With the exception of the McDonald's All-Americans section, you could write that article about any top team in the country. Also, taking out last year's 4-8 finish (everyone would agree that last year's team was not as good, even when they were ranked #5), Duke's winning percentage is around 74% in Feb-Apr over 7 seasons. That's very, very good - the equivalent of going 12-4 in conference play.
Just be you. You is enough. - K, 4/5/10, 0:13.8 to play, 60-59 Duke.
You're all jealous hypocrites. - Titus on Laettner
You see those guys? Animals. They're animals. - SIU Coach Chris Lowery, on Duke
The Kentucky boards believe this article to hold the same weight as the Bible.
Gotta love UK fans knocking Duke when their team has a 90 percent chance of NIT . Jerk-offs.
(Well, I think it is clear that I need to stop reading one of my guilty pleasures. As another Devil stated on here a few days ago, we all have 'em.)
"Duke is a once in a lifetime opportunity and something you don't pass up on." -Amile Jefferson
Has some very interesting points. I don't like the Duke hating but ESPN is to blame for that. I will say though nobody gets hammered more often then Duke for recruiting " busts. Everyone knows those Rivals rankings are not that important but when a publication ranks a player in the top 25 and he doesn't perform its automatically the programs fault. Every person that writes on here could research hundreds of big time recruits who fail to live up to the rankings but don't have time to do so. The notion that players become McDonald's All Americans after Duke signs them is a flat out joke. Rankings are updated two to three times a year and only once after players have signed. So would have Patrick Patterson jumped into the top 5 if he had signed at Duke?
Many people see the rankings as uselss and overated, so why is it used in pointing out Duke's faults? For years Florida lost to less talented teams, Roy is notorious for the same thing, KU lost in the first round back to back years.
Has the recruiting suffered or is this just a string of bad luck?
Last edited by The1Bluedevil; 02-21-2008 at 03:24 PM.
Article that at first seems overly critical, but gains perpsective.
Until we "return to glory" in March and April, this type of article will be the norm.
I find it hard to call this a hatchett job as Mandell backs up every single point with cold, hard facts.
We may disagree as to the reason but it is a fact that Duke has faded down the stretch in recent seasons.
We may disagree with whether it is smart or not but it is a fact that Duke no longer schedules true road games.
We may disagree for the reasons behind it but it is a fact that Duke's Mickie Dees have underperformed relative to expectations in terms of NBA success in recent years.
In truth, the only rebuttal for this article is to play better in February and March. Period, end of story.
--Jason "up until a week ago, I was certain we would reverse the trend this year-- I am less certain now, that's for sure" Evans
The most obvious possibility that Mandel did not consider regarding scheduling is that many schools probably don't want to play Duke at home for fear of being blown out early in the season. The other interesting thing to either validate or refute his arguments would be to see how other top programs fare late in the season. Do other teams hit losing streaks or play less consistently? It's funny, all this attention is paid to Duke because they lost 2 games. Not even UCLA or UNC would get this type of attention for the same thing. That speaks louder than any of Mandel's points.
I think this article was probably written towards the beginning of the season and they were just waiting to bust it out at the first sign of trouble. It was a very detailed article to have been written in one night
I actually thought the article had some good points, and showed some good research.
However, throughout the article, I kept wondering if the guy was going to name any programs that had maintained anywhere close to the level of success.
With that being said, I have longed for those epic out of conference home and home series that have been missing the last few years. Although my understanding is many programs don't want to schedule home and home, and it may not make fiscal sense.
But geeze.....every program has ups and downs, except most ups and downs tend to be extreme.....go deep in the NCAA's, then miss making the field the next year. Maybe his next article will be about why the Yankees haven't won a world series in quite a few years.
I have no problem with Mandel's article, in fact it is refreshing to read an article that uses facts. That's what I have come to really like about SI's college basketball writers; they're fair and well-informed.
I only skimmed the article, so I don't know exactly what Mandel's point was. I guess he thinks Duke should play a tougher non-conference schedule or maybe he's just pointing out that Duke has been overrated due to an inflated OOC record built against mid-level teams. I don't know.
Something Mandel fails to mention is that everybody struggle more in conference than out of conference. The same goes for the other top teams, but Duke is a bigger deal and is still consistently better than every other program.
