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View Full Version : Can Duke Win The National Championship This Season?



Franzez
02-20-2010, 06:14 PM
Well we know its possible that Duke can win the National Championship if they win the games to do so.

But do you think Duke is good enough to go on a run and take down one of the teams projected to be in the Final Four? Do you think Duke can beat Kentucky or Kansas?

I've started to think that a success would be for us to reach the Sweet 16 with such youth and lack of depth in the backcourt.

Azdukefan
02-20-2010, 06:20 PM
Lack of depth in the backcourt? I'm pretty sure that Jon is a senior and a NPOY candidate and Nolan is a junior that might be the second best guard in the ACC. I may have Duke colored glasses on by thinking we can contend but even if I weren't a Duke fan, I would respect our backcourt.

Kishiznit
02-20-2010, 06:27 PM
Yes. It will require 2 of our Big 3 having hot hands and some presence inside. We will make the Final 4 and Kentucky will not be there.

JaMarcus Russell
02-20-2010, 06:27 PM
I've started to think that a success would be for us to reach the Sweet 16 with such youth and lack of depth in the backcourt.

Beating two teams we are supposed to beat (a 15/16 seed and 7/8/9 seed) is hardly my definition of success. It wouldn't be a disastrous finish, but hardly a successful one. I think this team needs to get to the Elite 8, and I believe that they will. From that point on, things will get more difficult.

Franzez
02-20-2010, 06:31 PM
Lack of depth in the backcourt? I'm pretty sure that Jon is a senior and a NPOY candidate and Nolan is a junior that might be the second best guard in the ACC. I may have Duke colored glasses on by thinking we can contend but even if I weren't a Duke fan, I would respect our backcourt.

Im talking about the youth with freshmen like Kelly, Dawkins, and Plumlee getting crucial minutes off the bench.

I think you left your Duke colored glasses on, I dont know how Jon can be considered a NPOY candidate at this point in the season. The media has made it clear that John Wall is the best player in college basketball, and we all must believe it. What im saying is the media picks these award winners.

I dont think its a might, Smith is the 2nd best guard in the ACC behind only Delaney.

Franzez
02-20-2010, 06:38 PM
Yes. It will require 2 of our Big 3 having hot hands and some presence inside. We will make the Final 4 and Kentucky will not be there.

I would not want to see a Duke-Kentucky matchup in the Tournament. I just cant see any team stopping that Kentucky train with Wall in charge, they're the worst matchup for Duke.

If Duke can get Purdue or Kansas then that is a very good chance for a win.

duke=legacy
02-20-2010, 06:45 PM
Beating two teams we are supposed to beat (a 15/16 seed and 7/8/9 seed) is hardly my definition of success. It wouldn't be a disastrous finish, but hardly a successful one. I think this team needs to get to the Elite 8, and I believe that they will. From that point on, things will get more difficult.

Getting to the Elite 8 would be a successful season IMO.

Maxwell1977
02-20-2010, 06:46 PM
I would not want to see a Duke-Kentucky matchup in the Tournament. I just cant see any team stopping that Kentucky train with Wall in charge, they're the worst matchup for Duke.

If Duke can get Purdue or Kansas then that is a very good chance for a win.

You apparently haven't seen UK play. They're on now.

Duvall
02-20-2010, 06:50 PM
You apparently haven't seen UK play. They're on now.

Is Kentucky mentally strong enough to make the Elite 8? That team seems awfully tightly wound.

Verga3
02-20-2010, 06:53 PM
Team chemistry is very good. The coach has been there. Jon, Kyle, Nolan and Lance will be there. If Zoubs continues his strong performance (and I believe he will), Mason plays with abandon, Miles, Dre and Ryan pitch in....this is a very good team, a potential Final Four team. My take, though, on post-season success is, "How hard will will play D?" When we REALLY get after it and turnovers/rushed offenses result, our offense seems much more fluid, confident and productive.

Play D to win it all, boys.

Osiagledknarf
02-20-2010, 06:59 PM
Im talking about the youth with freshmen like Kelly, Dawkins, and Plumlee getting crucial minutes off the bench.

