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Skitzle
12-03-2009, 07:39 PM
Apparently my friend's friend started a new duke blog for the 2010 season.

The articles provide a really interesting (and often humorous) perspective that you don't find often with Duke basketball writers. It doesn't have the positive spin that comes out of goduke.com, but in that respect it feels a little more real.

http://dukebasketballonthebrink.blogspot.com/

I think his point about Nolan Smith is pretty accurate, he's just not "there" and he may never get there.

His first post, a retrospective on the last 5/6 duke seasons, is a little long, but is well worth the read.

I figured there'd be interest here and shared.

-Skitzle

lifelongdevil
12-03-2009, 07:49 PM
I'm sure the you can't say anything negative about our team/university/fans/coach crowd will disapprove of this guys take, but i must say I find it refreshingly accurate

weezie
12-03-2009, 07:55 PM
He's certainly got the fever. More power to him.

DukieBoy
12-03-2009, 08:52 PM
I love these. Extremely interesting.

Katz
12-04-2009, 10:47 AM
Hi all,

Thanks so much for the feedback. I'm really interested in hearing what everyone thinks. I'm sure some of my feelings are somewhat controversial, but I wanted to give a slightly different perspective from what I usually see on DBR.

I'm happy to discuss any issues with you guys. I'll be posting throughout the season, so keep checking back.

Go Duke.

feldspar
12-04-2009, 10:58 AM
Good thing this guy isn't on the team or he'd be kicked out of the locker room ;)

Skitzle
12-04-2009, 12:04 PM
Good thing this guy isn't on the team or he'd be kicked out of the locker room ;)

That's what I like about his perspective. He's not going to interpret the game the way the staff wants you to see it, he's going to interpret it based on how he sees it or how it is.

I agree with his position at the end of his NIT post. This team isn't a Final Four contender and will be lucky to make the sweet 16.

Call me a spoiled duke fan, but that's not going to cut it. I thought K built champions.

Mike Corey
12-04-2009, 12:07 PM
Hi all,

Thanks so much for the feedback. I'm really interested in hearing what everyone thinks. I'm sure some of my feelings are somewhat controversial, but I wanted to give a slightly different perspective from what I usually see on DBR.

I'm happy to discuss any issues with you guys. I'll be posting throughout the season, so keep checking back.

Go Duke.

Mr. Katz, I presume.

I can attest--and not just because we're friends and former classmates, both of which I feel fortunate to say--that the author of this blog is exceptionally smart and a dutiful student of the game, be it college or professional.

Hope all is well; good luck with your blog!

davekay1971
12-04-2009, 12:19 PM
I agree with his position at the end of his NIT post. This team isn't a Final Four contender and will be lucky to make the sweet 16.

Call me a spoiled duke fan, but that's not going to cut it. I thought K built champions.

You're spoiled, and wrong. K's built 3 national championships, good for 3rd best all time. K's built how many ACC championships? Take your time to count them all. And making a conclusion, based on what we've seen so far this season, that this team will "be lucky to make the sweet 16" (emphasis mine) displays a certain amount of basketball ignorance. This team, without question, has the tools to make the sweet 16. It's not guaranteed...but then again neither was Grant Hill, Thomas Hill, and Bobby Hurley making a sweet 16. And if you think the job the staff is doing right now "is not going to cut it", put your resume in with the Athletic Director's office. I'm sure Coach K would welcome the competition for the job.

Yes, this is a slam post...well earned.

Skitzle
12-04-2009, 12:35 PM
You're spoiled, and wrong. K's built 3 national championships, good for 3rd best all time. K's built how many ACC championships? Take your time to count them all. And making a conclusion, based on what we've seen so far this season, that this team will "be lucky to make the sweet 16" (emphasis mine) displays a certain amount of basketball ignorance. This team, without question, has the tools to make the sweet 16. It's not guaranteed...but then again neither was Grant Hill, Thomas Hill, and Bobby Hurley making a sweet 16. And if you think the job the staff is doing right now "is not going to cut it", put your resume in with the Athletic Director's office. I'm sure Coach K would welcome the competition for the job.

Yes, this is a slam post...well earned.

So if I don't care about ACC championships that makes me a bad fan?

In the last 5 years Duke's won 3 ACC titles. They also haven't made and Elite 8.

In that same time period UNC won 2 National Championships in 3 Final Four appearances.

Additionally, Duke hasn't looked like a legitimate championship contender since 2004. This year is no exception.

Barring Nolan Smith getting a whole lot better over the next 3 months, I just don't see this team making it too or out of the Sweet Sixteen without a whole lot of luck. Unfortunately, I also don't expect to see Smith make the leap from from good to great ACC guard in the next 3 months.

Devilsfan
12-04-2009, 12:38 PM
Mr. Negativity either doesn't really like Duke or K, or has a son coming to Duke hoping to be a leader and point guard. I agree the team is lacking right now down low because of our senior bigs. But give this team time for Mason to get some experience along with Dawkins and we should be fine. One real athletic wing next year and we're true top ten material. Still I think we will be a twenty five to thirty game winning team this year and just may get to the Elite Eight, IMHO.

Skitzle
12-04-2009, 12:43 PM
Mr. Negativity either doesn't really like Duke or K, or has a son coming to Duke hoping to be a leader and point guard. I agree the team is lacking right now down low because of our senior bigs. But give this team time for Mason to get some experience along with Dawkins and we should be fine. One real athletic wing next year and we're true top ten material. Still I think we will be a twenty five to thirty game winning team this year and just may get to the Elite Eight, IMHO.

Just a Duke fan who sets the bar high for his team. Coach K sets high expectations I'm not allowed to do the same?

I actually have no problems with our post play so far this year or Andre Dawkins. I'm sad that Smith just isn't there yet. Don't get me wrong, he's a good ACC guard. He's just not a "go-to" ACC guard, and that's what this team is missing.

NSDukeFan
12-04-2009, 12:44 PM
So if I don't care about ACC championships that makes me a bad fan?
I don't know what type of fan you are, but I wonder why you are watching if it's not at least the elite 8 if final fours and championships are all that matter to you?

In the last 5 years Duke's won 3 ACC titles. They also haven't made and Elite 8.

