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rushthecourt
08-18-2009, 12:32 AM
Hello everyone -

We're counting down our top ten teams of the 2000s, and have gotten to #4, which is your Duke Blue Devils. We'd love to hear any commentary or feedback you have. Thanks.

Team of the 2000s - Duke #4 (http://rushthecourt.net/2009/08/17/team-of-the-2000s-4-duke/)

Best Regards.
RTC

juise
08-18-2009, 01:47 AM
Before reading the link, my guess was UNC #1, Florida #2, Michigan St. #3, but now I guess #3 must be Kansas.

A new decade awaits us... Let's Go, Duke!

basket1544
08-18-2009, 06:34 AM
I am glad they took into consideration the winning percentage for the season instead of just post-season wins. Coach K's teams play hard every day, not just during tournaments.

gumbomoop
08-18-2009, 08:33 AM
RTC's analysis seems sensible, knowledgeable, with key moments accurately stated, so, good job.

A minor dissent, maybe: that B+ for future. Well, depends: Is highest grade A or A+? If latter, then B+ would definitely be too low. Even if A is tops, then it's unclear what programs, other than UNC and UK, are likely [and even that's debatable, for this is really speculation] ahead of Duke for next 5-10 years. A B+ suggests maybe 8-10 likely better bets, but that doesn't seem probable. So, only if you award a single A and a single A-, would Duke at B+ make sense.

Ubiquitous Duke-haters hope the Devils are B+ for future. But you don't need to encourage their embarrassing stupidity.

airowe
08-18-2009, 08:41 AM
RTC's analysis seems sensible, knowledgeable, with key moments accurately stated, so, good job.

A minor dissent, maybe: that B+ for future. Well, depends: Is highest grade A or A+? If latter, then B+ would definitely be too low. Even if A is tops, then it's unclear what programs, other than UNC and UK, are likely [and even that's debatable, for this is really speculation] ahead of Duke for next 5-10 years. A B+ suggests maybe 8-10 likely better bets, but that doesn't seem probable. So, only if you award a single A and a single A-, would Duke at B+ make sense.

Ubiquitous Duke-haters hope the Devils are B+ for future. But you don't need to encourage their embarrassing stupidity.

A+ post ;)

tbyers11
08-18-2009, 09:08 AM
RTC's analysis seems sensible, knowledgeable, with key moments accurately stated, so, good job.

A minor dissent, maybe: that B+ for future. Well, depends: Is highest grade A or A+? If latter, then B+ would definitely be too low. Even if A is tops, then it's unclear what programs, other than UNC and UK, are likely [and even that's debatable, for this is really speculation] ahead of Duke for next 5-10 years. A B+ suggests maybe 8-10 likely better bets, but that doesn't seem probable. So, only if you award a single A and a single A-, would Duke at B+ make sense.

Ubiquitous Duke-haters hope the Devils are B+ for future. But you don't need to encourage their embarrassing stupidity.

I like RTC's site and find their overall comments on Duke and the whole team of the 2000's thing pretty well written. However, I do agree with you that their outlook for the future seems a bit pessimistic. I think the analysis suffers (as does most everything associated with Duke basketball) from too direct a comparison with UNC. UNC has won 2 of the last 5 championships to go along with its impressive pedigree, but their success shouldn't negatively affect Duke in recruiting more than any other top team.

The other main point they cite in downgrading the outlook for the next decade deals with life after Coach K. For comparison's sake in their outlook grades for #9 Syracuse (A) and #10 Maryland (B+), they don't cite the succession problem at these schools even though both Boeheim and Gary are 2 years older than K and mean as much to their respective programs as K does to Duke. Syracuse does have a succession plan in place with Mike Hopkins tabbed as Boeheim's successor, but the transition still has to take place.

gumbomoop
08-18-2009, 09:24 AM
The other main point they cite in downgrading the outlook for the next decade deals with life after Coach K. For comparison's sake in their outlook grades for #9 Syracuse (A) and #10 Maryland (B+), they don't cite the succession problem at these schools even though both Boeheim and Gary are 2 years older than K and mean as much to their respective programs as K does to Duke. Syracuse does have a succession plan in place with Mike Hopkins tabbed as Boeheim's successor, but the transition still has to take place.

