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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    Well, from 18:53 in the first half to 11:17, we took 8 two-point shots, 7 three-point shots, and 4 free throws, and we missed them all except for one free throw. We were outscored 18-1 in that approximately 7 and a half minute stretch. I don't remember any of those shots being poor shot selection or particularly well defended, so assuming we made our averages on those shots (instead of missing them all), we would have made 4 of the 2s, 3 of the 3s, and 3 of the FTs. That would have been 19 points, instead of 1 point, and instead of 22-5 it would have been 24-22 Duke, and the rest of the game is very different. Three of the shots were taken after offensive rebounds, so for argument's sake let's take away one of the threes, and then it's 22-20 UNC, and still a very different game.

    My guess is if it was 22-20 at that point, and then UNC outscored us 66-65 the rest of the way, you wouldn't be talking about how much of a difference there was in the two segments of the game.
    The 15 straight misses were really unexplainable. It was just one of those things that happen, and you watch it happen and you know that it is going to be one of those nights. Along the same lines, UNC was making shots that you wouldn't expect them to make either. Although we did give up some open looks, shots like Henson's running 12 foot half hook, half side arm sling that went in, plus the straight on bank shot for Marshall, just confirmed.... it was one of those nights!!

    I still think we are in pretty good shape going forward, if for no other reason we don't have to play any more games in Cameron sad to say!

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    I completely disagree with this assessment. Over the course of the season, our defensive rebounding has been pretty good by Duke standards. In fact, our defensive rebounding percentage (68.7%) is actually the 2nd best Duke team performance in the past 12 years (probably longer than that, but I only checked back through the 2000-01 championship season). Ironically, the only Duke team in those 12 years with a better defensive rebounding percentage than this year's team was the 2006-07 team (69.6%).
    I'm not really sold on this being anything but a function of terrible ACC competition. In our last 4 games against top-100 level competition, that number drops to under 58%, which corresponds to a whopping 42% offensive rebounding percentage.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_Newton View Post
    I'm not really sold on this being anything but a function of terrible ACC competition. In our last 4 games against top-100 level competition, that number drops to under 58%, which corresponds to a whopping 42% offensive rebounding percentage.
    I haven't broken it down for individual games. But our defensive rebounding percentage was pretty consistently around the same number during our brutal non-conference schedule, so I don't necessarily agree that the number is a product of our poor ACC competition.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    I haven't broken it down for individual games. But our defensive rebounding percentage was pretty consistently around the same number during our brutal non-conference schedule, so I don't necessarily agree that the number is a product of our poor ACC competition.
    Maybe, but that's how it's gone in the last couple of months against good teams, for whatever reason.

    I almost wonder if Dawkins' disappearance has had something to do with it - he didn't put up impressive rebounding numbers when he was playing 30+ mpg in that early stretch, but it probably helped to have a built, 6'4 leaper bodying up the SF and Rivers on the SG rather than Rivers on the SF and a slight 6'1 Curry on the SG.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldnavy View Post
    The 15 straight misses were really unexplainable. It was just one of those things that happen, and you watch it happen and you know that it is going to be one of those nights. Along the same lines, UNC was making shots that you wouldn't expect them to make either. Although we did give up some open looks, shots like Henson's running 12 foot half hook, half side arm sling that went in, plus the straight on bank shot for Marshall, just confirmed.... it was one of those nights!!

    I still think we are in pretty good shape going forward, if for no other reason we don't have to play any more games in Cameron sad to say!
    Coach K talked about how Carolina played with great efficiency and were "overwhelming" at times.

    During the early part of the game, the Heels scored on every possession. Frankly, I think our team did feel "overwhelmed" and that contributed to our bad stretch of shooting.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by roywhite View Post
    Coach K talked about how Carolina played with great efficiency and were "overwhelming" at times.

    During the early part of the game, the Heels scored on every possession. Frankly, I think our team did feel "overwhelmed" and that contributed to our bad stretch of shooting.
    I tend to agree regarding feeling overwhelmed. Carolina came out determined and hot. The ending of the first game was replayed getting the crowd up and loud. Having the video of the ending of game 1 running seemed to fuel the Carolina players' resolve and focus.

