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  1. #1

    My take-aways so far

    I shout out to Jason and the guys for the Podcasts. Great stuff!

    In listening to the interviews from the coaches and the players, to me, a few things are standing out that are different from the past few seasons.

    1- This team is going to be or will have the potential to be a very good defending team. We all know about JGold, and Moore. Nate and C-Well both have commented on Roach as a pressure defender. Nate said that Tapé is the teams best rebounder, Henry is the dog (Henry also had 10 rebounds in one of those scrimmage games) and then to hear C-Well mention DJ's ability as a wing defenders is promising. At other times, I think it was Nate who said Brakefield steps up as a defender and all the coaches have expressed how impactful Williams length is as a rim protector.

    2- This team can shoot the ball. In recent years Duke hasn't had that reputation but it seems as though this year the expectation is shoot is a strength.

    It will be good that the team will be effective at pressuring the ball and have rim protectors. Also the team needs to shoot well for this team there isn't that inside scoring threat so making shots and being good off the bounce will be needed. Not to mention ball movement which C-Well said the team will need to continue to work on.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    NC
    It is interesting, because your point #2 is actually one of the questions for this year's team coming in: that they might not be a great shooting team. Roach, Johnson, Tape, Williams, and Coleman were not known as shooters coming in, nor have Moore and Goldwire been proven shooters. Only Hurt and Baker were shooters among returning players, and Steward among the incoming players. And Baker's role is in question given the team's depth at the 3 and 4.

    That being said, it sounds as though Goldwire has made strides on the heels of a solid season last year, and Roach might be a better shooter than expected. Still, I'd say that shooting is more of an unknown at this point.

    One thing you didn't mention that I think will absolutely be true is that this team will have more shot creators than last year. Last year, it was basically Tre Jones creating everything or Vernon Carey scoring in the post. Nobody else was a consistently credible threat off the dribble. This year, Roach and Steward and Johnson are all very capable off the dribble. Second-year versions of Moore and Hurt should help there too, and it sounds as though Goldwire is growing more comfortable off the dribble as well.

    So while I think shooting is a question mark (but one with some potentially promising early returns), I think we're going to be a much better and more versatile ballhandling team this year.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    It is interesting, because your point #2 is actually one of the questions for this year's team coming in: that they might not be a great shooting team. Roach, Johnson, Tape, Williams, and Coleman were not known as shooters coming in, nor have Moore and Goldwire been proven shooters. Only Hurt and Baker were shooters among returning players, and Steward among the incoming players. And Baker's role is in question given the team's depth at the 3 and 4.

    That being said, it sounds as though Goldwire has made strides on the heels of a solid season last year, and Roach might be a better shooter than expected. Still, I'd say that shooting is more of an unknown at this point.

    One thing you didn't mention that I think will absolutely be true is that this team will have more shot creators than last year. Last year, it was basically Tre Jones creating everything or Vernon Carey scoring in the post. Nobody else was a consistently credible threat off the dribble. This year, Roach and Steward and Johnson are all very capable off the dribble. Second-year versions of Moore and Hurt should help there too, and it sounds as though Goldwire is growing more comfortable off the dribble as well.

    So while I think shooting is a question mark (but one with some potentially promising early returns), I think we're going to be a much better and more versatile ballhandling team this year.
    Yeah, shooting is a massive question mark. In the scrimmages, they (rightly so) don't play suffocating defense nor is there crowd pressure. Everyone is shooting long 2s and 3s in those scrimmages.

    And I agree on your ballhandling. Goldwire and Roach are PGs, Moore handled the ball a ton, and Johnson has the reputation for being a great ball handler (so did Cam Reddish, and reputations don't equal production). Out of the starting line-up, it's very possible only Hurt is the only non-ballhandler. Add in Steward, and this team has ballhandling in spades.

    I'm also not sold on the defense. Goldwire and Moore are proven, above-average defenders. Johnson has the tools, but the desire and playing out of position may be issues. Last year, Baker and Hurt were clear subpar defenders. The jury is out on the plethora of bench big men and Steward (although 163 lbs does worry me on D).

    To me, this team has ballhandling and depth. Everything else is TBD.
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    Yeah, shooting is a massive question mark. In the scrimmages, they (rightly so) don't play suffocating defense nor is there crowd pressure. Everyone is shooting long 2s and 3s in those scrimmages.

