PDA

View Full Version : Maryland Game Thoughts



dukelifer
02-28-2007, 10:51 PM
Frustrating game- frustrating loss. This was a winnable game for Duke but credit Maryland who made big plays at key moments- end of the first half and after Duke tied it. Vasquez, Jones and Strawberry were excellent tonight. They broke Duke's momentum in different ways- getting out on the break, driving to the hoop or hitting jumpers from 3. It was a big big game from those three. In many ways- Duke had their chances. I was frustrated by McBob's play tonight. His spin moves to the hoop are just not working in games. He needs to face the basket and make his move- or get it close off an assist. He is missing too many of those shots. I thought Henderson had a very nice night. He was aggressive. He is still deferring at key moments. He has the ability to be the guy- but I am not sure this year. But I like how he is playing. Paulus hit some big shots but his size and inability to explode will limit what he can do in a tight game. But when your big guy cannot make shots in tight games- it puts way too much pressure on a team. Duke missed a TON of two footers and really had trouble defending the flex. That offense is designed to beat Duke and it does more often than not lately. But in the end, Maryland's key guys made plays. That is how you win a close game. Duke did not make those plays and missed some key throws- those misses were key and back breakers. That is is not the way to get it done. To me, this was a loss that an experienced Duke team would not have had. When it got tight and tense, Duke faltered. But credit Maryland. They are playing well- but they are fragile- one bad Jones shooting night from collapse- so it remains to be seen how they will play in March. Right now they are right there as a possible ACC Tourney contenders.

RockyMtDevil
02-28-2007, 10:58 PM
Good analysis.

One of the most frustrating aspects of this team's development has been Josh's poor offensive touch. He either dunks it or it is a miss. he has several opportunities from about 4 feet that weren't even close. I realize it is a totally different comparison, but in '05 I knew our season would boil down to Shav finally hitting his potential, which of course he never, ever did and therefore we bowed out against MSU. This year is the same way, Josh must hit shots and must finish around the basket but why would he start now, he hasn't done it all year.

This team just has too many holes to fill to get away with giving up 85 points. How many lay-ups did we give up and how many lay-ups did we miss? Maryland, despite the score, was in command of the game from the very beginning. They are simply better than we are.

bhd28
02-28-2007, 10:59 PM
I was a little dissapointed in Duke's Frosh SG tonight (not naming any names) as well. Poor shooting and poor D. I am for more time for GH. Josh... well hopefully he works hard over the summer. There isn't another option than him right now in the post. We have to just hope he plays well.

dukelifer
02-28-2007, 11:07 PM
My post was a negative but I remain positive about the team. They played hard- they made a gutty comeback when it looked like Maryland would run away with it and had it tied with a few minutes to go. That is what you want. But Maryland hit some big shots and some well defended. They just seemed to have an answer. It felt like Duke was being schooled by a ... Duke. Experience is huge in college bball and Jones and Strawberry were calm throughout. Also, I think Vasquez playes better when he is booed. That kid is a gamer and that you cannot teach. But it also looks like Henderson likes the big game as well. That is why I am voting for him to be the guy. Right now- I am not sure who is a better choice.

Bob Green
02-28-2007, 11:37 PM
I believe in giving credit where credit is due and, right now, Maryland is playing very good basketball. They are a strong rebounding team and execute in transition. We lost to a better team. Maryland will be ready for ACC Tournament play.

However, there are several positive take aways from the game. Henderson played very, very good today with 15 points and 3 rebounds in 21 minutes. Zoubek contributed with 3 points and 3 rebounds in 11 minutes. He played defense and only had one turnover on a play where he should of took the ball to the rim instead of passing. Our balanced offense with five players scoring in double figures is another positive. If you told me before the game that we would score 77 points and lose, I would've emphatically disagreed. The big four scored 57 points today and players five through nine kicked in 20 more. That is the type of offensive performance that should result in a win, but it wasn't enough today. I also think we will need to score over 80 to beat Carolina on Sunday.

Bob Green
Yokosuka, Japan

Troublemaker
03-01-2007, 12:11 AM
Good analysis.
One of the most frustrating aspects of this team's development has been Josh's poor offensive touch. He either dunks it or it is a miss. he has several opportunities from about 4 feet that weren't even close. I realize it is a totally different comparison, but in '05 I knew our season would boil down to Shav finally hitting his potential, which of course he never, ever did and therefore we bowed out against MSU. This year is the same way, Josh must hit shots and must finish around the basket but why would he start now, he hasn't done it all year.

People should be getting sick of me repeating this mantra by now but here goes again. The vast majority of the time, shooting touch does not improve during a season. Shooting is an individual skill that requires lots of repetitions in the offseason (when you don't have classes, games, practices, studying, etc taking time away from your individual skillwork). I was one of the very first people on this board to point out Josh's lack of touch early in the season, but I have never blamed him for not improving in-season. Because frankly, hardly anyone ever improves their shooting ability in-season. He needs time during the summer to lift weights so he can have the strength to anchor, and he needs time and reps to work on his touch. You can't build those things overnight.

dukelifer
03-01-2007, 06:00 AM
You are absolutely right. Josh and a few others need to rebuild their shot in the off season. Josh lost the summer due to his back. My frustration with Josh is shot selection. He needs to know his strengths in games Right now- spinning or working with his back to the basket is not working for him. He is better when he can face or catch and dunk.

gw67
03-01-2007, 07:13 AM
I watched about 1/2 the game and listened to the other 1/2 in my car (Wife insisted that I be limo driver for neighbor so she wouldn't need to ride Metro and bus at night.). My thoughts/observations are as follows:

* I was surprised that Coach K decided to run with the Terps since that style fits their comfort zone
* The Devils' perimeter players continually tried to beat the Terps off the dribble rather than use the pass, hence, the low number of assists (9). I suspect that the staff felt that this might open up their outside game and they also hoped that this might get the Terps big men in foul trouble.
* McRoberts did a nice defensive job on Gist but the Terps ran their flex offense well and shared the ball leading to numerous assists (25).
* Coming into this game, the Terps point guards were averaging 13.5 assists for the previous 4 games. Last night, they got 15 assists. The combination of the agressive play by their point guards and the solid play by their three seniors made them a very difficult team to defend, whether on fast breaks or in their sets.
* Paulus and Henderson played very well on the offensive end in the second half.