I think you left your Duke colored glasses on, I dont know how Jon can be considered a NPOY candidate at this point in the season. The media has made it clear that John Wall is the best player in college basketball, and we all must believe it. What im saying is the media picks these award winners.

I dont think its a might, Smith is the 2nd best guard in the ACC behind only Delaney.

Then we can put Keuucky in the same boat then as well. They have Wall, Bledsoe and Cousins who are all freshman who will be getting critical minutes in the tourney. Not that I am comparing these guys to that group, but I need to attack this statement about experience in the tourney. We have a starting lineup depending on the team that will feature this:

Singler: Senior
Smith: Junior
Singler: Junior
Thomas: Senior
Zoubek: Senior

Bench:

Miles: Sophmore
Mason: Freshman
Kelly: Freshman
Dawkins: Freshman

Dawkins and Kelly have not gotten any critical minutes this season at all... In fact, walk on's at times have taken the minutes of Dawkins and Kelly at times. Barring injury, I find it's hard to believe that Coach K will change there minutes in the NCAA tourney.

I think this team has some of the pieces to make it to possibly a Elite 8 or if in the right brackett, a final four. We could possibly take a Ketucky, but I don't see us being able to handle a Kansas or Nova.



That's a pretty experienced group going into March Madness.

Hermy-own
02-20-2010, 07:02 PM
I think this team has two keys to making the final four.

1: Will we get offensive production inside? Our offensive efficiency this year is off the charts. To maintain this we NEED offensive production from someone other than the big 3. They can carry the load for stretches in a game, even the majority of the game. But if we start playing 3v5 on offense, eventually it comes to a grinding halt, and we just start jacking 3's.

To avoid this, Zoubs can continue his superb play and Lance can knock down those 16 footers and stop missing easy layups. Mason can provide some spark and dynamic play off the bench, and hopefully Miles can give some solid minutes, tip ins, and maybe a back to the basket game.

2: Will we have 'one of those nights' defensively? NCSU. 'Nuff said.

BD80
02-20-2010, 07:11 PM
We beat UK 7 out of ten times.

We beat KU 4 out of ten times.

We beat Syracuse 3 out of ten times.

We beat Purdue 6 out of ten times.

We beat MSU 5 out of ten times.

We beat unc 11 out of ten times.

moonpie23
02-20-2010, 08:02 PM
We beat UK 7 out of ten times.

We beat KU 4 out of ten times.

We beat Syracuse 3 out of ten times.

We beat Purdue 6 out of ten times.

We beat MSU 5 out of ten times.

We beat unc 11 out of ten times.

please....show your work....

killerleft
02-20-2010, 08:06 PM
It's simple.

We have the guards. We have Kyle Singler. Kelly and Dawkins are providing relief now.

Our defense can be very good.

Coach K can get us to the Final Four if Zoubs, Lance, and the Plumless produce. Can they force the other team to guard them? This gives Kyle the chance to shine. The better opponents can stop Kyle if our bigs don't demand attention.

At this time, at least, I think our chances are pretty good.

loldevilz
02-20-2010, 08:19 PM
It's simple.

We have the guards. We have Kyle Singler. Kelly and Dawkins are providing relief now.

Our defense can be very good.

Coach K can get us to the Final Four if Zoubs, Lance, and the Plumless produce. Can they force the other team to guard them? This gives Kyle the chance to shine. The better opponents can stop Kyle if our bigs don't demand attention.

At this time, at least, I think our chances are pretty good.

I totally agree with your analysis. I really don't think we can rely on guard play to get us to the final four. Of course, Jon Scheyer will need to be a leader (I personally think Nolan is not quite there yet). Kyle will be critical and the only way he can get it done is if Zoubs, Mace Plumlee, and dare I say Lance start becoming offensive threats.

Also, Kelly fascinates me. I hope he somehow can become a major contributor to a tournament run.

cptnflash
02-20-2010, 08:25 PM
If...

1) Zoubek's performance over the last 3 games isn't a complete anomoly, and more or less continues...

2) None of the big 3 get hurt (at least not worse than they already are)...

3) The small incremental improvement demonstrated recently by Andre and Mason also continues...