    And I agree on your ballhandling. Goldwire and Roach are PGs, Moore handled the ball a ton, and Johnson has the reputation for being a great ball handler (so did Cam Reddish, and reputations don't equal production). Out of the starting line-up, it's very possible only Hurt is the only non-ballhandler. Add in Steward, and this team has ballhandling in spades.

    I'm also not sold on the defense. Goldwire and Moore are proven, above-average defenders. Johnson has the tools, but the desire and playing out of position may be issues. Last year, Baker and Hurt were clear subpar defenders. The jury is out on the plethora of bench big men and Steward (although 163 lbs does worry me on D).

    To me, this team has ballhandling and depth. Everything else is TBD.
    I agree, but would add that Hurt would be an excellent ballhandler if he's playing a decent amount of center, and fine as a ballhandler as a PF. I wouldn't want him as a primary ballhandler of course, but when he's clearly the 4th or 5th best ballhandler on the court you're probably doing pretty well in that regard. Especially when paired with Johnson, who is an exceptional ballhandler for a big forward.

    I would also add versatility as an attachment to depth. This team can play a variety of different styles due to their depth and due to the versatilty of said depth. They could go super small with Roach/Steward/Goldwire/Moore and any of a variety of bigs. they could go bigger with a PG and Moore/Baker on the wings with two of their numerous bigs/forwards. They could go zone with plenty of length, or potentially be a strong man-to-man team (if the team defense is strong). They can go with a shooting lineup or a ballhandling/slashing heavy lineup.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    Yeah, shooting is a massive question mark. In the scrimmages, they (rightly so) don't play suffocating defense nor is there crowd pressure. Everyone is shooting long 2s and 3s in those scrimmages.

    And I agree on your ballhandling. Goldwire and Roach are PGs, Moore handled the ball a ton, and Johnson has the reputation for being a great ball handler (so did Cam Reddish, and reputations don't equal production). Out of the starting line-up, it's very possible only Hurt is the only non-ballhandler. Add in Steward, and this team has ballhandling in spades.

    I'm also not sold on the defense. Goldwire and Moore are proven, above-average defenders. Johnson has the tools, but the desire and playing out of position may be issues. Last year, Baker and Hurt were clear subpar defenders. The jury is out on the plethora of bench big men and Steward (although 163 lbs does worry me on D).

    To me, this team has ballhandling and depth. Everything else is TBD.
    I'd submit passing as another known strength of this team. Agreed that everything else, we need to see it!

  6. #6
    Yeah, the coaches' comments on improved shooting (particularly JGold, Wendell, and Roach) and also the decision to play Hurt and Johnson as the starting bigs have me much more excited about this team than in the spring. Remember, in the spring, the median lineup projection on DBR for this team was probably Johnson at SF, Hurt at PF, and one of Williams or Tape at C. To instead, go with the "two forwards" look up front is a massively important decision by Coach K and the staff, and I think it's going to work out great. I really do believe Jalen's talents are maximized as a big rather than at SF. If the improved shooting is real, I believe we'll have a top-5 team (kenpom's projection, btw) and one that is versatile enough to both (1) counteract the adjustments that ACC coaches make against us, where we've faltered in the past, making us a real contender for the ACC regular season title, and (2) match up well against different styles and strengths of almost all potential opponents, making us a real contender to win it all.

    As I've said before, hopefully I'm not just drinking the offseason kool-aid.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    Yeah, the coaches' comments on improved shooting (particularly JGold, Wendell, and Roach) and also the decision to play Hurt and Johnson as the starting bigs have me much more excited about this team than in the spring. Remember, in the spring, the median lineup projection on DBR for this team was probably Johnson at SF, Hurt at PF, and one of Williams or Tape at C. To instead, go with the "two forwards" look up front is a massively important decision by Coach K and the staff, and I think it's going to work out great. I really do believe Jalen's talents are maximized as a big rather than at SF. If the improved shooting is real, I believe we'll have a top-5 team (kenpom's projection, btw) and one that is versatile enough to both (1) counteract the adjustments that ACC coaches make against us, where we've faltered in the past, making us a real contender for the ACC regular season title, and (2) match up well against different styles and strengths of almost all potential opponents, making us a real contender to win it all.

