Winnable game, but pretty poor execution by Duke down the stretch. We quit scoring on offense and committed two incredibly costly turnovers after taking care of the ball very well for the entire game. We shut down Delaney, but their supporting cast played their tails off. We were flat outworked on the offensive glass, and settled way to much for 3's early in the shot clock. Despite all that, we still had a great chance to win, but our rock missed his FT's when it counted. I have a hard time fathoming how we couldn't even get a shot off with 20 seconds to go and 4 shooters on the court.
Va. Tech played well, and deserved to win. It's just disappointing that we let this one get away. It's the first time all year I felt like we were the better team that day and still lost.
At least #4 and #5 lost as well, so we'll likely stay on the #1 line another week.
"There can BE only one."
It seemed like Kyle and Nolan forgot that there were three other teammates on the court. Each forced some shots with plenty of time on the shot clock in the last 4 minutes.
We lost because of seriously bad shot selection down the stretch!
United States Navy (Retired)
Guess I'd rather lose to VT on the road than lose to Carolina next Saturday. If we beat Carolina again, I'll call the regular season a success.
Remember, we lost 5 games last year.
Failure is always an option.
Have to say, this is the most disappointing loss of the season thus far, since I think we outplayed the Hokies for the first 35 minutes of this game. I was very upset with Kyle's shot selection - since I felt he forced way too many threes or long-range twos early in the shot clock. I can't blame him for missing shots, but I wish we wouldn't take so many quick, contested ones. Never thought I'd say it, but we really needed to get Mason the ball more - he and Nolan were our two best offensive players tonight, and he just did not get the ball. I also would have liked to see Dre get more touches.
I understand that sometimes players have off nights - and so I cannot fault Seth, Ryan or Kyle for missing shots. However, I would have liked to see better game-management and shot selection from our entire team in the waning minutes. We just looked plain disorganized and confused in our last few possessions.
However, there were a few positives to take from this game:
1. Miles' defense is much improved
2. Mason is turning into a BIG asset. He was out-of-his-mind clutch tonight, and almost single-handedly saved us from defeat with his big steal and big rebound.
3. Nolan and Kyle played excellent defense. Nolan totally shut down Delaney.
4. Tyler Thornton is not extremely physically gifted, but he is one hell of a basketball player.
5. Andre's shot is coming around (though he did force one towards the end that positively enraged me).
We need a lot of work on game management. That remains the biggest thing I miss about Kyrie - kid has a gift for managing basketball games. All in all though, we're still a good team, and we still are among the best in the country. However, I do not think we will get a #1 seed anymore.
Time to not overreact too much. It was an average performance against a team with their backs to the wall. Remember, VaTech hit at least 4 anomalous 3's from Jeff Allen and Erick Green--you should expect at most 1 of those to go in. That in itself is a 9 point swing.
A few observations:
1) Kelly has not shot well lately; need him to hit open shots for him to be a contributor on the floor.
2) VaTech dominated the offensive boards. They are not a strong O-rebounding team, this was concerning.
3) Singler did a great job drawing fouls and getting to the line. His shot will come back, I'd rather have him struggle now vs. in the tournaments.
Hopefully the rebounding is a one game issue. If so, the team is in great shape.
Duke as a team didn't seem too ready to play tonight, strangely. We came out flat, emotionally, and just couldn't find the defense when we really needed it. I don't see it often, but we didn't bring our effort. I know we rebound very well after a loss and hopefully we can right the ship before we face the holes next weekend, but Duke is going to need to bring effort for two halves and on both ends of the court.
Tough way to lose a game. I thought we did a great job of matching Virginia Tech's physicality in the first half, but then we became way too comfortable shooting threes when we had a chance to put them away in the second half.
Also, it was disappointing to see uncharacteristic offensive/ballhandling miscues by our star seniors as the pressure ratcheted up near the end.
The plus side: We'll have a great chance to redeem ourselves - and prove that we have more mental and physical toughness under pressure than we exhibited tonight - next Saturday in Chapel Hill. (NOT looking past Clemson; just saying that the level of pressure will be highest on the road.)
This game was absolutely ours for the taking.
"I don't like them when they are eating my azaleas or rhododendrons or pansies." - Coach K
I agree w/ most everything so far but would add that I think it was a mistake to put Curry back in at the end of the game. He had been sitting for a good while, was out of the flow, and had proven he was not having a good night.
Also, we need to start driving the ball inside (ie. Kyle vs. Temple) early and hitting higher percentage shots/drawing fouls rather than fall behind and have to come back - that's getting old.
Ryan Kelly had a key defensive rebound right in his hands and let a Va. Tech guy come take it. More than missed shots that was aggrevating to see. You gotta want it a little more than that.
I think its way too early to panic about the #1 seed. There's a lot of basketball to be played between now and the seedings - I expect others to lose as well.
I don't think a 2 seed is the end of the world if it plays out that way. You just need to get hot at the right time. We lost a game near the end of the last year and that worked out well.