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Kedsy
10-05-2008, 08:20 PM
In many years there seem to have been people who got a glimpse of the September pickup games among the Duke players and then reported to the rest of us. I haven't seen anything like that this year. Have the pickup games been closed? Have people seen them and just not posted? Or have people been talking about it and I missed it? Or am I deluded and nobody ever talked about such things?

Edouble
10-05-2008, 08:25 PM
Great post, great question. ;)

I assume that there are still games in Card Gym (although I know there have been serious rennovations since was last in Durham) that non-scholarship students play in with the players on the team. Any students out there that took a board away from Olek or drained a J in Nolan's face?

chrisheery
10-05-2008, 08:46 PM
but I have seen the new facilities. Students can't enter without a basketball player bringing them in. As such, I think we won't hear quite as much from the people watching from the sidelines because only participants will now see those games. I had a chance to play in a few of those as a senior, but guys I have talked to who were a few years behind me say those games are far less frequent now. I am guessing they are exclusively in the new practice facility (which has two full court courts right next to each other).

throatybeard
10-05-2008, 08:50 PM
In many years there seem to have been people who got a glimpse of the September pickup games among the Duke players and then reported to the rest of us. I haven't seen anything like that this year. Have the pickup games been closed? Have people seen them and just not posted? Or have people been talking about it and I missed it? Or am I deluded and nobody ever talked about such things?

Perhaps you're thinking of late summer league games in Raleigh, with washed-up semi-pro competition.

I can't think of anything less relevant to anything than pickup games in Card or something similar.

phaedrus
10-05-2008, 09:30 PM
I can't think of anything less relevant to anything than pickup games in Card or something similar.

Really, you can't think of anything less relevant to Duke basketball than Duke players playing basketball?

Edouble
10-05-2008, 11:34 PM
I can't think of anything less relevant to anything than pickup games in Card or something similar.

Oh please.

Carlos
10-06-2008, 02:41 PM
I haven't actually seen any of the pickup games, but from what I've heard Taymon, Horvath, and Shav are completely dominating and they should all have breakout years.

roywhite
10-06-2008, 04:02 PM
In many years there seem to have been people who got a glimpse of the September pickup games among the Duke players and then reported to the rest of us. I haven't seen anything like that this year. Have the pickup games been closed? Have people seen them and just not posted? Or have people been talking about it and I missed it? Or am I deluded and nobody ever talked about such things?

A reasonable question IMO, though apparently some find it an occasion for disdain or sarcasm. Imagine a Duke basketball fan asking about reports of seeing Duke basketball players in action.

Several years back (say in the early 1990's), I recall going by Cameron around this time of year and seeing current players and former players playing against each other. It was interesting and somewhat informative, though it didn't always predict game situations. My understanding is that such action now takes place in the new practice facility, where access is restricted.

The good news is that practice starts soon, and we often hear reports from open practices, or from practices attended by high school coaches. Look forward to it.

dkbaseball
10-06-2008, 04:52 PM
A reasonable question IMO, though apparently some find it an occasion for disdain or sarcasm. Imagine a Duke basketball fan asking about reports of seeing Duke basketball players in action.

It does take a little time getting used to the conventions of the cognoscenti around here. One of them seems to be that pick-up or summer league games are virtually useless in predicting the contributions that players will make to the Duke basketball team, no matter who is doing the evaluating. So any reports on such activity are to be scorned lest they give rise to the awful virus of unreasonable expectations, which apparently is a plague upon not just this board but the very team itself.

brevity
10-06-2008, 05:18 PM
It does take a little time getting used to the conventions of the cognoscenti around here. One of them seems to be that pick-up or summer league games are virtually useless in predicting the contributions that players will make to the Duke basketball team, no matter who is doing the evaluating. So any reports on such activity are to be scorned lest they give rise to the awful virus of unreasonable expectations, which apparently is a plague upon not just this board but the very team itself.

Well said. There will always be a gap on any board between the more experienced and less experienced contributors.

I agree with the earlier sentiment that pickup games are pretty irrelevant toward playing time in real game conditions. But a fair answer to the original question might address changes or progress in a particular player's physical development. Examples:

"That elbow was giving him problems last year, but he's showing no signs of it now."

"I don't know his offseason training regimen, but I'd guess he packed on 15 pounds of muscle."

"By the end of his third game, he didn't look tired at all."

None of these statements translate in any significant way to how a player will fare in the regular season, and especially how Coach K intends to use him. But they are still of some use to those of us who don't have local access.

So if you have any firsthand accounts, please share. Just give us more straightforward description and less hyperbole.

dkbaseball
10-06-2008, 05:21 PM
Well said. There will always be a gap on any board between the more experienced and less experienced contributors.

