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dukeisawesome
12-20-2007, 09:39 PM
goodness couldn't shoot to save our lives

Gary
12-20-2007, 09:40 PM
scheyer threw that up way too early.

You think? :rolleyes:

Boy, Jay called that one right. No poise on that play from Jon. Not that anyone is at fault for the loss. That was a team effort either way (had they won or lost).

evrdukie
12-20-2007, 09:40 PM
Well, that was a bummer.

pratt '04
12-20-2007, 09:40 PM
ugh.

that's all I can think. ugh.

CatfiveCane
12-20-2007, 09:40 PM
our lack of interior depth really showed tonight.

Usually with better shooting we can overcome it, yet Scheyer was laying bricks tonight.

Eitherway, good learning game for Duke. In the long run I'm not too sure I'm happy about this game though. Good experience, yet shows that we really are lacking interior defense and scoring. Hmmm

lavell12
12-20-2007, 09:42 PM
That was by far Scheyer's worst game of this career so far. Henderson was great. Rebounding and foul shooting cost us the game.

arnie is still king
12-20-2007, 09:42 PM
In order to run, you must rebound on occasion. We found the wart - can we do anything about it.

mapei
12-20-2007, 09:43 PM
The more deserving team won. I hope Cook is OK for Pitt, but it sure doesn't look like it.

Indoor66
12-20-2007, 09:43 PM
That was by far Scheyer's worst game of this career so far. Henderson was great. Rebounding and foul shooting cost us the game.

Henderson made many poor decisions during the game. He forced too many shots. He scored at the end but he hurt us at a lot of other times, IMO.

AluminumDuke
12-20-2007, 09:43 PM
Don't get me wrong, because I really like David McClure, but does Fields get that shot off against Henderson?

mapei
12-20-2007, 09:43 PM
does anyone here have ft stats?

dukeisawesome
12-20-2007, 09:43 PM
Foul shooting was horrible again. Anyone else notice GH tries to make too many "hero" plays? It's hard to knock him when he does so much to help us down the stretch, but I think he tries too hard sometimes.

oli-p
12-20-2007, 09:44 PM
What do we have to do?


I call Duke by 10 hitting some key FT late. Good game to help the March Resume'.

Duke by 10. Key FT late. I don't know which of these seems funnier now.

dukeisawesome
12-20-2007, 09:44 PM
does anyone here have ft stats?

11-22 late, not sure what it ended up

mapei
12-20-2007, 09:44 PM
Don't get me wrong, because I really like David McClure, but does Fields get that shot off against Henderson?

maybe not even against Smith. That switch was key to the strategy for Pitt.

phaedrus
12-20-2007, 09:44 PM
The more deserving team won. I hope Cook is OK for Pitt, but it sure doesn't look like it.

I had a feeling his extra long shorts were hiding a really ugly knee contortion. I was glad for that at least.

dukeisawesome
12-20-2007, 09:46 PM
the question is can we rebound against good rebounding teams? i really don't know...obviously we don't want to see blair, but how many teams have a blair? speaking as a relatively thin tall guy myself, i hate playing against those football type players down low, but playing against height isn't as bothersome

DukeUsul
12-20-2007, 09:47 PM
the question is can we rebound against good rebounding teams? i really don't know...obviously we don't want to see blair, but how many teams have a blair? speaking as a relatively thin tall guy myself, i hate playing against those football type players down low, but playing against height isn't as bothersome

We don't .... we outshoot them, that's the only answer. And we weren't able to answer tonight. 38% shooting

delfrio
12-20-2007, 09:47 PM
note to the team stylist: the clear problem in this game was blair's haircut. those little winglets obviously made him that much harder to guard.

Genedoc
12-20-2007, 09:47 PM
Anyone who couldn't see this coming at the half wasn't paying attention. I called the L at the half in chat and caught grief for it. Duke wins in a lot of diffenent ways, but their losses over the years all look remarkably similar, and that one looked like an L from aways down the road. We can certainly beat anyone in the country if we shoot well, but good big men are going to have their way with us. Hansblaekrldcds is going to go 30 and 20 against us.....

VaDukie
12-20-2007, 09:47 PM
I'm not sure to be encouraged that we played so poorly, meaning we can't be any worse and should play better, or discouraged that we're capable of playing this poorly.

cspan37421
12-20-2007, 09:48 PM
I get the feeling that K doesn't like to talk about FT shooting to his team, thinking it is mostly psychological and talking about it only makes it worse. I am not convinced of that and I think until last year our foul shooting (JJ excepted) was masked by great overall play. Already suspect as a rebounding team, we cannot afford to be second rate in FTs any longer. And that's a skill that the other team cannot defend.

dukestheheat
12-20-2007, 09:48 PM
dukeisawesome-

the issue in this game isn't blair, in my opinion; in the second half we went way cold and we took many bad shots. i do believe that some poor decision-making by our guys did us in, but this'll be a great game to build upon.

dth.

lavell12
12-20-2007, 09:48 PM
Man we need a real big man.

DUKIECB
12-20-2007, 09:48 PM
Anyone calling out a single player in a loss like that should be ashamed. Jon did not loose the game for us tonight. Did you really expect him hit a shot even if he took another second or two to shoot it? It was a long shot at best and was not why we lost the game.

Saratoga2
12-20-2007, 09:49 PM
our lack of interior depth really showed tonight.

Usually with better shooting we can overcome it, yet Scheyer was laying bricks tonight.

Eitherway, good learning game for Duke. In the long run I'm not too sure I'm happy about this game though. Good experience, yet shows that we really are lacking interior defense and scoring. Hmmm

Shades of last year with poor shooting both from the field and from the foul line. It wasn't as if all of our shots were guarded well. We hit 60% against Albany but I doubt if we hit much over 30 against Pitt. It will be interesting to see the stats. Some was defense but, much was just poor shooting. Our defense was good but when you miss a lot of shots and don't rebound effectively, the other team can get some good opportunities. They are still a very good team and will win a lot of games, but they need some introspection and try to understand why they weren't effective on offense.

pamtar
12-20-2007, 09:51 PM
Don't get me wrong, because I really like David McClure, but does Fields get that shot off against Henderson?

I said in another thread that David would be the key tonight - I didnt mean it like that though.

Kimist
12-20-2007, 09:52 PM
I remember well when I considered tossing things in the direction of the TV watching Chris Collins play.

With all due respect, his memory lived on in Scheyer tonight. To repeat an off-used phrase (especially early in the second half) - "What was he thinking?"

OTOH, I'm not thoroughly convinced the players I saw on TV tonight were the same ones I've been viewing throughout the current season.

Plenty of blame to share. Gonna be tough going to work tomorrow and listening to the folks who support that lighter shade of blue.

dukeisawesome
12-20-2007, 09:53 PM
how much full court did we play tonight? i never pay attention to that stuff, but we should have done a better job forcing the tempo, even the first half was their pace. we should score 80+ every game this year.

Ben63
12-20-2007, 09:53 PM
I said it before and it held true, DeJuan Blair must be stopped and that didnt happen. 20 boards and 3 blocked shots. I knew Duke didnt have the inside presence to stop him, even though Thomas played. My thought is Singler should have made the tip in Duke wins. OT, fine we can still win. Duke should have foulded with 7 or 8 seconds left to send Pitt to the line needing to make both. High pressure Pitt has a good chance of missing at least one, and if not, Duke ball and chance to win. You had to know Pitt was going for 3 because that is the nature of todays game and Blair was also out. You had to know Fields was the guy to take the shot. He is the leader and will step up in his hometown. Duke was exposed on many levels tonight esspecially lack of inside play and what can happen if the 3s are not dropping. You had to know they were gonna get cold sometime or another and unfortunatley it came against a very good basketball team in Pitt. If they go cold against a team like Cornell or Temple, they can recover, but not against Pitt. Duke should have won the game. They failed to pull away when they had the chance and bury Pitt. But give all the credit in the world to Pitt for never giving up and finding a way to win.

YmoBeThere
12-20-2007, 09:54 PM
Don't get me wrong, because I really like David McClure, but does Fields get that shot off against Henderson?

The real question is does he get that shot off against DeMarcus? That is who switched with Dave IIRC.

dukeisawesome
12-20-2007, 09:54 PM
I remember well when I considered tossing things in the direction of the TV watching Chris Collins play.

With all due respect, his memory lived on in Scheyer tonight. To repeat an off-used phrase (especially early in the second half) - "What was he thinking?"

OTOH, I'm not thoroughly convinced the players I saw on TV tonight were the same ones I've been viewing throughout the current season.

Plenty of blame to share. Gonna be tough going to work tomorrow and listening to the folks who support that lighter shade of blue.

as far as scheyer goes, up until this point i felt he was a very very smart player so he makes 1 big mistake...big deal, now we know he won't make the same mistake again late in the season

DukeUsul
12-20-2007, 09:54 PM
I think everyone is to blame for this one. Don't take my next statement as an indictment of one player for the loss, but I wish Greg had taken control in this game. He was a bit quiet. I feel like we're at our best when he takes control. I feel like he could have encouraged us into smarter playmaking - i.e., don't hand off to GH and let him just go one-on-one, control the offense, control the ball, call the plays - and call out guys when they try to do it all themselves. While there was a stretch where GH made a few tough one-on-one shots in a row (and was highly responsible for us getting to OT), that's really not the way we want to run the offense.

lavell12
12-20-2007, 09:55 PM
Out of all bad nights we found one thing, our go-to-guy GERALD HENDERSON

mapei
12-20-2007, 09:55 PM
I wonder how many second-chance points Pitt got tonight. Could be a bunch. Oh well, at some point this team's weaknesses were going to be exposed.

I will say that I continue to be impressed with Singler.

dukeisawesome
12-20-2007, 09:56 PM
Out of all bad nights we found one thing, our go-to-guy GERALD HENDERSON

i think we already knew that to be honest

ugadevil
12-20-2007, 09:56 PM
Out of all bad nights we found one thing, our go-to-guy GERALD HENDERSON


I want the go to guy to be someone who consistenly makes free throws down the stretch.

Gary
12-20-2007, 09:56 PM
how much full court did we play tonight? i never pay attention to that stuff, but we should have done a better job forcing the tempo, even the first half was their pace. we should score 80+ every game this year.


The oft used phrase - "they imposed their will on the game" - was very true tonight. We pretty much never got the style of game we wanted from the get go. Pitt made us play an ugly game, and that was to their advantage.

ChrisP
12-20-2007, 09:56 PM
Anyone who couldn't see this coming at the half wasn't paying attention. I called the L at the half in chat and caught grief for it. Duke wins in a lot of diffenent ways, but their losses over the years all look remarkably similar, and that one looked like an L from aways down the road. We can certainly beat anyone in the country if we shoot well, but good big men are going to have their way with us. Hansblaekrldcds is going to go 30 and 20 against us.....

Couldn't have said it better. I did say - to my wife - and she told me to stop being so negative. But, like you said...could see this one coming a mile away. We should have been up by 20 at the half, but we had way too many silly turnovers and couldn't adequately capitalize on Pitt's TO's. Those factors, combined with the mind-numbing inability to hit 2 consecutive FT's cost us the game. Uggghhh!!!

jjasper0729
12-20-2007, 09:57 PM
blair had the 20 boards, but the next one on pitt had 7. i think THAT is akin to the game in bloomington a copule of years ago when the one inside guy went nuts but everyone else was in the tank with our defense.

needless to say, the shots weren't falling and we were settling for a few too many pull ups or losing the ball on the drive. i get so nervous when nelson or henderson drive around the top of the circle and into the lane because it's either going to the hole for a basket or they get fouled, or it's a fast break the other way lately.

Coballs
12-20-2007, 09:58 PM
He missed his "go to" shot at the end of the first half

mapei
12-20-2007, 09:59 PM
I want the go to guy to be someone who consistenly makes free throws down the stretch.

We might have to look to another team for that. ;(

Greg is probably the best under pressure, with Kyle and Jon after him.

rsvman
12-20-2007, 09:59 PM
....free throw shooting.



That is all.

CarrotTD
12-20-2007, 10:00 PM
That was by far Scheyer's worst game of this career so far. Henderson was great. Rebounding and foul shooting cost us the game.

I completely disagree. Sure, the shooting was off. But watch the second half again and note who gets the vast majority of the defensive rebounds. I pointed this out to people we were watching with - even on an off shooting night, Scheyer found other ways to contribute. It's not even close without his rebounding contribution.

That being said, I do agree that G tries to do too much by himself sometimes. But this was a team effort - if you shoot 50% from FT you won't win many close games.

Indoor66
12-20-2007, 10:00 PM
....free throw shooting.



That is all.

That was six.

Coballs
12-20-2007, 10:00 PM
Would have been nice to see more minutes out of Zoubek in the 2nd half if, for nothing more, to serve as a defensive/rebounding presence to prevent getting destroyed by an unheralded 6'7" freshman.

jjasper0729
12-20-2007, 10:01 PM
it would also be nice, if the coaching staff doesn't start mandating free throw practice, that the team take it upon themselves to practice. when i was in high school, we started practice by shooting free throws and in order to leave, you had to hit at least 8 out of 10 at the end of practice.

also agree that paulus didn't assert himself as the floor general too much tonight. there seemed to be too many isolation plays in the second half rather than good crisp offensive possessions. i don't konw if that was pitt an dtheir defense (there WERE pretty good at harrassing th ereceiver of the passes) or just our stagnation. there was a lot of standing around on offense tonight

sandinmyshoes
12-20-2007, 10:02 PM
Ugh. Getting beat by a three point shot on a night when the team that beats you shoots something like 19% from the three point line. The basketball gods use irony in a sadistic manner. :(

KandG
12-20-2007, 10:02 PM
We should have won this game...the free throws and bad execution down the stretch were brutal. Scheyer turnover after a time out, Singler missed free throw, give up a three at the end, then Scheyer throws up a wild rushed shot from halfcourt with time left on the clock.

Not singling anyone out, because this is all part of the growth process. But this was still a game that was ours to win. The one thing I give Pitt credit for was that they pretty much shut down Paulus in the second half, and forced us to score by contested penetration. We didn't do a very good job in that regard.

weezie
12-20-2007, 10:02 PM
....free throw shooting.



That is all.

Sooooo true. Plus, if Duke is ever down to one timeout and the other team has more, we're toast. Panic time.

jjasper0729
12-20-2007, 10:04 PM
one other key stat. we had 23 field goals but only 10 assists. not much of a "team" game when there's so much isolation going on. there were no kicks on drives (although the cold shooting in the second half didn't help either).

godukerocks
12-20-2007, 10:04 PM
The last shot gave me horrid memories of Eric Mayor last year...

The game gave me horrid memories of the LSU game two years ago...

Gah. I hate it.

beltwayBD
12-20-2007, 10:04 PM
Man, the 3-ball escaped us tonight (and the free throws!). Perhaps a broader issue of shot selection, because I didn't think their perimeter defense was particularly good. And Taylor King was cold. Scheyer -- an amazing 12 rebounds, and 1 of 10 from the field.

At the end of the day, I can't be that bummed about this loss. One, they outplayed us. And two, their guy who ripped his knee apart. At least Pitt got something to show for it.

Besides, we only lost by a point. We'll still be punished in the rankings, but I'm confident from our first 11 games that we'll be a force in the ACC. And that's what matters down the road -- good birth in the ACC tournament, and good birth in the big dance.

Okay, I'm pretty bummed. I hate watching OT. But I'll get over it.

Gary
12-20-2007, 10:05 PM
i don't konw if that was pitt an dtheir defense (there WERE pretty good at harrassing th ereceiver of the passes) or just our stagnation. there was a lot of standing around on offense tonight

Absolutely. Way too much stagnation on offense. But I do think Pitt played some incredibly physical defense and that also threw us off our game some. Nevertheless, we did have enough open three looks to win the game. We just couldn't get them to fall. That, and the free throws.

Ben63
12-20-2007, 10:05 PM
Would have been nice to see more minutes out of Zoubek in the 2nd half if, for nothing more, to serve as a defensive/rebounding presence to prevent getting destroyed by an unheralded 6'7" freshman.

I knew we wouldn't stop him. I saw him in person @ Pitt v OK St. He is an absolute animal. Everyone thinks he is over hyped but living in PA Ive heard of him since his soph year in HS @ Schenley (Perenial State Champs btw.) He is the real deal and Zoubek is the human fouling machine. BZ is way to slow on his feet. Great potential but needs another year or so.

Genedoc
12-20-2007, 10:06 PM
The last shot gave me horrid memories of Eric Mayor last year...

The game gave me horrid memories of the LSU game two years ago...

Gah. I hate it.

I mentioned that in chat, too. We're playing an overrated team that is begging to be blown out, and yet we create ways to play even worse than they do, miss open shots, FTs, and create awful TOs to lose a game we should have won in a laugher. We should have been up 25 in the first half as poorly as Pitt played.

Ben63
12-20-2007, 10:07 PM
And another thing. What happened to the high pressure defense that was shown mid 1st half? Pitt was in a funk and it really slowed them down. It seemed to disappear in the final 2 minutes of the first and never was cranked back up in the 2nd. Putting Pitt in the bonus with 14 min to go didnt help either.

DukeUsul
12-20-2007, 10:10 PM
good birth in the ACC tournament, and good birth in the big dance.

Hmm... my baby's due May 5th, so I really hope the above aren't true.....

lol

Anyway yeah, it's the end of the year that matters. Hopefully we'll learn from this.

buddy
12-20-2007, 10:10 PM
We found out that we are not mentally tough. Foul shooting is 90% mental. No one guards the shooter--yet we seem not to emphasize foul shooting. One more make in regulation and we win the game. Two more in overtime we win the game. Everyone who missed a foul shot cost this team the game.

Mostly though, we let Pitt impose their will on us. That does not happen to teams that are mentally tough. We have a lot of work to do.

mapei
12-20-2007, 10:11 PM
1. free throws
2. turnovers
3. rebounds
4. shooting percentage (wasting the 1st 20 seconds of too many possessions)
5. getting taken out of our offense
6. very little transition (by us)

Yep, that pretty much covers it.

dukeisawesome
12-20-2007, 10:11 PM
maybe clemson will be ranked higher than us now lol

ice-9
12-20-2007, 10:12 PM
I mentioned that in chat, too. We're playing an overrated team that is begging to be blown out, and yet we create ways to play even worse than they do, miss open shots, FTs, and create awful TOs to lose a game we should have won in a laugher. We should have been up 25 in the first half as poorly as Pitt played.

I disagree with your assessment. Pitt is NOT a team we should expect to blow out of the water. We played badly, yes, but for the most part it was Pitt's good physical defense that forced us to play badly.

I think Scheyer's rebounding was key and kept us in the game. But he does and should take some responsibility for the offense. 1 out of 10 is pretty bad no matter how you cut it. And his desperation three was a BIG mistake; not only did Scheyer shoot it way too early, there were also two other Duke players (Smith? Nelson?) streaking to the basket that were open that Scheyer could have passed to.

As for Henderson, he did take some difficult shots, but he also made plays. Good players can't be passive, they have to take action even though it sometimes means taking the difficult shot. (I do wish he was able to see when Singler got open though, because there were a few times Singler was able to slip to the basket and Henderson failed to make the assist). Bottom line, Henderson is 8-17 against a defense that gave us little else; while he could have done better, he still had a very solid game.

DBFAN
12-20-2007, 10:13 PM
Coach K has got to stop being afraid to use his bench, he can not expect to play up tempo one game and then play half court the next and expect the team to be comfortable, I am just afraid after this loss we may never become any better than we were last year. I know the team played about as bad as they could, but I also felt the coaching staff may have put them in that position. I can not believe this game was even close, I told my wife at the end of the first half when we did not get out to the twenty point lead, and were only up by 12, that it was going to come back and haunt us.

Coballs
12-20-2007, 10:13 PM
But in the first half, BZ pulled down several boards and caused Blair to pass out from the post...something that did not happen in the second half.

DBFAN
12-20-2007, 10:15 PM
For those of us who thought we were going to utilize our bench this year, this game proves we never will

SoCalDukeFan
12-20-2007, 10:16 PM
I think the last time we lost in December was December 21, 2000 against Stanford in the Oakland Coliseum. It was by one point and we could have one.

The season turned out ok.

SoCal

Coballs
12-20-2007, 10:16 PM
Exactly

Ben63
12-20-2007, 10:17 PM
For those of us who thought we were going to utilize our bench this year, this game proves we never will

Any bench player can score 20 v Albany. The only bench player other than Scheyer (Lets face it, hes a starter) to have a big game against good team was TK at Maui. Smith was great v Michigan but we won by like 25.

BigDuke6
12-20-2007, 10:18 PM
Starting to show difficulties in End of Game Defense. Why were we switching at the end? We should have left a quicker defender on the ball instead of McClure. Don't get me wrong. I like Dave and I think he is a great asset but he shouldn't have been in the game at that time and he shouldn't have switched on the defender. We would have been ok with a drive and no foul but once I saw the switch I knew what was going to happen and how it would turn out.

evrdukie
12-20-2007, 10:18 PM
I'm not sure what this game says about Duke, but I'll predict Pitt won't be ranked among the top 20 when the season's over. Not a very good team if tonight's performance is at all indicative. It's pretty disheartening to lose to a team like that.

Coballs
12-20-2007, 10:20 PM
It's amazing how if Fields clangs the shot, which probably happens at any time in the prior 44 minutes of the game, how many of our feelings about this team would be drastically different.

