Duke Report

Duke Basketball: Alex Murphy Transfers and What It Means for Both Parties

Alex MurphyThe Duke Basketball program announced today that Alex Murphy will be transferring from Duke University to pursue other opportunities.

For many Duke fans, this comes as no surprise.

Murphy was now in his third year in the Duke program and had received minimal playing time during his career as a Blue Devil. He redshirted in his first season after suffering a concussion in the preseason, and was then relegated to the bench last season and through the first part of this year.

During his two years of playing at Duke, he averaged just over two points and one rebound in six minutes per game. Those aren’t exactly great numbers for a talented 6’9”, 230-pound forward.

He arrived in Durham with a reputation of being an athletic scorer and perimeter shooter, but never seemed to find his place on the floor. He struggled with quickness on defense and appeared to lack confidence on offense.

In looking at the depth chart for this season and the next few years, Murphy likely saw that his opportunities for playing time were going to be slim during his career at Duke. He’s behind Rodney Hood and Semi Ojeleye this season, which likely wouldn’t change if both players return next season. Additionally, he’d also have to compete with Justise Winslow, an incoming 5-star recruit who would probably jump ahead of Murphy for minutes.

Frankly, the loss of Murphy shouldn’t have a big impact on this season’s Duke team. He likely helped push his teammates in practice, but he rarely made an impact in games for the Blue Devils. He hadn’t played in four of Duke’s last five games, and most of his appearances this season had been in blowout victories.

Many believe (myself included) Murphy should have been given more opportunities and a greater role in Duke’s system, but that makes no difference now. This team will continue to move forward and there shouldn’t be much change from what we’ve already seen this season.

For Alex Murphy, the decision comes at an interesting time in his career. The NCAA gives athletes five years to complete their four years of eligibility. Because Murphy was redshirted during his first season at Duke, he’s already in his third year of eligibility. He’ll likely have to sit out one year due to NCAA transfer rules, meaning he likely won’t have more than 1 ½ seasons of eligibility wherever he lands.

Many players, like Seth Curry or Rodney Hood, simply use their redshirt year to count toward the year they have to sit out when transferring. Murphy is in a difficult position because his redshirt year has already been used.

I wrote a piece in December 2012 about how it was time for Murphy to transfer, primarily because of this exact situation. With him transferring now, he’s given himself little time to be able to gain experience playing for a new team.

It will be interesting to see what happens with this young man during the rest of his career. Some individuals who have transferred from Duke have gone on to great success. Others have shown why they never received much playing time to begin with.

Regardless of where he ends up and what becomes of his basketball career, let’s all hope Alex Murphy continues to grow as a young man and makes the decisions that are best for him.

  • Bermuda Bob

    As anyone knows, I have long been a fan of Alex. I liked his abilities – when he got to play – and I have never understood why he had been forced to bring his sleeping bag to Coach K’s “doghouse” !!!

    I think Alex may have seen how well Mike Gbinigi – AKA “Silent G” has worked out at Syracuse …

    I just don’t get it though … Alex did everything asked of him … It”s not like he was a Josh McRoberts – AKA “The Master of the Missed Dunk” – a guy who openly refused to embrace Coach K’s vision.

    This was a guy who by all signs did everything asked of him, and performed well when he was blessed with a chance to play …

    I feel bad for him … I see him as a victim here since he will have to waste yet another year (counting the Red Shirt) and sit while the CBB world goes by !!!

    I’ll be watching the news for indicators for sure !!!

    Rock On, Alex … Rock On !!!

  • Bill

    Check the stats, Coach K does not consistently play 8, 9 or 10 players every year. It makes you wonder if other talented players will follow Alex Murphy. If RS does not get more playing time, he may be the next transfer.

    • Frosty the Snowman

      More playing time? RS has played in every game but the last one and is getting 23 minutes a game.

      I think Alex may have seen how well Mike Gbinigi – AKA “Silent G” has worked out at Syracuse …

      He ain’t doing jack at Syracuse. That’s why he didn’t play at Duke

      • Bermuda Bob

        Frosty …
        Thank you for making me look at the stats on “Silent G” … I was under the impression that he was playing more !!!

        On the other hand, he’s averaging 15 minutes a game and 4 points, which is more than the 33 total minutes Alex has been “allowed” …

  • Chris Fogarty

    Coach K better be careful. He’s close to pushing Sheed to doing the same thing. Why recruit all these great players if you’re not going to use them? Alex definitely had athletic ability, but I don’t think he was given adequate opportunities to display those abilities. You shouldn’t recruit all these players if you don’t intend on using them as part of your rotation. It’s not fair to them. I’m a huge Duke and Coach K fan, but sometimes I just can’t wrap my head around the decisions made.

