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  1. #1

    Could Zoubek be the Final Piece to this team?

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that Zoubs will come back an average a double double but if he comes back healthy (any day now I assume) and can give this team 6-8 quality minutes they might very well be on their way to a final four.

    Clealry our main (only?) weakness is our post defense against bigger teams. Booker and Osby had their way in the first half of their games against us but slowed considerably in the second halves as our depth wore them down.

    If Zoubs can simply provide some defense and rebounding against these bigger teams I would think we would improve drmatically. Specifically, if he can provide 4-5 first half minutes against the bigger bodies it would go a long way in securing potential victories against the likes of UCLA, Kansas and UNC.

    Providing he's healthy I think it's fairly realistic to think that Zoubek can still help this team significantly this season.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    There is no doubt that Zoubek can help the team, especially with rebounding. However, I don't know that he's the final piece given that our offensive success tends to come from spreading the court and driving and kicking. It works because we have 4-5 3 point threats on the floor most times, as well as multiple guys who can drive. Zoubs changes that dynamic.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by Clipsfan View Post
    There is no doubt that Zoubek can help the team, especially with rebounding. However, I don't know that he's the final piece given that our offensive success tends to come from spreading the court and driving and kicking. It works because we have 4-5 3 point threats on the floor most times, as well as multiple guys who can drive. Zoubs changes that dynamic.
    Good point, but presumably, better interior defense should take some pressure off of the help-side guys and potentially lead into the transition game.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Yadkinville NC
    I'd say if Zoubek can become the kind of contributor that Casey Sanders did a few years back, he could DEF be the final piece of the puzzle. I find them both very similar in how "clumsy" they seem to be at times with the ball, but I also remember Casey correcting that and becoming a good "pass catcher" so to speak, and instantly gave Duke somewhat of an inside threat when he was on the floor. Zoubek, with a lot of work, can become a vital part of how far this years team goes, and I personally do not rule out an ACC regular season, tournament, and even a NC out of this team, especially if he is able to start delivering in the post.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Clipsfan View Post
    There is no doubt that Zoubek can help the team, especially with rebounding. However, I don't know that he's the final piece given that our offensive success tends to come from spreading the court and driving and kicking. It works because we have 4-5 3 point threats on the floor most times, as well as multiple guys who can drive. Zoubs changes that dynamic.
    Agreed. Moreover, I'm not entirely convinced that he'd be much help defensively against athletic, talented big guys. Maybe a bit, but I'd imagine Booker, Osby, Gist, etc, would have their way with him. Injuries have just slowed his development, and he was a bit of a project to begin with.

    I think the biggest thing he will add is the ability to be a functional body on the floor for 5-6 minutes if foul trouble arises. And that's not an insignificant factor. If he can just not be completely woeful on the floor for 5-6 minutes, it can do wonders for keeping Thomas and Singler out of foul trouble. Anything more than that, at least for this year, I think is going to be a bonus.

    Hopefully, he can have a healthy rest of the season, a strong/productive/healthy offseason, and be more of an impact next year.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Like CDu pointed out, if Zoubek were to be the "final piece" would require him to actually be a strong interior defender. He's shown very tiny flashes of being capable, but he just fouls way too often for me to think he will put this team over the top.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Quote Originally Posted by freedevil View Post
    Like CDu pointed out, if Zoubek were to be the "final piece" would require him to actually be a strong interior defender. He's shown very tiny flashes of being capable, but he just fouls way too often for me to think he will put this team over the top.
    I think that he gets jobbed by the refs at times. On replay, he's actually fairly good at getting ball when he tries to block shots, but because the actions can look awkward at times I think that the refs assume that he isn't able to defend without fouling. I don't think that he's getting the appropriate credit in this thread for his actual defensive ability, as he has been able to effectively shut down opposing players at times (such as Hans last year). My trepidation at this time is that his offense/strength have been hampered by his injuries and that our offensive flow might suffer as a result when he's in the game, even as our defense improves.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by Clipsfan View Post
    I think that he gets jobbed by the refs at times. On replay, he's actually fairly good at getting ball when he tries to block shots, but because the actions can look awkward at times I think that the refs assume that he isn't able to defend without fouling. I don't think that he's getting the appropriate credit in this thread for his actual defensive ability, as he has been able to effectively shut down opposing players at times (such as Hans last year). My trepidation at this time is that his offense/strength have been hampered by his injuries and that our offensive flow might suffer as a result when he's in the game, even as our defense improves.
    My previous comment seems to have been ignored (plus I'm getting really close to 1000)...I agree with this assessment of BZ's defensive ability, and I think that if he can provide a presence down low, it could free up help-side defenders and lead to some good outlet looks and transition offense.

