Isn't it time to maybe say what is the truth...We were just not a very good team and were very overrated.
I remember on a thread asking who you thought would be the final 4 teams, many posters had Duke and many posters had Duke winning it all.Were they watching the same team that I was?. A team that lost to Miami and FSU at home, got creamed by UNC at home, struggled against VA Tech, struggled in the second half against Wake and St. John's..the last 3 teams were not even in the tournament.
I think that because we were Duke and had Coach K we got a number 2 seed. Does anyone really believe that at the end of the year Duke was a top 8 team? They were not even a top 12 team.
I know a lot of you think that Duke had a very good season, there are some who think that Duke had a ,"great", season. I certainly respect your opinion and hope that you respect mine when I say that in my opinion Duke had a disappointing season and was probably the most overrated team in the country.
If Rivers and Mason leave, next year could be worse.
Lehigh is a very good team. When I saw the brackets, my only thought was "oh no... here we go". So I'm not surprised that Lehigh played so well, and also not surprised (unfortunately) that Duke struggled. But as least, Duke had a chance to win at the end.
Next year.... GO DUKE!!!
In the current era, where big-program coaches face the challenge of making a team quickly out of a mix of 1- or 2-year players and 3- or 4-year players, while mid-majors work mostly with 4-year players, the lower-seeded teams can make up for much of what they lack in pure talent with the team chemistry that is built from years of playing with the same guys, knowing what they do best, knowing what they are likely to do in a given situation and how to capitalize on it. This ultimately means not only that the lower seeded teams are better but that the top teams aren't as good. It varies from year to year depending on how many big-conference programs have a critical mass of older players and/or mature short-term players who blend well.
Edit: I see gep made my point more quickly and more succinctly while I was writing my post.
This was a very good team overall, good players, that just didn't adjust very well late in the season as teams pressured the perimiter.
As for '99, it was an odd game and "the show" went off. UNC got beat. Stuff happens in the tourney.
There's really no reason to dwell on an injury and what ifs. It would be easy to play this game. UNC has had plenty over the years that definitely affected their title hopes, including this one, but to be champions, teams have to deal with anything that happens, or else somebody who does gets the nets around their necks.
That's just the way it is.
"An angry man catches no fish"-Zen proverb.
As always, I am disappointed for the team but never disappointed in them. Lehigh played a great game and deserves congratulations. Thank you team for another season of games to watch. I wish there had been a few more to watch but that's the way it goes. Thank you, Miles, for 4 wonderful years. Best of luck in the future.
I'm grateful to Norfolk State. Living in Big 12 territory, the news of Missou's loss dominated the news and there wasn't as much about the Duke loss. My brackets are busted - so now I'm rooting for all the underdogs!
if AR makes people better--as has been implied--how, exactly? He breaks down teams individually better than anyone we have, but I just don't see it translating into easy buckets for teammates. Since I don't think he's lottery in a deep draft, I think he sticks.
Coach K is terrific, but he didn't have to play the cards he was dealt. that would be mike d'antoni. K gets to recruit. If we have missing pieces, it's ultimately his fault. I'm also wondering which kinds of teams he excels with. Coaching Kobe is different from coaching Thornton, like coaching against Argentina is diff than coaching against lehigh. regardless, this team's deficits seemed more about psychology than strategy, but it's also disciplined enough not to reveal the problems.
I'm not sure an additional year will help Mason in his draft stock; I hope he sticks around, but KI getting injured and leaving early likely cost him a top 10 payday last year (Irving made him look like a star).
After pausing long enough to let my emotions settle, here's my take:
Lehigh, a #15 seed with inferior talent out-competed our team. They were more focused, intense, and hungry than the Blue Devils. I believe that this first round loss was ultimately about our emotional health as a team. Lehigh showed up aggressive and fearless. We showed up disconnected and flat. This Duke team did not possess a definitive, collective will to do everything in its power to win. The resolve and trust required to function dynamically and definitively as a team was not present. I believe that the coaching collective must absorb the responsibility for not developing a team chemistry and identity that can rise to the challenge of an adversary that is completely committed to denying our advantages.