    Somehow this conversation about this game makes me think of many conversations during the football season. Key words seem to be precise execution, focused play, extremely talented, rushed attempts to score, defense overwhelmed.......

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devil in the Blue Dress View Post
    I tend to agree regarding feeling overwhelmed. Carolina came out determined and hot. The ending of the first game was replayed getting the crowd up and loud. Having the video of the ending of game 1 running seemed to fuel the Carolina players' resolve and focus.

    Somehow this conversation about this game makes me think of many conversations during the football season. Key words seem to be precise execution, focused play, extremely talented, rushed attempts to score, defense overwhelmed.......
    Wise words, as always.

    Carolina brought their A game from the get-go. We started nervous, and spotted a lead we could never close. Tough game, learn some lessons, next play.
    Twerp-free since July 1, 2014.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    Wise words, as always.

    Carolina brought their A game from the get-go. We started nervous, and spotted a lead we could never close. Tough game, learn some lessons, next play.
    Merci!

    Some things can't be forced or taught..... maturing is one of those. Self confidence seems to be a fragile and elusive quality, especially when its most needed.

    Coach K has spoken often of how each team makes its own journey. This team is still developing. That continuing development may be disappointing this season, but next year we may see some significant results.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Ash View Post
    Have to admit, the fact that we felt like we were looking for some longer, athletic wings all year and yet we had two on the bench (Alex and Mike) just made me scratch my head. I know that K obviously knows a lot more than I do, but given how Andre had games where he barely played, and Quinn looked decidedly like a freshman for long stretches of the season, is the lineup of Tyler-Seth-Austin SO good that NO time can be found for two very highly rated recruits (Alex was like Top 10 or so in his original class!) with some size and ability?

    Definitely leaves me scratching my head. IMVHO, Alex Murphy should have played this year.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wander View Post
    I think he would have helped enormously. Before it was clear he'd be redshirting, wasn't the word that he was playing well enough in practice to fight for a starting spot? With all due respect to Hairston and Gbinje, we could really use a forward that's capable of playing major minutes. It's an obvious hole in our roster.

    All that said, it's always seemed to me that if you're willing to read between the lines a little bit, the redshirt wasn't done for strategic basketball reasons. So it's fine.
    In theory, yes--a longer, taller player would have helped. But in fact, when Mike G. did get minutes, he sometimes looked a bit lost or unready--I think he is a promising player and will contribute a lot in the future, but it's not clear he was ready to have a major impact this season (and it is certainly not the first time that Coach K has shortened his bench as the season went on, for better or worse).

    As for Alex, I also remember the comments about how well he was doing in practice--but the preseason game he played in was a bit of a different story, IIRC. And ultimately, it seemed the redshirt was something he was thinking about from the beginning (because he thought he could learn more by coming to Duke than by staying in high school) and something he wanted, or at least supported, after the concussion set back his progress. If that is right, then I think the fact that the coaching staff did not push him to come back simply because he is taller and might help fill an immediate need is entirely to the program's credit--putting the long-term best interests of the player ahead of short-term considerations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_Newton View Post
    Maybe, but that's how it's gone in the last couple of months against good teams, for whatever reason.

    I almost wonder if Dawkins' disappearance has had something to do with it - he didn't put up impressive rebounding numbers when he was playing 30+ mpg in that early stretch, but it probably helped to have a built, 6'4 leaper bodying up the SF and Rivers on the SG rather than Rivers on the SF and a slight 6'1 Curry on the SG.
    This is an interesting point--and if I'm not mistaken, Andre's rebound numbers, while still not high, have actually gone up recently.

    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    Wise words, as always.

    Carolina brought their A game from the get-go. We started nervous, and spotted a lead we could never close. Tough game, learn some lessons, next play.
    I have to agree. During warmups, looking at the TV closeups of the players, I thought the Duke players looked tight and nervous, while the UNC players looked more confident and businesslike. If the idea in the Duke players' heads was "we can win, but only if we hit our outside shots," it's not hard to see how they might have forced some of those shots, even the open ones, because every make or miss would seem so important.

