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  1. #1

    Could Nolan's (forced) absence help him?

    So, I was thinking about Nolan and his forced sit... could it actually in some strange way not be a total negative for him?

    I just wonder... he had lost his starting spot, he had run into immediately foul trouble in a few games in a row, and generally as an athlete you have to believe he was pressing a little and probably not happy with things. Does being forced away in this uncontrollable way maybe help Nolan by taking a bit of the immediately pressure off of him, and allow him to "miss" the game a bit, maybe turning the focus from "Argh you better improve why are you playing subpar?!" to "Hey, come back as you can and do what you can, and we know you are really looking forward to coming back?" Also, will his return be a nice pick-up for the boys?

    Anyway... just thinking of silver linings and all.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC

    Good Post

    I've thought the same thing. Nolan started the season strong. His play really deteriorated (injury?) and I was concerned that he would need the off season to get back on track. Elliot stepped in and has been great but we still need Nolan. Hopefully this break will be what he needs to get back on track. The silver lining in Nolan's poor play has been the emergence of Elliot. The silver lining in Nolan's injury could be a rejuvenated Nolan playing with Elliot.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Lewisville, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by elvis14 View Post
    I've thought the same thing. Nolan started the season strong. His play really deteriorated (injury?) and I was concerned that he would need the off season to get back on track. Elliot stepped in and has been great but we still need Nolan. Hopefully this break will be what he needs to get back on track. The silver lining in Nolan's poor play has been the emergence of Elliot. The silver lining in Nolan's injury could be a rejuvenated Nolan playing with Elliot.
    Makes sense to me. One reason I'm optimistic about the NCAA tournament is that we haven't yet seen our team when both Elliot and Nolan are playing well.

  4. #4

    I think the time off will help

    I've never read this anywhere and have absolutely no inside information, but isn't it possible Nolan's head was messed up by missing the switch at Wake Forest on the game ending play?

    Nolan's a young guy with a ton of pressure on him, not only as the "Duke PG," but especially the way he got the starting spot. He was an absolute stud in HS, playing in the Rucker game with Beasley and all the rest of the HS elite, yet hasn't dominated in college yet. I love the kid, and think his development is key to our success this year and next, but all that can mess with one's head.

    I think the time sitting can be a great thing for him, so long as he doesn't come back gun shy of contact.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, D.C.

    Heads

    Quote Originally Posted by trinity92 View Post
    I've never read this anywhere and have absolutely no inside information, but isn't it possible Nolan's head was messed up by missing the switch at Wake Forest on the game ending play?

    Nolan's a young guy with a ton of pressure on him, not only as the "Duke PG," but especially the way he got the starting spot. He was an absolute stud in HS, playing in the Rucker game with Beasley and all the rest of the HS elite, yet hasn't dominated in college yet. I love the kid, and think his development is key to our success this year and next, but all that can mess with one's head.

    I think the time sitting can be a great thing for him, so long as he doesn't come back gun shy of contact.
    May I say that I find the suggestion that a player's struggles are in their head a bit presumptuous and distressing? (In another thread, I think the most recent MOTM thread, the same issue comes up with Zoubek.)

    We know Nolan hurt his knee in January and struggled after that. We know he had some back issues before the UVA game, but played great. We don't know if he's had other injury issues, because Duke doesn't generally disclose injuries. We routinely learn after the season that Duke players have been playing hurt for some time (e.g., Lance last year). So isn't it just as (or more) likely that Nolan is struggling physically?

    If that is true, then two weeks off might be a good thing (putting aside the concussion).

  6. #6
    That's what I was thinking. Especially if the talk of back spasms was true. A couple weeks off could help the back immensely, and if his knee wasn't 100% when he came back, it could help the knee heal up the rest of the way, too. Assuming that we can get the head 100% healthy, which is a MUST, he should come back ready and rarin' to go. The question is whether the head can get 100% healthy soon enough.
    LET'S GO DUKE!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Virginia
    Quote Originally Posted by MChambers View Post
    May I say that I find the suggestion that a player's struggles are in their head a bit presumptuous and distressing? (In another thread, I think the most recent MOTM thread, the same issue comes up with Zoubek.)

