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Classof06
02-28-2007, 10:29 AM
Zoubek was discussed on a previous post, but I wanted to get the general perception of him from all you guys out there? How do you see his career progressing the next 3 years after this one?

Personally, I think Zoubek has a bright future. I know he makes mistakes, but I'd like to see him play even a bit more. He does travel a lot, but similar to Greg Oden, I think that is due to lack of upper body strength; if you're getting pushed around up top, your feet are bound to move, or at least slide a tad. Defensively, I think he's almost as mobile as seven footers get. It's very unusual to see K go out and get seven-footers, because he likes his teams to run the floor. But I think Zoubek can thrive in this system. I've noticed him run the floor quite well off rebounds on a few occasions this year. As much as I believe Josh is not at all ready for the league, him leaving would be the best thing for Brian individually. I hope for and fully expect Zoubek to be a beast by his senior year. What I don't want to see, is an Eric Boateng situation, where the kid doesn't improve because he doesn't play. With increased time and a summer to develop his game and strength, this kid should be a good one. Thoughts?

dukelifer
02-28-2007, 10:55 AM
All I think we can say is that he will be a better player next year. He is adjusting to the speed of the college game. Once he has time to work on his footwork over the summer and get stronger- he will be an important player on the team- not the focus but important. He will need to work very hard, though. So far it looks like he is willing to put in that effort.

civileng68
02-28-2007, 11:50 AM
I definately think some of the issue now is that he's just not bulky enough. I'm sure it's hard to get bulky as a guy that tall. However, I've seen glimpses of him defensively and it's nice. I think he's very mobile for a big man and I think it will be nice to see a true center at Duke.

DukeDevilsBB
02-28-2007, 12:03 PM
I honestly do not see Zoubek ever playing sigificant minutes at Duke. I just don't think he is athletic enough to play the up-tempo style that I hope we will run next year. Don't get me wrong I am not slamming Big Z but I just don't see how he fits in to our system.

Devilnole
02-28-2007, 12:14 PM
I honestly do not see Zoubek ever playing sigificant minutes at Duke. I just don't think he is athletic enough to play the up-tempo style that I hope we will run next year. Don't get me wrong I am not slamming Big Z but I just don't see how he fits in to our system.

Well he sure played well in the Blue and White game in which both teams were playing "our system." He had McBob completely frustrated. I don't know why he has picked up this traveling bug, but I think he has a bright future once he matures some more.

DukeDevilsBB
02-28-2007, 12:18 PM
Well he sure played well in the Blue and White game in which both teams were playing "our system." He had McBob completely frustrated. I don't know why he has picked up this traveling bug, but I think he has a bright future once he matures some more.


Many players have played great in the Blue White game and never done anything else. I wish nothing but the best for Zoubek but I just don't see it.

tux
02-28-2007, 12:26 PM
For a big man like Z, I think traveling is probably due to over-thinking. He's not completely sure what he wants to do with the ball when he gets it. As he adjusts to the speed of the game, his movements will become more natural.

-jk
02-28-2007, 12:49 PM
For a big man like Z, I think traveling is probably due to over-thinking. He's not completely sure what he wants to do with the ball when he gets it. As he adjusts to the speed of the game, his movements will become more natural.

As I recall, it took Alaa Abdelnaby 3 1/2 years to figure out how to "catch, face, and shoot!", and when he did, he led us to a somewhat improbable final four.

-jk

DukieUGA
02-28-2007, 01:01 PM
I think Z will improve mostly through strong legs, he needs to be able to establish lower on the block. He runs the floor well, although not the quickest big man laterally he has at least shown hustle by getting down the court quickly. I think that his So. year will be somewhat of an improvement over this year and due to that and the plethora of post guys we'll have, i think K might actually utilize a double big man lineup at times, using Z as a true center and McBobs/Singler/LT/Patterson(???) as the other. I'm not saying that Z'll get huge minutes that way or that K will design an entire offense just for that scheme, but i think we'll see it much more than we have this year. I think he'll probably average around 7 ppg and 5.5 rebs next year and probably max out at about 12-14 ppg his Sr year.

