Not sure I can take much comfort in the fact that Duke isn't Clemson.
"But keep in mind that even now itís a young team, and can finish no worse than 22-11 with an NCAA bid. If thatís a disappointing year, send it Clemsonís way. Lots of teams would be thrilled. " Quoting the front page
Come on guys- we are all homers. But we should take solace in this season because Clemson would be satisfied. No thanks. That is not the standard.
Not sure I can take much comfort in the fact that Duke isn't Clemson.
I am sick of hearing that even though it's been a tremendously disappointing season that we should take solace in the fact that there are 200 Div. I programs out there (like Clemson) that would give their collective right arm to have a season like this. We are Duke. We are the premier program in the country. We have the most high profile and some would say the best coach in college basketball. We are loaded with high school Americans and almost all of our players are top 100 if not top 50 recruits. Whatever the reasons are (bad communication, lack of interior depth, lack of team speed, lack of a go-to guy, lack of athleticism, etc.) let's just face the fact that we have dramatically underachieved this year. We had a top 5 recruiting class with players expected to contribute at 4 positions and three returning All-ACC caliber players. What ACC team other than UNC has more talent than Duke? For that matter, how many teams in the country have more talent than Duke? We should not have been 8-9 in the conference. Yes, four or five of those games were decided by one possession and our record could easily have been 12-5 or 13-4, but why aren't we winning more of those games?
Why do we seem so lost on crunch time possessions? Is it because Coach K never really calls plays? We simply have a motion offense that allows players the freedom to make plays, but there seem to be too few designed plays. Take for example the play drawn up during the last time out in regulation last night that led to Nelson's tying basket. Why can't we call a play like that out of a regular set instead of only when coming out of a time out? It seems to me that our only real plays during the past several years were designed to find JJ or this year Scheyer coming off a curl for a 3.
Why do we seem to lose big leads in the second half? (This is a bigger issue that deserves it's own thread - because you can go back all the way to the '98 Kentucky loss and cite too many games where Duke collapsed late in the second half.) Poor conditioning?, lack of depth? bad X and O coaching? Stall ball? I don't know, but it is very frustrating and troubling).
We have had too many turnovers all season. How is it possible that we weren't able to fix that? Watching our last three games of the season, one thing has jumped out at me - for all of Josh's prowess passing the ball, he does not take care of the ball well. The ball being in his hands so much is a blessing and a curse because he seems to create a lot of turnovers while also creating a lot of scoring opportunities.
Also, I have the utmost faith in Coach K but I still don't understand why guys like Thomas, Pocius and Zoubek are not able to contribute more consistently - is it lack of fundamental ability (I don't think so), poor instruction/coaching, lack of weight training? Again, I don't know.
In the overall analysis of this year's team, I think the single biggest problem we've had is the inability to get dribble penetration and to create scoring opportunities and/or get trips to the foul line. Duke has always made a living shooting more free throws than opponents take. It hasn't been that way this year. When you were watching last night's game and Nelson and Pocius were slashing to the hoop for baskets, did it make you realize how much that has been lacking from our offense this year? Paulus is simply not quick enough to be that player and I think that offensive deficiency (not just his, but the whole team's) is what separates this Duke team from one's that have had more success. Not talent or depth or chemistry. That may also be why we have trouble in late game situations because we are so often relying on jump shots with tired legs.
Yes, this is somewhat of a rant (OK maybe a total rant) in frustration but I've felt these things all season -- when we were ranked in the top 10 and now and all the time in between.
Now let's go win 6 in a row.
Thats not a rant Mr syn. You only asked questions, and made points that many have made. Just get ready though, because if some here see what you said, well expect ----"INCOMING!"
Yep, we root for Duke, not Clemson. I know it makes us sound like spoiled brats at times, but our expectations are higher than Clemson Tiger fans--thank goodness! 22-10 isn't all that bad, even for a program of our caliber. But, not making it to Friday of the ACC tournament is a tough pill to swallow.
I'm doing my best to be optimistic. If memory serves me correctly, wasn't the '00 Tar Heel team in a similar boat? Hadn't they lost 3 or 4 in a row and stumbled into the tournament as an 8 seed? We all know that they made a run to the Final 4, thanks largely to a good draw (a vulnerable 1 seed in Stanford, a schizophrenic Tennessee team with horrible coaching, and a surprise opponent in Tulsa in the Elite 8). That team had a little more experience than we currently have, but who knows? Perhaps this long rest and the discovery of Pocius on the offensive end, combined with the addition of G for the tounrey, will give the coaches a little more to work with in preparation. Let's hope that we can have similar luck this year.
(That is as Pollyanna-ish as I can possibly get)
It does say a lot that we're getting benchmarked to Clemson.
My question was more regarding why guys like Pocius, Zoubek and Thomas don't seem to be able to be factors and contribute on a somewhat consistent basis. Thomas was NOT considered a project this year. Many on this board were positively giddy when he signed with Duke. He has shown flashes of his talent at times this year. Pocius was rumored to be and has shown flashes of being a very skilled offensive player. When you see what Pocius did last night, you have to wonder why you haven't seen that more consistently. It's like watching a starting pitcher with a 5.10 ERA throw a 4 hit shutout.
