Coach K for the MOTM!
Who was Man of the Match in Duke's National Championship win over Butler?
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.”
Coach K for the MOTM!
Once again the TEAM
I will go with Kyle. What a game, what a player. Props to the seniors plus Nolan as well. This is a true team.
While I voted for Kyle, the ENTIRE TEAM (including the coaches, the sixth man, and Dukies worldwide) merit this honor -- especially Jon, Nolan, Brian, Lance, Miles and Mason.
Mike Krzyzewski. Period.
Except for that 14ft air ball, Kyle was dominant tonight... on both ends of the floor.
Kyle was by far the MOTM tonight- he was locked in on both ends of the court and outplayed Hayward. Great effort by the whole team (asusual) but Kyle was head and shoulders above tonight
I voted for Kyle, but I agree that there should be a TEAM choice available. Brian and Lance were everywhere tonight. We needed them to step up, and they did.
TEAM. It took the entire unit tonight to eek out a win against a gritty Butler squad.
While I've voted for MOTM in the past, I have never, ever posted on a MOTM thread. Today I'll make an exception.
Ultimately, this game came down to a few key moments. Singler's fall and Smith's miss in consecutive possessions prevented us from sealing a lead, and kept Butler in it. But what prevented Butler from cashing in? Brian Zoubek.
He didn't do it alone, but he was clutch in so many ways that you can be forgiven for drawing that conclusion. His impersonation of an octopus kept Gordon Hayward from inbounding the ball, making the Bulldogs burn that all-important last time out. Down 1, Hayward briefly eluded Singler to take that delicate (but make-able) fadeaway. "Keith Smart," I thought to myself, but Zoubek was there to alter Hayward's approach and grab the rebound. At the free throw line, he nails the first and then throws what appeared to be the textbook intentional miss, and luck followed suit.
Mostly, though, I was pleased to see that he was on the court at the end of the game, having never picked up that 5th foul. He took full advantage of the opportunity. I'm pretty stone-faced when it comes to basketball, but I have a soft spot for seniors who foul out of their last game. I'm glad he wasn't one of them.
That was an ultimate team effort. Every single one of the starting 5, plus Miles, made huge plays to contribute to this victory. At the end of the day, for sentimental reasons, I give this one to the senior class. Jon, Brian, Lance - we salute you. There's no title without the things you do for us this season. So much love....
Just be you. You is enough. - K, 4/5/10, 0:13.8 to play, 60-59 Duke.
You're all jealous hypocrites. - Titus on Laettner
You see those guys? Animals. They're animals. - SIU Coach Chris Lowery, on Duke
Kyle Singler, the best player in college basketball the last two months, was the difference. It came down to Kyle and Hayward and Kyle dominated. Hayward uses hesitation better than most any 3/4 I have seen in a long time. Kyle ate that up, outthought the guy; Kyle rebounded terrifically.
Some idiot heads say Kyle can't get his own shot. The guy sprinted at least a 10K on offense, and got wonderful shots notwithstanding Butler's terrific defense. Kyle lead the way.
A shout out to Zoubek and Lance, who played great together in so many ways. Again, for each of them to step up with affirmative offense in the biggest game of the year was unbelieveable. For Lance to again look for and find Zoubek with passes that had eyes and that invited his brother to make athletic catches and finishes which Zoubek proceeded to do, Kyle had to play unbelievealbe to get MOTM, and he did.
Jon made terrific baskets at key times inside the defense, inside the paint, when they needed it. He took care of the ball against what was far and away the quickest-handed defense in the country.
How the refs didn't call a foul when Howard took Kyle out with a cross body block on the last play is scandalous. It was a blatant foul and a reckless and dangerous one to boot. It was right in front of the refs. Without it, no shot. With it and a no call, Butler almost one. Do Your Jobs!
I voted for Kyle because he hit big shots all night and he shut down Butler's best player. Kyle is just an incredible basketball player. I have said it before and I will say it again, I think Kyle is the most complete player to wear the uniform since Danny Ferry. Battier is second on that list behind Kyle, but since the first day he put on the uniform Singler has been really good at multiple phases of the game. And on top of that he has ice in his veins and he is a winner.
I want to also give big props to Brian Zoubek. The transformation he made this year is almost not believable. I have always been a supporter but if you had told me or anyone else on the day after the Villanova loss that Duke would win the National Title this year and would do so in large part because of the play of Brian Zoubek you would have been laughed at.
Anyone can rise up and play one great game. Brian Zoubek rose up, learned how to not foul, bought into an unorthodox philosophy for a 7-footer and pushed this team to the top of the mountain. We do not come close to winning this championship without Brian. He deserves all the accolades that come his way. It was fitting that he made the final key stop and then grabbed the board. Also, go back and watch the replay again on the missed free throw. Brian flashes to Hayward in the middle of the lane and delay's Hayward's start. Then look at where Brian is when the final shot comes off the rim. Brian was at the Butler foul line awaiting the rebound. How he got there in less than 3.2 seconds is beyond me.
Brian we love you man! You are a National Champion! Enjoy!
"[T]he tarnished Tar Heels that bear little resemblance to the revered program built by Dean Smith."- Ashville Times
"UNC and the NCAA are trying to conceal that the fraud was specifically designed to pad the transcripts of varsity athletes" - Bloomberg
Kyle's made shots, rebounds, and blocks swayed me, but it was the TEAM doing the business again. The FIST. This team with their toughness and assignments reminded me of the Pistons from 20 years ago. Really good backcourt that can drive and shoot (I. Thomas & Dumars/Smith & Scheyer), a defensive stopper who gets tough rebounds (Rodman/Thomas), a big man who fills up space to get rebounds and blocks but can score when needed (Edwards/Zoubek), and a tough nosed guy who does what is needed (Laimbeer/Singler.........though Kyle's overall skillset is a bit better and none had the dirty play that the Pistons sometimes would do). Just a crazy analogy on my part. Still smiling..............YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!
in a nod to the progress he has made over the course of the season and his impact on the game throughout, via rebounds at both ends, defense in the post and countless altered shots -- including Haywards one realistic chance to win it at the end.
Singler was awesome and it could got to either guy but Z really persevered over his career at Duke and in this season and it all finally came together for him. Just wanted to acknowledge that.
Way to go, big Z!
It's Kyle, but this was a team win. All 5 starters made big plays throughout the game, whether it be offense or defense. I'm just so proud of this team. They seem like they really care about one another and put the team first. Go Duke!
Kyle was just otherworldly on both ends of the floor. Can you imagine how much better he'd be with fresh legs?