RepoMan
02-28-2007, 01:14 PM
It takes awhile for most big men to learn the game. Zoubek seems to be improving, and, assuming he sticks around and remains injury-free, I predict that he will be a solid contributer beginning his junior year

AtlDuke72
02-28-2007, 01:14 PM
I am much more optimistic about Zoubek's future. I also saw this year's Blue and White game in which he really dominated McRobert's. I have seen other Blue-White games in which guys have looked like stars and are never heard of again. Those guys were not dominating the best player on the team which is what Greg did. It just takes big guys longer to develop. Kyle Visser is a good example. He was really bad as a freshman and has developed into a very good player. Zoubek is mobile and talented. He also appears to have a good attitude and busts his gut when he is in the game. I think he will develop into a major player for the Devils in a couple of years.

TwoDukeTattoos
03-01-2007, 08:42 AM
Zoubek is such a liability on the court, both on the offensive and defensive end. Excluding the earlier games in the season, I don't think I can recall a time when he actually did something positive with the ball. If he ever actually catches a pass down low, he either travels, double dribbles, or turns the ball over. And if he ever gets lucky enough to attempt a shot, he usually gets mugged by three guys and proceeds to tumble to the floor like a rag doll without ever coming close to a score. And if he earns a trip to the line, he usually bombs out. On defense, he isn't any better.

Late in the second half when Duke was coming back, McRoberts passed the ball into Zoubek; watching the pass felt like slow motion. I knew instantly it was a mistake! And what happened? Zoubs attempts to pass it back out and turns it over!

And McRoberts is away from the paint so much that we really have no true, consist play in the paint, which is rare in recent years. We've always had a Shelden or a Boozer or a Brand to anchor our team - this year we have no legitimate threat down low. The places added stress on our guards, which is a problem itself because most of our guards lack explosion.

And regarding defense - If anyone watches any tape of the teams that have beaten Duke this year, they will realize that as long as they blast up the court on offense, Duke's defense has a much less chance of being effective. Maryland was the epitome of that truth last night.

Some positives: Henderson is becoming an X-factor and will someday be "the man".

Paulus isn't afraid to take big shots like he was earlier in the year.

Karl Beem
03-01-2007, 08:47 AM
Self explanatory.

TwoDukeTattoos
03-01-2007, 08:50 AM
Still hung over from the loss? Suck it up, big guy.

riverside6
03-01-2007, 09:01 AM
On the pass, Zoubek was slapped on the arm. Granted he should've been stronger with the ball, but Z will be fine. His defense has actually come along way from the beginning of the season and has surpassed his offense, which is pretty decent.

Vitale quoted K from earlier in the season stating that Z's problem is his lower body strength as he gets pushed off of the block too easily. Once he has taken care of this, you will see a dominant force offensively.

My concern from the game is Duke's transition defense.

elvis14
03-01-2007, 09:08 AM
Yeah, I can see where Z need improvement but you are being way to harsh on the kid. I thought he had a pretty decent game last night. He neutralized UMd's center and played pretty good D. By the time he graduates he'll be a force. He's a freshman....ease up Francis! With the game Josh had last night (couldn't hit the broad side of a barn), you waste our time criticizing Zoubek?

tbyers11
03-01-2007, 10:06 AM
My concern from the game is Duke's transition defense.

I'm with riverside on the awful transition defense. Our halfcourt defense had some trouble with the flex, but defended it fairly well over the course of the enitre game. Maryland must have scored 15-20 points on layups off of long, quick outlet passes. Most of these weren't off our turnovers, but off of missed shots which makes the poor transition defense even more appalling.

