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  1. #1
    scottdude8's Avatar
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    It's finally time... 2021-22 Minutes Thread!

    I guess I'll be the one to bear the burden of starting this thread (please don't negative spork me too bad, hahaha), since our roster is now in all likelihood set after PBJ's decision to go to Milwaukee. So I'll ask the question here that almost every other thread seems to devolve into during the off-season... how do we see the minutes distribution next year?

    I'll give my own best guess, that will more than likely be horribly wrong, first. I'll do so not using the 1-5 positions as traditionally defined, but the more modern definition of ballhandler, wing, and big. I'm also thinking about this as averages over the whole year... i.e., I don't think Wendell will play 5 mpg at the backup point guard, but there'll be games where he plays very little there and games where he plays there for longer stretches that'll average to 5 mpg.

    Starters:
    Ballhandler: Jeremy Roach (33 minutes)
    Wings: Wendell Moore (28 minutes), AJ Griffin (25 minutes)
    Bigs: Paolo Banchero (32 minutes), Mark Williams (33 minutes)

    Bench/Perturbations
    Ballhandler: Wendell (5 minutes), Jaylen Blakes (2 minutes)
    Wings: Trevor Keels (20 minutes), Joey Baker (7 minutes)
    Bigs: AJ Griffin (5 minutes), Theo John (10 minutes), Bates Jones (emergency)

    What's exciting about this team is its versatility... there could be times where we play Mark and Theo alongside each other as "bigs" and Paolo plays on the wing for a bit, for instance. Hard to account for all those perturbations in a straightforward prediction like this.

    So, there it is. I've taken the bullet and started the conversation that will likely consume the board until football season starts. Tell me why I'm horribly, horribly wrong
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  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by scottdude8 View Post
    I guess I'll be the one to bear the burden of starting this thread (please don't negative spork me too bad, hahaha), since our roster is now in all likelihood set after PBJ's decision to go to Milwaukee. So I'll ask the question here that almost every other thread seems to devolve into during the off-season... how do we see the minutes distribution next year?

    I'll give my own best guess, that will more than likely be horribly wrong, first. I'll do so not using the 1-5 positions as traditionally defined, but the more modern definition of ballhandler, wing, and big. I'm also thinking about this as averages over the whole year... i.e., I don't think Wendell will play 5 mpg at the backup point guard, but there'll be games where he plays very little there and games where he plays there for longer stretches that'll average to 5 mpg.

    Starters:
    Ballhandler: Jeremy Roach (33 minutes)
    Wings: Wendell Moore (28 minutes), AJ Griffin (25 minutes)
    Bigs: Paolo Banchero (32 minutes), Mark Williams (33 minutes)

    Bench/Perturbations
    Ballhandler: Wendell (5 minutes), Jaylen Blakes (2 minutes)
    Wings: Trevor Keels (20 minutes), Joey Baker (7 minutes)
    Bigs: AJ Griffin (5 minutes), Theo John (10 minutes), Bates Jones (emergency)

    What's exciting about this team is its versatility... there could be times where we play Mark and Theo alongside each other as "bigs" and Paolo plays on the wing for a bit, for instance. Hard to account for all those perturbations in a straightforward prediction like this.

    So, there it is. I've taken the bullet and started the conversation that will likely consume the board until football season starts. Tell me why I'm horribly, horribly wrong
    You have 5 players with 30 or more minutes. I hope not😡

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by scottdude8 View Post
    there could be times where we play Mark and Theo alongside each other as "bigs" and Paolo plays on the wing for a bit, for instance.
    Honestly, I don't think there could.

  4. #4
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    My guess is fairly similar to Scott's, but with a bit of variation:

    Roach: 32 mpg
    Banchero: 32 mpg
    Moore: 30 mpg
    Williams: 29 mpg
    Griffin: 28 mpg
    Keels: 22 mpg
    Baker: 12 mpg
    John: 11 mpg
    Blakes: 4 mpg
    Other: <1 mpg

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    Honestly, I don't think there could.
    Yeah, if we see a lineup with all 3 of Williams, John, and Banchero on the floor together, I'll be absolutely shocked. That seems like a horrific defensive alignment.