You wonder. I honestly believe that one of the reasons our freshman struggle is because they do not weight train. I don't know if it is due to schoolwork demands, coaching philosophy or something else, but I don't believe our kids hit the weight room like they do in other programs. Unless a guy comes in with a developed body, like Maggette, Nelson, Jay Williams (or if we had gotten Brockman or Humphries) they usually don't improve their strength so much (Shavlik is the only guy I can remember who really hit the weights during his career - maybe Dunleavy did to a certain degree as well). That was part of my question and it's something I've wondered about for many years.
Check out Aaron Gray's career and how little he played his freshman and sophomore years. That's the player I kinda hope Z turns into. But it takes time.
See, it's not like Duke hasn't had freshman and sophomores contribute before. Hell, our last championship fitted 2 seniors around a backbone of sophomores. Our previous Final Four team couldn't have gotten there without the significant contributions of a freshman Luol Deng. Brand/Avery led Duke to the championship game with their dominating sophomore seasons. The guys on this roster just aren't as talented as those guys were so they'll take longer to develop. Not a big deal. Root for the women to win their first championship this season.
you're correct that we shouldn't be comparing ourselves to clemson. far more reasonable, i think, to compare us to some other programs. since this is our worst team since '97 or so, here's a look at some other programs' worst years since '97:
1. uconn - 2007: they get lucky to make the nit. 2003: lose by 24 at home to boston college (ouch).
2. kentucky - haven't made a final four since like '98. just ask everyone who wants to can tubby.
3. unc - 8-20 in 2002.
4. ucla - this is your best team since you had ed freakin o'bannon, and you lose to cal in your conference tournament? also you won 10 games in 2003.
5. indiana - self-explanatory. hard to remember why they're even on this list.
6. kansas - not only have you not won anything in forever, you have given us some laughable upsets with loaded squads (anyone recall '98?)
7. florida - sorry, you're a football school. talk to us after you've made 6 or 7 final fours.
feel free to add.
"Thomas was NOT considered a project this year. Many on this board were positively giddy when he signed with Duke. "
I understand that many posters did not consider him to be a project. Once again, some of what is posted may or may not reflect what the coaching staff believed and/or knew. I really don't understand those who hold the philosophy that truth is anything on an internet bulletin board or that fact is based on the consensus of bulletin board posters.
When Coach K retires I'm going to set up a suicide prevention hotline for Duke fans.
This has been a hard year to be a Duke fan. 22-10 is so abysmal! Not! I admit to expecting a bit better season in the ACC. The ACC is a beast this year so I'm not that upset. It blows as a fan because now I have to hear it from the A-hole UNC fans that I call friends. Well, it was not so long ago that I was laughing at them before the sub-10 win season that UNC had.
Come on, y'all. I have no problem with asking questions at the end of a season but let us have some perspective. Where is that Featherston article on Duke dominance in the last oh, 25 years? Please, someone post it again! Where is Jumbo's recent post with a review of this season and the players? Please, someone post again! Those two examples should be stuck at the top of the boards and required reading for us all.
I also don't think that being told that "at least Duke isn't Clemson" is going to make many of us happy. So, I can agree with the original post and poster.
Tell you what. Enjoy the rest of this season however short or long it may be. You may be pleasantly suprised yet. Or, you may not get another chance.
Did I make you feel better? I hope so because that is what I'm trying to do. I feel your pain guys. I just try to have perspective and realize that this is all pretty much just entertainment.
I can count 3 final fours since 1994.
As I wrote elsewhere, Flawda could win the next 43 national championships in basketball and it would still be a football school.
Not that this is something to be ashamed of, but it's what they are.
You, sir, are correct.
zoubek was ranked #25:
i'm not sure what you are trying to prove by highlighting noah who was a much much less heralded recruit. i am hopeful that zoubek can follow the progression of hibbert who has a similar body and gaps in his game.
Shouldn't the coaching staff teach Lance Thomas a complete set of post moves and give him upper body strength in a short amount of time? So what if he never had to use these kind of tools in high school.
Obviously we should sacrifice the minutes of Henderson, Scheyer, and our insanely reliable outside shooter Greg Paulus to make way for Marty. So what if he is lost on help D unlike the other 3. I mean doesn't every single player that has ever played college basketball pick up on reacting quickly to help side D?
Brandon Costner was not a McD AllAmercian and look at him. He can post, shoot the 3, take other bigs off the dribble... etc. Our guys had jerseys with Big Macs on them in high school and were on all these cool lists on the internets. Now they wear Duke jerseys. Shouldn't they automatically be able to do all that stuff? I mean our guys are freshmen and sophomores coming off multiple surgeries, they should be dominating the college basketball landscape.
Shouldn't the coaching staff just wave their magic wand or something? This kind of stuff seems to work for every other college team. I'm sorry but 21 wins just isn't good enough for a team of freshmen and sophs that used to be on these real pretty lists. This all bothers me because I'm so concerned with how other fans of other teams judge our team. Fans that rarely watched any Duke games before the month of March.