Then... we're as good or better than anyone in the country except KU and UK. We could certainly beat either of them in a single game (see UNLV, 1991) but it would be a tough task to beat both. Kentucky is probably more likely to get bumped off before we run into them... have to hope they have a tough bracket (and that we're not in it!).

Bob Green
02-20-2010, 08:43 PM
If...

1) Zoubek's performance over the last 3 games isn't a complete anomoly, and more or less continues...

2) None of the big 3 get hurt (at least not worse than they already are)...

3) The small incremental improvement demonstrated recently by Andre and Mason also continues...

Then... we're as good or better than anyone in the country.....

I agree with your analysis. We need to stay healthy and our young players need to continue to improve, but the real key is Zoubek playing solid.

As far as bracket match-ups go, I do not fear Kentucky, Purdue, or Michigan State. The teams I do not desire to match-up against are the Big East powers such as Syracuse, Villanova or Georgetown.

Rogue
02-20-2010, 08:53 PM
It's a 6 game tournament. We all know the best team doesn't always win.
So much depends on who gets upset early in the DUKE regional.
So, yes, I think we have as good a chance this year as anyone. Win a couple of close games.. have a regional where maybe a higher seed gets upset, luck of the draw,, This team is GOOD,, and good enough to cut down the nets at the end.



GOOOOOOOOOOO DUKE

Kedsy
02-20-2010, 08:55 PM
Our offensive efficiency this year is off the charts. To maintain this we NEED offensive production from someone other than the big 3.

I don't disagree that offensive balance is a good thing, and I am of course rooting that we can get some offensive production from our big men. But here's my question: if our offensive efficiency so far is "off the charts" then why do we need to do something different to maintain it?

Kedsy
02-20-2010, 09:05 PM
Well we know its possible that Duke can win the National Championship if they win the games to do so.

But do you think Duke is good enough to go on a run and take down one of the teams projected to be in the Final Four? Do you think Duke can beat Kentucky or Kansas?

One thing to remember is there's a very big difference between whether we can make the Final Four or win the championship and whether we will. Personally, I thought we were good enough to make the Final Four last year, and it bothers me when people say that the fact that we didn't make it proves we weren't good enough to make it.


I've started to think that a success would be for us to reach the Sweet 16 with such youth and lack of depth in the backcourt.

I don't understand this statement at all. If we don't make the Sweet 16 I'll be very surprised and disappointed.


I would not want to see a Duke-Kentucky matchup in the Tournament. I just cant see any team stopping that Kentucky train with Wall in charge, they're the worst matchup for Duke.

If Duke can get Purdue or Kansas then that is a very good chance for a win.

Having watched Kansas in person and Kentucky on TV, in my opinion Kansas is significantly better than Kentucky. They obviously can be beaten, but I don't think anybody in the country (including Duke and also Kentucky) can be said to have a "very good chance" for a win against Kansas this year.

Having said all that, I'm confident we have a pretty good chance to make the Final Four. Once there, anything can happen, and a small chance is still a chance, but I wouldn't say the odds of us winning it all are in our favor.

loldevilz
02-20-2010, 09:18 PM
One thing to remember is there's a very big difference between whether we can make the Final Four or win the championship and whether we will. Personally, I thought we were good enough to make the Final Four last year, and it bothers me when people say that the fact that we didn't make it proves we weren't good enough to make it.



I think many people are looking for a guaranteed final four presence. I don't that it is possible with this team. However, Duke has a few things that set it apart from the others:

1) size. when we go big...we go BIG
2) experience. our starters are 3 seniors and 2 juniors
3) leadership. you can't say enough about Mr. scheyer.
4) we got the mastermind: coach K

OldPhiKap
02-20-2010, 09:30 PM
We have as good a chance as any, and a better coach than most.

The team is still improving (IMO) as opposed to having already played its best hoops. So, if we stay healthy and keep progressing, I'll take my chances in each and every match-up we earn.

gumbomoop
02-20-2010, 09:40 PM
Yes. It will require 2 of our Big 3 having hot hands and some presence inside.