Maybe not, if the sarcasm wasn't apparent.

mgtr
10-06-2008, 05:47 PM
Hey, its early October. Many of us are desperate to hear anything. For example, is Hendo fully recovered? How about Pocius? Is Zoubs moving well? Has Singler gotten stronger or not? How do the new guys look? Does Nolan seem more confident?
I am willing to do my own discounting of "facts", just feed me some info. Please.

Oriole Way
10-06-2008, 06:20 PM
Even though pickup reports rarely accurately predict how players will perform in the regular season, I've always looked forward to pickup reports each and every season since I've been a fan.

There's nothing wrong with getting different perspectives on how the players look and play. Posts which criticize the usefulness or demand for pickup reports are surprising. Just my opinion, but I always look forward to pickup reports as the first observations which signal the start of basketball season.

jimsumner
10-06-2008, 06:20 PM
Many of us remember the breathless reports of how Taymon Domzalski, Nick Horvath, or Casey Sanders was just dominating people like Elton Brand or Carlos Boozer in pick-up games. Break-out season, national dominance, and long career in the NBA dead ahead.

So we take the topic with a the proverbial grain of salt. Maybe not irrelevant but not especially illuminating or informative either.

Patience. Deliverance is soon at hand.

Kedsy
10-06-2008, 06:39 PM
Maybe not, if the sarcasm wasn't apparent.

The sarcasm was plenty apparent, and I second your sentiment. If somebody requires absolute certainty regarding how the players are going to perform in the actual games, then no information is relevant, unless you happen to own a crystal ball or know how to handle chicken entrails. Or there was an actual game played. Except there hasn't been a Duke game played in almost seven months but there's been plenty of posting around here...

If you don't require absolute certainty, and you haven't had the opportunity to see the players in person (or on TV, at least since the end of last season), what better way is there to learn about their game than to hear from someone who has seen them? Pickup may not be the best forum in which to get an accurate feel for the nuances of a player's game, but does anyone really think it would be better to read the box score of some high school game in which you've never seen any of the players play (and for all we know the opposing team could have been vastly inferior competition)? Or, better yet, to revel in a player's performance in a sneaker-camp all-star game where nobody passes or plays defense and the players all line up to show off their best dunks? Yet people around here seem to get excited about all-star game performances and high school stats, don't they?

Personally, I really enjoyed reading the accounts of the summer pro-am league. In the past, I've enjoyed reading the pickup game accounts posted on DBR's main page. I've appreciated dkbaseball's description of OC's game, because he's seen him play more than anyone else around here.

What's wrong with that?

SupaDave
10-06-2008, 08:41 PM
If you go to the NCCU Pro-am thread it may give you a taste of what you are looking for.

Otherwise you should be happy to know that the team is pretty healthy and ready to get back at it.

Jaymf7
10-06-2008, 09:21 PM
This backlash against a poster seeking info from anyone who has had an early glimpse of our team is pretty outrageous. Yes, such accounts are imperfect and potentially misleading. But perhaps the best way to resolve this issue is to answer this question -- If you had a chance to watch a pre-season pick-up game, would you?

I certainly would. Obviously, relying on another poster's report is not nearly as good as seeing it with your own eyes, but i'll take what I can get. Save the backlash for when an overly glowing report is posted (and hopefully be armed with your own first-hand impressions after watching the same game).

PS -- If I recall correctly, the reports that Horvath had put on tons of muscle and Shav played great when healthy were actually true. That said, in the interest of full disclosure, I came back from Durham after watching the Blue-White two years ago with the highest praise for Zoubek, who had thoroughly dominated McRoberts (which I could not believe in light of my artificially high expectations for Josh). While Zoubek did not break out that year, the Blue-White ended up telling me a lot about where McRoberts was -- the inexplicable frustration he showed that game continued throughout the rest of his less-than-stellar final year at Duke.

watzone
10-06-2008, 09:48 PM
This backlash against a poster seeking info from anyone who has had an early glimpse of our team is pretty outrageous. Yes, such accounts are imperfect and potentially misleading. But perhaps the best way to resolve this issue is to answer this question -- If you had a chance to watch a pre-season pick-up game, would you?

I certainly would. Obviously, relying on another poster's report is not nearly as good as seeing it with your own eyes, but i'll take what I can get. Save the backlash for when an overly glowing report is posted (and hopefully be armed with your own first-hand impressions after watching the same game).

PS -- If I recall correctly, the reports that Horvath had put on tons of muscle and Shav played great when healthy were actually true. That said, in the interest of full disclosure, I came back from Durham after watching the Blue-White two years ago with the highest praise for Zoubek, who had thoroughly dominated McRoberts (which I could not believe in light of my artificially high expectations for Josh). While Zoubek did not break out that year, the Blue-White ended up telling me a lot about where McRoberts was -- the inexplicable frustration he showed that game continued throughout the rest of his less-than-stellar final year at Duke.