In summary, Maryland appears to be the better team this year and should get a better seed in the NCAA's but who knows what the Selection Committee will do.

gw67

dukeENG2003
03-01-2007, 07:20 AM
You are absolutely right. Josh and a few others need to rebuild their shot in the off season. Josh lost the summer due to his back. My frustration with Josh is shot selection. He needs to know his strengths in games Right now- spinning or working with his back to the basket is not working for him. He is better when he can face or catch and dunk.

I agree with this comment wholeheartedly, it amazes me that people still think he's coming out after this year, NBAdraft.net still has him listed as the #18 pick. Is draft position really based THAT much on potential? Once he develops his jump shot a bit more, it will allow him to use the beautiful game he has off the dribble, but right now, people are defending on the perimeter like they defended Dahntay Jones his first year with Duke, by just backing off about 4 feet. Its awfully hard to drive by someone when they are sagging that far off.

CMS2478
03-01-2007, 07:22 AM
We will conitinue to struggle with athletic teams and Maryland is the perfect example of that..............WAY TOO QUICK FOR US!!! And Vasquez is a great player but I think he should have went Boston College bc he would fit in good with Dudley and Marshall. They could all run their mouths and talk trash together.

willywoody
03-01-2007, 07:52 AM
md looked so much quicker than duke that i was wondering if some of our team weren't sick or something. nelson came out of one time out looking like he was coughing up a lung which made me think that. maybe the water he was drinkin' went down the wrong way or something, though.

Give a Blue Devil His Due
03-01-2007, 08:09 AM
...for beating Duke this year has been the quick 3 guard set. Teams with fast guards (Marquette, Maryland and others) are beating this team down court for easy scoring. Meanwhile, I maintain that many of these games we're losing can be brought right back to the rebounding (ie second chance scoring) and foul shooting. When you don't have a range shooter like J.J., you have to adjust playing styles...and K stubbornly continues to give Z more minutes to add dimension to this squad. This is DEFINITELY a 'rebuilding' season.

We'll be lucky if we get to the Sweet 16 this year boys....


P.S. Long time Duke BB fan and FINALLY found a site for my NCAA fix! Love it!!!:D

mapei
03-01-2007, 08:14 AM
(Warning: compulsive editor about to rant: man, the grammar on this board is getting appalling . . . are we sure this is DUKE?)

(Fair retort: c'mon, it's a sports board for god's sake. Get a life.)

OK, first, congratulations to gw and to just_wondering, if he's still around. MD has swept Duke again, at least in the regular season, and I sure wouldn't bet $$ on our ability to change the outcome in a third game, if we get one.

I have to admit that I couldn't bear to watch the game. It's not because I'm "down on the team," or any of that. Quite the contrary: it's because I lose perspective and care too much. It's just become unbearable, and especially so against Maryland, the team I most hate to lose to.

I know that is probably blasphemy to those of you who hate UNC more than Satan, and I might feel differently if I had gone to Duke undergrad, and certainly if I lived in North Carolina, where the Tar Heel fandom must be insufferable. But, unfortunately, I live in Maryland's media market, and am subjected to constant woofing from the media and local fans. Duke grads may not consider MD to be a rival, but MD's fans do consider Duke to be a rival, and they despise Duke as much as Duke fans traditionally despise Carolina. And, trust me, they let people like me know all about it. They have owned us as much or more than anyone lately; you have to go back to a previous millennium to find the era where Duke really dominated this non-rivalry. The local media just eat it up.

(It's also annoying that Maryland gets about 3X the local coverage that Georgetown does, even though the Hoyas are the better team this year.)

So I just couldn't bear to watch. I did follow along on gametracker and in the Duke chat room, which is about as much as I could handle. And then I watched the fabulous ending to Texas/A&M to get my mind somewhat off it. Helped a little.

Some things jumped out at me from the box score, mainly the turnovers, the incredible disparity in assists, and the near-triple-double that Vasquez put up on Duke. He is going to be not just a good but a great player IMO.

My sense is that Duke has decent individual talent (witness all the McD AAs) but doesn't play very well as a team sometimes. Why? A couple of months ago, right after the VT loss as I recall, there was a thread on the board that asked people to predict Duke's finish in the regular season, ACC tourney, and NCAAs. My guess at the time was 8-8, out in the ACC semis, out in the second round of the NCAAs. Realistically, I can't see changing any of that now.

One more thing: there is a really infuriating quote in today's Washington Post from Gary Williams about the Crazies and K-ville. [Monderator Edit: Last sentence deleted.]

bhd28
03-01-2007, 08:17 AM
Welcome Give... I am glad to have you at the site. This is definitely the site for you if you are a Duke fan. I have really enjoyed the majority of the posters here. Check out the off topic board if you have time as well for movie/TV/other entertainment advice (also some good food reviews from time to time). I have gotten some great suggestions from there.

JasonEvans
03-01-2007, 08:17 AM
I was a little dissapointed in Duke's Frosh SG tonight (not naming any names) as well. Poor shooting and poor D. I am for more time for GH. Josh... well hopefully he works hard over the summer. There isn't another option than him right now in the post. We have to just hope he plays well.

I know his conditioning is affected by sports-related asthma or something like that but there must, must, must, must be a way to get Henderson on the floor more.

But, IMO, the guy who needs to get less time is not the frosh SG but the junior SF. A LOT LESS TIME!!

-Jason "the defensive effort really stunk last night" Evans

devildownunder
03-01-2007, 08:20 AM
I believe in giving credit where credit is due and, right now, Maryland is playing very good basketball. They are a strong rebounding team and execute in transition. We lost to a better team. Maryland will be ready for ACC Tournament play.