    I tend to think we will see one of Williams or John on the floor nearly at all times, but unlikely to see much (if any) of them side by side. I guess it is possible, but it feels more likely that we'd see Banchero slide up to C than we'd see Williams and John together.

    I DO think this team has a ton of versatility, but I don't think going with three PF/Cs together is part of that. The versatility will come from guys like Moore and Griffin being capable defensively at 3-4 spots, and being able to go with big wings (and even a big PG) or potentially smaller with Griffin or even Moore at PF.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by arnie View Post
    You have 5 players with 30 or more minutes. I hope not😡
    True... but it's not that outlandish. The 2018 squad had all four star freshmen playing more than 29.7 minutes per game. As many have said, this squad has a clear Top 6 (the starters plus Keels), with our seventh and eighth men (Baker and John) likely going to be playing complimentary minutes. While you're probably right that averaged over the whole season we probably won't have 5 guys playing more than 30 mpg, I wouldn't be shocked if that's what happens down the stretch in February/March/(hopefully) April. K is going to do everything he can to keep our uber-talented guys on the floor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    Honestly, I don't think there could.
    I agree that such a lineup wouldn't be optimal. But I could imagine it being used in very specific spots, for instance if FSU wants to trot out a very big lineup and we get in foul trouble, or if we want to experiment with an ultra long 2-3 zone. If it happens, it probably won't happen much, but I wouldn't rule out anything with the diverse pieces we have on this roster.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottdude8 View Post
    I guess I'll be the one to bear the burden of starting this thread (please don't negative spork me too bad, hahaha), since our roster is now in all likelihood set after PBJ's decision to go to Milwaukee. So I'll ask the question here that almost every other thread seems to devolve into during the off-season... how do we see the minutes distribution next year?

    I'll give my own best guess, that will more than likely be horribly wrong, first. I'll do so not using the 1-5 positions as traditionally defined, but the more modern definition of ballhandler, wing, and big. I'm also thinking about this as averages over the whole year... i.e., I don't think Wendell will play 5 mpg at the backup point guard, but there'll be games where he plays very little there and games where he plays there for longer stretches that'll average to 5 mpg.

    Starters:
    Ballhandler: Jeremy Roach (33 minutes)
    Wings: Wendell Moore (28 minutes), AJ Griffin (25 minutes)
    Bigs: Paolo Banchero (32 minutes), Mark Williams (33 minutes)

    Bench/Perturbations
    Ballhandler: Wendell (5 minutes), Jaylen Blakes (2 minutes)
    Wings: Trevor Keels (20 minutes), Joey Baker (7 minutes)
    Bigs: AJ Griffin (5 minutes), Theo John (10 minutes), Bates Jones (emergency)

    What's exciting about this team is its versatility... there could be times where we play Mark and Theo alongside each other as "bigs" and Paolo plays on the wing for a bit, for instance. Hard to account for all those perturbations in a straightforward prediction like this.

    So, there it is. I've taken the bullet and started the conversation that will likely consume the board until football season starts. Tell me why I'm horribly, horribly wrong
    I didn't realize you could write that word without triggering the wankerizer
    Rich
    "Failure is Not a Destination"
    Coach K on the Dan Patrick Show, December 22, 2016

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    I didn't realize you could write that word without triggering the wankerizer
    Pretty sure the word doesn't mean what he think he means lol.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    I didn't realize you could write that word without triggering the wankerizer
    Hahahahaha. The science side of me came out with that word choice!
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    Honestly, I don't think there could.
    Yeah i think this team will be a lot less flexible than people think. Like last year, we will be limited by what guards we can put on the floor. People are suggesting moore at the 2. If moore is our shooting guard, we are hosed. So we're pretty much locked in with roach and keels playing major minutes and hoping they're both ready to contribute. I'm also confident moore will earn his place on the floor...so now you are trying to get the rest of the minutes between williams banchero and griffin.