Good point..... yours, and just possibly RTC's. To wit: I can see that K's departure is likely to be a bigger succession issue than GW or JB, both of whom are fine, fine coaches, but not quite as legendary as K. So, yes, K's "someday" departure will be a major, major transition moment for Duke.

Still, there's no sense that that moment is on the horizon, i.e., next 5 years. It's still over the horizon, if just. Thus, if the B+ refers to, say, 2015-18, ok. But for 2010-15, Duke is A/A-.

And, not to put too, too fine a point on it, for us "optimistic realists," Duke is also A/A- for '09-'10.

superdave
08-18-2009, 09:35 AM
Lest anyone forget, UNC went 8-20 in 2002 and was not even NIT eligible. Fortunately for them, they did become NIT eligible in 2003.

I dont know how a team that completely bottoms out at 8-20 could be the best team of the decade. There's something to be said for consistency and there are very good reasons for UNC's collapse.

But they did collapse. I dont think anyone else in consideration hit as low a low point.

nvr1983
08-18-2009, 09:47 AM
I like RTC's site and find their overall comments on Duke and the whole team of the 2000's thing pretty well written. However, I do agree with you that their outlook for the future seems a bit pessimistic. I think the analysis suffers (as does most everything associated with Duke basketball) from too direct a comparison with UNC. UNC has won 2 of the last 5 championships to go along with its impressive pedigree, but their success shouldn't negatively affect Duke in recruiting more than any other top team.

The other main point they cite in downgrading the outlook for the next decade deals with life after Coach K. For comparison's sake in their outlook grades for #9 Syracuse (A) and #10 Maryland (B+), they don't cite the succession problem at these schools even though both Boeheim and Gary are 2 years older than K and mean as much to their respective programs as K does to Duke. Syracuse does have a succession plan in place with Mike Hopkins tabbed as Boeheim's successor, but the transition still has to take place.

I guess I'll reply since I'm the one who wrote the post and came up with the outlook grade. First, thanks for the kind comments about the post. Many fans of other teams were critical of where their team was ranked (mostly in relation to Duke). As for the outlook grade, it is a subjective grade and is affected by a lot of things. Here is a partial list:

- The author of the post. I guess I would be considered the Russian judge here. I gave UConn a B- and Syracuse an A (although I suspect that "rtmsf" may have adjusted that, but I'm not sure--looking back I might give Syracuse an A-/B+ so you might see that change in the future).
- Expectations for the program. It may be unfair, but I feel like it is reasonable. If Duke and NJIT land classes with similar recruits, I would give NJIT a much higher grade than Duke because I'm grading on a curve of what I expect a program to do. In a similar way, but to a much lesser degree Duke has a higher expectation of success than Syracuse does.
- The recruiting classes. Duke still manages to land top 10 level classes, but it's not like they used to get, which bumped them down a bit. I'm also not sure if Duke's recruits get a "Notre Dame Effect" where the scouting gurus and McDonald's selection committee bump them up in the rankings because Duke is recruiting them.
- The future of the program in terms of coaching and sanctions. The former is more of a concern for Duke with Coach K. If you're not too worried about it and say that you have a successful former player waiting in the wings to take over, I have two words for you: Matt Doherty.
- I also marked Duke down a little bit because of Coach K's decision to continue as head coach of Team USA. I wrote about this (http://rushthecourt.net/2009/07/21/coach-k-to-coach-team-usa-in-the-2012-olympics/) earlier this summer, but I feel like it really hurts their recruiting. I don't think he gets much of a boost in terms of visibility. I mean who doesn't know Coach K. Hanging out around Kobe and LeBron can't hurt, but they can't make calls to recruits and any time Coach K spends running Team USA practices is time that he can't be showing his face on the summer circuit.

