It’s not often you can witness your dreams, aspirations and accomplishments unfold right in front of you. But that was the case for Jay Williams on Tuesday night, as his Rising Stars gala dinner and charity auction at the New York Athletic Club manifested his vision in living color.
Please visit www.jaywillrisingstars.com for more information on how you can get involved!
Preface: This is NOT a debate whether Jon Scheyer’s high minutes/game average throughout the season is causing him to wear out. Those who know me already know that I find that argument ridiculous, and K has inferred as much himself in recent post-game press conferences.
When a player is “tired,” I expect to see shots being missed short, resulting in generally sub-par field goal percentages as the season progresses. So, how are Jon Scheyer’s shooting percentages holding up? Let’s take a look…
A few interesting notes:
- Over the last 1/3 of the season (11 games), Jon has shot below his season average on 2-point FG’s on 8 occasions; however,
- he has also shot above his season average on 3-point FG’s 6 times in the same period.
- Disturbingly, he has shot below his season average on both 2-point and 3-point FGs in his last three consecutive outings.
This “tired” debate has undoubtedly arisen because Jon’s 2FG% is substantially worse over the last 1/3 of the season. If his 3FG% continues to slide as well, this argument will gain additional merit; however, the “tired” label cannot be justified if his 3pt shot starts falling again.
So I ask again: Is Jon Scheyer tiring?
The jury is still out.
Talk about a lousy day. After St. Patrick’s (No. 6, ESPN Rise) was banned from the New Jersey state tournament earlier in the day because coach Kevin Boyle attended practices before he was technically allowed to, they lost an absolute heartbreaker, 79-78, to No. 7 Oak Hill when gritty shooting guard Derrick Gordon missed a pair of foul shots with .4 seconds left.
We are pleased to report that Part I of the Duke Pulse survey was very well-received. As indicated earlier, the purpose of this survey is to capture point-in-time snapshots of fan perspectives throughout the season. Let’s jump into the results of Part I!
Duke Pulse respondents are anticipating a successful season with ALL respondents predicting between 25-34 wins, culminating in a 2, 3, or 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Interestingly, no one predicted more than 34 wins or a #1 seed in the NCAAT.
Additionally, no one felt that Duke is currently the best positioned team to win it all. Respondents currently overwhelmingly favor the Kansas Jayhawks to win the title, with John Wall and the Kentucky Wildcats a distant second.
While no one believes Duke is best-positioned to take the championship, many respondents do feel Kyle Singler is in a great position to earn 1st Team All-American honors.
Additionally, survey respondents feel pretty confident about the team’s ability to takedown UNC at least once this year, but only half think the team has what it takes to win the ACC regular season. That said, a bit over half are anticipating an ACC Tournament championship. In the NCAAs, respondents are expecting Duke to build upon their recent tournament experiences in order to move beyond the Sweet 16.
And now onto a particularly timely question with Harrison Barnes’s highly anticipating college decision on Friday looming large in everyone’s mind. How confident are respondents in Duke’s ability to land the following recruits? Regarding Barnes, 69% feel that Duke will indeed sign the overall #1 prospect in the country – let’s keep our fingers crossed…
Looking forward even further, we asked survey participants to estimate the likelihood for the below players to declare for the NBA draft following the 2009-2010 season. Interestingly, fans are just as confident that Kyle Singler will leave Duke as they are that Harrison Barnes will matriculate. That said, other than Singler, respondents seem assured that Duke will retain the bulk of its non-graduating roster next season.
Stay tuned for future editions of the The Duke Pulse survey throughout the season. As more results come in, it will be increasingly interesting to see how real-world events, namely on-the-court performance and off-the-court recruiting ruminations, impact respondent predictions.
Welcome to a new analysis series called “The Duke Pulse.” This series will strive to trend fan sentiments throughout the Duke basketball season via regular polling of the fan base. Fresh off the successful recruitment of Kyrie Irving and with only one more preseason game remaining on the docket, now is a great time to baseline fan sentiments as the season tipoff approaches. Please click on the image below to open a new window and take our first Duke Pulse survey!
Be sure to fully complete the survey. Results will be summarized and posted periodically throughout the season as interesting trends emerge. Note that individual responses will not be made public without prior consent.
For better or for worse, the amount of access fans have has truly changed in big-time college basketball recruiting, and social media is a major reason why. In the past, high school stars were relatively shadowy figures. We rarely got to see them play, much less know very much about them before they showed up to be big little men on campus as freshmen.
But now? We’ve seen them play on YouTube, though it’s tough to draw conclusions since we likely only see the best the kid has, set to lousy hip-hop. We’ve read fervently on Twitter as they post important facts about their lives, like what cereal they prefer, when they’re studying for biology tests, and what songs they think are most noteworthy. We watch them make off-color jokes on a live stream and egg them on with a comment board. As always, progress is a double-edged sword. On the upside, it is empowering to be able to know ever more about the 16-year-old saviors of our favorite college basketball teams.