In that same time period UNC won 2 National Championships in 3 Final Four appearances.
I guess that makes it even more impressive that Duke has won 3 ACC titles in that time period with a FF team in the conference.

Additionally, Duke hasn't looked like a legitimate championship contender since 2004. This year is no exception.

Barring Nolan Smith getting a whole lot better over the next 3 months, I just don't see this team making it too or out of the Sweet Sixteen without a whole lot of luck. Unfortunately, I also don't expect to see Smith make the leap from from good to great ACC guard in the next 3 months.
You are entitled to your opinion, which I disagree with. But if all that matters to you is making final fours and winning championships and you don't see this team making it out of the Sweet Sixteen, I am not sure why you would torture yourself with watching.

Skitzle
12-04-2009, 12:47 PM
I am not sure why you would torture yourself with watching.

Sometimes... I ask the same question...

Ultimately, I'll watch them lose and be unhappy with it. Just cause your team isn't as good as you hoped doesn't mean you can't follow and hope you're wrong.

feldspar
12-04-2009, 12:48 PM
I guess that makes it even more impressive that Duke has won 3 ACC titles in that time period with a FF team in the conference.


There is an argument to be made (and has been made) that, year in and year out, Carolina does not put forth their most valiant effort to win the ACC Tournament.

NSDukeFan
12-04-2009, 12:49 PM
Just a Duke fan who sets the bar high for his team. Coach K sets high expectations I'm not allowed to do the same?

I actually have no problems with our post play so far this year or Andre Dawkins. I'm sad that Smith just isn't there yet. Don't get me wrong, he's a good ACC guard. He's just not a "go-to" ACC guard, and that's what this team is missing.

I believe Coach K really liked his team last year and enjoyed very much winning the ACC championship with Jon, Gerald and Greg as captains. I believe he said it was the first time for that team to win that. So, sure set the bar high, but enjoy the first 30-35 games, if the last one doesn't turn out the way you would like.
I believe Jon is about as good a "go-to" ACC guard as there is this year. I am not willing to write off Nolan yet as a "go-to" ACC guard since we haven't started ACC play and he has only played five games.

kong123
12-04-2009, 12:56 PM
i love this kinda blog. a real opinion is rare these days. everything has to be so PC. when your glasses are a shade of blue that is so dark that you can't see what's really happening, its time to clean the lenses a little bit. this kid seems to get it. while his opinion may differ from your own, it doesn't mean that he is wrong and it doesn't mean that he is right. its refreshing to see someone speak his mind without fear of being banned. I understand the rules of this forum and I respect the rules of this forum, it is refreshing to come to a site that isn't overflowing with "out-of-control homers". its nice to be able to talk about our team objectively, good or bad, without our loyalty being questioned. our hate for the heels can and should remain, but so should our respect for them. we are two of the most elite schools in the nation and hopefully it will always be that way. wouldn't be as fun beating them it they were NCSU!!!

NSDukeFan
12-04-2009, 01:05 PM
Sometimes... I ask the same question...

Ultimately, I'll watch them lose and be unhappy with it. Just cause your team isn't as good as you hoped doesn't mean you can't follow and hope you're wrong.

On a very light-hearted note, this reminds me very much of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0q5uiJ7lQrw with the Staler and Waldorf lines: "Why do we always come here, I guess we'll never know, It is some kind of torture, To have to watch the show"

Skitzle
12-04-2009, 01:16 PM
I believe Coach K really liked his team last year and enjoyed very much winning the ACC championship with Jon, Gerald and Greg as captains. I believe he said it was the first time for that team to win that. So, sure set the bar high, but enjoy the first 30-35 games, if the last one doesn't turn out the way you would like.
I believe Jon is about as good a "go-to" ACC guard as there is this year. I am not willing to write off Nolan yet as a "go-to" ACC guard since we haven't started ACC play and he has only played five games.

Every year is a process. It's what makes the first 30-35 games enjoyable. I just haven't liked what I've seen from this team so far.

Nolan looked great against the weak competition and not so great in 3 games against better competition.

In his first 5 games of the season Nolan Smith stats are as follows:
39% FG
36% from 3
3 APG
.6 Stls
17pts

Now looking just at the major conference (ASU, UCONN, WISC)

30% FG (17.6 FGA)
16% from 3
1 APG
.3 Stls
14 pts
38 min a game.

I want to compare him to another Duke Combo Guard who didn't sniff the NBA.

Daniel Ewing

In Daniel Ewings first 5 games his Junior year.

42% FG
43% from 3
1.6 APG
1 Stl per game
11.6 Pts

In the first 2 against major conferences.

42% FG (7 FG attempts)
56% from 3
1.5 Assists
1 Steal
9 pts
31 min

Ewing was on a team with Deng, Reddick, Duhon, and Williams. It was our last final four contender.

If Smith was Ewing, I'd have more hopes for this team.

NSDukeFan
12-04-2009, 01:26 PM
Every year is a process. It's what makes the first 30-35 games enjoyable. I just haven't liked what I've seen from this team so far.

Nolan looked great against the weak competition and not so great in 3 games against better competition.
I agree completely all but the 3rd of these 4 sentences and the third is purely a matter of opinion.



I want to compare him to another Duke Combo Guard who didn't sniff the NBA.

Daniel Ewing

Ewing was on a team with Deng, Reddick, Duhon, and Williams. It was our last final four contender.

If Smith was Ewing, I'd have more hopes for this team.
Ewing played in the NBA for 2 years. I just am not ready to draw conclusions about Nolan's season from the first 5 games. I don't expect Nolan to shoot 16% from 3 this year against top competition and doubt Ewing shot 56% from 3 his junior year vs. top competition.

DukieTiger
12-04-2009, 01:34 PM
That's what I like about his perspective. He's not going to interpret the game the way the staff wants you to see it, he's going to interpret it based on how he sees it or how it is.

I agree with his position at the end of his NIT post. This team isn't a Final Four contender and will be lucky to make the sweet 16.

Call me a spoiled duke fan, but that's not going to cut it. I thought K built champions.

"lucky to make the sweet 16?"

Hard to say at this point in time. Nevertheless, you may want to consider using less extreme language in stating your opinions. Saying that Duke will be lucky to make the sweet 16 is a HUGE assumption, based on a small amount of evidence. There's a lot of season left, friend! Don't mail it in just because you hold high standards for our team, to which you don't think they will achieve.

