He has left 2-3 ppg on the table by not being able to make free throws and we are all hoping that improves, but I doubt that it is a lack of practice that is the major issue.
I agree that this team could use Mason or Miles to step up their offensive games to win at the highest levels, and expect one or both of them will provide very good offense in most of the team's games this year.
“Those two kids, they’re champions,” Krzyzewski said of his senior leaders. “They’re trying to teach the other kids how to become that, and it’s a long road to become that.”
This team is showing a lot of character, and loads of potential. So far, their toughness has been very impressive. I can't wait to watch the next few games. This season is going to be exciting!
If only he could share some of his basketball IQ with our other bigs. Ryan is truly a Duke student that happens to be a VERY good, fundamentally sound basketball player. I bet K is pleased he jumped into the recruiting of Ryan. Those "intangibles" are an amazing thing. Go Devils!
Last edited by Devilsfan; 11-23-2011 at 09:32 AM.
"An angry man catches no fish"-Zen proverb.
Great defensive first half. Not as good defense in the second half. Couple that with some ridiculous shooting, and you get a 53 point half.
Burke and Hardaway are really good players. Hardaway struggled mightily to get going against our defense (scoreless at the half), but he certainly played the part in the second half. Burke was terrific throughout. Novak hit a few late 3s and Morgan was the recipient of several of Burke's assists for easy buckets. Nobody else on Michigan did anything of note offensively for them. It was a matter of containing Burke and Hardaway. For one half, we did a really good job at it. For the other half, we didn't. And Michigan capitalized.
As for us, we shot the lights out. I don't think we can count on 50+% 3pt shooting every night. But we passed more and mostly took open shots. Continuing that will generally bode well for us. But I'm not all that concerned about our scoring. It's the defense that will be the key.
- Unbelievable perimeter shooting. We got open looks and we hit them early and often. Kelly and Curry were especially efficient from the field.
- First half defense. Michigan isn't exacty a highly-efficient offense, but we made them look atrocious in the first half. We completely eliminated their best player. Burke did well, but nobody else was a huge factor.
- Austin's decisionmaking (at times). He made a few very nice passes off the dribble and was willing to make exploratory drives rather than all-out drives. Much more nuanced effort on his part.
- The long-distance alley-oop from Cook to Mason was very fun.
- Thornton made two big end-of-shotclock driving plays. One was an off-balance layup that happened to find its way over/around a defender and in. The other was a nice dish to Mason for a dunk. Both negated great defensive efforts from Michigan when Michigan was trying to cut a lead.
- Mason's passing out of the post. I felt he made a couple of good decisions finding the open man out of the post.
- Still need to improve on defending dribble penetration. That was the key to Michigan's second half success.
- Miles had a rough night out there. He just didn't seem comfortable, and it showed (3 fouls, 3 turnovers in 13 minutes). The team played substantially better when we had Mason and Kelly out there. Hopefully he shakes this one off.
- Dawkins' decisionmaking late. He took some ill-advised early shots when we were in stall-ball mode that led to easy fast break points on the other end. He's such a good shooter and gets so few touches that it's hard to chastise. But we need to do a better job of understanding time and situation late.
- Thornton's fouls. The guy is an absolute spark out there. Good things seem to happen with him on the floor. But he commits way too many fouls. His foul rate is such that he couldn't really play more than 20mpg. So a bench role is really all he can provide at this point. Thankfully, he's doing that well.
- Rivers' shot selection (at times). He still hasn't met a shot he doesn't like. It's a blessing and a curse. He hit some VERY long threes in big situations. But I don't feel like those were good decisions. Thankfully they went in anyway. And he still took some very awkward driving shots. As I said in the "good" section, he's getting better. Still a work in progress. And it's nice when a work in progress can average ~1.5 pps and give you 20, 4, and 3.
- Mason's charges. I think 3 of Mason's 4 fouls were charges, and they all came when he dribbled from too far out and tried to go all the way to the rim. Given that he's a bit methodical in his moves, he has to recognize that the drive from 15+ feet away isn't going to be there very often. Everyone's due an off-night, but that's one clear area for him to polish up.
Mason had a rough game because he hasn't figured out how to beat a zone defense. And in truth, most bigs will. His charges were just him not knowing how quickly the zone defense rotation happens.
Andre did take a few ill advised shots late in the game when we were trying to milk the clock. Maybe not the best shot selection. But sometimes, Andre doesn't get the ball when he should. He has that shooters mentality and thinks he's going to make ever shot.
Tyler is fouling at an alarming rate in few minutes, but I think this comes from not being able to keep the quick guards in front of him. He makes up for this with tough/rough defense. Therefore he's gong to be whistled for more fouls.
Austin's shot selection. I know he hit a big 3 at the end of the game, but it wasn't in the flow of the offense. Those shots are ok when they go in, but I don't think it was what Coach K wanted in that situation. Austin will be a great player by years end.
We are an improving team that will only get better. GoDuke!
"With seven national titles and 20 Final Fours in the 64-team NCAA Tournament era, Duke and UNC have had more playoff success than any other CONFERENCE." - Al Featherston
Mason is already a threat inside. Is he a threat like Zeller and Henson? No, and Michigan did a better job containing him and cutting off the low post entry last night, especially with the 1-3-1 zone. But make no mistake, teams are already starting to focus in on him, which is leaving our perimeter more wide open for shots. So your "concerns" about Duke's outside shooting starting to suffer, to me, is a bit unfounded. If teams focus on the perimeter, Mason and Ryan Kelly are going to be able to go 1-on-1 against their defenders. If teams hone in on Mason and Kelly, our backcourt will be wide open to attack the 3-point line. It's only going to keep getting better.
It's evident from his play and from the way the staff reacted last night to him fouling out that he's the bulldog. He has five fouls to use and if he ends up using them all, so be it, since we're so deep in the backcourt. Tyler did an excellent job on Hardaway during stretches of the first half and parts of the second. He has fouls to give up, and I won't be surprised to see him get three or four a game on a regular basis. He's the disrupter.
Loved how Duke looked. We had a relatively clean ball-handling game and out-executed Michigan for open shots, both of which I didn't really expect to happen. The team stepped up big time and played our best first half of the season. Even when the Wolverines were red-hot and creeping back into the game in the second half, I never felt the outcome was in doubt due to Duke having so many guys shooting well and the level of execution. I just felt like we couldn't be stopped in this game and that's a nice feeling to have as a fan.
As for the side discussion about Duke's post play. This team is getting more post points than any Duke team since Shelden. And Landlord help me, but I think I would take this frontcourt over any during his era, too. I love the height, athleticism, and IQ of this year's starters. Bottom line, I'm very satisfied with the post play and think it will get even better as the season progresses.
Precisely. Further up the road, this will be a serious matter, especially come NCAA time. Teams like St. Johns (see blowout last year with similar team) with quick, strong 6-6 6-7 wing players who pass and move well without the ball are going to give this team fits. Teams like thatThe missing ingredient to have Final Four season may be the lack of a very talented wing(6'7"+). One that can defend the opposing team's wing players and can create offense. At the present time, I guess it's up to Andre to play that role.
can get it going, get their wings in the lane and start pouring in the shots, and we can't stop 'em; our bigs are too slow, and our smalls are
too short. This is where Josh really needs to try to step up; we need him at wing defensive stopper like Lance was a couple of years ago
(who, IMHO, won us some games with his truly great defense on some very tough players, by the way). Unfortunately, Josh doesn't have
Lance's lateral quickness and lightness on his feet, as far as I can tell. We'll see what he can do.