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  1. #621
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    One of the hallmarks of Coach K, and one of several reasons I admire him so much, is that he is willing and motivated to tailor the team to the personnel. It's not always a perfect fit (2006-07 comes to mind). But he often can make it fit beautifully (2010, 2013, 2015, etc. come to mind). For a man that is old school in many ways, he has never been intent to fit players into regimented roles, a la Dean Smith and Roy Williams. His system is not in fact a system but one of principles and process.

    There is no "5" at Duke. There is no 1, 2, 3, or 4, either. There are players. And those players are going to be allowed to do what they can.

    If and when Jeremy Roach and Jordan Goldwire are both on the floor - and I expect to see that a lot - who is the 1 and who is the 2? Will it matter? I suppose Roach will be, but Goldwire will take lead ball handling from time to time. It's fluid. Sub in DJ Steward or Wendell Moore, Jr. and you can ask similar questions.

    When Moore, Johnson, and Baker are on the court together, who will be the 3? What happens when they switch? Is Baker still playing the 3? Does it matter?

    I am not sure that Matthew Hurt can effectively guard some of the biggest and burliest centers in college basketball. But I bet he can hold his own against a lot of the biggest players that are in college. Let's keep in mind that Patrick Tape, all 6'10" and 220 lbs of him, was the biggest dude at Columbia, a not bad Ivy League team. Tariq Owens, all 6'10" and 205 lbs, was the center for the reigning national runner-ups at Texas Tech. Most nights, I bet Hurt and Jalen Johnson or some other Duke player will be able to match up defensively just fine. And on offense, they will have a lot to offer when those players try to guard Duke when the Blue Devils go "small." And if they struggle, Williams and Tape and maybe Jaeymn Brakefield or Henry Coleman will be there.

    I like this roster and love it's flexibility. Now the question is if Coach K can make it fit.
    Minor quibble despite general agreement. There are positions. Coach K doesn't want players to think of themselves only in positions. But there are positions. Coach K regularly talks about PGs. The number of times he has quoted that is innumerable. He talks about bigs. Everything in between is variable.

    Ultimately, as long as the group on the floor can guard the opponents' 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, that's what matters. Ideally, we can put lineups on the floor that accomplish that. Obviously, offenses are getting more sophisticated such that it's easier to force switches. But that takes time and cohesiveness, so for the most part it still matters that you have someone capable of defending at each spot. That's why, with the exception of PG (which has a pretty specific role on offense), the positions need to be thought of more defensively not offensively. Coach K isn't going to put five Brian Zoubeks on the court, nor is he going to put a PG next to four Zoubeks. Somebody has to guard the opponent's guards/wings.

    Generally, despite Coach K's "we don't have positions" coachspeak, we have held reasonably true to positions. When we've varied from that, it has typically been going smaller (a PF at C, or a wing at PF, or two PGs, etc). That's because smaller guys are usually more capable of "playing up" than bigger guys are at "playing down," and because smaller guys are easier to find in general. That's what we saw with Moore and Stanley this year: Moore played a fair amount of PF; Stanley played a fair amount of SF. In 2010, we had the opposite problem, so even Ryan Kelly got a few minutes at SF (despite being a PF/C) because we only had one backup for the three perimeter spots.

    Next year's team shouldn't have a need to "play up" if Hurt returns; we'll have a ton of bodies at the 4 and 5 spots. Even if Hurt doesn't return, interior depth shouldn't be a concern. We'll have at least two deep at every position. The concern then (if Hurt doesn't return) would be quality, not availability.

  2. #622
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Washington, D.C.
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Generally when we talk about positions, with the exception of PG, we are talking about defensively. Our offense varies year to year, and the roles on offense are a bit more flexible to be contingent on the skills of the players playing them. It's the defensive end where there is less flexibility, because we have to be able to defend the opposing team's [insert name of position]. So, for example, while Hurt and Baker could in theory play SG offensively, they would struggle drastically on the defensive end.

    So, "Hurt at the 5" would mean "Hurt plays defensively against the other team's 5, and offensively plays a more perimeter-oriented role."
    I'm good with this, but I wish we would also focus on who plays point guard defensively. Luckily, next year's team seems to have three players who might be able to pressure the other team's point.