As an aside, I wouldn't enjoy rooting for a team very much if I felt that its success was solely determined by a 6-game period of sudden-death. I want them to win the 'ship every year, but I also want them to win every other game. I'm disappointed when they don't, but I also enjoy and appreciate each win and try not to take it for granted. Duke wins more every season than probably 90 percent of other CBB teams. That's a blessing and it is a privilege to be a fan of such a great program- win or loose (as Marcus Ginyard would say.)

airowe
12-04-2009, 01:35 PM
I agree with his position at the end of his NIT post. This team isn't a Final Four contender and will be lucky to make the sweet 16.


What teams aren't lucky to make it to the Sweet 16?

Skitzle
12-04-2009, 01:40 PM
Ewing played in the NBA for 2 years. I just am not ready to draw conclusions about Nolan's season from the first 5 games. I don't expect Nolan to shoot 16% from 3 this year against top competition and doubt Ewing shot 56% from 3 his junior year vs. top competition.

Fair. That said, I believe Ewing was a better player than Nolan is.

Better finisher, better shooter, better passer, better handler, better athlete.

He was not a key piece to the offense his junior year, because duke had 4 other parts that are all still playing in the NBA.

The fact that he wasn't a focal point that year the way Nolan is this year tells me 2 things:
1) The talent on that Duke team was amazing
2) The talent on this Duke team isn't

It's my opinion that Talent = NCAA success. So I don't expect much NCAA success from this team. Maybe, MAYBE a sweet sixteen. They have no shot at a Final Four appearance.

Skitzle
12-04-2009, 01:41 PM
What teams aren't lucky to make it to the Sweet 16?

Good teams.

Skitzle
12-04-2009, 01:48 PM
I want to compare him to another Duke Combo Guard who didn't sniff the NBA.

Daniel Ewing


Yea yea.. he sniffed it, I just don't think his time frame their allows me to say he MADE it.

Troublemaker
12-04-2009, 01:48 PM
That's what I like about his perspective. He's not going to interpret the game the way the staff wants you to see it, he's going to interpret it based on how he sees it or how it is..

I believe the Duke staff couldn't care less how you or I "see" things. And your expectations for a new blogger are low if you think it's a big deal to write independent thoughts. That's the least I would expect. And I would also expect that the blogger knows his opinion is just an opinion and not necessarily "how it is."

NSDukeFan
12-04-2009, 03:36 PM
Fair. That said, I believe Ewing was a better player than Nolan is.

Better finisher, better shooter, better passer, better handler, better athlete.

He was not a key piece to the offense his junior year, because duke had 4 other parts that are all still playing in the NBA.

The fact that he wasn't a focal point that year the way Nolan is this year tells me 2 things:
1) The talent on that Duke team was amazing
2) The talent on this Duke team isn't

It's my opinion that Talent = NCAA success. So I don't expect much NCAA success from this team. Maybe, MAYBE a sweet sixteen. They have no shot at a Final Four appearance.
Daniel Ewing may turn out to be a better player than Nolan, but I am not ready to say that Nolan won't turn out better yet. I agree the team you mentioned was very talented, and don't know if there are any or many college teams this year with that type of talent. So while I agree Duke may not have the talent of the 2003-04 team, I will really enjoy the 30 or so games left before the tournament and look for some improvement of our talent. If we do improve, I think we are as much of a final four contender as anyone, and am not sure how after 6 games you can already say the team has no shot. Your equation is a bit flawed as well, as:
talent + coaching + matchups + team chemistry + luck is roughly equal to NCAA success, with talent a large portion.


Ewing was on a team with Deng, Reddick, Duhon, and Williams. It was our last final four contender.

How many final four contenders are each year? Can this only be determined retrospectively? Otherwise, I am not sure how you could say that was the last final four contender. The next year we were ranked #3 going into the tournament, the year after that #1, 07-08 we were #9 and last year #6. You don't think we were a final four contender in any of those years?

DukieTiger
12-04-2009, 07:55 PM
^But it's so much easier just to say that the last team that actually made it to the FF was our last FF contender.

I'm curious though- who was a FF contender in 2006 out of this group? Duke/Uconn? Florida/George Mason?

My humble opinion- any team that can win the ACC is a contender. Not a necessarily a favorite, but a contender.

I would also argue as a matter of semantics that every team in the field of 64 is, by definition, a contender.

Kimist
12-04-2009, 09:32 PM
I think the blog is very well written and shows Duke basketball, both in the present and the recent past, in an accurate and realistic discussion without benefit of any editorial air-brushing so as to be properly dark blue PC.

But it is true that much of what is stated would probably gather either a few "points" and/or negative comments if posted on this board.

k

Edouble
12-05-2009, 02:21 AM
Yea yea.. he sniffed it, I just don't think his time frame their allows me to say he MADE it.

But you said "sniffed". You're backpeddling. ;)

davekay1971
12-05-2009, 08:27 AM
Yea yea.. he sniffed it, I just don't think his time frame their allows me to say he MADE it.

You know, I'm not sure if you're trolling, or serious. It's one thing to critique the Duke teams and the games of the players - respectful, informed critique is an important part of this forum. It's your own business if you only really care about the last two weekends of the NCAA tournament (I'm glad I don't have that view, because I enjoy the great regular season and the ACC tournament). It's another to make negative predictions you can't back up (that this team would be lucky to make the sweet 16, for example). It's still another, and much less acceptable, thing to discount the accomplishements of the team or player. You may think that, for the team, 30 win seasons or ACC championships aren't worthy of appreciation. You may think that a guy playing for 2 seasons in the NBA isn't worthy of your respect. I think that both sentiments are pretty rude to the people who worked really hard to accomplish those things, and that both sentiments don't reflect well on you. What, exactly, have you accomplished in life that is so impressive?

NovaScotian
12-05-2009, 11:13 AM
i think it's interesting how upset with sean dockery this guy is. sure, we expected a lot more out of sean, and i think we were all really disappointed that he never really became a starter at point guard, but this blogger takes his frustration to the level some of us have with greg paulus, which is to say, quite high.