    • Frosty the Snowman

      He was given an opportunity every day in practice. And none of these guys are being recruited with the intention of not playing them. But playing time ain’t welfare. You don’t get pt just for showing up. Murphy had an opportunity to crack the rotation just like everyone else. And at 6″9 230 lbs, he would be getting plenty of time on this years team if he could play.

      Now for a reality check: Murphy(and Plumlee) was K’s first non-injury redshirt in 20 years. That should tell you all you need to know. Guys who can play don’t get redshirted just for the heck of it.

      • Deansmith hater

        I’m guessing you had a hard time with the captha math?….Coach K took 5 years and still never got the idea that Miles and Mason were allowed on the floor at the same time…Another transfer on the coach that leads the world in transfers…Now recruits will see this and figure out why take the chance on wasting your precious college years….I have admired and revered coach K for what he did for Duke. He erased Dean Smith from relevance and put UNC as not even the best program in their own state….But he has followed his insane mentor and I fear he has forgotten what made him great…He stays with head strong terrible lineups and seems to refuse to admit he is just plane wrong…Ex. 18 point lead aginst Michigan a couple years back in second half only to put in almost all guard team and should have lost on last second easy shot…I am glad you left Murphy…More will follow I am afraid..PLayers wait their whole life to play for a legend and Duke only to find out their post coach is 5’7″, they work on screaming in practice vs rebounding I guess, and if they are lucky enough to get on the floor they spend most of their time playing chicken head looking at when the buzzer will get them back on the bench…I pray we don’t get decommits

      • william

        agreed with everything besides….the fact the murphy was RS because of talent…he was RS because of a concussion in the preseason of his freshman year, Plumlee was and injury too

    • Bermuda Bob

      I agree completely … I am also a huge fan of Coach K but I have to admit that it wrong to recruit a kid you don’t have a vision for, then Red Shirt him, only to see him perfect his splinter pulling skills !!!

      Andy Katz made the off hand remark about Sulaimon last night on a minor ESPN video report … In his case, he’s seen a kid come in and take his space and more coming in next year … that’s got to imply something to the kid, who is only a Sophomore !!!

      Rock On, Alex, Rock On !!!

    • John Strickland

      My thoughts exactly

  • AV50

    I don’t understand – Alex was starting on the China trip 2 years ago and yet isn’t good enough to play 5 minutes for a team that can use his size and rebounding ability. MP3 was dubbed our 6th man last year yet this year when he plays, and plays well, they can’t wait to put him on the bench in favor of Hairston. Both are better than Hairston – it doesn’t matter if he is a senior. I am worried about “Sheed also as well as Ojeleye. When kids start leaving, other players might get that itch.

    • http://dukereport.com Jim Oliver

      I agree, I guess they come to Duke and maybe there’s something about them that K doesn’t like? Maybe they just weren’t that good? Hard to say sense we aren’t there…but it makes you wonder.

  • AV50

    It seemed like he was a guy that needed one good game and the light bulb would have went off and he would have been a significant contributor. It’s tough to do when you play 3 minutes a game. Silent G plays 15-20 minutes a game on an arguably better team. He would probably be on the bench here also. Like I said, with Hood not projected as a first rounder and Winslow coming in, Semi is a likely candidate for the next one to leave.

    • http://BleacherReport Ed P

      Hood is projected as the 12th pick in the FIRST ROUND.

  • Bill Wheeler

    I have a great passion for Duke and Duke basketball. I hate to see players not given a chance during the games to show their skills. How one practices is important and may probably should determine if they play substantial minutes. But not to give a young man a chance on the floor for more than 2 or 3 minutes during a game does not make sense to me.

    Every player wants his time on the floor. When your team is up by 15 or more points, I would be playing the entire bench. But I am not the coach.

    Sheed looked very unhappy the other night on the bench when I saw him on TV. In my opinion, Coach K needs realize he has a lot of talent – please wake up and use it.

    Duke now has two other winning programs (Football and LAX). Coach Cutcliffe was a great find for Duke. Plus the over the counter tickets to those games are more reasonable.

  • Chris Fogarty

    I don’t think I was eluding to playing time equalling welfare Frosty. The bottom line is, Alex Murphy has more natural talent than a guy like Josh Hairston or even Tyler Thorton, who I believe are only getting playing time because they scrap and claw, not because of their abilities. I can understand if it was an effort thing, but I find it hard to believe that was it.

    How do you recruit a top 20 talent and not use them? Basketball is a game of flow and it takes more than 2-3 minutes a game to get a feel for the flow of a game and how it’s being played. To get yanked for missing a shot is not a great way to boost a players confidence.

    Mike Gbinje is getting significantly more time on a team, to be honest, that looks better than Duke right now.

    Let’s hope Sheed isn’t the next guy to leave, because Duke needs him more than people realize…..