EarlJam
12-20-2007, 10:22 PM
Seriously, this was a good loss. I'm totally fine with it. What this loss taught this young Duke team:

1. When we get a lead, we need to KILL. This is Division I-A ball at it's highest level. NEVER let up. We let an inferior team gain momentum on us and take victory from us. Tonight the boys learned they CAN lose.


Don't get me wrong. Pitt is a VERY good team and they deserved to win tonight. But this Duke team, a year or even a month or two older and wiser would win this game.

This team reminds me of the young '90 - '91 team with Hurley that lost to Arkansas in December (or November). We'll be just fine.

I'd like to see Pitt again in March.

-EarlJam

kexman
12-20-2007, 10:22 PM
1) timeouts? Do you think it was wise to use our last timeout with about 54 seconds left in the game. We had the ball and basically waited until about 15 seconds were left on the shot clock to call timeout. I'm not sure what they talked about, but presumably they talked about the set they were going to run and than any end of game situations. Was that the best time to use our last timeout? I'm guessing that we could have called the set play we wanted from the bench for that possession. I actually like that we don't call a timeout at the end of games...I think it is easier with 5 seconds if the defense is not set. I was thinking more of the situation when Scheyer was tied up in the trap. He escaped thanks to a great player on the henderson tip, but a timeout might have been useful. The longwinded point of this is when is the best time in the last minute or two to use or not use a timeout?

2) Great game win or lose... we need more games like this...for the fans and more importantly for the players to get the sense of playing in tough games having the game on the line.

jjasper0729
12-20-2007, 10:24 PM
We found out that we are not mentally tough. Foul shooting is 90% mental. No one guards the shooter--yet we seem not to emphasize foul shooting. One more make in regulation and we win the game. Two more in overtime we win the game. Everyone who missed a foul shot cost this team the game.

Mostly though, we let Pitt impose their will on us. That does not happen to teams that are mentally tough. We have a lot of work to do.

we did well in the first half making them start their offense 30 feet from the basket. i think in the second half, 1) the rotation got shorter (would have to check the second half minutes) and 2) we started standing around on offense/defense and reaching more on defense. the barrage of whistles didn't help much either.

probably would have helped if Paulus asserted himself more than he did. especially in the second half. too much standing and watching and not enough movement without the ball in the second half.

Ben63
12-20-2007, 10:24 PM
I'm not sure what this game says about Duke, but I'll predict Pitt won't be ranked among the top 20 when the season's over. Not a very good team if tonight's performance is at all indicative. It's pretty disheartening to lose to a team like that.

Disagree. Just posted in another thread about a team being senior led with key underclassmen contributing. I saw Pitt in person and they can play basketball with the best. Will be a top 15 team if you ask me and should be in the Sweet 16 and potential for the Final 4.

AluminumDuke
12-20-2007, 10:25 PM
I think the last time we lost in December was December 21, 2000 against Stanford in the Oakland Coliseum. It was by one point and we could have one.

The season turned out ok.

SoCal

Agreed.

I think that having to tolerate the bad taste of a loss over the Christmas holidays may prove to be a great motivator for this team. I also like that the weaknesses that this game exposed can be assessed by the coaching staff over the holidays and addressed before the ACC season begins. Not saying that I'm glad we lost, but a loss like this is more valuable than blowing out a lesser team in Cameron.

DBFAN
12-20-2007, 10:27 PM
I am worried that our team will lose a lot of confidence. This was a horrible loss. I can not remember the last time I saw our team soot so poorly. There is a good chance guys that we will not be as good as we had hoped this year. Overall this was a poor performance by our coaches and players.

Ben63
12-20-2007, 10:27 PM
Its going to be a long time until the Cornell game. Dont kow how I'm gonna take it as a fan.

Section 8
12-20-2007, 10:28 PM
Much ado about nothing. Tough loss, but close enough to gain from it in the long run. Both teams played crazily frenetic and tight, prolly reading too much pregame press. Once we learn to relax, we'll keep the 16 point leads. I'll take the loss and still predict Final Four...

DBFAN
12-20-2007, 10:28 PM
I meant shoot, I guess we all make mistakes

Ben63
12-20-2007, 10:30 PM
I am worried that our team will lose a lot of confidence. This was a horrible loss. I can not remember the last time I saw our team soot so poorly. There is a good chance guys that we will not be as good as we had hoped this year. Overall this was a poor performance by our coaches and players.

Chill out. All losses are not bad ones. Yes Duke should have won but losing to a top 10 team isn't all bad. It is a good learning experience. Rather lose a tight one now to Pitt than a tight one later to UNC.

evrdukie
12-20-2007, 10:32 PM
Agreed.

I think that having to tolerate the bad taste of a loss over the Christmas holidays may prove to be a great motivator for this team. I also like that the weaknesses that this game exposed can be assessed by the coaching staff over the holidays and addressed before the ACC season begins. Not saying that I'm glad we lost, but a loss like this is more valuable than blowing out a lesser team in Cameron.

I'm not sure how much assessing by the coaching staff is necessary based on this game. Weaknesses are screamingly obvious--no big man, huge rebounding disadvantage, and inability to hit free throws. What do they do about that? Practice shooting free throws maybe. This team is a lot better than last year, but tonight's game seemed like deja vu all over again.

BlueDevilBaby
12-20-2007, 10:33 PM
Pitt is tough. I was concerned about Blair and his roubounding ability. Second half defense was not as effective as in the first half. Pitt took care of the ball and Duke's offense was less efficient in the second half. Don't know why. Very dissappointed in free throw shooting. Lost them the game IMO. :( That said, tremendous effort to get it to OT. Great response to going down after having had such a big lead. Last year, this would have folded after losing a such a big lead. Guys made big plays down the streatch. Just needed one more play that was oh so close. Henderson was tremendous. Wish we had a post presence. Not really disappointed on a loss on a last second shot. If he misses it, Duke likely wins. Oh well. On to Cornell, a game I will be attending!:D

DBFAN
12-20-2007, 10:34 PM
The point here is that it should have not been a close game, while Pitt may have a top 10 ranking, they are not a top 10 team.

KyDevilinIL
12-20-2007, 10:34 PM
This game has no bearing on anything whatsoever.

It doesn't mean we're any better or any worse than anyone has thought up until this point. There were plenty of times we could have played better. There were a couple of times we looked pretty studly. I don't even know what there is to learn from this game, considering it's pretty obvious what went wrong.

We just lost. It's December. Big deal.

evrdukie
12-20-2007, 10:35 PM
Chill out. All losses are not bad ones. Yes Duke should have won but losing to a top 10 team isn't all bad. It is a good learning experience. Rather lose a tight one now to Pitt than a tight one later to UNC.

If we play UNC the way we played tonight, we'll lose by 25 points.

mapei
12-20-2007, 10:35 PM
One difference between 1st and 2nd half: Lance played well in the first, hardly played at all in the second. Was it his ankle?

greybeard
12-20-2007, 10:36 PM
Lance had no lift; you could see it on the first layup he missed and then the dunk that didn't get dunked but rolled in. He seemed primed to compete against those guys. His lack of minutes, I'm guessing, was due to the hurt ankle. Props to Lance for playing with the bad wheel.

Lance's absence hurt, made Scheyer and DeMarcus have to work extra, extra hard on the defensive end and especially scrapping for defensive boards. Especially Scheyer, I think it took it out of his legs, ie, his offense. He made some very nice individual plays offensively that he finishes most all the time, but they rolled off. They need Lance.

The kid made a great shot and a terrific move to get it.

I loved Henderson's play. Nobody looked pretty out there, but he was oh so sweet many times. Like I've said, he is smarter executing up tempo then most superior athletes and it showed, imo, at both ends. Still reminds me of David Thompson.

Tough loss. Great watch. Lance gets healthy, McClure gets his sea legs, I want this Pittsburgh team again!

evrdukie
12-20-2007, 10:37 PM
The point here is that it should have not been a close game, while Pitt may have a top 10 ranking, they are not a top 10 team.

You're obviously right.

Ben63
12-20-2007, 10:37 PM
The point here is that it should have not been a close game, while Pitt may have a top 10 ranking, they are not a top 10 team.

But after seeing Pitt in person, I believe they are a top ten team. Everyone wants to knock Pitt because they beat us but they are a top ten team. I like Pitt and root for them every game not played against Duke.

Constantstrain 81
12-20-2007, 10:39 PM
Very disappointed in the loss. However, we lost on a 3 pointer at the end from a team that had been 2-20 at the time for the game. To lose a game you should win, many things have to conspire "against" you. Let's see - poor free throwing shooting. Poor 3 point shooting. No transition buckets. 24 fouls called against us (particularly a very quick ten in the second half when we had the lead and the advantage - it was about a 9-2 advantage at one point and that certainly disrupted our defense/offense and gave Pittsburgh a chance to regain their composure). Missing easy two point shots. Being outrebounded big time. With all of that - it still took a 1 in ten three pointer at the buzzer to beat us -- and that from a top ten club. I hate the loss, but I'll take our team. We are going to have days like this.

On word on the bench and the use of the bench. I thought K did a good job. We played enough of the bench (which really wasn't effective) in the first half and early second half to have a real advantage in terms of stamina at the end and in overtime. I thought that would be the difference. It should have been - but our poor shooting simply didn't let it play out. K used the bench well, IMO.

Oh well, where's the dog to kick?

Ben63
12-20-2007, 10:40 PM
If we play UNC the way we played tonight, we'll lose by 25 points.

I wasnt saying if we played like we played 2nite we would beat UNC, youre dead on we get killed but a loss to any team is better than a loss to UNC. Better to learn now and be able to finish against UNC and win the game and not Shi* our pants.

lavell12
12-20-2007, 10:40 PM
I was watching the game with my dad and before Pitt hit the 3 I told him all we have to do is make them take a jump shot b/c Pitt couldn't hit water if they fell out of a boat. Boy was I wrong.

Coballs
12-20-2007, 10:40 PM
Seriously, this was a good loss. I'm totally fine with it. What this loss taught this young Duke team:

1. When we get a lead, we need to KILL. This is Division I-A ball at it's highest level. NEVER let up. We let an inferior team gain momentum on us and take victory from us. Tonight the boys learned they CAN lose.


Don't get me wrong. Pitt is a VERY good team and they deserved to win tonight. But this Duke team, a year or even a month or two older and wiser would win this game.

This team reminds me of the young '90 - '91 team with Hurley that lost to Arkansas in December (or November). We'll be just fine.

I'd like to see Pitt again in March.

-EarlJam

Not a good loss! Same issues that have plagued as for years - big leads blown, sloppy/tentative play with a lead, bad defense down the stretch, and being outmuscled/dominated by a single player. I'd like to see Pitt again in March as well, as that would amount to at least a Sweet Sixteen game.

OrangeDevil
12-20-2007, 10:41 PM
Great game! Congratulations to Pitt. A loss, but a type of test that we needed. Those who would denigrate Pitt are shortsighted. The Panthers are a solid team and their physicality is something our guys need to face before conference play begins. Some problems were exposed tonight, but some questions were answered too. First of all, I thought Markie really stepped up and showed the all around excellence that he is capable of every time out. The question of who gets the ball in the waning seconds was also answered. I've argued that the person is Henderson, and tonight he showed why. The sky's the limit with Gerald. The major problem, in my view, is that several of our guys, especially Scheyer, are not strong with the ball against a physical defender or going into traffic in the lane. K will teach from this experience and we'll execute better next time.

Despite our desire to win them all and the obvious frustration at lossing a game that could/should have been won, I don't think any of us here should be too critical and certainly not despondent. Tonight we proved we're for real, that we are back, that we can potentially make a deep (read Final Four) tourney run, and most of all,that we're still the program that others aspire to be and always bring their best effort to play.

I REALLY admired K's demeanor and that of our players after the game. While Pitt's players were behaving as if they has won a national championship, the equaminity of our guys was truly impressive. They quickly lined up, with heads up, and greeted the Pitt coaches and players--just as their coach had taught. It's moments like those, even in defeat, that make me proud to be associated with Duke University and a supporter of it's basketball program. Next.

Patrick24
12-20-2007, 10:43 PM
Free throws were horrible tonight(16-24 Pitt 14-26 Duke). Almost as much as rebounding (47 for Pitt and 32 for Duke). Blair is a great player and there was noone who could match up with him. Im not sure how McClure gives up that three let him drive and get blocked or force him to go to the line. Scheyer had alot more time and could have at least set his feet or passed. Overall it was a great game that Duke would have won provided they had a big man. That will be the achilles heel all year. I hope Cook is ok but it doesn't look good. Unfortunatley im a Duke fan living in Pittsburgh so this is no fun.

dw0827
12-20-2007, 10:43 PM
Seriously, this was a good loss. I'm totally fine with it. What this loss taught this young Duke team-EarlJam

I don't mean to be rude . . . . but that's just plain dumb. There are no "good losses."

The fact of the matter is that we just got out-toughed. We were exposed. This was about heart. And we lost.

So don't give me any crap about a good loss.

BigDuke6
12-20-2007, 10:43 PM
How can a game in which you lead by as many as 16 points and still lose be a good loss?

OZ
12-20-2007, 10:45 PM
I make no pretense in understanding the nuances of basketball at this level; however, it was perplexing that Paulus (one of our best shots) took only two shots. It seems to me that he needs to be more assertive in demanding the ball and looking for his shot. A couple of times he was wide open and deferred to someone else... on one occasion, throwing the ball away. I don't think we are going to win many games with him taking just two shots. But then, what do I know?

Saratoga2
12-20-2007, 10:49 PM
Not a good loss! Same issues that have plagued as for years - big leads blown, sloppy/tentative play with a lead, bad defense down the stretch, and being outmuscled/dominated by a single player. I'd like to see Pitt again in March as well, as that would amount to at least a Sweet Sixteen game.

No need to repeat what was said many times here and throughout the string. I was amazed that we seemed to fail to get assists in the second half, whereas we were getting a few, particularly to Singler, in the first half. One would think we Scheyer and Paulus in together that we could have found better assist opportunities.

Lavabe
12-20-2007, 10:50 PM
Its going to be a long time until the Cornell game. Dont kow how I'm gonna take it as a fan.

Drink!

Oh yeah, and root against the tacky blue folks from Chapel Hell!
Cheers,
Lavabe

Troublemaker
12-20-2007, 10:51 PM
I'm not disappointed that Dejuan Blair had a great game against us. It's almost a given that powerful, skilled centers will beat up our small front line on the glass. Blair is an incredible rebounder, particularly offensively (http://www.kenpom.com/leaders.php?c=ORPct ), and we can't be expected to keep him off the boards. Incidentally, he's also got great hands and nimbleness and is short enough to stay 4 years in college. Pitt is very lucky to have a freshman like him.

But yeah, in this game, I was more disappointed by our play in areas that we have more control over, areas in which we can expect to perform better. The two obvious ones are turnovers and FT shooting. Pitt really isn't a team that forces many turnovers (they're middle of the pack in the nation in that area) and since Duke is a small team that's already giving up an advantage on the glass, we can NOT also have 20 turnovers and expect to win. You can't lose both rebounds and turnovers. This was an opponent that we should've had a relatively clean ball-handling game against, and it didn't happen. As for FT shooting, it is what it is. I hope they can improve it during the season without needing an offseason of work.

The team also started the second half lethargic, and this was mentioned on postgame radio by Coach K. He thought the team was already getting ready for winter break with their attitude at the beginning of the second half. He sounded very disappointed by the loss, especially the lethargy, the turnovers, and the FT shooting. He thought Duke was out-toughed. Overall, if Coach is on the mark about the players checking out mentally for winter break early, then the loss is a good one. This loss will stick with the players and hopefully the mistake won't occur twice. The game is 40 minutes, not 20.

jipops
12-20-2007, 10:53 PM
Lance had no lift; you could see it on the first layup he missed and then the dunk that didn't get dunked but rolled in. He seemed primed to compete against those guys. His lack of minutes, I'm guessing, was due to the hurt ankle. Props to Lance for playing with the bad wheel.

Lance's absence hurt, made Scheyer and DeMarcus have to work extra, extra hard on the defensive end and especially scrapping for defensive boards. Especially Scheyer, I think it took it out of his legs, ie, his offense. He made some very nice individual plays offensively that he finishes most all the time, but they rolled off. They need Lance.

The kid made a great shot and a terrific move to get it.

I loved Henderson's play. Nobody looked pretty out there, but he was oh so sweet many times. Like I've said, he is smarter executing up tempo then most superior athletes and it showed, imo, at both ends. Still reminds me of David Thompson.

Tough loss. Great watch. Lance gets healthy, McClure gets his sea legs, I want this Pittsburgh team again!

Lance not being close to 100% obviously hurt us tonight. He's been great getting out on D this season especially on switches and sticking on the guy posting him. Anybody ever noticed how much better he moves his feet on D? Yet he had no ability to do that tonight. And yes, his lack of lift was very noticeable. This killed us on the interior tonight. All those whining about depth again seem to be over-looking this vital point. Pitt is obviously an excellent defensive team but we absolutely could not hit shots tonight. Everything we threw up clanked badly, missed layups, missed dunks, missed 10 footers, everything in the first 15 minutes of the 2nd. Given the fact that we could not shoot AT ALL in the crucial stretch of the 2nd half, could not hit free throws, and could not board, had a banged up forward on an already thin frontline - we STILL almost won the friggin' thing.

BigDuke6
12-20-2007, 10:53 PM
It's like a script from a horror movie or a bad dream. We move out into a comfortable lead in the firat half. The other team closes the gap by half time to make it respectable. Two minutes into the second half the other team is already in the bonus, the lead is cut to 5 and we have to use a timeout before we get to the first tv time out. We see saw back and forth until the final seconds with a slim lead only to see us lose or give it up at the end and either need a miracle play to win or tie.

Personally, I've already rented this movie and watched it over and over. I'm ready for us to move on.

ugadevil
12-20-2007, 10:54 PM
Well at the end of this game I thought that we made some mistakes and that we lacked some poise in crucial situations. But, I also realized that we lost a game in December which means we won't go undefeated (big deal). Yet, after reading this thread I've realized that the season should just be called off because we've lost all ability to play the game of basketball and have no idea what we're doing. I can't believe I missed that obvious point while watching the 2nd half. Now I see it so clearly.

KandG
12-20-2007, 10:55 PM
To the credit of the posters, there really hasn't been mention made of the refs, who seemed to call a reasonably fair game. But was I the only one that thought they started calling things much tighter on the perimeter at the start of the second half? We ended up in the penalty at 14:50, which is absurd. I thought this took a bit of the teeth out of our pressure defense.

Of course, Pitt's improved defense had a lot to do with their comeback, as their half court offense really wasn't that much better in the second half. That's what made the end so bizarre -- totally inept offense, two key players out of the game, and then their guy hits a tough fall away three to win it. Go figure.

dukelifer
12-20-2007, 10:56 PM
Very, very physical game. Duke played well in stretches but really struggled to make shots in the 2nd half. All year, Duke has seemed to find a way to make threes- but they did not drop tonight. Free throw shooting was poor- but the physical game did not help things. But that kills me. When your best drivers - Nelson and Henderson- both struggle from the line in tight situations- that is a problem. Singler's miss in OT was in and out- but opened the door. The last 2 minutes of regulation were pretty well played by both teams- lots of clutch shots- fun to watch. Duke could have won the game as easily as they ended up losing it. The foul trouble- and Pitt getting into the bonus early allowed Pitt to close the gap. So in the end- it is simply a game to learn from. There will be a number of games like this during the year and the end of game play will be critical. Duke has a few possible goto guys- and in the end it will come down to execution. The free throw shooting is a problem that could get better- but we shall see. Pitt is a strong team that plays hard. They are pretty limited offensively but will be in most games they play all year because they fight. Felt bad for Cook- that looked to be a career ender.

DukeGrad86
12-20-2007, 10:58 PM
Go home for Winter Break and practice your free throws, Blue Devils. Each day! Do it! 50% free throw shooting? Pathetic!! Uggggh.

And while you're at it, think about how to minimize turnovers. Geeeez!!

evrdukie
12-20-2007, 11:02 PM
I'm not disappointed that Dejuan Blair had a great game against us. It's almost a given that powerful, skilled centers will beat up our small front line on the glass. Blair is an incredible rebounder, particularly offensively (http://www.kenpom.com/leaders.php?c=ORPct ), and we can't be expected to keep him off the boards. Incidentally, he's also got great hands and nimbleness and is short enough to stay 4 years in college. Pitt is very lucky to have a freshman like him.

But yeah, in this game, I was more disappointed by our play in areas that we have more control over, areas in which we can expect to perform better. The two obvious ones are turnovers and FT shooting. Pitt really isn't a team that forces many turnovers (they're middle of the pack in the nation in that area) and since Duke is a small team that's already giving up an advantage on the glass, we can NOT also have 20 turnovers and expect to win. You can't lose both rebounds and turnovers. This was an opponent that we should've had a relatively clean ball-handling game against, and it didn't happen. As for FT shooting, it is what it is. I hope they can improve it during the season without needing an offseason of work.

The team also started the second half lethargic, and this was mentioned on postgame radio by Coach K. He thought the team was already getting ready for winter break with their attitude at the beginning of the second half. He sounded very disappointed by the loss, especially the lethargy, the turnovers, and the FT shooting. He thought Duke was out-toughed. Overall, if Coach is on the mark about the players checking out mentally for winter break early, then the loss is a good one. This loss will stick with the players and hopefully the mistake won't occur twice. The game is 40 minutes, not 20.

Sorry, but the notion that a loss resulting from being "out-toughed" is somehow a good loss makes no sense at all. If that's what happened, it's the worst kind of loss we could experience.