Interestingly, three of the detractors have all been or still are local and have had a chance to watch pick ups. Also, considering the monster hits DBR got on these in the past pretty much makes the detractors the clear minority. I'm sure you could put that to a poll. It would probably be a good idea to let those who like them be and not thumb your nose at their perceived ignorance.

The detractors seem to remember what some had wrong, but never what they had right. They also feel the urge to state their displeasure at the mere thought of a pick up game. However, the pick up detractors should be on cloud nine, for the pick ups are now just past lore. The pick up games will never again be played in Cameron and will now be played in the new practice facility, which I jokingly call Fort Knox in that it is almost impossible to get in to see the gold in which it holds;)

throatybeard
10-06-2008, 10:22 PM
Interestingly, three of the detractors have all been or still are local and have had a chance to watch pick ups. Also, considering the monster hits DBR got on these in the past pretty much makes the detractors the clear minority. I'm sure you could put that to a poll. It would probably be a good idea to let those who like them be and not thumb your nose at their perceived ignorance.

The detractors seem to remember what some had wrong, but never what they had right. They also feel the urge to state their displeasure at the mere thought of a pick up game. However, the pick up detractors should be on cloud nine, for the pick ups are now just past lore. The pick up games will never again be played in Cameron and will now be played in the new practice facility, which I jokingly call Fort Knox in that it is almost impossible to get in to see the gold in which it holds;)

I did reports on the board for Aug-Sept pickup my last year in the Triangle, b/c I wanted to do a "service" for the community. That year was precisely when I learned through experience that this pickup mess was totally irrelevant. Duhon looked like hell in these meaningless pickup games. He had a great senior year. Deng didn't look nearly as good as he would actually be, OTOH. The whole thing was a meaningless enterprise to stoke the attentions of hyperactive fans who don't understand off-season minutiae mean virtually nothing.

As a result of that, and of the vagaries of recruiting services, I don't care what silliness emerges on the board before the guys matriculate, nor what the already-matriculated guys do in the summer. I care what happens after the guys get here, on the court, in actual play. The cult of the recruit is an absurd apotheosis of the 17-year old. It's a caricature.

Oriole Way
10-07-2008, 01:53 AM
I did reports on the board for Aug-Sept pickup my last year in the Triangle, b/c I wanted to do a "service" for the community. That year was precisely when I learned through experience that this pickup mess was totally irrelevant. Duhon looked like hell in these meaningless pickup games. He had a great senior year. Deng didn't look nearly as good as he would actually be, OTOH. The whole thing was a meaningless enterprise to stoke the attentions of hyperactive fans who don't understand off-season minutiae mean virtually nothing.

As a result of that, and of the vagaries of recruiting services, I don't care what silliness emerges on the board before the guys matriculate, nor what the already-matriculated guys do in the summer. I care what happens after the guys get here, on the court, in actual play. The cult of the recruit is an absurd apotheosis of the 17-year old. It's a caricature.

Well, pickup reports aren't for you, then. I respect the fact that you despise them because they are a poor indicator of how players will perform, but there are still those of us who enjoy them.

For instance, I would still like to hear from a knowledgeable observer that Duhon or Deng looked bad, because it's still information about my favorite basketball team. Most people should be able to temper expectations or lackluster play since pickup games don't mean much, but even if they can't, it doesn't change the fact that many fans appreciate any glimpses into the development and activity of Duke players they can get before following the team on ESPN.

Furthermore, there is always a chance we can hear about how a player who suffered a past injury is progressing, or if they're even playing at all. There will always be guys who are recuperating from offseason surgery or late-season injuries. This season alone, Zoubek, Henderson, Thomas, Paulus, and Pocius fit that bill. That's a considerable part of our team. I, for one, would most definitely appreciate a pickup report to see how those kids might be coming along.

I understand your sentiments about the cult of the recruit, but I'm not sure it's applicable in this situation. In most cases, posters just want to hear about all the members of the team, regardless of class, because it's the first they'll have heard of any game action since last March. And even in cases of incoming freshmen, what's wrong with hearing how they fared in what is some of their first interaction with the rest of their teammates? It might be interesting to hear that a guy like Elliot is vocal and unafraid to take it to the rim, or that Miles didn't like to take contact under the basket, just to throw out some hypotheticals. They might turn out to be completely irrelevant or plain incorrect in regular season play, but maybe we'll get an accurate preview once in a while.

Either way, your dismissive and almost grouchy attitude is discouraging. Not only because you're a veteran poster and fan, but because you disparage something so many other members of this community appreciate.