However, there are several positive take aways from the game. Henderson played very, very good today with 15 points and 3 rebounds in 21 minutes. Zoubek contributed with 3 points and 3 rebounds in 11 minutes. He played defense and only had one turnover on a play where he should of took the ball to the rim instead of passing. Our balanced offense with five players scoring in double figures is another positive. If you told me before the game that we would score 77 points and lose, I would've emphatically disagreed. The big four scored 57 points today and players five through nine kicked in 20 more. That is the type of offensive performance that should result in a win, but it wasn't enough today. I also think we will need to score over 80 to beat Carolina on Sunday.

Bob Green
Yokosuka, Japan


Your thoughts on the type of offensive production this team needs have pretty much mirrored mine. I too would have loved our chances ahead of time scoring 77.

What about the defense this time? I had to follow this one very loosely on gamecenter, as I was at work, but it seemed like every time I checked on the game maryland was hitting a layup. Now in the stats I see they shot almost 54 percent! from behind the line, too. That sounds like a case where we couldn't stay in front of their guards so we had to back off them and then they hit threes on us. Is that about right?

Indoor66
03-01-2007, 08:22 AM
I know his conditioning is affected by sports-related asthma or something like that but there must, must, must, must be a way to get Henderson on the floor more.

But, IMO, the guy who needs to get less time is not the frosh SG but the junior SF. A LOT LESS TIME!!

-Jason "the defensive effort really stunk last night" Evans

Couldn't agree more. He is too small to be successful at the game he continually attempts to play.

devildownunder
03-01-2007, 08:27 AM
One more thing: there is a really infuriating quote in today's Washington Post from Gary Williams about the Crazies and K-ville. [Monderator Edit: Last sentence deleted.]


Hey, c'mon mapei, don't go there. Not for Gary's sake or ours, but your own. Believe me, I feel ya on everything you posted but don't let it eat at you that much.

(And if you knew me and had any idea of some of the knots I've twisted myself into over a game in my lifetime, you'd see the irony in this post -- but you'd also know it's out of genuine empathy)

peace

devildownunder
03-01-2007, 08:31 AM
He needs time during the summer to lift weights so he can have the strength to anchor, and he needs time and reps to work on his touch. You can't build those things overnight.

you're spot on.

_Gary
03-01-2007, 08:32 AM
Couldn't agree more. He is too small to be successful at the game he continually attempts to play.

As much as I love him and want to see him succeed as an individual player and, more importantly, as a team player at Duke it's really tough right now. I'm seeing things that are killing me, especially on the offensive end.

I made a prediction to my daughter about a week ago that when this team eventually loses in the Tournament (wish I could say I see them going all the way, but let's be realistic) it will come down to him either forcing something up near the basket and getting stuffed or, more probably, a turnover based on his poor handle in traffic and really poor passing decisions.

And I'm definitely with the group that would like to see Gerald get more time. He's absolutely got the type of game this team needs right now [i.e. the ability to create his own shot, drive effectively, and finish at the rim].

Gary

grossbus
03-01-2007, 08:36 AM
But, IMO, the guy who needs to get less time is not the frosh SG but the junior SF. A LOT LESS TIME!!

-Jason "the defensive effort really stunk last night" Evans

jason, your stature will tell here...when i posted essentially the same thing saying that if that jr SF was starting next year our team would be in big trouble, the thread got deleted.

he continues to think he can take the ball deep inside and score. last night he was getting rejected by mulitple people at the same time.

rwooduke
03-01-2007, 09:03 AM
Josh could also stand to see a "Hurley Video" -- i.e. the video the coaching staff made Hurley watch (as a Soph. I believe) of him complaining about officiating and generally spending half the game with a sour expression on his face. The general point of the video, as I remember it, was to say that you're a leader of the team...people key off your expression. Also, your focus and performance suffer when you're getting frustrated because you're more focused on officiating than playing.

The same goes for Josh...he has too many games, including last night, where he seems completely distracted by the officiating which in turn causes him to get frustrated which results in him not playing as well. It also leads to an increase in "Chris Paul" type instances where sooner or later Josh is going to get caught for one of the half pushes/elbows he makes out of frustration. He had one or two last night that made me cringe where he pretty blatantly extended both arms and pushed a MD player after they had a big play...and it was always right after he had shown some frustration at an official for missing a call.

devildownunder
03-01-2007, 09:03 AM
As much as I love him and want to see him succeed as an individual player and, more importantly, as a team player at Duke it's really tough right now. I'm seeing things that are killing me, especially on the offensive end.

I made a prediction to my daughter about a week ago that when this team eventually loses in the Tournament (wish I could say I see them going all the way, but let's be realistic) it will come down to him either forcing something up near the basket and getting stuffed or, more probably, a turnover based on his poor handle in traffic and really poor passing decisions.

And I'm definitely with the group that would like to see Gerald get more time. He's absolutely got the type of game this team needs right now [i.e. the ability to create his own shot, drive effectively, and finish at the rim].

Gary


Why so much of this kind of stuff directed towards demarcus? This makes it sound like last night was all his fault, which certainly is not the case.

elvis14
03-01-2007, 09:04 AM
But, IMO, the guy who needs to get less time is not the frosh SG but the junior SF. A LOT LESS TIME!!

-Jason "the defensive effort really stunk last night" Evans

jason, your stature will tell here...when i posted essentially the same thing saying that if that jr SF was starting next year our team would be in big trouble, the thread got deleted.

he continues to think he can take the ball deep inside and score. last night he was getting rejected by mulitple people at the same time.

