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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC

    State of the team entering the NCAA Tournament

    This basketball season has been very interesting and filled with ups and downs. I think the common belief is that when you play a bunch of freshman you are going to have more inconsistency. We play a bunch of freshman. All season long the one thing that kept my head up after losses was the thought that we are young, very talented and that we could get it together and peak in March.

    It's March. What would you say is the state of the team? Are we where you thought we would be? Are we where we want to be?

    Just curious about your thoughts as we get ready to play the tournament. One thing I'm trying real hard to avoid is having too much recency bias after we played so badly in our last game (gift given).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Quote Originally Posted by elvis14 View Post
    This basketball season has been very interesting and filled with ups and downs. I think the common belief is that when you play a bunch of freshman you are going to have more inconsistency. We play a bunch of freshman. All season long the one thing that kept my head up after losses was the thought that we are young, very talented and that we could get it together and peak in March.

    It's March. What would you say is the state of the team? Are we where you thought we would be? Are we where we want to be?

    Just curious about your thoughts as we get ready to play the tournament. One thing I'm trying real hard to avoid is having too much recency bias after we played so badly in our last game (gift given).
    Really good on defense, but maddeningly inconsistent on offense.

    No doubt we have the ability to win it all with our talent and our defense. But a game filled with turnovers, a game filled with 2-15 shooting from 3, a game with ~50% FT shooting could easily do us in.

    I feel about as good as I did last year, which is to say cautiously optimistic. No one saw USC coming. I hope this team takes a brief look at Iona and then focuses on the second round game (and no. We're not losing to Iona). At least in the S16 we know that the competition will be fierce.
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  3. #3
    I think the Devils may be on the verge of defining the secret sauce...just not quite there yet.

    I think our best recipe, in general, is to extend the zone, and let Trevon have a good amount of the point guard duties on O. I also think Tre, and the whole team, plays better on offense when they are trapping and pressing out of the zone. What they found the last 17 minutes of the NC game in Durham seems to be that recipe. This depends on Trevon's ankle health of course.

    And there are times when a switch in D might be good - for example, I don't think we would want to extend the zone against Young and Oklahoma, if we play them.

    I also like some of Troublemaker's thoughts vis a vis the lob passes, and so on.

  4. #4
    Just about one year ago, I was very confident that the Duke team had pulled together after the ACC tourney run. Three years ago, I was concerned after a mixed performance in the ACC tourney one great defensive game; one less so.

    Long story, short: I will tell you in 1 to 6 games.
    Carolina delenda est

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Chesapeake, VA.
    I think it kind of depends on a couple of things. First is physical health. If Carter and Duval are healthy, and nobody else gets sick or injured, that would go a long way.

    Second is mental health. If the close losses weigh heavily on their minds, the scenario could repeat itself. If they do not, it's obviously better. I hope Grayson is in a good place; butt-gate was a minor incident, but I am hoping it wasn't subtly disclosing deeper issues. We need him to be positive and not frustrated going into the tournament.
    A plane takes off from Baltimore and touches down on Bourbon Street

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North Carolina

    Still improving

    Quote Originally Posted by elvis14 View Post
    This basketball season has been very interesting and filled with ups and downs. I think the common belief is that when you play a bunch of freshman you are going to have more inconsistency. We play a bunch of freshman. All season long the one thing that kept my head up after losses was the thought that we are young, very talented and that we could get it together and peak in March.

    It's March. What would you say is the state of the team? Are we where you thought we would be? Are we where we want to be?

    Just curious about your thoughts as we get ready to play the tournament. One thing I'm trying real hard to avoid is having too much recency bias after we played so badly in our last game (gift given).
    My belief is that we're still improving in certain areas. Our defense will be hard to beat if we continue to commit to it like we have the last few weeks. I think the biggest things in play for us on offense are, of course, the health of both Tricky and Wendell. If both can get healed up this week before Thursday, I also agree that we found something those last few minutes of the second UNLV-CH game. I think Grayson and Gary are going to shoot their typical percentage in most of our tournament games, but if Wendell is healthy, he should eat against any defense who tries to double and deny MBIII. I believe the Blue Unicorn (MBIII) is going to show out over the next few weeks.