Bob Green
10-07-2008, 05:51 AM
The cult of the recruit is an absurd apotheosis of the 17-year old.

I absolutely love it when a post drives me to my dictionary. Apotheosis: the deifying of a person; the glorification of a person or a thing; a glorified ideal.

Perhaps some of us simply enjoy following recruiting, while others do not. I say live and let live.

killerleft
10-07-2008, 08:21 AM
The glory of Nick Horvath would never have reached such an exalted position in DBR lore were it not for the summer pick-up reports. Who wants Nick demoted?

C'mon! If it's in the game, it's in the game!!

quickgtp
10-07-2008, 08:27 AM
I think everyone needs to relax a bit! It certainly is no big deal if some of us want to know information on any pick-up games.....

CMS2478
10-07-2008, 08:52 AM
I think everyone needs to relax a bit! It certainly is no big deal if some of us want to know information on any pick-up games.....

Isn't it funny how one can be looked down upon for asking about Duke basketball players, playing basketball, on a Duke basketball message board!!! :confused:

roywhite
10-07-2008, 09:02 AM
Isn't it funny how one can be looked down upon for asking about Duke basketball players, playing basketball, on a Duke basketball message board!!! :confused:

Exactly. I count 11 or 12 posters on this thread that are not happy with a dismissive, sarcastic attitude expressed toward those simply interested in hearing information, if available, about the latest sightings of players in action. I'd call that customer feedback that should be listened to.

jv001
10-07-2008, 09:07 AM
I absolutely love it when a post drives me to my dictionary. Apotheosis: the deifying of a person; the glorification of a person or a thing; a glorified ideal.

Perhaps some of us simply enjoy following recruiting, while others do not. I say live and let live.

I love to hear to hear the old old story, Oh wait that's about my Lord and Savior. But I do like to hear about all the Duke BB players off season and during the season. Just love that Royal Blue. Go Duke!

elvis14
10-07-2008, 12:47 PM
I am willing to do my own discounting of "facts", just feed me some info. Please.


Even though pickup reports rarely accurately predict how players will perform in the regular season, I've always looked forward to pickup reports each and every season since I've been a fan.

There's nothing wrong with getting different perspectives on how the players look and play. Posts which criticize the usefulness or demand for pickup reports are surprising. Just my opinion, but I always look forward to pickup reports as the first observations which signal the start of basketball season.


Personally, I really enjoyed reading the accounts of the summer pro-am league. In the past, I've enjoyed reading the pickup game accounts posted on DBR's main page. I've appreciated dkbaseball's description of OC's game, because he's seen him play more than anyone else around here.

What's wrong with that?

I really enjoy posts that relay first hand impressions of Duke players in action. I like hearing these observations and believe that I'm smart enough to figure out the amount of relevance to give posts. I enjoyed hearing the reports from the Pro-Am. Does it mean that I think OC's going to play 30 minutes and put down 8 dunks a game? Nope, but it sure was fun to read about him throwing down in the pro-am and seeing the video clips.

That said, has anyone had a chance to see the team in action yet? Any observations to share? :D

ACCBBallFan
10-07-2008, 01:12 PM
Any info the locals could provide is greatly appreciated. It is not a binding contract, just something to spawn discussion with a least a tinge of reality rather than merely an off the wall opinion not at all based on facts or observations.

SupaDave
10-07-2008, 01:37 PM
I love the enthusiasm from you guys. I personally don't mind the "I saw him dunk from the three-point line" posts.

However, I think what Throaty originally meant is that it is VERY subjective. Considering we have a great deal of posts that detail our weaknesses, such posts can skewer perception to an almost unhealthy level.

For example, everyone doesn't know what a pick and roll is and how it develops. During a pick-up game, the switches on defense can be a nightmare for folks who haven't played together and don't communicate well and you could see someone get burned a lot. There is no strategy - a point guard can come down and shoot the ball without passing it 5 times in a row (which is often the case in pick-up, whoever has the ball tends to want to shoot). Pick-up games often highlight a hot player during what could be a mis-match or knowledge of your opponent's weaknesses.

If we've got someone willing to detail pick-up games - well send them on! His/her posts will be read and re-read until the over analyzation of such will make you believe that McClure SHOULD be an All-American by the year's end (and if that's the case I most definitely expect to see a banner).

They are playing pick-up though. One of the best indications of the level of play is the fact that they are taking ALL of the recruits to play ball. FIND those games - and you're on to something...

Sounds like the gym is pretty hard to get into so you might be well off going to NCCU and finding out where the GOOD games are which will increase your chances of seeing the team.

SupaDave
10-07-2008, 02:52 PM
Well actually I've waited on this thread and since noone has offered any pick-up game info it looks like it's time to close this one.