As for the issues about the grading scale, I don't think we would hand out an A+ in except in an extreme situation like Duke at the end of the last decade or Memphis if Calipari had stayed (bringing that ridiculous class with him) and they didn't have issues with standardized testing. I'm not ruling out an A+ in subsequent evaluations, but we're not big fans of grade inflation at RTC.

tbyers11
08-18-2009, 11:03 AM
I guess I'll reply since I'm the one who wrote the post and came up with the outlook grade. First, thanks for the kind comments about the post. Many fans of other teams were critical of where their team was ranked (mostly in relation to Duke). As for the outlook grade, it is a subjective grade and is affected by a lot of things. Here is a partial list:

- The author of the post. I guess I would be considered the Russian judge here. I gave UConn a B- and Syracuse an A (although I suspect that "rtmsf" may have adjusted that, but I'm not sure--looking back I might give Syracuse an A-/B+ so you might see that change in the future).
- Expectations for the program. It may be unfair, but I feel like it is reasonable. If Duke and NJIT land classes with similar recruits, I would give NJIT a much higher grade than Duke because I'm grading on a curve of what I expect a program to do. In a similar way, but to a much lesser degree Duke has a higher expectation of success than Syracuse does.
- The recruiting classes. Duke still manages to land top 10 level classes, but it's not like they used to get, which bumped them down a bit. I'm also not sure if Duke's recruits get a "Notre Dame Effect" where the scouting gurus and McDonald's selection committee bump them up in the rankings because Duke is recruiting them.
- The future of the program in terms of coaching and sanctions. The former is more of a concern for Duke with Coach K. If you're not too worried about it and say that you have a successful former player waiting in the wings to take over, I have two words for you: Matt Doherty.
- I also marked Duke down a little bit because of Coach K's decision to continue as head coach of Team USA. I wrote about this (http://rushthecourt.net/2009/07/21/coach-k-to-coach-team-usa-in-the-2012-olympics/) earlier this summer, but I feel like it really hurts their recruiting. I don't think he gets much of a boost in terms of visibility. I mean who doesn't know Coach K. Hanging out around Kobe and LeBron can't hurt, but they can't make calls to recruits and any time Coach K spends running Team USA practices is time that he can't be showing his face on the summer circuit.

As for the issues about the grading scale, I don't think we would hand out an A+ in except in an extreme situation like Duke at the end of the last decade or Memphis if Calipari had stayed (bringing that ridiculous class with him) and they didn't have issues with standardized testing. I'm not ruling out an A+ in subsequent evaluations, but we're not big fans of grade inflation at RTC.

Thanks for the detailed response to my reply. Since you said that you are curving the outlook grade based on a sense of past expectations for the program I don't think the B+ for Duke is that off the mark. Duke has a very high bar to meet in the past expectations department. Coach K coaching the Olympic team does worry me a bit too. Not so much in recruiting because the assistants do the vast majority of the work and I think he can still make the important events. It just means that he is devoting a large portion of his time elsewhere.

In my previous post, I didn't mean to suggest that I am not concerned about how Duke basketball will transition to life after Coach K. I am but I hope K and Duke will get it right. Matt Doherty was a bust, but he was Dean and UNC's second choice when Roy left them at the altar. When Roy got over his wedding day jitters the match (unfortunately) has seemed to work well for Carolina. It is a tricky transition with a bunch of failures but there have been some successes. Heathcote-Izzo at Mich St, Rupp-Joe B Hall at UK come to mind.

I suggested that your outlook grades for Syracuse and Maryland didn't seem to reflect their upcoming coaching transitions. I guess I just didn't get how Syracuse could get an A with a looming coaching transition from a coach who arguably means as much to their program as K does for Duke. Since then I have realized that you didn't write either of those posts (rmtsf did) and that you gave the UConn's eventual transition some weight in your grade for them.

Thanks for the discussion. It's good to discuss college basketball in August. You might want to have a talk with rtmsf about grade inflation though. UCLA is going to be the "UCLA of the West" for several years to come but that A+ seems a little high :)