|Modern era Morris dancing.|Duke Mondy
, Oakland, Senior, 6'4 205lbs2013/14 stats:
33.0 mpg, 11.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.2 apg, 3.1 spg, 0.3 bpg, 3.2 fpg, 2.4 TOpg, 39.7% FG, 32.6% 3PT, 68.3% FT
Mondy is known for achieving the unlikely and unique feat of leading three different conferences in steals. He led the Big East when with Providence as a sophomore, transferred to Oakland and led the Summit League in 2012-13 (leading the nation at the same time), and then led the Horizon League this year after the Golden Grizzlies moved there (ranking second in the nation behind only Briante Weber of VCU with 3.5). He is a deflections machine on defense with well timed gambles and pretty good discipline, as well as an uncanny knack for cleaning ripping the ball out of an opponent's hands in a way just not often seen. Steals can be a misleading stat, as is well known, but Mondy's defense at both guard positions is disciplined, timely, consistent and effective. He also boxes out on the glass and rebounds in traffic with a toughness not often seen in the guard positions.
None of those adjectives really fits his offense, though. In all facets of his offense, Mondy's main problem is his own decision making. He wants to be a versatile, dynamic offensive starlet, and plays accordingly, yet he is not. The lesson, though, has not yet been learnt.
There are quite a few things Mondy can do on offense, but not as many as he seeks. He scores and racks up assists, and is an occasional point guard, but for the most part he is a secondary ball handler who struggles to play off the ball. Mondy's scoring inefficiency is born out of two key problems - a mediocre jumpshot and an excessive reliance upon it. Mondy can make a pull-up two point jumpshot, but tries much too often to do so, much preferring this than taking the extra couple of dribbles and getting to the basket or the line. He can spot up to shoot, but with shooting form that seems to involve taking the ball quite a long way back behind his head, he sometimes struggles for consistency. He arguably should spot up more - he is fairly good at it, and it is still a more efficient to be doing than dribbling unnecessarily into a pull-up, but such is a part of the Duke Mondy experience. There are ill-advised threes with a hand in the face, quick shots, too much ball stopping, too many isolations, and too many isolations that end in jump shots.
When he does drive, Mondy utilises a spin move and good body control to find seams. He finishes around the basket well even when taking contact, with a good understanding of the angles of the backboard, and even posts up on occasion. But he just doesn't this sort of thing it enough. He wants to be a shooter. But specifically, he wants to be a shooter off the dribble. Mondy does not do the work off the ball and around screens that a shooter ought do, and while this is in part due to pairing alongside Travis Bader (who gets all that action instead), it does not mean Mondy need loaf about without the ball. The same Travis Bader is also responsible for Mondy's rather flattering assist numbers - Mondy has enough of a handle when playing point guard, but if it is not an option play for hitting Bader off a screen, Mondy will instead look to score, limited is he in pick-and-roll and penetrate-and-kick action. And then in any crunch time situation, Mondy will always back himself to make the home run play. He gets a point for being fearless and aggressive, and gets another point for occasionally making said home run plays, but loses three points for all the ones he doesn't. Work the total out there yourself.
Letting Mondy make these offensive mistakes seems to be the trade-off for his defense. But as much as Duke Mondy plays as though the team should live and die with him, is that really a good idea? Mondy needs to decommit himself from so much self-assigned offensive responsibility and play to his strengths. If he can accept not being a star, he could be one hell of a role player somewhere. If not, he'll be a less athletic and smaller Larry Hughes.