    Even though we are the more talented and probably better team, I don't find UNLV-CH to be a great matchup for us this season because of the make up of our team and the defense we're having to employ. But most teams don't have 4 shooters that can make the zone pay as much as the Targoats do. Subtract some of our troubles against them and I think we're sitting solid IF we're healthy.

    And for the record, for those who are predicting a 4th round between us and the Targoats, I feel good about a 4th game against them because I believe K will very much outcoach Ole Roy in a 4th matchup. But that's waaaaaay down the road and I prefer to have the 4-team mini tournament focus that Coach K employs.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    Really good on defense, but maddeningly inconsistent on offense.

    No doubt we have the ability to win it all with our talent and our defense. But a game filled with turnovers, a game filled with 2-15 shooting from 3, a game with ~50% FT shooting could easily do us in.

    I feel about as good as I did last year, which is to say cautiously optimistic. No one saw USC coming. I hope this team takes a brief look at Iona and then focuses on the second round game (and no. We're not losing to Iona). At least in the S16 we know that the competition will be fierce.
    We're better than last year's team, IMO. As poorly as we played on offense in that UNC loss, this defense is legit, and that's our ticket to a deep postseason run. Last year's team had only started to figure things out defensively during that magical ACC tournament run, and even at it's best, was still very leaky on the perimeter. This team has been a top 10 defense since the middle of February, with our only slight weakness being defensive rebounding.

    The offensive struggles of late are due to a bunch of factors: Gary Trent's mini shooting slump, free throw shooting, Tre Duval's injury (for the UNC game in particular), and overall extremely poor ball security, but especially on post entry passes. If I had to throw out a guess on the percentage of passes in to the post that became a turnover for this team, it's probably between 30 and 40%. Those turnovers have been the major difference in just about all of our losses.

    How is Tre's ankle? Have there been any updates on his condition? I've said this since the beginning: Tre Duval is the key to this team. When he plays like he did in the 2nd half vs. UNC in Cameron, we're unbeatable.
    Last edited by kAzE; 03-13-2018 at 03:31 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Durham
    turnovers. literally the only thing i'm not happy with.
    "I hate basketball."

    -uh_no

    "If you don't address the things you're not doing well when you're winning the winning will eventually stop."

    -David Cutcliffe

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC

    Once again!

    How many years have we been concerned about the health of one or more of our players going into the NCAAT. It seems like this is a Duke rite. This year is no exception with Trevon and Wendell slowed down by late season injuries. We have more depth in the front court, so we may be able to withstand Wendell being slowed down but with not much depth on the perimeter, Trevon's injury hurts us more. Duval is so important to our defense at the top and if he's not able to go at close to 100%, we could be in trouble against the really good teams. We may be able to get by Iona but after that we have some teams that could give Duke trouble. Especially RI who has a defense that causes turnovers. So, I'll say the state of the team depends on health. GoDuke!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    I'd say the state of the team entering the tournament is likely Pennsylvania.


    Other than that, if we're healthy we're good.
    1991 -- 1992 -- 2001 -- 2010 -- 2015

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mount Kisco, NY
    I feel really good about the team because our defense has become elite.

    The recent down-tick on offense isn't great, but we still have a really potent offense.

    I do wish we had more of an established rotation with bench players K was comfortable using in the second half, and, in turn, those players were comfortable playing during those stretches of the game. K's security blanket is to ride our starters into the ground, which I think makes us vulnerable in a few ways.

    Injury wise, Wendell looked ok to me in his 30 minutes against UNC in the ACC semis. We'll see about Trevon.

    Overall, we enter March with a Top 10 defense which has not happened in years. Couple that with our typical top 10 offense and we should all be feeling really good.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    turnovers. literally the only thing i'm not happy with.
    This is the correct answer.

    We can fight through shooting slumps, defensive lapses, a few batted around rebounds, and other short defects in our game - IF we aren't giving the ball to the other team on the regular.

