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  1. #1

    When (or if) Duke loses again...

    ...it won't be due to lack of desire or not playing hard.

    During the second half of the Maryland game, I realized that even if Duke were to lose, I was so proud of their toughness and determination. Clearly, last year's well-publicized "demise" has taught them to never take winning for granted, and this Duke team plays with more desire than any Duke team I can remember in recent history.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Richmond, Va
    There is a different attitude on this team this year largely because one player isn't on the team. Take from that what you will, but it's felt by the players and coaching staff. This is one very solid, cohesive unit that loves to play together. I'll leave it there.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by duketaylor View Post
    There is a different attitude on this team this year largely because one player isn't on the team. Take from that what you will, but it's felt by the players and coaching staff. This is one very solid, cohesive unit that loves to play together. I'll leave it there.
    I wonder if Coach K regrets the tri-captains? With 20/20 hindsight, DeMarcus would have been a fine captain last season.

    Man, I'd rather lose than watch most overtimes. Just stresses me out to no end doing that (e.g., Pitt)!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Tampa
    Quote Originally Posted by duketaylor View Post
    There is a different attitude on this team this year largely because one player isn't on the team. Take from that what you will, but it's felt by the players and coaching staff. This is one very solid, cohesive unit that loves to play together. I'll leave it there.
    If his attitude was such a problem why not sit him out for a game or two or suspend him from the team? I certainly would not put up with that much attitude from an employee.

  5. #5

    This team

    All I can say is that at some point in every game this year, this team has just made me smile. Maybe it is because of last years struggles (from a Duke standpoint at least), or maybe I just see some flashes of brilliance from this team which reminds me of some of my favorite Duke teams.

    Go Duke

  6. #6
    The Maryland game was very satisfying. Being down by 9 at the half, seeing Osby and Gist just having their way... if this was last year, I would have worried a bit (well, a bunch). But, this year, I had a kind of calming sensation that somehow, this will at least be a game and not a blowout. And the start of the 2nd half, the quick 6 points, I told my son... this is what other teams used to do to Duke. At that point, I had a sense of confidence that I've not had in a Duke team in awhile. Just amazing... I really appreciate what's going on this year

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Close to the Gothic Playground!

    This is the Post of the Day!

    Quote Originally Posted by DBFAN View Post
    All I can say is that at some point in every game this year, this team has just made me smile. Maybe it is because of last years struggles (from a Duke standpoint at least), or maybe I just see some flashes of brilliance from this team which reminds me of some of my favorite Duke teams.

    Go Duke
    This sums it up, succinctly, for me as well. Very well said and I've experienced the very same thing this year.

    dth.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by duketaylor View Post
    There is a different attitude on this team this year largely because one player isn't on the team. Take from that what you will, but it's felt by the players and coaching staff. This is one very solid, cohesive unit that loves to play together. I'll leave it there.
    I'm not sure how you can say that so definitively. As discussed on this board numerous times, it's unclear whether that one player's absence is the reason for the attitude change, or whether the winning is the cause of the attitude change.

  9. #9
    I'm more sure it's about three people who weren't here last year as opposed to one who isn't here this year.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Goldsboro, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by beltwayBD View Post
    I wonder if Coach K regrets the tri-captains?
    Organizationally speaking, 3-way leadership can be difficult. I have found that when you split up the leadership, each of the leaders are walking around on eggshells, trying not to upset the other shared leaders. However when there is only one (and there can only be one - sorry, different reference), an individual can truly take the lead. Nelson has quietly exemplified that strong leadership. I hope Paulus (who I think is a tremendous leader) is taking notice for next year.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilWolf View Post
    I'm more sure it's about three people who weren't here last year as opposed to one who isn't here this year.
    That's what I think too. That, and a healthier/more prepared fourth guy who was here last year but wasn't as ready to contribute regularly as he is now.

  12. #12
    I've said it before and I'll say it again, if Josh McRoberts (there, I said his name) was here, we would be an even better team than we are now, probably #1 in the country and undefeated. There was no denying that he was a great talent. He was just never ready to be THE guy. He wouldn't have to be that on this team like he was forced to be last year. His athletic ability would have meshed perfectly; his ball handling and passing ability would definitely help us, and he was, and still is an excellent defender and rebounder.

    Remember who you need to compare him to on this years squad (Lance/Dave/Zoubek). If you think any one of those guys is a better player than McRoberts, you're crazy (not a knock on them, but McRoberts was better in almost every facet of the game). Imagine being able to play McBob AND Singler together, that would be quite a duo down low.

  13. #13

    I knew it...

    Quote Originally Posted by duketaylor View Post
    There is a different attitude on this team this year largely because one player isn't on the team. Take from that what you will, but it's felt by the players and coaching staff. This is one very solid, cohesive unit that loves to play together. I'll leave it there.
    I knew it, I always thought that Pagliuca kid was trouble

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by dukeENG2003 View Post
    I've said it before and I'll say it again, if Josh McRoberts (there, I said his name) was here, we would be an even better team than we are now, probably #1 in the country and undefeated. There was no denying that he was a great talent. He was just never ready to be THE guy. He wouldn't have to be that on this team like he was forced to be last year. His athletic ability would have meshed perfectly; his ball handling and passing ability would definitely help us, and he was, and still is an excellent defender and rebounder.

