious release since he starts with his elbow at about a 90 degree angle, even on free throws, but he brings his arm up as he shoots and has a good follow through. Nevertheless, I do wonder whether starting with the elbow down gives him a slow release that defenders have taken advantage of.

    Lately he has taken a number of ill-advised shots where he seems to be doing the twist rather than squaring up to the basket. If he goes back to squaring up properly, especially on open threes, he should be fine.

    With Coach K's philosophy that every horse runs his own race, players used to have the patience to work out all the kinks. For example, Gerald Henderson had a breakout junior year, but up to that point a lot of people were looking at him as a disappointment. Nowadays the one and dones have decided on their future before they get to Duke, so there isn't a lot of time to fix the problems in their game.

  20. #40

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by miramar View Post
    I never worry about lineups and minutes and all that since I prefer to leave that to the experts, but there are a couple of things that I find interesting.

    Captain Jack is an incredible shot blocker, which is not something I was expecting. His 23 blocks are only 3 less than Zion, which is really amazing.

    Cam's shooting form has become rather strange. He has a curious release since he starts with his elbow at about a 90 degree angle, even on free throws, but he brings his arm up as he shoots and has a good follow through. Nevertheless, I do wonder whether starting with the elbow down gives him a slow release that defenders have taken advantage of.

    Lately he has taken a number of ill-advised shots where he seems to be doing the twist rather than squaring up to the basket. If he goes back to squaring up properly, especially on open threes, he should be fine.

    With Coach K's philosophy that every horse runs his own race, players used to have the patience to work out all the kinks. For example, Gerald Henderson had a breakout junior year, but up to that point a lot of people were looking at him as a disappointment. Nowadays the one and dones have decided on their future before they get to Duke, so there isn't a lot of time to fix the problems in their game.
    You must have wandered in here by accident .

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