"Jet lag" may not be the appropriate word but I can almost guarantee you the guys were tired today. I played softball in college and I was always more tired after one of those bus rides/flights than I've ever been traveling for vacation or business. You play a high intensity, emotional game and then you go get on a plane. It takes awhile for adrenaline to leave and your mind to slow down. By the time you're ready to get some sleep (as much as you can on a plane) you're almost home. Then there's the bus ride to campus and a drive to your dorm or apartment. You fall into bed for a few hours before you're back up for class and a normal day. Then who knows what time they had to be up and at CIS on Saturday morning for treatment, shoot around, etc. It's probably earlier than most 18-22 year olds would like to get up on a Saturday.
"Just be you. You is Enough."
I also commend a tired Duke team pulling out the win, but why does K allow the opposition to take the last shot in regulation to win? Just my opinion but I beleive Duke is extremly lucky to have this W. VT had something like 20 seconds in regulation to bring the ball up and execute a set play getting two shots at the basket.
I would've fouled with 15 to 20 seconds, put them on the FT line, and had possesion of the ball either down by 1 or 2 placing faith in the hands of AR/Seth/etc (UNC can attest)
Box Score - VT shot %43.8 from the line. Consider the pressure on a visiting player with FT's @ the end of a close game, at CIS, the beloved Cameron Crazies, and a national TV audience.
Enough ranting, I'm still smiling about AR's last second shot in Chapel Hill. Go Duke!!!
"I don't like them when they are eating my azaleas or rhododendrons or pansies." - Coach K
Can anyone tell me which game Andre Dawkins was playing in today? And Mason Plumlee's scoring totals lately have been abysmal. Viewed in that light, I guess you could make the argument that we are playing well at less than 100% efficiency. Of course, that line of reasoning assumes we will somehow turn on "100%" at some point before the NCAA tournament. The way this season has gone, I'm really not sure. I'm thinking Coach K probably has already communicated some version of this observation to his troops, and maybe it's partially (i.e. the Dawkins part) a byproduct of having so many talented guards on this year's team. And, hey, if his inconsistency leads young Mason to return for his senior (undoubtedly all-ACC) season, I ain't looking that gift horse in the mouth either.
eta- there are other considerations too. For example - making the 2nd free throw gives them a chance to set the defense decreasing our odds of scoring. There is a chance that they could rebound a missed FT, and turn a tie game into a 3 point game, or worse, a 2 possession game. Add it all up, and intentionally fouling your opponent to give yourself the chance to win on a buzzer beater is a bad strategy.
1. I become quite agitated when I read bad mean things about Andre. He may not be consistent, that's his weakness, but when he brings it, he brings it and at least he can bring it. No, he doesn't bring it every game, wish he did. But he is who he is, perhaps he will grow and conquer what prevents this. No matter what, I like him and appreciate him on our team.
2. Maybe Mason has something else on his mind. It's a big world, and lots of it takes place off the bb court. Perhaps he got some bad news about NBA recruitment, girl issues, or something else. Again, he's been a big contributor, and there is no need to bash him for a couple bad games.
I don't think any of these teenagers go out there thinking: today I will not succeed. Be a little more realistic.
In addition, most teams will take the last shot with a few seconds left to have a chance of rebounding and making a second attempt - which actually occured - now what are the odds of VT winning in regulation with two shots?
Of course there is a ton of "what if" scenarios - but my preference is to have possesion down by 1 versus defending to extend the game to OT with an exhausted Duke team.
Andre just didn't seem to have his head in the game yesterday. He might have been spent from that great performance in Fla., had a fight with his girl friend, or perhaps hasn't studied for an upcoming test. At one point after committing a turnover he assumed K was removing him from the court and when he realized he was not being taken out, he made a gesture to his teammates on the bench that suggested he should be for his mistakes. He was removed at the next stoppage of play.
Remember he has been through a lot at Duke, coming early and experiencing an awful tragedy in his life while adjusting to college as an elite, high profile athlete at an elite academic institution.
I hate to read threads asking where his game was yesterday. He is a terrific young man, IMO and I for one am glad he is at Duke. There have been a couple of games this year we lose without Andre's play.
I saw something very positive yesterday at crunch time. Mason went up for a defensive rebound and instead of trying to tap the ball out or come down with one hand he actually put two hands on the ball above the rim and then securely came down with the ball. He was as others have said terrific after Ryan could out.
is it just me or does it appear that Ryan and Duke play better when he is coming off the bench? I know Mason is in a slump right now; but I think it's better for Ryan to come off the bench as opposed to starting. He just seems to play better that way.
And while there are many extenuating circumstances for Duke's play against VT at home yesterday, I'm still very nervous about the team playing against UNC at home next weekend. For whatever reason, Duke plays better way from CIS; and it took an excellent shooting night and some lucky breaks for Duke to beat UNC in Chapel Hill. Duke 's going to have to play better next week than what they did against VT to win next week (and I think they will). That being said, I am proud of the way the team gutted this victory out against VT.
Ryan Kelly in 12 games off the bench: 25.9 mpg, 12.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, Duke record= 10-2
So, he seems to score a bit more coming off the bench. But considering the Ohio State game (started, 15 mins, 0 pts, 3 rebs) skewed the averages a bit, I'd say Ryan and Duke do about the same, whether he starts or comes off the bench.
I've read a lot of this thread and the themes range from Mason's slump, Andre's inconsistency, Kelly's defensive issues, our lack of low post scoring, etc... I've decided that for me and my house, I will praise this team. I've been the most vehement critic and after rewatching the game yesterday, I for one am going to stop. This team is what they are, 25-4 against the toughest schedule in the country, being led by an ever-maturing freshman that has the tenacity of a pit bull and a cast of characters who have an incredible will to win. And, better yet, we have the greatest coach OF ALL TIME. Seriously, this happens once in a lifetime that we get to be fans in a time when Duke basketball is experiencing something that may not happen for another 300 years. My dad's generation had Wooden, and we have K.
So, yes they scare the crap out of me, and yes I wish they would win every game by 40 so I could grow some hair back, but until then, keep at it boys, we're proud as heck to call you our team...
I don't disagree with your point that it's not necessarily about effort. And I'm sure Andre cares deeply about playing well and winning. But I am sure that Tyler Thornton would have gotten that ball.