One thing about the Mickey D's stats Mandel uses is that I think a big reason why Duke isn't bringing in as many sure-fire superstars in because K doesn't really want the one-and-done guys. Or maybe it is the other way around. Does a one-and-done guy really want to have to hit the books hard for a year at Duke in order to be eligible? Probably not. Plus there have been a few flops. I think that some guys get into the Mickey D's game because they are going to Duke. There are Duke players that weren't Top 25 types that still made the game. Notre Dame usually gets a good number of players into the Army AA football game, too. These games are designed to pull in viewers, sponsors, etc., so a basketball game will get more viewers w/ Duke porospects in the game rather than Arizona or Oklahoma kids. A football game will get more viewers - especially a game on NBC - if it has a ton of ND kids instead of kids going to mid-level Pac-10 or Big 12 schools.
I'm not worried about the back-to-back losses. UConn - a much different team - struggled mightily in February of 04 and wound up as a two seed with six losses entering the tourney. We know what happened in March.
Mods are slow today huh?
I agree that we have not won a national championship since 2001, so if that is our standard we have failed to live up to it. That said, we have made it to the Sweet 16 or better in each of the years since then (other than last year). We played the de facto championship game in 2004 (losing a game we lead to a favored UConn team). Hard to ignore that year in the analysis.
The "facts" he uses to back up our fading show numerous years with 13-3 records or similarly win-heavy finishes. Apart from last year's true swoon, we finished each year relatively well.
As someone mentioned above, how does this compare to other top teams. It is not surprising that we have more losses in the heart of the ACC season. team like UConn (when they were relevant), Florida (ditto), Pittsburg, etc. routinely won ALL of their (weak) non-conference games before having numerous losses in conference later in the season. Big surprise.
It is pretty ridiculous to say we have faded recently simply because we have only made the Sweet 16 5 times and the Final Four once. How many teams have done better (even with strong regular seasons). Have Memphis and Kansas "faded" in recent years after having stellar regular seasons only to lose before the Final Four?
For our part, I am disappointed by the recent losses, but I feel much better about this team than last years (which simply did not have the guns or experience), or even JJ's last two years (where we had more raw talent, but still spent too much time watching the all-time scoring leader do his thing).
I'm not sure what the guy's point is. One would hope that he isn't suggesting that Duke emulate Memphis, or that the measure of a great college program is how many successful pros it produces year in and year out. If he is, then the distinction between college and pro basketball becomes, ironically, academic.
To the extent that he is saying that this year's team has been overrated to this point he has not proven it. Far from it. With his emphasis on how many "pros" a team produces, you might think that his analysis would include mention of Henderson's wrist injury, or Smith's foot injury (if he writes Smith off as not having pro potential, one needs to question his accumen). And, on a team that is short on tall, how can he discount what a healthy Zoubek would have brought to this season.
So, he writes an article about Duke that ignores any careful look at the players on the ground and the superior deployment strategies that K has employed, brushing off the latter as if it doesn't count because he can't put a number on it.
At the end of the day, Duke is on television more than other teams because they are terrific to watch, year in and year out, and bring out the very best in what other teams have to offer. They play the game smarter than most competitors because that is what McD All Americans in the main do and because they have a coach who emphasizes that quality as a key ingredient in the style of play he facilitates. That other coaches might as the season stretches on to be able to develop and deploy strategies to permit their teams better meet with what Duke puts forth is a credit to the extent to which resources are available in today's world to permit such adjustments. It does not make these other teams better, or Duke's team worse, at least in my view.
What the author of this article proves with his numbers is the unexceptional point that there is tremendous parity in the college game today, and that given the time, teams can figure ways to better try to slay the giants. It seems that many teams possess several stellar performers, and some, a select few, present some performers that are outlandishly gifted. That the author did not recognize that Duke possesses at least one such player astounds.
And, while he dismisses all but two of the current Duke players as not possessing pro potential, how is it possible that he writes an article about Duke this year without saying word one about Demarcus's ridiculous domination of games against equally gifted athletes who somehow just get outplayed over and over again. And could he really miss how Scheyer has performed coming off the bench? What other team presents a 6th man like that?
An article about Duke that discusses none of the players named, or the innovations that have been incorporated so successfully into this year's team, is in my view vacuous. I am left after reading this well crafted piece to wonder what this guy finds of value in the college game, and where he sees that manifest to any greater degree than at Duke.
