Seth Davis, a Duke graduate and former sports writer for The Chronicle, has become one of the more recognizable analysts in the game on the wings of Sports Illustrated and CBS.

Davis was not a well-liked sportswriter when he was an undergrad, and his skills as an analyst don’t appear to have improved that much:

Josh McRoberts, a 6-10 multi-skilled forward, had a fine freshman season. He averaged 8.7 points and 5.3 rebounds in 24.5 minutes and contributed a valuable 14 points and 12 rebounds in Duke’s second-round win over George Washington. But while it might be understandable that McRoberts was overly deferential on a team dominated by J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams, there is no excuse for such diffidence on a squad with one junior and no seniors. McRoberts is clearly the best player on this team, and if he doesn’t act like it from Day 1, the Devils will be hard-pressed to play deep into March. There’s also the question of how McRoberts’ health will hold up following offseason surgery on his back.

There’s nothing insightful whatsoever in this appraisal.

And Davis’ contention that if McRoberts doesn’t play “like the best player on this team,” that Duke will falter in the postseason is illogical.

All McRoberts needs to do is to play well. And frankly, if he does that, he will be able to raise the level of play of his teammates–so regardless of who is “the best” on the team in terms of production, Duke could very well play deep into the postseason.

There are plenty of obstacles to be overcome, not the least of which is the lack of experience and the lack of a go-to player.

But whether or not McRoberts plays the best is inconsequential, for his level of play compared to his teammates matters not, only the level of play of the team as a whole.

On the Tar Heels, Davis has this to say:

Sure, the Heels were young last year, beginning the season with an all-freshman starting backcourt. But once North Carolina reached the thick of the ACC season, coach Roy Williams went with the more experienced (and less talented) Wes Miller at the point — and the team was still bounced by George Mason in the second round. Williams’ fast-paced system is especially challenging for a freshman point guard to run, but if anyone can pull it off, Ty Lawson can. This kid is Raymond Felton with more offensive polish. My guess is Williams inserts Lawson as the starter from Day 1 and lets him take his lumps. If Lawson stays healthy and doesn’t get discouraged during the inevitable downswings, he won’t look like a freshman come March.

So rather than providing an analysis, rather than answering any questions, Davis dabbles in hypotheticals and simple comparisons. Lawson is Felton with more offensive polish…gee, that’s briliant.

Advertisements