Filed under: ACC Basketball, Duke Recap | Tags: Duke vs. St. Johns, John Wall, North Carolina vs. Kentucky
Okay. That one word really can sum up what I saw and what I’m feeling after watching Duke beat St. John’s Saturday afternoon. The Devils were pretty much in control for most of the game (up 16 at halftime), letting the Red Storm get back within four with about five and a half to play, but eventually pulled away to win by nine.
Again, I’m okay with this outcome because I felt like Duke played…okay.
Let me explain and tell you what I saw:
I saw that the big three again took most of the shots. It’s time for me just to accept the simple fact that Duke will primarily be a three-man team again this year. For the record, Duke has taken 503 shots this season. The big three (Scheyer, Smith, Singler) have taken a stunning 297 of those shots (and that’s with Nolan missing two games this season). Three players are accounting for 59% of Duke’s attempts.I’m not a math wizard, but that’s a lot and that’s not a good thing.
Last year, the big three (Singler, Scheyer and Henderson) took 60% of the team’s shot. While the lack of diversity in the offense did end up costing Duke in the NCAA Tournament, it was good enough to lead Duke to another 30+ win season and the ACC tournament crown. That’s because while those three took 60% of the shots, they did manage to contribute to 58% of the scoring.
This year’s version of the big three are taking 59% of the shots, but they’re responsible for only 52% of the scoring. A lot of shots, but not enough are finding its way into the hole.
Against St. John’s, the big three accounted for a stunning 66% (43 of 65 shots). For the record, the other seven players tonight, were 13-22 from the floor. Just saying.
Filed under: College Basketball, Duke basketball, Recruiting | Tags: Gerald Henderson, John Wall, Kentcuky
It’s bad enough taking a shot to the gut, but to have it followed up with a jab to the face, ouch. That’s how my Tuesday went, when I learned that John Wall was headed to Lexington and Gerald Henderson signed with an agent, thus ending his career as a Blue Devil.
First, let me take the high road just this once. Congratulations to Kentucky. You got a solid talent in Wall. There is no doubt, with or without Meeks, Kentucky is now an instant top-10 team. I know some of you Blue Grass faithful will want to stick them No 1 right now, but let’s let these kids earn something before we award them the title.
It’s official now, Duke gets John Wall, or they can kiss any title run goodbye next season. Yes, he’s that important.
Today, point guard Eric Bledsoe, picked the Kentucky Wildcats, leaving John Wall the last solid point guard still uncommitted. A while back, we talked about whether the Duke coaching staff was making a mistake going after one-and-done Wall over Bledsoe (assuming he could qualify). Sure Wall is a lot better and can step right in and make an impact, but Bledsoe ain’t half bad either.
The 6-1 point guard from Alabama is a pass-first guard, who knows how to get into the lane (something Duke clearly needs now). He nearly averaged a triple-double in high school; 20.3 points, 11.5 assists and 9.4 rebounds per game. Whether he could have led Duke to a championship this season is surely questionable, but it would be hard to argue against the fact that he would have been the best point man from day one.
This leaves John Wall. Obviously, there are concerns about his recent run-in with the law, but trust me, it’s not a big deal. It appears he and some friends entered a vacant house, looking for a place to hang out with some ladies.
While I think Bledsoe to Kentucky helps the Blue Devils in the John Wall recruiting saga, my personal opinion has always been that wherever Calipari landed, that’s where Wall would end up…and that hasn’t changed.
Sadly, I can see Calipari convincing Bledsoe that a year on the bench, behind Wall, would be good, allowing him to take over the point guard duties in 2010 after Wall leaves for the NBA. I can see Coach Cal convincing Wall of this scenario as well. I hope I’m wrong. I really do, but after seeing Duke get burned by top-notch talent the last few years, I’m not confident the coaching staff can close the deal.
Having said that, I still believe that it would be a smart thing for John Wall to come to Duke. First, he’ll start from day one for a veteran team and he’ll get to compete for the title now. Second, he’ll be on television nearly every game. Third, there is no better uniform to wear to improve his slightly battered image.
Let’s hope and let’s pray, because if Henderson decides the NBA is the right way (That’s where I’d put my money), Duke will have no TRUE point guards next season, and only three guards total (Scheyer, Smith and Williams).
If you’ve been paying attention (and we always assume you have), you are fully aware that point guard John Wall (right), the top rated high school player in the nation (our nation, in case you were unsure) visited our beloved Duke Blue Devil’s coaching staff this past Sunday. This of course was not Wall’s first stop on campus, but it was the first time the top rated point guard and Coach Krzyzewski sat face-to-face to discuss his possible role on the 2009-10 Blue Devils.
Of course, if you’re a Duke fan, you didn’t even have to be in the room to know what was said. Duke is a good team, with plenty of talent along the wings, but lacks both a legit big man in the middle and an athletic point guard who can run the show and penetrate through the lane (keeping the opponent’s PG out on the defensive end). Mr. Wall would naturally be a perfect fit. He could be the next Jason Williams, who led Duke to the 2001 championship.
While Coach K officially offered up a scholarship to John Wall during his visit, he will remain undecided for at least three more weeks (if not longer). While Wall has a list of five-seven teams, prior to John Calipari’s exit from Memphis, the Tigers were always the front-runners. However, with his move to Kentucky, the situation is even muddier.