    • ken


    • Bermuda Bob

      I think you meant “allude” instead of “elude” …

      I agree with you on all your points, and as I’ve already mentioned, the Suliamon transfer concept was mentioned by Andy Katz last night, and for good reason !!!

      Rasheed has got to be feeling pretty crummy, seeing a guy coming in to his position and more recruited … talk about feeling pretty under-appreciated !!!

      You amongst us could keep their head and emotions screwed on straight under those circumstances ???

    • william

      Im tired of people saying sheed isnt getting playing time….sheed is getting playing time….every fucking game….besides the last one….hell he even started 2 games this year… all sheed needs to do is stop being scared and play ball…he is a beast…the SG spot is his for the taken if he becomes the sheed from last year…same goes to dawkins…he too can be that starting SG are backup SF…and sheed is projected to be the starter next year no matter what…HE JUST HAVE TO SHAKE THE RUST…

      Athough i do think the lineups should look like this

      PG cook….4th best player, best pg on team
      SG sheed….3rd best player, but lack confidence
      SF hood….second best
      PF parker….best player
      C MP3 ….only for rebounds, and size. treat him like a Zoubak


      PG thorton
      SG Jones
      SF Dawkins
      PF Hairston/semi O.
      C Jefferson/Murphy

      • BJ

        Actually Sheed has not played in 2 games, the last game and a preseason game. I know I was at the game and afterwards Coach K gave some be about him not feeling well when he was almost dunking in warm ups. He’s done something to rub coach the wrong way since then. You don’t just bench a player that was your 4th leading scorer (.1 behind Cook) a year ago. He will likely transfer. I also think it was the right move for Murphy to transfer his confidence was broke last year. I agree with your lineup all except MP3, I think you start Amille and MP3 is the first off the bench. Semi should be the backup for Parker (now that Murphy is gone) and Dawkins for Sheed. But I agree with Hairston being taken out of the lineup. He was another guy who is playing out of position though, in high school he was amazing compared to what he brings now. He is a small forward. Not getting the transfer Tarik Black messed up everything. Just my 2 cents.

  • Mark

    I sort of saw this coming. All that talent….someone’s gonna’ have to sit. And someone ain’t gonna’ be happy. But really, this situation is hardly unique to Duke. Unless you’re a Parker, you’re going to sit a little as a freshman. Game improves….minutes improve. Thornton and Dawkins don’t get to start all the time and the latter even gets DNPs. They’re ok with that. Suliamon will be ok. But if there was one person who was going to take a hit, pt/scoring wise this season, it was going to be him.

  • Deansmith hater

    Coach K I think is losing it fast….He puts Thorton and Hairston on the floor effectively making it a 3 on 5 game against the talented teams like Kansas and Kentucky and so who chosse to play their BEST players as opposed to guys that cannot throw in the swimming pool…I lamented for 5 years as he wasted the Plumlies and now watch as Miles is flirting with a double double in the NBA!….I can’t believe the last brother will stay much longer and I am afraid the floodgates my open soon..Murphy who came to Duke dreaming of a fair shot didn’t even get 30 shots in 3 years….We have led the world in transfers in past 10 years and I am afraid we just might get some decommitments..There is a reason no big men want to play for K…I just don’t get it..He never coached like this up untill about 10 years ago,,,,What happened?

  • Jordan

    I’m pretty sure Coach K knows what he is doing. I trust K’s eye for talent and his player development techniques over the armchair coaches chiming in on this board.

    He’s said it time and time again. Playing time is earned in practice. Talent alone does not merit PT, nor does your high school ranking. These kids committed to Duke University, a premier basketball school which perennially lands the best HS players in the country. If you aren’t comfortable competing for playing time, you may want to look elsewhere.

    Sure, Semi and Sheed could transfer to Longwood University and average 40 ppg, but they wouldn’t be better players for it. Duke has the most NBA players currently because K produces players who are professional, know how to play, and bring it every night. If you aren’t playing at Duke, its probably because you aren’t exuding the above attributes, and you have no one to blame but yourself.

    • Deansmith hater

      You sound like a Turdheel fan defending Dean smith when he could not play dead…..Coach K seems to no longer have the ability to figure out how to get the best players on the floor at the right time…No greater evidence than that of Lehigh just a short year and a half ago..He had 3 NBA players that took turns warming the pine as he ran suicide drill with people like Thorton and Hairston and the unthinkable happened. No one has been a bigger fan than I of coach K and the magic he has produced in knocking the hated Turdheels off their perch during the last 30 years but he is going the way of his mentor, insane Bobby Knight as he too forgot how to coach and left a laughing stock..By no means will coach K leave as Knight did but coach up the road in Syracuse is making his 1000 wins seem a little smaller these days as he gains on him AND he knows who his best players are to be on the floor especially in the sweet spot of the game….It was so maddening watching the Horses of Kansas and Zona pull away as they ran with our ponies (Thorton and Hairston, both very likable and perfect “come off the bench” for about 7 or 8 minutes a game and only in “off” times players)….I don’t know what his deal is..I just know if I was the parents of a 7 foot star I too would help him pick anywhere but ” set a pick in triangles for maybe 9 or 10 minutes a game Duks”…Remember, the Plumleys were a godsend that Duke never should have gotten and K wasted them for 5 years..Can you imagine if Miles and Mason would have been on the floor at the same time for 35 plus minutes against Lehigh????..Would it have been even possible to lose?..I still love K but I am tired of watching him snatch defeat from the jaws of victory