For a deep run [= F4], in every game:

1. any 2 of 3-S must play O very, very well [= 18-20 pts each, decent 3-pt %, and a killer basket in last 4-5 minutes of tense game], and all 3 of 3-S must play solid D, no foul trouble, a few steals, flicks, hold a key opponent to ineffective O. Hopeful sign here is that we don't have to have superb O from all 3 every game; and odds are that no team can shut down 2 of these 3. These 3 won't go away.

2. LT must maintain fierce, controlled, disruptive D on one of opponent's key men; and must be decent threat on elbow jumper, and hit 75% FTs.

3. any 1 of 3 bigs must have noticeably positive impact on game on O [=7-10 pts, O-rebounds]; and ditto [any 1, doesn't have to be same 1] on D.

4. need a minimal, but good, contribution from either RK or D [a 3pt-er, a couple FTs, a nice entry pass from RK]

5. inspired K-coaching X/O in tight [probably not every] game.

6. Every game, "Duke plays every play." Any question 3-S play every play? How about LT? K?

7. Yep, matchup could get us, as could cold FTs, bad call/bounce. But our odds seem a bit more promising this year.

mapei
02-20-2010, 10:03 PM
I think what you all are saying is that *if* several things go well, and nothing goes wrong, we have a good chance for the final four and then for the NC. That is true.

And it is equally true for most top-15 teams.

gep
02-20-2010, 10:06 PM
I agree with your analysis. We need to stay healthy and our young players need to continue to improve, but the real key is Zoubek playing solid. ...


Interesting comment... I went for a run this morning, and started fantasizing about the rest of the season. I started seeing Zoob getting 20/20 in each of the two final four games... and... then MVP of the final four :D (with Duke winning, of course)

-bdbd
02-20-2010, 10:12 PM
...However, Duke has a few things that set it apart from the others:

1) size. when we go big...we go BIG
2) experience. our starters are 3 seniors and 2 juniors
3) leadership. you can't say enough about Mr. scheyer.
4) we got the mastermind: coach K

I agree loldevilz. For once, our picture appears to be improving as we head into late-Feb. So many times in recent campaigns you felt that we'd peaked too early, or some sort of in-season setback was slowing us down, etc. This time, we seem to be improving still. I like our tragectory and momentum. That is important. Of course much will, and always does, depend on pairings and the bounce of the ball or how the game is reffed, etc. But on ESPN today, when picking FF favorites, I heard someone for the first time in a long time say "Watch out for Duke. They're coming on too..."

I like our chances (but would still prefer not to see any of KA, KY, Syr. if/until we reach Indianapolis).

:cool:

Morris614
02-20-2010, 10:16 PM
first post after reading for about a month...

But yes, all signs appear that Duke is catching fire at the right time. If Dawkins can give a solid 10-13 minutes per game there could be some serious fire in March/April Madness.

(I realize most people here would hate for Duke to be in the West region, but I got my tix today for the sweet 16/ 8 games in SLC- would love to see Duke there)

Jumbo
02-20-2010, 10:27 PM
If...

1) Zoubek's performance over the last 3 games isn't a complete anomoly, and more or less continues...

2) None of the big 3 get hurt (at least not worse than they already are)...

3) The small incremental improvement demonstrated recently by Andre and Mason also continues...

Then... we're as good or better than anyone in the country except KU and UK. We could certainly beat either of them in a single game (see UNLV, 1991) but it would be a tough task to beat both. Kentucky is probably more likely to get bumped off before we run into them... have to hope they have a tough bracket (and that we're not in it!).

Are you really comparing KU and UK to UNLV in 1991? Neither of those teams could hold a candle to that squad. Kansas is good, but why is anyone so scared of Kentucky? Have people actually watched them play this year? Forget about Duke -- Syracuse is clearly better than Kentucky and I might put Villanova ahead of UK as well.

To answer the original question, yes Duke can win the national championship. Doesn't mean they will, but they certainly can.

Jumbo
02-20-2010, 10:31 PM
One thing to remember is there's a very big difference between whether we can make the Final Four or win the championship and whether we will. Personally, I thought we were good enough to make the Final Four last year, and it bothers me when people say that the fact that we didn't make it proves we weren't good enough to make it.