    Remember who you need to compare him to on this years squad (Lance/Dave/Zoubek). If you think any one of those guys is a better player than McRoberts, you're crazy (not a knock on them, but McRoberts was better in almost every facet of the game). Imagine being able to play McBob AND Singler together, that would be quite a duo down low.
    Agreed. Sure, McRoberts may have been whiny about the losing. But I don't think his whining caused the losing. We lacked great outside shooting last year. Our point guard was injured, turnover-prone, and struggled setting people up for easy baskets. One of our wings was either sick (asthma), out of shape, or just unprepared. Another of our wings simply hadn't fully figured out how to make his game work yet. And we had absolutely no depth to speak of, so we had to rely heavily on a lot of players who just weren't ready to carry the team.

    This year, we have a lot more depth. We have a lot more offensive weapons, especially from three point range. We've de-emphasized the point guard role, which takes pressure of Paulus and allows him to focus more what he now does best (shoot the three). Our wings are no longer as inconsistent and are actually becoming stars.

    If you add McRoberts to this team, they'd be a lot more talented. His talents are exactly what this team is missing (athletic big man who can defend in the paint, rebound, block shots, score a little inside, and pass). They may not necessarily like him a lot, but I think they'd be undefeated and a true frontrunner for the title (as opposed to probably an underdog).

    Not to say we can't win it all with this team. But it'd sure be nice to have that one other piece. Oh well. I'm still enjoying watching this team, and I'll hopefully be enjoying another nice win tonight.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post

    If you add McRoberts to this team, they'd be a lot more talented. His talents are exactly what this team is missing (athletic big man who can defend in the paint, rebound, block shots, score a little inside, and pass). They may not necessarily like him a lot, but I think they'd be undefeated and a true frontrunner for the title (as opposed to probably an underdog).
    I just feel like this can't be underestimated. I don't know if Josh got along with the team or vice-versa, but that would be a big part of this season. If the team doesn't like each other, would they communicate as well on defense? Would they share the ball as well as they have been doing? Would there be enough leadership or would there be conflict? All hypothetical questions that we can't really answer.

    Everyone seems to be in agreement that the current team has great chemistry and that they've learned how to win together. If Josh were here and buying in to that idea, then it would be great. It's impossible to know whether that would have happened or not.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Goldsboro, NC

    Hi Jack!

    I just realized how much this thread has deviated from the original post. Reading that again, if we don't lose due to lack of desire or playing effort, what would be the reason we lose?

    I think the intent of the original post was really to just exclaim how great the team is playing together, and we have subsequently been trying to analyze why that seems to be the case.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by ugadevil View Post
    I just feel like this can't be underestimated. I don't know if Josh got along with the team or vice-versa, but that would be a big part of this season. If the team doesn't like each other, would they communicate as well on defense? Would they share the ball as well as they have been doing? Would there be enough leadership or would there be conflict? All hypothetical questions that we can't really answer.

    Everyone seems to be in agreement that the current team has great chemistry and that they've learned how to win together. If Josh were here and buying in to that idea, then it would be great. It's impossible to know whether that would have happened or not.
    Chemistry can lead to a team that's greater than the sum of its parts, as it has with this year's squad. But it's not essential to a great team. Remember, it's essentially common knowledge that Laettner's teammates wanted to punch him in the junk on a regular basis. Those teams functioned just fine without sparkling chemistry.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by ugadevil View Post
    If the team doesn't like each other, would they communicate as well on defense? Would they share the ball as well as they have been doing? Would there be enough leadership or would there be conflict? All hypothetical questions that we can't really answer.
    We can certainly answer the first two questions. McRoberts was a FABULOUS passer, I don't think anyone has ever doubted that. His passing ability is one of his biggest upsides.

    As far as defense, we were the best defensive team in the conference last year, one of the best in the country.

    As far as leadership, I certainly don't think McBob would have tried to step on D-Mark's toes as captain.

    I just don't see how we could lose by having him on the team. We lost last year b/c he couldn't carry the offensive load. That load would be lightened considerably with the talen influx/increased maturity we have this year.

    Put me in the "losing caused the whining, the whining didn't cause the losing" crowd.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by dukeENG2003 View Post
    We can certainly answer the first two questions. McRoberts was a FABULOUS passer, I don't think anyone has ever doubted that. His passing ability is one of his biggest upsides.

    As far as defense, we were the best defensive team in the conference last year, one of the best in the country.

    As far as leadership, I certainly don't think McBob would have tried to step on D-Mark's toes as captain.

    I just don't see how we could lose by having him on the team. We lost last year b/c he couldn't carry the offensive load. That load would be lightened considerably with the talen influx/increased maturity we have this year.

    Put me in the "losing caused the whining, the whining didn't cause the losing" crowd.
    You can't certainly answer those questions because there's no way to know. The signs might point to it, but it's uncertain whether we'd be better with McRoberts this season. I'm not saying this team is better because he's gone, because there's also no way of knowing that. It's just something people can discuss and disagree on, but can't really prove either way. All speculation, which is part of what makes it fun to talk about.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Wherever the wind blows and the leaves dance.

    A little of both

    I think the new attitude comes from that one player "leaving" the team and the addition of the other players. One player in particular exudes toughness and that "it" factor when the game is on the line. Singler seems as cool as they come. That smile that he wears seems equal parts pleasure from playing a game and confidence in knowing that he is good at said game. I can only imagine what his opponents must think when the game is on the line and the pasty white kid who won't quit walks by with that **** eating grin(what they called it when I was younger). I think the rest of the team feeds off of that and the refs got to like it to. The kids brings it old school style...I love it!

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