  • Hoot Gibson

    No surprise, it seem Coach K has decided to “I can’t be the Kentucky’s of the NCAA, so I might as well join them…why bother with kids that want to stick around…let me take the one and done types who will be gone in short order, and useless to America, once their playing days are over”….sad to see what he is doing, and I have been a fan of Duke Basketball since 1986…..not so much anymore….is MP the 3rd next to go? Stay Tuned!

  • Bob

    I attended Duke in the 1960′s and have been a Duke basketball fan since then. I have also been a great admirer of Coach K and, in general, his philosophy of coaching and leadership. He certainly has had great success. However, I believe he has not been a good developer of some of the players he has recruited. He appears to “wear out” his first line players during the year, while refusing to give playing time to solid bench players despite being up 15-20 points near the end of the game. In my opinion, this is a serious flaw. I think that better utilization of some of this players who’ve been given relatively few minutes may have resulted in more national championships than his teams have won – better balance would have made some of those teams stronger. With the talent he’s recruited, it would not be unreasonable to expect even more success than he’s had. I greatly admire the hustle of Thornton and Hairston, but in my view they are players who would not start and would likely not play much for even a mid-major team.
    I have read this criticism of Coach K for a number of years, and, sadly, I’ve now concluded that the criticism is well-founded. His legacy as the coach with the most wins should be secure for a long time, but there is more to being a “great coach” than just winning. Coach K, I’m afraid, falls short.

    • Deansmith hater

      I played for a junior college team out west in 79…Thorton would NOT have started on our teaaaam!!!!…..K is so hard headed he thinks he is smarter than anyone else…It is the same mentality when in NCAA championship game against Arkansas he let Capel turnover the precious championship game….He would not see that Capel was not supposed to be in that game so he let him destroy a really great Duke team…..He tooK next year off….He has never been the same coach since….

  • http://Dukereport.com S reavis

    Name one transfer who has gone onto great success. 15 minutes and 4 points a game is not great success. Duke is loaded and transfers are a product of success. Relax!

  • http://www.fromballparkstobbq.com/ David Aldridge

    Thank you all for commenting! It’s great to see people engaging on this topic.

    I agree with many of the criticisms and opinions offered in the comments. However, to go down the road of “Coach K just isn’t a great coach” is ridiculous. He’s a 4-time national champion and the winningest coach in men’s college basketball.

    We may disagree with some of his decisions, but there’s no doubt he’s a phenomenal coach.

  • Sean

    It’s always tough to see players go but they have to do what’s best for them. Alex is a very talented player but he just could never find his mojo at Duke. It’s hard to give him extended minutes when he struggles with lateral foot quickness on D especially with the way the game is called today. Coach K has always played 7-8 guys in his rotation with the exception of the national championship years of ’01 and ’10. It’s hard for Murphy to get into the rotation when there are two lottery picks in front of him (Parker, Hood) and you have players such as Jefferson, Hairston and Jones who have come in and been scrappy, tough players. As far as RS is concerned, the issue the coaching staff has with him is his lack of practice and game preparation. The last time I checked, that is very important part of being a good/great player. For example, look at how Cook has dedicated himself to the team and has challenged himself to be great. Cook of two years ago is no where near the player that he is today. RS has been playing 23 mins a game and has been making very little impact plays. This is DUKE BASKETBALL and not rec league. These guys want to be pro players so they are getting treated as such. I have no doubt that RS will get the message and prepare himself for greatness that he is capable of. Gone are the days of Duke having to rely on “system guys” for success. Now there is an influx of pro talent coming to Durham so you have to be able to lace them up and perform when it matters most in order to see extended playing time. Lastly, Coach K has done a really good job at developing talent while he has been there. Duke currently is tied for most NBA players. The most telling sign of his talent are the number of players who go on to have great success in things outside of basketball. Not everyone is going to go pro so it benefits them to make sure that they are a well rounded individual in life. You don’t see former Duke players getting in trouble with the law. As an African-American male it is great to see Coach K develop his players to be leaders of men and outstanding citizens.