  3. #623
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Vermont
    Quote Originally Posted by MChambers View Post
    I'm good with this, but I wish we would also focus on who plays point guard defensively. Luckily, next year's team seems to have three players who might be able to pressure the other team's point.
    And how well does our PG defend the post...seems like many occasions this year (more than usual) we switched ourselves into some bad defensive mismatches. Then again, I just saw the 2015 Wisconsin game, and we did the same thing quite often.

  4. #624
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by MChambers View Post
    I'm good with this, but I wish we would also focus on who plays point guard defensively. Luckily, next year's team seems to have three players who might be able to pressure the other team's point.
    Sorry if I was unclear. I wasn't saying we don't think about who plays PG defensively too. All of the positions are defined defensively. I was saying that PG is the only position in which we ALSO look at it offensively. All the other positions are defined pretty much defensively only. PG is defined both offensively and defensively.

  5. #625
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!
    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    It's just that I believe we should play 60/40 or maybe 70/30 in favor of the Hurt at center lineup.
    I am inclined to agree that we are likely to see Hurt as the biggest player on the floor a lot of the time next season.

    Look, K is going to start and mostly play his best players, we can all agree on that. Hurt, Moore, and Johnson are the three guys I feel most comfortable saying are for sure among our 5 best players. Can we also agree on that? So, if we know those three will be in the lineup, how likely is is that K will have someone bigger than Hurt (Tape or Williams) also on the floor? To do so would mean Johnson as the SF and Moore as the SG and then someone -- Roach, Steward, or Goldwire -- as the primary ballhandler.

    I just don't see K rolling like that.

    Duke is going to mostly play a fast-paced, smaller lineup next season to take advantage of our depth. Hurt will create massive mismatches on the offensive end of the floor against bigger centers and we will need guys like Johnson and Moore to really help out with rebounding. Luckily, both of those guys are pretty good rebounders for their size.

    -Jason "I suspect that Tape and Williams won't combine for more than 20 minutes per game next year... and a lot less than that in really competitive games" Evans
    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.

  6. #626
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Seattle
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    I am inclined to agree that we are likely to see Hurt as the biggest player on the floor a lot of the time next season.
    Jalen Johnson is 6'9 220, with a 6'11.5 wingspan.

  7. #627
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Vermont
    Not disagreeing with you guys, but which floor will Hurt be playing on next year? We still don't know for sure, do we?

  8. #628
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    Not disagreeing with you guys, but which floor will Hurt be playing on next year? We still don't know for sure, do we?
    No one knows for sure, but my reading of the tea leaves is that we should assume that he is going to be a sophomore at Duke. Things change, but I'm thinking it's like 85-95% certain.

  9. #629
    Quote Originally Posted by jv001 View Post
    Jordan= improve handle and finish his shot.
    FWIW, while he did have a few egregious misses, overall Jordan's FG% at the rim in 2020 was 65.2%, which is really good (better than Tre, Vernon, Cassius, Wendell, Joey, Jack, and Javin, for example).

    Quote Originally Posted by scottdude8 View Post
    Playing Matthew at the 5 would give us a lineup that looked like what we had in 2007 and some portions of 2008 with Singler at the 5. Those lineups posed matchup problems on offense but had lots of defensive/rebounding issues.
    FWIW, according to Pomeroy, our defense ranked #6 in the country in 2007 and #7 in 2008. Personally, I'll take that sort of defensive "issue" next season, in a heartbeat.

    Quote Originally Posted by MChambers View Post
    Defensively, he might or might not match up with the other team's best low post player. I think it's more likely that Johnson and Tape get the bulk of those assignments.
    If we're talking about defense, I strongly suspect Mark Williams will be a lot better defender than Patrick Tape next season. Patrick's main contributions will probably be on offense.

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    Let's keep in mind that Patrick Tape, all 6'10" and 220 lbs of him, was the biggest dude at Columbia, a not bad Ivy League team.
    Sorry, I feel obligated to call you out on this one. Columbia in 2019 (the last season Patrick Tape played with them) had a 10-18 record, 5-9 in the Ivy. Pomeroy ranked them the #215 team in the country. They were bad.