Let me start this positive. I love the way DN plays hard on the defensive end and I love the way he finishes on the break and in the open court. But, he has no court vision! NONE! He can beat his man and get in the paint but when teams double and triple down on him he can't find the open man. He just can't. Several times last night he came off a pick and had guys rolling to the hoop wide open and was not heavily pressured and he didn't make the pass, not once. He's like the anti-PG. We need his strengths on the court but as the season has wore on it's become obvious that the points we get from Nelson come with a steep price. Henderson needs to get more of DN's playing time. I know he's a Jr and all that but lets not forget that he has been injured the last 2 years and has been playing on teams stacked with talent. Now that we see what he's really got, there are some big holes in his game that he needs to improve upon.

CMS2478
03-01-2007, 09:07 AM
Couldn't agree with you more...........I continually find myself yelling at my TV........... "No don't force it!!! You don't have to drive and shoot everytime you touch the ball." I love the guy and he is good scorer. However, when he starts driving to the basket you can bet your piggy bank he ain't passing, no matter what!!!

gw67
03-01-2007, 09:07 AM
mapei - I haven't seen a just_wondering post for a long time but I have little doubt that he is very happy about last night's outcome. I have been a fan of Duke since 1962 and a fan of Maryland since 1972. When they play each other, I try not to get emotional and to just watch the game. Over the years, I've normally been able to do this although I loved the Battier/JWill and Dixon/Blake teams and it was hard to maintain a neutral view when they were playing one another. It's almost like watching opposite teams that your kids play for. I hope both teams maximize their potential and do very well for the remainder of the year.

Hate is a very strong word and the only teams where I would apply that term were/are the Tark UNLV teams, the Tubbs Oklahoma teams and the Calhoun Connecticut teams. The best win of all time, IMO, was the win over UNLV by the Laettner/Hurley/Hill team.

gw67

DukeBlood
03-01-2007, 09:34 AM
You guys think Demarcus should be getting alot less playing time?

He is Dukes best defender, especially on the perimeter. Plays very hard and rebounds very, very well for his size.

I seen some of the things he did last night, but that is no reason to say he does deserve less playing time. If anything i think Scheyer could use a little less(He doesnt rebound or play as good of defense) and this team is successful when playing defense, and our defense starts with Demarcus!

And someone asked earlier if the team was "sick", Demarcus was sick last week. Looks as if he wasnt 100% over it.

Gerald Henderson- Great game last night. He plays some good D too!

Just think if Josh, Greg and Gerald werent hurt in the off-season?

Chard
03-01-2007, 09:47 AM
In his defense at least he was being aggressive. It looked like there was a lot of standing around on offense in the second half. I would like to see him play on the baseline a lot more. He is effective using the back board against the defenders.

grossbus
03-01-2007, 09:57 AM
You guys think Demarcus should be getting alot less playing time?

He is Dukes best defender, especially on the perimeter. Plays very hard and rebounds very, very well for his size.

I seen some of the things he did last night, but that is no reason to say he does deserve less playing time. If anything i think Scheyer could use a little less(He doesnt rebound or play as good of defense) and this team is successful when playing defense, and our defense starts with Demarcus!

And someone asked earlier if the team was "sick", Demarcus was sick last week. Looks as if he wasnt 100% over it.

Gerald Henderson- Great game last night. He plays some good D too!

Just think if Josh, Greg and Gerald werent hurt in the off-season?

i'll give you this, he was coughing last night which made me wonder if he was sick. but, you have to give me this, his defense last night was shoddy; he kept losing his man who would score.

scheyer has been playing decent D, but he was in trouble last night, too. not quick enough.

heck the whole team looked slow (by comparison to the twerps).

DukeBlood
03-01-2007, 10:08 AM
I will agree he wasnt on his best, Maybe his cold had something to do with that? Cant make excuses, a Loss is a loss though.

But I still believe Duke starts on Defense and that starts with Demarcus.

MulletMan
03-01-2007, 10:13 AM
Well, I have some quick thoughts from last night...

1. Nelson's court vision is terrible. There's no doubt about that. Last night that was pretty evident on several occasions. On his final charge in the second half, K was actually up off the bench and on the court telling him that he needed to deliver a bounce pass (K actually making the passing motion) to the man on the baseline. I am totally frustrated that Nelson has not learned/developed this aspect of his game. I love the kid on the defensive end, and he played reasonably well, but to be the kind of player he wants to be, he needs to learn how to dribble with his head up, stop lowering his shoulder (because the refs are looking for that now) and start passing out of the doubles.

2. Paulus is on his way to being a big time leader/player for us. He is starting to understand that he can put a team on his back for stretches when he is shooting well. Not to mention the fact that huddles have become different. The team huddles, and Greg talks. That's it. Everyone is listening to him and he is looking everyone in the eye. His 4th foul last night killed us.

3. You have to be encouraged with the development of the freshman. Although Scheyer had a bit of a tough shooting night (part of which, I think, is due to him trying to get off more shots, and taking those shots quicker) he still had the ummmm.... cajones to take and knock down some big shots. Not to mention the fact that he is a terrific on the ball defender. I think that gets overlooked... a lot. I think that Gerald's performance has already been covered, and Zou played some solid, SMART minutes. LT's minutes were good, as well, although sparse. I feel like he was a bad match up for the Maryland offense.

4. The defense was terrrible last night. Even JD noted in his post-game call in show that the players just weren't talking to each other on D. Kinda painful to watch, but you have to think that this is a bad game and not a trend.

5. I know we're all upset about how many layups were missed, but just a few weeks ago we were upset about how this team couldn't get into the lane and create shots. Keep things in perspective. Those layups will fall.

6. We didn't fold last night. We fought back, anc although we came up short, the fight is there, and the team is hungry. You can bet your sweet-butt that these guys don't like losing, and we're seeing that now.

7. I don't know that Maryland is that much quicker than Duke, but I think that they play with more confidence and more of a proactive nature on the floor. That comes with experience. We are starting to get that, but we're not there yet. It may some this season, it may not. Right now we react to things on the court. Once we start to see the plays before they happen, we will play "quicker".

8. A Maryland fan brought a tiny broom to Cameron and was waving it as he walked out last night. I asked him if he used it to dust his one national title banner.

