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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Oregon

    Phase I, 2019-20 Season: Kansas - Mich St.

    OMG, I just noticed we do not have a Phase thread for this year. So here we go, I've started the thread, but we'll need one of our experts to list the essentials for the first portion of the season. We have Kansas under our belts, but there are still plenty of unknowns - what are the key questions?

    Calling kaze, Bob Green, CDu, sage, trouble, superdave!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by Neals384 View Post
    OMG, I just noticed we do not have a Phase thread for this year. So here we go, I've started the thread, but we'll need one of our experts to list the essentials for the first portion of the season. We have Kansas under our belts, but there are still plenty of unknowns - what are the key questions?

    Calling kaze, Bob Green, CDu, sage, trouble, superdave!
    I noticed this before the exhibitions...

    The end of an era, it would seem.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by David Bunkley View Post
    I noticed this before the exhibitions...

    The end of an era, it would seem.
    I just havent had the time to help organize this year and suspect some others are in the same boat.

    I would encourage some of you all to organize and tackle this.

  4. #4
    Phase One Keys:

    No injuries!

    Everything else is up for discussion

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Sad to have helped let this slide, but life intervenes. Here goes:

    Health: I am not a fan of this having to be first every time, but this team has only one PG. He has to stay healthy and play a ton of minutes. So here’s to good health!

    Rotation: Two games in, and we have seen 9 guys get double-digit minutes in each game. One was a blowout, which inherently leads to more guys playing. But the other was a back-and-forth battle. Could this year’s team actually go at least 8 deep regularly? It is starting to feel that way, as I suspect all four bigs play regularly and at least one wing will do so. It will be interesting to see in the next few games if that continues.

    Turnovers/pressure: Through two games, the defense has been frenetic and prolific in forcing turnovers. To be fair, that has come against a team extremely short on ballhandlers (Kansas) and a team extremely short on talent (CSU). So the jury is still out as to how well this will stick.

    Wing contributions: Two games in and we have seen Stanley and O’Connell play extremely well in both. That is good. Ironically, the guy who came in with the best resume has struggled. The bright side is that I can’t imagine Moore fails to figure it out. Heck, his second half against CSU was pretty strong, so maybe he is getting there. If he emerges and Stanley and O’Connell stay relevant, look out! They are a nice trio, each providing something different. O’Connell is the shooter, but he has contributed on both ends in each game thus far. Stanley has just been everywhere through two games, and is showing great court awareness to go with the smooth game and freak hops. Moore is the rugged, physical guy who can do the little things. I am excited to see how those three develop. Because that was expected to be the shaky part of the lineup.

    Shooting: So far... not so good here. And it is hard to see it getting a ton better. Of the top 9, only two can shoot. The only other potential shooter appears to be really lagging as a defender (and doesn’t really do anything but shoot). So I am not expecting us to develop into a good shooting team. But can we shoot it well enough for teams not to just pack it in? I am hoping that White, Stanley, and maybe Jones can get up over 30% from three and O’Connell and Hurt hit a good percentage. Hopefully that will be enough. But it is something to keep an eye on.

    Bigs: We have a clear four-man rotation up front. None is without a notable limitation. Carey is somewhat immobile and will struggle defensively away from the rim. DeLaurier has basically no touch away from the rim. White is a stretch 4 who stopped hitting his shot. Hurt is really slight and not super athletic. Conversely, each provides clear strengths. Carey is a potential beast of a post option. DeLaurier is long, athletic, energetic, and willing to do the dirty work. White is tough as nails, and very good positionally with good anticipation/awareness, and very versatile defensively. Hurt can flat out shoot and moves his feet well defensively. Because they each have limitations, and because each has some distinct strengths, I would expect all four to remain in the rotation. It will be fun to watch Coach K mix and match all season.

