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Thread: Whitehead

  1. #1

    Whitehead

    Plenty of commentary about Whitehead, but itís so scattered among multiple threads that it seems sensible to have a specific thread on him. Could put this in the ďPhase IĒ thread, but as thereís some uncertainty as to when heíll be 100%, a new, dedicated thread seems preferable.

    [Imported from Purdue postgame thread:]

    Quote Originally Posted by whereinthehellami View Post
    Here is his write-up on 247 Sports: Solid size for a wing. Has quick twitch athleticism. Fast with the basketball. Loves to attack the rim, but has a smooth jumper. Three-level scorer. Has a great pull up jumper going left. Solid ball handler and passer who plays with awareness and instincts. Rebounds his position well. Has tremendous potential as a versatile defender.
    The bolded stuff is what stood out to me in his play in the GEICO Nationals. I donít disagree with a single word in this 247 assessment. However, what most impressed me was not his solid scoring, but his facilitating creativity on O ó handle, plus what Iíd call vision-passing, owing to his height and instinctual awareness; and on D his versatility and sneakiness, e.g., several times he stole inbounds pass after his team scored.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by gumbomoop View Post
    Plenty of commentary about Whitehead, but itís so scattered among multiple threads that it seems sensible to have a specific thread on him. Could put this in the ďPhase IĒ thread, but as thereís some uncertainty as to when heíll be 100%, a new, dedicated thread seems preferable.

    [Imported from Purdue postgame thread:]



    The bolded stuff is what stood out to me in his play in the GEICO Nationals. I donít disagree with a single word in this 247 assessment. However, what most impressed me was not his solid scoring, but his facilitating creativity on O ó handle, plus what Iíd call vision-passing, owing to his height and instinctual awareness; and on D his versatility and sneakiness, e.g., several times he stole inbounds pass after his team scored.
    Even though it's early in his recovery I've been seeing flashes of incredible athleticism from Whitehead. Lively not so much, yet.

  3. #3
    Iíve posted in another thread that people who did follow his HS career or watch video are going to be shocked at how good he is in a month. Heís barely a role player now. He will be one of the most dynamic players in the country by January once all the rust is off. He will take our team to the next level - no doubt in my mind.

  4. #4
    Years ago, I got a really bad ankle sprain playing ball. I was on the shelf for 8 or 10 weeks. After I was cleared to resume physical activity, my ankle was physically fine, but I was sort of afraid to cut and jump because I (irrationally) didn't entirely trust my ankle to do what it was supposed to. To me, that's what Dariq looked like last night. He'd get the ball, ready himself to drive, then think better of it and pass the ball around the perimeter. On the few times he did drive, he seemed tentative with his jump toward the basket, like he didn't trust his foot to get him all the way there. That was my impression, anyway.

    It took me four or five weeks before I was able to forget the ankle and play normally. He's a lot younger than I was, and he has the Duke training staff to help him, so he might get there more quickly, but he also had a more serious injury and he moves a lot faster and jumps a lot higher than I ever could, so going 100% might seem more frightening. He probably just needs another couple weeks to shake it off.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    Years ago, I got a really bad ankle sprain playing ball. I was on the shelf for 8 or 10 weeks. After I was cleared to resume physical activity, my ankle was physically fine, but I was sort of afraid to cut and jump because I (irrationally) didn't entirely trust my ankle to do what it was supposed to. To me, that's what Dariq looked like last night. He'd get the ball, ready himself to drive, then think better of it and pass the ball around the perimeter. On the few times he did drive, he seemed tentative with his jump toward the basket, like he didn't trust his foot to get him all the way there. That was my impression, anyway.

    It took me four or five weeks before I was able to forget the ankle and play normally. He's a lot younger than I was, and he has the Duke training staff to help him, so he might get there more quickly, but he also had a more serious injury and he moves a lot faster and jumps a lot higher than I ever could, so going 100% might seem more frightening. He probably just needs another couple weeks to shake it off.
    I agree 100%. College basketball at Division 1 level is very physical and I'm pretty sure you're correct about Dariq not trusting his ankle just yet. Plus, I believe he's not in the best shape of his playing career because of the missed time. Coach Scheyer said he missed over 3 months of the most important practice time of the season and that the media, and everyone should be patient with him.

    GoDuke!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    Years ago, I got a really bad ankle sprain playing ball. I was on the shelf for 8 or 10 weeks. After I was cleared to resume physical activity, my ankle was physically fine, but I was sort of afraid to cut and jump because I (irrationally) didn't entirely trust my ankle to do what it was supposed to. To me, that's what Dariq looked like last night. He'd get the ball, ready himself to drive, then think better of it and pass the ball around the perimeter. On the few times he did drive, he seemed tentative with his jump toward the basket, like he didn't trust his foot to get him all the way there. That was my impression, anyway.