9. Enjoy the rest of the season with this team. Remember how hard they are trying to get better and how badly they want to win. Remember the struggles of this season and appreciate what its like to not be the best all the time. This season has been so much fun. The rewarding thing, I think for coaches and players is not alway the destination of the season, but the journey that makes up the season. This team is exponentially better than they were just 4 months ago. Appreciate that. Enjoy it. And soak up the remaining games... who knows how many there will be...? ;)

10. BEAT CAROLINA!! GTHCGTH!!! GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!! GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!! GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!! GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!! GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!! GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!! GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!! GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!!GTHCGTH!!!

DukieUGA
03-01-2007, 11:22 AM
It takes a certain type of maturation to translate what the coaching staff tells you in practice or in huddles and put that into action IN the game. That being said, this team has not matured in that way so much, mostly b/c they have NO Sr.s and just one Jr., and he has shown very little maturation in that regard. He STILL drives into triple teams, turns the ball over, fails to make the proper pass or gets his shots ridiculously stuffed well over half of the time he tries to drive from the half-court O. OTH, he finishes very well in transition most of the time (Strawberry totally stood him up on a one-on-one fastbreak last night though), rebounds well, plays good D and creates transition opportunities. I don't think he should not be on the court, but K really needs to get DN to change his approach to the game. McRoberts is another example of translating practice to games. I just can't believe that K etc would coach McBobs to make those spin moves and off-balance cringe-inducing shots, so he must be doing that on his own, and unsuccessfully. Josh needs to settle down and play, i think all of this talk about how he should be scoring 18ppg has gotten to his head. I don't think he's that type of player, he can score when the opportunity is there, but the D is focusing on him and he doesn't have the opps that he needs to be successful. Part of that is related to the fact that Duke has NO other players that can score their share AND make teams pay for focusing on Josh. OTH, Paulus seems to be translating the coaches' message to his play, he is looking for his shot MUCH more than he used to and converting. It's kind of disappointing that he is not able to create shots for teammates as well, but he had 0 TOs last night, and that is very good against MDs D. Henderson is starting to come alive at the same time that McClure and Thomas are disappearing on O.

DukeUsul
03-01-2007, 12:34 PM
I'm not sure why everyone is piling on DN. I still haven't seen someone make a good argument why our best on-ball defender and leading scorer needs less PT. Yes he makes mistakes - yes he gets stuck in the lane - but who on the team isn't making the same kinds of mistakes? Heck, even Paulus, who's clearly our "best player" the last few weeks is still getting caught with bunches of TO's and bad plays (see @ Clem). We need DN's defense and scoring - what we also need is for additional tape-time to help him realize what to do differently when he dribbles into a tight lane.

BTW, I definitely agree with all that we're seeing some great stuff from GH. We needed some more 12-foot floaters last night - the layups weren't going in because of MD's blocks and alterations - and GH is money with that kind of shot. It's exciting to see him blossom. Plus his D gets better every game.

It was also great to see some great D out of Zoub. He and Josh did a great job during a couple-minute stretch in the second half when they got stops on MD's bigs a couple possessions in a row. It's too bad that Zoub is still a bit of a liability on O that we can't keep him in longer. If his defense can be as good as it was last night, it'd be good to see him in more. But we can't be expecting to run the O down through the low post like we've tried with him in. We need the O in that case to go through Josh in the high post, looking for cutters, or driving himself (come on Josh assert yourself!) and use Zoub primarily for defense, rebounds, and putbacks.

CMS2478
03-01-2007, 12:35 PM
I don't think we can use DN being sick as an excuse for his forcing terrible shots and no court vision. Unless, he has been sick all year.

dcarp23
03-01-2007, 12:49 PM
Well, I have some quick thoughts from last night...

4. The defense was terrrible last night. Even JD noted in his post-game call in show that the players just weren't talking to each other on D. Kinda painful to watch, but you have to think that this is a bad game and not a trend.

...

7. I don't know that Maryland is that much quicker than Duke, but I think that they play with more confidence and more of a proactive nature on the floor. That comes with experience. We are starting to get that, but we're not there yet. It may some this season, it may not. Right now we react to things on the court. Once we start to see the plays before they happen, we will play "quicker".



Coach K agrees with you Mullet. He said:

“Maryland is playing lights-out basketball. They’re really good. They played as well against us tonight as anybody has played against us all year. I think they could go against anybody. Their offense beat our defense. I thought their offense was very mature and our defense was very immature. We didn’t communicate well and we didn’t follow some of the things we would have liked to have done against their offense. We did not execute our game plan defensively. They were better and they deserved to win. I wish them luck. They can play. They showed what a veteran team looks like.”

And later,

“They didn’t penetrate that much. They fast-broke and then they curled. It’s the same thing they did against North Carolina where they scored a lot of points. The first six times they ran it, we fouled them and they scored every time. You have to take that away from them.”

For all of the focus that the Worldwide Leader placed on Duke's struggles against athletic guards, it's clear that Coach and Duke don't see that as a problem. You can defend against those types of teams when you're playing defense properly, and he doesn't think Duke did that last night. I think last night is the first game all year that you can place on the defensive end--the "athletic guard" teams like Va Tech, Virginia and Ga Tech wouldn't have won had the offense played like it did last night.

MulletMan
03-01-2007, 01:00 PM
You know... there was one other big problem for Duke in the first half last night. Mike Jones was freaking UNCONSCIOUS! I said to our friends after his 3rd three-pointer, "Oh crap... we're gonna get Bootsied!"

dcarp23
03-01-2007, 01:04 PM
And the other major reason we lost, which I would be remisce without saying, is that Maryland is really good and really playing well. They play really good D, rebound well and have some shooters. That's a tough matchup for anyone.