Exactly. One bad game against Villanova has significantly skewed people's memories of what last year's team was capable of having done. And this year's team is better, while the field is worse.

gumbomoop
02-20-2010, 10:38 PM
I think what you all are saying is that *if* several things go well, and nothing goes wrong, we have a good chance for the final four and then for the NC. That is true.

And it is equally true for most top-15 teams.

Can't speak for others, but I'll disagree with your comment, at least partially.

1. "If go well" - What's more interesting to me is which things must go well. Most important, not everything has to go well. We have more options this year.

2. "If nothing goes wrong" - I don't agree that "nothing can go wrong." Again, more options, so X could go wrong [e.g., NS off game], but unlikely that X and Y and Z will go wrong [i.e., unlikely that even 2 of 3-S will have off game in same game]

3. Don't agree that the "ifs" are "equally true" for most of top-15. I think our ifs are a bit less iffy than most [but, alas, not all] of top-15.

4. Your good point about "March is a very different thing" actually works a bit in favor of an experienced team such as Duke [but true, also KU, Nova, Mich St, West Va, and maybe Purdue], but less so for UK and even Syracuse.

PhillyDuke
02-20-2010, 10:38 PM
Our freshman ain't ready for prime time, because they haven't developed; and that's because they sat on the bench for too long most of the season. This time of year, freshmen no longer play like freshmen because they stop making "freshmen" mistakes. Experience does that. Our freshmen are still inexperienced.

Cell-R
02-20-2010, 10:45 PM
Then we can put Keuucky in the same boat then as well. They have Wall, Bledsoe and Cousins who are all freshman who will be getting critical minutes in the tourney. Not that I am comparing these guys to that group, but I need to attack this statement about experience in the tourney. We have a starting lineup depending on the team that will feature this:

Singler: Senior
Smith: Junior
Singler: Junior
Thomas: Senior
Zoubek: Senior
.

If only Singler could clone himself as his future senior (PG) self :D
We would be set then!

Kedsy
02-20-2010, 10:48 PM
I think many people are looking for a guaranteed final four presence. I don't that it is possible with this team.

Guaranteed? Like Duke 2002? I think you're right that people want to feel like it's a foregone conclusion, but what makes the NCAA tourney such a wonderful event is that nothing is guaranteed.

loldevilz
02-20-2010, 10:49 PM
Our freshman ain't ready for prime time, because they haven't developed; and that's because they sat on the bench for too long most of the season. This time of year, freshmen no longer play like freshmen because they stop making "freshmen" mistakes. Experience does that. Our freshmen are still inexperienced.

I really don't think that's true. I can't buy the argument that its valuable for young players to make mistakes in games. I also think that we have seen improvement.

I was really impressed with Ryan Kelly's play last game. He made two great passes to Zoubek for easy buckets. I expect that he will be getting more play time and surprise everyone. He does exactly what Lance Thomas does not do on offense.

Andre Dawkins got a lot of minutes last game and has shown much improved defense. He obviously is not yet at the level of the other guards, but he still can be very dangerous because of his shooting.

Mason I think is getting a little too much praise, but he still can give good minutes off the bench. Obviously, the duo of Mason and Miles has consistently struggled.

Jumbo
02-20-2010, 11:01 PM
Our freshman ain't ready for prime time, because they haven't developed; and that's because they sat on the bench for too long most of the season. This time of year, freshmen no longer play like freshmen because they stop making "freshmen" mistakes. Experience does that. Our freshmen are still inexperienced.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. WRONG!

I don't even know where to start. Duke has three freshmen, and each is in a totally different boat. Start with Mason Plumlee. It's absolutely disingenous to suggest that he has "sat the bench" or "hasn't developed" this season. FACT: He missed the first month of his career with a broken wrist. FACT: He has played significantly better this month than last month. FACT: He has played double-figure minutes in all but three games and has played 17-plus minutes in four of his last five. FACT: Games don't get much more "prime-time" than Duke at UNC. And when Lance Thomas went down, Mason Plumlee looked exactly the opposite of what you're saying -- he was READY. 27 minutes, 7 points, 9 boards. Enormous.