  10. #50
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    It's hard for me to imagine he would have gotten much playing time if he hadn't taken the redshirt. Where would his minutes have come from? Andre's? Mason or Ryan's? As others have stated, Gbinije isn't getting much floor time at all, and I think most people view Alex's role as somewhat similar to G's, though they are of course different players. If anything, G is more of a defensive player and Alex more offensive, and defense is what we're lacking.

    The most popular player on any team is always the guy on the bench. Since he's not on the floor, he hasn't made any mistakes, so you can only presume he's better than the guy who's actually playing. Apparently this is doubly true for a guy who's being redshirted.

  11. #51
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    I seem to recall that he reclassified because he thought a redshirt year at Duke would be better than anther year on a HS team. He never thought to play college hoops this season.

    -jk

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by -jk View Post
    I seem to recall that he reclassified because he thought a redshirt year at Duke would be better than anther year on a HS team. He never thought to play college hoops this season.

    -jk
    While agree with your first sentence, I think your second one isn't quite right. Once he arrived on campus and started showing out in practice, it was definitely a possibility... probably even a probability, if you'd had to guess at the time. But in the end, for reasons we aren't meant to be privy to, they reverted to the original plan.

  13. #53
    Yeah, it makes sense to me that the redshirt was more Alex's (and his family's) decision than Duke's. Firstly, Duke doesn't redshirt unless it's a completely obvious situation (Marshall Plumlee), and secondly, Duke loves Alex's game. He started in China and probably would've helped fill a glaring need for this team.

    But, in the end, this board is doing a lot of the typical "fan logic" after a loss where, because X Y and Z didn't occur during the loss, if we had just done X Y and Z, we would've won. Sometimes outcomes happen that you can't do much about. UNC has 4 players better than our best player. If Austin were a sophomore, UNC would have 4 out of 5 instead. You can only do so much against that.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_Newton View Post
    While agree with your first sentence, I think your second one isn't quite right. Once he arrived on campus and started showing out in practice, it was definitely a possibility... probably even a probability, if you'd had to guess at the time. But in the end, for reasons we aren't meant to be privy to, they reverted to the original plan.
    Didn't being injured play into it too? Once he missed a month (or whatever it was) the slim margin he had to get ready for the season wasn't worth it?
    usa

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCFinARL View Post
    I have to agree. During warmups, looking at the TV closeups of the players, I thought the Duke players looked tight and nervous, while the UNC players looked more confident and businesslike. If the idea in the Duke players' heads was "we can win, but only if we hit our outside shots," it's not hard to see how they might have forced some of those shots, even the open ones, because every make or miss would seem so important.
    Agree. I recall a lot of early shots that were short armed - a number of shots hitting the front of the rim, barely drawing iron, at least 1 airball... We were tentative. Looked lost. Hard to explain.

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    But, in the end, this board is doing a lot of the typical "fan logic" after a loss where, because X Y and Z didn't occur during the loss, if we had just done X Y and Z, we would've won. Sometimes outcomes happen that you can't do much about. UNC has 4 players better than our best player. If Austin were a sophomore, UNC would have 4 out of 5 instead. You can only do so much against that.
    True that. I will say that my issue this season has been with the team's identity, rather than player X or Y; I've been griping all year about how I wished the coaches would make a conscious decision to develop our athletic size on the perimeter and adjust strategies accordingly, rather than putting all of our very skilled, but fairly redundant 1-2 guards on the floor at the same time and letting the team sort of mold itself from that.

    We had the roster for a perimeter rotation that could have included two athletic 6'6-6'8 wings and a lightning quick 6'4 star who will be an NBA PG (and has defended PGs very well), along with our two sweet-shooting 2-guards and a solid backup PG in Thornton. One of those guys probably gets left out of the 10+ MPG rotation, but it's not like we didn't have the horses to build a long, athletic defensive core and grow from there. I know there are plenty of valid arguments against this strategy, and it's probably correct to say "Player X just didn't perform in practice," but IMO, sometimes you have to focus on developing certain players from a needs standpoint instead of relying on the merit system. For example, if K had made it his top priority to push and develop one of our freshman wings into an effective rotation player, I think he could have done it, personally.