Skitzle
12-05-2009, 09:34 PM
You know, I'm not sure if you're trolling, or serious. It's one thing to critique the Duke teams and the games of the players - respectful, informed critique is an important part of this forum. It's your own business if you only really care about the last two weekends of the NCAA tournament (I'm glad I don't have that view, because I enjoy the great regular season and the ACC tournament). It's another to make negative predictions you can't back up (that this team would be lucky to make the sweet 16, for example). It's still another, and much less acceptable, thing to discount the accomplishements of the team or player. You may think that, for the team, 30 win seasons or ACC championships aren't worthy of appreciation. You may think that a guy playing for 2 seasons in the NBA isn't worthy of your respect. I think that both sentiments are pretty rude to the people who worked really hard to accomplish those things, and that both sentiments don't reflect well on you. What, exactly, have you accomplished in life that is so impressive?


I have nothing but love for D. Ewing. He may be my favorite player ever to don a Duke jersey. He was a great player that came up big when it was needed.

I really wanted him to make it in the NBA, he didn't. He wasn't good enough to stick in the NBA.

My argument is this.

1) Daniel Ewing is/was a better player than Nolan Smith is in all aspects of his offensive game.
2) Daniel Ewing was barely an NBA player
3) If Daniel Ewing is better than Smith and barely an NBA player, then Smith is most likely not an NBA player.

Opinion Starts here:
4) Most championship teams have 2-3 NBA caliber guards (outside of Syracuse in 2004, I think all teams in this decade have had 3 NBA caliber guards)
5) Duke has one in Singler. Duke needs another. Smith/Scheyer just don't make that cut
6) If Duke doesn't have 2-3 NBA caliber guards, they're not a championship caliber team.

Additionally, I just can't say yet that this team is better than last years team. So, I'm skeptical we'll make it to the sweet sixteen (let alone OUT of the sweet sixteen).

ice-9
12-06-2009, 10:45 AM
The blog was interesting and entertaining. The writer has some talent and had some reasonable points to make. Props.

However, and this just might be me feeling preachy, my respect for the blog and the blogger has reservations.


The moment I left the bathroom I heard a “hey, you, where’d you come from!?” I pretended not to hear and continued walking. The guy ran up to me and demanded to see my wristband. The jig was up. He threw me out of Cameron and I watched the game from the Armadillo Grill over a congealed bowl of chili con queso.

I dunno. As someone who tented for three years I find the blogger's apparent glee for trying to game the system with...fraud? Cheating? Attempted taping and entering? as something I cannot condone. It's certainly not something I can identify with as a Duke alumnus and fan.

davekay1971
12-06-2009, 12:01 PM
My argument is this.

1) Daniel Ewing is/was a better player than Nolan Smith is in all aspects of his offensive game.
2) Daniel Ewing was barely an NBA player
3) If Daniel Ewing is better than Smith and barely an NBA player, then Smith is most likely not an NBA player.

Opinion Starts here:
4) Most championship teams have 2-3 NBA caliber guards (outside of Syracuse in 2004, I think all teams in this decade have had 3 NBA caliber guards)
5) Duke has one in Singler. Duke needs another. Smith/Scheyer just don't make that cut
6) If Duke doesn't have 2-3 NBA caliber guards, they're not a championship caliber team.

Additionally, I just can't say yet that this team is better than last years team. So, I'm skeptical we'll make it to the sweet sixteen (let alone OUT of the sweet sixteen).

Now THAT is fair, reasonable critique!

I agree with your point 4, would alter point 6 to say that a team can be a championship team with 2 NBA caliber perimeter players (Duke 1992 - Hurley and G Hill, goes outside the decade, but you get the point). I'd like to give Nolan more time, particularly given his injury last season, to determine whether he has NBA potential...by the end of this season we should know, so point 5 I'll defer to later judgement. Also, Scheyer might surprise you. I think there may be a role for him in the NBA.

Finally, I think that, by tournament time, this team will be better than last year's. I base that on projected development of Dawkins over the course of the season (his defense is already improving noticeably), and projected development of the Miles/Mason combo which would solidify our interior to be much better than last year. Should those players not develop, Duke is going to have some problems. That's part of the fun of the season, to see the kids develop and mature (as Elliott did last year). The NCAA tournament is all about draws and matchups, of course. Given the wrong opponent, we could get bounced in the 2nd round (see the 1993 team, bounced by some guy named Jason Kidd). But I'm hopeful of another sweet 16. We can rehash all this in April.

Sgt. Dingleberry
12-06-2009, 01:22 PM
Hi all,

Thanks so much for the feedback. I'm really interested in hearing what everyone thinks. I'm sure some of my feelings are somewhat controversial, but I wanted to give a slightly different perspective from what I usually see on DBR.

I'm happy to discuss any issues with you guys. I'll be posting throughout the season, so keep checking back.

Go Duke.

I really enjoyed your perspective and agree with the majority of your opinions.

DBR is an amazing site to come to for information. But, there is also a "drink the kool-aid, all is well" type attitude that I can't subscribe to. Looking forward to reading your blog throughout the season.

MulletMan
12-07-2009, 08:58 AM
I have nothing but love for D. Ewing. He may be my favorite player ever to don a Duke jersey. He was a great player that came up big when it was needed.

I really wanted him to make it in the NBA, he didn't. He wasn't good enough to stick in the NBA.

My argument is this.

1) Daniel Ewing is/was a better player than Nolan Smith is in all aspects of his offensive game.
2) Daniel Ewing was barely an NBA player
3) If Daniel Ewing is better than Smith and barely an NBA player, then Smith is most likely not an NBA player.

Opinion Starts here:
4) Most championship teams have 2-3 NBA caliber guards (outside of Syracuse in 2004, I think all teams in this decade have had 3 NBA caliber guards)
5) Duke has one in Singler. Duke needs another. Smith/Scheyer just don't make that cut
6) If Duke doesn't have 2-3 NBA caliber guards, they're not a championship caliber team.

Additionally, I just can't say yet that this team is better than last years team. So, I'm skeptical we'll make it to the sweet sixteen (let alone OUT of the sweet sixteen).

Skitzle, thanks for this post. I'm going to use it to make a point, and I hope that everyone who's touting all this "you have to drink the Kool-Aid at DBR" stuff reads what I am about to write.

