So I've been thinking. Last year, before Kyrie got hurt, I seem to remember people saying the only way we'd lose is if we beat ourselves.... so now after Ryan's injury and this upset defeat, does that make us victim's of the "Duke curse"?
i think duke found out who they really were last night........
I won't be done criticizing our rotation and player development issues until I see what Murphy brings to the table.
I don't think we can blame the loss on Ryan being out. Sure, we missed him, but this was a game where everything went wrong. Hard to pick a player of the game -- Mason had some great plays, as did Austin, and Tyler was super on defense. But Seth, Andre and Miles just never seemed to get it going. And Lehigh was all it was supposed to be.
A tough loss, particularly for Miles, but also for those who were looking to the NBA. I don't see any lottery picks on this team, but who knows.
I am sure that the coach feels at least as bad as the players, maybe worse. Pretty tough to call out "next play" after your season ends with a thud. However, "NEXT PLAY."
I was not surprised by the result of this game. Lehigh is a better balanced team than Duke this year, and has guards that excel on offense and defense. During the preseason I voiced that my biggest concern was the lack of lateral quickness for both sides of the ball, and below typical Duke defensive instincts with the guards. Such can be improved to some degree with drills, but nervous system efficiency and fast twitch muscles have such an over-arching impact in this critical part of the game. The coaching staff worked very hard with what they had, the players worked hard, but...
In addition, when you really only have one player who can create his own shot with aggressive driving, and you lack a developed natural small forward, the personnel limitations can really show up when the threes are are not falling. In addition, it was rare this year to see a really good entry pass to the bigs.
My hope for next year is that Austin stays and continues to become a more well-rounded player, including amping up his defense. And Cook seems to be the most natural point guard, with reasonable quickness. Maybe as he leaves his injury behind he will be even quicker. And with at least 3 new players added to the mix, perhaps the chemistry will take on a new and improved level. Looking forward to the next season!
Otherwise, I'm not sure what to hope for in terms of guys coming back. This team clearly didn't have the chemistry that we've enjoyed for the last several years. Maybe some addition by subtraction wouldn't be such a bad thing. Time will tell.
Best explanation I've heard regarding this season is that Duke got an inflated start due to the summer trip. The trip got the team off to a fantastic start, but as the "field" caught up, the learning curve wasn't as sharp.
The team had amazing potential (see v. MSU or at Chapel Hill) and also had the potential to mysteriously seem lost. I wish I could say that the end of the season was a big surprise, but frankly it wasn't at all.
I liked this team. Austin really won me over during the course of the season with his improved decision-making. I really hope that he sticks around for another season with Coach K (his post-game comments about how the only part of the team that showed up was the coaching staff reflected his respect for them rather profoundly) and I think that both he and the team would benefit greatly.
This team had the potential to run the table if the shots had fallen and the cards had come up right, and I hate any season that ends in a loss (most of them do) but I am proud of this team. I am proud that Duke continues to recruit "Duke guys" and that the continue to win "the right way." Yesterday I proudly wore my Duke 1991 Champions shirt (I break it out on special occasions) and I was in downtown Asheville headed to work when a guy with two small kids pointed and said "hey, see that shirt?" His kid (maybe six years old) said "yeah?" He said "that means he's a good guy."
Go Duke. GTHC.
See you here for a long, long summer.
Hate to say it, but I think that we got flat out-coached last night...with the talent level we have, there is no reason why we should not have pulled out the win.
Yes, Coach K and the staff has done an incredible job throughout the year (excluding last 3 weeks) of overplaying our talent against tougher opponents. But the development of the players was not there, and when we needed a change and a spark, just could not get done.
That being said, good luck to Miles - one of the class guys to have come through the Duke program.
Earlier yesterday afternoon, I played nine holes of golf with a couple of friends. On the 6th hole I hit an approach shot to 3 feet. One of 'em says to me, "Birdie incoming!" and the other says, "Wow. A kick-in birdie. That's pretty sweet."
As I stood over the putt, I began to think in my mind, "I hope I don't miss this putt. That would be embarrassing," rather than thinking, "This is awesome; I love making birdies." As you may have guessed by now, I missed the putt. Quit on it. Worrying about failure more than thinking about success.
To me, that's how Duke looked last night.
Congrats to the team for an otherwise very good season. I'm proud of the way they represented the University. Thanks to Miles for four years of hard work.
Failure is always an option.
Is that a play on Dennis Green's rant from a couple of years ago... "they are who we thought they were..."?