How about Ryan Kelly? I'm not sure how many people need to say this before posters such as yourself understand the concept, but he is Duke's 5th big man. Hardly any team in the country regularly plays 5 guys at the 4/5 spots. The parts of Kelly's game that need the most improvement will come through the weight room, not more court time. And he is getting better, regardless. He's not playing major minutes, because Duke has so many other (and right now, better) options up front. But when Duke was struggling early against Miami, did you like the job he did of feeding Zoubek from the high post? Think he looked comfortable? Think if Duke's having trouble against a zone that he couldn't handle that role again?

So what you're really left with, as far as your complaints go, is Andre Dawkins. Except the path of his season totally disputes the myth that players only improve by getting time in games. Dawkins got a TON of playing time early in the season. Guess what? That playing time didn't make him "better" -- by midseason, he had regressed somewhat. He was losing his man constantly on defense and reinforcing bad habits by making them in games. So K limited his playing time for a while. Guess what? He's played at least 10 minutes in each of the last 3 games. His ball-handling is an issue of skill development, and likely won't get better until next season. But he seems to be communicating much better on defense, and K seems to be trusting him more. When Duke wants to go small or needs a floor-spacer in the corner, Dawkins is more equipped to handle that role than he was a month ago.

Finally, it's absurd to treat all freshmen the same. As K is fond of saying, everyone runs his own race. Some freshmen around the country never played like freshmen this season. Some have been up and down. Some have been total disappointments and never see the court (yeah, this actually happens at other schools). Duke is getting almost everything it needs out of its freshmen, because the veterans are playing so well. Would it be great if Mason could just finish a little stronger in traffic, commit fewer reach-in fouls, make safer passes and get lost less on D? Of course, and there's no reason to think he won't continue to improve in those areas over the next month. Would it be nice if, now that his defense seems to be improving, Dawkins could start knocking down threes with some regularity? Sure, that would be great, too, and once again that is totally reasonable. And I've already expressed my opinion about Kelly's role clearly. Enough with the bench/frosh development stuff already. Geez.

CameronBlue
02-20-2010, 11:01 PM
How well the bigs adjust to the officiating may determine Duke's tourney success. Is it me or have ACC conference games been a lot rougher than most of the rest of college basketball this year? As several in the media commented Duke-Wake, Duke-Tech were some of the more physical games in recent memory. Two quick fouls in the Georgetown game (IIRC) completely knocked Miles out of his rhythm and seemed to intimidate Zoubs and Mason as well. (Georgetown spread the offense which limited the effectiveness of help-side defense if memory serves.) Duke must be prepared to adjust to similar schemes.

ice-9
02-20-2010, 11:16 PM
Assuming you have the talent to go deep, and I believe Duke has that talent, the key to success in the NCAA tournament is CONSISTENCY. The strong team who shows up one day and doesn't the other will not make it far, because the field is too strong and there are too many games to have an off-night.

I believe the Duke teams of recent past have all been quite good, but the main issue was one of consistency. Part of it was that we didn't have any reliable way of generating buckets, another was defense, and so on so forth.

This team is a bit of a puzzle in the sense that in Cameron, we've been AMAZINGLY consistent. I don't think it's a stretch to say that if the NCAA tourney was held at Cameron we'd be the STRONG favorites and by a mile.

On the road, this team is head scratchingly inconsistent. Lower shooting percentages, bad defense, lack of intensity/energy...

But what of neutral sites? Well offensively we're still not as good as we are in Cameron, but opponents seem to be worse off as well and, Gonzaga excepting, we've been able to grind our way through.

If the Cameron version of Duke shows up, we can absolutely win the championship.

If the road version shows up (and the opponent the home version), then I can see us getting upset easily on a cold shooting night and against a bad matchup.

If the neutral site version shows up...I think we can grind out a few games here and there but will likely lose in the Elite Eight/Final Four to a team who knows how to bring their A game away from home.

Wander
02-20-2010, 11:38 PM
"Can" is a weak word. Duke will at worst be a 3 seed, and we've all seen enough crazy things happen in March that basically any team with that high a seed "can" win the national championship.