I'm picking your post because I disagree with a lot of what you've said. However, I think that you make valid points and we could continue to have a pretty pertinent discussion about the differences we have in our opinions. Your post might be considered to have a "negative" slant towards Nolan Smith. However, it is reasoned and well-stated, thus allowing for useful and reasoned discourse. For example, you state that you don't think that Scheyer is a legit NBA caliber guard... I disagree, and, if I actually had the time, I'd go into stats about why that is and draw comparisons to players in the NBA that I think Jon resembles. You might respond with some reasoned thoughts about why you feel he isn't an NBA-caliber guard and we'd go from there. This is what DBR strives for... not to suppress rational discussion about Duke basketball like some Orwellian government when it doesn't tout the greatness that is Duke basketball.

What would get shot down pretty quick would be the following:

Skitzle: Nolan Smith is the suckiest suck that ever sucked!
MulletMan: You're stoopid! Nolan Smith is awesome and dominates the world!
Skitzle : Nuh-uh! Duke is crappy. And all our players hate K.
MulletMan: You don't know nuthin' about basketball and K is a God!

See... now I'd delete all of these post, because they contribute nothing to a reasoned discussion, and, furthermore, have no factual basis backing up the opinions.

What Skitzle has done in his post is to take what might be an unpopular opinion on this board and backed up his thoughts with his own reasons. They may not be popular, but they're not going to be removed. And, this is the exact kind of post which might spur an detailed discussion about the status of Nolan's game, how he fits into this team, and how that relates to how other players have fit on Duke's past teams. That's something we should all get behind, and would most likely enjoy!

That's how to get the ball rolling. There's no need to martyr every poster who has a nonsensical "Brian Zoubek should be shot" post deleted. Just come to the board with something of substance.

Richard Berg
12-07-2009, 11:02 AM
Thanks MulletMan. I don't completely agree with Skitzle's opinions either but I'm happy to discuss them with any well-reasoned posters. Even Tar Holes :eek:

Another recent comparison might be DeMarcus Nelson. Unfortunately this one doesn't look good either. D-Mark had:

* Better defense. Smith is very good but he is not a true stopper yet, nor can he guard taller players. Nelson was ACC DPOY.
* Better versatility. DeMarcus could get to the line against a forest of trees a reasonable amount of the time, and use his length to disrupt the other team's O in a variety of ways. He even played a few games of successful PG in the big league, though it obviously wasn't his strength. Nolan is a decent '2' but arguably still finding his role.
* MUCH better rebounding. Especially considering he was often matched up against an opposing '3'. Both are about 6'2", recall.
* Comparable shooting. The trademark D-Mark flat-arc was never pretty, but by the time he was an upperclassman it was going in a reasonable amount of the time, and he learned not to force it (too much) from the outside. Nolan shows all signs of being better fundamentally, but has turned turned out quite streaky in practice...lots of fun when it's on, not so much when it isn't. Both players sometimes let themselves get forced into their weakness: D-Mark took shots in the lane with no prayer of scoring if the whistle didn't blow; Nolan sometimes takes long jumpshots when there isn't quite enough time or balance for his skillset.
* Comparable vision & decisionmaking. Which is to say, not very good. Both players like to drive into impossible scenarios. Neither generates very many opportunities for others. I'll give the edge to Nelson who inched his way up to 2.9APG his senior year. From what I've seen, Smith has the potential to best him over the next 1.5yr but he has a ways to go.
* Comparable ballhandling. I feel better with Scheyer protecting the rock, just as I did with Greg (despite his flaws) or even Josh. I'll give Nolan the edge here.
* Worse FT %. Clear advantage to Nolan.

I won't compare overall scoring because there's too much variation in pace, team role, & seniority, and the sample size to date isn't very instructive. Once Smith has about 10 upperclassman ACC games under his belt we'll have some idea whether he's capable of being a consistent 15PPG guy like junior/senior Nelson was. Time will tell.


But if all that matters to you is making final fours and winning championships
Speaking for myself and not (necessarily) Skitzle, championships are not the only thing that matter, not by a long shot. Some seasons are a fantastic ride regardless of the final result (1986). Some seasons featured lots of disappointment but ended joyously (1991). Some have the best of both worlds (2001) and some are just ugly (1995).

Where do 2007 and 2008 lie? Anyone who places them alongside 1995 or 1983 simply lacks perspective, seeing the world through blue of the worst kind. If you're a fan of the game of basketball, 2007 featured some terrific team defense -- at least at first. I wouldn't mind the losses in the latter half of the season nearly as much had they not reflected a collapse of fundamentals. (and of grittiness; we lost all 3 overtime games)

2008 wasn't as fun for me because I really missed watching Josh (sue me!), was not a big D-Mark fan, and hated to see G still unable to tap his potential consistently. Thank God for Kyle.

2009 was great. Do I wish we'd gone farther instead of laying a Sweet Sixteen egg? Of course. Does Villanova validate the common Coach K criticisms? Hardly. They didn't have a back-to-the-basket Brand/Boozer/Shel (or if you like, Patterson/Monroe/Barnes) type player; Cunningham is much closer to the Singler mold of college '4' / NBA '3'. They barely played 8 deep, frequently only 7. Their guards were quick, yes, but none is likely to even play at the next level much less break down NBA defenses a la Tywon.

In short, I think our relative seedings at #2 and #3 were perfectly reasonable. By the same token, UNC deserved their #1, but let's not confuse that with being a "favorite" to reach the FF or win a championship. Nobody is a favorite to win the men's NCAA basketball tournament, period. Maybe in the women's bracket, or football, but not in the sport we're discussing.


As someone who tented for three years I find the blogger's apparent glee for trying to game the system with...fraud? Cheating? Attempted taping and entering? as something I cannot condone. It's certainly not something I can identify with as a Duke alumnus and fan.
Considering I tented that same year and attended said Maryland game the old fashioned way, I feel ya. Even so, my righteous indignation has a statute of limitations; 8 years is more than enough. Turning questionable ethics into funny memories is one of the reasons we go to college :)

RegularOlJesus
12-07-2009, 07:53 PM
The argument that a championship team needs 2-3 "NBA caliber guards" is bunk. See below, 2003 Syracuse had none, and 2006/2007 Florida had one. (If you count small forwards as guards, then those teams had one and two, respectively.) Also, note that draftexpress.com has Smith and Scheyer projected as 2nd round picks.