    Jones: Through two games, Tre has made it clear he is running the show. He is a defensive hound as usual, but has shown much more offensively. He is getting to the rim, and has hit the midrange at a high rate. And of course the assist rate and assist/turnover ratio look fabulous. But teams will adjust. Can he start making enough shots to keep teams honest? He has a real shot at some national honors. Having even a blah 3pt shot would really help him reach the goals he surely has.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Sad to have helped let this slide, but life intervenes. Here goes:

    Health: I am not a fan of this having to be first every time, but this team has only one PG. He has to stay healthy and play a ton of minutes. So here’s to good health!
    Cassius got injured during the MSU game, but otherwise health was not much of an issue
    Rotation: Two games in, and we have seen 9 guys get double-digit minutes in each game. One was a blowout, which inherently leads to more guys playing. But the other was a back-and-forth battle. Could this year’s team actually go at least 8 deep regularly? It is starting to feel that way, as I suspect all four bigs play regularly and at least one wing will do so. It will be interesting to see in the next few games if that continues.
    rotation is 10 guys as of now. Joey Baker battled out of obscurity to claim a big role in the MSU game. Seems like all 10 of the rotation guys are capable of bringing something to any particular game that will allow them to get their number called
    Turnovers/pressure: Through two games, the defense has been frenetic and prolific in forcing turnovers. To be fair, that has come against a team extremely short on ballhandlers (Kansas) and a team extremely short on talent (CSU). So the jury is still out as to how well this will stick.
    Turnovers took a dive towards the end of the Phase, but defensive pressure was very good, withe exception of the SFA and Winthrop games. Overall, defense has been a very bright spot for this team.
    Wing contributions: Two games in and we have seen Stanley and O’Connell play extremely well in both. That is good. Ironically, the guy who came in with the best resume has struggled. The bright side is that I can’t imagine Moore fails to figure it out. Heck, his second half against CSU was pretty strong, so maybe he is getting there. If he emerges and Stanley and O’Connell stay relevant, look out! They are a nice trio, each providing something different. O’Connell is the shooter, but he has contributed on both ends in each game thus far. Stanley has just been everywhere through two games, and is showing great court awareness to go with the smooth game and freak hops. Moore is the rugged, physical guy who can do the little things. I am excited to see how those three develop. Because that was expected to be the shaky part of the lineup.
    our wings have been a strong point for the team thus far. Moore fell off for a bit, but has excelled in some games. Stanley has been very good for the most part. J-Bake came on strong, Hurt has played well from the stretch-4/sorta 3 position, Jack White has been a solid contributor as a bruiser-3, with only AOC struggling in any appreciable amount, but even AOC has diversified his game so that he's still contributing even though his shot isn't falling very well.
    Shooting: So far... not so good here. And it is hard to see it getting a ton better. Of the top 9, only two can shoot. The only other potential shooter appears to be really lagging as a defender (and doesn’t really do anything but shoot). So I am not expecting us to develop into a good shooting team. But can we shoot it well enough for teams not to just pack it in? I am hoping that White, Stanley, and maybe Jones can get up over 30% from three and O’Connell and Hurt hit a good percentage. Hopefully that will be enough. But it is something to keep an eye on.
    3pt shooting took a big upswing toward the end of the Phase, and this team actually has multiple competent 3pt shooters now. J-Bake, Tre, Vernon, Hurt, Stanley, Moore and Jack are all shooting above 30%. J-Bake ended the Phase with an insane ~78% true shooting %. Hurt, J-Bake and Tre have all shown pretty nice mid-range shots as well.
    Bigs: We have a clear four-man rotation up front. None is without a notable limitation. Carey is somewhat immobile and will struggle defensively away from the rim. DeLaurier has basically no touch away from the rim. White is a stretch 4 who stopped hitting his shot. Hurt is really slight and not super athletic. Conversely, each provides clear strengths. Carey is a potential beast of a post option. DeLaurier is long, athletic, energetic, and willing to do the dirty work. White is tough as nails, and very good positionally with good anticipation/awareness, and very versatile defensively. Hurt can flat out shoot and moves his feet well defensively. Because they each have limitations, and because each has some distinct strengths, I would expect all four to remain in the rotation. It will be fun to watch Coach K mix and match all season.
    Vernon has only improved in his role as the primary "big" and nobody has really shown much aptitude for slowing him down. That's great for Duke. Javin started off really quite poorly in Phase 1, but by the end started playing like a Sr. Captain again, so that's a big bonus for the team. Jack has shown his habitual toughness and has regained some of his 3pt touch, let's hope that continues. Hurt doesn't play like a down-low big very well, but he b
    Jones: Through two games, Tre has made it clear he is running the show. He is a defensive hound as usual, but has shown much more offensively. He is getting to the rim, and has hit the midrange at a high rate. And of course the assist rate and assist/turnover ratio look fabulous. But teams will adjust. Can he start making enough shots to keep teams honest? He has a real shot at some national honors. Having even a blah 3pt shot would really help him reach the goals he surely has.
    Tre has been nothing short of essential. He started to turn the ball over a lot more towards the end of Phase 1, but in general has been a great floor general, leading the team defensively and on offense. His 3pt shot has improved, his 2pt game has expanded and he has shown he can take over a game if need be. He's had a couple of meh games, but overall he's been great.
    apparently my multi-quote response game needs improvement...

