Tag: Duke Basketball
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.
Note: We took a lot of photos at the 2010 Primetime Shootout, which turned out to be a terrific event with two indisputably classic games. Here are some of our favorites that weren’t used in the articles I wrote about it:
Kyrie Irving, warming up for the second half against Oak Hill on Friday night.
Today, the recently-rumored E-Will transfer rumor officially bore out as Duke announced that Elliot Williams will indeed transfer due to family health reasons. First and foremost, those here at TruthBegins.com want to wish Elliot and his family the absolute best of fortune in these trying times. Elliot is currently dealing with undeniably difficult circumstances within his family, and our heartfelt condolences go out to them. Additionally, we would like to thank Elliot for his year at Duke, and in particular, for his remarkable perseverance last season that reminded all Duke fans that hard work and dedication do pay off, as exemplified by Elliot’s ascension from minor role player to a contributing starter towards the end of the season. We will continue to follow Elliot’s career and we expect his star will continue to shine.
Secondly, and I do mean secondly, we are all left to wonder how this transfer will impact the Duke team next season. There is no doubt that struggles loom on the horizon as a team that was already woefully thin in the backcourt just lost its best athlete. With only two recruited players returning at the guard position, Duke will be forced to investigate creative, perhaps very creative, contingency planning. It will be extremely interesting to see how K molds the team strategy in the coming months to offset a lack of guard depth, but in the meantime, let’s all keep our fingers crossed that the ultimate contingency comes to fruition – a healthy Nolan ‘The Escalade’ Smith explodes onto the scene next season and emerges as Duke’s 2nd best (and arguably most important) player, behind Kyle Singler.
Nolan, the grandest of opportunities awaits you. Do work.
Based on how often each phrase is Google’d, John Wall is currently more popular than Duke Basketball, Shane Battier, and yes… sliced bread.
Those of you in touch with the Cameron Crazie scene will recall a variation of this hip-hop inspired post title echoing through Cameron Indoor to salute highlight plays from Duke’s last one-and-done star, Luol Deng. Today, Duke fans find themselves in pursuit of John Wall, another one-and-done phenom, but this chase has an unfamiliar feel.
See, we fans didn’t know that Luol Deng was a one-and-done upon arrival, and many thought he would be around for several years. Despite Luol’s lofty high-school rankings (it’s often forgotten that Luol was the #2-ranked recruit in his class, behind some guy named Lebron – I wonder what ever happened to him?), the general fan sentiment was that Luol would be on campus for multiple seasons. In the years since Luol’s 2004 campaign, Duke has recruited, but not landed, several other likely one-and-dones: Shaun Livingston, Kris Humphries, and Brandan Wright spring to mind. Still, these players were not thought of as definitive one-year guys despite one completely forgoing college altogether to leap through the NBA early entry window and the others sticking around for just one season. The difference may be subtle, but Duke fans anticipated at least one year from these type of players, not just one year.
Enter John Wall.
There is little doubt that John Wall will be spending the summer of 2010 holding exclusive workouts for lottery-bound NBA teams, and some Duke fans are quick to recall that the last time Lil’ Jon was heard in Cameron was also the last time Duke was seen in the Final Four. Furthermore, many fans contend that Duke, and specifically Coach K, has adapted their recruiting strategy (in their minds, finally!) to go after the super-athletes falling into today’s one-and-done category. While there is no doubt that Duke, and specifically Coach K, did evolve their strategy, I counter that the big bang moment occurred several years ago with Luol. While we fans may not have expected his early departure, I have to think the coaching staff anticipated the jump. In my opinion, Duke’s recruitment of immediately NBA-bound players like Livingston and other one-and-dones like Humphries and Wright is further evidence that the coaching staff actually adapted their style years ago, but we fans are just now catching wind of it due to the seeming certainty of John Wall’s limited college tenure.
Now, combine the unfamiliar feel of K’s “new” recruiting approach with Wall’s seemingly never-ending college selection process (with more plot twists than Fox’s 24), and you start to get a sense of the uncertain waters in which Duke fans now tread. Compound this with yesterday’s announcement that Gerald Henderson has hired an agent, leaving Duke with a PAPER-THIN (we’re talking Ryan Kelly thin!) 3-guard rotation in the backcourt, and the sense of urgency fans have toward landing this particular #1-ranked point-guard becomes clearer. Further aggravate the situation with Eric Bledsoe, Duke’s rumored back-up plan to John Wall, committing to Kentucky, sprinkle in a recent breaking-and-entering citation on top of Wall’s already questionable past, and stir this concoction to a boil with a continually rumored, yet never materializing, pending announcement from Wall of a three-to-four school short-list that suddenly might include arch-nemesis North Carolina… Ka-Boom!!
Personally, I will be shocked if John Wall ultimately winds up somewhere other than Kentucky or Duke, despite swirling rumors that UNC, once labeled by John Wall himself as his “dream” school, will try to reinsert themselves into the recruitment process – I just do not see Wall’s handlers letting that happen. Also, I want to believe that Bledsoe’s commitment to Kentucky is a good sign for Duke, but realistically, it’s a non-factor for Wall as he will get starter’s minutes wherever he goes. And from what I have read of the B&E citation, it is a non-issue – no-doubt a very stupid decision on his part, but considering the mitigating circumstances (no forced entry, no damage, no stolen goods) this likely fades from consciousness as quickly as any common-sounding legally-equivalent misdemeanor.
Soooo… we’re back to where we’d all prefer to be: basketball. Does Gerald’s decision to leave improve Duke’s chances? Common sense dictates that John Wall would be enticed by the possibility of appearing on SportsCenter twice a week throwing alley-oops to Gerald, but considering that Duke only recently entered the John Wall sweepstakes, I have to think John Wall was already privy to the knowledge that Gerald was gone. This leads me to conclude that John still wants to be on SportsCenter twice a week, but he’s okay being featured in dunks of his own.
The bottom line is that John Wall is facing a difficult, and tremendously important, life-altering decision, and I would not be surprised if he takes all the time available to him to reach an informed conclusion. And why shouldn’t he? Wouldn’t you encourage your son or daughter to take all the time possible to fully evaluate their options? My advice for the interim: if roller coasters are your thing, keep your eyes on Wall’s daily twists and turns, but do not forget to enjoy the broader scenery in the Duke window.
The annual end-of-season men’s Duke Basketball Banquet was held on Friday, April 24th to commemorate the 2009 Blue Devils on another successful year, which included an ACC Championship and a return to the NCAA Sweet 16, and to honor the contributions of graduating seniors Greg Paulus, David McClure, Martynas Pocius, and Jordan Davidson to the program.
Please enjoy the following snapshots and videos, including the four senior tributes, from the evening’s festivities: