The Most Underrated Player In America?

Depends on who you ask, I guess. Definitely not by the mainstream media, but I think there is a compelling argument to make that Duke guard Jon Scheyer is the most underrated player in America.

I never used to be on the Scheyer train. After all, last year he didn’t really shoot it that well, and his assist and TO numbers were nearly identical. I still think that Scheyer is largely overrated as a shooter. He’s shooting just 34% from three this year, but everyone says that he is a great shooter. Probably because he’s white.

I’ve only seen Duke play a couple times this year, but Scheyer has played much better defensively than I remember him playing the past couple years. I don’t know if he’s guarding different types of players and he can stay in front of them easier, or he’s more easily able to utilize his 6’5″ frame this year, but Scheyer has taken a step up. There is a lot of criticism of Duke’s defense that they only play the passing lanes, looking for steals and breakaway layups, but Scheyer is really the whole package.

What really blows me away about Scheyer this year, though, are his assist and turnover numbers. Scheyer has a little over a 24% assist rate on the season. That’s certainly above average, but not elite elite. However, Scheyer handles the ball for Duke almost exclusively when he’s in there, and here are his TO numbers. Brace yourself: 5.2% 5.2%! That is fucking amazing. In fact, it is the 10th best mark in the entire country. Ironically, one of his teammates Andre Dawkins is ahead of him, but Dawkins plays just 50% of Duke’s minutes. Scheyer is at almost 90%.

On a purely taking care of the ball basis, there is no guard I’d rather have out there than Jon Scheyer. Sure he’s not terribly athletic, and he’s overrated as a shooter, but I am of the firm and probably old school belief that point guards should take care of the ball first and foremost, and not worry about scoring.

Duke has flamed out in the past couple NCAA tournaments, but NCAA Titles are won with guards, and for the most part they are won with experienced guards. Ty Lawson won one for UNC last year. Russ Robinson and Mario Chalmers overcame the more talented Derrick Rose the year before (Rock Chalk!). Taurean Green and Lee Humphrey went back to back for Florida. If Duke is going to get to the Final Four, Scheyer is going to take them there. And I think he will. Just don’t shoot it too much, Jon.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “The Most Underrated Player In America?

  1. tallguy

    Don’t let TBL see this, he’ll go nuts…he still can’t get over the fact that a “D3 talent” could be any good on a BCS team. That said, what Scheyer is doing this year is phenomenal, and I can only hope he continues to do it.

    Also, one point about the shooting…if he’s open, he makes his threes. What tends to happen though is that he’ll launch a three towards the end of a shot clock and try to get fouled. Even though he’s been doing it for 3 years now, he still gets the calls occasionally, which is why he averages 4+ foul shots a game even though he doesn’t drive that often. Still not nearly as good a shooter as Dawkins is, but not many people are.

    I really like this Duke team…but I still think the ceiling is sweet 16/elite 8.

  2. xthecynic

    Scheyer blows.

  3. SM

    Good post. Scheyer is a good shooter and is shooting 42% from 3 this year and 38 plus the last two years. Not to mention his FT% which is a nice measure of ‘pure’ shooting ability since no defense. Despite what in years past has been a low fg% he always gets to the FT line where he shoots well post respectable ts% and takes good care of the ball which is why his otr numbers are always good.

  4. Paolo X

    Although perhaps like others I have yet to meet a single alumnus of Duke in person either whom I did not find to be quite the arrogant ass who enjoys perhaps as well the frequent smell of his own superior farts as they offer absolutely no constructive commentary on most sports matters lest it involves Duke, it would be interesting to hear from some Duke alumni on their opinions on the Top Five Duke Basketball teams of all time.

    • tallguy

      ’99, ’92, ’01, ’91, ’04 in that order.

      • Paolo X

        After Wiki’ing it and remembering the teams when I used to follow the tourney, I would take the Duke teams from 1992 and 1991 over then 1999 and 2001 even, but that was a different era of college basketball when far more seniors stayed the whole four years all the same. Good stuff Tallguy.

      • SM

        I would remove 91 unless winning the championship is a qualification that gives extra points.
        02 to replace. Stacked starters.
        Just beating out 98. deeper

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