And Duke has "no chance" to make the final four? Odds makers have Duke at 12/1 to win the championship.


Guards Drafted from Championship Teams Since 2000

Year - Championship School
Guard (Draft Pick)
[Wing Guard/Forward]

2009 - UNC
Ty Lawson (2009, Rd 1, Pk 18)
Wayne Ellington (2009, Rd 1, Pk 28)
[Danny Green (2009, Rd 2, Pk 46)]

2008 - Kansas
Mario Chalmers (2008, Rd 2, Pk 34)
Sherron Collins (Projected 2010, Rd 2)
[Brandon Rush (2008, Rd 1, Pk 13)]

2007 - Florida
Taurean Green (2007, Rd 2, Pk 52)
[Corey Brewer (2007, Rd 1, Pk 7)]

2006 - Florida
Taurean Green (2007, Rd 2, Pk 52)
[Corey Brewer (2007, Rd 1, Pk 7)]

2005 - UNC
Raymond Felton (2005, Rd 1, Pk 5)
Rashad McCants (2005, Rd 1, Pk 14)
[David Noel (2002, Rd 2, Pk 39)]

2004 - UConn
Ben Gordon (2004, Rd 1, Pk 3)
[Denham Brown (2006, Rd 2, Pk 40)]

2003 - Syracuse
[Carmelo Anthony (2003, Rd 1, Pk 3)]

2002 - Maryland
Juan Dixon (2002, Rd 1, Pk 17)
Steve Blake (2003, Rd 2, Pk 38)

2001 - Duke
Jason Williams (2002, Rd 1, Pk 2)
Chris Duhon (2004, Rd 2, Pk 38)
[Mike Dunleavy (2002, Rd 1, Pk 3)]
[Shane Battier (2003, Rd 1, Pk 6)]

2000 - Michigan State
Mateen Cleaves (2000, Rd 1, Pk 14)
Jason Richardson (2001, Rd 1, Pk 5)
Charlie Bell (undrafted)
[Morris Peterson (2000, Rd 1, Pk 21)]

GDT
12-07-2009, 08:38 PM
i love this kinda blog. A real opinion is rare these days. Everything has to be so pc. When your glasses are a shade of blue that is so dark that you can't see what's really happening, its time to clean the lenses a little bit. This kid seems to get it. !

you're ideas intrigue me. Id like to subscribe to your newsletter. It must be trollin season here on dbr, kids.

NovaScotian
12-08-2009, 12:22 AM
The argument that a championship team needs 2-3 "NBA caliber guards" is bunk. See below, 2003 Syracuse had none, and 2006/2007 Florida had one. (If you count small forwards as guards, then those teams had one and two, respectively.) Also, note that draftexpress.com has Smith and Scheyer projected as 2nd round picks.

And Duke has "no chance" to make the final four? Odds makers have Duke at 12/1 to win the championship.



First of all, I think you proved his point pretty well with this analysis. Secondly, odds don't have much to do with actual probability - they're only set set to elicit the most bets on both sides. Duke at 12/1 is probably higher than 'actual' probability because of its reputation.

Duvall
12-08-2009, 12:47 AM
First of all, I think you proved his point pretty well with this analysis.

Not sure how the claim that a championship team needs three NBA-caliber guards is proven by showing that half the championship teams from the last ten years didn't have three NBA-caliber guards. Still, I think the bigger problem is that there's a pretty big gap between "championship caliber" and "lucky to make the Sweet 16." Yawning, even.

NovaScotian
12-08-2009, 07:24 AM
Not sure how the claim that a championship team needs three NBA-caliber guards is proven by showing that half the championship teams from the last ten years didn't have three NBA-caliber guards. Still, I think the bigger problem is that there's a pretty big gap between "championship caliber" and "lucky to make the Sweet 16." Yawning, even.

he said 2-3, and counting small forwards/wings, he was right (with the exception of syracuse, which he also gave).

Duvall
12-08-2009, 12:13 PM
he said 2-3, and counting small forwards/wings, he was right (with the exception of syracuse, which he also gave).

He said 3 several times, which is just plain wrong. And the only way to get to "2-3" is to count people like Denham Brown and Taurean Green, who aren't actually in the NBA.

And this still doesn't address the more important issue, which is that "not a championship team" and "struggling to make the Sweet 16" are two very different things.

sagegrouse
12-08-2009, 01:03 PM
My argument is this.

1) Daniel Ewing is/was a better player than Nolan Smith is in all aspects of his offensive game.
2) Daniel Ewing was barely an NBA player
3) If Daniel Ewing is better than Smith and barely an NBA player, then Smith is most likely not an NBA player.



The logic is reasonable; but I would hesitate to compare the 2-year Nolan with the 4-year Daniel.

I think all discussions about Nolan's leaving assume he has a breakthrough year -- which, of course, is not reflected in his past two (good) years.

Daniel was a smooth, smooth player, and I was at the ACC's when he was MVP and dominated the tournament as a sophomore. Yet, Nolan seems more explosive to me. And sometimes, raw physical quality really helps in the NBA, as players gain more moves and coordination.

I think most of us also think that Nolan's bloodlines are bound to be a positive -- although I don't know how except in ensuring that he will always get a tryout.

sagegrouse

Skitzle
12-08-2009, 01:06 PM
He said 3 several times, which is just plain wrong. And the only way to get to "2-3" is to count people like Denham Brown and Taurean Green, who aren't actually in the NBA.

And this still doesn't address the more important issue, which is that "not a championship team" and "struggling to make the Sweet 16" are two very different things.

I said 2-3 NBA Caliber guards and did include Wing Guards/Small Forwards as Guards in my claim. That may be a matter of semantics.

I did also say I believed that outside of Syracuse every team had 3 guards. Thanks to the amazing analysis by RegularOlJesus, I have been proven incorrect in this stament. (Seriously RegularOlJesus thank you cool of you to put that together).

That said 2-3 NBA caliber guards stands. Guys like Taurean Green and Denham Brown count in my book, as does Daniel Ewing.