I feel this and the inability to finish (or at least get to the foul line) in close, especially in the first half, was the difference in the game. I can think of an instance (multiple instances for most) for almost everyone on the team (Lance, Paulus, Scheyer, McClure, Nelson, Josh) where we had a layup or a 3-footer, went up soft and missed. Granted, Maryland is a good shot-blocking team but the proportion of shots they blocked or altered was really high.

Also, the best way to take it to a shot blocker is to take the ball right to his body and not let him extend his arms. It seemed like we were afraid of contact and made the degree of difficulty so high on the layups that we missed or they were rejected. I think this helped Maryland's confidence and led to us playing tenatively. In the second half, I think everyone played tenatively on the offensive end with the exception of Gerald and Greg.

My two cents

A-Tex Devil
03-01-2007, 10:21 AM
Dickie V actually made an excellent point on Zoubek several weeks ago (I know, right?)

Something to the effect of in high school he probably had time to catch the ball, think about what he was going to do, then use post moves to score the basket. In college, he's still collecting himself when he gets the ball and he just doesn't have that amount of time - so he is better defended because he allows the defense to get position on him before he makes his move. Once he learns to move as soon as he catches the ball, you are going to see a lot more of what happened in the Blue/White game. I think, given time, he can be a lot like Aaron Gray at Pittsburgh, or perhaps even as good as Chris Mihm was at Texas. Not superstars by any means but significant contributors.

Classof06
03-01-2007, 10:40 AM
Besides that turnover when he should have gone up with it instead of passing it, I thought Zoubek actually played pretty well yesterday. If I'm not mistaken, he didn't have any travels, which is always a plus. He made the only shot he took, and was able to grab three rebounds in limited minutes. It's certainly an improvement at the very least.

bcato
03-01-2007, 10:45 AM
On the play in the 2nd half where McRoberts passed into Zoubek and he turned it over, was a team error. Once he got the ball down low nobody moved at all to try and give him a target. The Duke broadcast mentioned K got on the team about not bailing Z out on the play during the next TO. Seems to me more of a team breakdown than an individual breakdown. I thought Z had a reasonably good game last night and gave us good minutes.

ehdg
03-01-2007, 10:58 AM
I must concur Z is really showing some good improvment from earlier in the sason. He also set a nice pick on Paulus's drive for a layup in the second half. He sealed off two defenders so Paulus could get to the basket. He's showing some good hustle also on loose balls and not afraid to dive on the floor for the ball. I think he's going to be good once he gets stronger specially in his lower body.

unwrinkled ear
03-01-2007, 11:04 AM
I actually thought Zoubek was a huge bonus last nite. Along with Henderson when we were down, he seemed like one of the only people on the court who moved on offense like he thought we would actually score on each possession. He grabbed an important rebound, he made both of his foul shots the second time he was fouled and I thought he played good D when he was in.
I was dissapointed to see him benched frankly, because from my perspective he was playing with more positivity and energy than Josh.

Henderson obviously was the best thing on the court for us during the second half. He wasn't only making plays; he was inspiring them - Paulus' dribble drive, etc.

My concern about the way we played last night is that it seemed like we only had one offensive player alive for each possession. Either it was Greg or Demarcus or GH or Scheyer - but TEAM movement seemed to be lacking - we didn't have even TWO guys moving crisply on a possession. :confused:

Zeke
03-01-2007, 12:10 PM
I really wish Z had gotten more experience earlier in the year. The double dribbles should have been addressed in Oct - not Feb. and timing issues would have disapeared by now. I really like the Z and McRoberts combination.

dball
03-01-2007, 12:13 PM
Brian if I'm not mistaken is 18.

Bowers and Ibekwe are 21 and Osby nearly so.

Sometimes it helps to think about ages and not just class. For example, Hansbrough is 21 when the season starts compared to Josh's 19.

With big guys particularly, I think age is significant. While there is the occasional phenom like Lebron who has a "man's" body at 18, most guys work into it. Usually, the bigger the guy, the longer it takes to develop and my feeling is Z is coming along in a terrific manner.

grossbus
03-01-2007, 12:28 PM
"he made both of his foul shots the second time he was fouled"

no he didn't. he missed the 2nd. he was 1-3 from the foul line.