    I realize there are plenty of valid arguments against this, but that's just the style of basketball I'm prone to... probably from growing up with the earlier K Duke teams, honestly. It seems a little like the "If you can't play D, you won't play" mantra has sort faded to "If you can't shoot, you won't play" as priority 1-A, which I don't like. But, you take the good with the bad I suppose.

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_Newton View Post
    It seems a little like the "If you can't play D, you won't play" mantra has sort faded to "If you can't shoot, you won't play" as priority 1-A, which I don't like. But, you take the good with the bad I suppose.
    ? Really? Then how do you explain Tyler Thornton?

    I realize this doesn't answer the point you make about choosing an overall identity of being a shooting team, and particularly a 3-shooting team, instead of developing longer wings--that does seem to be a choice the coaching staff made with this team and it's perfectly fair to question it (though it's also impossible to know, without being an insider, whether it was the best choice or not). But this last statement seems too strong to me.

  18. #58

    A different but related question

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_Newton View Post
    True that. I will say that my issue this season has been with the team's identity, rather than player X or Y; I've been griping all year about how I wished the coaches would make a conscious decision to develop our athletic size on the perimeter and adjust strategies accordingly, rather than putting all of our very skilled, but fairly redundant 1-2 guards on the floor at the same time and letting the team sort of mold itself from that.

    We had the roster for a perimeter rotation that could have included two athletic 6'6-6'8 wings and a lightning quick 6'4 star who will be an NBA PG (and has defended PGs very well), along with our two sweet-shooting 2-guards and a solid backup PG in Thornton. One of those guys probably gets left out of the 10+ MPG rotation, but it's not like we didn't have the horses to build a long, athletic defensive core and grow from there. I know there are plenty of valid arguments against this strategy, and it's probably correct to say "Player X just didn't perform in practice," but IMO, sometimes you have to focus on developing certain players from a needs standpoint instead of relying on the merit system. For example, if K had made it his top priority to push and develop one of our freshman wings into an effective rotation player, I think he could have done it, personally.

    I realize there are plenty of valid arguments against this, but that's just the style of basketball I'm prone to... probably from growing up with the earlier K Duke teams, honestly. It seems a little like the "If you can't play D, you won't play" mantra has sort faded to "If you can't shoot, you won't play" as priority 1-A, which I don't like. But, you take the good with the bad I suppose.
    I'd like to tackle this question from another vantage point, and I would be interested to hear peoples thoughts on this. What message would it send to our current team and future recruits if we added say 20 minutes of PT for Mike and 20 minutes for a non-redshirted Alex (I assume you would actually want more if we were to use the two of them as the primary wings).

    We would be substantially reducing the minutes of:
    A junior Seth Curry, who we encouraged to transfer into Duke, has worked his tail off and is a very productive all around player. He is also someone that went through a shooting slump and has clearly broken out.
    A junior Andre Dawkins, who many already think get too few minutes to get on a roll, was a life-long Dukie and has one of the sweetest jumpers in all the land. Someone who could breakout on a more consistent basis at any time.
    A sophomore Tyler Thornton who K says is the best defender, leader, and toughest player on the team, who is clearly improving as a shooter as the season progresses and is less foul prone than he was even 10 games ago.

    All of these examples point to the fact that players improve with PT, which is what your are saying, but sitting these guys and playing 2 freshmen who are worse in practice and less schooled in team defense, in front of Seth, Andre, and Tyler would send what message? Players are not just chess pieces, K seems finely tuned to the psychology of team and player, and a change like this would surely affect the teams psyche.

    If I were one of those three veterans, I would then certainly consider a transfer If I am more experienced and practice better and harder and get less PT!! It's easy when a veteran sees a guy like Austin play in front of them. He is so supremely talented, and appears to have a will that would carry over to practice/pickup/backyard ball whatever, that effort and ability would justify the greater role. But when all else is even, or more likely in this case, when the veterans are better in practice, what then?

    To build a team, roles have to be given fairly, and the unusual makeup of this team, with a quintet of good but short guards, with more experience and/or talent than the 2 wings on the roster make the balancing act very difficult. For this reason I am very glad that circumstances drove Alex to red-shirt. If he had received limited minutes along with Mike, I can't imagine the lunacy on these boards.

