First a big positive: Is it really true that since 1986 (26 years) Duke has gone at least as far as the Sweet Sixteen 20 times -- all but 1993, '95, '96, '97, 2007, '08?
This year Duke draws 5th seeded Arizona, the PAC-10 regular season champ, who just beat Texas in a miracle finish. Zona, trailing by two at the 0:12 second mark with Texas having the ball, won by (a) a Texas five-second violation, (b) a brilliant inbounds pass, (c) a feed to star Derrick Williams, who was fouled and threw up a prayer -- which was answered. and (d) a made free throw for the one-point margin. Texas failed to get off a good shot in the scrum at the other end.
Questions for the game (my thoughts, at least):
1. How does Duke guard Derrick Williams, who is the only double-digit scorer on the Cats (19.2) and the tallest starter at 6-8? I guess we may see if the Plumlees can handle him. Zona is about the size of Michigan but seemed very athletic. Seven -footers Natyazhka and Jacobson play fewer than ten minutes and five minutes, respectively.
2. Will Kyrie merge better into the offense? I thought there was a lot of hesitation when both Nolan and Kyrie were on the floor.
3. Will Duke show the speed and energy needed to control the high-speed Cats? These kinds of teams have caused trouble in the past, and it may take better defense than against Michigan.
4. Will Duke continue to have 5-6 scorers on the court Thursday (four in double figures today)? It is a really positive development of the last two weeks.
The one thign about Williams is allot of times hes unselfish almost to a fault,hes not the type of player who will impose his will on the game for 40 minutes..
I'm glad we play Arizona. I feel like we match up a lot better with them, rather Texas.
My biggest concern against AZ is their lack of size/speed. Lack of size because Williams is their tallest starter and the Plums can't guard him, he shoots it from 3 and drives it too well. Therefore, who does that leave the Plums to guard??? AZ will spread us out and drive it.
I would expect to see a lot of Kelly and Singler on Williams. The Plums might not get many minutes in this game based on matchups.
I've checked the CBS site and couldn't find the time of the game. I am assuming it is Thursday, and the early game. Does anyone know for sure?
My wife bought tickets to go see Prince. I hate to put everything on hold this time of year, and feel like if I plan to do something on the weekend it will turn out to be when Duke plays. Not bad, considering the alternative is Duke not playing.
Any help is appreciated. We got through, look forward to playing another team we have a history with.
Nat'l champs: 1991, 1992, 2001, 2010
Nat'l champ game: 1986, 1990, 1994, 1999
Final Four: 1988, 1989, 2004
Elite 8: 1998
Sweet 16: 1987, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011 (thus far)
Final 32: 1993, 1997, 2008
Final 64: 1996, 2007
No tourney: 1995
Why can't the Plums guard Williams? He seems like a much more refined Mason. He shoots it much better from the perimeter and he can actually finish on his dribble drives. But luckily,we don't need Mason to outscore him, we just need him to play solid defense on him. I don't think this game will be like the one today where the Plumlees couldn't guard anyone as Thompson held Williams in check until he got into foul trouble.
Singler will have his hands full with Hill and Duke could go to Singler at the 4 quite a bit but that puts KI and Nolan on the court at the same time after another week of practice. So that leaves about 15 fouls to put on Williams and it'd be nice to see KI draw a few fouls on Williams.
But my main concern is their 3 point shooting. They won't spread the floor as much as Michigan and hopefully, K uses his extra days to prepare a nice game plan.
He came back into the game from 9:20 till the end. He scored 2 FTs in the first 30 seconds, racked up 1 assist....and then contributed 0 offense (and only like 2 shot attempts) until the basket with 32 seconds left.
In other words, he was INVISIBLE for 8 minutes on O. In essence we would have been better with Seth and Dre on the floor at once.
None of this says anything about his D. It certainly looked good. But against Arizona and if we advance UConn or SDSU, he would need to be productive on O to merit the play he got today. And he just looked tentative and unsure of how to not take the game out of Nolan's hands.
<devildeac> anyone playing drinking games by now?
7:49:36<Wander> drink every qb run?
7:49:38<loran16> umm, drink every time asack rushes?
7:49:38<wolfybeard> @devildeac: drink when Asack runs a keeper
7:49:39 PM<CB&B> any time zack runs, drink
Carolina Delenda Est
There are multiples strategies available to employ. I expect we will frequently double team Williams when he has the ball. Of course it will all start with ball pressure on Arizona's point guard who has to deal with Nolan Smith's incessant defensive presence.
United States Navy (Retired)
Of course Coach K put Kelly on VPI's Allen so who knows?
The big guys will have to communicate a lot and help each other out on Williams. Double downs and help side D will be necessary to slow him. I think Kyle could be the designated helper in many situations. We saw him play that role vs. Jordan Williams. I'm most concerned with Williams abilities on the perimeter because it could pull all our defenders out of the paint. We'll need the guards to help crash the boards and cover the backside on D.
Most importantly, Duke needs to control the pace and maintain their focus, energy and intensity for 40 minutes. All tough games the rest of the way.
We do need to use out mass on the inside though. Punish anyone who comes into the paint. We've got the bodies to do so, and it would be nice to make Arizona a perimeter team.
Vegas opened with Duke as a 10 point favorite.
I thought Prince. got knocked out in the 2nd round by Kentucky....