    Now, maybe someone else can break into the guard rotation and spice things up...but i'm not ready to bet the farm on that. Or maybe griffin can be a shooter if keels is not on the floor...I don't know.
    basketball is back, baby!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    Yeah i think this team will be a lot less flexible than people think. Like last year, we will be limited by what guards we can put on the floor. People are suggesting moore at the 2. If moore is our shooting guard, we are hosed. So we're pretty much locked in with roach and keels playing major minutes and hoping they're both ready to contribute. I'm also confident moore will earn his place on the floor...so now you are trying to get the rest of the minutes between williams banchero and griffin.

    Now, maybe someone else can break into the guard rotation and spice things up...but i'm not ready to bet the farm on that. Or maybe griffin can be a shooter if keels is not on the floor...I don't know.
    From what I've seen/read/etc. (taking into account the necessary caveats about high school highlight videos and all star games), it does seem like both AJ and Paolo have the potential to be solid shooters. In the era of positionless basketball we're now in, having your traditional 2 guard not be a knockdown shooter isn't a huge problem if you're traditional 3 and 4 men are 35% shooters from deep.

    I honestly don't think this team will have a "guard" rotation. It'll have a "point" rotation, a "wing" rotation, and a "big" rotation. With Paolo, we look to have a solid stretch big that'll be playing huge minutes. With AJ, Keels, and Joey, we should have at least one guy with the potential to be a knock-down shooter out on the floor as a wing at all times. We'll likely also see an improvement in Jeremy's shooting, as we saw from Tre between his freshman and sophomore years. In this context, I don't think "Moore as a shooting guard" is a problem for next year's squad.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottdude8 View Post
    From what I've seen/read/etc. (taking into account the necessary caveats about high school highlight videos and all star games), it does seem like both AJ and Paolo have the potential to be solid shooters. In the era of positionless basketball we're now in, having your traditional 2 guard not be a knockdown shooter isn't a huge problem if you're traditional 3 and 4 men are 35% shooters from deep.

    I honestly don't think this team will have a "guard" rotation. It'll have a "point" rotation, a "wing" rotation, and a "big" rotation. With Paolo, we look to have a solid stretch big that'll be playing huge minutes. With AJ, Keels, and Joey, we should have at least one guy with the potential to be a knock-down shooter out on the floor as a wing at all times. We'll likely also see an improvement in Jeremy's shooting, as we saw from Tre between his freshman and sophomore years. In this context, I don't think "Moore as a shooting guard" is a problem for next year's squad.
    but moore is also not a primary ballhandler. We won't get by with only roach as a "true" guard.

    That all said, i'm not nearly as optimistic about this team as I think the average here, and I think the fact that there's a consideration of moore having to start in that role is but one indication of that. I don't believe this team is any more balanced than last year, and we've lost a stalwart guard in goldwire, replaced with not world-beatingly-as-freshmen ranked incoming guards. Is roach's year 1->2 improvement enough to compensate for that? we can only hope.
    basketball is back, baby!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    but moore is also not a primary ballhandler. We won't get by with only roach as a "true" guard.

    That all said, i'm not nearly as optimistic about this team as I think the average here, and I think the fact that there's a consideration of moore having to start in that role is but one indication of that. I don't believe this team is any more balanced than last year, and we've lost a stalwart guard in goldwire, replaced with not world-beatingly-as-freshmen ranked incoming guards. Is roach's year 1->2 improvement enough to compensate for that? we can only hope.
    I think this will be a discussion that we have all offseason, and reasonable sides can disagree. But I was personally quite encouraged by what we saw in our abbreviated stint in the ACCT, where even with traditional guards on the floor Coach K was trusting Wendell to bring the ball up and initiate the offense. Did he turn it over more than we'd like? Certainly, and that's something he'll have to work on if he's going to have this be part of his role. But based on how our offense ran he showed that if he improves his decision making, the offense can still be successful and efficient with him as the primary ballhandler.

