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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Buffalo New York

    Vitale's Final Four Picks-2010


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA/Durham, NC
    I love Dickie V. Hope above all else is the motto...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Wherever the wind blows and the leaves dance.
    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Red Lion, PA
    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?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Colorado Springs, Colorado

    Not Drinking the Kool-Aid

    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cambridge, MA
    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.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by RockyMtDevil View Post
    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.
    Love my Dukies but I agree. We could and should be good but the athleticism piece scares me. Also I feel we are being set up because people keep talking about our incoming recruits like they are one and done players, but real Duke fans know they are going to need a little time.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Wander View Post
    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.
    Sounds like Duke/UNLV, 1990.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Nashville
    Quote Originally Posted by whereinthehellami View Post
    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.
    I also think it's a stretch, but I actually have the complete opposite opinion of how I expect next season to play out. Yes, we're very shallow at the guard spots, but we're very, very deep at the forward/post positions. As far as athleticism, we only have one scholarship player that doesn't play above the rim (Scheyer) and tons of length. I'm also hopefully optimistic that Mason's ridiculous wingspan and bounce will help counter any quickness disadvantages we may have on the defensive end.

    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.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Memphis, TN
    Quote Originally Posted by RockyMtDevil View Post
    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.
    I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you here. While I don't whole heartedly think that Duke will be a FF team, we will certainly be a more athletic team sans Henderson if a couple of things fall in our favor. MP1 and MP2 are far more athletic than Z and should they surpass Z and earn the PT that alone makes us much more athletic. Also, E-Will, Nolan and Jon are no slouches either. E-Will is freakishly athletic (ala Henderson) and will be seeing more PT. Net result, increased athleticism. Throw in a possible Olek sighting and Duke has the potential to put one hell of an athletic team on the floor. While Jon and Kyle won't be throwing down any awe inspiring dunks, they make up for a lack of athletic ability with basketball IQ. Having said all of that, I'm not so convinced that Duke will continue to struggle against athletic teams. Also, keep in mind that Duke doesn't have to be better by leaps and bounds next year, just 4 games. It's not like we didn't make it to the second weekend of the tourney and win 30+ games!

    Anyhow, just my $0.02. I am pretty excited about what could be next year. And that is realistic.

  11. #11
    "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.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by grossbus View Post
    "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.
    I see no reason why Nolan Smith cannot make a similar leap between his soph and jr years that Will Avery made between his frosh and soph years.

    Similar skill sets, similar size, similar flashes of brilliance surrounded by flashes of youth.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cambridge, MA
    Quote Originally Posted by gvtucker View Post
    Sounds like Duke/UNLV, 1990.
    I don't see any similarities at all, except that both Duke teams were blown at the previous year. By that logic, let's put Radford in our preseason top 10s.

    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.

  14. #14
    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.

  15. #15
    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.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by ACCBBallFan View Post
    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.
    Singler can and will play guard.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Wander View Post
    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.
    Villanova loses more than Duke and potentially a lot more. As far as I know Scottie Reynolds hasn't pulled his name from the NBA draft yet. He's definitely not ready for the NBA but he may see this as his only chance to get drafted and go for it. If so they lose their 2nd best player (along w/ already losing their best player) and 4 of their main 8 (and 3 of their starting 5). That's a lot more than Duke. If they lose Scottie then they will be very unproven next year.

    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.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by NYDukie View Post
    ... 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. ...

    It will be interesting to see how each of these "weak" areas evolve next year. ...
    I was thinking that this is the first summer in last 3-4 years that Coach K has essentially the entire summer to concentrate on the Duke team. Maybe he can come up with a few new twists... like when Carlos went down in 2001, and like putting Elliot in the starting lineup... at least, he has a lot to work with It should be an exciting and fun year...

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Nashville
    Quote Originally Posted by gvtucker View Post
    Singler can and will play guard.
    I'm pumped for the inevitable Singler at point-forward experiment next year. I think he could be quite effective in a Turkoglu-like role, and it would simultaneously solve most of our lineup issues.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Southern Pines, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by ACCBBallFan View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by gep View Post
    I was thinking that this is the first summer in last 3-4 years that Coach K has essentially the entire summer to concentrate on the Duke team. Maybe he can come up with a few new twists... like when Carlos went down in 2001, and like putting Elliot in the starting lineup... at least, he has a lot to work with It should be an exciting and fun year...
    Positive thinking helps, and it's only May. Nobody can predict accurately until... Well, it's all guess work. So, I will, as I do every year, hope, and maybe even expect a final four team. I've seen more than a few go to the final four, all the way back to the sixties. I expect it again this year, and I won't start worrying until the ACC season is over. Then -- It's Business Time.

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