Duke15304 had a quote earlier that pretty much summed it up:
"but at the same time, its exciting, we are peaking at the right time, and there are no expectations"
That statement couldn't be more right on. Nobody is expecting anything out of us and we're really starting to gel. I don't remember who called the St. John's game on CBS, but Duke had a couple of plays where the commentators said "and that just comes with being comfortable with your teammates and knowing their tendencies." That means a lot because those type of plays didn't happen earlier in the season. The McRoberts lob to DeMarcus was one example; even though Paulus called for the ball to set the offense up, McRoberts had an idea Nelson would keep moving towards the basket and we were able to get the oop. On another play, Demarcus was in transition, but was in a 1 on 3 break, so he continued towards the basket and kicked out to a wide-open Greg in transition, knowing Paulus would spot up on the wing. These plays ares especially encouraging because they're starting with the "upper classmen". Let's worry about Maryland first, but I truly think we can take these last two games if we continue to build on the previous game like we have been. Go Duke.
It was only a matter of time for this team to gel. Sure, the four game losing streak wasn't fun but if you looked for it you could see the maturation of the entire team. Plus, this team is healthy unlike the beginning of February. The major concern is the foul trouble that some of the players get into. It changes the way Coach Krzyzewski wants to substitute and forces him to use line ups that aren’t' as successful.
The team is improving and I think the young players will really benefit from not being burdened with the extra pressure of being one of the top seeds, like teams of the last five years have been. I am looking forward to not taking victories in the first two rounds of the tournament for granted, and not considering a sweet sixteen exit to be a disappointing finish.
I like the idea that the team may be playing with less pressure/expectation than in the past and may be playing with more of a "we will prove you wrong" attitude. This, in my opinion, is always better than having to prove someone right (high expectations, etc.)
I also imagine that a lot of the "top seeds" will not want to be in our bracket.
Bring em on.