  9. #9
    Seems to me he does positive things when he is in the game %-wise. Just seems as if he is struggling. He does rack up TO's and PF's.

    So far this year:

    149 total minutes
    51 points scored
    44 rebounds

    Season avg's:

    11.7 minutes per game (started 2)
    4.3 points per game
    3.7 rebounds per game

    Those are productive minutes to me....

  10. #10

    Perception is reality...

    Quote Originally Posted by Clipsfan View Post
    I think that he gets jobbed by the refs at times. On replay, he's actually fairly good at getting ball when he tries to block shots, but because the actions can look awkward at times I think that the refs assume that he isn't able to defend without fouling. I don't think that he's getting the appropriate credit in this thread for his actual defensive ability, as he has been able to effectively shut down opposing players at times (such as Hans last year). My trepidation at this time is that his offense/strength have been hampered by his injuries and that our offensive flow might suffer as a result when he's in the game, even as our defense improves.
    I won't really debate whether or not he's actually making good plays and is just getting jobbed, as it doesn't really make a difference. The point is that he's getting called for those fouls, and that isn't likely to change anytime soon. Therefore, the defense isn't improving with him out there in terms of results. And I don't believe he's been subjected to too many strong big men this year (if any). I'd be very surprised if he's faced any of the caliber of Clemson's or Maryland's bigs.

    I'm not saying he's not useful. I just think that unfortunately he's a liability on both ends right now. But he still has value in that he can be used sub minutes in cases of foul trouble.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    I'm not saying he's not useful. I just think that unfortunately he's a liability on both ends right now. But he still has value in that he can be used sub minutes in cases of foul trouble.
    Maybe I was just being too optimistic, but watching his play just before the injury, he seemed to be finally getting more comfortable out on the floor and starting to turn a corner. I thought he could develop into a consistent good 15 minutes a game, which of course would be an enormous help against certain teams. However, the longer he is out, the harder it's going to be to get himself back up to the point of being valuable this year for our postseason run. Get well soon, Z!

  12. #12

    Agree

    Quote Originally Posted by OldSchool View Post
    Maybe I was just being too optimistic, but watching his play just before the injury, he seemed to be finally getting more comfortable out on the floor and starting to turn a corner. I thought he could develop into a consistent good 15 minutes a game, which of course would be an enormous help against certain teams. However, the longer he is out, the harder it's going to be to get himself back up to the point of being valuable this year for our postseason run. Get well soon, Z!
    Yeah, it seemed like he was just getting into decent BB shape when this last injury occurred. If he makes it back, I see him playing limited minutes, maybe a little more when the match-ups are favorable. I'm not sure if the summer injury set him back a ton or not, but it seems like he was an average defender in many of the early games: if he managed to not foul, he would have a hard time recovering for the rebound with smaller but quicker players beating him on the boards. Having a 7-footer is a nice option when guys are in foul trouble, but I just don't see him giving us a lot this year. It's hard for the big guys to get in shape after sitting this long.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    In your attic
    IMO, no. At least not this year.

    Thats a damn good question though. I didn't really worry about the team when he got hurt, but know that you mention it he would add something. Next year I think he will be a factor - especially if he gets healthy enough to get some minutes towards the end of this year.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Are you for real?

