I'm no Dickie fan but that is a decent 4. I think Duke is a stretch. Duke will be strong at the beginning of the season but the lack of depth and athletiscm is going to take a toll late in the season.
UNC has some holes but more talent than anybody else. They will be dangerous at the end of the year. If they can get Drew to play at a higher level and get a consistent outside game going they will be a load. i wouldn't be suprised to see UNC in the final 4 next year.
At the bottom he states there could be news that affects this list.....I wonder if the UK situation may affect his selection? Maybe Wall leaving to play overseas or Bledsoe asking for a release? LOL, j/k. But hey, who knows?
I am not sure how anyone in their right mind believes this years team will be a final four contender sans Henderson. We struggled mightily last year against athletic teams, we still do not have a true center or a point, and we lost our most talented player. Yep, that is a great equation for being better by leaps and bounds...C'mon, let's be realistic.
Putting Duke ahead of a team that completely humiliated us in March, returns most of its key players, and brings in a recruiting class better than ours is stupid.
I'm expecting us to take a while to find our identity as a team - the PG situation could be tricky, the rotation/style of play will be constantly changing, and it our young guys won't all immediately step in and play to their potential within the system. That said, I think we could potentially be peaking come March. The key to this will be either or both of EWill or Nolan developing into bona fide stars as and 2-3 out of the Plumlees/Kelly/Czyz developing into legitimate contributors (especially Mason), as Elliot was able to do towards the end of this year.
IMO, we'll have more raw talent and size across the board than in the past couple years, and I'm hopeful that this will bode well for us come March.
Anyhow, just my $0.02. I am pretty excited about what could be next year. And that is realistic.
"Sounds like Duke/UNLV, 1990"
except that the Duke team the next year had a legit point guard. my hopes are not high if we have to play jon at the point again.
The UNLV team that beat Duke was one of the best teams ever in college basketball, and that Duke team got blown out in the title game, not the Sweet 16. Duke also added, arguably, the best player in school history to its roster in 1991, and with all due respect to Mason Plumlee...
Back to my original point, it makes no sense at all to put Duke ahead of Villanova right now. They were better last year, lost less, and gain more. Could Duke go farther in the tournament than Villanova? Of course, stranger things have happened, and lots of crazy things are possible when you have a legit NPOY candidate on your team. But it's not smart to predict that knowing what we know now.
Do I think Duke can make the Final 4???? Yes, I do. Would I put them in the Final 4 this minute? Probably not! Again, like many have said, a few issues that have plagued the team recently may come back again in the tourney to haunt them. Without getting into deep analysis of each, they include lack of true PG play, lack of a proven post presence and overall average team athleticism. Matchups will always be the determining factor in tourney, so these issue may or may not come into player or to various degrees.
It will be interesting to see how each of these "weak" areas evolve next year. I personally think the PG play will be what holds us back the most come deep in the tourney as there is no pure distributor of the ball or driver to the rim to create. There will be enough bigs to hold our own on the boards and possibly develop a post presence (MPII providing the most upside with Z giving a good 10-12 minutes based on matchups). Athletically they can be exposed against an exceptional athlectic team but there are enough solid athletes to hold things down.
Overall, this is a Elite 8, Sweet 16 team that can with development of a few aspects of the team can develop into a Final 4 contender.
I don't understand all the agita over Nolan vs. Jon at PG. Duke only has 3 eligible guards, count em. So Nolan and Jon and elliott will play 90 or more minutes and 80 of those by default at PG/SG.
It's not totally outragous but assumes a lot from the frosh and the lack of guard depth. At this point I view elite 8 as high water mark but anything can happen once a team gets that far.
Why annoint other teams' frosh and not Duke's and why dwell on loss of G when lots of other teams lost more than one really good guy.
Lots of teams finished below Duke last year in NCAAs, or did not even make the tourney. So much more improvement needed from them than a Duke team that returns most of its guys.
Predicting Duke in the final 4 is a huge stretch though. If the freshman are better than expected and the returning players all improve a bunch then it is certainly possible but there's definitely a few times in line ahead of Duke.