Duke79UNLV77
12-20-2007, 11:05 PM
Shooting this badly happens 2-3 times a year. It sucks, but hopefully it won't happen in a postseason game. What's more frustrating to me is that we got caught up in playing Pitt's game, and not our game.

We've heard about, and seen, our strategy of pushing the pace not only on turnovers and misses shots but even on made baskets. Too often, we walked it up. We also waited too long in the shot clock to start our offense late in the game, leading to one-on-one moves and forced shots.

We also didn't pressure the ball on defense as much in the second half. We did play sound defense, just not the type that pushes tempo. Possession-to-possession defense also wasn't the best fit given our rebounding problems. If we are going to break from the pressure man-to-man, I wouldn't mind seeing a few minutes of the zone. That worked well in Maui. Is it gone?

Playing our game also means playing the bench. Our interchangeable parts makes us unique this year. UNC cannot match us in that respect. That went away a lot in the second half. For those that say the bench hasn't stepped up in big games, I assume you're mostly talking about Marquette and Pitt. Did King have much of a chance? I thought Zoubek played fine when he was in there. Smith did not have his best game, but he still could bring quickness.

If we're going to make a deep run in the tournament, we need to play "our game" at all times, including close games against good teams when we're not shooting lights-out. Sometimes, under pressure, it's easy to revert to old habbits. Hopefully, this game will teach us to stick with K's master plan of playing a lot of people and pushing the tempo Phoenix Suns style.

dukelifer
12-20-2007, 11:06 PM
I am worried that our team will lose a lot of confidence. This was a horrible loss. I can not remember the last time I saw our team soot so poorly. There is a good chance guys that we will not be as good as we had hoped this year. Overall this was a poor performance by our coaches and players.
They will be fine. This team is pretty young and have not played many close games. They will forget this in a day or two - focus in practice and take it out on Cornell . Duke had a chance to win in regulation- and any time a team has a chance to win- the coaching is just fine.

CatchTheFox
12-20-2007, 11:07 PM
So I've been reading through the posts, and people are consistently harping on how we need a dominant big man, because we're always getting dominated by big men... fact is, we just don't have that player, and we aren't going to get him before March. But that's FINE -- we have a winning style of play that minimizes this weakness and emphasizes our true strengths. We can shoot, we can drive, and we can run. Problem is, all three of those strategies rely on two statistics: shooting percentage and FT percentage. Shooting over defenses is useless if we can't sink our shots, and driving and running aren't much good if we can sink FTs if we get to the line.

Positives: it's a loss in December, not in March. It's a loss we can actually learn something from: we CLEARLY have some weak points, and its much better to identify these points and fix them now than pay for it later in the season. Someone commented that the reactions would be much different to a win versus a loss -- I absolutely agree. If this had been a win, many of our deficiencies tonight would have been glossed over by the fans and perhaps in the players' minds as well. The guys played hard and this game highlighted what we need to work on -- and you can't ask for anything more in a loss.

greybeard
12-20-2007, 11:09 PM
How many games do you think Pitt shoots that bad from 3? Not an accident!

Blair was obviously on his game. How many he get? An accident?

Their second guard, what did he do?

Henderson takes a guy 2-3 inches taller than him to the corner, not full speed, in tempo, then stops on a dime, floats above the guy after getting off the ground in a heartbeat and makes; Singlar hits a 3.

They could have called a foul on the Pitt guy on Henderson's last shot, and Singlar misses that put back and the 6' 2" guy ends up on top of him on the floor.

The one guy who could have made the last shot against them did. I don't know if anybody stops him. He competed really, really well in the second half.

EarlJam is right, a good loss.

I would have gotten the ball to Singlar on that slip more, and even on post ups. I saw some guys see him and not let it go. That's the one thing that I think that they must improve on. If Singlar has that kind of room and position, he must get the ball.

mapei
12-20-2007, 11:09 PM
Just looked at Greg's line: 3 points, 3 fouls, 1 assist, 5 turnovers. That's a bad night.

Troublemaker
12-20-2007, 11:10 PM
Besides the turnovers, FT shooting, and perhaps a bit of overconfidence in the second half (as identified by Coach K), the other thing that stood out to me was the cold offensive stretch in the second half that allowed Pitt not only back into the game but to take the lead. During that stretch, we basically proved correct all the naysayers about our style of play, namely that "if the 3s aren't falling, Duke will lose."

The thing is, it doesn't necessarily have to be true. But we made it true during that stretch because we kept going back to the well with the 3-pter even though we were clearly cold from the field. Duke will occassionally have these kinds of shooting games, especially when away from Cameron's soft rims and familiar shooting background, and we need to do a better job recognizing when the 3 isn't working. Then, we have to more driving for scores. Once Pitt took the lead for the first time, Duke did a better job driving for layups. Kyle had a drive from the left side of the key resulting in a layup attempt that he unfortunately missed. Gerald had the drive and dunk. Markie with his drive and 3-pt play fouling out Blair. If we had been that aggressive going to the basket during the cold stretch where Pitt climbed back into the game, we probably win.

The other thing was we did miss a good amount of layups and short midrangers. We had 2 of those on the final possession of regulation. If Duke isn't going to have a reliable postscorer, then we have to do a better job cashing our midrangers and layups. Good drives at the rim accomplishes the same things as a good big man making a post move. You draw fouls, you draw defenders away from teammates, and you receive close-in shot attempts that should be more reliable than long-range jumpshots. But we got to take them and cash them. You do that and then all of a sudden you don't go through cold stretches that allow opponents back into games.

DBFAN
12-20-2007, 11:10 PM
Why did we not run tonight, the whole point of this team is to get up and down the floor as much as possible. They have drills for getting the ball in as quick as possible after a made shot, tonight we just took our time. Coach K can not expect to win this year if he wants to play half court. If we would have run tonight, we would have run blair into the ground, but as usual Coach just changes everything to fit the other teams style, I am really wondering what is going on with him.

Troublemaker
12-20-2007, 11:11 PM
Sorry, but the notion that a loss resulting from being "out-toughed" is somehow a good loss makes no sense at all. If that's what happened, it's the worst kind of loss we could experience.

Right, except you completely missed the point.

A-Tex Devil
12-20-2007, 11:12 PM
Go home for Winter Break and practice your free throws, Blue Devils. Each day! Do it! 50% free throw shooting? Pathetic!! Uggggh.


Exactly. If we shoot even 66% from the line the first 38 minutes -- a mediocre rate -- we probably get to the line about 6 to 10 more times in the final two with Pitt having to foul to stop the clock.

It's not a good loss or anything, but I mean, if we had hit our free throws, we would have just beat a top 10 team on an ostensibly neutral court while shooting under 40%. If we can do that on a bad shooting night, we'll end up with a pretty good year. We are going to have several more 38% shooting nights. It's a long year. It happens.

But, 50% free throw nights shouldn't EVER happen. So, yeah, the free throw shooting worries me more than anything else tonight.

evrdukie
12-20-2007, 11:17 PM
Right, except you completely missed the point.

Your principal point, which is jaw dropping, is that tonight's game was a good loss. That's preposterous.

willywoody
12-20-2007, 11:17 PM
Positives: it's a loss in December, not in March. It's a loss we can actually learn something from: we CLEARLY have some weak points, and its much better to identify these points and fix them now than pay for it later in the season. Someone commented that the reactions would be much different to a win versus a loss -- I absolutely agree. If this had been a win, many of our deficiencies tonight would have been glossed over by the fans and perhaps in the players' minds as well. The guys played hard and this game highlighted what we need to work on -- and you can't ask for anything more in a loss.

well put, and that's why it's a good loss and not a bad loss. it doesn't matter that we lost this game one iota in the long run of the season. the team had weaknesses exposed, shot poorly, and almost beat a decent team. and pitt played their heart out. man, i feel terrible for that guy with the knee injury, looked like an mcl the way it buckled. it was like watching theisman all over again on the replays, i had to turn away.

but our players really need to practice free throws if we expect to go far come march.

dw0827
12-20-2007, 11:19 PM
Just looked at Greg's line: 3 points, 3 fouls, 1 assist, 5 turnovers. That's a bad night.

Yes, he didn't do all that well tonight. Oh well . . . guess he's human . . .

We just got beat. Forget all the strategy. It's about heart. And we just didn't compete in the second half. They knocked us back and we didn't respond.

Is it the end of the world? I doubt it. I could be wrong, but I think the sun will rise in the morning, people will die in Iraq, and I will go to work. Another day.

But I sure as hell had a great time tonight. Fun game. We got beat. It's happened before and it will happen again. Disappointing way to lose . . . but it was a loss we fully deserved.

Who's next?

duke74
12-20-2007, 11:20 PM
does anyone here have ft stats?

Us 53.8
Them 66.7

Troublemaker
12-20-2007, 11:20 PM
Your principal point, which is jaw dropping, is that tonight's game was a good loss. That's preposterous.

No, it wasn't. Read it again. Your jaw drops easily.

willywoody
12-20-2007, 11:22 PM
Your principal point, which is jaw dropping, is that tonight's game was a good loss. That's preposterous.

no it's not unless you believe there is no such thing as a good loss. then arguing about it would be moot. and i don't begrudge you the idea that there's no such thing as a good loss, but i don't agree with you. in my book, a good loss is one where the outcome doesn't matter to the ultimate goal which to me would be an acc tourney title and hopefully an ncaa title. this loss did nothing to stop prevent reaching those goals.

Universal Remonster
12-20-2007, 11:24 PM
Hi i'm new. Just so you know. And what the Hell Happened!??!!!!!!!!! I mean wasent that tlike there first 3 all night?

Noteware
12-20-2007, 11:25 PM
I don't think that there's ever a good loss, and this loss certainly exposed some of the areas in which we're weak, but some perspective seems appropriate. Even in the years that we won the championships, we had some tough losses. In 2001, IIRC, we had back to back losses toward the end of the ACC regular season, and we all thought the world had come to an end. Coach K is remarkably adept at teaching from those losses, and those teams came out stronger. It remains to be seen if this team responds the same way, but I certainly hope so.

Cameron
12-20-2007, 11:26 PM
Free-throw shooting. How damn bad can it get. Just how damn bad can it get. I want to cry.

If we just make the front end of that last trip to the line, we are in second OT, at least. And with Pitt's big guy wasting away on the bench the entire 46th, 47th, 48th, and 49th minutes, we win. We leave New York 11-0, possibly ranked in the top five by weekend's end, and have a nice Christmas. This sucks.

We should have done more to correct this horrible little flaw that has been hovering around some of our top players recently. Perhaps Jason's mental lapse in 2002 needs to be readdressed.

BigDuke6
12-20-2007, 11:27 PM
no it's not unless you believe there is no such thing as a good loss. then arguing about it would be moot. and i don't begrudge you the idea that there's no such thing as a good loss, but i don't agree with you. in my book, a good loss is one where the outcome doesn't matter to the ultimate goal which to me would be an acc tourney title and hopefully an ncaa title. this loss did nothing to stop prevent reaching those goals.

Unless it sticks in the player's heads and eats away at their conscious when they are up by 16 in the ACC Final. The other team begins a furious comeback and the players say oh no, not again. I still believe that a loss is a loss and is overall bad when you are up by that many points and in obvious command.

DevilCastDownfromDurham
12-20-2007, 11:27 PM
I agree with others that this was a loss that was easy to see coming early in the game, and especially the first few minutes of the second half. Poor shooting from all over the court (can't count the number of chippy's/layups we bricked), not much movement or team offense, tons of foul trouble, etc.

That said, the thing that killed me was something more: Pitt was very (VERY) physical with us and we didn't respond. They shoved our guards around, checked cutters in a borderline dirty way, bodyslammed Singler, etc and we just looked to the officials. When we didn't get the calls we hung our heads, quit driving (G being the obvious exception) and basically quit playing our game. We dribbled around aimlessly, launched contested shots at the end of 1-on-1 moves, and became passive.

I know we won't see a game called like this in the ACC, but teams WILL punch us in the mouth (hopefully not as literally as tonight) and we need to learn how to respond. As much as we missed a real post player, we missed a real Sumbitch much more. Laettner, Shane, and the other great leaders would have used the, um, "physical" game to light a fire under our behinds. Instead of shrinking away and getting rattled, we would have popped them right back in the mouth. Singler sure would have given a H-A-R-D foul on that thug who took him down.

What I'm getting at is this team wilted under pressure. This shouldn't be a surprise since we're still a very young team. I was especially surprised that Greg didn't step up more. Playing back at home, and as tough as we know he is, I expected him to really have a chip on his shoulder. In time though, I'm sure he will find his voice as a leader. We've also got some more great candidates that will blossom into leaders in time. Although Jon's shot didn't make the flight to NY, he fought for boards against guys much bigger than him. Nelson had the guts to drive into the teeth of some really "physical" defense and make a big-time play. And Kyle, who also had a pretty poor game, still took a huge shot with confidence despite being gang-banged all night long. This team is talented, but once we get some seasoning and some young players grow into mature leaders we will be great.

evrdukie
12-20-2007, 11:29 PM
no it's not unless you believe there is no such thing as a good loss. then arguing about it would be moot. and i don't begrudge you the idea that there's no such thing as a good loss, but i don't agree with you. in my book, a good loss is one where the outcome doesn't matter to the ultimate goal which to me would be an acc tourney title and hopefully an ncaa title. this loss did nothing to stop prevent reaching those goals.

Maybe you're right. I guess it depends on the level of expectations you have for this team. I will say frankly that before the season began, I pretty much expected a repeat of last year. I tend to believe I was wrong and have been pleasantly surprised. But the fact is the jury's still out and tonight's fiasco, blowing a sixteen point lead, barely hitting half our free throws, and getting "out-toughed" by a team that by any standard, at least tonight, looked mediocre, isn't reassuring.

willywoody
12-20-2007, 11:38 PM
Unless it sticks in the player's heads and eats away at their conscious when they are up by 16 in the ACC Final. The other team begins a furious comeback and the players say oh no, not again. I still believe that a loss is a loss and is overall bad when you are up by that many points and in obvious command.

that's one way to look at it. or maybe they learn some composure in such situations by having been there previously.

dw0827
12-20-2007, 11:40 PM
that's one way to look at it. or maybe they learn some composure in such situations by having been there previously.

. . . makes you stronger.

I guess I can subscribe to that . . . so by golly, it was a fine loss!

dukie8
12-20-2007, 11:46 PM
i just got back from the game. it was a great atmosphere and all you guys riding espn for calling it cameron square garden are clueless. that was an electric atmosphere in there and at least 80% duke blue. i had great seats and it never ceases to amaze me how fast, big and athletic everyone is out there when i am that close to the action. my takes:

*i thought i was watching last year's team in the 2nd half. they built a big lead and then watched it evaporate with some horrific basketball and ultimately lost a game that they should have won.
*that was probably the worst stretch of ft shooting i ever have seen from a duke team. make at least a couple of those fts and we win. that has nothing to do with lack of experience or lack of size and, quite honestly, is inexcusable.
*blair is a beast and reminded me of a mini brand. his offense isn't there yet but man can he rebound. we had nobody who could do anything with him and he ate us alive. he was by far the most intense player out there and clearly wanted more than anyone else. when he fouled out, it should have been our game.
*except for the shooting (and that is a big except), scheyer had a great game. he was all over the place, picked up i don't know how many loose balls and led us in rebounding.
*our half-court offense was atrocious. people can talk all they want about how great our offense is, but it is a whole different ballgame when we aren't pounding some mid major in cis. it was either shoot a jump shot or go to the one-on-one ball. neither is going to lead to wins against top tier teams.
*paulus looked like last year's paulus. he was getting scorched on d and coughed up a lot of really bad tos that led to fastbreak points. in a game where points are at a premium, that was especially painful.

i didn't read all of the prior posts but i saw some discussion of whether this was a "good" loss. it was. the team gained valuable experience in a "neutral" arena and will learn from it. the sky isn't falling and they will be back. also, there isn't a single other team in the country that can schedule a game in msg and bring that kind of atmosphere in there.

willywoody
12-20-2007, 11:48 PM
. But the fact is the jury's still out and tonight's fiasco, blowing a sixteen point lead, barely hitting half our free throws, and getting "out-toughed" by a team that by any standard, at least tonight, looked mediocre, isn't reassuring.


i think one reason they looked "mediocre" was some great defense by duke for much, but not all, of the game. they also were jacked up at the start and missed a few slams. we just couldn't get the offense going and free throw misses didn't help. i also thought players were a little slow, at least in the second half, on offensive rotations, screens, and drives. they didn't look fluid. hopefully, they can work on that and get lance back to full strength in the break.

evrdukie
12-20-2007, 11:53 PM
. . . makes you stronger.

I guess I can subscribe to that . . . so by golly, it was a fine loss!

I've changed my mind. Yes, it was the best loss ever--or at least among the top two or three. I'm glad I was able to see it. And to think, we almost let the loss get away from us!

willywoody
12-20-2007, 11:59 PM
*blair is a beast and reminded me of a mini brand. his offense isn't there yet but man can he rebound. we had nobody who could do anything with him and he ate us alive. he was by far the most intense player out there and clearly wanted more than anyone else. when he fouled out, it should have been our game.

i thought the same thing watching here. he's undersized for a center but with a big wingspan and has tenacity as well as a love for just being out their playing a big game. usually when duke plays a physical team team i'm all up in arms but even despite the take down on singler i had a hard time getting upset over pitt's play.

Troublemaker
12-21-2007, 12:00 AM
I've changed my mind. Yes, it was the best loss ever--or at least among the top two or three. I'm glad I was able to see it. And to think, we almost let the loss get away from us!

Look, evrdukie, can we please move past this? You've done nothing to address any basketball points I've made. All you've done is snip two words ("good loss") from two long posts I've made and harped on them instead of adding anything useful to the discussion. I'm just not interested in arguing semantics with you. I'd rather talk basketball.

My point was very, VERY easy to understand. Here's the entire relevant quote again.



Overall, if Coach is on the mark about the players checking out mentally for winter break early, then the loss is a good one. This loss will stick with the players and hopefully the mistake won't occur twice. The game is 40 minutes, not 20.

If you can't understand that, then you're not at a proper reading level to read my posts. In that case, just ignore them.

willywoody
12-21-2007, 12:05 AM
I've changed my mind. Yes, it was the best loss ever--or at least among the top two or three. I'm glad I was able to see it. And to think, we almost let the loss get away from us!

maybe a poll is in order. best duke loss ever?

and yes i'm just as sarcastic as you are.:D

the way we played the second half i was entirely surprised we even had a chance to win it. there's still much work to be done, but better for a team to realize that now rather than in march.

evrdukie
12-21-2007, 12:09 AM
Look, evrdukie, can we please move past this? You've done nothing to address any basketball points I've made. All you've done is snip two words ("good loss") from two long posts I've made and harped on them instead of adding anything useful to the discussion. I'm just not interested in arguing semantics with you. I'd rather talk basketball.

My point was very, VERY easy to understand. Here's the entire relevant quote again.



If you can't understand that, then you're not at a proper reading level to read my posts. In that case, just ignore them.

Thanks for the suggestion regarding my comments, as well as your insights regarding my reading level. I believe it's better, though, that you be in charge of your posts and that I remain in charge of mine. I'm sorry you're upset, so why don't we just discontinue the exchange. You found redemption in the game tonight and I didn't, so let's just leave it at that.

Atlanta Duke
12-21-2007, 12:11 AM
Sounds like somebody got chewed out post-game

“They just wanted it more,” Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “In the second half, they just took it over. We had some guys that played and didn’t have a rebound. You need to have rebounds, especially in a game where there are so many missed shots.”

For a number of reasons, it was a tough loss for Duke, which was playing in front of a pro-Blue Devils crowd of 19,544. Duke had a strong first half but was badly outplayed in the second half as Pittsburgh clawed its way back into the game.

“I’m very disappointed,” Krzyzewski said. “You come here and are playing in the Garden against a very good team and an outstanding program. We should have had a lot more energy and toughness than we did tonight.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/21/sports/ncaabasketball/21duke.html?ref=sports

Troublemaker
12-21-2007, 12:18 AM
Why did we not run tonight, the whole point of this team is to get up and down the floor as much as possible. They have drills for getting the ball in as quick as possible after a made shot, tonight we just took our time. Coach K can not expect to win this year if he wants to play half court. If we would have run tonight, we would have run blair into the ground, but as usual Coach just changes everything to fit the other teams style, I am really wondering what is going on with him.

It's hard to run consistently when you struggle to grab missed shots. Also, it would've been impossible to run anyone into the ground given all the stoppages in play (fouls) in this game.

dukie8
12-21-2007, 12:18 AM
Sounds like somebody got chewed out post-game

“They just wanted it more,” Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “In the second half, they just took it over. We had some guys that played and didn’t have a rebound. You need to have rebounds, especially in a game where there are so many missed shots.”

For a number of reasons, it was a tough loss for Duke, which was playing in front of a pro-Blue Devils crowd of 19,544. Duke had a strong first half but was badly outplayed in the second half as Pittsburgh clawed its way back into the game.

“I’m very disappointed,” Krzyzewski said. “You come here and are playing in the Garden against a very good team and an outstanding program. We should have had a lot more energy and toughness than we did tonight.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/21/sports/ncaabasketball/21duke.html?ref=sports

i completely agree. nobody on our team played with anywhere near the intensity that pitt played with. that was some ugly duke hoops.

greybeard
12-21-2007, 12:21 AM
1. Terrific effort.

2. Many great plays.

3. Game won by the other guys on a great play.

4. If you won, you'd think it was a terrific win.

5. Very entertaining to watch.

6. Everybody but Paulus (oh that looks nasty) seemed to be having fun;

7. Guy like Paulus almost gets two steals against the other guy's best ballhandlers going down the stretch, even while he is not having his way out there generally.

