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Duke Open Practice Observations

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  • BlueDevils00 Sep 30, 2013
    Sports Legend

    The open practice was awesome to see. The team did nothing special, basically just ran a normal practice. You could tell Coach K was in command and was determined to use the limited practice time to make the team better, not necessarily run a bunch of alley oop drills for the fans (which I actually liked -- we need to gel more than anything.)

  • BlueDevils00 Sep 30, 2013
    Sports Legend

    1) Jabari Parker is amazing. He is a legit 6'9" and strong, runs the court like a guard, shoots like a guard, handles the ball like a guard, but defends the post and blocks shots like a center. He is the best Duke player I've ever seen in person. He looked like a polished NBA player (no exaggeration). He hit numerous fadeaways, 3pt shots, pull-up jumpers, emphatic dunks and alley oops, and blocked a couple shots with the game (scrimmage) on the line.

    2) Quinn Cook has improved. He looks lightning quick, with a real handle on the ball and vision in the back of his head. He made numerous highlight reel passes to Jabari for slams, and also looked like he improved his ball pressure dramatically.

    3) Rodney Hood is the real deal. He cramped up so we didn't get to see him scrimmage, but he is 6'8" guard with a silky smooth game. His jump shot is pure, his ball handling is well above-average, and his athleticism is thru the roof. We haven't had a player with his versatility/size/athleticism since Grant Hill.

  • BlueDevils00 Sep 30, 2013
    Sports Legend

    4) Amile Jefferson is meat and potatoes. He clearly has put on 20+ pounds and looked strong out there. In post-defense drills, he was able to body up stronger players like Hairston and Plumlee.

    5) Sulaimon, Dawkins and Jones will all battle for playing time at SG. It shocked some people last week when Coach K announced he's only set on 4 starters (Cook, Parker, Hood, Amile). I am sure Sheed will start, but Dawkins was the 6th man during the scrimmage and looked MUCH quicker and intense than 2 years ago. You can tell he has made an effort to change his body type, looking much more lean. Sheed was explosive and could be one of the best guards in the country. People are sleeping on Matt Jones - I for one, but I think he will get minutes here and there. He is tall (6'5") and quicker than I thought. He hit numerous pull up jumpers and looked comfortable doing so.

    6) Plumlee, Murphy still have room to grow. Plumlee is huge, but you could tell he had missed time in the offseason. He did have a sick dunk in the lane over 2 guys, though. He will grow into a serviceable backup Center and key when we play teams with elite big men (Michigan - Mitch McGary). Murphy looked improved. He struggled with his shot but showed intensity and a good focus. It he continues to work hard he could earn minutes at backup PF (he played mostly at PF it seemed like).

  • BlueDevils00 Sep 30, 2013
    Sports Legend

    7) Semi Ojeleye is built like a Mack truck. He has the body of an NFL running back. His 4-year ceiling at Duke is extremely high. Again, this is a type of player that we have not seen at Duke in the last 10 years. Think a taller, stronger Gerald Henderson (obviously needs to work on his game, but as far as body type and athleticism - that is an accurate analysis)

    8) Thornton and Hairston are Thornton and Hairston. Tough, experienced, valued leaders of the team and will probably be the first two players off the bench (with Dawkins).

  • Tizu Sep 30, 2013
    Sports Legend

    Thanks for the info! This is good news. I wish I could have been there to see it. I plan to go to several games this year, so I'll get to see them up close and personal.

    Looking forward to it!

  • BlueDevils00 Sep 30, 2013
    Sports Legend

    Yeah man, I'm so excited! This team will run like K's Olympic squads -- no true back-to-the-basket post man, but tons of interchangeable parts, ready to adapt to whatever the game dictates. During most of practice, they pressed full-court with all 5 players the entire time, immediately after each made basket.

    This season is going to be a blur! We will play like an NBA team, with NBA talent. Ready for a HUGE 2013-14 season!

  • The Swoffinator Sep 30, 2013
    Pro

    Cheaters never win.

  • Tizu Sep 30, 2013
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread



    I'm sorry but this post is about Duke, not UNC.

  • BlueDevils00 Sep 30, 2013
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread



    another username?!!? every time UNC loses he gets a new name. wow.

  • BluedevilLIFER Sep 30, 2013
    Rookie

    Great information and thanks for providing some insight on the open practice. I planned on going but family weekend at UNC-W prevented me from going. Very hyped about this year. I hope the team as a whole can stay healthy and gel. Looking forward to the return of Dawkins and I hope he can become productive. Can't wait to see Parker and Hood in action. You said Hood cramped up....are there any health concerns moving forward for him or does he seem to be completely ready for full throttle?