MarcStarnes
03-01-2007, 12:29 PM
It is easy to see the cup as half empty, but Zoubek is contributing more and more, and he will be important to the team next year.

We are fortunate to have him on our team.

Clipsfan
03-01-2007, 12:32 PM
I agree with the posters who think that Z will get better with time, and especially with those who think that he adds some good things now. It's true that he has been called for many travels in other games, but I've always thought that his feet move because he gets shoved/can't hold position. I think we need him out there.

As for some of your assertions, such as FT shooting, I think you're obviously just trying to be overly negative. He shoots the same percentage as Josh, and a much better one than guys like David or Markie. He's not bad for a big guy, and actually has a nice stroke. I'd rather see him at the line than much of the team (which gets to one of our problems, this team does NOT shoot FTs well).

siestadogz
03-01-2007, 12:34 PM
I also thought Zoubek helped defensively. With Zoubek and Henderson in the game, Duke erased an eleven point lead. When they were removed, Maryland resumed its charge to the basket.

Dukefan4Life
03-01-2007, 12:56 PM
I think Z will be ok, he looks a little clumsy out there sometimes but overall i think he will be good for us. we just need to get him the ball in the post a bit more and he needs to work on his footwork and catching the ball inside

duke86
03-01-2007, 01:13 PM
Actually, Z did a few good things throughout the game. He had some key rebounds, when it seemed like rebounding was becoming a pain for the team. He scored three points in 11 minutes of playing time...three points is three points. I think it is unfair to single him out for turnovers for the MD game when there were a lot of problems on the O and D for this team. Jon missed some baskets, didn't get back on D sometimes. The one thing that I can tell about Z, since I have had the honor to watch him in high school when I was out visiting family in South Jersey, is that he is a fighter, team player, and he hustles! He runs up and down that court no matter what. Z is always playing with spirit and passion, which is GREAT, and which is why the fans LOVE him! I think, Dickie V was right when he said he needs to just work on those legs and he'll be great!

There are a lot of things to pick apart from this game, but I really think attacking every single person is just a bad call. It was a TEAM loss. Z didn't lose the game for us.

9-7 Baby!!! GO DUKE BEAT CAROLINA!!!!

arnie
03-01-2007, 01:25 PM
I also agree that the original poster was too harsh - but, I think overall most of our posters are overly optimistic. Maybe that is the nature of these boards. If Zoubek was going to be a strong player for us in the future, I think we would see more signs of that by now. Yes, he will likely be serviceable, possibly similar to Shav. The potential for this group of players (for this year and the next several years) is high, but not likely Final 4 potential. The speed, ball-handling and overall point guard abilities are not that strong. In fact, we sort of play without a true point guard since Paulus has developed more as a shooting guard.

When a team has so few assists (I believe no player had more than 2 last night) it is difficult to beat the strong, quick teams. Maryland has become one of those teams. Hopefully, we can add a Patrick Patterson inside (a true beast!) and find speed at the point guard position - these are the assets we need in the next 1-2 years to climb back to our expected pinnacle. In the next few weeks it's not so bad "pulling" for a team in which the expectations are not that high. We might suprise some teams and for those of us that remember the early to mid 70's, at least we are part of the program.

RepoMan
03-01-2007, 01:31 PM
Goodness.

Zoubek is light years ahead of what I expected. In relation to a typical Duke recruit, he was not highly touted coming out of high school. He is a young big guy with modest athleticism at best. Guys like that always take time to develop. He has improved enough during the season to earn over ten minutes of PT in a big game against a rival in the home stretch of the season.

Frankly, he has substantially exceeded expectations this season and is on-course to have a very productive career.

dukelion
03-01-2007, 01:49 PM
In case anyone didn't notice but it was when Z was in the game that we made our second half comeback from being down 12 points.