Currently:
We've got 1 in Singler. Do we have one in Scheyer or Smith? We don't know yet, but count me skeptical (and call me a negative nancy if you like too).

More on Championship Caliber Vs. Lucky to make the Sweet Sixteen.

In the past decade 4 teams have had only 2 guards/wings and won a championship

Syracuse
Uconn
Florida (Twice)
and Maryland

Syracuse is still the exception here but the other 2 teams all had at least 2 players in the front court that became NBA players as well.

Uconn = Okafor, Boone, Villanueva
Florida = Noah and Horford
Maryland = Wilcox and Baxter.

Syracuse and Melo are in a league of there own.

The Maryland team in 2002 probably had the weakest NBA talent in the past decade, but all 4 of those guys were NBA ready that year.

This Duke team, if they're lucky will have 4-5 NBA guys
Singler, Scheyer, Smith, Plumlee (x2)

Only one is a lock to make the NBA at all, 3 won't be NBA ready at the end of this season, and the last one better be cause he's a senior.

That's why I don't think we're championship contenders, and Duke still needs A LOT of things to go right in order to make the Sweet Sixteen (matchup included).

cspan37421
12-08-2009, 01:37 PM
I said 2-3 NBA Caliber guards and did include Wing Guards/Small Forwards as Guards in my claim. That may be a matter of semantics.

Looks like more backpedaling to me.

It's your right to be pessimistic, but I don't know how anyone could not want a lineup of these guys on their team. Give them a chance to play, adapt, be coached and improve, etc. Injecting realism is one thing, predicting failure when you've been dealt such a strong hand is another.

And like DaveKay said, there's a great opportunity to enjoy the ride, no matter what the final destination.

cspan37421
12-08-2009, 01:41 PM
This Duke team, if they're lucky will have 4-5 NBA guys
Singler, Scheyer, Smith, Plumlee (x2)

Only one is a lock to make the NBA at all, 3 won't be NBA ready at the end of this season, and the last one better be cause he's a senior.

That's why I don't think we're championship contenders, and Duke still needs A LOT of things to go right in order to make the Sweet Sixteen (matchup included).

Talk about inflation. We "only" have 4-5 guys on our team who eventually might be in the NBA? I remember when 2-3 would be the ante to compete for a championship. Now we need 2-3 in the frontcourt and 2-3 in the backcourt?

Are you only satisfied when we put together a roster like in '99 or '01?

airowe
12-08-2009, 01:41 PM
I said 2-3 NBA Caliber guards and did include Wing Guards/Small Forwards as Guards in my claim. That may be a matter of semantics.

I did also say I believed that outside of Syracuse every team had 3 guards. Thanks to the amazing analysis by RegularOlJesus, I have been proven incorrect in this stament. (Seriously RegularOlJesus thank you cool of you to put that together).

That said 2-3 NBA caliber guards stands. Guys like Taurean Green and Denham Brown count in my book, as does Daniel Ewing.

Currently:
We've got 1 in Singler. Do we have one in Scheyer or Smith? We don't know yet, but count me skeptical (and call me a negative nancy if you like too).

More on Championship Caliber Vs. Lucky to make the Sweet Sixteen.

In the past decade 4 teams have had only 2 guards/wings and won a championship

Syracuse
Uconn
Florida (Twice)
and Maryland

Syracuse is still the exception here but the other 2 teams all had at least 2 players in the front court that became NBA players as well.

Uconn = Okafor, Boone, Villanueva
Florida = Noah and Horford
Maryland = Wilcox and Baxter.

Syracuse and Melo are in a league of there own.

The Maryland team in 2002 probably had the weakest NBA talent in the past decade, but all 4 of those guys were NBA ready that year.

This Duke team, if they're lucky will have 4-5 NBA guys
Singler, Scheyer, Smith, Plumlee (x2)

Only one is a lock to make the NBA at all, 3 won't be NBA ready at the end of this season, and the last one better be cause he's a senior.

That's why I don't think we're championship contenders, and Duke still needs A LOT of things to go right in order to make the Sweet Sixteen (matchup included).

I'm surprised you include Mason Plumlee as a possible pro but not Andre Dawkins.

What are your criteria for judging future NBA players?

Greg_Newton
12-08-2009, 01:43 PM
This Duke team, if they're lucky will have 4-5 NBA guys
Singler, Scheyer, Smith, Plumlee (x2)

This is where things get tricky. What about Dawkins, he doesn't have NBA potential? I would also argue Kelly has a better chance than not to make the league at some point. So really, white it's entirely possible we have 1 NBA players on our team, it's also entirely possible we have 7. Or 8 if you count Lance!:rolleyes:

So by the NBA-talent test (which I do agree is a good measure of a team's March potential), I figure that should leave us somewhere between the NIT and running away with the national championship... guess we'll have to play the games to find out!

(Edit: oops, airowe beat me to the Dawkins point...)

Exiled_Devil
12-08-2009, 02:07 PM
It's bits like this (from the NIT wrap up) that suggest this guy doesn't have much perspective:


So what did we learn? Well, thanks to a humiliating effort from Connecticut, whoís much better than their performance showed, we learned a lot less than we should have. How else do you explain shooting 29 percent from the field without ever being challenged? UConn turned the ball over consantly, continually forced terrible shots, and couldnít hit free throws or the occasional decent look they did get. Duke often seems to grit out these early season games against teams that are usually superior come tournament time (i.e. 2005--Duke over Michigan St. by 13 in Cameron on 11/30. Michigan St. over Duke by 10 in the Sweet Sixteen later that year). If we played 10 times in March, I'd expect UConn to win seven of those.

I get the idea that people may want to take a critical eye to the program and the players. However, this paragraph is an example of a trend in his blog - dismissing data of positive value and over-emphasizing data that is negative. What should I expect from a blog that purports to be about Duke Basketball being 'on the brink'.

There are some fans, I suppose, that are not happy unless their team is winning everything by huge margins. This guy reads like one. Even when I agree with a point he makes (Nolan did take too many shots @ Wisconsin) his analysis jumps to a habit of: good things happen because the other team screws up; bad things happen because our players stink. It's like the twisted sports fan inversion of the fundamental attribution error.

