Duke Basketball: ESPN Article Has Some Speculating About Blue Devil Defections
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With Duke's latest point guard recruit adding to its already abundant supply of guards, the Blue Devils have some believing they have too much of a good thing.
In its Insider rumor section (link: http://insider.espn.go.com/ncb/featu...101105#2862%29), ESPN, following Quinn Cook's announcement that he would commit to Duke, wrote a speculative piece, at best, about how the announcement could cause some of Duke's guards to seek more playing time elsewhere.
Specifically mentioned in the piece was sophomore shooting guard Andre Dawkins and how he might be a good fit at Stanford with former Duke assistant Johnny Dawkins.
Duke's 2011-2012 backcourt is pretty full.
If everyone who is eligible to stay stays, including super freshman Kyrie Irving, the Blue Devils will have six players who can play either the point or the two-guard next season.
That list includes juniors Dawkins and Seth Curry, sophomores Irving (if he stays) and Tyler Thornton and freshmen Austin Rivers and Cook.
And that doesn't include incoming freshman Michael Gbinije, who can play guard as well.
ESPN's rationale was that with or without Irving, a player like Dawkins might benefit from a change of scenery in an effort to earn more playing time.
Dawkins was mentioned as a possible transfer last season as well when his playing time dropped substantially following the death of his sister.
The fact that there is nothing to substantiate the rumor about Dawkins is completely overlooked. Granted ESPN may have just been doing a friendly round of the "what-if game," but it is unfair to Duke and the players mentioned.
Duke has a lot of guards for sure, but seeing as how they are a guard-oriented program to begin with, can you really have too many?
If Irving stays, he won't stay beyond a year, and Rivers is most likely a one-and-done. As for the rest, they are likely to play at least three if not all four years.
Thornton is a work in progress, though he has been a pleasant surprise so far in preseason.
Dawkins at 6'5" could play some on the wing, and his sweet stroke will be too hard to keep off the floor. He can split time with Gbinije at the three position with the departure of Kyle Singler.
Curry could play either point or shooting guard, but his ability to score and shoot will give him plenty of playing time.
Rivers is the top recruit for 2011 so there isn't any doubt he will see action early and often.
It is natural to speculate when you have amassed that much talent for two or three positions, but if anyone can handle it, it is Mike Krzyzewski.
If Irving leaves then Cook and Thornton are more than capable of handling the point guard duties. Thornton's ability to play defense will earn him time.
In this day and age of "play me now or I leave," Krzyzewski has learned that some players will go if they aren't happy with their situation.
If Dawkins wanted to leave, he would have left by now. But by next year he will have established himself.
Thornton may be less so, but as a projected four-year player, he will find a niche and be a steady contributor over the next four seasons.
So while there wasn't anything necessarily inappropriate about ESPN's speculation, unless it is supported by something factual, why write about it?
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