Yes he had a costly turnover but he played great on defense. He altered at least three shots did well on the boards.

Offensively at least he is an aption to score. This teams biggest problem is scoring points (and transition defense) so having McClure split time with Thomas really hurts them.

McClure and Thomas combined for 2 points last night while Z had three in oly 11 minutes. He also drew a number of fouls because he's just so darn big and active under the basket.

At least he actualy posts up and looks for the ball while McClure and Thomas look to pass before they even receive the ball.

Especially with Josh prefering to play the point forward position it only makes sense for Z to get more minutes along side of him.

I love McClure but Z offers more offensive potential and at times Z does a better job altering shots of penetrating guards.

I really hope Z continues to get a legitimate 10 mins a game.

Channing
03-01-2007, 02:01 PM
In case anyone didn't notice but it was when Z was in the game that we made our second half comeback from being down 12 points.

Yes he had a costly turnover but he played great on defense. He altered at least three shots did well on the boards.

Offensively at least he is an aption to score. This teams biggest problem is scoring points (and transition defense) so having McClure split time with Thomas really hurts them.

McClure and Thomas combined for 2 points last night while Z had three in oly 11 minutes. He also drew a number of fouls because he's just so darn big and active under the basket.

At least he actualy posts up and looks for the ball while McClure and Thomas look to pass before they even receive the ball.

Especially with Josh prefering to play the point forward position it only makes sense for Z to get more minutes along side of him.

I love McClure but Z offers more offensive potential and at times Z does a better job altering shots of penetrating guards.

I really hope Z continues to get a legitimate 10 mins a game.

Great Post. I agree, Zoubek played well, and with just a little more confidence on offense i think he will be very valuable.

DukieUGA
03-01-2007, 02:08 PM
i too have wondered why people have ripped on Z so much, i thought he played well, at least better than other games recently. The one point some people ripped on him for (and some have come to his defense) was when he lost the ball in the 2nd half. A) no one moved or gave him options for passing which forced him to hold onto the ball B) the ball was not stripped cleanly but rather got part of Z, now when the hand is on the ball they are one and the same, but it looked like Vasquez(?) got part of Z's arm on that play. Z's about a half-second away from being quite a beast, in that if he could make a move to the rim (withe intention of scoring or not) a half-second quicker he would a) not allow the defender to push him further away b) prevent double-teams c) prevent people from taking the ball away d) give the refs 1/2 second less time to call a travel on him (which they seem to LOVE to do) e) pick up some fouls on the defenders and f) force the D to react to him rather than vice-versa. I don't see Z as a "lost cause" or a "waste of a recruit", i see him as a Fr. 7-footer who needs some time to develop. He shows more touch around the rim than McRoberts does but also less experience and less quickness. With some more strength and 1 or 2 solid post moves, Z could be a very good center as a Jr. and Sr.

Bob Green
03-01-2007, 02:47 PM
Zoubek played a solid 11 minutes. I agree that he should continue to see 10 plus minutes a game as he is gaining invaluable experience. I am optimistic that he will improve over the summer and be a much better player next year. Hopefully, he gains strength and confidence. By his Junior year, watch out, he has the potential to be a beast in the low post. IMO, Zoubek could become the center piece of a dominant basketball team over the next two, three years. The current roster combined with the incoming class has all the pieces and a strong 7'1" low post presence is a nice piece to have.

Bob Green
Yokosuka, Japan

Zeke
03-02-2007, 02:18 PM
If you look at Z's stats per minute played they are darn good. The one exception being the TO problem. I would love to see him get the ball low turn and shoot - just a couple times. I hate it when either he or Josh get the ball low, hold it, dribble a few times and get swarmed on.

imagepro
03-02-2007, 05:48 PM
after the game to Coach Dawkins on the call in show. you are so right in the observation that Zou was a big factor in our comeback from 12 down. He made one mistake, was benched and Maryland immediately POUNDED us inside. PLAY Josh and ZOU together!