  7. #7

    I'm not a professional, but i did just drink a bunch of jungle liquor

    Seems to me that the main preoccupations have been (even prior to the 2 games, of which we have gotten some measure of info)

    3pt Shooting: who's gonna do it and how bad is it gonna be? We have 4 returning guys who can realistically shoot 3s: AOC, Joey Baker, Tre Jones, and Jack White. Last year, AOC was pretty decent at it, Baker burned his redshirt to hit 1 3, Tre Jones was pretty terrible, and Jack was quite good and then quite possibly the worst. Duke adds 1 guy with a reputation for being a good 3pt shooter (Hurt), and 1 guy with a reputation for being a good outside shooter for a big (Carey) and 2 guys who don't have reputations for being good at the 3ball. So the question is: Is Duke gonna shoot better from 3 than last year's abysmal 30%? Who on the team can be looked to for 3pt buckets? If we can't shoot the 3 will other parts of the offense be able to pick up the slack in ways that last year's dynamic wings couldn't? I'm not gonna cheat with what we've learned from 2 games.

    How well will the newbies blend with the oldies? Withe exception of Tre, none of our returning players have been more than role players. It doesn't seem that many are expecting for the veterans to really take some sort of big step forward and command more PT than they have already gotten, withe exception of Tre whose importance may have even grown this season, although it's hard to surpass the PT he got last year. The newbies double our depth in the post, and are more than likely to be exponentially more productive than Javin and Jack. However, in the 1-3 slots there seems to be less clarity as to what might happen. We have 4 oldies (Tre, AOC, J-Bake and J-Gold) and 2 newbies (Stanely & Moore). Tre is the PG, no questions. The need for defense and spacing on offense via 3pt shooting seems to be the unresolved issue here. Lots of experimenting for K to do.

    Defense or Offense? Which identity will this team hang its hat on? On the one hand we've got a veteran, tenacious defender (Tre) who can really set the tone and lead with defense. He also happens to be a brilliant PG, but can't shoot 3s. Our interior defense is suspect, as the 2 choices who can score are untested Fr. and the 2 veterans are very good defenders with serious offensive flaws. How will the mix-n-match process work here? I dunno. Our perimeter defense seems to have better prospects defensively, what with bulldog Jones leading the charge, and both Moore and Stanely having physical tools to be good defenders and who also acquitted themselves well in pre-season. AOC was mostly overwhelmed as a perimeter defender last year, but his potential on offense was at least intriguing. J-Bake hardly did nothin' at all. J-Gold on the other hand, was a defensive menace, and also a menace to Duke's own offense. With so many questions about how Duke will get its offense, it seems to me like a pretty good bet that K is gonna look to play those who are willing to commit to defense, at least early in the season.

    Inside or Outside? 2 of Duke's prized recruits theoretically fill 2 roles that our returning bigs don't: offensively-polished big and stretch-4 with offensive polish. Javin is a solid defender but offense isn't really his thing. Jack is also a solid, versatile defender, but offensive output is also not expected from him. Will Hurt & Carey be able to provide enough offensive punch in the paint to take pressure off of the perimeter? This was touched on before, but who's gonna make 3s, and if we can't, how else will the guards/wings provide offense? Tre Jones was occasionally a good finisher inside the arc last year, and Duke will need for him to improve there if his outside shot hasn't improved. AOC showed occasional glimpses of the ability to finish with some nice athleticism, like on put back dunks, but his handle was shaky, will he be able to fill out his game some more? J-Bake is a mystery. J-Gold, man, i'm really just hoping he picks up the occasional assist and doesn't actively score in the other team's basket (i keed, i keed, sorta). So will Cassisus and Wendell provide offensive punch from the backcourt? and if so, how? Both seem to be more of the slasher type which is fine, especially if they're good at it, but it'd be nice if the entirety of the backcourt can balance some slashing with some 3s.

