A while ago, we did a post on the varying impacts an efficient basketball player can have. In order to explore this subject further, we have conducted a series of interviews. We have discussed three different types of players with team specific bloggers. This second post features an interview with Duke Hoop Blog (twitter: @DukeHoopBlog) on Jon Scheyer.
Hoop Vision: Jon Scheyer was 10th overall in offensive rating, but 3rd overall for players with at least 20% of possessions used. Solid shooting percentages and an excellent assist to turnover ratio were the driving factors. Where (on the floor) and when (transition, end of shot clock, etc.) did Scheyer's shots occur in 2009-2010?
Duke Hoop Blog: Jon took over half of his 531 shots in 2009-2010 from deep (287). His two-point attempts usually came at the rim or just inside the arc due to Duke’s offense. Once in the half-court, Jon would primarily play off the ball with Nolan running the point. Jon took most of his shots at the beginning or very end of the shot clock. Because of the personnel of the 2009-2010, Duke did not run in transition that often. If Duke couldn’t get a quick shot in transition (beginning of the shot clock) Coach K liked to run the clock all the way down, causing Jon to take shots at the end of the shot clock. Jon also took quite a few shots after an offensive rebound and a quick kick-out, causing the shot to come at the beginning of the shot clock.
Hoop Vision: As the point guard for Duke, Scheyer was not able to hide on the court. How much of Scheyer's phenominal TORate (11.4%) was due to his ability to rely on his teammates and how much was due to his decision making ability?
Duke Hoop Blog: Half and half. He wasn’t able to hide on the court as a point guard, but after bringing the ball up, he often played off the ball. That obviously helped his TORate. He was also, arguably, the smartest player in college basketball. There were too many examples of his basketball IQ and decision making ability to single out one from last year, but a great example from 2009 sticks out. In the second round game of the NCAA tournament with 15 seconds left he dives to save a ball and throws it up in the air as high as he can to the other side of the court to waste time. A foul by Texas occurred and Duke ended up winning the game because of the spectacularly intelligent play by Jon.
Hoop Vision: Would Scheyer's style of play have seen as good of results on a team inferior to Duke? Were his assist numbers and efficiency largely dependent on his team's ability to make shots?
Duke Hoop Blog: That is a tough question. On a team with less talent, Jon would have had to take most of the shots, causing his assist numbers to drop and, most likely, his turnovers to increase. Jon is not a John Wall type player who can slash through a defense and get teammates wide open layups time and time again. But, what he can do is command defensive attention for himself and then get the ball to his teammates for open shots.
Hoop Vision: It is hard to criticize a national championship team, but did Scheyer best utilize his talents in Duke's offense or could he have played a more prominent role while keeping his excellent efficiency?
Duke Hoop Blog: No I don’t think he could have played a more prominent role and kept his efficiency as high as it was. As I have said, he often played off the ball after bringing the ball up; this let him maximize his talent as a shooter and a more natural 2-guard. He was also able to develop his skills as a passer and game manager while playing the point guard position. If he had been expected to carry the load offensively his numbers would have suffered.
Hoop Vision: What can we expect from Duke as a whole in 2010-11?
Duke Hoop Vision: Duke will be more talented in 2010-2011 because of the arrival of freshman point guard Kyrie Irving, transfer Seth Curry, the return of Kyle and Nolan, and the emergence of the Plumlees. Duke has all the tools to repeat as national champions, but they will certainly miss the decision making and leadership of guys like Jon, Zoubek, and Lance. If a leader can emerge (most likely Kyle or Nolan) and Kyrie can make good decisions with the ball, the Blue Devils will be extremely successful. Duke will look very different next year than they did this past year. They will be a more traditional Duke team on defense, using pressure man-to-man and stepping in passing lanes. This is possible because of the speed and agility of the added personnel. On offense, Duke will look to run. The Plumlees are built to be agile and athletic big man who can run the floor and finish at the rim. Kyrie is a lightning quick player (he will challenge Kemba Walker as the quickest player end to end in college basketball) who can get the ball up the floor and either finish in transition or put a teammate into position to finish. Expectations are very high for the Blue Devils in 2010-2011, but they are achievable.