    This could be the x-factor to this season, to be honest. The ability to run an offense without a traditional point guard, but with Wendell bringing the ball up the court would give this team a lot more options. And it isn't that outlandish of a proposition... obviously this comparison is a major reach, but think about how successful the Lakers were last season without using a traditional point guard (yes LeBron has point guard skills, etc. etc... but still, there wasn't a "traditional" point guard on the floor for them during a big portion of their playoff run).

    To conclude, I'm not saying that I'm 100% confident that Wendell can do this by any means. But I do think we lose something if we view this team through the traditional lens of "Who's going to play 40 minutes at point guard? Who's going to play 40 minutes at shooting guard? etc. etc." We're going to see a lot of more modern positionless basketball this year to maximize our talent on the floor and take advantage of the size advantage we should have over most opposing squads. If done correctly that'll be a strength of this squad, not a weakness, in my opinion.
    Scott Rich on the front page

    Trinity BS 2012; University of Michigan PhD 2018
    Duke Chronicle, Sports Online Editor: 2010-2012
    K-Ville Blue Tenting 2009-2012

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    If you have questions about Michigan Basketball/Football, I'm your man!

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by arnie View Post
    You have 5 players with 30 or more minutes. I hope not😡
    I think there might not be five guys with 30+ mpg for the season, because there will be plenty of blowouts in which the top five guys don't have to play their full allotment of minutes, but in games that count, I think Scott is probably right. And even for the full season, we'll likely have at least four guys with 27+ mpg. That's basically standard for Coach K (rounding up to the nearest whole minute, e.g., 26.7 = 27):

    Code:
    Year	27+	30+
    2021	5	2
    2020	2	1
    2019	4	4
    2018	5	4
    2017	5	5
    2016	5	4
    2015	4	3
    2014	3	3
    2013	5	3
    2012	3	2
    2011	2	2
    2010	3	3
    2009	3	3
    2008	4	1
    2007	4	4
    2006	4	4
    2005	4	3
    2004	4	4
    2003	4	3
    2002	5	3
    2001	5	2
    2000	4	3
    1999	4	2
    We've had four 30+ guys in four of the past six seasons (though neither of the past two). But as noted above, four or five guys with 27+ mpg is pretty much the norm.

    In half of the last ten seasons, we've had five guys playing 27+ mpg. We've had at least four 27+ guys in seven of the past ten (70%), and 17 of the past 23 seasons (74%). In seasons in which this hasn't been true, it's usually because there's not a clear delineation among the top players and the top subs, but that shouldn't be the case next season. Assuming no late additions, we'll only have 10 recruited scholarship players, and Bates Jones is likely to be no more than a glorified walk-on, meaning we'll really only have nine. It's unclear where Trevor Keels will fit in, but Theo John and Jaylen Blakes should certainly be a clear step down from our top five guys. If Keels is also a step down, we'll almost certainly have five guys at 27+ (maybe five guys at or close to 30+). If Keels is on par with, e.g., Roach and Moore, then we probably won't have five guys with 30+, but we'd still probably have five guys with 27+, and possibly six.

    That said, I don't know why having four or five guys playing lots of minutes would be a bad thing. If we amend the above table to include only Duke teams in the date range that made the Elite Eight or better, every such team had at least four guys averaging 27+ minutes, except 2010 (a team that had three guys who played 35+ mpg, making it harder for a fourth or fifth guy to sneak in there).

    Code:
    Year	27+	30+
    2019	4	4
    2018	5	4
    2015	4	3
    2013	5	3
    2010	3	3
    2004	4	4
    2001	5	2
    1999	4	2

  15. #15
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    Yes!

    Been waiting for a while for this. Very excited

    Banchero: 34 mpg
    Moore: 33 mpg
    Roach: 32 mpg
    Williams: 29 mpg
    Griffin: 28 mpg
    John: 15 mpg
    Keels: 13 mpg
    Baker: 10 mpg
    Blakes: 3 mpg
    Other: <1 mpg

    I am optimistic about John. The coaching staff should be too, given they "traded" Henry Coleman for John.