8. Some really memorable outside shots, inside plays, defensive plays, and hustle plays.

All those things are good things; terrific, actually, considering the competition and the playoff quality of the game going into the Winter break. Many losses have none of these things. They are bad losses.

DukeGrad86
12-21-2007, 12:24 AM
I have a naive question. I'm certainly not a basketball coach by any measure, but my question is this....Why does Duke have trouble with rebounding so often? I mean, with the recent exception of Shelden (The Landlord), why does Duke always seem to be lacking in the interior boards department?

Coach K is so smart, and seems so committed to learning and improving himself. And yet over the years, there have definitely been some blind spots in his coaching. The whole big man thing seems to be one of them.

Sorry, I don't mean to question the Great and Powerful K. I know such impudence can result in death by tongue lashing in the Duke community.

It baffles me. I've seen Duke lose games the way we lost tonight too many times in the last five years or so (fight hard, big lead, lead falls apart, outplayed at the end, mental mistakes, lose by 1 or 2 points at the very end).

Game was lots of fun to watch. Just scratching my head a little.

calltheobvious
12-21-2007, 12:25 AM
Free-throw shooting. How damn bad can it get. Just how damn bad can it get. I want to cry.

If we just make the front end of that last trip to the line, we are in second OT, at least. And with Pitt's big guy wasting away on the bench the entire 46th, 47th, 48th, and 49th minutes, we win. We leave New York 11-0, possibly ranked in the top five by weekend's end, and have a nice Christmas. This sucks.

We should have done more to correct this horrible little flaw that has been hovering around some of our top players recently. Perhaps Jason's mental lapse in 2002 needs to be readdressed.


Duke's season FT stats from as far back as ESPN.com has them (I figured in tonight's game):

2007-08 67.9
2006-07 69.2
2005-06 76.1
2004-05 71.2
2003-04 74.0
2002-03 70.5
2001-02 68.9

I know it's still early in the season, but I think we have enough data at this point to be able to make some soft projections about this team's free throw shooting. If I'm right (and there are certainly plenty of holes to poke in my back-of-the-napkin analysis), the news is pretty darned boring.

This season's percentage dipped about a point-and-a-half due to tonight's aberration. DeMarcus's percentage actually improved tonight. He was at 59.1, and after tonight's 5-8 performance, he's now at 59.6. Nobody really shot enough free throws tonight to be said to have had a 'bad' night at the line, excepting perhaps Gerald's 1-4 (a 70% shooter will miss 3 of 4 about 8% of the time).

Nelson 5-8
Scheyer 2-3
Singler 4-6
McClure 1-2
Thomas 1-3
Henderson 1-4

Looking at the numbers, it seems to me that if you want to spend any energy at all this season worrying about free throws, worry about Gerald (because DeMarcus will not be channeling JJ anytime soon). He shot 62.7 last season and he's at 65.0 after tonight's game, down from 69.4 going in. I think it's quite possible that he gets much more comfortable at the line as the season goes on. He can get his percentage up to 71 or 72% by the end of the season, which would help the team average significantly, given that he'll be in the top three on the team in attempts when it's all said and done.

We all need to get used to the fact that DeMarcus is who he is at this point, and that's a 60% free throw shooter. He's going to have some 75% games and some 50% games, and that's just how it's going to go. I feel for him, too, because I know he's worked hard on it over the years, but there's only so much you can do when your motion is as rigid as his.

Scheyer will probably regress to the mean a little bit from his 90% perch, and my guess is that Kyle is going to be a steady 80% guy all year. This leaves us with Gerald and Lance as the only guys who figure to get significant attempts, with GH predominating.

It's just unlucky for the team that DeMarcus is so weak at the line. If he could get up to even 70%, the team's numbers would go through the roof. But folks, it just ain't gonna happen, so let's try to accept it.

Patrick Yates
12-21-2007, 12:38 AM
One of the reasons that we have shot well in previous games was that Duke enjoyed a startling advantage when it comes to athleticism. Even Paulus, not our best athlete, would be among the better athletes, at guard, against most of the teams we played against. Marquettes top three were equivalent or better athletes, but they had no depth, got into foul trouble, and had no bigs.

Against elite teams, and Pitt was close to elite until Cook went down (which could really hurt their season), Duke will not get all those open shots like against lesser teams.

King will have trouble getting open when the opponent has a athletic 6-5 to 6-8 player that can be assigned to him.

Paulus will have trouble gaurding, and penetrating on, quick, strong, guards. Same with Scheyer.

Kyle, god-love him, just needs a little more strength, which will come.

Zoubs may never be an asset if the refs are conditioned to call a foul on him for moving aggressively, and they seem to be conditioned this way.

Lance needs more time.

And certain players are in danger of becoming Black Holes. As in, when matter goes in, it cannot escape.

Bascially, we are better than 95% or so of the teams we will or might face this year. But there is an elite core at the top of basketball that we simply do not approach. IF we are hitting, we can win, but against a team with equivalent or superior athletes, we WILL have trouble getting all those easy, open looks that our guys are able to knock down.

And we will have trouble rebounding. One earlier poster said that only Blair hurt us. Not true. He took boards away from his own guys a lot. Take him out, and the 20 boards he got would still have mostly ended up in Pitt's hands. Sadly, our lack of a true post, and I defy anyone to gainsay that statement at this point, will most likely doom us come march. We are still a solid threat to reach the Elite 8, but by our standards, that is not really a successful season. And no real help is on the horizon for the post.

If we get hot, come March, we could make a run. But don't count on Albany-esque shooting against elite teams away from CIS. That will just break your heart.

Patrick Yates

The Gordog
12-21-2007, 12:51 AM
I am worried that our team will lose a lot of confidence. This was a horrible loss. I can not remember the last time I saw our team soot so poorly. There is a good chance guys that we will not be as good as we had hoped this year. Overall this was a poor performance by our coaches and players.
I have ZERO worries about that. This gives the guys something to think about over the long break. I was worried they would rest too much on vacation if we won.

Troublemaker
12-21-2007, 01:10 AM
One of the reasons that we have shot well in previous games was that Duke enjoyed a startling advantage when it comes to athleticism. Even Paulus, not our best athlete, would be among the better athletes, at guard, against most of the teams we played against. Marquettes top three were equivalent or better athletes, but they had no depth, got into foul trouble, and had no bigs.

Against elite teams, and Pitt was close to elite until Cook went down (which could really hurt their season), Duke will not get all those open shots like against lesser teams.

King will have trouble getting open when the opponent has a athletic 6-5 to 6-8 player that can be assigned to him.

Paulus will have trouble gaurding, and penetrating on, quick, strong, guards. Same with Scheyer.

Kyle, god-love him, just needs a little more strength, which will come.

Zoubs may never be an asset if the refs are conditioned to call a foul on him for moving aggressively, and they seem to be conditioned this way.

Lance needs more time.

And certain players are in danger of becoming Black Holes. As in, when matter goes in, it cannot escape.

Bascially, we are better than 95% or so of the teams we will or might face this year. But there is an elite core at the top of basketball that we simply do not approach. IF we are hitting, we can win, but against a team with equivalent or superior athletes, we WILL have trouble getting all those easy, open looks that our guys are able to knock down.

And we will have trouble rebounding. One earlier poster said that only Blair hurt us. Not true. He took boards away from his own guys a lot. Take him out, and the 20 boards he got would still have mostly ended up in Pitt's hands. Sadly, our lack of a true post, and I defy anyone to gainsay that statement at this point, will most likely doom us come march. We are still a solid threat to reach the Elite 8, but by our standards, that is not really a successful season. And no real help is on the horizon for the post.

If we get hot, come March, we could make a run. But don't count on Albany-esque shooting against elite teams away from CIS. That will just break your heart.

Patrick Yates

Pitt didn't strike me as all that athletic, especially not equivalent to or surpassing Duke, and I don't think their athleticism hindered Duke from getting open shots. The vast majority of Duke's misses were open shots, including several missed layups.

Blair was a beast, though. And I do wish we had someone like him, but with that said, if Duke executed the things we have the ability to execute (ball-handling, FTs, layups, short midrangers, effort [as questioned by K]), the Blair advantage wouldn't have mattered and the poor shooting from 3 wouldn't have mattered. And I'm not suggesting Duke has to be perfect in those areas, just not completely subpar like we were.

Jumbo
12-21-2007, 01:25 AM
Duke should have foulded with 7 or 8 seconds left to send Pitt to the line needing to make both. High pressure Pitt has a good chance of missing at least one, and if not, Duke ball and chance to win. You had to know Pitt was going for 3 because that is the nature of todays game and Blair was also out.

That, kind sir, is absolutely insane. You foul up 3, not up 2. Why on earth would you give them two free shots to tie it? You D-up and try to avoid giving up a game-winning three. Pittsburgh wasn't "playing for the three" -- that's just the shot that presented itself. If you're afraid of getting beat by a three when you're up two and would rather foul so you have the ball in a tie game, you might as well not play at all.

dukediv2013
12-21-2007, 01:30 AM
I am worried that our team will lose a lot of confidence. This was a horrible loss. I can not remember the last time I saw our team soot so poorly. There is a good chance guys that we will not be as good as we had hoped this year. Overall this was a poor performance by our coaches and players.

This wasn't a horrible loss. A horrible loss is losing to ECU. Pitt has a tremendous basketball team, but we could have and should have easily beaten Pitt.

Cons:

Duke was outrebounded by 18.
Greg Paulus had an off night with 1 assist and 5 turnovers.
Our bench was nonexistent.
Free throw shooting was terrible. Everyone that shot a freethrow missed at least one.
Field goal percentage was 37%.
We had 19 turnovers.
And we still almost won the game against a top-10 team!

Pros:
Gerald Henderson drove to the basket better than anyone we had last season.
Singler and Nelson played almost 10 minutes each with 4 fouls.
We got great experience for ACC (regular and postseason) and NCAA tournament play.

We played the worst game of this season, but it was in December. We would much rather have a lost game in December than late February or March! This team is tremendous and will be a fun one to watch throughout this season. I hope Duke gets another chance at Pitt, because I think we are a lot better than we played tonight!

Jumbo
12-21-2007, 01:32 AM
Out of all bad nights we found one thing, our go-to-guy GERALD HENDERSON

I'm so tired of hearing this. If by "go-to," you mean "the guy who will take all our shots," then sure. Henderson played 28 minutes and took 17 shots. That's startling. During the time he was in the game, Duke scored 35 points. In other words, when he was in the game, he basically scored half of Duke's points. And Duke got outscored by six, 41-35.

Gerald plays with his head down. Yeah, he can get to the basket and hit some shots with a high degree of difficulty. But until he learns to keep his head up and start using his slashing ability to hit the open man, he is not the "go-to guy." This is an area that needs significant improvement, as it is disrupting the flow of Duke's offense.

For the life of me, what I can't understand is why Duke didn't go to Singler more on the perimeter. There is no reason why in an offensive set that devolved into iso, one-on-one basketball, he shouldn't have been the guy with the ball, seeing as he owned a major advantage facing up Blair on the perimeter.

DevilAlumna
12-21-2007, 02:00 AM
Not to make any excuses for Greg -- I expected much more from him by now than 1 assist to 5 TO's -- but I wonder how much that blow to the head affected him.

He had a pretty decent goose-egg bump under his eye by the end of the game, and that cut wasn't pretty; it was probably a pretty decent whack he took from Singler.

And did anyone notice that at the end of regulation, Paulus was NOT on the floor for the final set play?

tommy
12-21-2007, 02:19 AM
For those of us who thought we were going to utilize our bench this year, this game proves we never will

Dude, we used 10 guys, and they all got in multiple runs. Come on.

tommy
12-21-2007, 02:31 AM
Just looked at Greg's line: 3 points, 3 fouls, 1 assist, 5 turnovers. That's a bad night.

It's not just the cold stat line. The turnovers were bad ones, like getting your pocket picked by a 6'7 265 pound guy, and other plays that he just shouldn't be making at this point in his career. We can't write it off to injury anymore. The guy has the heart of a lion, but other than his shooting he just doesn't have elite point guard skills. His ballhandling is shaky against any kind of pressure -- hence he went back to turning his back on the offensive end to prevent it getting stolen -- and he just doesn't have the lateral quickness or strength to defend against good points. Our lack of an inside presence is a weakness, but it's one we can work around, and often have over the years, with the offensive and defensive systems we use. But those systems depend on a more athletic point guard, and I hate to say it, but he's not it.

Bob Green
12-21-2007, 02:32 AM
For those of us who thought we were going to utilize our bench this year, this game proves we never will

I disagree with you. All ten scholarship players played. Eight played double-digit minutes.

VaDukie
12-21-2007, 02:47 AM
* Hats off to Pitt. In the end, they deserved it. With Cook going down, this game probably meant a lot more to them too. I can only imagine how heartbreaking it would be for them to lose the game and a senior starter. I'm not sure I've ever seen a guy in as much agony as he showed.

* Fields hit an amazing shot. There's just no other way to put it.

* For as well as he played, I can't get over the WWF takedown Blair had on Singler. I have 0 respect for Blair and honestly wish we had an enforcer to knock that smile off his face.

* Henderson showed what he can do. He did force some shots, but if he can develop that killer instinct (and I think he will, even if it's not this year) he will be great, and so will our team by extension. I honestly think he has as much pure talent as anyone who's put on a Duke uniform.

* Scheyer's final shot was atrocious. It's ironic because of all the guys on our team, Scheyer is the last player I'd expect to make that play. If he had made that second shot it would have surpassed Dock's IMHO.

* I have never been one to criticize K excessively, but not playing Z more in the 2nd half just stuns me. We were getting killed on the boards and just having him in there to throw his body at Blair makes too much sense. I did think he played well for his limited minutes though.

* If McClure isn't hurt early in the year and Lance isn't hurt last week, I think we win. How well those two play will have a huge impact on our season.

* We have to hit free throws. It can't be said any clearer.

* This team has a lot of tough players. We didn't play tough tonight, but I think that has a lot more to do with lack of experience. I'm not a fan of the 'good loss' mindset because when you follow Duke as closely as all of us do, every loss is painful; it took my Dad and I a good 30 minutes before we wanted to punch out a window. But I feel very good about how K and our guys will work these next two weeks. In that sense, we can make it a good loss. The only truly terrible loss is one that ends the season.

* The best news to take out of this game is that as poorly as we played (and we looked dreadful in the 2nd half), it took a great shot by a great player to beat us. Not too bad at the end of the day.

* I already feel sorry for Cornell. We are going to come out on January 6th like a bat out of hell.

* 2007 was a dreadful year (our struggles didn't really start until the VT game). Let's make 2008 the ultimate 'Next Play'.

Bob Green
12-21-2007, 03:43 AM
* For as well as he played, I can't get over the WWF takedown Blair had on Singler. I have 0 respect for Blair and honestly wish we had an enforcer to knock that smile off his face.




I must disagree with you on this point. Yes, it looked ugly, but Blair was off balance and falling. He hooked Singler around the neck and that was ugly but not dirty. There is a big difference between an ugly foul and a dirty foul and I believe Blair's foul was clearly ugly but not dirty.

thomas
12-21-2007, 05:53 AM
My son and I joked that one goal seemed just a tad above 10' - watch Henderson's missed reverse jam, Thomas' almost-missed put-back, for examples..- and look at the offensive numbers for each half for each team: Duke 34 vs 24(+6 in OT), and Pitt 22 vs 36(+7 in OT). I think we should call for an investigation ...

But honestly, a very good game for both teams this time of year. I just hate missed free throws, and I would like to see a replay of why neither Nelson or Smith were applying ball pressure on Fields starting at mid court on the last play. Had to result from a switch off a pick, but I don't remember seeing one. Anyone notice?

oli-p
12-21-2007, 07:03 AM
I must disagree with you on this point. Yes, it looked ugly, but Blair was off balance and falling. He hooked Singler around the neck and that was ugly but not dirty. There is a big difference between an ugly foul and a dirty foul and I believe Blair's foul was clearly ugly but not dirty.

Thank you for a reasonable description of that play. It was not a WWF take down.

DevilCastDownfromDurham
12-21-2007, 07:04 AM
I'm so tired of hearing this. If by "go-to," you mean "the guy who will take all our shots," then sure. Henderson played 28 minutes and took 17 shots. That's startling. During the time he was in the game, Duke scored 35 points. In other words, when he was in the game, he basically scored half of Duke's points. And Duke got outscored by six, 41-35.

Gerald plays with his head down. Yeah, he can get to the basket and hit some shots with a high degree of difficulty. But until he learns to keep his head up and start using his slashing ability to hit the open man, he is not the "go-to guy." This is an area that needs significant improvement, as it is disrupting the flow of Duke's offense.

For the life of me, what I can't understand is why Duke didn't go to Singler more on the perimeter. There is no reason why in an offensive set that devolved into iso, one-on-one basketball, he shouldn't have been the guy with the ball, seeing as he owned a major advantage facing up Blair on the perimeter.


Agree 100%. It also seemed like Kyle frequently rolled on screens/spun past his defender/etc. and was wide open cutting to the basket. Early on he had 2-3 easy layups as a result. After that I must have seen 5-7 times where he made the same move and our guys (G especially) simply missed him. Oh well, par for the course: both teams had mismatches but they took advantage of theirs. We did not.

YmoBeThere
12-21-2007, 07:11 AM
I disagree with you. All ten scholarship players played. Eight played double-digit minutes.

Agreed, but I do think that Koubek(ooops, habit) Zoubek should have gotten a few more minute later in the second half.

oli-p
12-21-2007, 07:11 AM
I'm not sure what this game says about Duke, but I'll predict Pitt won't be ranked among the top 20 when the season's over. Not a very good team if tonight's performance is at all indicative. It's pretty disheartening to lose to a team like that.

You are high. If the knee injury hadn't occurred they would be a big contender at the end of the season.

dukelifer
12-21-2007, 07:15 AM
The bench has been outstanding this year but last night it did not do that much- combination of many things. The bench is young and will be up and down. Jon had a very bad shooting night (1-10) but has 12 boards! I don;t expect that bad shooting will happen too often. He has shown all year he will mix it up and get rebounds. The bench has been the difference last year and last night was not typical- I hope.

Trinity84
12-21-2007, 07:41 AM
This team needs floor leadership and direction. That starts with the point guard. GP cannot disappear in big games if this team is going to reach its potential.

dukie8
12-21-2007, 08:01 AM
And we will have trouble rebounding. One earlier poster said that only Blair hurt us. Not true. He took boards away from his own guys a lot. Take him out, and the 20 boards he got would still have mostly ended up in Pitt's hands.

this comment couldn't be further from the truth. are you, in effect, saying that blair was hogging the rebounds??? it's not like he was jumping over his own guys to get rebounds. take him out and duke gets a lot more of those rebounds. like i said earlier, he reminded me of a mini brand without the offensive polish. he absolutely destroyed us last night.

Patrick Yates
12-21-2007, 08:29 AM
I am not saying that Blair was "hogging the rebounds." Our guys did a truly atrocious job of boxing out. On a lot of shot attempts last night, there were 2-3 Pitt players around the rim, and maybe, if we were lucky, one Duke player. I love Singler, and Thomas soldieried on bravely, and King and McClure will mix it up with anyone, but each player we depend on for rebounds lacks the physical and/or athletic skills to be a beast rebounder, especially if they do a pee poor job of blocking out. My original point was, that even if you take Blair out of the equation on the boards, they still corral most of those 20. At a guess, I would say that Biggs or Young would have had better position than a Duke player, so as a team Pitt would have gotten say 15 of those boards.

My biggest problem with the rebounding is the poor fundamentals. We are smallish, and of our bigs there is no Stud, a la Shel, Booz, or even a McCleod (Singler is a Stud, but not as a true low post). That is not changing this year, and I doubt it will significantly improve next year. To compensate for this, the team must execute outstanding fundamentals when it comes to rebounding. As I watched last night, I was amazed at how our guys did not crash when we shot, and that virtually everyone outside of Singler (and Scheyer at the end) refused to follow their shots. Even when it became abundantly clear that we were stone cold, we did not crash when a Dukie shot, and the shooter hoisted his shot and then stood back and watched. We do not have the size to effectively rebound in the traditional manner. The rest of the team needs to take a cue from Scheyer and crash regularly to try and compensate for our lack of size.

Finally, Scheyer took a bad shot at the end. That said, he took a shot early enough to give us a decent chance at a rebound, which we/he got. With no time out, and the fact that it was plainly obvious that K did not call a final play just in case during the time out, Jon improvised as best he could. It wasn't great, but I don't know what else to do in a pressure situation.

In my mind, the really bad shot was Henderson at the end of regulation. If you watch again, Singler was in the low post, being guarded by a freaking guard, and Hendo did not pass the ball for an easy post move by Singler. I am not ready to level the porcine tag yet, but Hendo is venturing painfully close to un-Kosher.

Patrick Yates

gw67
12-21-2007, 08:54 AM
Like all those who have posted before me, I would have liked a victory last night but a 10-1 record at the point in the schedule is better than I expected before the start of the season. The obvious observations from last night are that the team shot very poorly from the field and foul line, was badly outrebounded, didn’t do a good job of protecting the ball, and they played well on the defensive end. Some of the poor shooting and ballhandling can be attributed to the Pitt defense and I conclude that the team’s performance in those areas during this game will be looked back upon as an outlier when the season is reviewed. The poor foul shooting and weak rebounding, however, are part of this team’s makeup. In general, these weaknesses will not cost us a game (and they almost didn’t last night) because the team’s shooting and defense will prevail.