I said at the beginning of the year that championships in high-end sports today are not won on the field, but rather are a matter of good fortune with regard to injury. I still believe that to be the case. Maybe our numbers-wonk of a writer could do a numbers story to prove that. Then perhaps his statistics will say something worthwhile. In his current article, they don't.
Last edited by greybeard; 02-21-2008 at 06:14 PM.
Wait? You mean when teams start playing the tougher part of their schedule, they're going to lose more? Genius!
What a piece of trash. It doesn't take any "research" to add up win-loss numbers.
By the way, where is the mention of the ACC tournament, which we've won like 10000 of the last 10002 times or something ridiculous like that? I'd say that's finishing pretty strong... Or how would the numbers look if you removed the outlier (last year)? This is just lazy writing, nothing more.
I find it hard to disagree with the writer's view of Duke's McD AAs. More often than not, they prove to be less than dominating players when they get to college. Maybe this is due to Duke's rigorous academic standards ....Duke gets the guys who are more likely to want to be students rather than rushing to the NBA, and those guys are often the less talented athletes. And the high academic standards make it more difficult to be a student at Duke than at most other schools.
Let's see what happens in March this year. If Duke wins its next twelve games, we'll be back in the Final Four.
It is ironic that two non-calls tipped the scales from "Duke has had a greatly productive NCAA tourney run since 2001" to "Duke has been over-seeded based on NCAA tourney results since 2001."
The egregious non-call regarding the Boozer stuff to win the game in the Sweet Sixteen game at Rupp Arena vs. Indiana in 2002 and the non-call when Redick was fouled in the lane vs. UConn in 2004 had huge consequences on overall impressions of Duke's success.Both games were 1-point losses.In the former game,I believe Duke would have made the Final Four and faced Maryland in the championship game(as Indiana).In the latter, we would have faced Georgia Tech whom we owned (16 of the last 17 games) for the national title.
Add a Final Four (2002) and 1 more title(2004) and a possible title (2002) and there is no talk of a faltering performance post 2001.
What I find ironic is that most sports writers use NCAA performance, especially final fours and national championships, as the true measure of how good or successful a college basketball program is. Fair enough. But then they spend all season picking apart the way teams like Duke schedule non-conference games and how well they do in conference or not or how well they do on the road and on and on.
I think -- I KNOW -- Coach K knows what the heck he's doing when he creates his schedule. He's looking forward to the Sweet 16 and better the whole time.
We should ignore the carping, whining pundits. Let them say what they want about home-and-home schedules and the rest. It's all meaningless until March.
If we had been told three months ago that Duke would have lost only 3 games at this point, and two of them by one point, and be atop the ACC, ranked in the top 5 nationally and vying for a No. 1 seed in the big tournament, we'd all have been hyperventilating with joy. Things are, so far, really really good. Enjoy it and keep looking forward.
I read the whole article and really don't fault much that was said. I agree that most of Duke's McD recruits have fallen into the NBA reserve/over seas pro category. I also agree that down the stretch the past few years Duke has not been overly impressive (although I think that has had more to do with depth than talent). And I can't agree more that Duke would benefit from playing a few more true road games, especially against top teams. If you play the best on their floor, you get a good measure of how good you are. To be honest, I am having difficulty figuring out exactly how good we are this year.
That being said, I do have a couple of bones to pick. First what standard is he holding Duke to. I don't think that any team can measure up to what he seems to think is needed to be dominate. Florida has 7 losses already this year, is their program in decline? UConn was horrible last year and the first part of this year, are they not a top program. Kansas routinely exits the ncaa tourney early. Who qualifies as dominate? Second he ignores the fact that Duke signed Livingston and Humphries but they never arrived on campus. He is also incorrect in some of his recruiting stats. If you start counting recruits that joined the team in 2002 to date, Daniel Ewing, JJ Redick, Shelden Williams, Shavlik Randolph, Luol Deng and Josh McRoberts made it to the NBA. All of which with the exception of Ewing are currently on a roster. He said that only 4 made it to the NBA. It is also too early to tell if JJ, Shelden or McRoberts will be starters (Shelden started several games last year and may work his way back into the starting lineup now that he is with the Kings) That would change his percentages quite a bit.