  • backpainfaker Sep 30, 2013
    Pro

    the cheerleaders are even uglier than last yr.

  • BlueDevils00 Sep 30, 2013
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread



    No concerns whatsoever. He was just stretching it out during the scrimmage portion, otherwise he was full-go.

    After practice I asked him if he was OK and he said "yeah i'm good" without hesitation.

  • BluedevilLIFER Sep 30, 2013
    Rookie

    View quoted thread

    Good to hear, looking forward to seeing how they all fit together. Would love to see an up-tempo offense this year.

  • BlueDevils00 Sep 30, 2013
    Sports Legend

    Yeah I think we will be running up and down non-stop. They were putting on a 5-man full-court press throughout practice, so I think they will try to dictate the pace of the game on both ends of the floor.

  • BluedevilLIFER Sep 30, 2013
    Rookie

    View quoted thread

    Very nice, glad to hear it. I hope we are able to flex our muscle on both ends and go deep in the tourney.

  • BlueDevils00 Sep 30, 2013
    Sports Legend

    I probably didn't give Dawkins enough love in that first post. He looks like a changed player. His body is leaner and more defined than 2 years ago, and it showed in his quickness. His defense looked like it has improved drastically as well. I think Sheed ends up starting, but I would bet that Dawkins will still play 20min/game. Either in 3-guard sets, or as the SF with Parker/Hood as the big men. Dawkins looks like the player we always hoped he would be. The jumper is still true, but he's quicker and better defensively (which was his achilles heel in 2011.)

    I have much less doubt about our post-defense and rebounding situation after seeing the boys practice. Jabari has the size of a college center (6'9" 245) with the strength and athleticism to match. He also has a keen sense for rebounding. Amile Jefferson is light years stronger than he was last year and it showed as well. He grabbed boards left and right, also altering and blocking shots along the way. Marshall will be an x-factor, but as of right now its tough to think he'll play more than maybe 10min/game. The bigs rotation will be Parker/Amile/Hairston with MP3 or even Hood as the 4th rotating player.

  • BlueDevils00 Sep 30, 2013
    Sports Legend

    My biggest takeaways are 1) Jabari Parker is the best player in college basketball, 2) we are maybe the most athletic team Coach K has ever had, and 3) Dawkins is back.

  • BluedevilLIFER Sep 30, 2013
    Rookie

    View quoted thread

    Again, great information. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I have always been a big fan of Dawkins. I guess his personal struggles have a lot to do with that. I would love to see him contribute and be a great sixth man. I agree that Sheed should start over him. Its nice to see we have many options this year.

  • BlueDevils00 Sep 30, 2013
    Sports Legend

    Yeah me too, Dawkins seems like such a great kid. He was the last player to leave Cameron, after staying at least 15-20min to sign autographs. Class act

  • The Swoffinator Sep 30, 2013
    Pro

    Looks like they're getting primed for another early flameout in Durm.

    Makes us grin.

  • BluedevilLIFER Sep 30, 2013
    Rookie

    View quoted thread

    Deflection is UNC fans greatest tool. Can't you see grown folks are having a conversation, your momma must not have taught you any manners, poor child.

  • BlueDevils00 Sep 30, 2013
    Sports Legend

    Tough to find things to say when you get beat 69-53...

  • 903 PJ suspended til NCAA clears Sep 30, 2013
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread



    early flameout

    ...as opposed to PJ who's preparing to "light one up"...

  • BluedevilLIFER Sep 30, 2013
    Rookie

    View quoted thread

    +1

  • seedofdoubt Sep 30, 2013
    Sports Legend

    Still have hopes for Marshall to make a surge about mid-season when he gets rid of the layoff rust. Did he seem to be running/jumping well on that repaired foot?

  • BluedevilLIFER Sep 30, 2013
    Rookie

    View quoted thread

    That's about that only problem I have with Duke, it seems the big men are slow to develop. I to hope Marshall can make an impact middle to late in the season.

  • StunGunn Sep 30, 2013
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread



    Sounds like Duke is loaded this year. I'm happy to see Dawkins back - he had to deal with such tragedy at such a young age; taking the year off was probably a good move. Wishing him the best.

  • uncsuckz Sep 30, 2013
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread



    You are right!! They lost again Saturday 55-something to a CSUA team. Glad you're on our side now Markie. I knew you'd see the light one day. Come by the trailer park and we'll roll one together....

  • The Swoffinator Sep 30, 2013
    Pro

    View quoted thread



    "Markie"?

    Is that a pet name you have created for me or something?

    Downright creepy, but never a surprise from the ABC crowd.

    OhBoy.

  • kmorrevenge Oct 1, 2013
    All Star

    View quoted thread



    and he lied about his mother dying again.