The good news is that there are very few teams on Duke’s schedule who rely on defense, rebounding and physical play like Pitt. The only team that I’ve seen play who is comparable is UCLA and they are more talented than Pitt.

gw67

Highlander
12-21-2007, 09:29 AM
I am worried that our team will lose a lot of confidence. This was a horrible loss. I can not remember the last time I saw our team soot so poorly. There is a good chance guys that we will not be as good as we had hoped this year. Overall this was a poor performance by our coaches and players.

Horrible loss? Despite our poor play, we lost by one point loss to a top 10 team in overtime?! If that's a horrible loss, by definition every loss is horrible, because that's just about as close as it gets.

This game means very little in the grand scheme of things. We drop a few spots in the December national rankings. Big deal. As a team we learned that we can be beat if players don't play their best, and they got out hustled/muscled for once. That's not a good feeling, but the truth hurts sometimes. If we use this experience to get better, that's all that matters.

The game felt very much like an NCAA tournament game to me - tough team, neutral court, physical play. We ultimately lost, but unlike the LSU game our season is not over. In fact, after LSU a few years ago many here wished Duke had played a game like this in December so they had experience playing physical without those ACC whistles to bail them out with a foul call. I've also heard people say they'd rather K use his bench more even if it meant a loss in December. We did both tonight.

Had Singler's tip gone in regulation, people would be talking about how this was a great "win ugly" game for Duke instead of being all chicken little. The game came down to one fact - We missed a winning shot at the end of regulation. Pitt made theirs. On a side note, I haven't seen us very many last second shots since JJ left.

BTW, to your comment that Pitt isn't a top 10 team, that's just sour grapes man. They beat us. Saying they're not any good makes us look worse.

whereinthehellami
12-21-2007, 09:47 AM
In the bleak of the night, thru the darkness there was some light:


Henderson took and made some tough shots.
Henderson's block and dunk late in the game were daggers.
Singler is tough and has fun, you can tell he likes the end of the game, I love that.
Despite a tough night shooting Scheyer fought like a rabid ankle-biting dog, 12 rebounds, that kid has heart and grit.
The double back steal under the hoop after a tough missed layup by Scheyer tells me he is also a tough minded, rabid, ankle-biting dog.
Nelson's fearless and athletic reverse layup that fouled out Blair was spectacular.
Zoubek with a couple of tough boards, wasn't afraid to mix it up.

AtlDuke72
12-21-2007, 09:52 AM
"Duke should have fouled with 7 or 8 seconds left to send Pitt to the line needing to make both. High pressure Pitt has a good chance of missing at least one, and if not, Duke ball and chance to win. You had to know Pitt was going for 3 because that is the nature of todays game and Blair was also out. You had to know Fields was the guy to take the shot."

How silly can you get? Not a coach in the country would take a foul with a 2 point lead and 7 seconds to play. Duke put its best defender on Fields, but he made a great play. How can you second guess the defense on that?

The Devils are going to get killed on the boards all year and have to shoot well to overcome it. Last night the free throw shooting and 3 point shooting killed us. Scheyer had a bad game shooting, but 10 rebounds was incredible. Frustrating game because the Devils shot so poorly and turned it over. The defense was excellent by both teams.

fuse
12-21-2007, 10:01 AM
1- We missed Lance
2- We missed our bench scoring
3- We missed our tempo and ability to impose our will on Pitt
4- as had been mentioned already a lot, free throws

What really struck me, no excuses, was that there appeared to be something wrong with the rim Pitt shot on in the first half and we shot in the second half. All things being equal, a lot of missed dunks and misfires on that particular rim. Silly, I know, but something that stood out to me.

Slant
12-21-2007, 10:02 AM
Observations and questions:

At the start of the 2nd half, when Coach K called a timeout and was ripping the team, did it seem to all of you that Paulus just kind of disappeared after that? During important stretches in the 2nd half, when it seemed we struggled with our offense, Paulus was not on the floor ( seemed like Henderson was running point during some of those stretches).

Greg only attempts 2 shots (going 1 for 2) yet Scheyer goes 1-10? Something wrong there! Seemed like after that timeout, Greg didn't have any fire in him.

I also think we should have played Zoubek more in the 2nd half too.

But we will learn from this loss. Hey, 1 pt. overtime loss to #9 team. Nothing to hang your head down about. Just get back to work after Christmas break, work on the problems. I wish we played some more games, though, before Jan. 6. The Cornell game will not be much of a challenge for Duke to test new things.

dukepsy1963
12-21-2007, 10:05 AM
how many of us thought that we would be this "good" this year. Very few. Instead, we find we have a heck of team despite our "projections." Frankly, I did not think that we would be this good this year. But we are. We are contenders!!!

Yes, we lost. That's part of the game. And it is a game (god it's hard for me to say that...:)) But it is...a silly game where people run around and throw a ball at a hoop!!

I predict that from here out we will have an incredible run. I feel it!!! Don't you? Or are you still afraid of your "projections?"

We've got a winner!! Let's support them even more (if that's possible) than we usually do. They know what to do. And they'll do it!

Go Duke!!!! Now where did I put my crying towel.....:)

Saratoga2
12-21-2007, 10:24 AM
Observations and questions:

At the start of the 2nd half, when Coach K called a timeout and was ripping the team, did it seem to all of you that Paulus just kind of disappeared after that? During important stretches in the 2nd half, when it seemed we struggled with our offense, Paulus was not on the floor ( seemed like Henderson was running point during some of those stretches).

Greg only attempts 2 shots (going 1 for 2) yet Scheyer goes 1-10? Something wrong there! Seemed like after that timeout, Greg didn't have any fire in him.

I also think we should have played Zoubek more in the 2nd half too.

But we will learn from this loss. Hey, 1 pt. overtime loss to #9 team. Nothing to hang your head down about. Just get back to work after Christmas break, work on the problems. I wish we played some more games, though, before Jan. 6. The Cornell game will not be much of a challenge for Duke to test new things.

Overall Shooting % 37.7 Fair at best
3 Pt Shooting % 21.1 Poor
FT Shooting % 53.8 Poor
Overall Rebounding 53-39 (-14) Poor
Offensive Rebounding 19-11 (-8) Poor
Assists 12-10 (+2) Fair and better than Pitt
Turnovers 22-20 (+2) Poor but better than Pitt
Blocks 4-1 (-3) Poor
Steals 4-2 (+) Fair

Minutes plays by main 5 (Duke 175, Pitt (154 - One injured would have played more). Total minutes played 225

After looking at the stat line it is hard to see how we only lost by 1. It had to be our defense that kept it from being worse. Pitt normally doesn't play this poorly either and on another night they are likely to score more.

Lance wasn't on his game and played only 14 minutes played. Zoubek gave the team some defensive rebounds and started the outlet pass well but only played for 6 minutes. He doesn't box out well though. Nolan only played 12 minutes and didn't do much while in.

They team started with the idea of driving to the basket and dishing if that didn't work. We also had some neat plays to Singler. Our offense stopped executing in the second half. Was it something Pitt did differently?

dukestheheat
12-21-2007, 10:24 AM
1. Owning the basketball much better.
2. Hitting more free throws.
3. Making much, much better decisions when it comes to shooting.
4. THE LAST PLAY.

So, all of what went bad last night (completely throw out any paint advantage to Pitt b/c they had that coming in no surprise to anyone) can be fixed. Hey, Pitt is a top 10 team and that game could have gone either way. We have improved so much in one year's time and we are looking up!

GO DUKE!

dth.

Saratoga2
12-21-2007, 10:30 AM
"Duke should have fouled with 7 or 8 seconds left to send Pitt to the line needing to make both. High pressure Pitt has a good chance of missing at least one, and if not, Duke ball and chance to win. You had to know Pitt was going for 3 because that is the nature of todays game and Blair was also out. You had to know Fields was the guy to take the shot."

How silly can you get? Not a coach in the country would take a foul with a 2 point lead and 7 seconds to play. Duke put its best defender on Fields, but he made a great play. How can you second guess the defense on that?

The Devils are going to get killed on the boards all year and have to shoot well to overcome it. Last night the free throw shooting and 3 point shooting killed us. Scheyer had a bad game shooting, but 10 rebounds was incredible. Frustrating game because the Devils shot so poorly and turned it over. The defense was excellent by both teams.

Looking over the shot selection, I notice that Scheyer took a desperation shot with the clock running out because the team had not run it's offense well. He also really had no choice coming down on the last two shots. There was no passing lane and the defender was pulling up on him. He followed the shot and had to make another tough try. That accounts for 3 of his shots that were more desperation than not. He did miss come open trys but so did all the others. Scheyer had 12 rebounds when the next best was 5 on the team.

dukestheheat
12-21-2007, 10:37 AM
saratoga2-

if i saw the very last play in OT correctly (please correct me if i have this off), Scheyer had two Duke players up ahead of him, one to the left of the lane, and another at the top of the key that he could have passed to; he's got the athleticism to get the ball to them in that spot, just as he did to McClure last year in the Clockgate/Clemson game at Cameron. That would have given us either a) the lay-in or b) a much better shot at the hoop in or near the paint.

??

dth.

greybeard
12-21-2007, 10:39 AM
I'm so tired of hearing this. If by "go-to," you mean "the guy who will take all our shots," then sure. Henderson played 28 minutes and took 17 shots. That's startling. During the time he was in the game, Duke scored 35 points. In other words, when he was in the game, he basically scored half of Duke's points. And Duke got outscored by six, 41-35.

Gerald plays with his head down. Yeah, he can get to the basket and hit some shots with a high degree of difficulty. But until he learns to keep his head up and start using his slashing ability to hit the open man, he is not the "go-to guy." This is an area that needs significant improvement, as it is disrupting the flow of Duke's offense.

For the life of me, what I can't understand is why Duke didn't go to Singler more on the perimeter. There is no reason why in an offensive set that devolved into iso, one-on-one basketball, he shouldn't have been the guy with the ball, seeing as he owned a major advantage facing up Blair on the perimeter.

Both points excellent, make a person think. I don't know if you'd agree with this, but it seemed that Gerald looked for his shots most particularly when Pitt had Duke on lock down. In those moments, he seemed to say, "Stop me if you can." Many of those times they couldn't. To the extent that that was so, not all bad.

I agree that they needed to get it Singlar more. He had to be exhausted but to hit that three.

mr. synellinden
12-21-2007, 10:40 AM
Losing sucks. Losing in OT on a tough fallaway three pointer sucks even worse. Losing in OT on a tough fallaway three pointer when you had two great chances to win in regulations sucks even more than that (as an aside, didn't Singler's put back look a lot like Boozer's against IU in terms of the way it bounced short off the backboard and rim.).

However, this was a great game for Duke - both in the positives that came out of it and the negatives that were exposed. It was a Regional Final environment against a very good, very tough, extremely well coached team. I don't know how you could watch that game and think Pitt isn't worthy of a top 10 ranking. With the game on the line, Duke's players made some outstanding plays - Henderson's drive and dunk, Singler's tying three, Henderson's tying turnaround jumper, Singler's near putback to win it (he deserved that to go down and it disappoints me almost as much that it didn't because it would have added to his budding legacy as because we didn't end up winning), Nelson's drive (+1) in OT. Those are the kinds of plays you need to make in tight tournament games. We made those plays against Illinois and Marquette also. We just happened to lose this game because we didn't shoot free throws well (could be our undoing in March I fear), Scheyer shot an uncharacteristic 1-10, Singler missed a putback he makes 7 out of 10 times and Fields hit a 3 pointer he hits 2 out of 10 times.

If either of those two last plays go the other way, and they both SHOULD have based on odds, we are all reading posts that read "I LOVE THIS TEAM", "HOW GREAT IS SINGLER" "WHAT A GREAT SHOT BY HENDERSON" "DEMARCUS NELSON WAS AWESOME" "THIS TEAM IS TOUGH AS NAILS" "THESE ARE THE TYPES OF GAMES THAT BUILD CHARACTER AND WILL MAKE US MORE ExPERIENCED COME MARCH" "THIS TEAM IS A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDER" ...

All of those statements are still true even though we are 10-1 instead of 11-0.

I would have much rather that we won, but I am not going to be negative about the team or change my optimism about this team and its potential because two plays went the wrong way against an undefeated top 10 team that played us as hard in the second half as I've seen any team play us in several years.

Duke played great at times last night but not great enough and not consistently enough. What Coach K will do is use this loss to make sure the team realizes that having the ability to play great doesn't mean much unless you go out there and do it for 40 minutes by playing your hardest.

I guess what it boils down to is that I am as excited about what I saw in this team last night as I was when I watched the Illinois, Wisconsin and Marquette games and I am not going to let the outcome (which could have gone either way) cloud that. We are going to learn from this game and improve as a team just the way we would have if we had won.

The rest of this season is going to be a lot of fun.

dukestheheat
12-21-2007, 10:43 AM
truer and more apropos words probably have never been spoken.

thank you.

dth.

Ben63
12-21-2007, 10:45 AM
(as an aside, didn't Singler's put back look a lot like Boozer's against IU in terms of the way it bounced short off the backboard and rim.).




YES, YES, YES. That was running thru my head as I saw it go up. I thought "Oh no, not like Boozer" but $hit happens sometimes. Difference is I didnt break anything this time. (I chucked the remote against the wall vs IU and it died.)

Classof06
12-21-2007, 10:48 AM
What a game. This was a tough loss to swallow but what a tremendous game it was.

I knew we wouldn't keep a 15-point lead for the remainder of the game, but if there anything that concerns me it's that in the 2nd half, Pitt just seemed to want it more and they bullied us out of a win. It just seemed like Duke didn't match the physical intensity of Pitt and that is something that has to change, especially when we'll be playing bigger teams pretty often. I can't count how many times Duke got the ball knocked away or taken away because we just weren't strong with the ball. In the first half, Pitt wilted under our pressure D and it was the exact opposite in the 2nd half. FT shooting finally came back to haunt us as well and that's something else that has to change.

It's weird because I thought Duke played well enough to win when you look at the shot it took to beat us but at the same time, there were so many things we could have done better. That being said, this isn't an excruciating loss. We lost to a Top 10 team on a last second shot in OT. There are worse things in life. I still believe we are a legit contender and that we will ultimately benefit a lot from this loss. We weren't going undefeated, anyway.

Dukiedevil
12-21-2007, 10:49 AM
I'm so tired of hearing this. If by "go-to," you mean "the guy who will take all our shots," then sure. Henderson played 28 minutes and took 17 shots. That's startling. During the time he was in the game, Duke scored 35 points. In other words, when he was in the game, he basically scored half of Duke's points. And Duke got outscored by six, 41-35.

Gerald plays with his head down. Yeah, he can get to the basket and hit some shots with a high degree of difficulty. But until he learns to keep his head up and start using his slashing ability to hit the open man, he is not the "go-to guy." This is an area that needs significant improvement, as it is disrupting the flow of Duke's offense.

For the life of me, what I can't understand is why Duke didn't go to Singler more on the perimeter. There is no reason why in an offensive set that devolved into iso, one-on-one basketball, he shouldn't have been the guy with the ball, seeing as he owned a major advantage facing up Blair on the perimeter.

I agree Jumbo, but there is so much potential there if he develops his court vision just a little bit more. He hit some shots last night that most would call bad shots but they went in easily. If he could learn to invole his teammates just a bit more he would be almost unstoppable. He missed Singler about 3 or 4 times last night as he was slipping to the basket for an easy dunk and I was about to pull my hair out. What gave me hope was the last 2 minutes of regulation where he scored a few times and hit Singler for that 3.

My hope is that he (and K) know that he is the most talented guard on the floor at any given time and he is still trying to figure out how to use his skills to best help the team (he is just 11 games into his sophomore year). My fear is that he won't be able to figure out how to make the team better or that he is gunner with his eye set on the League. Right now I'm going to hope that he is a talented young kid still trying to figure out how to use his tremendous talent. I noticed he played very well at the end of regulation after K yanked him for a rather horrid stretch by hi where he forced several shots... To me that says he's trying to learn.

Question Jumbo... Is court vision something you can learn or is that something you either have or don't have? Demarcus seems to be better at it this year than last (where he was basically what Henderson is this year)...

Kilby
12-21-2007, 10:55 AM
Some people complained at the end of last year that Henderson unadvisedly forced some things. I think that people forget that in those times and last night the team's offense was clearly struggling, Duke absolutely needed a clutch player (and Henderson is our best go to guy) to take it upon himself to get something done. There was only one shot by Henderson last night when he clearly could have passed to Singler for a two. Instead he took the shot and made it. The other times that Henderson detractors may point to would not have been easy feeds with Singler sliding to the basket and needing a perfect lob to get it to him (Henderson is not a PG). There will be more games like this when the other teams athleticism makes Paulus' and Scheyer's offense disappear and we better hope that Henderson still has the instinct and courage to make it happen. Nelson and Singler are clutch, but Henderson is the only one that can take it no matter who is guarding him.

grc5
12-21-2007, 10:56 AM
I'm sorry if this has been touched on already, but I'd just like to chip in my two cents:

Say what you want about the poor free throw shooting and the rebounding, the reason we really lost this game is because Duke couldn't hit the 3-ball. We all know that rebounding will be tough for this small team, and certain players have had histories of free-thow shooting woes (i.e. Henderson, DeMarcus), but shooting three-pointers has never been a problem for this team, untill last night's 4-for-19 performance.

This team lives and dies with the trifecta, and when it doesn't fall, things can get ugly.

Pitt certainly gets a lot of credit for turning up the intensity and getting the faces of the Duke shooters.

I think the baskets at MSG had something to do with it as well--playing in a space that big can easily mess with your depth perception.
Duke has a history of struggling from behind the line at MSG:

12/10/07 vs. Pitt: 4-for-19
2/25/07 vs. St. John's: 6-for-12
12/21/06 vs. Gonzaga: 8-for-22
11/25/05 vs. Memphis: 6-for-23
11/23/05 vs. Drexel: 3-for-16
2/26/05 vs. St. John's: 6-for-23
12/18/04 vs. Oklahoma: 4-for-9

That's a combined 37-for-124 (30%) over the past 4 seasons. While that number is not atrocious, its a good 10% below where we'd all like it to be. Although you could argue that this low percentage is a result of the superior competition we face in MSG, some of those teams aren't exactly world-beaters.

Whether last night's game was part of trend is debateable, I am, however, sure of this: our shooting woes last night caused a dramatic shift in game plan. Instead of the penetrate-and-dish style we're used to seeing from Duke, in the second half the Blue Devils tried to take it directly to the basket in an attempt to find more high percentage shots. That's not our game, and it wound up consting us; if I had a nickle for every layup that bricked off the rim last night, I'd be a rich man.

I'm not really sure what the proper response is to a poor 3-point shooting night. I don't think taking it to the basket will be an effective strategy unless we pick up our ability to score 2nd-chance buckets. I guess I would have told the players to have faith and keep looking for 3-point looks, but that might fail just as easily--why continue to do something that's not working.

I really don't know what the solution is.

Patrick Yates
12-21-2007, 11:24 AM
I'm sorry if this has been touched on already, but I'd just like to chip in my two cents:

Say what you want about the poor free throw shooting and the rebounding, the reason we really lost this game is because Duke couldn't hit the 3-ball. We all know that rebounding will be tough for this small team, and certain players have had histories of free-thow shooting woes (i.e. Henderson, DeMarcus), but shooting three-pointers has never been a problem for this team, untill last night's 4-for-19 performance.

This team lives and dies with the trifecta, and when it doesn't fall, things can get ugly.

Pitt certainly gets a lot of credit for turning up the intensity and getting the faces of the Duke shooters.

I think the baskets at MSG had something to do with it as well--playing in a space that big can easily mess with your depth perception.
Duke has a history of struggling from behind the line at MSG:

12/10/07 vs. Pitt: 4-for-19
2/25/07 vs. St. John's: 6-for-12
12/21/06 vs. Gonzaga: 8-for-22
11/25/05 vs. Memphis: 6-for-23
11/23/05 vs. Drexel: 3-for-16
2/26/05 vs. St. John's: 6-for-23
12/18/04 vs. Oklahoma: 4-for-9

That's a combined 37-for-124 (30%) over the past 4 seasons. While that number is not atrocious, its a good 10% below where we'd all like it to be. Although you could argue that this low percentage is a result of the superior competition we face in MSG, some of those teams aren't exactly world-beaters.

Whether last night's game was part of trend is debateable, I am, however, sure of this: our shooting woes last night caused a dramatic shift in game plan. Instead of the penetrate-and-dish style we're used to seeing from Duke, in the second half the Blue Devils tried to take it directly to the basket in an attempt to find more high percentage shots. That's not our game, and it wound up consting us; if I had a nickle for every layup that bricked off the rim last night, I'd be a rich man.

I'm not really sure what the proper response is to a poor 3-point shooting night. I don't think taking it to the basket will be an effective strategy unless we pick up our ability to score 2nd-chance buckets. I guess I would have told the players to have faith and keep looking for 3-point looks, but that might fail just as easily--why continue to do something that's not working.

I really don't know what the solution is.

Your point at the end is spot on. Simply driving, when the threes aren't falling, is not a viable option for this team. On the flip side, you can't keep shooting if the threes aren't falling. I have never been a fan of the Shoot through the slump mentality. Some nights, the shots aren't falling. I have seen more stars beat their own teams by jacking it up when the shots weren't falling than I care to remember. Sometimes, you have to realize that a player is not hitting, and red light him for the night. He can come back the next night, and in all likelihood will be fine.

