Perception on Devonte

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    Our game yesterday with Kentucky was downright ugly. The saving grace was leaving Chicago with a “W.”

    My focus in that game was clearly on the play of Devonte Graham. He is our point guard, our most-experienced player and the leader of our team. He was also the most-experienced D1 player in this game.

    I have to admit; I was frustrated with Devonte’s play in this game. He committed many turnovers and took several questionable shots, contributing to his low FG%. It didn’t feel like he was always in control.

    Towards the end of the game, I started to see Devonte’s play in a different light. It was clear that Devonte was often forcing play attempts, resulting in turnovers. It was clear that Devonte was often forcing shot attempts, resulting in missed shots. But should he always be held personally accountable on his play without looking at the play of others?

    This is the first year Devonte has been our leader, our soul point guard. Comparing him to Frank Mason… Devonte has more true point guard skills than Frank when relating to running a team. Frank’s best skill was related to his ability to get his own shot, which we counted on often to salvage poorly executed team offense.

    There is a message we need to take from this game. Don’t expect Devonte to be Frank. And why should he be Frank? We need a point guard to run the team far more than we need a point guard that can mainly be successful at creating his own shots.

    Devonte “looked bad” last night because our team offense looked bad! Devonte was often put in situations where he had to suddenly become Frank. That isn’t fair to Devonte. It isn’t fair to just judge this game’s play on Devonte. He must carry his share of accountability, but we need to realize that Devonte is only going to be as good as the players around him. That is the way it SHOULD be!

    Time will pass… our offense will come together… and Devonte will look much better when he gets the guys around him on the same page.

  • @drgnslayr i thought Devonte played a pretty good game on the defensive end. He certainly was hedging the ball better than what he did last year. I just think he tried too hard on the offensive end - he will be better in the future, imo.

  • Like the Lenka song says, “it’s too much, yeah it’s a lot, to be something I’m not”.

    Frankly, everyone needs to stop talking about Frank. As much as we love him, he is gone on not on the roster. I think all that stuff is in Devontes head and he thinks he has to do exactly what Frank did.

    But he is not Frank and will never be. And the truth is, we don’t need Frank. We need Devonte Graham to be Devonte Graham. He is not nearly as effective when he is in score first mode like last night. He needs to focus on the offense and leading the team.

  • He definitely tried to make plays but he pressed hard and he was clearly tired in the 2nd half.

    Some inexplicable misses like an open 12 footer or the FT towards the end of the game. Most of his shots were pretty much the norm for him except he didn’t make them anywhere close to his average.

    This should be a great learning experience for him as he learns how to balance scoring and leading against quality competition. The turnovers were more concerning to me then anything. Some really boneheaded passes that led to easy baskets for UK. It certainly seemed like the guards were trying to showcase themselves on the big stage and we saw a ton of selfish plays that really didn’t benefit anyone.

  • For most of the game, I couldn’t tell who had been in the program longer; DG or Newman. Both were chucking up shots out of rhythm of the offense. Was disappointed in DG for most of the night. He did stay calm down the stretch though, and that certainly helped the team overall.

  • @KUSTEVE I felt as though our defense was good in general. Kentucky made some nice plays individually, which wasn’t necessarily the fault of our defense. It was the other end that was a disaster.

  • KU seems to have problems shooting in the big arenas, maybe they need to practice once or twice a week at the Sprint Center. A lot, if not most, of the shots missed were wide open looks that did not fall and KU shot well below its average; no amount of coaching fixes that problem when the players are missing open shots and your center has problems getting himself open for the pass.

  • I was at the game last night and I heard a lot of fans yelling and screaming about Devonte (and Newman for that matter) and their wild shot selection and poor shooting nights. Personally I don’t care that they played so poorly and in many ways I like winning ugly. It means your team knows how to grind it out and find a way to win. Every night can’t be a 10-15 shooting night with 8 assists. It can’t and won’t happen. Kentucky has a bunch of future NBA talent as always and they are as good as anyone we will face in the regular season this year. Devonte and Malik sealed the game for us when Devonte stepped up and hit FT’s and Malik nailed the biggest 3 of the night. They found a way and I expect them to continue to find ways for us to win close games all year long.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Missed shots can also be a product of being tired. This early in the year with zero depth to depend on. All 5 starters played over 32 minutes. Graham & Vick played the most minutes (all but 4) combined and made 7 of 28 field goals.

    We need another big to take pressure off the guard rotation.

  • Devonte is going to grow into his leadership position. It’s a job he’s not used to - but he’s a quick learner. One month from now - he will be on fire.

  • @HawkChamp Wait a minute–what? Frank is gone? Gone? Huh???

    Clicking over to the “grown man crying thread”…

  • I think we all need to recognize the size and athleticism of UK. They may be young… but they were causing us trouble only because they are a team of all stars. Some of the turnovers related to their size and athleticism pinching in on the passing seams. They were the perfect team to play in November and expose how we need to tighten up certain aspects of our offense.

  • @nuleafjhawk bingo

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