    • Deansmith hater

      Thou sayest Sean…Read your own words…”Coach K has always played 7 or 8 except in his NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP years”…Also i would add in those years he was forced to abandon the ridiculous nose to nose “defense”, trying to deny the ball 30 feet from the basket while being drubbed with blow bys and rebounds(hard to rebound when you have 4 players 20 feet from where the game is REALLY played). Drop back defenses with switching is what keeps you losing to the Lehighs and Vermonts of the world and cutting down the nets in April…I fear the game has passed K by(although it is so maddening because K use to not coach like this,,,, He would adjust brilliantly to fit his team) and Bahiem will soon follow in passing him by..It is fun to play at the Cuses of the world maybe not so much at Duke these days…Transfers say alot about your program both in the present and more alarming in the future: RECRUITS

      • dale

        Been saying for years, that there are few players who need defending three feet passed the arc. Everyone who has beaten Duke has watched tape and figured it out…spread the D, charge the lane, dump it to a trailer. Duke is coached to help on D so they lose site of the undefended man under the basket. When a team is beating the hell out of you playing your M2M, change and go zone to take them out. I don’t think losing to prove your theory on defense is smart. Jimmy V was great at being able to see when his plan wasn’t working, and making changes in the game. K, for all his greatness, needs to be more flexible when getting smacked. As a military man, he has studied tactics, and knows that every good plan of attack has two back up alternatives, and a fall back. Being headstrong and inflexible gets you beaten, on the battlefield, or the court.

  • John

    Ok, I’m a life-long Duke fan, but sometimes it can be so embarrassing how spoiled some of us are. Questioning whether Coach K is really a ‘great coach’ because of this or other innocuous things?

    Let’s take a quick stroll through memory lane for a second, since we tend to have a rotten ‘what have you done for me TODAY’ attitude. K has won 4 titles in the last 20 years. That’s a 20% championship rate. There are 346 teams across 32 conferences plus 4 independents. Combine that with how insanely random the tournament is, the dozens of power conference and mid-major schools that land elite recruits every year, the fact that Duke rarely has the top recruiting class, etc. that win rate is absolutely astronomical by statistical standards. Oh yeah, forgot to mention the fact that K has been to 10 final fours and the championship game 7 times. Let’s not include the elite eight and sweet sixteen appearances, because that might as well be a ‘fail’ for short-sighted, one-tracked Duke fans.

    “But K always seems to choke in the tournament” is something I hear a lot from fellow Duke fans. The idiocy is beyond me. Besides those stats that I mentioned, perhaps it is worthwhile to note that Duke under coach K has a .750 winning percentage in the tournament, only good enough for…. the NCAA BEST.

    Let’s go back to the fact that Duke rarely has the top recruiting class and deals with player losses to graduation/nba just like every other elite school. A ‘down year’ for Kentucky, UNC, Arizona, UCLA, Florida, , etc. etc. means double digit loss years, tournament seeding of 6 or worse, NIT appearances (and losses). A ‘down year’ for K still usually ends up in a 2-4 seed. You can’t begin to imagine how remarkable that is.

    People using the Plumlees as an example of how he didn’t know how to use them and toiled for 5 years? Another absurdity. Another example of poor long-term memory. Both older Plumlees were painful to watch in their earlier years (and never really became schowcases of aesthetic basketball). Wit h their size, strength, and athleticism, they should have been defensive monsters and been able to have their way against just about anyone from day one. But aside from the occasional nice dunk and sporadic decent block shot, they had a complete lack of any offensive skillset and were more often than not lost defensively. Mason was in the Wooden award conversation last year because of the long process of molding him into at least an efficient player in some situations and improving his positioning for rebounds. It is BECAUSE of the hard work put in by coach K and his staff on the two that is resulting in their relative success in the nba so far.

    In the end, it’s funny that all of this means nothing to the keyboard experts on here doubting the proven best in the business. This was a good move for alex because he has nba aspirations that may have been jeopardized at Duke simply because there is not enough film on him to know how good he can be. He will get a shot to make his case, and I’m happy for him. As for Duke, it will be what it has always been about: A proven system that players must buy in to. The result over the past 2 decades+ has been a lot of success.

    • Deansmith hater

      Is that you Wo jo???…

  • Nelson

    I always thought Alex was a better player than he was allowed to show. We as fans have another problem that contributes to minutes allocation. We loved it when Parker scored 20+ in the first 6 games. We love it when we have 3 players with 20 points, or 4 players in double digits. We love the stats. But the only stat that really matters is the win-loss. Minute allocation and giving guys minutes to develope their game in game situations are really important. So Parker might only score 16, but Alex could have had some minutes and scored 8. And at the end of the season when guys have tons of minutes, but they are worn out, it would be nice to put a fresh players who has some developed skills in the game.