    I am optimistic about Roach, Banchero, and Moore to lead the team in minutes. Roach because he is the only true "1" on the team. Banchero because he will be the alpha from Day 1. And Moore because, after an okay sophomore year, I'm expecting him to lead the team and play significantly smarter.

    I am not optimistic about Blakes. Unless he's a savant on defense, I don't see him as part of the rotation.

    I am not optimistic about Baker. He averaged 11mpg this past season; I see him averaging even less. With AJ Griffin, you have a player who is soooooooo much better defensively. And offensively, unless he improves, Joey is only bringing 3pt shooting.
    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

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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by scottdude8 View Post
    I guess I'll be the one to bear the burden of starting this thread (please don't negative spork me too bad, hahaha), since our roster is now in all likelihood set after PBJ's decision to go to Milwaukee. So I'll ask the question here that almost every other thread seems to devolve into during the off-season... how do we see the minutes distribution next year?

    I'll give my own best guess, that will more than likely be horribly wrong, first. I'll do so not using the 1-5 positions as traditionally defined, but the more modern definition of ballhandler, wing, and big. I'm also thinking about this as averages over the whole year... i.e., I don't think Wendell will play 5 mpg at the backup point guard, but there'll be games where he plays very little there and games where he plays there for longer stretches that'll average to 5 mpg.

    Starters:
    Ballhandler: Jeremy Roach (33 minutes)
    Wings: Wendell Moore (28 minutes), AJ Griffin (25 minutes)
    Bigs: Paolo Banchero (32 minutes), Mark Williams (33 minutes)

    Bench/Perturbations
    Ballhandler: Wendell (5 minutes), Jaylen Blakes (2 minutes)
    Wings: Trevor Keels (20 minutes), Joey Baker (7 minutes)
    Bigs: AJ Griffin (5 minutes), Theo John (10 minutes), Bates Jones (emergency)

    What's exciting about this team is its versatility... there could be times where we play Mark and Theo alongside each other as "bigs" and Paolo plays on the wing for a bit, for instance. Hard to account for all those perturbations in a straightforward prediction like this.

    So, there it is. I've taken the bullet and started the conversation that will likely consume the board until football season starts. Tell me why I'm horribly, horribly wrong
    A couple of thoughts:
    1. 30+ minutes for a center is a big load; my hope is that John spells Mark a little more. Landlord's senior season was around 33mpg, and I think Jahlil barely cracked 30. Boozer was just shy of 30 in the title year (albeit with perhaps some minutes limitations due to injury). Anyhow, this is just a sample AA-caliber 5s we've had. I don't think we'll play much twin-towers this year with John, as I think the conference seems a little smaller (cf. FSU and Cheats), but you could argue Mark and Paulo are already kinda twin towers.
    2. A lot of variability in minutes may be in the backcourt and will depend on performance (defense and shooting). 30+ also seems high for Roach, unless he makes a big jump as a playmaker. Keels and Joey could see the floor more, depending on defense and shooting consistency. On the other hand, maybe AJ is rusty, and we play 3-guard more often.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by simplyluvin View Post
    A couple of thoughts:
    1. 30+ minutes for a center is a big load; my hope is that John spells Mark a little more. Landlord's senior season was around 33mpg, and I think Jahlil barely cracked 30. Boozer was just shy of 30 in the title year (albeit with perhaps some minutes limitations due to injury). Anyhow, this is just a sample AA-caliber 5s we've had. I don't think we'll play much twin-towers this year with John, as I think the conference seems a little smaller (cf. FSU and Cheats), but you could argue Mark and Paulo are already kinda twin towers.
    2. A lot of variability in minutes may be in the backcourt and will depend on performance (defense and shooting). 30+ also seems high for Roach, unless he makes a big jump as a playmaker. Keels and Joey could see the floor more, depending on defense and shooting consistency. On the other hand, maybe AJ is rusty, and we play 3-guard more often.
    What 3 guards are you referring to?