DukieUGA
03-01-2007, 02:20 PM
3 things happened last night that Duke usually excells at but last night MD did better. The opening few minutes was kind of a draw, both teams scored pretty well, but i give the edge to MD cuz that's the tempo they want to play, and they were able to break Duke's defense enough to lift them up. the 3 keys were 1) the last 1:30 of the 1st half when Vasquez turned a tie game into a 6pt lead at the half 2) the opening few minutes of the 2nd half when Duke didn't fight hard enough and fell further behind although this didn't really start until about 17minutes to play but Duke missed some key chances to inch closer when they were effectively stopping MD and 3) after they fought hard and came back to tie the game Duke just ran out of steam and/or MD found a gear the Devils don't have to finish the game on a solid run. In the past these have been the 3 time-spans in a game that Duke feasts on, instead last night they allowed MD to feast on them.

Bob Green
03-01-2007, 02:35 PM
DevilDownUnder stated: "What about the defense this time? I had to follow this one very loosely on gamecenter, as I was at work, but it seemed like every time I checked on the game maryland was hitting a layup. Now in the stats I see they shot almost 54 percent! from behind the line, too. That sounds like a case where we couldn't stay in front of their guards so we had to back off them and then they hit threes on us. Is that about right?"

MD attacked the defensive boards and executed in transition, which resulted in those layups. When in their half-court set, they buried the 3-pointer.

Bob Green
Yokosuka, Japan

devildownunder
03-01-2007, 03:01 PM
MD attacked the defensive boards and executed in transition, which resulted in those layups. When in their half-court set, they buried the 3-pointer.

Bob Green
Yokosuka, Japan



man, tough to beat that. thanks. Ibekwe's board woard has been a problem for us for a long time now. Also, I saw some of those curls into the lane that K mentioned post-game in a highlight package. Some of them started WAY out high and we'ren't picked up by anybody in the lane. I'm sure that's one type of instance where K wants more communication.

DukeDevilDeb
03-01-2007, 03:11 PM
Josh spent more time pouting than shooting last night. I agree that a Hurley-like video could do some good. And some of the shots he tried to take when he wasn't rush and had passing options... I just didn't get it. When he gets the ball, I cheer for a moment, then realize what's going to happen, and get sad.

We need a big man who is assertive and powerful. Josh is neither with the exception of a basket or two throughout the season.

This is one year when "Next game" and "Next season" will be a relief!

willywoody
03-01-2007, 03:22 PM
I don't think we can use DN being sick as an excuse for his forcing terrible shots and no court vision. Unless, he has been sick all year.

that's pretty harsh. i'll agree nelson has forced too many shots in deep and has failed to find the open man when double or triple teamed more than i'd like to see all season long.

however, i made my original statement about his health with regards to his quickness which seemed off a step last night. he wasn't the only one who looked slow and i wondered if a few of the guys might have a cold or something.

bhd28
03-01-2007, 03:39 PM
Josh spent more time pouting than shooting last night. I agree that a Hurley-like video could do some good. And some of the shots he tried to take when he wasn't rush and had passing options... I just didn't get it. When he gets the ball, I cheer for a moment, then realize what's going to happen, and get sad.

We need a big man who is assertive and powerful. Josh is neither with the exception of a basket or two throughout the season.

This is one year when "Next game" and "Next season" will be a relief!

It still surprises me how people feel that way about McRoberts. He shoots 50% from the field, has 3.5 assists per game with over 1.6 A/T ratio. Please let me know which other player on our team does better with the ball in his hands. And please use some sort of statistics... not just a "I know his percentage is low, but I feel better with XXX shooting" or "sure he makes some, but it looks like he throws it at the basket."

Chard
03-01-2007, 03:48 PM
9. Enjoy the rest of the season with this team. Remember how hard they are trying to get better and how badly they want to win. Remember the struggles of this season and appreciate what its like to not be the best all the time. This season has been so much fun. The rewarding thing, I think for coaches and players is not alway the destination of the season, but the journey that makes up the season. This team is exponentially better than they were just 4 months ago. Appreciate that. Enjoy it. And soak up the remaining games... who knows how many there will be...? ;)


I wish I could sticky this at the top of the boards. Great point. I'm really enjoying this group grow.

Chard
03-01-2007, 03:53 PM
Josh spent more time pouting than shooting last night. I agree that a Hurley-like video could do some good. And some of the shots he tried to take when he wasn't rush and had passing options... I just didn't get it. When he gets the ball, I cheer for a moment, then realize what's going to happen, and get sad.

We need a big man who is assertive and powerful. Josh is neither with the exception of a basket or two throughout the season.

This is one year when "Next game" and "Next season" will be a relief!

I hope you didn't mean that last part. There may be some reading this right now that may not get to see next season. You should really be enjoying the growth of this team.

As for your first remark, I agree. I mentioned it on the interim board and I'll mention it again. Josh needs to keep his composure. Come to think of it, so do we. He is only 19, right? He'll mature and hopefully in a Duke uniform.

dukelifer
03-01-2007, 03:55 PM
Josh is a great player- but he is frustrating as well. But that is what happens when you are not a finished product and he is not. For all his gifts and he has many- he struggles to score in certain situations because of poor fundamentals. We need him on the floor because what he does in every other aspect of the game is at a high level. It is frustrating that the shooting (other than rim rocking dunks) is not at the same level as his other gifts. usually it is the other way around. He needs to understand what he can and cannot do against certain teams. Poor shot selection can sometimes kill a team. Yesterday- certain shots were ill advised and you could tell that as hey were being taken. But - I for one- would not trade Josh for anyone. He is fun to watch- just would like him to adjust and use his strengths more.

bhd28
03-01-2007, 04:05 PM
Josh is a great player- but he is frustrating as well. But that is what happens when you are not a finished product and he is not. For all his gifts and he has many- he struggles to score in certain situations because of poor fundamentals. We need him on the floor because what he does in every other aspect of the game is at a high level. It is frustrating that the shooting (other than rim rocking dunks) is not at the same level as his other gifts. usually it is the other way around. He needs to understand what he can and cannot do against certain teams. Poor shot selection can sometimes kill a team. Yesterday- certain shots were ill advised and you could tell that as hey were being taken. But - I for one- would not trade Josh for anyone. He is fun to watch- just would like him to adjust and use his strengths more.