When it happens to a team, especially one as reliant on 3s as we are, I have no clue what plan B is. It may be losing.

Patrick Yates

Indoor66
12-21-2007, 11:42 AM
Your point at the end is spot on. Simply driving, when the threes aren't falling, is not a viable option for this team. On the flip side, you can't keep shooting if the threes aren't falling. I have never been a fan of the Shoot through the slump mentality. Some nights, the shots aren't falling. I have seen more stars beat their own teams by jacking it up when the shots weren't falling than I care to remember. Sometimes, you have to realize that a player is not hitting, and red light him for the night. He can come back the next night, and in all likelihood will be fine.

When it happens to a team, especially one as reliant on 3s as we are, I have no clue what plan B is. It may be losing.

Patrick Yates

How about a player who keeps driving and never passing and missing his shots?

Troublemaker
12-21-2007, 11:56 AM
I'm sorry if this has been touched on already, but I'd just like to chip in my two cents:

Say what you want about the poor free throw shooting and the rebounding, the reason we really lost this game is because Duke couldn't hit the 3-ball. We all know that rebounding will be tough for this small team, and certain players have had histories of free-thow shooting woes (i.e. Henderson, DeMarcus), but shooting three-pointers has never been a problem for this team, untill last night's 4-for-19 performance.

This team lives and dies with the trifecta, and when it doesn't fall, things can get ugly.

Pitt certainly gets a lot of credit for turning up the intensity and getting the faces of the Duke shooters.

I think the baskets at MSG had something to do with it as well--playing in a space that big can easily mess with your depth perception.
Duke has a history of struggling from behind the line at MSG:

12/10/07 vs. Pitt: 4-for-19
2/25/07 vs. St. John's: 6-for-12
12/21/06 vs. Gonzaga: 8-for-22
11/25/05 vs. Memphis: 6-for-23
11/23/05 vs. Drexel: 3-for-16
2/26/05 vs. St. John's: 6-for-23
12/18/04 vs. Oklahoma: 4-for-9

That's a combined 37-for-124 (30%) over the past 4 seasons. While that number is not atrocious, its a good 10% below where we'd all like it to be. Although you could argue that this low percentage is a result of the superior competition we face in MSG, some of those teams aren't exactly world-beaters.

Whether last night's game was part of trend is debateable, I am, however, sure of this: our shooting woes last night caused a dramatic shift in game plan. Instead of the penetrate-and-dish style we're used to seeing from Duke, in the second half the Blue Devils tried to take it directly to the basket in an attempt to find more high percentage shots. That's not our game, and it wound up consting us; if I had a nickle for every layup that bricked off the rim last night, I'd be a rich man.

I'm not really sure what the proper response is to a poor 3-point shooting night. I don't think taking it to the basket will be an effective strategy unless we pick up our ability to score 2nd-chance buckets. I guess I would have told the players to have faith and keep looking for 3-point looks, but that might fail just as easily--why continue to do something that's not working.

I really don't know what the solution is.

Excellent MSG stats.

But I disagree with you about not seeking high-percentage shots because it's "not our game." Layups and short shots have to be shots that you make and expect to make, and just because Duke missed them last night doesn't mean we should stop seeking them, especially when the 3s aren't falling. Duke's players may need to get stronger to consistently convert those short opportunities, or they may need to further develop their mid-range game so they can consistently cash 10-footers, and maybe those things don't come until next season, but philosophically, I believe that if a team is missing from long-range, getting closer is the solution.

Patrick Yates
12-21-2007, 12:02 PM
How about a player who keeps driving and never passing and missing his shots?

Let's call that one plan B. The losing can be plan C.

Seriously though, Black Hole city last night.

Patrick Yates

dw0827
12-21-2007, 12:17 PM
I've been reading some of these posts about Henderson . . . especially Jumbo's . . . which seem to suggest that Henderson lacks court vision and . . .

I'd go further in characterizing these posts but I don't want to be accused of the (gasp!) STRAW DOG argument.

Anyway, I have some random thoughts. First, Henderson gets 3.38 assists per 40 minutes on the floor and Scheyer gets 3.43 assists per 40 minutes. Not much difference. Do I conclude from this that Henderson sees the floor as well as Scheyer? No, I don't. But it does suggest to me that Henderson isn't exactly blind.

Second, I've tried to watch games and isolate Henderson to see what he does and what he misses. (Although I don't tape . . . I rely on my ever-fading memory). Last night, he was the one who drove, collapsed the defense, and fed Singler for his 3 late in the game. Not something a blind man does.

And here's the part that, for me, is unknowable. What is Coach K telling Henderson to do? I'm sure K isn't saying go out and be blind . . . but I also wonder if K isn't telling him to go out and make plays . . . and Henderson feels that he can get his shot just about any time . . . and "making a play" means getting the ball and scoring.

So I don't know what he's being told by the coaching staff in the course of a game. Henderson is a work in progress as are all the players. And, really, he didn't play much last year. He's still figuring out what he's capable of. I'd like to see people lighten up on the criticism a bit.

10B13
12-21-2007, 12:21 PM
"The kid made a great shot and a terrific move to get it."

It may have been a terrific move, but David made the same fatal reaction as Allison Bales in the 2006 Women's Final, i.e., backing up instead of holding his ground. If you know that a 3-pointer is fatal in such a situation, you have to be savvy enough not to go for the fake. David should have learned from Allison's mistake.

:confused:

Zafort

dw0827
12-21-2007, 12:39 PM
"The kid made a great shot and a terrific move to get it."

It may have been a terrific move, but David made the same fatal reaction as Allison Bales in the 2006 Women's Final, i.e., backing up instead of holding his ground. If you know that a 3-pointer is fatal in such a situation, you have to be savvy enough not to go for the fake. David should have learned from Allison's mistake.

:confused:

Zafort

Yea, I've got to agree. He simply could not fall back as though to defend against the drive. A drive (into the middle of the defense) for 2 points is not going to lose you the game. Taking the fake, dropping back away from the three point line and allowing an open three point shot CAN, and DID, lose the game.

Having said that, David doesn't have time to think about it. He simply reacts. And he has played, like, very very little. So his reactions may be a little "game rusty" to coin a phrase.

An edit: don't mean to imply that this play lost the game for us and that David was culpable. It didn't and he wasn't. We were out-toughed in that second half and didn't respond well. That's why we lost.

Devilsfan
12-21-2007, 12:44 PM
When our shots aren't dropping it would be nice to have a Blair inside to go to. I can't get over the 20 boards against us by a freshman.

Clipsfan
12-21-2007, 01:10 PM
I've been reading some of these posts about Henderson . . . especially Jumbo's . . . which seem to suggest that Henderson lacks court vision and . . .

I'd go further in characterizing these posts but I don't want to be accused of the (gasp!) STRAW DOG argument.

Anyway, I have some random thoughts. First, Henderson gets 3.38 assists per 40 minutes on the floor and Scheyer gets 3.43 assists per 40 minutes. Not much difference. Do I conclude from this that Henderson sees the floor as well as Scheyer? No, I don't. But it does suggest to me that Henderson isn't exactly blind.

Second, I've tried to watch games and isolate Henderson to see what he does and what he misses. (Although I don't tape . . . I rely on my ever-fading memory). Last night, he was the one who drove, collapsed the defense, and fed Singler for his 3 late in the game. Not something a blind man does.

And here's the part that, for me, is unknowable. What is Coach K telling Henderson to do? I'm sure K isn't saying go out and be blind . . . but I also wonder if K isn't telling him to go out and make plays . . . and Henderson feels that he can get his shot just about any time . . . and "making a play" means getting the ball and scoring.

So I don't know what he's being told by the coaching staff in the course of a game. Henderson is a work in progress as are all the players. And, really, he didn't play much last year. He's still figuring out what he's capable of. I'd like to see people lighten up on the criticism a bit.

Henderson is also the guy who kept dribbling to the right side of the court, getting cut off at the baseline and turning the ball over. He made some great shots, but also made some poor decisions.

Here's my key takeaway: we're not invincible, but I didn't think that we were. We played a very solid team, one with an athletic thick-body rebounder (a real problem for us), shot miserably (38% from the field, 4-19 from 3, and around 50% from the FT line) and still only lost by one on a deep (low percentage) 3 with a few seconds left in OT. A lot of things went poorly for us, but we still looked liked we should win the game with 10 seconds left in OT. The team played hard, and will continue to do so, and on most nights a few more 3s will fall. After the Albany game I pointed to the FT shooting and said that it would probably cost us in at least one game this season, although I didn't want it to be yesterday. However, the game was a lot of fun to watch and I really like this team. We're still very much alive (this wasn't a one-and-done tourney!) so I would like to think that this will be a great learning experience rather than a devastating loss.

whereinthehellami
12-21-2007, 01:55 PM
Last year Duke would have more than likely lost the Pitt game in regulation.

robed deity
12-21-2007, 02:43 PM
Just a couple observations re: Hendo


At one point in the second half yesterday, Gerald drove and IIRC, turned it over. He was quickly subbed out and given a stern talking-to by K. From reading lips, it looked like K said something like "Gerald-you had people open."

Gerald is a freakish athlete and is capable of getting his own shot at ANY time. He also makes a decent amount of these shots even though they may not look like good looks. This makes him a unique weapon-he is the one guy on Duke (and first guy really since JWill) that can consistently get his own. However, he is going through a learning process right now of when and when not to take his man one on one. He also needs to recognize that because of his explosiveness and his ability to get into the paint at will, teammates are open, esp. at the 3 point line. He can be just as dangerous, if not more so, with the kick out or dump inside after the D collapses. He has shown progress with this lately, with that big assist kick out to Singler last night.

I would think this makes coaching him a delicate balance. You want him to be aggressive and take his man one on one to the hoop, or in some cases take (and make, as he did yesterday) a tough fadeaway in a guys face. But there are also times you want him to stay in the flow of the offense. I guess there is a way to do both, and that might come with experience.

Regardless, Gerald is a ridiculously talented player, and if he continues to improve and expand his game, he will be scary good.

rsvman
12-21-2007, 02:50 PM
[shadow's voice]These are just games.[/shadow's voice]

dw0827
12-21-2007, 02:56 PM
Just a couple observations re: Hendo


At one point in the second half yesterday, Gerald drove and IIRC, turned it over. He was quickly subbed out and given a stern talking-to by K. From reading lips, it looked like K said something like "Gerald-you had people open."

Gerald is a freakish athlete and is capable of getting his own shot at ANY time. He also makes a decent amount of these shots even though they may not look like good looks. This makes him a unique weapon-he is the one guy on Duke (and first guy really since JWill) that can consistently get his own. However, he is going through a learning process right now of when and when not to take his man one on one. He also needs to recognize that because of his explosiveness and his ability to get into the paint at will, teammates are open, esp. at the 3 point line. He can be just as dangerous, if not more so, with the kick out or dump inside after the D collapses. He has shown progress with this lately, with that big assist kick out to Singler last night.

I would think this makes coaching him a delicate balance. You want him to be aggressive and take his man one on one to the hoop, or in some cases take (and make, as he did yesterday) a tough fadeaway in a guys face. But there are also times you want him to stay in the flow of the offense. I guess there is a way to do both, and that might come with experience.

Regardless, Gerald is a ridiculously talented player, and if he continues to improve and expand his game, he will be scary good.

Nice job. You expressed my sentiments a whole lot better than I did. I agree with your take completely. We just need to remember that he is a work in progress . . . .

mapei
12-21-2007, 03:37 PM
I am much more encouraged than not at what we have seen from Gerald this year. He's only going to get better, and he's really good right now.

OTOH, McClure seemed really ineffective. He may not be coming along as well as we had hoped.

And, just to inject a little levity, I am shocked, shocked that no one has mentioned the "San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl." America, you've gotta love it.

yancem
12-21-2007, 03:45 PM
The point here is that it should have not been a close game, while Pitt may have a top 10 ranking, they are not a top 10 team.

I don't understand this perspective. This is the 4th or 5th post saying that Pitt is overrated or not that good. If that's true, what does that say about Duke, we lost! I know we shot poorly, missed free throws, didn't run our offense, blah, blah, blah. Does anyone really think that this was a good game from Pitt's perspective. They also shot poorly, missed free throws, couldn't run their offense, blah, blah, blah. The difference was that Duke had its bad spell in the second half and Pitt's was in the first.

Pitt is a solid, talented and mature team. They will remain ranked and beat some other good teams. At the end of the day I think that Duke should have won this game, it was theirs for the taking. I also think that this loss will leave a bad taste in their mouths and they will learn a lot form this game.

My biggest concern is that Duke used to have a mystique about it that seemed to almost guarantee games like this one down the stretch. That mystique disappeared a few years ago and winning this game might have helped restore it.

yancem
12-21-2007, 04:03 PM
To the credit of the posters, there really hasn't been mention made of the refs, who seemed to call a reasonably fair game. But was I the only one that thought they started calling things much tighter on the perimeter at the start of the second half? We ended up in the penalty at 14:50, which is absurd. I thought this took a bit of the teeth out of our pressure defense.

Of course, Pitt's improved defense had a lot to do with their comeback, as their half court offense really wasn't that much better in the second half. That's what made the end so bizarre -- totally inept offense, two key players out of the game, and then their guy hits a tough fall away three to win it. Go figure.

Actually, I thought the refs did a pretty poor job. They didn't seem consistent and I'm not sure they got a single charge/block call correctly. I don't however think that Duke was screwed by them. While agree that the change in calling the game in the second half certainly seemed to trow Duke off a little, I think that more of the bad calls fell Duke's way than Pitt's

yancem
12-21-2007, 04:15 PM
I would have gotten the ball to Singlar on that slip more, and even on post ups. I saw some guys see him and not let it go. That's the one thing that I think that they must improve on. If Singlar has that kind of room and position, he must get the ball.

I think that this is an excellent point. For everyone harping on Duke not having a burly low post threat, I think that you're forgetting that there is more than one way to skin a cat. Singler offers as much of a match up problem to apposing big men as they do to him. Let's not forget that Blair did foul out and he probably one of only a few burly type post players that is remotely nimble enough to stick with Singler. Duke needs to learn how to better exploit Singler's perimeter skills. Most big true post players are going to be forced to foul him when he drives to the basket. If the other team decides to double team him, he has the vision and passing ability to hit the open man. Bottom line, when Duke is forced into a half court game by bigger more physical teams, Duke needs to run the offense more through Singler and press our advantage.

yancem
12-21-2007, 04:23 PM
I don't think that there's ever a good loss, and this loss certainly exposed some of the areas in which we're weak, but some perspective seems appropriate. Even in the years that we won the championships, we had some tough losses. In 2001, IIRC, we had back to back losses toward the end of the ACC regular season, and we all thought the world had come to an end. Coach K is remarkably adept at teaching from those losses, and those teams came out stronger. It remains to be seen if this team responds the same way, but I certainly hope so.

If a team comes away from a loss stronger, better, more focussed or whatever, wouldn't that be the definition of a "good loss"?

dukelifer
12-21-2007, 04:44 PM
I listened to K in his few minutes with Bob Harris on the radio and he was not a happy coach. He expected this to be a Man's game and thought the team was not tough enough and let Pitt take it from them. He also said that he has not been happy with the way they have played coming out of the half time- and this is not the first time this year. Clearly, this is teaching time for coach K. He knows they are about to enter the second season- ACC play- where every game will be difficult. As a result- they need to play much much tougher to win- particularly when shots are not falling. One thing about a loss- the coach gets everyones attention! They will have much to think about over the break.

dw0827
12-21-2007, 04:50 PM
If a team comes away from a loss stronger, better, more focussed or whatever, wouldn't that be the definition of a "good loss"?

Let's assume for a moment that Singler's tip went in and we won in regulation. Or that Scheyer put his last shot in and we won in OT.

Given the way the game went, and given how poorly we played in the second half, and given the number of offensive and defensive errors and breakdowns we had, and given that our manhood was challenged and we didn't respond well, then I'd suggest to you that Coach K had the motivational ingredients to make the team more focused, stronger, better, and whatever . . . . even though we won.

We don't need to lose to have a teaching moment, a gut-check moment.

The two are separate. Yes, we now have a teaching moment. But we have that whether we won or lost. Having the teaching moment doesn't make the loss "good." In fact, the loss sucked.

I'd rather win . . . and have the teaching moment anyway . . . and I guarantee you that Coach K is teaching and motivating every day whether we win or lose.

Some would suggest that, after a loss, he would have the team's undivided attention. If I know Coach K (and I don't . . . never met him), then I'm willing to bet that he's got their undivided attention every day of the year. He doesn't need the team to lose to get their attention.

So, I say . . . no, that's not the definition of a good loss. There's no such thing. A loss is a loss . . . and only a loser thinks losing can be good.

beltwayBD
12-21-2007, 06:20 PM
I think the point is that losing is inevitable, and if you do lose, it's better to take a lesson away from it than to let it wreck your holidays!

We'll have a couple not-so-challenging games to start January, where the boys can incorporate what they and Coach K took away from this loss, and build some mo' for the conference games.

That's what I'm thinking as I get ready for b-ball hiatus. Okay, so I'm watching G-town-Mephis and UCLA-Michigan. But after that, I'm done for at least a week.

evrdukie
12-21-2007, 06:37 PM
Let's assume for a moment that Singler's tip went in and we won in regulation. Or that Scheyer put his last shot in and we won in OT.

Given the way the game went, and given how poorly we played in the second half, and given the number of offensive and defensive errors and breakdowns we had, and given that our manhood was challenged and we didn't respond well, then I'd suggest to you that Coach K had the motivational ingredients to make the team more focused, stronger, better, and whatever . . . . even though we won.

We don't need to lose to have a teaching moment, a gut-check moment.

The two are separate. Yes, we now have a teaching moment. But we have that whether we won or lost. Having the teaching moment doesn't make the loss "good." In fact, the loss sucked.

I'd rather win . . . and have the teaching moment anyway . . . and I guarantee you that Coach K is teaching and motivating every day whether we win or lose.

Some would suggest that, after a loss, he would have the team's undivided attention. If I know Coach K (and I don't . . . never met him), then I'm willing to bet that he's got their undivided attention every day of the year. He doesn't need the team to lose to get their attention.

So, I say . . . no, that's not the definition of a good loss. There's no such thing. A loss is a loss . . . and only a loser thinks losing can be good.

Sure. It was a loss and, in this instance, it was a bad loss--for a lot of reasons. Besides the "good loss" concept, a related, and equally dubious, notion has appeared in some of these posts, namely, that it was a December game, etc., etc., and insignificant. The fact is that any game against a top ten ranked opponent played in Madison Square Garden is significant. Such games against ranked opponents are big time games and they're important in defining a season and, over time, the reputation of the BB program. These games aren't the equivalent of beating Albany by 40 points. It's just a guess, but I suspect a lot of Duke fans, posting here and otherwise, are troubled by the fact that there was a time, not so long ago, when Duke routinely won games against adversity and long odds. In other words, in a game like last night's, Duke would have pulled out the win. That's been an important aspect of the Duke mystique and I believe a lot of us are concerned about losing that.

-jk
12-21-2007, 06:45 PM
Sure. It was a loss and, in this instance, it was a bad loss--for a lot of reasons. Besides the "good loss" concept, a related, and equally dubious, notion has appeared in some of these posts, namely, that it was a December game, etc., etc., and insignificant. The fact is that any game against a top ten ranked opponent played in Madison Square Garden is significant. Such games against ranked opponents are big time games and they're important in defining a season and, over time, the reputation of the BB program. These games aren't the equivalent of beating Albany by 40 points. It's just a guess, but I suspect a lot of Duke fans, posting here and otherwise, are troubled by the fact that there was a time, not so long ago, when Duke routinely won games against adversity and long odds. In other words, in a game like last night's, Duke would have pulled out the win. That's been an important aspect of the Duke mystique and I believe a lot of us are concerned about losing that.

A large part of that "mystique" was predicated on having significant upperclassmen leadership.

It's now a vastly different era in hoops; A-list leadership will often be underclassmen. For most teams, it started in the early 90s; for us, after '99. And yet, over the last 7 years, we're still the dominate program.

-jk

captmojo
12-21-2007, 07:29 PM
A large part of that "mystique" was predicated on having significant upperclassmen leadership.

It's now a vastly different era in hoops; A-list leadership will often be underclassmen. For most teams, it started in the early 90s; for us, after '99. And yet, over the last 7 years, we're still the dominate program.

-jk

As has been asked in another thread, the go-to guy has really not been clearly established, and this may not be a bad thing. Experience will play/find it out before season's end, however. I don't feel too bad about it. It's nice to have such depth.

This game was lost by Duke. You must have enough energy to maintain large leads. The main thing is to stay the aggressor and make your free throw opportunities count. Not done.

This game was won by Pitt. They won the board battle. They won the race up and down the floor in transition.They won with playing superior denial defense.

Duke players, one after another, made attempts to drive the ball and either create their own score or kick out to an open shooter. Henderson, late in the game, was the last to take a turn at being the driver and was effective. This is not so much praise of him as it should be praise for the denial defense Pitt was putting on. No Duke player could get open to get an outlet pass/open good shot. This Phoenix style stuff works like a wheel, whereby the guy with the ball is the hub of this wheel. If it allows an outlet kick-out, there's your wheel spokes. It must be in rotation. If the outlets are not in motion or setting screens, then you get stuck with the hub either being forced to find a dribble path out, (not possible if dribble has been picked up) or being forced to take what is most likely a wild shot. Options three and four are progressively worse. Blocked shot or 3 second lane violation are these. Bad choice 5 is worse still, a forced lean in resulting in an offensive foul call. Every factor of the wheel must work in harmony. Last night, Pitt was allowed to flatten the tire.