    • BJ

      Great comment

  • Duke 91920110

    I too have been a Duke and Coach K fan for many years. But somewhere along the way he seems to have quit trusting his bench players. He recruits all of these highly regarded players but then only plays 7 or 8. They all come out of high school thinking they are the one. I agree that Rasheed Sulaimon and Semi Ojeleye are already candidates to be next out the door. Also, you can already see Jabari Parker looking tired due to playing so many minutes already this season.

  • mcdizzle

    i agree with much on here in both the minute allocations as well as proof of K’s magnificence over the years. However, I do have to say i wish i got to see Alex play more. He had a couple great throw downs and flashed some big play ability. I guess my heart was set that he was the next Kyle Singler. Coming into the season I was sure this team was 12 deep. I really wanted to see everyone get a slice of the minutes. I know in the end the best guys need to play more, but I don’t see the harm of getting Marshall or Murphy in for more than a minute or too when i have to suffer through another Josh Hairston 17 foot jump shot.

  • Deansmith hater

    Recruiter to star prospect: “Why would you want to go play at Duke? If you escape the redshirt monster you will be asked to practice like your hair is on fire and then spend 97% of your freshmen season on the bench while vastly inferior players , for no good reason, take all your chances at developing in that crucial year. When you do luck up and find yourself abstractly on the floor you will be expected to chase a player with 4.5 speed 25 feet from the basket and when he blows by you , you will get the label of slow footed or worse, not hustling. In these 1.5 to 2 minute “stretches” you will be graded on how many picks you set and how loud you scream. As your seat gets further and further away from coach K and your uni stays crisp and clean talk of tranfers and next year fill your head….Why in God’s name would you want that ?..Come and play for me and lets have some fun. “….Good luck Alex…I hope you light it up

  • Swaggerjacker

    Most of you tools are clueless. Do you watch Alex practice? Have you not seen him when he’s in the game? I’m sure he’s been a great teammate. However, he just couldn’t cut it. And the tool that mentioned MG at Cuse, he’s playing 15 minutes, either because he plays great defense, or because he’s the best of the rest.

    Funny how all of you seem to know more about Alex than K does. Sheed does not practice well and hasn’t done a damned thing well lately. To the point where he has become a liability on the court. But you guys know better? Coach better watch out, we may not be able to recruit even 3 star players! Ridiculousness.

    No one at Duke is promised playing time, you earn it. We are lucky to have such a large and diverse bench to pull from. Duke will continue to recruit well, and will continue to lose a player every now and then that couldn’t cut it. I wish Alex nothing but the best. I liked him a lot. But he has to look out for his best interest.

    Go Duke

    • Deansmith hater

      Is that you Wo Jo??…………..K spent 5 years and never figured out that two Plumleys could be on the floor at the same time…Yeah we play great defense THIRTY feet from the basket and yet falls apart AT the basket(you tell me which space on the floor is most important to defend) and we get killed on the boards even by the likes of Lehigh and Vermont???…We put more emphasis on picking than low post creation?..Is it just me?..Are you sure this isn’t Wo Jo?

  • mike collins

    What bothers me about how this team runs its line-ups, is that they have so many players with so much offensive talent, that they should be running people out of the building on scoring, full-court pressure and taking care of the ball. Instead, when playing a top tier team, Coach K goes with a 7 man line-up as he always does. This takes away the advantage of physically wearing teams down and spreading the minutes around. Also, we have the ability to have a huge team with Plumlee at the 5, but we go small and lack the interior defense and rebounded night in and night out. My line-up (admittedly, I have zero rings and zero final four appearances) would be much like William’s.

    Starters and philosophy: This team would be long and fast. Hood can easily guard the opposing 2 guard and in-turn, would give him fits on the other end of the court. Parker would physically impose his will on any college wing by shooting over him and posting up. Jefferson has a great knack for scoring around the basket and would feed off of the help defense that would lead him while assisting against Hood and Parker. This team can fun the floor, score at will, play the passing lanes with their length and rebound against the best while Cook runs the show. I could certainly see Sheed in this line-up by bringing Jefferson off of the bench.
    1 Cook
    2 Hood
    3 Parker
    4 Jefferson
    5 Plumlee… just get boards and defend. who cares if he picks up quick fouls or even if he fouls out? also, there’s plenty of scoring around him.

    Bench and philosophy: Sheed and Dawkins need to find their way on the court. As Plumlee picks up fouls and sits down, Jefferson slides to the 5 and either of these two could come in as the 2. The team would only be slightly smaller but can still run the floor well and would be more dangerous behind the line in the half-court and in transition. Thortan is great leader for this team and he can come in for Cook to give him a breather. If Cook is taken out of the game early because of could trouble, then I would bring in Sheed for that spot (6’4″, 6’8″, 6’9”, 6’9”, 7’0 is a huge and intimidating line -up; especially when they have that speed). I do believe that the elite shooting of Dawkins spreads the court for everyone and himself to get that high octane offense in the right gear. And we must find ways of getting our best shooters on the court while we have our best slashers out the same time. Sprinkle in Jones, Olejeye and Hairston to keep that intense pace for 40 minutes and I think we would have the best team in the country.