IMHO... MUCH better critique of Josh. I agree with most everything you said... but that isn't why I thik it was better. It just bothers me when people say they cringe whenever one of our players has the ball. It is like saying... "I see a post by XXX and just get sick to my stomach because I know something stupid is about to be said." If that is the way you want to roll, so be it... but people will probably criticize you. I know it rubs me the wrong way

I was worried about Josh as soon as I heard about the back injury. Then he said at the beginning of the season that he had worked on his ball handling and passing a lot (because he couldn't have contact after the injury? Because of Greg's injury?). That made me worry more. Those are his strengths. Josh always says in interviews that he doesn't care what people think about him... that he just wants to help his team win. Hopefullyl he sees that for Duke to win, he needs to really work on his post offense (the passing and ball handling are there). He needs to work on his strength, drop-step, skill at sealing his opponent, hook, and a jumpshot (his shot now is a set-shot that would get blocked by most decent defenders). Most of all, he needs confidence. When he catches and reacts quickly, he is okay. When he goes slow and tries to make something develop, he looks like he is trying to not miss rather than just shooting. If he really wants to do whatever he can to help the team win, then he will stay and work really hard this summer. Hopefully he will stay... and stay healty... and stay motivated. If he does that... Greg continues to work on his defense and handle (plus a floater), and Jon works on his shooting... we could be scary next year. I will just enjoy this team (ups and downs) as much as possible along the way.

Cavlaw
03-01-2007, 04:18 PM
While I sometimes cringe when I sense Nelson is going to force something, don't shortchange the kid.

As of yesterday's stats, he has the best field goal percentage on the team and 10th best in the ACC [Apologies on formatting - I tried to fix it somewhat after pasting it in, all stats from theacc.com]:

FIELD GOAL PCT (Min. 5.0 made per game)
## Player-Team Cl G FG FGA Pct
----------------------------------------------------
1.Brandan Wright-NC........FR 28 173 266 .650
2.Ben McCauley-ST..........SO 28 173 291 .595
3.Kyle Visser-WF........... SR 28 171 291 .588
4.Jared Dudley-BC.......... SR 25 165 284 .581
5.Tyler Hansbrough-NC.... SO 29 179 338 .530
6.Al Thornton-FS........... SR 29 194 373 .520
7.D.J. Strawberry-MD.......SR 30 165 331 .498
8.Toney Douglas-FS.........SO 24 120 245 .490
9.Thaddeus Young-GT...... FR 27 149 305 .489
10.DeMarcus Nelson-DU......JR 30 159 326 .488

He's also 17th in ppg (the highest of any Duke player).

As for Josh playing down low, I agree with the sentiment that he is a great defender but doesn't yet know his role on offense. It isn't his scoring that concerns me so much (though he's a bit of an enigma, hitting difficult shots from odd angles while missing some gimmies), but rather the smaller number of offensive rebounds because he plays so far away from the basket (which could lead to more points).

Take a look at the leaders in offense and defensive rebounds:

OFFENSIVE REBOUNDS
## Player-Team Cl G No. Avg/G
----------------------------------------------
1.Dwayne Collins-UM.......FR 29 93 3.21
2.Jared Dudley-BC..........SR 25 78 3.12
3.Al Thornton-FS...........SR 29 90 3.10
4.Tyler Hansbrough-NC...SO 29 87 3.00
5.Trevor Booker-CU........FR 29 84 2.90
6.Kyle Visser-WF...........SR 28 80 2.86
7.James Mays-CU.......... JR 29 82 2.83
8.Ekene Ibekwe-MD........SR 29 77 2.66
9.Ben McCauley-ST........SO 28 68 2.43
10.Thaddeus Young-GT....FR 27 64 2.37


DEFENSIVE REBOUNDS
## Player-Team Cl G No. Avg/G
----------------------------------------------
1.Brandon Costner-ST..... FR 28 166 5.93
2.Josh McRoberts-DU...... SO 30 176 5.87
3.Jared Dudley-BC.......... SR 25 138 5.52
4.James Gist-MD............ JR 30 149 4.97
5.Ekene Ibekwe-MD.........SR 29 140 4.83
6.Tyler Hansbrough-NC....SO 29 133 4.59
7.Brandan Wright-NC...... FR 28 122 4.36
Gavin Grant-ST........... JR 28 122 4.36
9.Jason Cain-VA............ SR 27 116 4.30
10.Kyle Visser-WF........... SR 28 120 4.29

Perhaps Josh is #11 and just off the list (and there are certainly some outliers on the offensive glass, like Thornton and Collins) but Josh is a dominant defensive rebounder, leading a Duke team that is #1 in the league in defensive rebounds.

On the offensive end he is not in the top ten, and Duke is 7th in the league, averaging about 6.5 fewer offensive rebounds than league leader UNC.

I don't know enough basketball to know whether the gain he gets in terms of assists and court vision by playing higher up helps the team more than playing lower would, so maybe someone could educate me there, but I also note that Duke has nobody in the top ten in either assists or assists/turnover, and ranks 8th in assists and 10th in assists/turnovers. It might also be that he clears out to allow our guards to drive, or the forwards to cut to the basket, something someone who knows more about the game might comment on.

I also believe that if we get a big man to play lower and get more of those offensive rebounds, said big man might be able to pick up a decent load of garbage points to help our offensive production.

As an aside, I know some of the stats are biased due to the unbalanced schedule, so I leave it to someone who knows the game better than I do to figure out the effect of that.

Also, it seemed to me that Josh volleyed a lot of rebounds last night, which either went Maryland's way or the terps outhustled our nearest guy. Did I imagine that, is it unusual, or have I been missing that tendency in other games.