    NO!!!!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Chester, VA
    man we sure could use a Shelden Williams (a quicker, more athletic version given Duke's 'new' offense) or a Carlos Boozer or an Elton Brand . . .

    but no doubt would Zoubek HELP, as far as being THE piece ... i'm not sure, but his 7'1" frame could bang with some bodies

    remember the Duke-Carolina games last year . . . . Zoubek as a freshman played quite well against Hansbrough

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Inman, SC & Melbourne Beach, FL
    I don't want Zoubek to come back too early, but when he does he will have an impact. He can run the floor, he can clog up the middle and block a few shots. He doesn't need to score, in my book. If he can give us 10-12 tough minutes in the middle, he will have done a lot.
    Another way to look at it is that he represents five fouls in the middle which we don't currently have.

  17. #17

    Production that belies his gangliness

    If he were to get healthy and round back into shape, I think Z vould be a valuable asset this year. It's often not pretty, but he is productive. I'm not advocating that he play major starter minutes at this point and I know projecting numbers isn't this simple, but if you multiply his 11+ minutes per game times 3, he would be averaging 13 points and 11 rebounds per game. He has been efficient in his minutes played, even though he was behind the curve at the start of the year from his 1st injury.

    He also has improved in areas where he was a real liability as a freshman. Last year, he had 6 assists to 37 turnovers. Wow. This year, he has 7 assists to 12 turnovers, fairly respectable for a true center.

    As far as where he could fit into the puzzle, the only time other teams have put real runs on us has been when they have dominated us on the boards. You can't teach 7'1". Even against Pitt, Z had 3 rebounds in 6 minutes.

    Z also can help us defend true post scorers. Not a lot of teams have dominant post scorers, but some of the true national contenders do. I do think Z's height gave Hansblabla some problems last year. As one other measurable, Z already has as many blocks this year as last year.

  18. #18

    Who fouled out against Maryland?

    Zoubek's biggest impact on the team if he returns would be keeping Kyle Singler out of foul trouble. If he can spend a few fouls without costing the team too much in other areas such as offensive flow, it could allow Singler to to full speed down the stretch and not be sitting next to the coaches and the walk-ons at crunch time. I'm skeptical of Zoubek's return to anything resembling effectiveness this year. A big man with foot problems? Just ask Bill Walton.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham
    I'm not as up to date on Zoubek's injury as some of you but I think Brian would definitely help Duke's cause if he was able to return this year. Duke has played big teams (New Mexico State, Wisconsin, Clemson, Maryland) but they haven't played any elite big teams (UNC, Kansas, UCLA). I think it's safe to say the latter four schools I mentioned have more talent down low that the first four teams I mentioned.

    I think for Duke to beat those elite teams, they'll need about 10-15 minutes from Brian. I think Duke can win on 2/6 without Brian but if it takes 4 games to get to a final 4, I don't see Duke making it through all those games without Zoubek getting some minutes. At this point in the season, it's unrealistic to expect consistent offensive production from Brian upon his return. But he is 5 fouls that Duke needs right now, especially when his fouls would most likely help keep Singler in the game.

  20. #20
    I'm not sure that Zoubek contributes much as a mere "5 extra fouls" unless he can provide superior post defense to what we already have. I agree that we need someone other than Kyle and Lance guarding bigs - both for foul reasons AND because I think it ultimately runs the risk of getting Kyle banged up and negatively impacting his offensive game. However, if it's just the fouls, then McClue and TK surely can go in there and commit some fouls. Neither of these guys have had enough run to get in any sort of foul trouble. Really what it comes down to is having someone with some size to go in and mix it up on defense and actually be EFFECTIVE - and if he fouls out, so be it. To say that Z is just 5 extra fouls overlooks the fact that we can send other guys out there to commit fouls. Whether or not Z could actually be effective against superior post players like Hans or Love is highly questionable, IMO.

    Also, note that fouling Hansborough is a dicey propositon. Dude can shoot FTs and scores a lot of points on the line. We need someone who can make him life slightly tougher WITHOUT fouling. This, more than anything, is why Big Z would help. If nothing else, he presents a bit more of an obstacle to get in Tyler's way as he propelled himself toward the rim with reckless abandon.

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