    It took me four or five weeks before I was able to forget the ankle and play normally. He's a lot younger than I was, and he has the Duke training staff to help him, so he might get there more quickly, but he also had a more serious injury and he moves a lot faster and jumps a lot higher than I ever could, so going 100% might seem more frightening. He probably just needs another couple weeks to shake it off.
    These are good observations, important to understand Whiteheadís psychological (?) recovery.

    Iíll guess it will be after the holiday break before we see him near 100%. Likely to look better, gaining confidence game by game in January.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Those 3 months of key practice time missed show up, too me, in a couple key ways...

    One, he has not yet caught up to the speed of the college game. And probably the length and physicality of the the college game as well. You can see it when he has tried driving and gotten the ball tipped away by a defender, or he'll try speeding up in response and his mind gets ahead of his hands and he loses control of the ball. Lack of practice time, lack of playing time as they work him back in, along with having to regain his confidence in what he can do physically, these effects will gradually fade as the season goes along. I look for him to have some big performances over the holidays or in early January.

    Two, he hasn't yet had time to build on court chemistry with his teammates. This has effected his game on both ends. And you can see his frustration when he, as an alpha, makes a mistake, but at the same time, you see his teammates going to him to encourage him. Not only do the coaches have to work him into the rotation, but his teammates have to work him into the flow of the offense, or into the communication network on defense. They're building trust, chemistry with him, and it takes time. Again, look out come January.
    -Son of Jarhead

    The poster formerly known as BuschDevil

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by BuschDevil View Post
    Those 3 months of key practice time missed show up, too me, in a couple key ways...

    One, he has not yet caught up to the speed of the college game. And probably the length and physicality of the the college game as well. You can see it when he has tried driving and gotten the ball tipped away by a defender, or he'll try speeding up in response and his mind gets ahead of his hands and he loses control of the ball. Lack of practice time, lack of playing time as they work him back in, along with having to regain his confidence in what he can do physically, these effects will gradually fade as the season goes along. I look for him to have some big performances over the holidays or in early January.

    Two, he hasn't yet had time to build on court chemistry with his teammates. This has effected his game on both ends. And you can see his frustration when he, as an alpha, makes a mistake, but at the same time, you see his teammates going to him to encourage him. Not only do the coaches have to work him into the rotation, but his teammates have to work him into the flow of the offense, or into the communication network on defense. They're building trust, chemistry with him, and it takes time. Again, look out come January.
    There was a moment in the game yesterday when he hit the three and the follow shot that I hoped his teammates would go back to him. I imagine he is feeling an urgency to show his full game to the scouts and is thinking/pressing and not just playing. He is getting there but confidence is a fragile thing - he needs to play relaxed and with purpose.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    Years ago, I got a really bad ankle sprain playing ball. I was on the shelf for 8 or 10 weeks. After I was cleared to resume physical activity, my ankle was physically fine, but I was sort of afraid to cut and jump because I (irrationally) didn't entirely trust my ankle to do what it was supposed to. To me, that's what Dariq looked like last night. He'd get the ball, ready himself to drive, then think better of it and pass the ball around the perimeter. On the few times he did drive, he seemed tentative with his jump toward the basket, like he didn't trust his foot to get him all the way there. That was my impression, anyway.

    It took me four or five weeks before I was able to forget the ankle and play normally. He's a lot younger than I was, and he has the Duke training staff to help him, so he might get there more quickly, but he also had a more serious injury and he moves a lot faster and jumps a lot higher than I ever could, so going 100% might seem more frightening. He probably just needs another couple weeks to shake it off.
    I'm sure you're being too modest, Kedsy . . .

  10. #10
    Dariq is a freshman coming into major college basketball after sustaining an injury that minimized his time to integrate fully with his team mates. He is probably 6'6" and looks quite strong. I can believe at least 210#. Size listing for college players are notoriously inaccurate. I watched him at the high school level and his handle and court awareness were impressive and he seemed smooth and athletic. I didn't see great outside shooting ability. He is slotted to be a small forward in college but might also be looked at as a shooting guard in the pros.