To be clear, I'm not trying to knock Josh - I think he's a very good player (esp. on the defensive side), who can make really difficult shots, but it does appear like her could make some changes to his offensive game.

dukelifer
03-01-2007, 05:28 PM
IMHO Nelson has improved a ton. If the kid could hit his throws at 75% or better he would be among the league leaders in scoring. He needs to rebuild his free throw form this summer. Nelson also needs to work on shooting off the dribble and ball handling. I suspect he will. He has played the first season of his career healthy. That is a huge step for him. These guys are all getting better.

bhd28
03-01-2007, 05:43 PM
IMHO Nelson has improved a ton. If the kid could hit his throws at 75% or better he would be among the league leaders in scoring. He needs to rebuild his free throw form this summer. Nelson also needs to work on shooting off the dribble and ball handling. I suspect he will. He has played the first season of his career healthy. That is a huge step for him. These guys are all getting better.

I do wonder how much they work with guys on their shooting form. I read something recently about Joe Johnson having to rebuild his shot going into the draft. A few of our guys need major work with their shooting form. Nelson comes to mind. Josh also... Josh has the same issue Joe Johnson had, he doesn't really have a jumpshot. It is more of a set-shot with a low release point. That could spell trouble at the next level. If Duke does a good job on working with those guys to improve those kind of things, it would likely help keep guys like Josh at Duke to work on their game rather than him going to the NBA to get that kind of help.

tele
03-01-2007, 07:12 PM
I didn't see the game, just followed it online with playbyplay gametracker. So from that limited perspective here are a few thoughts: 1) Nelson provided much needed points early in the game when no one else seemed to be scoring much, later in the game maybe he tried to carry things a bit too much.

2) Duke seemed to be pushing the tempo from the get go, from the gametracker there seemed to be quite a few 7 second possessions. Couldn't really tell if they were good shots or not, but i was thinking just slow it down, why would you push the tempo against a longer, maybe quicker, maybe more athletic team? So why would you? Was wondering if Coach K was trying to change things up by playing to the turts strengths or get his team to play a bit differently before the chapel hill game and the tourneys.

3) I noticed after a number of timeouts that a duke play seemed to be run to result in a shot by Mcbob. Made me wonder if he was really the guy to go to each time since i don't remember him making any of them. Maybe that's how you learn. All in all there wasn't much offense generated from the big guys inside, were marylands bigs that much better?

4) what happened to McClure in the second half, didn't seem to be on the court much or in foul trouble, was he one of the players that was ailing?

5) Besides the general distastefulness of losing to the turts, this game may do some good getting ready for the next game and then the tourneys.

t

mapei
03-01-2007, 08:31 PM
I just wrote three very eloquent paragraphs that were lost when my wireless connection went funky. :(

Summary: DeMarcus seems to be polarizing. I'm firmly with Jason and the other critics WRT his offense. I think he makes spectacular plays, but for both teams.

DukeDevilDeb
03-01-2007, 08:42 PM
1. DeMarcus came out and hit three quick three's... they were vital. He then hit a 2 for 14 points in about 4 minutes... he quieted down after that. I love this kid, but he makes some very bad on-court decisions.

2. I'm not so sure we were playing up tempo on purpose. Early in the game when we were really hitting, that might have been true, but there was no doubt that K did NOT want to play to the Turtles' strengths. They got so many back doors and so many easy shots throughout... it was painful. It was especially so in the 5 minutes that followed our guys' run in the second half.

3. Josh was 5-13 in field goal attempts (0-1 in 3 pointers). Most of those misses were really pretty pathetic. He would take it to the basket, shoot two inches from the rim, and miss. Frankly, I thought this was his worst performance. Taking poor shots--combined with whining and pouting about not having fouls called--really put him in a poor light. I know that NBA drafts on potential, but I have a lot of difficulty seeing the #2 who played last night in the NBA right away.

4. I don't know what happened to Dave. He made some truly spectacular rebounds when he was in--two or three of them TRULY amazing. Yet his offensive production was non existant. He made 2 points, but he flubbed several free throws and other scoring options. I think Coach K was looking for someone to put some points on the board whose name wasn't Greg Paulus (especially in the second half.

5. In many ways, this was the worst game our guys have played this year, especially in comparison to their previous four games. We weren't talking on defense; we weren't scrambling for loose balls; we weren't getting into the passing lanes and creating steals; and we were handing the Turtles easy, easy shots on offense. For a team whose defense has been the object of praise from nearly everyone, their defense stank last night.

I really had some hope that they could win these last two games and get into the top four in the league. That hope has now been put to bed. We may still be able to beat UNC, but I doubt it.

That makes me, and all of us, really sad!

Buckeye Devil
03-01-2007, 08:49 PM
This loss is not a surprise. Maryland is playing great ball right now and is a better, more experienced team, as much it pains me to admit it. Plus, I think that Maryland thrives on playing and whipping Duke. Penetration and quick- ness from the guard has typically played a key role when Duke loses this year and the turtles generally looked quicker in general. Add in the play and poor attitude of McRoberts and the loss makes sense. Scheyer just never seemed to get into the game either.

Paulus played well offensively and showed a willingness to take and make a shot when Duke needed a score. Henderson was great and needs some more PT. He is really the only player that can create his own shot and needs to do so more often. As for DeMarcus, he does get himself into jams quite often and doesn't seem to be able to do anything but put up a hopeless shot. Could it be that he is taking it upon himself to try to make something happen, even when it isn't there?

Don't be too hard on this team. After all they did win 4 in a row. And don't expect a different result on Sunday. It just doesn't seem to be in the cards this year. By the way, when was the last time Duke got swept by both UNC and Maryland?

MulletMan
03-01-2007, 08:55 PM
We may still be able to beat UNC, but I doubt it.

That makes me, and all of us, really sad!


I'm sorry... did I miss something? Is UNC unbeatable? No. Is this DUKE-UNC? Yes. Can anything happen in these games? Yes. Does our defense, when played properly and well, cause tremendous problems for a Heels team that can't run the half court offense? Yes.

C'mon... have a little faith!