    In conclusion. This team should be a very good first half team and into to second half… but in those last ten minutes, we should be leaving other teams in our wake! Dawkins came off the bench, ice cold, against Michigan and hit two quick threes that opened the game up. But how many times can we count on a player doing that when we’re running with just 7 players and are forced to look towards someone else due to foul trouble (especially with the rule changes)? In those last 10 minutes against Arizona and Kansas we were even with them physically when I believe they should’ve been exhausted from chasing 11-12 of our guys all game while our closing five should be fresh. This team has a similar depth as we did during Langdon’s senior year when we lost to UCONN in the finals… in that game the bench was shortened as well. Can anyone come up with a better formula for a National Championship than having senior and veteran leadership, tough point guard play, depth, size, and unteachable talent that enjoys playing together?

    I wish Alex the best of luck in basketball and in life.

    • Deansmith hater

      You are right on Mike…Coach K has seemed to have forgotten how to run a 40 minute game plan that makes any sense. We are always playing catch up in the “flow of the game” . He sends our 7 footers in panic situations, cold and sweatless, expects them to play 30 foot defense, and jerks them out BEFORE the sweat can break, gives them a go to hell look and forgets them for 3 games….No wonder we havm’t had a great big man in lo all these years..The Plunleys were a godsend and he managed to turn that into 5 excruitiating years of never turning them loose together and the beat goes on for the last Plumley he can screw over….Getting this big man next year is a complete miracle and I am praying for the deadline to get here to change your mind…..

  • mike collins

    Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Duke and Coach K but I also want what’s best for those kids. They must, as others have said, must earn that time in practice, but more and more I feel that I’m looking at broken spirits rather than motivational benching. I think Dawkins epitomizes both sides of this coin. Beyond his well known tragedy, he is the kind of player that can change the game with a few quick shots but also looks lost on defense many times. If a kid is at a school for 1 year and can’t grasp certain concepts, then it sounds like an effort and dedication to work issue but when a player has the same problem in his fourth year, it sounds like a coaching issue. I feel the same for players that shoot poorly from the line. The difference between talent levels in college basketball is minimal and what separates the poor from the average and the average from the elite usually boils down to confidence. That confidence, in my mind, is being put back on the court, regardless of how they are performing, or if they are in a slump, to be shown that the coaching staff still trusts them.

    I’m not trying to say that I know better than Coach K because after all, it was just a few years ago when he won the whole thing with a shallow bench.

  • B. Jones

    Bottom Line is this, Coach K would play 5 guys if he could. I don’t know if its him or coaching staff but this team should be playing at least 10 a game or even 11 in big time blow outs. Thornton and Hairston don’t need to start. Love them because they are Dukies but lets get real. Dawkins and Sulaimon should be at the 2. Jefferson or Plumlee at the 5. Semi, Jones, and Murphy could have all played at least 10 mins a game. If you go back to 90′s Coach k teams, He rotated about 9-10 guys every game. For example, I watched several games on youtube from 90-2000 and it was evident that the defense was better even when the team was lacking because guys to could play that high pressure-deny style. In my opinion, Duke has a problem because next year with the number 1 recruiting class coming in, its almost as if Jabari and Hood have to leave. Jabari should but Rodney may need another year depending on which NBA scouts you ask. That means Duke loses 6 from this team including Murphy. Returns Cook, Sulaimon, Jones, Semi, Jefferson, and Plumlee; then adds 4 top 50 players. And could possibly add Myles Turner to that lineup as well. Which means somebody is going to sit unless Coach K loosens up, or else I can see Semi, or someone else transferring. Basically I believe Murphy should transfer, he didn’t come to Duke to sit on the bench. Wouldn’t surprise me if he ends up at Rhode Island to play right away next year through some kind of crazy waiver because thats where he is from. In my opinion, Hairston gives nothing that Murphy couldn’t. I hear how he and Thornton are the vocal leaders but all they do is foul or take a charge or get an occasional put back or three. Thats it! Bottom Line is, Murphy should be playing more because he has more talent. I don’t care about seniors or captains or whatever excuse he’s using. It’d be interesting to see what any other coach in America would do with this roster. Love Coach K, but I’ve seen him get out coached more this year than I have in the past 5. Just saying……..