    Next year, Duke is big. Like, really big. Nearly as big as 2010 (Roach is "tiny" at 6'1". Outside of him and Blakes, the next shortest player is Moore and Keels and both are beefy, heavy kids). Duke will need to play big if they want to leverage their best players.

    I never would have thought Moore/AJ Griffin would play the 2/3 (or 3/2) so much. But with Banchero, Williams, and John, Moore and Griffin kinda have to. If Moore/Griffin are playing a lot of 4, that's a bad sign.
    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

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottdude8 View Post
    I think this will be a discussion that we have all offseason, and reasonable sides can disagree. But I was personally quite encouraged by what we saw in our abbreviated stint in the ACCT, where even with traditional guards on the floor Coach K was trusting Wendell to bring the ball up and initiate the offense. Did he turn it over more than we'd like? Certainly, and that's something he'll have to work on if he's going to have this be part of his role. But based on how our offense ran he showed that if he improves his decision making, the offense can still be successful and efficient with him as the primary ballhandler.

    This could be the x-factor to this season, to be honest. The ability to run an offense without a traditional point guard, but with Wendell bringing the ball up the court would give this team a lot more options. And it isn't that outlandish of a proposition... obviously this comparison is a major reach, but think about how successful the Lakers were last season without using a traditional point guard (yes LeBron has point guard skills, etc. etc... but still, there wasn't a "traditional" point guard on the floor for them during a big portion of their playoff run).
    It's not simply a matter of bringing the ball over halfcourt and managing not to turn it over. One of the weaknesses of last year's team was that we didn't have guys who could create opportunities for their teammates. Guys who could penetrate and, if not finish themselves, dish to a teammate for a good look or a drive opportunity. That (in addition obviously to 3 point shooting) is what we're going to need at the offensive end from our primary ballhandler(s) whether it comes from Jeremy, Wendell or anyone else.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    It's not simply a matter of bringing the ball over halfcourt and managing not to turn it over. One of the weaknesses of last year's team was that we didn't have guys who could create opportunities for their teammates. Guys who could penetrate and, if not finish themselves, dish to a teammate for a good look or a drive opportunity. That (in addition obviously to 3 point shooting) is what we're going to need at the offensive end from our primary ballhandler(s) whether it comes from Jeremy, Wendell or anyone else.
    I think Scott's point is at any particular moment we should have three or four (sometimes five) playmakers on the court, despite the lack of a traditional PG. Paolo and AJ are believed to be capable of making plays for themselves and/or others. Jeremy, Wendell, both with an added year of experience, and Trevor (7+ apg as a high school senior) should all be able to make plays. Even Mark is a surprisingly strong passer for a 7-footer. So while playmaking may have been a weakness on last year's team, I don't think it's going to be next season, even if we don't have a primary drive-and-dish ballhandler.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    Yeah i think this team will be a lot less flexible than people think. Like last year, we will be limited by what guards we can put on the floor. People are suggesting moore at the 2. If moore is our shooting guard, we are hosed. So we're pretty much locked in with roach and keels playing major minutes and hoping they're both ready to contribute. I'm also confident moore will earn his place on the floor...so now you are trying to get the rest of the minutes between williams banchero and griffin.

    Now, maybe someone else can break into the guard rotation and spice things up...but i'm not ready to bet the farm on that. Or maybe griffin can be a shooter if keels is not on the floor...I don't know.
    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    but moore is also not a primary ballhandler. We won't get by with only roach as a "true" guard.

    That all said, i'm not nearly as optimistic about this team as I think the average here, and I think the fact that there's a consideration of moore having to start in that role is but one indication of that. I don't believe this team is any more balanced than last year, and we've lost a stalwart guard in goldwire, replaced with not world-beatingly-as-freshmen ranked incoming guards. Is roach's year 1->2 improvement enough to compensate for that? we can only hope.
    I disagree.