  10. #630
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    No one knows for sure, but my reading of the tea leaves is that we should assume that he is going to be a sophomore at Duke. Things change, but I'm thinking it's like 85-95% certain.
    Brendan Marks for the athletic said he expected Hurt back.

    Also, regarding the PG situation, I think Jalen Johnson is going to be initiating A LOT of the offense. That dude is incredible. Which leads me to believe also that Goldwire will be starting the year as the starting "point guard."
    Whatever the hell "it" is, Jabari found it.

    -Roy "Ole Huck" Williams

  11. #631
    Quote Originally Posted by Dukehky View Post
    Brendan Marks for the athletic said he expected Hurt back.

    Also, regarding the PG situation, I think Jalen Johnson is going to be initiating A LOT of the offense. That dude is incredible. Which leads me to believe also that Goldwire will be starting the year as the starting "point guard."
    Gotta say I think Brendan Marks, his Q&A today had lots of good tidbits I saw nowhere else, is very good and if you're commenting on a message board about a season that is 6 months away you're the type of hardcore sports fan that would enjoy The Athletic.

  12. #632
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Vermont
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    No one knows for sure, but my reading of the tea leaves is that we should assume that he is going to be a sophomore at Duke. Things change, but I'm thinking it's like 85-95% certain.
    I read it that way, too, David, but there have been some twists and turns in that road as I'm sure you know..hopefully he comes back and prospers.
    My only point is I've got him in the lineup in pencil, not ink at this point.

  13. #633
    One more thing about the lineup where Jalen and Matthew are the 4 and 5 in some order.

    I do not concede at all that this will be a weaker defensive lineup than one that plays a traditional center. You have to look at Coach K and his strengths and weaknesses as a coach. I see no reason to believe, for example, that by February, a freshman center who's ranked #29 won't be repeatedly beaten by opposing guards to the basket out of pick-n-roll. It just seems to happen every season. Last season, Coach K loaded up our lineups with defensive players, and still, by February when opposing teams had their PnR game in mid-season or late-season form, it was a layup line for them. Let's say X represents the distance from the basket that our center needs to be at in order to protect the rim properly in PnR. Coach K will always play him at X + 2'. That's just going to happen.

    So, to me, it's false choice if anyone's going to argue that playing Matthew at the 5 vs putting a center there is a choice between offense and defense. No, you're not going to get the defense from the center, anyway. The choice is really: do you want a great offense or not?

  14. #634
    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    One more thing about the lineup where Jalen and Matthew are the 4 and 5 in some order.

    I do not concede at all that this will be a weaker defensive lineup than one that plays a traditional center. You have to look at Coach K and his strengths and weaknesses as a coach. I see no reason to believe, for example, that by February, a freshman center who's ranked #29 won't be repeatedly beaten by opposing guards to the basket out of pick-n-roll. It just seems to happen every season. Last season, Coach K loaded up our lineups with defensive players, and still, by February when opposing teams had their PnR game in mid-season or late-season form, it was a layup line for them. Let's say X represents the distance from the basket that our center needs to be at in order to protect the rim properly in PnR. Coach K will always play him at X + 2'. That's just going to happen.

    So, to me, it's false choice if anyone's going to argue that playing Matthew at the 5 vs putting a center there is a choice between offense and defense. No, you're not going to get the defense from the center, anyway. The choice is really: do you want a great offense or not?
    Expanding on this a bit. If we play Jalen and Matthew at the 4 and 5, we end up playing better defense than when a center is in. Why? Because we're going to limit opponent transition opportunities. If we can put shooters on the court, then not only will 3-pt shots go in more often, but finishes at the basket will be easier for Jalen, Wendell, etc since the lane isn't as crowded, and live-ball turnovers are reduced because they're not driving into a crowd and getting stripped. Opponents will be taking the ball out of the basket and inbounding against a set defense more often (I think we can be a top-3 offense) instead of killing us in transition. That is how we (counter-intuitively) become a better defensive team by playing Jalen and Matt at the 4 and 5 in some order.