Was it a good loss? If you can take what happened and translate it into a learning session, OK. It can be this due to time off and hard work during the interim. But in the meantime, it's tough to take because of the opportunity missed.

Need a jolly? Look at it this way. Maybe if Pitt doesn't blow those first half dunks......the Panthers might have taken the game in regulation. Learn to use the backboard. It's a fundamental that is ritualistically performed in lay-up drills prior to every game and does not count for any fewer points than your monster jam would be paid.:cool:

dukie8
12-21-2007, 07:47 PM
A large part of that "mystique" was predicated on having significant upperclassmen leadership.

It's now a vastly different era in hoops; A-list leadership will often be underclassmen. For most teams, it started in the early 90s; for us, after '99. And yet, over the last 7 years, we're still the dominate program.

-jk

i strongly disagree. first of all, in 2006, we had 2 senior 1st team aa players. you don't get anymore upperclassmen leadership than that. the 2003 also was full of upperclassmen who had a ton of experience. neither team got even a whiff of the final 4.

secondly, this team actually does have players with significant experience -- they just aren't of the same ilk as that of previous teams and fail to effectively lead when the team needs it. nelson is a senior who has been playing signficant minutes since his freshman year and has logged over 2,500 minutes in his career. paulus is a junior and also has played significant minutes as this is his 3rd year of starting at pg. in this age of early entry into the nba, having 2 starters with that much experience is a lot. you cannot use inexperience as an excuse this year. the fact of the matter is that they don't lead like guys like laettner, hurley, ghill, battier or jwill did.

evrdukie
12-21-2007, 08:30 PM
i strongly disagree. first of all, in 2006, we had 2 senior 1st team aa players. you don't get anymore upperclassmen leadership than that. the 2003 also was full of upperclassmen who had a ton of experience. neither team got even a whiff of the final 4.

secondly, this team actually does have players with significant experience -- they just aren't of the same ilk as that of previous teams and fail to effectively lead when the team needs it. nelson is a senior who has been playing signficant minutes since his freshman year and has logged over 2,500 minutes in his career. paulus is a junior and also has played significant minutes as this is his 3rd year of starting at pg. in this age of early entry into the nba, having 2 starters with that much experience is a lot. you cannot use inexperience as an excuse this year. the fact of the matter is that they don't lead like guys like laettner, hurley, ghill, battier or jwill did.

It seems pretty hard to argue with Dukie8's observations. Besides, even if JK is right, why should anybody derive any satisfaction from that explanation? The results are still the same and recently they've been disappointing. I do know this. At halftime last night, with Duke up by 12 points, I wouldn't have given more than even odds that Duke would end up winning the game. In the past, that's not the way I (or anybody else) would have felt about a similarly situated Duke basketball team. If JK's point is that things are different now and we might as well get used to it, I suppose that's possible. It's not a happy prospect, though.

MChambers
12-21-2007, 08:38 PM
the fact of the matter is that they don't lead like guys like laettner, hurley, ghill, battier or jwill did.

How do you know how Nelson and Paulus lead? Unbelievable. For that matter, how do you know how the others led?

Also, you are comparing them to guys who all were first team all americans (and in several cases national players of the year). That's not fair to anyone.

I've learned a lot from post-game threads this year, but not from this one. There has been a remarkable amount of whining and criticism. We lose to a top ten team by one point in overtime and people are upset? Heck, before the season no one had us in the top ten.

Folks, let's try to enjoy the ride. This is a fun team.

evrdukie
12-21-2007, 08:44 PM
How do you know how Nelson and Paulus lead? Unbelievable. For that matter, how do you know how the others led?

Also, you are comparing them to guys who all were first team all americans (and in several cases national players of the year). That's not fair to anyone.

I've learned a lot from post-game threads this year, but not from this one. There has been a remarkable amount of whining and criticism. We lose to a top ten team by one point in overtime and people are upset? Heck, before the season no one had us in the top ten.

Folks, let's try to enjoy the ride. This is a fun team.

That's what we heard all last year--complaints about "whining and criticism." I guess your perspective about this depends on your expectations. If you're OK with the Duke effort last night, you're right. Enjoy the ride.

Virginian
12-21-2007, 09:08 PM
Gosh, I wanted to win this game, and was really PO'd at the end. And I don't believe in "good losses," but as some people have said, perhaps something good will come of it.

We really shut down Pitt the first 17 or so minutes, but then we let up. If we had hung on to win I'm afraid the team would have gotten the message that "we always find a way to win." The fact that we lost should teach the team that they can't let up, they can't miss free throws, they can't make stupid decisions, etc. These are lessons that ought to help the team when they get to the meat of the season against the ACC and NCAA opponents.

The lesson: if we don't play all-out the entire game we can lose. Pitt is no more of a challenge than UNC will be. I'd rather we got knocked down by Pitt and be ready for UNC than waltz into the Dean Dome thinking we're invincible.

So call me a Pollyanna. I guess I just hope we learn the right lessons from last night. I'm sure K is driving them home as we speak.

dukie8
12-21-2007, 09:20 PM
How do you know how Nelson and Paulus lead? Unbelievable. For that matter, how do you know how the others led?

Also, you are comparing them to guys who all were first team all americans (and in several cases national players of the year). That's not fair to anyone.

I've learned a lot from post-game threads this year, but not from this one. There has been a remarkable amount of whining and criticism. We lose to a top ten team by one point in overtime and people are upset? Heck, before the season no one had us in the top ten.

Folks, let's try to enjoy the ride. This is a fun team.

did you see a whole lot of leadership going on out there last night? are you serious that you weren't aware how the others led? watch a tape of any of the teams from the early to mid 90s and you will see it whether it be directing other players, calling for the ball or making clutch plays. i didn't see a whole lot of that going on last night.

this game was far too eerily reminiscent of last year. i really hope that this year does not follow down that same path but last night's game was troubling on many fronts, most of which have been discussed ad nauseum on this thread.

nobody had pitt in the preseason top 10 either so i don't see where you are going whining that nobody had duke in the preseason top 10.

Troublemaker
12-21-2007, 10:06 PM
did you see a whole lot of leadership going on out there last night? are you serious that you weren't aware how the others led? watch a tape of any of the teams from the early to mid 90s and you will see it whether it be directing other players, calling for the ball or making clutch plays. i didn't see a whole lot of that going on last night.

Those guys who you thought were great leaders were also just much better players than anyone on the team right now. Maybe Nelson and Paulus aren't great leaders, I don't know, but you probably wouldn't notice it if they had the skills of Laettner, Hurley, et al.

That might be the real issue. Duke has a bunch of good players on this team but they're probably one season of development away from having a couple of great players like Singler as a soph or Henderson and Scheyer as juniors could be. It's a work in progress and has been since the beginning of LAST season when some of these good players weren't even good yet. I view it as we're in the 2nd year of a 3-yr process of going from blah to great. While I expect THIS team to contend for an ACC championship and Final Four this season and said so even in the preseason, we're not going to have one of our superteams (a team like '01, '99, '92, '86) until next season. Next season, we'll probably have a couple of players that should remind you of past greats in their play.

dukie8
12-21-2007, 10:20 PM
Those guys who you thought were great leaders were also just much better players than anyone on the team right now. Maybe Nelson and Paulus aren't great leaders, I don't know, but you probably wouldn't notice it if they had the skills of Laettner, Hurley, et al.

That might be the real issue. Duke has a bunch of good players on this team but they're probably one season of development away from having a couple of great players like Singler as a soph or Henderson and Scheyer as juniors could be. It's a work in progress and has been since the beginning of LAST season when some of these good players weren't even good yet. I view it as we're in the 2nd year of a 3-yr process of going from blah to great. While I expect THIS team to contend for an ACC championship and Final Four this season and said so even in the preseason, we're not going to have one of our superteams (a team like '01, '99, '92, '86) until next season. Next season, we'll probably have a couple of players that should remind you of past greats in their play.

i'd like to be wrong but i don't see how you can have a superteam with no low post presence and, at best, a mediocre pg. what am i missing here.

Troublemaker
12-21-2007, 10:34 PM
i'd like to be wrong but i don't see how you can have a superteam with no low post presence and, at best, a mediocre pg. what am i missing here.

You're missing your own underrating of players improving as they get older. I mean, you didn't expect this year's team to be as good as it has been, right? Well, you'll be surprised again next season. I really don't want to write a long post discussing next season right now, but like I said, I expect Singler, Henderson, and Scheyer to become great players next season, players that can all challenge for 1st team All-ACC.

DukeDevilDeb
12-21-2007, 10:45 PM
Scheyer couldn't hit his shots... that happens... but his rebounding was the best on the team... He had 12 rebounds!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The next closest guys were Singler and Nelson with 5 each.

You can lay the blame on anyone for this loss... I agree that it was a team loss... but DON'T put it at Scheyer's feet. He did miss a very long shot at the end, but he was the only one who went to rebound it!

throatybeard
12-21-2007, 11:12 PM
How do you know how Nelson and Paulus lead? Unbelievable. For that matter, how do you know how the others led?

Also, you are comparing them to guys who all were first team all americans (and in several cases national players of the year). That's not fair to anyone.

I've learned a lot from post-game threads this year, but not from this one. There has been a remarkable amount of whining and criticism. We lose to a top ten team by one point in overtime and people are upset? Heck, before the season no one had us in the top ten.

Folks, let's try to enjoy the ride. This is a fun team.

Agreed.

If this is what it looks like now, I'm not looking forward to reading the board after our [probable] season-terminal loss.

duketaylor
12-22-2007, 12:29 AM
"If this is what it looks like now, I'm not looking forward to reading the board after our [probable] season-terminal loss."
Throaty, amen. Sometimes it's hard to read posts over here, and other places after ONE loss. Brutal, IMO. This is only my 5th or 6th post here on DBR, so please bear with me. I'm a newbie;) Happy Holidays to ALL!!
__________________

Constantstrain 81
12-22-2007, 01:03 AM
A few chippie exchanges.

A few "sky is falling" scenarios

We even had some "not using our depth" arguments

However, much informed opinion and comment - that is good and oh, so welcome.

In retrospect, despite my disappointment, we were tough to some degree. Outrebounded and pushed around, having difficulty shooting, and being down and out several times -- we still came back.

Tie score at the end of regulation with a chance to win at the buzzer.

Ahead two at the end of overtime and defending. Guy makes a tough three.

I hate it, but like the fact that we fought back and actually had the advantage at the end of regulation and overtime.

I like this team.

One more thing - Gerald Henderson. With the game on the line - I was screaming at the TV for Gerald to get the ball. Every time. I want him making the play. I could see that Pitt was scared of Henderson. That's my definition of a "go-to" guy - when I can't think of anyone else I would like to have the ball. No black hole here. At gut check times - there are no black holes (just super nova's).

dukechem
12-22-2007, 01:57 AM
I tried to get a comment on this on another thread with no takers. As I sat waiting for Pitt's last possession, I wondered what would happen if Duke went zone after the timeout. Often times, when a team goes zone, the opposition has to step back a few seconds to see what is happening and adjust their plan of attack. Those lost seconds could have led to a rushed shot off an improvised play. I don't believe that Pitt had a timeout left to readjust, and, even if they did, we could have gone man after the timeout to further confuse them.

A zone may have been more effective for guarding the perimeter for one possession although it may have allowed penetration into the lane for an easier two point shot. Don't get me wrong, I never expected to see a zone, but then Pitt probably would have been surprised, too. I think it would have been an interesting experiment, and we know the outcome couldn't have been worse than what did happen.

The one thing about this game is that no one person, player or coach, can be considered the "goat." Each of the principal players had opportunities (open shots, free throws, avoiding critical turnovers) to win the game, and each, possibly excepting Paulus, did things that kept us alive. There should be no finger pointing, and I doubt that there will be.

Incidentally, my alma mater would win last night, no matter how it ended. My BS is from Pitt, PhD from Duke. I was pulling for Duke all the way. If it had been football, that would have been something else.

ArkieDukie
12-22-2007, 05:09 AM
I tried to get a comment on this on another thread with no takers. As I sat waiting for Pitt's last possession, I wondered what would happen if Duke went zone after the timeout. Often times, when a team goes zone, the opposition has to step back a few seconds to see what is happening and adjust their plan of attack. Those lost seconds could have led to a rushed shot off an improvised play. I don't believe that Pitt had a timeout left to readjust, and, even if they did, we could have gone man after the timeout to further confuse them.

A zone may have been more effective for guarding the perimeter for one possession although it may have allowed penetration into the lane for an easier two point shot. Don't get me wrong, I never expected to see a zone, but then Pitt probably would have been surprised, too. I think it would have been an interesting experiment, and we know the outcome couldn't have been worse than what did happen.

The one thing about this game is that no one person, player or coach, can be considered the "goat." Each of the principal players had opportunities (open shots, free throws, avoiding critical turnovers) to win the game, and each, possibly excepting Paulus, did things that kept us alive. There should be no finger pointing, and I doubt that there will be.

Incidentally, my alma mater would win last night, no matter how it ended. My BS is from Pitt, PhD from Duke. I was pulling for Duke all the way. If it had been football, that would have been something else.


Duke has run the zone pretty effectively on several occasions this year. I'm so used to seeing Duke run man that I didn't even think about them not using it against Pitt. You're right; it might have shaken things up.

I was disappointed that we lost but not crushed as I have been about other games. Simply put, we played well, and I think that this was a great game to learn from - the dreaded "constructive loss." I thought we had it locked up mid- to late first half, but Pitt fought back. They are a great team and hopefully earned a lot of national respect. They sure got mine. I really hated to see them lose Cook. In a strange sort of way, if we had won, the victory might have been diminished a bit (at least to me) because they were playing without him. Kudos to them for pulling it out.

It was exciting to see Gerald step up and be Mr. Clutch. He gave us a chance to win. We seem to have more guys this year who are willing, at the end of the game, to be the guy who takes the big shot. The big shots didn't fall this time, but they will at some point. Hopefully against UNC and Maryland. :)

Oh, and DukeChem, I also got my Ph.D. from the Duke chemistry department. At least, I'm assuming that your Ph.D. is in chemistry. One of my labmates got his undergrad at Pitt. I thought about him during the game. Having watched the Hogs play Duke a couple of times, I know how strange it is to see your teams play each other. The worst was the 1994 NC game.

Karl Beem
12-22-2007, 09:58 AM
"If this is what it looks like now, I'm not looking forward to reading the board after our [probable] season-terminal loss."
Throaty, amen. Sometimes it's hard to read posts over here, and other places after ONE loss. Brutal, IMO. This is only my 5th or 6th post here on DBR, so please bear with me. I'm a newbie;) Happy Holidays to ALL!!
__________________

True. However notice the post numbers of many of these critics.

Classof06
12-22-2007, 01:54 PM
I tried to get a comment on this on another thread with no takers. As I sat waiting for Pitt's last possession, I wondered what would happen if Duke went zone after the timeout. Often times, when a team goes zone, the opposition has to step back a few seconds to see what is happening and adjust their plan of attack. Those lost seconds could have led to a rushed shot off an improvised play. I don't believe that Pitt had a timeout left to readjust, and, even if they did, we could have gone man after the timeout to further confuse them.

A zone may have been more effective for guarding the perimeter for one possession although it may have allowed penetration into the lane for an easier two point shot. Don't get me wrong, I never expected to see a zone, but then Pitt probably would have been surprised, too. I think it would have been an interesting experiment, and we know the outcome couldn't have been worse than what did happen.

The one thing about this game is that no one person, player or coach, can be considered the "goat." Each of the principal players had opportunities (open shots, free throws, avoiding critical turnovers) to win the game, and each, possibly excepting Paulus, did things that kept us alive. There should be no finger pointing, and I doubt that there will be.

Incidentally, my alma mater would win last night, no matter how it ended. My BS is from Pitt, PhD from Duke. I was pulling for Duke all the way. If it had been football, that would have been something else.

I'm very surprised Duke never resorted to a zone in this game but at the same time, our man-to-man defense was pretty good in the first half. I'm sure Krzyzewski was thinking if we could play man the way we did in the first half, then there'd be no reason to go to a zone and I agree.

But the story of the 2nd half is that Pitt got more physical, got more rebounds which allowed them to get back into the game. Pitt shot 35.4% from the field, so they didn't get back into the game because they got hot. They got back in because they had multiple opportunities on many of their 2nd half possessions. I thought at some point in the 2nd half, we should have employed a zone because Singler certainly (and understandably) had more than he could handle in DeJuan Blair.

I also thought Zoubek should have played more in the 2nd half. Like I said in another thread, I know Brian has a ways to go but, IMO, it's hard to justify leaving a 7-1 kid with 1 personal foul on the bench while we're getting murdered on the boards. Singler had 5 rebounds in 38 minutes; Brian had 3 in 6 minutes.

I said on Wednesday that I didn't think Duke could win this game without using a zone and unfortunately I was right.

Saratoga2
12-22-2007, 05:39 PM
I tried to get a comment on this on another thread with no takers. As I sat waiting for Pitt's last possession, I wondered what would happen if Duke went zone after the timeout. Often times, when a team goes zone, the opposition has to step back a few seconds to see what is happening and adjust their plan of attack. Those lost seconds could have led to a rushed shot off an improvised play. I don't believe that Pitt had a timeout left to readjust, and, even if they did, we could have gone man after the timeout to further confuse them.

A zone may have been more effective for guarding the perimeter for one possession although it may have allowed penetration into the lane for an easier two point shot. Don't get me wrong, I never expected to see a zone, but then Pitt probably would have been surprised, too. I think it would have been an interesting experiment, and we know the outcome couldn't have been worse than what did happen.

The one thing about this game is that no one person, player or coach, can be considered the "goat." Each of the principal players had opportunities (open shots, free throws, avoiding critical turnovers) to win the game, and each, possibly excepting Paulus, did things that kept us alive. There should be no finger pointing, and I doubt that there will be.

Incidentally, my alma mater would win last night, no matter how it ended. My BS is from Pitt, PhD from Duke. I was pulling for Duke all the way. If it had been football, that would have been something else.

Other than surprise Pitt, it would likely to have resulted in a better three point shot opportunity. The guy made a tough three against McClure. David did his best, but the guy was quick and was able to gain a slight advantage and scored. I wouldn't think a zone made any sense at all under the circumstances.

Kilby
12-22-2007, 06:32 PM
Greg has been a clutch shooter of the trey but you want your PG to be a threat to do three things shoot, penetrate or pass. Greg needs to be open to get off his jumper and he is not a threat to go by his man.

mgtr
12-22-2007, 07:57 PM
I remain optimistic about this team. I don't subscribe to the good loss/bad loss theory, but if we are going to have a loss, at least it was a) to a top-ten team, and b) relatively early in the season.
I watched the entire game very closely, and was sad that we lost. But I absolutely agree that it was a team loss. You can make anybody the hero or the goat. Everybody did some bad stuff, and almost everybody did some good stuff.
I would like to be a little birdie during practice, at least I think I would. I would not, however, like to be a player on the team -- they may not sit down too well in the next weeks.
Coach K will make the best of this period -- I expect we will see a team with a different attitude after the first of the year.
I repeat that I remain optimistic about this team.

heath_harshman4
12-22-2007, 08:01 PM
well, if there was such a thing as a good loss, this was it.

We were out-rebounded by a TON, shot FT horendously (spelling?), and shot the worst ive seen this team shoot in the 2nd half...

with all that said, we had 2 chances to win. Once at regulation when Singler had that good look, and once were scheyer took a terrible shot, but got it back and had another good look...

overall, not a terrible game against a very very good team. I think both teams deserve to win and I expect both teams to go deep in to the NCAA tourney.

Jumbo
12-22-2007, 11:50 PM
Some people complained at the end of last year that Henderson unadvisedly forced some things. I think that people forget that in those times and last night the team's offense was clearly struggling, Duke absolutely needed a clutch player (and Henderson is our best go to guy) to take it upon himself to get something done. There was only one shot by Henderson last night when he clearly could have passed to Singler for a two. Instead he took the shot and made it. The other times that Henderson detractors may point to would not have been easy feeds with Singler sliding to the basket and needing a perfect lob to get it to him (Henderson is not a PG). There will be more games like this when the other teams athleticism makes Paulus' and Scheyer's offense disappear and we better hope that Henderson still has the instinct and courage to make it happen. Nelson and Singler are clutch, but Henderson is the only one that can take it no matter who is guarding him.

I had a great view at the game, and I don't know how to express myself any more clearly than this: HENDERSON PLAYS WITH HIS HEAD DOWN. It has nothing to do with the fact that he isn't a point guard. From first grade, we all learn that in basketball, we have to dribble with our heads up. When Gerald drives, his focus is purely on scoring. He's not looking to set up his teammtes, because he's not even looking at them. That's why his pass to Singler for the game-tying three was so stunning -- it was out of character. If he could do more of that, Duke would instantly become a better team. It's not just that he missed Singler cutting to the hoop, it's that whenever he drives, the weakside wing is invariably open. Gerald doesn't see that.

I also disagree strongly with the idea that "the other team's athleticism" (whatever that means" takes Paulus and particularly Scheyer out of the game. Greg, once he brings up the ball, becomes a spot-up shooter in Duke's offense. His threes come off good ball movement, and should have nothing to do with how athletic his defender is. Scheyer, for the 50th time, is a good athlete. If he weren't, he wouldn't grab 12 rebounds at 6'5". He shot poorly. But those he was able to create good, clean looks for himself. They just wouldn't stay down. If he were truly taken out of his game because of an athletic defender, he never would have been able to launch 10 shots in the first place.