    • deansmith hater

      Like I said before..I played on a junior college team in the 70′s that Thorton would not start on…You forgot one thing that he and Hairston bring to the table that is not figured in the equation here, FOULS..By starting they help get the other team into the bonus much sooner…I agree with you , they should be carefully off the bench for breathers and never at the same time as in doing so they effectively make it a 3 on 5 game….I also agree with you on the fact K did not always coach like this.. He seems to have lost his dmn mind..I just think he is soo stubborn as to admit he got it all wrong these last years and he like his insane mentor, is determined to stay the course..I wish more would transfer to both help their own cause and maybe send a clear message to K to wake the hell up….

  • http://DukeReport Chris Fogarty

    Swaggerjacker, Gbinje was a Jordan brand All American. You mean to tell me he couldn’t cut it at Duke? Have you watched the Orange play this year? They’re pretty solid, I should know I live an hour and a half away. I obviously can’t say I know more than K, but his success doesn’t exclude him from constructive and objective criticism.

    As a Duke fan I obviously think K is the best there is, but it doesn’t make him unquestionable. Again, practice is important but to kill a kids confidence is not great coaching.

    How can Sheed gone from a fringe 1st round pick and important contributor to an elite 8 team to a kid who doesn’t even sniff the court against a top flight opponent? Did this kid not even show up to practice? That’s a pretty severe punishment.

    I love how you can get ridiculed by fellow myopic Duke fans for giving any kind of opinion other than being some kind of homer, short sighted, blindly loyal fan of the program.

    Spare me swagger, I’m not any less of a fan of Duke basketball fan than you simply because I question a philosophy of K’s, even if he’s the best. Nobody is perfect…..

  • Rock7777

    I have loved Duke Basketball since 1991 — but you can just feel the difference this year. I hate that Murphy didn’t get minutes. I feel we have that “one and done” philosophy now. It stinks for team continuity. I was a rabid fan until this year, but now I find myself hardly paying attention. Let the kids play that have given Duke their best years –Coach seemed to win in spite of not having the fastest or the most athletic. That is what made him great, but this year he seems to coach like everyone else. I am hoping Duke basketball will go back to the way it used to be. Hopefully Dawkins will continue to at least get some playing time and Plumlee will get his chance too. Murphy just needed alittle confidence and trust, but it’s to late for him now. I am hoping for the old Duke again.

    • mike collins

      Well said about continuity. If someone told me that Zoubek and Thomas were going to be the frontline of a National Championship team that was going to play its five starters all but 17 minutes of the game (split between Dawkins and the two Plumlees), I would be in disbalief. We also won it after loosing Henderson and did not replace his position. The senior and veteran latent team got the job done and done well.

  • AV50

    Coach Krzyzewski said that the goal in the seasons first full practice is to implement a system that is personalized for an athletic team. Versatility is the keyword with this seasons team and they’ll have to use that to their advantage to off set the lack of post depth. Duke will ask their players to guard multiple positions and the reason is simple, look for a team full of wings to play a lot of switching defense and up tempo on the offensive end. “I think it will be a team we will play more guys in a game and not just blowouts,” said Krzyzewski.

    So much for that

  • H. Costley

    Do all of you so called experts claiming coach K has lost it and what not just choose to forget he won a National Championship 3 years ago (okay almost 4 but still). I know that team had great chemistry and veteran players, but was not nearly as talented as the team we have this year or even last year for that matter. His teams since that championship run have had a lot of turnover on them, and it takes time for players to get accustomed to playing with one another, just like it takes a coach time to find the right group of players and how to mix and match the right lineups. So before you all start claiming K is losing it just remember not many coaches can say they have 1 national championship in the last 10 years let alone 2 in the last 12.

    • deansmith hater

      Blah blah Costly..The bottom line is that coach K is trying to put squares in holes and it ain’t working and has not worked in 13 years..Yes we did win in 2010 with an amazing run of good luck and a very very special player that took on himself every role K asked of him and saved Duke basketball in my opinion..Recruiting had all but dryed up completely and a big man was not even in the venaculer of Duke basketball ..The plain fact is that coach K has forgot about rebounding, post play and attacking the rim..Every Duke play looks like child labor and frankly is hard to watch as they run that stupid little triangle pick play and wind up either forcing a terrible shot or playing horse with 4 guys rimming the 3 point circle at the buzzer….And we wonder why we get killed on the boards….Maybe it is time coach K

  • CJ

    Earlier one of you mentioned the Arizona game but no one has said a thing about Cook. I can appreciate the fact that there is no true PG on this team buy he was absolutely horrible in that particular game. I believe in the last few years I have noticed why K has gone small and not ran many bits in his quest to win a championship with a 5 guard lineup, none of his guards know how to consistently feed the post! Even when they had Sheldon Williams, it would be a chore to feed him the rock when he had established good position. They have missed a coach who could help develop big men, but I can agree that none of us sees what happens in practices or the classroom. Personally, I’d love to see Duke run 9 or 10 deep just because I loved the late 90s early 00s teams that pressed the entire floor yet still had a Battier/Brand/Boozer to protect the rim.