We did not take it to Lehigh. We did not take it to Temple. We did not take it to Miami. We did not take it to Virginia Tech. They took it to us. I think Carolina and Florida State were better and stronger than us. Throw those games out. Earlier in the year, we rose to the occasion. After the victory at Carolina (hoops highlight of the year by far), we did regress.
It's not a skills thing or a talent thing, it's an emotional thing. We weren't a fist. We weren't a cohesive, committed team. We were a bevy of guards and an inadequate front line that didn't come together as a team. I believe our bigs were under utilized. Mason Plumlee is highly skilled. He has the tools to go pro, but his performance suggests staying. Ryan Kelly remains an enigma to me. He has the skills to dominate. He has not delivered one single dominating performance. His absence and our team's performance without him suggests that he is the lynchpin to our gameplan. Kyle Singler is iron. Is Ryan Kelly?
Our guard play was frustrating. Individuals functioning independantly. Austin Rivers delivered. Tyler Thorton brought a focus and a committment to defense and and a degree of leadership that this team desperately needs. Seth Curry did a lot of positive things, but ultimately his potential was not realized on a night in and night out level. Seth under-performed based on his level of skill and talent. Bad chemistry vis-a-vis Rivers and Thorton? Again, the molding of a team falls on the shoulders of the coaching collective. I think the coaching collective has failed with repsect to guard play.
Andre Dawkins is a shooter. We all want Andre to succeed and score. His game has not evolved. Is that on Andre or the coaching staff? Time will tell. I have been encouraged when Andre has attacked the basket. If he can stroke the outside shot AND go to the hoop with confidence and success, he will be unstoppable. He has that potential. It is up to him to deliver that desire to maximize his potential. On both sides of the floor.
Miles: I feel for him. He did improve and grow this year. Did he maximize his potential? No. I believe he offrered a much more dynamic offensive skill set than we capitalized on. He did not maximize his potential. He is a phenomenal athelete with the offensive repetoire to deliver a double double every game. We weren't able to create that for him. Again, I see this as a coaching issue. I am happy with his improvement and relish that, but we just lost to a #15 seeded Lehigh team.
After watching that game I can't help thinking that we should have done better. I put that on the coaches. To prepare and be ready, that's their job. We weren't ready and Lehigh spanked us. They out-competed us. We weren't together and the team was not on the same page.
We have had so much success. The 2011-2012 Blue Devils did not demonstrate the confidece or team trust that it takes to win when challenged. We must correct that. Does Coach K have the energy and incentive to demand that? If not, then let's find that person to lead our program forward with the results that Duke Basketball deserves.
EASY there, I see where that's going! We are fortunate to have not just a great coach, but one the most legendary coaches to ever step foot onto a court. All time wins record, 4 national titles (one being only 2 years ago), 8 championship games, gold medals,coaches of the year (national,acc,naismith), the list goes on and on. There isn't a single coach out there today that has the accomplishments that K does and I doubt there ever will. A coach like K comes around once a generation and we should thank our lucky stars he's still performing at the level he is 32 years later. Every time we step out on the court, no matter who we play, we have an advantage just by being coached by him. This was a tough lose but Coach K is only human and he did a lot with what he had this past season and my hat is off to him and the staff.
Any assault on a coach with these credentials is plain insane. Something went woefully wrong but reaching that kind of conclusion is without any basis in reason. We are only 2 years removed from a 4th national title followed by a Sweet 16 appearance in 2011. Duke losing to Lehigh is still unbelieveable to me but I can't go to that extreme and call myself a rational person. We need more players and athletes to be sure and there was a talent gap this year regardless of what we would like to admit. But in my mind, Coach K is the greatest coach in the history of college basketball at this point.
"Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting cognitions (e.g., ideas, beliefs, values, emotional reactions) simultaneously." Contrasting the belief that Coach K must go with the record of the past five years must be very painful to you:
- 90+ weeks in the AP top ten,
- three ACC championships,
- one National Championship,
- 84% winning percentage in all games,
- 79% winning percentage in ACC games.
While I feel your pain, I am happy I don't share it.
I know "every day is an audition," but WRT Duke basketball, isn't this a bit far-fetched?
Sage is right, if not kind in saying it is a bit far fetched to be questioning K at this point.
Now, having said that, I will say that this was not one of his finer coaching efforts IMO, and I only say that because this team never really achieved it's full potential.
I FULLY believe that K did everything in his power to pull this team together, but it never really happened, at least to the high standards that he has established from his own success.
Was it his "fault" that certain players never reached a level of consistency that they needed? I would say most likely not, but it was his responsibility to make that happen.
So, in the end Coach K is responsible for the good, the bad, and the ugly.
But if anyone thinks that he has "lost it" I would ask them to take a couple of deep breaths, and then try to find a coach with 1/10th of the success that K has had who didn't have a year now and then when things didn't quite come together as well as they could have.
Let's try to avoid the trap of becoming petulant and spoiled, and just realize that "hey, this was one of those years" and yes "stuff happens", and move on.
Off the soap box now!
Thank you Miles. You are wrong that everyone will remember your "last game" more than others. I won't nor will many others. It was an honor to watch you grow to a man on the basketball court. However magnified these games are, they are at most 40 minutes from a day that has 24 hours. How you live your life the other 23 hours and 20 minutes is how everyone will remember you.
Thank you to the entire team. You improved on defense, our offense got a little wonky these last weeks and let us down in this particular game and a couple others. Entirely fixable for next year.
Thank you to Coach K for being not only the best coach to ever set foot on a court, but a man of integrity.
Tried to post this yesterday, but don't think it went through so apologies if it did. Late in the game, when it became necessary to foul, three of the players on the court had four fouls and Tyler picked up his fifth in that situation. Austin had three fouls then and only had one to give because he was apparently the main offensive focus at that point. We also seemed to wait a long time for the offense/defense substitution pattern and when we did, Miles was left behind for Silent G (who had not really been a part of the game at that point). The first breakaway occurred soon after. Several times we seemed to have only one real scoring option on the court at a time which had to have helped Lehigh defensively. And the one thing they had no answer for (the Plumlees inside), we avoided for long periods of time. I have always believed that if you had made half your missed free throws, that is enough to make a difference and that might have been true here, too. Having said all this, Lehigh deserved the win and should be congratulated. It was just a game and there's more important stuff for us to do for our fellow man. But I do want us to win them all...even in football. This is my first post so be gentle.
Are you aware of the fact that for the season Ryan was our most accurate 3-point shooter? Better than Curry, better than Rivers, better than Dawkins, better than anybody else.
And maybe my memory is sketchy but it seems to me that he made a pretty important jumper in the game against UNC at Chapel Hill........
Failure is always an option.
I would be the last to ever say a negative thing about Coach K. I think he runs a basketball program like no other. I do have to wonder where we are talent level wise. I have watched a lot of games, and it seems like the guards and forwards from "lesser" programs would play circles around our kids. I think the Plumlees were our most consistent players all year. I know I'm probably in the minority here, but I just don't want to see Seth Curry as being one of our starters next year. I think Rivers did a fine job for us. I have read where other posters thought he was a "ball hog", but I really feel he tried to create offense when there wasn't any to create. I know the 3-point shot is a major part of our offense, but there comes a time when you need to drive the lane and go to the basket, and Austin did that for us. We just can't put the program on the shoulders of a freshman. This team lacked leadership that we've always had in the past. One thing about it, we have the best Coach in basketball, and he'll get us on the right track.