    When I read some of the posts here, what I see is high expectations for his development. I hope that is true but setting such high expectations for the kid is a little unfair. If he can provide a positive boost to the team it would be enough for me.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by jv001 View Post
    I agree 100%. College basketball at Division 1 level is very physical and I'm pretty sure you're correct about Dariq not trusting his ankle just yet. Plus, I believe he's not in the best shape of his playing career because of the missed time. Coach Scheyer said he missed over 3 months of the most important practice time of the season and that the media, and everyone should be patient with him.

    GoDuke!
    There are signs that his body isnít quite doing what his brain wants or is accustomed to. Last night he took a baseline jumper that I believe he airballed. Iíll bet his normal self would make that shot easily, but heís rushing because he hasnít caught up to college game speed and his body isnít reacting the way heís used to. But there are signs of explosiveness and even a good shooting stroke. He also made a smooth baseline 3 last night that was in rhythm. Hopefully that stirs confidence; that and reps are what he needs.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!
    This is probably a good place to drop this...

    Take a look at these minutes played and points scored by a recent Duke player through the first month of the season:

    11min, 2pts (against Kentucky)
    10min, 2pts
    6min, 3pts
    16min, 5pts
    21min, 18pts (against a Colonial conference school that does not offer scholarships)
    11min, 2pts
    6min, 0pts (against Gonzaga)
    2min, 0pts (against Ohio State in B10 challenge)

    Dude looks close to worthless. A grand total of 3 points scored against legit opponents and barely even in the rotation. He was coming off of a pre-season injury and it seemed doubtful he would become much of anything.

    By the time we got to Christmas, he was raining threes all over the place and routinely scoring in the mid-teens. That summer, he was taken just outside the lottery.

    I, of course, am talking about AJ Griffin.

    The notion that Dariq Whitehead isn't going to be a hugely impactful player for Duke a month from now seems laughable to me.
    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.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    This is probably a good place to drop this...

    Take a look at these minutes played and points scored by a recent Duke player through the first month of the season:

    11min, 2pts (against Kentucky)
    10min, 2pts
    6min, 3pts
    16min, 5pts
    21min, 18pts (against a Colonial conference school that does not offer scholarships)
    11min, 2pts
    6min, 0pts (against Gonzaga)
    2min, 0pts (against Ohio State in B10 challenge)

    Dude looks close to worthless. A grand total of 3 points scored against legit opponents and barely even in the rotation. He was coming off of a pre-season injury and it seemed doubtful he would become much of anything.

    By the time we got to Christmas, he was raining threes all over the place and routinely scoring in the mid-teens. That summer, he was taken just outside the lottery.

    I, of course, am talking about AJ Griffin.

    The notion that Dariq Whitehead isn't going to be a hugely impactful player for Duke a month from now seems laughable to me.
    To be fair- no one knew what Duke might get from AJ and his elite shooting was a great addition. Dariq was expected to be this yearís Paolo. But I agree that he will get better- time will tell how good.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Chesapeake, VA.
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    This is probably a good place to drop this...

    Take a look at these minutes played and points scored by a recent Duke player through the first month of the season:

    11min, 2pts (against Kentucky)
    10min, 2pts
    6min, 3pts
    16min, 5pts
    21min, 18pts (against a Colonial conference school that does not offer scholarships)
    11min, 2pts
    6min, 0pts (against Gonzaga)
    2min, 0pts (against Ohio State in B10 challenge)

    Dude looks close to worthless. A grand total of 3 points scored against legit opponents and barely even in the rotation. He was coming off of a pre-season injury and it seemed doubtful he would become much of anything.

    By the time we got to Christmas, he was raining threes all over the place and routinely scoring in the mid-teens. That summer, he was taken just outside the lottery.

    I, of course, am talking about AJ Griffin.

    The notion that Dariq Whitehead isn't going to be a hugely impactful player for Duke a month from now seems laughable to me.
    For every AJ Griffin there is a Jalen Johnson, a Harry Giles, a Chris Burgess, a Josh Hairston, and we could add a lot more names to the list.

    Just because AJ improved a lot doesn't guarantee that Whitehead will improve a lot. I think he will, and I certainly hope he will, but there are no guarantees in college basketball recruiting.

    I hope the idea is laughable, and I hope in a month we'll all have a good laugh about it.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by dukelifer View Post
    To be fair- no one knew what Duke might get from AJ and his elite shooting was a great addition. Dariq was expected to be this yearís Paolo. But I agree that he will get better- time will tell how good.
    Also to be fair, if Whitehead winds up having a season like Griffin's (10.4 ppg for the season, 12.6 ppg in conference play, 10.9 ppg in the ACCT and NCAAT), that would be a bit disappointing relative to expectations given his recruiting ranking (which suggests he should be a 1st Team All-ACC and potential All-American).