    As I've said before, hopefully I'm not just drinking the offseason kool-aid.
    I love your optimism for the upcoming season. I looked at Kenpom and if I'm reading his rankings correctly, he has Duke at #3 in the nation. Our offense rated #4 and our defense at #6. Baylor comes in at #1 followed by Gonzaga #2. T-Rank has Duke at #8 with our offense rated #24 and our defense at #3. Like I said, I hope I'm reading the rankings correctly. I will be very happy if our defense is in the top 10-12 teams this season because our offense should be fine. We have two very capable PGs in Roach and Goldwire. Steward in my opinion will be a good SG. I agree with you that our team looks to be better with Hurt and Johnson as the starting bigs. I'm also expecting Wendell to step up his play this season. He's a very good defender and if he can improve his outside shot, that makes the Blue Devils hard to defend. He needs to improve his decision making with the ball to be a complete player. In the end, the team's success will depend on how they defend. It looks like Kenpom and T-Rank think they will be better than ok on defense. However that's just a guess by them at this point but I like the way they think.

    GoDuke!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Vermont
    Can our defenders shoot, and can our shooters defend? Unclear to me...

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jv001 View Post
    T-Rank has Duke at #8 with our offense rated #24 and our defense at #3.
    Yeah, that's not gonna happen. We're going to be way better offensively than #24 and I doubt our defense will be as good as #3.

    I respect rankings that are "outside the box" but ultimately I think KenPom is going to clown Torvik this season with their respective preseason projections. LOL, Torvik has Texas as the best team in the nation. I'll willingly eat crow if Torvik turns out to be right about Duke or Texas, but nah, Kenpom is gonna clown him.

    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    Can our defenders shoot,
    My stab at this:
    Wendell - YES
    JGold - YES
    Roach - YES
    Coleman - no
    Williams - no


    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    can our shooters defend?
    Steward - YES
    Hurt - YES
    Joey - no

    If asked in the spring, I would've had a lot more "no"s.

    Please don't be koolaid, please don't be koolaid.

  10. #10
    This team should be a great passing team and I really want to see that. I swear it seems like our offense gets more stagnant every year over the course of the year/season.

    I want to see ball movement, ball movement and MORE ball movement.

  11. #11
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    Oct 2009
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    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    Yeah, that's not gonna happen. We're going to be way better offensively than #24 and I doubt our defense will be as good as #3.

    I respect rankings that are "outside the box" but ultimately I think KenPom is going to clown Torvik this season with their respective preseason projections. LOL, Torvik has Texas as the best team in the nation. I'll willingly eat crow if Torvik turns out to be right about Duke or Texas, but nah, Kenpom is gonna clown him.



    My stab at this:
    Wendell - YES
    JGold - YES
    Roach - YES
    Coleman - no
    Williams - no




    Steward - YES
    Hurt - YES
    Joey - no

    If asked in the spring, I would've had a lot more "no"s.

    Please don't be koolaid, please don't be koolaid.
    i mean kps preseason ratings are 100% algorithmic... so there will be times of outliers

  12. #12
    3 point shooting was disappointing last year. Hopefully it improves. Greatly.

  13. #13
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    Nov 2007
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    Vermont
    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    Yeah, that's not gonna happen. We're going to be way better offensively than #24 and I doubt our defense will be as good as #3.

    I respect rankings that are "outside the box" but ultimately I think KenPom is going to clown Torvik this season with their respective preseason projections. LOL, Torvik has Texas as the best team in the nation. I'll willingly eat crow if Torvik turns out to be right about Duke or Texas, but nah, Kenpom is gonna clown him.



    My stab at this:
    Wendell - YES
    JGold - YES
    Roach - YES
    Coleman - no
    Williams - no




    Steward - YES
    Hurt - YES
    Joey - no

    If asked in the spring, I would've had a lot more "no"s.

    Please don't be koolaid, please don't be koolaid.
    good stab, but without further evidence I'd be inclined to put Hurt in the "no" category, though much depends upon whom he's asked to defend..

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    Yeah, that's not gonna happen. We're going to be way better offensively than #24 and I doubt our defense will be as good as #3.