    I think there is a lot more versatility with next year's team than this year's team had. And I think there will be flat-out more talent with next year's team. I'll describe it in a few ways:

    Ballhandling versatility: No, we don't have a lot of true PGs. In fact, we may not have ANY true PGs as Roach and Blakes are good ballhandlers but more scorers than pure PGs. But we'll have a BUNCH of ballhandlers. Roach, Griffin, Moore, and Banchero are all quite capable of creating their own shot, and Griffin, Moore, and Banchero have also shown to be willing passers for their positions. On top of that, Williams developed the ability to score with his back to the basket toward the end of the year. That means that 4 guys can reasonably create their own shot. This past year, we frequently had just 2 guys who could do it, and one of those guys created his shot as a jumpshooter (Hurt), which stagnated the offense.

    Defensive versatility: We'll also have more defensive versatility in that we'll at least 2 and possibly 3 wings who can guard 2-4. Griffin might well be able to guard 1-5, and Moore isn't atrocious against all but the best 1s or 5s either.

    Shooting versatility: this past year, we had just one or two (when Steward was hot) shooters. Next year's team doesn't have anyone who shoots like Hurt, but it does have several guys who could be solid shooters. Roach appeared to improve as a shooter as the season went on. After cratering in that early-season stretch against Pitt/Louisville/Ga Tech, he finished the last 13 games shooting 39% from 3 (41% over the last 10 games). The typical guard improvement for Duke guards from freshman to sophomore year suggests about a 9% jump in 3pt percentage. He shot 31% on the season this past year, so that would be about a 40% rate next year if he's like most Duke freshmen guards. And that's ignoring the fact that this will be his first somewhat normal offseason at Duke. Griffin and Keels are considered good shooters. Moore improved from god-awful 21% to a bad 30% this year. And his FT% suggests that there is room for more improvement. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him at 35% or better from 3 next year. And Banchero is a good shooter for a center. So there should be better floor spacing in general with next year's team.

    Talent: we lost Hurt, but we likely have an overall upgrade in Banchero. No, Banchero isn't going to shoot like Hurt. But he should be better defensively and more versatile offensively, and a better rebounder. We lost Steward, but we replace him with Keels. That seems like a wash, if not a very slight edge to Keels (a bit more physical, supposedly a better ballhandler and passer. We lost Tape, Brakefield, and Coleman, but get John. That seems like a substantial upgrade over this year's team. We lost Goldwire, but add Griffin and get sophomore year improvements from Williams and Roach and junior year improvements from Moore. I think that well more than offsets the loss of Goldwire. And the description of this year's team was a group that played in quality like a top-15 team over their last 10 games.

    Positional alignment: For the first half of the season and a decent chunk of the remainder as well, we had real positional deficiencies. Early on, while Johnson was playing and Williams was devleloping, we were rotating 3-4 PFs at PF/C, and only one or two was at all good defensively. Even when Williams took over, we were still playing a PF at C whenever he sat. And we lacked any positional versatility. Only Moore was a true multi-position defender. Roach and Goldwire were capable against littles; Williams and Coleman against bigs; Baker and Hurt against nobody. Next year we'll have three options at C (Williams, Banchero, and John), two at PF (Banchero and Griffin), three at SF (Griffin, Moore, Keels), 2-3 at SG (Moore, Keels, Griffin), and two at PG (Roach and Blakes). To the extent that Moore and Griffin can extend their versatility to PG, all the better. But we will not likely be forcing anyone to play out of position defensively next year, whereas this past year we were constantly forcing a couple of guys on the floor out of position.

    Continuity: as has been said ad nauseum, this past year's team suffered from a terrible combination of things. It was a very young and inexperienced squad that lost out on the preseason team-building for which Coach K excels. On top of that, they had the guy that was their most talented player come in and out of the rotation due to injury/"injury", which made it even harder for this team to find its groove. Had it been a normal offseason without the yo-yo effect of Jalen Johnson, I think we're a comfortable top-25 team this past year instead of the top-~50 team we saw, as evidenced by the top-15 level play we had over our last 10. And next year's team projects pretty clearly as better than this year's team.

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