Much is already being made of Duke being preseason #1 next year. We obviously have a lot of talent, and with K on the bench I was just wondering your thoughts on the factors affecting our chances of a repeat.
I would say:
1) Emergence of one or both Plumlees
2) Kyrie's development/running the offense
3) The X factor - someone unexpectedly contributing (i.e. Zoubs this year)
I say this assuming Singler and Smith will play consistently great, as expected, and that Kyrie will be superb given time.
Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!
Go To Hell carolina, Go To Hell!
9F 9F 9F
Seth is unquestionably that X-factor you speak of. Despite all of the praise and attention he has received here and throughout Blue Devil Nation, I think many college basketball fans are completely unaware of the talent we have in waiting in Durham in Curry. He is going to be an all out beast, and reports have indicated that Curry is one of the best shooters we've had in years. Probably since J.J. (Although, I might argue that Andre Dawkins will have something to say about that)
If Seth were starting -- which I think it's impossible that he will with Kyrie, Nolan and Kyle on the wings -- he might lead this team in scoring. Kid can ball. Come the start of the new year, no longer will he be Stephen's little brother. I don't think he is now.
"Duke is a once in a lifetime opportunity and something you don't pass up on." -Amile Jefferson
Seth will be a great player, but best on the team? A couple of likely Preseason All-Americans might have something to say about that. We're lucky to have some strong Senior leadership, what looks to be a somewhat deep rotation, excellent outside shooting, and a couple of very athletic post players. And a pretty good coach as well.
The nature of the one-and-done tourney makes it tough to predict the eventual champion, but if we can keep our intensity up, we have as good odds as anyone.
All the factors you name have to do with whether Duke will be the best team, but with the personnel we have you can bet we'll at least be one of the best teams unless we have an unanticipated injury or total meltdown. Absent something really weird happening you can more or less write us in as a #1 or #2 seed (probably #1 but you never know). But as we all know, being a number one seed in no way means you'll win the whole shebang.
The next biggest factor that could affect our chance of winning is injuries. Lots of great teams have been derailed by injuries to their top players and we just have to hope it doesn't happen to us.
Sometimes the pieces just fit and everything works. I think that last year was one of those times. If you go by individual talent I think next year's team has more than last year's. I also think it will be difficult to match the beautiful meshing of the available talent we saw in the 2010 championship run to build a team that exceeds last year's. I think we'll be very good next year, but a national championship is a gift and even if we are the best team in March there are no guarantees.
I plan to enjoy the ride and pull hard. I will be pleasantly surprised if we beat the odds to win a second straight title.
I'm crossing my fingers, but I'm not betting the ranch. And I hope the media/fans don't so overhype next year's team that they feel pressure to live up to super high expectations even before they really get a chance to learn about themselves as a team. I think it probably helped this year's group to be a little more under the radar for much of the season than Duke has been some years.
I think our expectations are way too high. We are probably thinking using our emotions not our logic. An average team in the 64 team bracket would have a 1.56% chance winning it all. You would be considered a huge favorite if you have a close to 20% to win it all. And even with a 13-15% chance you are still probably ranked #1 out of 64 teams.
Here is my calculation, lets say if a team is a favorite in every match towards a championship. The chance of winning would be
First round .99
Second round .85
Sweet 16 .73
Elite eight .64
Final four .6
The probability of this favored team to win it all would be 13.4%. So if a team has a 20% of winning it all, it has to be head and shoulder above all other teams. I don't know if that will be the case next year with a freshmen point guard. I'd be happy to think we have anywhere close to a 15% chance.
Of course we don't want to be overconfident. But we should not shy away from sensible, garden-variety, it's-so-bloody-obvious-you'd-have-to-be-afraid-of-your-own-shadow-not-to-notice, confidence.
If we cannot be optimistic looking toward '10-'11, how the hell am I gonna retire on the dues I receive as the Corresponding Secretary, not to mention Treasurer, of the LOL [Loony Optimists League]. You people are killing both my cash flow and my long-term travel plans. Go get your own - presumably cautious - scam.
P.S. Ozzie [whom I do not know but firmly believe is real], I have not received your dues.
Dukes needs the Plumlees to be as effective overall as LT and Zoubs. They already were on offense, but on defense there was a huge gap, so much so that in the NC game they got relatively little playing time.
Now being "as effective overall" doesn't necessarily mean being as strong on the boards as Zoubs or as tough on all-court defense as Lance. I really believe that most people, including basketball players, make maximum contributions by emphasizing their strengths and trying to minimize their weaknesses. I would look for much higher offensive output from Mason and much better rebounding from Miles, although, Duke being Duke, both guys have to "get it" on defense.
Duke also needs both Seth and Kyrie to be "the real deal," and though I have little doubt, neither one has yet played a minute for Duke.
Now I fully agree with Kedsy that the biggest unknown is the one-and-done nature of the NCAAs, but my objective would be to be a #1 seed, maybe overall #1, going into the tournament and then taking our chances from there.
[Pseudo Mod Comment: "And what other choice does Duke have except "taking our chances?"]
'Class of Mullins -- truly. Jeff was our class president, following Charlie Rose and Errol Flynn's late son, Sean'
I'm definitely high on next year's team, but I aint stupid. I'm curious to see the impact that a difficult nonconference schedule with some cross-country travel mixed in will have on this team. We have enough upperclassmen that the guys should be able to overcome a couple losses if they happen, but we shall see.
I definitely hadn't thought of it that way, but you are certainly correct, the tournament seeding and one-and-done format (as far as a chamionship is concerned) is HUGE factor. 91 UNLV, 99 Duke, and 2010 Kansas can attest to that.
However, I take a lot of confidence in knowing that the 2011 Blue Devils have the personnel that fits Coach K's style, up tempo, 3 point shooting, pressure defense, with depth. K is at his best when he has teams that can out-run, out-defend, and out-shoot anyone that comes along.
I agree that excessive speculation and optimism regarding a NC for '10-'11 can lead to excessive disappointment. Just ask the 2 UK's.
And I accept the implicit hint [a redundundancy??] that optimism may or may not be stupid, depending on circumstances and the data.
And I rely on your signature for continuing sustenance for my loony, and therefore probably quasi-stupid, optimism.
[Nothing in this post could possibly be mistaken for a serious thought. Well, maybe just that one thing......]
Talent is easier to replace than chemistry. We have the former in spades; we have the leaders who know the equations for good chemistry, but it may take some trial and error before anyone knows how good this team can be, how resilient it can be, and how consistently it can be that good.
Without knowing much of Kyrie's recruiting, is he a one-and-done type of player? Because a back-court of Kyrie, Seth, and Dre would be fun to watch.
Last edited by DukieBoy; 06-04-2010 at 02:10 PM. Reason: getting the names right
With the possible return to respectability of Heels in '10-'11, spurred to excessive speculation should McAdoo matriculate, there's likely enough optimism - some bold, some cautious - to go around in both camps in the coming months.
Perhaps we'll chat again on these speculative matters.