    I respect rankings that are "outside the box" but ultimately I think KenPom is going to clown Torvik this season with their respective preseason projections. LOL, Torvik has Texas as the best team in the nation. I'll willingly eat crow if Torvik turns out to be right about Duke or Texas, but nah, Kenpom is gonna clown him.



    My stab at this:
    Wendell - YES
    JGold - YES
    Roach - YES
    Coleman - no
    Williams - no




    Steward - YES
    Hurt - YES
    Joey - no

    If asked in the spring, I would've had a lot more "no"s.

    Please don't be koolaid, please don't be koolaid.
    The Horvath platitudes?

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    i mean kps preseason ratings are 100% algorithmic... so there will be times of outliers
    Yeah, that's what I'm saying. Pomeroy's season projection algorithm seems much better than Torvik's, at least for this season. But I guess we'll see if Torvik gets the last laugh.

    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    good stab, but without further evidence I'd be inclined to put Hurt in the "no" category, though much depends upon whom he's asked to defend..
    That's fair. I scouted Matthew as being a very good defender pre-college and was shocked by how bad he was as a freshman. I think the added strength will help, as will guarding center.

    Quote Originally Posted by arnie View Post
    The Horvath platitudes?
    If memory serves, that came more from fans back when summer pickup games took place and could be viewed. Here, it's the coaches praising the improved shooting, etc, so hopefully their commentary will be more reliable. (But very possibly not).

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    Yeah, that's not gonna happen. We're going to be way better offensively than #24 and I doubt our defense will be as good as #3.

    I respect rankings that are "outside the box" but ultimately I think KenPom is going to clown Torvik this season with their respective preseason projections. LOL, Torvik has Texas as the best team in the nation. I'll willingly eat crow if Torvik turns out to be right about Duke or Texas, but nah, Kenpom is gonna clown him.

    I don't pay much attention to T-Rank but I saw a previous post mentioning them and that's why I put their rankings in my post.

    GoDuke!
    Last edited by -jk; 11-22-2020 at 07:54 AM. Reason: Fix quote tag

  17. #17
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    Feb 2007
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    Richmond, VA
    I did not want to start another thread...so here is a comment about the way Cameron will look during the games...

    https://www.dukebasketballreport.com...ial-distancing

    There are no pictures of people in the upper stands...surely we can do something about that!!!!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Washington, DC area
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkD83 View Post
    I did not want to start another thread...so here is a comment about the way Cameron will look during the games...

    https://www.dukebasketballreport.com...ial-distancing

    There are no pictures of people in the upper stands...surely we can do something about that!!!!
    It looks like they've taken the first two rows out upstairs - press row relocated?

    -jk

  19. #19
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    Oct 2009
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    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by -jk View Post
    It looks like they've taken the first two rows out upstairs - press row relocated?

    -jk
    almost surely. I wonder where they stuff them now that they replaced the offices downstairs with the family-hospitality center.
    basketball is back, baby!

  20. #20

    Not algorithmic: Coach K’s usage optimization

    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    i mean kps preseason ratings are 100% algorithmic... so there will be times of outliers
    One of the perennial questions is how much and how effectively will Coach K use his bench. [I doubt that any medieval scholastic theological issue has been more debated. One of the most debated was: How many angels can stand on the head of a pin? Intriguing that this question bears a strange resemblance to the Coach K bench question — just change the size of a pin to 200 minutes playing time...and hang with the thought for a moment that our players are angels.]

    While I believe that those of us who believe that Coach K tends to underutilize his bench have a case, I think that this year this issue will be especially pertinent. We have no superstars, and a fair number of players whose separation on initial depth charts is minimal. In fact, the individual variability of actual performance is likely to be greater, much of the time, than overall assessments of ability. Plus, we will be well served [IMNSHO] by playing an up-tempo game on both O and D, which requires fresh legs. Plus, it seems that this year’s team will feature a number of optimal lineup combos, versus just one or two. Without knowing for sure how our freshman will adjust to D1 basketball, this year’s roster has nine really good basketball players. I hope that all nine of them will have the opportunity to play decent minutes on the court, until and unless they show that they don’t deserve to be there.

    Can’t wait for Wednesday! Go Duke!
    “I 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 you’re up by or how much you’re down by, always playing hard.” -- Zion

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