I, for one, am happy that Duke's playing MD next. The teams Duke struggles the most with are just like MD: long and athletic. Plus, Duke has had some lapses at home. But, Duke seems to be improving and are on a bit of a roll themselves, so this is a perfect game to see where the team stands. Will they struggle like they did in College Park, or will they take another step forward? (I don't think Duke has beaten MD since before that awful ACC tourney final. Is that right?)
I agree I said it earlier today on the old message board that these two games coming up will be a great opportunity to see how much this young team is progressing. We are playing two teams that beat us the first time around and now we get a second crack at em'.
i think our biggest problem w/ myld is their size up front. that is what beat us last time imo. Well that and we were unable to match their intensity until around the 9 minute mark.
I'd like to see us come out of half time jacked up this game.
tux et. al.,
your posts bring up a good question about our maturity and indeed, i agree that these two games coming up will give us a great picture of how we've progressed.
we might struggle with maryland's athleticism that goes coast to coast; if we can slow their break and cut way down on the turnovers (which in college park led to fastbreak points for the twerps) we can keep it competitive, if we can't we will have a problem with them.
we'll see, GO DUKE!
Yes- this game will tell a lot about the team. Maryland is hot and playing well. I do not expect Duke to get blown out early as in the last game. After that- the game was played fairly even. We shall see how this game plays out. It will likely be a hardly fought game.
Coming off of that delightful win over UNC-CH, MD will bring a great deal of confidence. While I wouldn't be willing to be the house (although the market has cooled considerably in Vegas...hmmmm...) on a win, I'm as confident in a "W" as I've been this season.
Surprisingly, one of the reasons for the optimism is Lance Thomas' play of late; the man is BRINGING it! Love to see the style of chest-up defense he plays, despite the likelyhood of getting a foul called, and the energy he's bringing now. i think he's going to really help against the MD frontcourt and gives us athletic size that we don't get in McClure/Zoubek/Nelson.
Prediction: Duke 73 - MD 65
I'll take 73-65 without hesitation.
I dunno what to think about MD. Whatever happens, this game probably will tell us more about our postseason prospects than any game so far.
Quick thoughts on the game:
1. Hopefully we show up for more than the first half. I'm getting tired of playing great for the entire first half - which gets me thinking that the team has turned the corner and is about to put it all together - and then sitting on the edge of my seat for the entire second half as we hope that our first half lead was big enough. Maryland poses a stern test, to be sure, as they've gotten some confidence and certainly cemented their name in the NCAA bracket. It won't be easy, and it shouldn't be if we expect our team to be able to compete in March (and hopefully April).
2. Revenge. Losing to Maryland is no fun, and we have to take care of our business at home. I know, I know, it's no "rivalry" but the first 10 minutes of the game in College Park left a foul taste in my mouth, and it's time to take care of that. We haven't lost since that debacle in Terptown, so I think it's time to show Maryland that we're a much different Duke team than a few weeks ago.
3. It's Senior night. Well we only have one senior, Joe Pagliuca, and he's played a grand total of 35 seconds this season. But he's been here all four years and given his effort in practices and he deserves nothing less than a full salute from Cameron on Wednesday night. And, as a senior this year, it will be my last game in Cameron, which is a sad, sad thing. I can't imagine what it will be like to follow Duke from my couch next season instead of from the old, broken wooden bleachers in Cameron. I'm going to miss that place. It will be an emotional night to be sure.
Let's go Duke
What's interesting about the last Maryland game is that Duke was down 20 points in the first half... and came back to within 6 points twice in the 2nd half. Since then, Duke has had the 20 point lead, only to see it shrink in the 2nd half. So, whatever has been happening to Duke lately, apparently may have also happened to Maryland... or conversely, what Duke did to Maryland in the 2nd half is what others have done to Duke lately. I think the good thing is that from that first Maryland game, we know this Duke team will not quit... and can play well in the 2nd half.
I thought that Joe was our lone senior... and the Maryland game will be senior night. I think the Cameron Crazies will give Joe a marvelous salute. Coach K always talks about the "team"... and Joe has been a valuable member... even if we don't see it, I'm sure the rest of the team does and appreciates Joe's dedication to Duke basketball. GO DUKE!!!
Another factor is Duke should be healthy for this round. I expect a win for Duke.
I'm a little nervous about this game. Yes, Duke has been playing better, but Maryland has been playing very well, too. Five wins in a row - all ACC contests, including us and Carolina and at Clemson - none easy wins. They're sky-high after beating the Heels (still like seeing that in print). They are playing with spirit and purpose. They have a bunch of athletic guards/wings that will challenge us, and their big guys have stepped it up of late.
I think that our keys will be keeping the turnovers down and winning the battle of the boards. We need to limit them to one shot per possession, or they'll chew us up inside. (They outrebounded a Carolina team much bigger than us by 13.) And if we keep the turnovers down, I think our superior perimeter shooting will really help - Greg's been just nasty from downtown lately (21-38 in the last 7 games).
Andre Dawkins: “People ask me if I can still shoot, and I ask them if they can still breathe. That’s kind of the same thing.”
I agree with JBDuke. For Duke to win, the Devils need to play the Terps even on the boards, keep turnovers to a minimum, make three-pointers, make a decent percentage of their foul shots and continue to play tough defense. The Devils' advantages include better long range shooting, more depth and possibly some matchups - McRoberts, Scheyer and Henderson. If the Terps big men play well and their point guards are allowed to distribute (13.5 apg for past four games), then it will be a very close game.
It should be an enjoyable game to watch.
Actually, I think one of the issues with this game will be calming them down -- from beginning to end. When things weren't going well for this group, maryland got 'em before a raucous crowd and did a number on them. Now, Duke is playing well, confidence is high and the game will be at CIS. I would be very surprised if they didn't come out so amped up for every minute of this one that K actually has to calm them down to get the best out of 'em.
They'll be pumped for this. I just hope they aren't TOO pumped. My bold prediction: Gerald Henderson has an eye-popping "did you just see THAT?" dunk in this one.
MD will be a tough game. They are playing very well right now and they always seem to play us like we are their National Chamionship game. That being said I think we pull this one out, I have been very pleased with the way we have come out lately we just need to play that way for 40 minutes.
I think if Duke can prevent a lot of dribble penetration, allowing either short jumpers by the guards or a dish to the big-men down low, and Duke holds their own with rebounds, then they have an excellent chance of pulling out a win in this game.
"The teams Duke struggles the most with are just like MD"
the team that Duke struggles with most IS md.
I agree with everyone else. Honestly, I think Maryland is the better team this year. Playing at home, I do give us the better chance to win, something like 55/45 or 60/40, but it's going to basically be a tossup game. Their entire backcourt is tall and athletic which should give our shooters problems, and their froncourt scores better than ours. I think we'll be fine on the boards but how are we going to score? That's what worries the most.
"but how are we going to score?"
this year's unending question.
Does the new wrinkle in the offense tip the scales in Duke's favor? I don't think Duke ran the weave at MD.