    I, for one, think this issue will be very much alive next year, when we add one more talented guard and retain all of our experienced and improving shorter players on the roster (with or without Austin). K is going to have a challenge with that balancing act as well.

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_Newton View Post
    We had the roster for a perimeter rotation that could have included two athletic 6'6-6'8 wings and a lightning quick 6'4 star who will be an NBA PG (and has defended PGs very well), along with our two sweet-shooting 2-guards and a solid backup PG in Thornton. One of those guys probably gets left out of the 10+ MPG rotation, but it's not like we didn't have the horses to build a long, athletic defensive core and grow from there.
    In this scenario, Quinn Cook wouldn't have played at all, and as you point out either Tyler or one of our sweet-shooting 2-guards would not have been able to get into the 10+ mpg rotation. Based on recent events, I'd guess if one of Tyler/Seth/Andre would drop out of the rotation it would be Andre, so a main question would be which of the following seems like a more successful 8-man rotation:

    Austin/Seth/Mason/Miles/Ryan/Tyler/Alex/Michael

    OR

    Austin/Seth/Mason/Miles/Ryan/Tyler/Andre/Quinn

    Personally, I much prefer having Andre and Quinn getting rotation minutes instead of Alex and Michael. Would I have liked Andre and Alex even more? I don't know, but I doubt that combination would be significantly better than Andre and Quinn.

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    In this scenario, Quinn Cook wouldn't have played at all, and as you point out either Tyler or one of our sweet-shooting 2-guards would not have been able to get into the 10+ mpg rotation. Based on recent events, I'd guess if one of Tyler/Seth/Andre would drop out of the rotation it would be Andre, so a main question would be which of the following seems like a more successful 8-man rotation:

    Austin/Seth/Mason/Miles/Ryan/Tyler/Alex/Michael

    OR

    Austin/Seth/Mason/Miles/Ryan/Tyler/Andre/Quinn

    Personally, I much prefer having Andre and Quinn getting rotation minutes instead of Alex and Michael. Would I have liked Andre and Alex even more? I don't know, but I doubt that combination would be significantly better than Andre and Quinn.
    Actually, I was thinking that it would likely either be one of Murphy or Gbinije who didn't make the 8-man rotation. But you're right, Cook wouldn't have played at all - I've thought since before the season that he should have been redshirted, as he's simply not ready to contribute on the defensive end, and I would have liked to see him resolve his health problems 100% and focus on developing his strength and explosiveness for next season. Not to mention, if Austin is being groomed to cover lead guard duties, there's not much room for Cook to share with him and Thornton/Curry.

    So basically, we'd have Rivers-Curry-[FR big wing/Dawkins] as our backcourt, with Thornton backing up the 1/2 and [big wing]/Dawkins splitting time depending on matchups and who steps up.


    Quote Originally Posted by MCFinARL View Post
    ? Really? Then how do you explain Tyler Thornton?
    While I agree that Tyler's team defense is a big reason for his PT, he is shooting just a hair under 39% 3PT on the season... I'd say he can shoot okay.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluealum View Post
    If I were one of those three veterans, I would then certainly consider a transfer If I am more experienced and practice better and harder and get less PT!! It's easy when a veteran sees a guy like Austin play in front of them. He is so supremely talented, and appears to have a will that would carry over to practice/pickup/backyard ball whatever, that effort and ability would justify the greater role. But when all else is even, or more likely in this case, when the veterans are better in practice, what then?
    A fair point, but I think you're oversimplifying my argument a bit; I'm not saying just play the freshman from day 1, regardless of what they do in practice, period. A basketball season is a lot more nuanced than that; there are ways coaches can work players extra hard to improve besides just sticking them in games. Maybe K takes Murphy/Gbinije aside early on and explains how he's going to need him/them to play a major role on the team this year, and that they were going to need work extra hard on their games, gets coaches to spend extra time with them after practice, works his psychological magic on them, etc. Personally, I don't think it's unfair to take on a player or two as a personal project if it's in the team's best interest.

    If it comes to Jan/Feb/March and they still don't bring enough to the table to earn PT, then obviously, you don't gift it to them. But it's not like many of our current guards are exactly defending at a high level, anyway, so it's not like their minutes should necessarily be insurmountable.

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