Their is no denying the fact that Duke does not play many true non conference road games. We can also not deny that both programs have proven to be very successful in March regardless of how they schedule the regular season. I would like to see Duke play more non conference road games but I am not sure how much it really matters. Duke gets 8 road games durning the year and have had great success on the road regardless of early season scheduling. Like you say, success all pans out in Feb and March which ironically are all on neutral sites which is why I think we see Duke scheduling this way.
Most of the non Duke fans I interact with seem sure that Coach K avoids hostile arenas to protect his win/loss record.
I understand that they're trying to imply that Coach K cares too much about his legacy or whatever, but I'm not sure why any coach wouldn't want to protect the win/loss record. It may seem weasely or whatever to other fans, but if you play a tough but careful OOC schedule you will climb in the rankings. Then when you lose a few conference games you have some room to drop but still remain solid in the rankings. And the rankings matter come NCAA seeding time.
That said, I have always wanted us to have at least one or maybe even two OOC games in hostile arenas. I think it serves to toughen up a team win or lose. And that could help us when the ACC games come along.
Not really much they can do about that- I don't think scheduling an extra road game or two in the early season would matter. But it's an interesting point.
Aside from the general "Duke hatred" and/or media bias that already exists, the games in Charlotte were almost Dean Dome West in nature.
As for the general topic of this thread, I'm certain that the almightly dollar does come into play when considering any home/home encounters versus a "challenging" game at a legitimately neutral, and very LARGE, site. Personally I would love to see every ACC team play in Cameron every year, but then I realize that is truly now a pipe dream!
There is no doubt DUKE plays the tougher schedule.
It must be rough to be UNC and have McDonalds All Americans on the bench behind AP ALL AMERCIANS.
They were pretty impressive in Hawaii.
As a PURDUE fan the last thing I want to see is an NCAA draw with UNC in it. I would assume that Tyler would get every call and foul out half the team.
JVOO1: Do you seriously believe that Hansborough travels almost every time he touches the ball? Seriously.....
This constant bitching about him on this board has grown so tiresome and I see that sentiment emanating from Carolina fans like me as well as Duke fans. He works incredibly hard, plays with amazing intensity, has earned every d**n bit of success he has garnered and then some. Other coaches openly acknowledge it after watching him play. And all I see while he has been on the bench has been a guy rooting this teammates even though he is burning up inside to play ball again every game. If he gets a few calls here and there, so be it, he has earned the benefit of the doubt, the same way that someone like Shane Battier had.
Word is that he has worked incessantly to develop an outside shot. He shot 150 three pointers a day this summer and his manager charted every single shot and determined he hit 67 percent of them. Pure work ethic, nothing more. Decides he wants to improve and goes out and gets the job done, everytime.
Hansborough is a once in a lifetime kid in a lot of ways, I wish sometimes certain people on this board could just give it a rest. And believe me, I would say the same flippin thing if it concerned Carolina fans looking for dumb*** ways to pick Shane Battier apart......
I do not think the Hansbrough-Battier comparison is a particularly good one. There are some obvious similarities: four-year guys at neighbor schools with National Player of the Year trophies. The argument here seems to be about how Hans plays, what he does or doesn't do/get away with, etc. Battier was a completely different player and he played a completely different way. You could pick any one game from Shane's junior or senior year and in that one game he would probably have more threes taken and made, more blocks, and more charges taken that Hans's enitire career (I'm aware of the oversimplification). Hans is all effort and a bull-in-a-china shop kind of player, not a "skill-guy." Plus, Shane was wonderfully articulate, and people talked about a potential political futue while he was at Duke. Hans might be the most boring interview in ACC history. Very monotone and robot-like, with canned responses.
And don't take all that the wrong way, he is a hell of a player and any team would love to have him.
Having said that, Hansbrough is one of the best I've ever seen at staying concentrated and balanced once there has been contact, and he puts the ball in the hoop anyway.
Article from last year. I don't remember where I came across it (it may very well have been this board), but it seems relevant to the thread.
It has a fair amount of the usual "anti-duke" in it... overrated McD's players, NBA success gauge, but skip to the top section of the second page and it has a pretty fascinating bit on strength of schedule.
My brother (Duke '94) has pointed out when we'd argue in the past that Duke schedules a lot of mid-majors on neutral courts to get the team ready for the tournament. This article put numbers up from recent years, indicating that those teams Duke has played are really only gearing them up for Sweet 16 level play at best. Duke obviously expects to achieve beyond that, and Mandel argues that scheduling, even as highly rated as Duke's has been, is why they haven't.
So I certainly found it interesting. That being said... regardless of what the SOS says about Carolina this year, that December stretch starting with Oral Roberts is shameful.
I just got back from watching the team in Maui and I can't believe that aside from Michigan State this week, I have to wait until next month's conference play for the next real test of the team... and even then, we have to endure the follow-up to Boston College being College of Charleston.
One more thought on scheduling... Look at Davidson and Memphis last season. We're all well aware of who Davidson played, and played well, even in losses. And Memphis's OOC schedule was a gauntlet of high majors. Both seemed to be served well come tournament time.
No team that comes through the ACC is untested. Half of a team's conference games are on the opposition's home floor, where the hate runs much deeper than non-conference affairs (for example, I do not think Duke has lost a conference road game in the 2000s where the floor wasn't rushed. Pretty telling, and something no one else can say).
Duke's scheduling is strategic. Coach wants his team to play the types of teams you see in the first couple of rounds (RI, Davidson, etc.).
He wants his teams to play big-time opposition on neutral floors, just like you have to to advance in March (games at the Garden, Xavier). Arguing against Duke's schedule is always the farthest reach made by opposing fans. It's akin to the "don't make good pros" argument. Duke does have the most NBA players currently, along with the highest overall salary. At this point it is probably pretty safe to say that Coach K knows a little about what he is doing. Duke's inability to advance past the Sweet Sixteen since 2004 has nothing to do with scheduling. It has more to do with the fact that none of the teams in that span were built perfectly, or hot at the right time. For example, the best team of that span was probably 2006. I remember reading an article at the time that said no team has made in to the modern final four with two players accounting for over 75% of their scoring, which was the boat Duke was in with Williams and Redick.