But on the downside, while the Lunatic Fringe formerly had to wait until the kid was out on the floor to let them know what they think of their mother and sister, they now have nearly direct access from adolescence. The meteoric rise of Twitter has given everyone with a computer and a fair amount of vitriol the ability to directly address young players who choose to use the 140-character juggernaut. With Facebook, they have room to be even more explicit. In the past, rabid – literally – fans had to resort to team message boards to spout their unhealthy disapproval of, well, everything. Unless recruits had a morbid fascination that I think only applies to the fans themselves, they didn’t subject themselves to reading it. But now you have situations such as that of Mr. Kyrie Irving, a top-flight point guard from New Jersey by way of St. Patrick’s in Elizabeth, who alienated tons of dozens of fans for the sole reason that he didn’t want to matriculate at their schools. Irving committed to Duke University on Thursday and is regarded as potentially the school’s best point guard prospect ever, very high praise indeed. Never mind that Irving was limited to just one school and went with the one where he felt most comfortable. Picking a situation that didn’t correspond with the best interests of certain passionate Kentucky and Indiana fans made for a very distasteful backlash.
Irving runs a Twitter account which was followed by around 3,000 people, with likely most of them supporters of the schools which were recruiting him. I think he enjoyed the attention that he was getting – what high school kid wouldn’t? – and he almost certainly benefited in the selection process from hearing the selling points from fans of the schools he considered. He was also able to communicate with potential future teammates. But he saw the ugly side when he removed Indiana from his short list – leading him to respond… twice – and then when he “spurned” Kentucky to pick Duke. At both times, he was subjected to being called names that would make anyone’s mother blush. And they were able to send them directly to Irving with no filters to speak of. Irving, for his own part, used Twitter to help make his day in the sun a little brighter. From all accounts, he was likely certain he would attend Duke after his official visit several weeks ago. But he indicated that he would use Twitter to announce his choice, drumming up copious followers. He used the site to detail his subsequent official visits and demonstrate what appears to be a fantastic work ethic. He eventually chose to announce his destination with a news conference on ESPNU, which is fine – his hard work dictated that as a reward. Reports surfaced from time to time that called him a lock for Duke – correctly – and Irving actually took back his ability to make the announcement on his own by denouncing on Twitter that he had committed to Duke. Semantics dictate that Kyrie is technically accurate true, as he officially didn’t commit until his ESPNU presser.
So that’s the advantage. Twitter afforded the young man the ability to attract attention that he normally would not have been able to garner, and let him control his own announcement. In the past, a couple dozen hardcore aficionados would have heard of him. Now? At least 3,000, and then however many more watched his commitment conference. And make no mistake, every time he said something on his site, people overanalyzed it to death. The disadvantage is the unfettered access that allowed fans to voice their displeasure directly to him in quite colorful terms, even leading him at times to attempt to provide a lesson in morals to them. To Irving’s credit, he did not seem that adversely affected by the interaction. Now I can’t determine whether the positives of having the forum to self-promote outweighs the perils of letting idiots have a crack at you. But there’s no looking back. The days of word of mouth, and seeing a recruit for the first time when he steps on campus, are over. And though the enhanced access we experience is all in the name of progress, one has to think that just maybe, we were better off in a simpler time when we didn’t have the power to practically reach out and touch a recruit. Was it perhaps more satisfying learning about a player once he actually gets to campus? It just might turn out to be true that knowing everything isn’t the best thing.
8pm, October 16th, 2009. What a spectacle! Cameron was rocking to kick-off the official start of the Duke Blue Devils college basketball season.
Traditionally, Duke has not often participated in the annual brouhaha formerly known as Midnight Madness; however, this year marks a new tune for the program as Duke has decided to enter the yearly fray with its own customized kickoff celebration called Countdown to Craziness.
Overall, the staff did a wonderful job putting together a fun-filled event. Highlights from the night included the annual Blue-White game featuring two special Duke legends — Christian Laettner and Bobby Hurley — as guest coaches, theatrical player introductions by legendary announcer Michael Buffer, a high-flying dunk contest, and performances from the Duke University Improv.
Visit www.countdowntocraziness.com for a full video recap of the night’s festivities!
With the NBA departure of Gerald Henderson and the unexpected transfer of Elliot Williams to Memphis, Duke was staring into a backcourt abyss with only two recruited guards, Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith, remaining on the roster for the upcoming season. While both players are undoubtedly talented, having only two legitimate options to play two positions is certainly an undesirable position for any program — surely one of the players will need a rest of at some point in the season!
Enter Andre Dawkins.
Dawkins is an acclaimed 5-star recruit that had already committed to Duke, expecting to matriculate for the 2010-2011 season. However, with a plethora of minutes available at the guard position, Andre Dawkins finds himself in position to capitalize on having already fulfilled his high school graduation recruitments.
This is an amazing turn of events for the Devils in the upcoming season. While Duke is by no means deep in the backcourt now, the addition of a first-rate player at the guard position will go a long ways towards solidifying the backcourt rotation and helping Scheyer’s prognostications come true.