    We know Nolan hurt his knee in January and struggled after that. We know he had some back issues before the UVA game, but played great. We don't know if he's had other injury issues, because Duke doesn't generally disclose injuries. We routinely learn after the season that Duke players have been playing hurt for some time (e.g., Lance last year). So isn't it just as (or more) likely that Nolan is struggling physically?

    If that is true, then two weeks off might be a good thing (putting aside the concussion).
    I don't think that physical issues and mental issues have to be mutually exclusive. I agree that Smith's struggles seems to begin after he banged up his knee and developed the back spasms but watching him play, I certainly couldn't discern any signs of physical issues. He was fluid and explosive. Many of his performance issues stemmed from passive/arrant passes and uncontrolled drives both of which would seem to be related to injury. That doesn't mean that he isn't thinking about his injuries or that general pain isn't effecting his concentration. Also, some times players try to overcompensate for an injury or get frustrated if they aren't physically 100% which leads to mental mistakes. If this this is the case with Smith, then there would seem to be a mental component at work, not just a physical one.

    Of course this is all speculation (we mortal fans never have full disclosure) but honestly, whether the issues are physical, mental or a combination of both, 10-14 days rest should have a positive effect.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Chesapeake, VA.
    Quote Originally Posted by MChambers View Post
    May I say that I find the suggestion that a player's struggles are in their head a bit presumptuous and distressing? ....
    While I concede the point that nobody can know for sure whether a player's troubles are "in his head" or "in his body," the overwhelming attitude that one type of trouble is inherently better than the other (viz., that it's "good" to have a physical problem but "bad" to have a 'mental problem') is what causes people to CONVERT mental problems into physical problems. Why do we need the hierachy?

    On a quite possibly related note, "back spasms" and "lower back pain" are much more often manifestations of psychological stress than they are true physiologic problems. This is not to say that Nolan's back problems were or were not psychosomatic in nature; however, it wouldn't be surprising given the intense pressure placed on these guys to perform.

    Again, to be clear, in my opinion there is nothing inherently superior about physical problems, so to assert that it's possible Nolan's back pain could be a manifestation of stress is not meant to be an insult.

    As a physician, I see physiologic manifestations of psychological stressors on a daily basis. I realize that your comments weren't specifically related to Nolan's physical problems, but nevertheless the attitude that it is somehow perjorative to suggest that a player might have some psychological component of 'not living up to expectations' is integral to the somatization I see in my work all too frequently.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, D.C.

    Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by rsvman View Post
    While I concede the point that nobody can know for sure whether a player's troubles are "in his head" or "in his body," the overwhelming attitude that one type of trouble is inherently better than the other (viz., that it's "good" to have a physical problem but "bad" to have a 'mental problem') is what causes people to CONVERT mental problems into physical problems. Why do we need the hierachy?

    On a quite possibly related note, "back spasms" and "lower back pain" are much more often manifestations of psychological stress than they are true physiologic problems. This is not to say that Nolan's back problems were or were not psychosomatic in nature; however, it wouldn't be surprising given the intense pressure placed on these guys to perform.

    Again, to be clear, in my opinion there is nothing inherently superior about physical problems, so to assert that it's possible Nolan's back pain could be a manifestation of stress is not meant to be an insult.

    As a physician, I see physiologic manifestations of psychological stressors on a daily basis. I realize that your comments weren't specifically related to Nolan's physical problems, but nevertheless the attitude that it is somehow perjorative to suggest that a player might have some psychological component of 'not living up to expectations' is integral to the somatization I see in my work all too frequently.
    I like your response. I fear, however, that not posters here are physicians and are not using terms like "psychological component" is carefully as you.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by trinity92 View Post
    I've never read this anywhere and have absolutely no inside information, but isn't it possible Nolan's head was messed up by missing the switch at Wake Forest on the game ending play?

    Nolan's a young guy with a ton of pressure on him, not only as the "Duke PG," but especially the way he got the starting spot. He was an absolute stud in HS, playing in the Rucker game with Beasley and all the rest of the HS elite, yet hasn't dominated in college yet. I love the kid, and think his development is key to our success this year and next, but all that can mess with one's head.

    I think the time sitting can be a great thing for him, so long as he doesn't come back gun shy of contact.
    Wasn't it Henderson or Singler, not Nolan, gaurding James Johnson on that play?

    Also, I think being blindsided by a 6'7 250lb Maryland player has something to do with Nolan's head being "messed up"

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