Seriously, we ran into the best player in the tourney tonight who was unguardable. I'm thoroughly disappointed, as I'm sure everyone else is, however I think this team played hard all year and gave it their all. Kudos to Miles for four years of hard work. I will miss seeing him on the floor.
I don't know about you guys, but I'm super excited for next year. We will have two legit wings (Gbinije/Murphy) that we sorely missed having this year. We will have solid point guard play (Tyler/Quinn), an overabundance of shooting guards (Rivers(?), Curry, Dawkins, Sulaimon), a stud at the 4, along with a serviceable backup (Ryan Kelly, Hairston, respectively), and hopefully two Plumlees manning the 5. It could be special...
Here is my 2 cents.
I think the offensive problems at the end of the season were due to Tyler Thornton inability to create offense after Kelly went out. Kelly could stretch the floor helping Rivers, Curry and Dawkins get open looks, so Thornton wasn't a liability. K should have put the ball in Quinn Cook's hands way more in when Kelly went out to help create offense.
That being said, I think most people are starting to realize that Duke basketball isn't what it was in the early 2000's and not close to what it was in the 90's. Duke doesn't have the athlete's to physically overwhelm opponents. In fact I thought we were a bit physically overwhelmed by their guards.
Lastly, I know I'll get flack for this but the Plumlees should be destroying other teams. They are so big, strong, and experienced at this point that they should be unstoppable, especially against smaller teams. I'm not saying its all Wojo's fault, but the failure to get them involved is definitely the fault of coaching.
Two other thoughts. First, if the runs by Butler and VCU to the Final Four the last two years show anything, it's how much the playing field has been leveled due to early departures. So few of the perennial top 15 programs have players that stay together for three or four years. As a result, mid-majors and teams like Norfolk St. and Lehigh that have experienced players and stars (like O'Quinn and CJ) are going to be able to compete with teams like Duke, Kentucky, UNC, Kansas, etc. that regularly lose their best players after a year or two. Most of the successful teams the last few years have won because they've been experienced (Duke - 2010; Kansas 2008) or their top players stayed (UNC - 2009; Florida - 2007). UNC would be relying on freshman and inexperienced upper clansmen this year if Henson, Zeller and Barnes had gone pro last year. Instead, they are a #1 seed and a favorite to win the championship.
Second, getting back to Duke - from what I saw as a fan, and what I heard from various post-game comments by the players, it seems like this team never liked playing with each other. Chemistry is a cliche word and sometimes over-used - and we've heard speculation about lack of chemistry in the McRoberts and Paulus years. But if you've watched enough basketball, you know when a team is playing well TOGETHER and enjoying playing with each other. How many times did you see Curry, Rivers or one of the Plumlees smile and seem to have fun on the court (other than the UNC buzzer beater)? Did you see theses guys exude a passion for playing with one another? I'm not saying they weren't working hard or less than fully committed to winning - that's separate. I just didn't see the joy of playing as a team. And when you watch the NCAA tournament, you can see the teams that have it and the teams that don't. (Note - UNC and Syracuse are two of the teams that do not seem to have it; while Michigan St. is one of the teams that does seem to have it.)
Singler is IRON
I STILL GOT IT! -- Ryan Kelly, March 2, 2013
The odds of our streak of top 10 AP poll appearances ending is a bit stronger now.
I'm as disappointed as anyone, but as others have mentioned above...the better team won last night. IMO, Duke never really gelled into a defensive unit that is generally a hallmark of Coach K teams. And it ultimately was our undoing.
Either way, we're still the greatest program of modern college basketball.
I disagree. The desire was there. The effort was there. We lacked quickness to blow by their guards or to defend their guards, and K didn't adjust. Btw, Mccollum is the best player in the tourney and certainly, the best player Duke's played against all year. He IS that good and showed it last night. He will be in NBA a long time.
Lehigh played with heart, hustle and more intensity and won the game. I didn't get to see the Mizzou game either, but they didnt win either. Coach K has said all season that this team did not have an identity or well established leadership. Defense has been an issue all season. But this 2011/12 team had a "Will to Win", Coach K has stated many times.
Miles has had a wonderful 4 years at Duke. He has won many many games, 3 ACC championships, a National Championship and been a part of Coach K's 903+ history. That is so much to be proud of and also to graduate from Duke in a few months.
I was raised going to Duke Football and Basketball games, and today I have on a Duke shirt, and watching NCAA games. I am Duke for Life, no matter if it is Football, Basketball, Lacrosse, Ping Pong or Marbles.
Good move DBR for taking down the boards, so people won't rant, like they do on the IC boards.