    This is Tre's train to conduct Even though Tre is now joined by 3 other captains, the on-court demeanor and flow is gonna be coming from Tre. He's a tenacious defender and a great floor general, which are great attributes to start with. Has his outside shot improved? If not, will he display a mid-range game to somewhat compensate? If not, will he improve at finishing in the lane (at which he was pretty mediocre last year)? Has his command of the game improved? and if so, will he be able manipulate the strengths and mask the weaknesses of his team to create an offensively competent unit? I'm optimistic, based on what we saw last year, and the fact that Duke hasn't had a true, honest-to-gosh returning PG since, i dunno, the Clinton administration? Eisenhower?

    I'm sure there's more or that i just plain got stuff wrong. Jungle liquor from la selva Amazonica 'n all...

    ed.- looks like CDu beat me to it...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by DukieInBrasil View Post
    Defense or Offense? Which identity will this team hang its hat on? .
    Great D!

  9. #9
    For me, the biggest question for this early phase, in which we play a decent number of lesser teams, is whether Joey Baker can work his way into the rotation. If he can, who will he bump from the rotation (for surely we won't play ten guys 10+ minutes in close games)? If he can't, well that raises questions that we'll possibly dance around all season. Personally, I'm rooting for Joey to earn some regular minutes.

    My next most urgent question is if K shortens the rotation to 7, who will be left out? As CDu noted, we have at least 8 guys that seem to be deserving of a full spate of minutes, and both Jordan and (hopefully) Joey can also make a case for relevancy. With so many guys at a similar talent level, and literally nobody on the team that's strong at everything, it will be interesting to watch.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by DukieInBrasil View Post

    How well will the newbies blend with the oldies? Withe exception of Tre, none of our returning players have been more than role players. It doesn't seem that many are expecting for the veterans to really take some sort of big step forward and command more PT than they have already gotten, withe exception of Tre whose importance may have even grown this season, although it's hard to surpass the PT he got last year. The newbies double our depth in the post, and are more than likely to be exponentially more productive than Javin and Jack. However, in the 1-3 slots there seems to be less clarity as to what might happen. We have 4 oldies (Tre, AOC, J-Bake and J-Gold) and 2 newbies (Stanely & Moore). Tre is the PG, no questions. The need for defense and spacing on offense via 3pt shooting seems to be the unresolved issue here. Lots of experimenting for K to do.
    Last week I would have agreed wholeheartedly but this week I’m on the AOC train. Time will tell if he keeps it up but the early indicators say AOC will command more playing time.
    Bob Green
    DBR Survivor Football Champion
    2010 & 2016

  11. #11

    no research

    I literally did no research when i wrote my li'l thang. So, who wants to define the range of Phase 1? Kansas thru...
    And can a moderator include that in the thread title?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by DukieInBrasil View Post
    I literally did no research when i wrote my li'l thang. So, who wants to define the range of Phase 1? Kansas thru...
    And can a moderator include that in the thread title?
    Phase I ought to run through the Michigan State. After that the first conference game is up vs. VPI.