Jumbo
12-22-2007, 11:55 PM
I've been reading some of these posts about Henderson . . . especially Jumbo's . . . which seem to suggest that Henderson lacks court vision and . . .

I'd go further in characterizing these posts but I don't want to be accused of the (gasp!) STRAW DOG argument.

It's called a "straw man" argument. And if someone could please provide the pancake bunny, I have no idea what you're talking about.


Anyway, I have some random thoughts. First, Henderson gets 3.38 assists per 40 minutes on the floor and Scheyer gets 3.43 assists per 40 minutes.
Those stats are utterly meaningless. Why? Henderson handles the ball WAY more than Scheyer, who spends most of his time standing in the corner waiting for kickouts from Henderson that rarely come. Also, how many times does Henderson make a hockey assist (the pass that leads to the pass that leads to the score)? Why is it not possible to realize that Henderson has a legitimate and important flaw in his game?



Second, I've tried to watch games and isolate Henderson to see what he does and what he misses. (Although I don't tape . . . I rely on my ever-fading memory). Last night, he was the one who drove, collapsed the defense, and fed Singler for his 3 late in the game. Not something a blind man does.

It was an excellent play. If only he'd take a couple of dribbles, keep his head up, and make more of them.


And here's the part that, for me, is unknowable. What is Coach K telling Henderson to do? I'm sure K isn't saying go out and be blind . . . but I also wonder if K isn't telling him to go out and make plays . . . and Henderson feels that he can get his shot just about any time . . . and "making a play" means getting the ball and scoring.

So I don't know what he's being told by the coaching staff in the course of a game. Henderson is a work in progress as are all the players. And, really, he didn't play much last year. He's still figuring out what he's capable of. I'd like to see people lighten up on the criticism a bit.

I think people have been pretty light on the criticism. I've simply been trying to refute the notion that Henderson is "the go-to guy," simply because he's super-athletic and can hit tough shots. There's more to it than that.

Jumbo
12-22-2007, 11:57 PM
Question Jumbo... Is court vision something you can learn or is that something you either have or don't have? Demarcus seems to be better at it this year than last (where he was basically what Henderson is this year)...

It's a great question, and one I can't answer definitively. I guess I think great passers are born, not developed. Certain guys intrinsically see the game on a different level. That said, your example of DeMarcus is excellent. For three years, we all were frustrated with the way he would just put his head down and bull his way to the basket. This year, he is clearly seeing the floor better, and the improvement becomes more evident every game.

Latta6970
12-23-2007, 01:42 AM
It's a great question, and one I can't answer definitively. I guess I think great passers are born, not developed. Certain guys intrinsically see the game on a different level. That said, your example of DeMarcus is excellent. For three years, we all were frustrated with the way he would just put his head down and bull his way to the basket. This year, he is clearly seeing the floor better, and the improvement becomes more evident every game.

As a former (and now arthritic) player I can tell you court vision can be improved, though some just have a natural gift. Magic Johnson and Steve Nash for example see things in slow motion and several seconds before they are about to happen. As for keeping your head up while dribbling, 90% of that has to do with confidence in your dribbling ability. You have to have faith the floor is flat and that ball is going to bounce back up to your hand. I liken it to a guitarist who never looks at the strings or chords. His fingers are doing the looking, at the worst he is concentrating in his mind what his fingers are doing. With the great guitarists the instrument becomes an extension of their body,and with great dribbling / court awareness in a player the ball too becomes an extension of their body.


Truth be told guys, the reason Demarcus has improved so much year after year in this area is he is now comfortable with the speed of the game. Your local YMCA game is played at a pace where a former college scrub can look really good and make average Joe's look like their feet are in concrete. Playing against true athletes in college you have to get used to the faster pace and making decisions faster. Every high school player knows not to leave your feet with the ball without knowing you'll get the shot off or draw another defender and dish to an open team mate. Most every game you'll see a college player break this golden rule, and the reason is speed of the game. Dribbling with your head down is something high school kids can get away with, because players are taught offense much more than correct defensive position i.e. drawing charges. But if you get it in your mind your going to bull straight ahead and take it to the hole in college, most every time a college athlete is going to get in position, in your way and boom....charge!


Of course my former coach would make me run laps in practice for not dribbling with my head up. I got to the point where I was almost looking at the ceiling when I dribbled. FYI: Speed is also the biggest cause of guys picking up their dribble because in college that open guy doesn't stay as open for long.

Papa John
12-23-2007, 10:00 AM
And if someone could please provide the pancake bunny, I have no idea what you're talking about.



http://home.alltel.net/petronski/bunny2.jpg



Each season is a journey... Each game is merely a step along the path... This will end up being a good step to have taken come March... This is a young team, and they have a lot to learn... An early season loss like this one is not a bad thing--it's a good teaching platform... And as others have pointed out, there is plenty to teach (valuing the ball, rebounding, hitting free throws down the stretch, defending the three at the buzzer, etc.)...

Happy Holidays!

dw0827
12-23-2007, 10:22 AM
As another old ball player, I agree that court vision can improve. I think it has to do with experience and confidence. The game slows down, sometimes almost to slow-motion, and you begin to see things before they actually happen. Why? Because of experience, I suspect.

I agree that if Henderson actually has his head down, that isn't good. I'll try to watch for this next game.

As per the assist data, Jumbo, it IS relevant. It doesn't comport with your sense of reality, so you diss it. Certainly your prerogative.

And I agree that GH isn't the "go-to" guy. I'm not trying to promote him as such. But he's an 18-19 year old kid trying to do his best and he really doesn't have much experience and he'll get better and his upside is huge . . . so give him a break.

Straw dog? I am truly laughing my butt off. I am such an idiot. I know its a straw man argument . . . yet I said straw dog. Inexplicable, but I did. Touche. You nailed me there.

The point is that I don't want to put words in your mouth and then attack them.

captmojo
12-23-2007, 02:00 PM
As a former (and now arthritic) player I can tell you court vision can be improved, though some just have a natural gift. Magic Johnson and Steve Nash for example see things in slow motion and several seconds before they are about to happen. As for keeping your head up while dribbling, 90% of that has to do with confidence in your dribbling ability. You have to have faith the floor is flat and that ball is going to bounce back up to your hand.

Of course my former coach would make me run laps in practice for not dribbling with my head up. I got to the point where I was almost looking at the ceiling when I dribbled. FYI: Speed is also the biggest cause of guys picking up their dribble because in college that open guy doesn't stay as open for long.

I can attest my own knowledge as far as that arthritis business goes. I can also understand that lap running, and suicide drills for the same reason, and others, that you mentioned. We were made to live with a ball. Carry it everywhere we went, church exempted. Laps would ensue if caught without.

The natural gift you speak of is wrought from understanding the offensive game. Knowledge of team mates and play systems are key. Being able to anticipate the tendencies of your mates to be in a certain spot at a certain time comes from experience and teaching.

YmoBeThere
12-23-2007, 02:11 PM
Does anyone else think we should have played more zone? ;)

Jumbo
12-23-2007, 06:06 PM
As another old ball player, I agree that court vision can improve. I think it has to do with experience and confidence. The game slows down, sometimes almost to slow-motion, and you begin to see things before they actually happen. Why? Because of experience, I suspect.

I agree that it can improve. Mine certainly did over time, too. And I agree that confidence, ball-handling and understanding your system all help these things. But I also believe that exceptional passers are largely born, not made.


I agree that if Henderson actually has his head down, that isn't good. I'll try to watch for this next game.

Please do.


As per the assist data, Jumbo, it IS relevant. It doesn't comport with your sense of reality, so you diss it. Certainly your prerogative.

That's some answer. To translate, I basically gave a reason behind my argument and your response was, "Well, too bad, because you're wrong." Why? Assists are a rudementary measure of passing skill at best. For years, Allen Iverson would rack up solid assist numbers, even though he was constantly driving to score and was not a good passer. But he had the ball so often that every now and then, that would lead to an easy basket for someone else. To get back to the original point I made, how do you not see that if someone has the ball a significant amount more (Henderson) than another guy (Scheyer), he has a greater opportunity for assists?


And I agree that GH isn't the "go-to" guy. I'm not trying to promote him as such. But he's an 18-19 year old kid trying to do his best and he really doesn't have much experience and he'll get better and his upside is huge . . . so give him a break.

I don't think anyone is coming down too hard on Henderson. People are saying he needs to dribble with is head up, exercise better shot selection and look for his teammates more. Those are reasonable criticisms and key areas in his development as he strives to become a better player.

Jumbo
12-23-2007, 06:07 PM
Does anyone else think we should have played more zone? ;)

Nope. Duke's pressure man-to-man was excellent against their guards, and a key reason why Blair/Young didn't go to town off straight post-ups. And considering those guys killed us off the boards against man, imagine how much tougher it would have been to keep them off the boards while in a zone.

Fish80
12-23-2007, 06:19 PM
I must disagree with you on this point. Yes, it looked ugly, but Blair was off balance and falling. He hooked Singler around the neck and that was ugly but not dirty. There is a big difference between an ugly foul and a dirty foul and I believe Blair's foul was clearly ugly but not dirty.

Bob, I was at the Garden and didn't have a great angle on this play. So this morning I watched the replay several times and listened to Bilas. I have to agree with Bilas, this clearly looked like a deliberate take down. Blair wrapped his arm over Singler's shoulder and around his chest and then body slammed him. You can see Blair twisting to put more force into the slam. The only thing that saved Singler from serious injury was that he landed on top on Blair.

I didn't see this mentioned in this thread yet - Singler is a very very tough character. He took a beating, continually fought back, and kept his composure. Tremendously tough.

dw0827
12-23-2007, 07:05 PM
Jumbo: "Those stats are utterly meaningless. Why? Henderson handles the ball WAY more than Scheyer, who spends most of his time standing in the corner waiting for kickouts from Henderson that rarely come. Also, how many times does Henderson make a hockey assist (the pass that leads to the pass that leads to the score)? Why is it not possible to realize that Henderson has a legitimate and important flaw in his game?"

Ok Jumbo, educate me. You're charting the minutes so you may know. You say that Henderson handles the ball WAY more than Scheyer. So how many minutes has Henderson handled the ball and how many minutes has Scheyer handled the ball?

I suspect you don't actually know.

How many times does Henderson make a "hockey" assist?

I suspect you don't actually know.

How many times does Scheyer, on the other hand, make a hockey assist?

I suspect you don't actually know.

How often do college basketball statisticians award a "hockey" assist in a basketball game? I suspect rarely if ever. So what are you talking about?

If you are going to disagree, thats fine. Happens to me all the time. I'm married, after all. But use facts.

I give you some data. Assists per 40 minutes. You have NOTHING to refute the data. NOTHING. Other than your conventional wisdom about who handles the ball the most. So show me. Where's the data that proves your point?

By the way, hasn't Jon handled the point on occasion this year? But in his 306 minutes he's handled the ball less than Henderson in his 260 minutes?

Can't wait to see your data.

I'm not saying Henderson is the living end. But you are constantly on his case whereas, for you, Scheyer farts rose petals. That'd fine . . . . beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Personally, I love Scheyer's game. But I wish he had some of Henderson's traits . . . just as I wish Henderson had some of Scheyer's traits.

I just think it's a little unseemly for no-talent basketball hacks like us to be criticizing these kids. I mean, who the hell are we to criticize them? But you just can't let loose of Henderson.

Bob Green
12-23-2007, 07:53 PM
I must disagree with you on this point. Yes, it looked ugly, but Blair was off balance and falling. He hooked Singler around the neck and that was ugly but not dirty. There is a big difference between an ugly foul and a dirty foul and I believe Blair's foul was clearly ugly but not dirty.


Bob, I was at the Garden and didn't have a great angle on this play. So this morning I watched the replay several times and listened to Bilas. I have to agree with Bilas, this clearly looked like a deliberate take down. Blair wrapped his arm over Singler's shoulder and around his chest and then body slammed him. You can see Blair twisting to put more force into the slam. The only thing that saved Singler from serious injury was that he landed on top on Blair.

I didn't see this mentioned in this thread yet - Singler is a very very tough character. He took a beating, continually fought back, and kept his composure. Tremendously tough.

I stick by my initial assessment that Blair's foul was not dirty. It was an ugly foul and a hard foul, but I do not believe Blair intended to hurt Singler. My definition of a dirty play is one in which one player intentionally injures another player. However, I respect your opinion and have no problem with us disagreeing.

Constantstrain 81
12-23-2007, 08:43 PM
I stick by my initial assessment that Blair's foul was not dirty. It was an ugly foul and a hard foul, but I do not believe Blair intended to hurt Singler. My definition of a dirty play is one in which one player intentionally injures another player. However, I respect your opinion and have no problem with us disagreeing.

By Bob Green's definition, I'll agree with him. Blair was mad over getting bumped on the rebound by Singler and so grabbed him and took him down intentionally. Why he was mad, I don't know, since he bumped someone on practically every play. However, he was clearly angry and took Singler down. Didn't look like he wanted to hurt him, though - just take him out of the play and possible put the foul on Singler.

Does Henderson play with his head down? Maybe too simplistic an argument. There are times when Henderson looks like he decides that he is going to shoot the ball and does. (Of course, there are times when Scheyer does that , as well). There are other times when Henderson is looking for a shot or a pass. I don't mind him looking for his shot at crunch time - he can create his own shot and he can make it. That is star power that we need. Despite Demarcus and his great skills - I am always a little nervous at crunch time when he has the ball. Henderson, I feel, can make the shots. Should he play with his "head up" all the time? Probably. Is he approaching "black hole" status? IMO, no. Not at this time. I don't have that sense.

I think that he will get better with finding others the more he plays with them. Right now, he has confidence in his shot - he needs to have the confidence in all of his team mates and where they are and how they move. It will come.

Fish80
12-23-2007, 09:00 PM
I stick by my initial assessment that Blair's foul was not dirty. It was an ugly foul and a hard foul, but I do not believe Blair intended to hurt Singler. My definition of a dirty play is one in which one player intentionally injures another player. However, I respect your opinion and have no problem with us disagreeing.

I too have no problem disagreeing. But I'm not sure that we do, it may be semantics. I think Blair's foul was intentional, and that the zebras made the correct call. Intentional doesn't make it dirty. Chris Paul punching Hodge below the belt was a dirty foul.

Whether Blair was trying to harm Singler, I can't say. If you think about it, body slamming someone to the court might result in injury. But there probably wasn't a lot of thinking going on, just reacting.

Jumbo
12-24-2007, 12:46 AM
Ok Jumbo, educate me. You're charting the minutes so you may know. You say that Henderson handles the ball WAY more than Scheyer. So how many minutes has Henderson handled the ball and how many minutes has Scheyer handled the ball?

I suspect you don't actually know.

Obviously I don't know, since I'm not charting minutes or "time spent handlign the ball." That said, you'd need to watch about three minutes of Duke basketball to see that Henderson handles the ball WAY more in the offense than Scheyer does. Scheyer's role in Duke's current scheme mostly involves setting up in the corner. Are you really going to argue that he gets the ball -- or holds it as long -- as Henderson does? Because if you want to do that, it's a clear indication that you're not watching the games. And if you're not watching the games, why are you talking about them?



How many times does Henderson make a "hockey" assist?

I suspect you don't actually know.

How many times does Scheyer, on the other hand, make a hockey assist?

I suspect you don't actually know.

How often do college basketball statisticians award a "hockey" assist in a basketball game? I suspect rarely if ever. So what are you talking about?

If you are going to disagree, thats fine. Happens to me all the time. I'm married, after all. But use facts.

You're right. I should keep my own stats on everythng I witness. Gotcha. Again -- WATCH THE GAMES. Some stuff should be obvious. And, again, if you want stats, try the one I posted earlier: When Henderson was in the game, he scored 17 of Duke's 35 points. He took 17 shots. That's a heck of a lot of usage for only one assist. And he can't have had many hockey assists, because Duke only scored a total of 18 other points when he was in the game. But if you really, really crave stats, check out a couple of sites. First, there is pfrduke's (http://dbdhoops.blogspot.com/)excellent blog, which has all sorts of goodies. And then there is obviously Ken Pomeroy's (http://kenpom.com/sr.php?team=Duke)site, which probably comes closest to supporting my point. As you can see, Gerald Henderson's usage rate is 28.7%, which is quite high (read Ken's glossary of terms for context). Scheyer's is 16.2%. The best (and only, as far as I can see) counter to my argument is Henderson's slightly higher ARate. But given the stark difference in usage, that's to be expected.



I give you some data. Assists per 40 minutes. You have NOTHING to refute the data. NOTHING. Other than your conventional wisdom about who handles the ball the most. So show me. Where's the data that proves your point?

I refuted your data immediately. I just refuted it again. Would you like a third helping with your holiday meal?


By the way, hasn't Jon handled the point on occasion this year?
Duke used Scheyer for a brief stretch in a lineup that included Pocius, Nelson, King and Thomas one game. He also ran the point with a group that included Pocius, Henderson, King and Singler. That's two shifts all season. Every other time he has played, Paulus or Smith has been in the game. So, no, for all intents and purposes Scheyer has not played PG this year.


But in his 306 minutes he's handled the ball less than Henderson in his 260 minutes?

Can't wait to see your data.

I would venture to say that yes, he has. Considering that Henderson has attempted 42 more shots, that's a good place to start.


I'm not saying Henderson is the living end. But you are constantly on his case whereas, for you, Scheyer farts rose petals. That'd fine . . . . beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

And now you've delved full into the realm of idiocy. I'm "constantly on [Henderson's] case?" Are you kidding? Is the world that black and white for you? I want him to improve one area of his game, and that means I'm all over him. Uh, right. "Scheyer farts rose petals?" Not only is that crass, it's ridiculous. I've critiqued Scheyer's game just as much as Henderson's or anyone else's -- his release needs to be quicker, he needs to look for his shot more and he needs to go up stronger around the hoop. Nice straw dog ... err ... man.


Personally, I love Scheyer's game. But I wish he had some of Henderson's traits . . . just as I wish Henderson had some of Scheyer's traits.

Apparently we agree on more than you realize.


I just think it's a little unseemly for no-talent basketball hacks like us to be criticizing these kids. I mean, who the hell are we to criticize them? But you just can't let loose of Henderson.

More lunacy. I'm too critical? Me? Generally, people give me grief for not letting them be as critical as they'd like around here. Again, if you can't understand that I'm focusing on a particular aspect of Henderson's game -- one that can take him from good to great -- I feel sorry for you in your inability to understand the concept of "degree." Furthermore, most of what I'm posting is merely a reaction to outsized expectations for Henderson that have been unfair since he was in high school. The kid is still learning the game, and people are placing him on a pedestal way too quickly.

Grey Devil
12-24-2007, 03:14 AM
I agree with everything in Jumbo's post. When he had the data to back up his statements he provided it; when he didn't have it, he said so. Much better than many of us, who have a tendency to speculate based on impressions and (in my case) failing memory of a particular play in any given game.

FWIW, Henderson is very athletic. He can make spectacular plays. Sometimes his abiliity to be spectacular blinds us to his weaknesses and causes us to assume he can do anything we wish. It is clear to me from watching all the games that he is very talented, but it is also clear (to me, at least) that when the ball goes to him he has plans to shoot, or to make a move and then shoot. The point I think Jumbo is making is a simple one: that Gerald would be a better player, and we would be a better team, if he would share the ball more often and pass to open teammates.

That's all that's being asserted. Nothing more.

Grey Devil

dw0827
12-24-2007, 08:59 AM
Curious as to why the coaching staff has Jon standing in the corner on offense . . . and GH with the ball trying to create.

Jon has the better handle, is a better passer, and is more likely to "see" someone in the flow of the offense.

I'm assuming the coaches want it that way.

I'm suggesting that GH isn't as bad as you (Jumbo) suggest . . . he isn't a black hole and he gets just as many assists as 40 minutes as Scheyer.

This is what I am saying: GH is not the most gifted ballhandler or assist man that we have. He will miss some open looks. We would be better if he had better skills in that respect. So I do agree with your central point . . . and perhaps your only point.

And this is MY central point: you (and, perhaps more so, many other) posters spend time criticizing the players . . . and that bothers me. These are kids, really, under a lot of pressure doing the best they can. Having played the game, I understand that its a damned difficult thing to excel in all areas of the game. Very few players master all aspects of the game . . . and the ones who do become superstars. For the rest, if you play at Duke, you get criticized because you just aren't quite good enough.

Ok, Jumbo, GH needs to get his head up. We've heard you (on more than one occasion). So move on.

dw0827
12-24-2007, 10:18 AM
Let me correct something.

Above, I said that Jumbo criticizes the players . . .

I've reread some of the posts that (I thought) gave me that impression . . . and I'm just flat out wrong.

Jumbo's comments and posts about the players have almost always been positive . . .

So Jumbo, I apologize for casting aspersions upon your character . . .

I did, however, find a misspelled word in one of your posts, though . . . heh heh . . .

Kilby
12-24-2007, 08:43 PM
I agree that Paulus is a spot-up shooter that needs a feed when he's open to score. That takes movement in the offense and Duke hasn't shown a good motion offense since Paulus has come to Duke and I don't mean to imply that it is all his fault. Unless Duke is running, the offense seems to be more give the ball to Henderson or Nelson and let them penetrate. Scheyer is a garbage player and I mean that in he is always doing the little things in a Battier mode. Helping out on D, getting the loose ball, taking the spot up three. A good motion offense would help both their games. Paulus will not score when guarded closely while Scheyer will have a few more opportunistic looks.