Coach K made no secret at the outset of 2009-10 that he and the Duke coaching staff were preparing Kyle Singler for the leap to the NBA after this season. His move to the 3 from the 4 was based on personnel , but also based on the fact that this is the position he will most likely play in the League. By most people’s estimation, this transition has not gone altogether smoothly.Many in the fan base now anticipate that he will return next year, as this season’s numbers have not evidenced enough improvement to elevate his draft stock. My thoughts have been that, since moving to the 3, he has been guarded by quicker, smaller players who can stay with him enough to bother his three pointers and prevent easy drives to the hoop from the perimeter. At the 4, his relative quickness was an asset, both inside and outside. By not working in the post at all this year, he is effectively negating his height advantage while working at a disadvantage quickness-wise against 6’5” - 6’6” wings. Let’s see what the numbers tell us…
Through 21 games here is his FG breakdown :
2008 - 2009 2009-2010
2pt FG 83 - 165 80 - 177
3pt FG 32 - 92 34 - 103
Suffice it to say , I was surprised at just how identical these numbers are. He’s essentially taking only one and a half more shots per game ( no doubt due to the emergence of Scheyer and Smith as scorers) His 2pt % is down from 50 to 45, but that’s really the only significant difference. This gives my above theory the lie. He just seems less impactful than I feel like he should be. So maybe the takeaway is this: As a three point shooter the numbers tell us that he just isn’t very good. I have wondered a number of times this year where his mid-range game had gone (remember how effective it was against Wisconsin?) The discrepancy between FG% of 2’s and 3’s is enough to support the argument that he should perhaps look to runners and pull-up jumpers more than bombing away at a statistically dubious 33%.