    Glad you all are getting this going.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Green View Post
    Last week I would have agreed wholeheartedly but this week I’m on the AOC train. Time will tell if he keeps it up but the early indicators say AOC will command more playing time.
    I am taking a wait and see approach with Alex. He has the physical tools, Good height, length and athleticism. He has also added some muscle so he can compete physically with wings. He is quck and has decent hops. Its not clear that he s confident in his handle. He is a better pure shooter than most on the team although he seems unready to catch and shoot which shows up as a hesitency. Last year he would often take a pass on the perimiter and immediately pass it off without posing any threat to the defender and then needed a big gap to get his shot off. With no RJ or Zion on the team to dominate the possession of the ball, will AOC use his obvious ability to be more of a lead threat offensively or will he be content to make a play here and there? I hope for the Duke team, he is ready to display more confidence in himself.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Saratoga2 View Post
    I am taking a wait and see approach with Alex. He has the physical tools, Good height, length and athleticism. He has also added some muscle so he can compete physically with wings. He is quck and has decent hops. Its not clear that he s confident in his handle. He is a better pure shooter than most on the team although he seems unready to catch and shoot which shows up as a hesitency. Last year he would often take a pass on the perimiter and immediately pass it off without posing any threat to the defender and then needed a big gap to get his shot off. With no RJ or Zion on the team to dominate the possession of the ball, will AOC use his obvious ability to be more of a lead threat offensively or will he be content to make a play here and there? I hope for the Duke team, he is ready to display more confidence in himself.
    To me, AOC is already walking the "too aggressive" / "aggressive enough" line. I'm very happy that it looks like he can provide us another starter who can shoot, but I think this team should eventually go through Tre, Matthew, and Vernon offensively with AOC playing a complementary role. Maybe he can change my mind, though, and I'm open to having it changed.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!
    Phase 1 is Kansas through Michigan St... so let it be written, so let it be done.

    May I suggest the following:

    Phase 2 - Va Tech through Brown - only 3 games but it encompass the exam break and a lot of time for the team to work on stuff)
    Phase 3 - BC through... well... BC - The first part of the ACC schedule with the Louisville game as likely the only game against a strong ACC opponent
    Phase 4 - UNC through Wake - The ACC schedule gets tougher with the Heels, ND, FSU, and NCSt
    Phase 5 - Virginia through UNC 2 - the home stretch
    Phase 6 - ACC tourney
    Phase 7 - NCAA tourney

    Or is that too many Phases?
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Thanks for the emergency phase 1 CDu/DukieInBrasil.

    I'll volunteer for Phase 3 if that's still available, and possibly a later one, whatever is left over.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    To me, AOC is already walking the "too aggressive" / "aggressive enough" line. I'm very happy that it looks like he can provide us another starter who can shoot, but I think this team should eventually go through Tre, Matthew, and Vernon offensively with AOC playing a complementary role. Maybe he can change my mind, though, and I'm open to having it changed.
    He has the size and athleticism, along with the shooting touch to emulate Ty Jerome. Maybe coach K out to think of running him off of screens to get him additional open 3's.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Saratoga2 View Post
    He has the size and athleticism, along with the shooting touch to emulate Ty Jerome. Maybe coach K out to think of running him off of screens to get him additional open 3's.
    Alex's game is nothing like Ty Jerome's. Completely different type of player.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Saratoga2 View Post
    He has the size and athleticism, along with the shooting touch to emulate Ty Jerome. Maybe coach K out to think of running him off of screens to get him additional open 3's.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    Alex's game is nothing like Ty Jerome's. Completely different type of player.
    Yeah, Ty Jerome was better than AOC at everything and was one of the best point guards in college. Not a good comparison.

    Coach K would absolutely run plays to screen for AOC off the ball if it were actually in AOC's skillset to shoot well coming off screens. Digging into the archives, see the pet play below that we ran repeatedly for Trent Jr two seasons ago to sprint to the top of the key wide open, for example. Keep in mind that sprinting away from the basket and shooting is a different skill than standstill, catch-and-shoot threes. If Coach K doesn't end up running plays for AOC, the most likely reason is because AOC's not good shooting off movement. Perhaps those plays are coming, though, once AOC is firmly established as the starter. But, in general, you've vastly overrated AOC for three years now.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington DC

    So Far....

    Duke is shooting 32.8% from 3 through one road game and two home games. If there's any improvement over that, I'll take it. Hurt and Alex are the two shooters. If one other guys shoots 35% or better, I'll take it.

    This quote has me way more excited about the season than two weeks ago - “I think we found our identity—hard-nosed, rough [and] tough,” Duke freshman Cassius Stanley said. “It might be ugly, but we’re going to get the dub. We’re going to be very, very, very aggressive.”

    Duke has forced 67 turnovers through three games. Nice. Opponents A:TO ratio is 26:67 which comes out to 0.388 to 1. Ouch.

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