  15. #635
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Deeetroit City
    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    Expanding on this a bit. If we play Jalen and Matthew at the 4 and 5, we end up playing better defense than when a center is in. Why? Because we're going to limit opponent transition opportunities. If we can put shooters on the court, then not only will 3-pt shots go in more often, but finishes at the basket will be easier for Jalen, Wendell, etc since the lane isn't as crowded, and live-ball turnovers are reduced because they're not driving into a crowd and getting stripped. Opponents will be taking the ball out of the basket and inbounding against a set defense more often (I think we can be a top-3 offense) instead of killing us in transition. That is how we (counter-intuitively) become a better defensive team by playing Jalen and Matt at the 4 and 5 in some order.
    This theory would suggest we will play the best defense with Tape playing as he will have the highest FG%.

    I agree on the general principle, in that a faster line-up will also get back on D faster, limiting transition opportunities for opponents. We may have to front opposing bigs, but our back court should be able to pressure the ball enough to make entry passes to the post difficult.

  16. #636
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    I am inclined to agree that we are likely to see Hurt as the biggest player on the floor a lot of the time next season.

    Look, K is going to start and mostly play his best players, we can all agree on that. Hurt, Moore, and Johnson are the three guys I feel most comfortable saying are for sure among our 5 best players. Can we also agree on that? So, if we know those three will be in the lineup, how likely is is that K will have someone bigger than Hurt (Tape or Williams) also on the floor? To do so would mean Johnson as the SF and Moore as the SG and then someone -- Roach, Steward, or Goldwire -- as the primary ballhandler.

    I just don't see K rolling like that.

    Duke is going to mostly play a fast-paced, smaller lineup next season to take advantage of our depth. Hurt will create massive mismatches on the offensive end of the floor against bigger centers and we will need guys like Johnson and Moore to really help out with rebounding. Luckily, both of those guys are pretty good rebounders for their size.

    -Jason "I suspect that Tape and Williams won't combine for more than 20 minutes per game next year... and a lot less than that in really competitive games" Evans
    I don't see Moore as a SG, unless he makes a substantial improvement over the summer. His defense is high quality but his awareness when driving is weak and his outside shot needs work. Since I do not know how much game the incoming freshmen have, I expect coach K to use a lot of combinations early on as he develops his most effective groupings. Stewart may be the best SG candidate.

  17. #637
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Saratoga2 View Post
    I don't see Moore as a SG, unless he makes a substantial improvement over the summer. His defense is high quality but his awareness when driving is weak and his outside shot needs work. Since I do not know how much game the incoming freshmen have, I expect coach K to use a lot of combinations early on as he develops his most effective groupings. Stewart may be the best SG candidate.
    I don't see Hurt coming off the bench. I don't see Johnson coming off the bench. I don't see Moore coming off the bench. So, one of those guys is a center or one of those guys is a shooting guard or one of those guys doesn't start.

    And a polite reminder. It's Steward.

  18. #638
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    I don't see Hurt coming off the bench. I don't see Johnson coming off the bench. I don't see Moore coming off the bench. So, one of those guys is a center or one of those guys is a shooting guard or one of those guys doesn't start.

    And a polite reminder. It's Steward.
    As in "wine steward?"
    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

  19. #639
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    Last season, Coach K loaded up our lineups with defensive players, and still, by February when opposing teams had their PnR game in mid-season or late-season form, it was a layup line for them. Let's say X represents the distance from the basket that our center needs to be at in order to protect the rim properly in PnR. Coach K will always play him at X + 2'. That's just going to happen.
    I concur with this. And for years I have been trying to understand why Coach K does this (X + 2í) with his center. Surely, there is a reason. I just donít know what it is.

  20. #640

    Drives me nuts

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven43 View Post
    I concur with this. And for years I have been trying to understand why Coach K does this (X + 2í) with his center. Surely, there is a reason. I just donít know what it is.
    That's it. Drives me nuts. Other more knowledgeable posters, please enlighten. Thank you.
    ďI love it. Coach, when we came here, we had a three-hour meeting about the core values. If you really represent the core values, it means diving on the floor, sacrificing your body for your teammates, no matter how much youíre up by or how much youíre down by, always playing hard.Ē -- Zion

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