    I have little doubt that Whitehead will get a lot better. The question is whether "a lot better" is like Griffin, like Reddish, like Barnes, or a 1st Team All-ACC/potential All-American. Hopefully more like the latter end and less like the former end.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Also to be fair, if Whitehead winds up having a season like Griffin's (10.4 ppg for the season, 12.6 ppg in conference play, 10.9 ppg in the ACCT and NCAAT), that would be a bit disappointing relative to expectations given his recruiting ranking (which suggests he should be a 1st Team All-ACC and potential All-American).

    I have little doubt that Whitehead will get a lot better. The question is whether "a lot better" is like Griffin, like Reddish, like Barnes, or a 1st Team All-ACC/potential All-American. Hopefully more like the latter end and less like the former end.
    I really feel dirty now as I couldn't remember much about Barnes, other than his dirty recruitment announcement. So, I looked up some of his stats for his two seasons at cheatville.

    His freshmen year he improved as the season went on. He hit his stride in the ACCT and the NCAAT. For the season he averaged 15.6 ppg and lead all freshmen in scoring. He was named Freshmen of the Year. In the cheats 4 NCAA tournament games he averaged 21.5 ppg. His regular season shooting percentage .421% wasn't nothing to write home about. He shot 34% on his 3-point attempts. His sophomore year he averaged 17.1 ppg on 44% fg and 36% on his 3-pointers.

    I guess he was an ok player but for all the excitement in his recruiting, he underperformed except for his play in the NCAAT his freshmen year.

    Now I must go take a hot shower.

    GoDuke and GTHC!!

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Also to be fair, if Whitehead winds up having a season like Griffin's (10.4 ppg for the season, 12.6 ppg in conference play, 10.9 ppg in the ACCT and NCAAT), that would be a bit disappointing relative to expectations given his recruiting ranking (which suggests he should be a 1st Team All-ACC and potential All-American).

    I have little doubt that Whitehead will get a lot better. The question is whether "a lot better" is like Griffin, like Reddish, like Barnes, or a 1st Team All-ACC/potential All-American. Hopefully more like the latter end and less like the former end.
    You took the words right out of my mouth. Memory tells me AJ Griffin was NOT the #2 rated player in his class. The entire discussion with Whitehead revolves around expectations for the #2 rated player. Not whether he will or won't get better as the season progresses.

    The real question is will he live up to the ranking? And the same can be said of Lively. All of us know that these two were injured and it will take some time for them to get "up to speed", so to speak. But will they even come close to what would reasonably be expected of the #1 & #2 players in the class? That is the question. And our reasonable expectations for this Duke season hang in the balance, imho.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDukie View Post
    You took the words right out of my mouth. Memory tells me AJ Griffin was NOT the #2 rated player in his class. The entire discussion with Whitehead revolves around expectations for the #2 rated player. Not whether he will or won't get better as the season progresses.

    The real question is will he live up to the ranking? And the same can be said of Lively. All of us know that these two were injured and it will take some time for them to get "up to speed", so to speak. But will they even come close to what would reasonably be expected of the #1 & #2 players in the class? That is the question. And our reasonable expectations for this Duke season hang in the balance, imho.
    At one point in time, during the summer before his junior year of high school, AJ Griffin was a top ~5 recruit in his class. In addition to that jumper, he was a defensive monster. Then, due to a combination of injuries and COVID, he hardly played for 2 years.

    Whitehead's situation is a little different. He was consistently among the best players in his class throughout his high school career. He doesn't have an injury history. A broken foot is kind of a fluke thing and doesn't have a track record of limiting a player's long-term health like a knee injury or ligament tear might. He may have a similar trajectory to Griffin while at Duke, but their situations are very different. I think there's a chance that Whitehead starts to really assert himself in a way that Griffin couldn't or wouldn't while he was at Duke.

  19. #19
    I hope Whitehead has a more impactful season than AJ. Despite the 10 ppg, he was mostly invisible, especially on defense. I also hope he isn't playing with the thought in his head of getting hurt again and affecting his draft standing. He's only human, though, and that could be his biggest hurdle. I remember Elton breaking his foot and missing around three months and then coming back with not quite the game he was showing early on in his freshman year. He came back to have a monster sophomore season. Unfortunately, we won't see that from Whitehead. Which is the downside of the OAD era.

  20. #20
    If Dariq (and, to a lesser extent, Dereck) are scuffling around in mid-January, then I will be worried. Before then, it strikes me as needless hand-wringing.

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