Skitzle
12-08-2009, 02:12 PM
This is where things get tricky. What about Dawkins, he doesn't have NBA potential? I would also argue Kelly has a better chance than not to make the league at some point. So really, white it's entirely possible we have 1 NBA players on our team, it's also entirely possible we have 7. Or 8 if you count Lance!:rolleyes:

So by the NBA-talent test (which I do agree is a good measure of a team's March potential), I figure that should leave us somewhere between the NIT and running away with the national championship... guess we'll have to play the games to find out!

(Edit: oops, airowe beat me to the Dawkins point...)

Completely forgot about Dawkins. He's definitely on this list.

DukieInKansas
12-08-2009, 02:40 PM
It's bits like this (from the NIT wrap up) that suggest this guy doesn't have much perspective:


Quote:
So what did we learn? Well, thanks to a humiliating effort from Connecticut, whoís much better than their performance showed, we learned a lot less than we should have. How else do you explain shooting 29 percent from the field without ever being challenged? UConn turned the ball over consantly, continually forced terrible shots, and couldnít hit free throws or the occasional decent look they did get. Duke often seems to grit out these early season games against teams that are usually superior come tournament time (i.e. 2005--Duke over Michigan St. by 13 in Cameron on 11/30. Michigan St. over Duke by 10 in the Sweet Sixteen later that year). If we played 10 times in March, I'd expect UConn to win seven of those.

I get the idea that people may want to take a critical eye to the program and the players. However, this paragraph is an example of a trend in his blog - dismissing data of positive value and over-emphasizing data that is negative. What should I expect from a blog that purports to be about Duke Basketball being 'on the brink'.

There are some fans, I suppose, that are not happy unless their team is winning everything by huge margins. This guy reads like one. Even when I agree with a point he makes (Nolan did take too many shots @ Wisconsin) his analysis jumps to a habit of: good things happen because the other team screws up; bad things happen because our players stink. It's like the twisted sports fan inversion of the fundamental attribution error.

Bold added - this always bugs me when reading about a game. When a team plays bad, it doesn't seem like the opposing team is given any credit for causing any of it. I think it is exceedingly rare for an entire team to have an off night. If an entire team is off, I think you should look to the opponent and see what they are doing to either cause it or take advantage of it.

Katz
12-08-2009, 05:54 PM
Hi everyone,

Iím really glad my blog has generated some spirited discussion and criticism. Iíd like to clarify a fundamental view that I might not share with everyone on this board before I address a few more specific points.

Weíre lucky enough to root for a team thatís established a tradition of consistent greatness, a level achieved by just a handful of other college basketball programs. And like other iconic organizations in sportóthe Yankees, Cowboys, Lakers, Notre Dame football (a cautionary tale for precipitous falls from greatness), and UNCóI believe weíre within our rights as fans to expect that success to continue, within reason, of course. Those Final Four banners in the rafters mean something to me. And I wouldnít be writing a blog in this manner if I were a fan of, say, Georgia Tech or Cal-Berkeley.

You might argue that since parity is more prevalent than ever, our expectations should be lowered dramatically, that no team can consistently compete at a high level these days. But letís look at UNC, at Kansas, at UCLA over the last 10 years. Each of those schools has experienced a period where they were in a deep rut. And each has returned to its rightful spot among the sportís great teams. In every cycle of recruits (once every three or four years), all of those programs produce at least one team that is capable of making at least one, and usually more than one, final four. And I would argue that every Duke team since 2005 has been fundamentally flawed in a way that made the odds heavily stacked against us for a final four run, making each year a much steeper climb than our seeds in those years would suggest. For instance, you just donít see guys with skill sets like Sean Dockery, Lee Melchionni, Lance Thomas, or Brian Zoubek getting major minutes for final four teams. The only way to compensate for that is with a transcendent player the likes of which we havenít had since JWill and Battier.

Poster Exiled_Devil mentioned that itís hard for him to fully trust or respect a site that calls itself Ďon the brink.í The reason I call it that is because I fear that if Duke doesnít show glimpses of past excellence by the end of the Coach K era, then we may never get back there. UNC, Kansas, and UCLA have maintained their powerhouse status over numerous generations and coaching changes. But right now, we donít know what the name Duke means. I think that if you asked a Junior on the South Side of Chicago what Duke basketball means, he would have a very different answer today than he might have 10 years ago. And I donít think we should minimize the significance of that change in perception.

I agree that each unique season is about the journey. Itís about growing with these kids, seeing them improve, following them and rooting for them even years after they leave Duke, and always feeling like weíre part of the same family. But when itís all said and done, what do we remember each season for? The tournament. I donít remember who won the ACC tournament five years ago (although I usually remember the regular season ACC champ), but I will always know exactly what Duke did in the tournament each year. It might not be fair, but itís the way it is.

Iím afraid some readers have interpreted my blog as being all about the gloom and doom of Duke basketball, that itís ďdismissing data of positive value and over-emphasizing data that is negative,Ē according to Exiled_Devil. I just donít think thatís a fair assessment. I tried to make the case that in the Wisconsin game, we lost to a team that played extremely well. Then I focused on particular concerns for Nolan Smith that had become a troubling pattern. I also gave glowing praise for Singler and Dawkins. In the UConn game, I thought I observed in that particular game that UConnís poor play was more a result of shoddy offense than our great defense. Of the two teams, we merely played the less bad game. I think many would agree with me. I praised Scheyer and said I wasnít at all worried about Singlerís 5-for-16 against Arizona St. or his 2-for-12 against UConn. I donít have an agenda. I write what I see and try to keep it entertaining.

Also, please know that some things are said in jest. My writing definitely isnít for everyone. My feelings can be fluid and I occasionally regret things Iíve written. For instance, I no longer believe that ďIf we played 10 times in March, I'd expect UConn to win seven of those.Ē As I rethink it, Iíd probably expect to split or UConn to win six. Everything I write is nothing more than one guysís opinion. I certainly donít claim to be the gospel on Duke basketball. In the same vein, I trust youíll have the same restraint in not allowing yourself to view your own feelings as absolute truth.

P.S. I know this idea of ďwhat does it take to be a championship/final four contenderĒ has been a hot topic on this thread. Itís a question Iíve been tracking and thinking about since I was in junior high in the mid-90s and Iím going to tackle it in depth on my blog in the next few days.

Keep on coming back. Go Duke.