  • The Swoffinator Oct 1, 2013
    Pro

    View quoted thread



    Who did? LOL my mother is alive and well, and hates dook almost as much as I do LOL...

    ABCers and their fantasies..ohBoy...

  • kmorrevenge Oct 1, 2013
    All Star

    View quoted thread



    Marky changing his mind about his mother again....classic.

  • The Swoffinator Oct 1, 2013
    Pro

    View quoted thread



    I can't speak for this "Marky", or "Markie" or whatever or whoever you fantasize about.....

    But we''ve definitely changed our minds about yours.

    ("Long-suffering" is likely the best way to describe her.)

    OhBoy.

  • kmorrevenge Oct 1, 2013
    All Star

    View quoted thread



    poor marky

  • The Swoffinator Oct 1, 2013
    Pro

    View quoted thread



    Yep. Losing a close family member has got to be tough.

  • BlueDevils00 Oct 1, 2013
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread



    Yeah, he was moving around very well and soared over 2 guys for an amazing dunk in the lane at one point. He just looks rusty -- he lacks a go-to move in the post, his footwork needs to be improved, he fouls too much on defense, and lacks confidence in his shot around the rim.

    He has all the physical tools to end up being a very good Center at Duke (this year or at very least sometime in the next 3 years), but right now I understand why Coach K hasn't been playing him very much.

    Honestly, he reminds me of Miles Plumlee during his junior/senior years. He will make incredible dunks and block shots out of nowhere, but doesn't have a consistent post-up game and is slightly out of control.

  • rx74u2nv Oct 1, 2013
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread



    Whooosh!

  • seedofdoubt Oct 1, 2013
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread


    Thanks 00.

  • BlueDevils00 Oct 2, 2013
    Sports Legend

    Last year I was one of the main people asking why Coach K wasn't playing MP3 or Murph more... after 2 hours of practice, I see exactly why. They just aren't confident in themselves yet and it shows.

    Cook, Sulaimon, Hood, Parker, Jefferson starting.
    Dawkins, Thornton, Hairston off the bench.
    Jones, MP3, Ojeleye, Murphy play sparingly. Jones and MP3 have the ability to play more with specific roles (Jones as a floor-stretcher and shooter, MP3 as a defensive/rebounding presence against elite big men).

  • BlueDevils00 Oct 2, 2013
    Sports Legend

    That lineup may seem small but in reality Hood and Jefferson are 6'8" and Parker is 6'9", all are strong and play sound defense. Rebounding should not be an issue either-- I was extremely impressed with Jefferson and Parker's rebounding at practice, they were all over the boards and got the outlet pass out quick to Cook for instant fast breaks (Cook looks lightning quick, a 1-man fast break).

  • 903 sing Terry Watson sing Oct 2, 2013
    All Star

    Yeah, you don't need a dominant big man anymore to succeed. As long as you have a 4 on the floor that can hold down the post and rebound. Just look at what the Heat have done over the last two years.

  • BlueDevils00 Oct 2, 2013
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread



    Great point. I read an article that said this Duke team might mirror what the Heat have done recently. Yeah, you're gonna get beat up on the inside sometimes, but McGary and those big men will also have to defend Jabari on the perimeter... which will be hilarious.

  • kmorrevenge Oct 2, 2013
    All Star

    View quoted thread



    oh boy, come on marky. Im shocked you are still living that lie.

  • Brackettville Oct 2, 2013
    Sports Legend

    Nice analysis BP. I will be at the Blue/White game on the 18th. I will post a thread about my takeaways as well. This team could be the real deal. Deep, athletic and mature.

  • BlueDevils00 Oct 2, 2013
    Sports Legend

    View quoted thread



    Awesome, looking forward to it!

  • accfanatic01 Oct 2, 2013
    All Star

    Great to hear everyone is coming along so well, and with a little luck they can avoid the injury bug this season. Ikeep hearing pundits say that the five spot will be our achilles, but I ddon't realy see that. Between Jabari, Jefferson, Hairston and Marshal, I think they will be better on the boards then they have been in years.

  • kato_karma2.4 Oct 2, 2013
    Pro

    kiwi rolled the ball out...

    blew his whistle...

    and crumpled to the floor (for a little nap).

  • accfanatic01 Oct 4, 2013
    All Star

    Roy rolled the ball out, got smashed BADLY, and left with his starters before the game was over.

  • kato_karma2.4 Oct 4, 2013
    Pro

    smh.

    typical jr...

    attempts to make a funny but unable to connect to the thread headline.

  • kmorrevenge Oct 4, 2013
    All Star

    View quoted thread



    ouch......nice.

  • The Swoffinator Oct 4, 2013
    Pro

    View quoted thread



    LOL post of the month!

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