    If we can keep our heads on offense and not hand the ball to the other team several times during the game, we will beat almost anyone. It is mind-numbing when we are making bad passes and trying to force the ball where it doesn't need to go, offering our opponent extra possessions.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    turnovers. literally the only thing i'm not happy with.
    I would add defensive rebounding. If we grab a defensive rebound between the 4:00 minute mark and 2:00 mark of the last UNC game, we might win that game. They basically dribbled out 2 minutes off the game clock in one possession because they got 3 offensive boards.

  14. #14
    The defense, which has struggled during the 1st half of the season, has turned into a strength.

    The offense, which dominated early in the season, has been studied and analysis by the opposition and some weaknesses have been identified. Team that are good enough to excute defensively to take advantage of those weaknesses have slowed down Duke's offense. While some of our turnovers are the careless "what was that" variety, most of them are the result of defenses crowding and denying the entry pass to the post, and we are forcing passes into heavily defended areas which are a recipe for them being deflected or intercepted.

    The key for Duke now is to adjust to the adjustment, and come up with some new wrinkles on offense to counter these new defensive schemes.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by kAzE View Post
    I would add defensive rebounding. If we grab a defensive rebound between the 4:00 minute mark and 2:00 mark of the last UNC game, we might win that game. They basically dribbled out 2 minutes off the game clock in one possession because they got 3 offensive boards.
    That was maddening. And completely not surprising. But, if we didn't throw the ball away so many times earlier in the game, it is moot.

    If we are careful with the ball, we win games.

  16. #16

    Tuesday Practice

    Video up on Duke Men's Basketball Facebook page with everyone practicing. Duval and Carter included.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by kAzE View Post
    We're better than last year's team, IMO. As poorly as we played on offense in that UNC loss, this defense is legit, and that's our ticket to a deep postseason run. Last year's team had only started to figure things out defensively during that magical ACC tournament run, and even at it's best, was still very leaky on the perimeter. This team has been a top 10 defense since the middle of February, with our only slight weakness being defensive rebounding.

    The offensive struggles of late are due to a bunch of factors: Gary Trent's mini shooting slump, free throw shooting, Tre Duval's injury (for the UNC game in particular), and overall extremely poor ball security, but especially on post entry passes. If I had to throw out a guess on the percentage of passes in to the post that became a turnover for this team, it's probably between 30 and 40%. Those turnovers have been the major difference in just about all of our losses.

    How is Tre's ankle? Have there been any updates on his condition? I've said this since the beginning: Tre Duval is the key to this team. When he plays like he did in the 2nd half vs. UNC in Cameron, we're unbeatable.
    Yep. Worth noting that we essentially lost the game on Friday while Duval was out. We were outscored 14-2 in the 4:18 that he was on the bench. The rest of the time, we outscored them 67-60. Duval was one of the few guys who had a positive +/- in that game. For all the talk about why we stuck with Duval in that game? Because we were winning when he was on the floor, and losing when he wasn't. And that was against a 2 seed, and with a hobbled Duval having one of his worst games of the season.

    If Duval is healthy, we are VERY hard to beat. We can still lose, but the floor is very high. If we are healthy, it basically takes us playing about as poorly as we can offensively to lose to all but the very best teams.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    That was maddening. And completely not surprising. But, if we didn't throw the ball away so many times earlier in the game, it is moot.

    If we are careful with the ball, we win games.
    I agree with Mtn.Devil. If we don't turn the ball over, we are ok. But as Troublemaker has said, a lot of our turnovers come from force feeding the post players when they are well guarded. It's happened over and over again. Teams have figured us out. I want to see the coaching staff run different sets on offense. I know it's late in the season and some things cannot be changed such as FT shooting, bench players suddenly playing like ALL ACC players, etc. But the offense can be tweaked. One thing I look for our opponents to do is guard Trevon closely and see if his ankle is close to 100%. If it's not, I hope Trevon does not try to do it all himself. He needs to make good decisions. That goes for Grayson as well. GoDuke!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by millerecu View Post
    Video up on Duke Men's Basketball Facebook page with everyone practicing. Duval and Carter included.
    Duval going hard in practice?? GoDuke!

  20. #20
    Did not seem to be holding back. At one point Trent Jr. bear hugged him and tossed him in a 3 point shooting line (I am guessing he made it). All smiles!


    Quote Originally Posted by jv001 View Post
    Duval going hard in practice?? GoDuke!

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