Monday, February 23, 2009

Williams' emergence helps Scheyer, too

In the excitement over freshman Elliot Williams, it’s easy to lose sight of the other player who seems to be benefiting from Williams’ role as a new starter for Duke.
Williams has played 31 and 32 minutes and scored 11 points each in the two games since coach Mike Krzyzewski has put him in the starting lineup. His three steals in the first 130 seconds Sunday helped set Duke’s aggressive tone in a 101-91 defeat of Wake Forest at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Putting Williams in the game also caused a shuffle in the backcourt, as Greg Paulus went to the bench and Jon Scheyer moved from shooting guard to point guard to take Paulus’ place.

Scheyer scored 18 points at St. John’s on Thursday and poured in a career-high 30 points against the Deacons. His five 3-pointers against Wake Forest tied a career high.

He has an easier time scoring in the lane and shooting over the defender on the perimeter because he is being guarded by smaller players. On Sunday, for example, he was guarded by 6-foot-2 Jeff Teague rather than 6-4 L.D. Williams. Scheyer is 6-5.

“I think it does help him, because once he gets rid of the ball, then he’s guarded by a point,” said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. “That’s something we looked at to get his offense going. He had one turnover (against Wake Forest) and I think none at St. John’s. He’s played two games, brought the ball up and has one turnover. That’s pretty good.” – Ken Tysiac