With that being said, for all the talk about the NCAA tournament being fluky, it has done a remarkable job recently of producing the team that "should" win the national championship. I'd argue that each of the past six years, either the best or second best team in the country has won the national championship.

Right now, I don't really see Duke being realistically good enough in March to win the tournament. On offense, we are really efficient, and have three GREAT players, but I'd feel much better if they were, say, a point guard, a wing, and a center instead of two combo guards and a combo forward. I thought earlier in the season that Mason could change this, but he hasn't developed into as consistently a good offensive and defensive player as I'd hoped for by this point in the season. We're also not as consistently good on defense as I would like to see.

I think Kansas, Kentucky, and Syracuse in that order are the legit national championship contenders, and then a big gap until the 4th team. I'd be surprised if someone other than Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse or Texas won the national championship (yes yes, I know Texas has been awful recently, and I'm not saying they're a better team than Duke - they're not - but they have the required amount of talent).

I reserve the right to change my opinion if Mason starts playing consistently well on both ends of the floor by the end of the season (say, well enough to have locked up a starting spot).

Wander
02-20-2010, 11:47 PM
Kansas is good, but why is anyone so scared of Kentucky? Have people actually watched them play this year? Forget about Duke -- Syracuse is clearly better than Kentucky and I might put Villanova ahead of UK as well.

People are probably scared of Kentucky because they're the most talented team in the country - arguably by a sizable margin. They're also improving, and while they've played closer to inferior opponents than they should, they've shown a remarkable ability to make winning plays at the end of those games. I think Kentucky has a better chance at the championship than Syracuse, Duke, and Villanova, but not Kansas.

sagegrouse
02-20-2010, 11:49 PM
Our freshman ain't ready for prime time, because they haven't developed; and that's because they sat on the bench for too long most of the season. This time of year, freshmen no longer play like freshmen because they stop making "freshmen" mistakes. Experience does that. Our freshmen are still inexperienced.

Puh-lease! This is the most tired cliche on this Board. It is utterly a canard. If freshmen are ready, they play. And why do you think there is an entire thread devoted to urging Mason Plumlee to stop making dumb mistakes?

That said, both Andre and Mason are getting decent minutes now. Dawkins has averaged 10 mins. per game over the last three -- all tough ACC contests. Mason is averaging 18 mins. per game. Both should see action against VT. Ryan Kelly is averaging only 3-4 mins. per game in these three, but they have been at crucial points in the game. All three freshmen should get lots of PT against Tulsa, which should show how much progress they have made.

sagegrouse

CMARTZ
02-20-2010, 11:59 PM
I think it's certainly possible for us to win this year: it all depends on which "version" of the team shows up, as an above poster mentioned.

A look at the top 25 has made me extremely excited for this year's tournament because while few of those teams would likely fall easily to Duke, none of them appear to be unbeatable. That said, there are a few that would be unfortunate early(ish) matchups (the big east teams in particular scare me, maybe because two of our recent exits have come at their hands).

sagegrouse
02-21-2010, 12:13 AM
Well we know its possible that Duke can win the National Championship if they win the games to do so.

But do you think Duke is good enough to go on a run and take down one of the teams projected to be in the Final Four? Do you think Duke can beat Kentucky or Kansas?

I've started to think that a success would be for us to reach the Sweet 16 with such youth and lack of depth in the backcourt.

Well, back to the original question --

First, I think Duke can win the national Championship.

Second, I think Duke, if it takes care of business -- wins the regular season and the ACC tournament -- will be a #1 seed. So, we don't have to beat a #1 seed until the Final Four (if then).

Third, it looks to me that Duke is playing very well and improving week to week. You may have heard announcers Greg Anthony and Gus Johnson say during the UNC-BC game that Duke seemed to be playing as well as anyone in the country.

Fourth, Duke has three players that seem certain to be All ACC -- probably a first teamer and two second teamers. That's a lot of talent. When he had comparable breadth of talent in 2001 and 2002, we were clearly FF and NC material.

Fifth, the ACC is actually rated fairly highly in the Pomeroy and other rankings. I disagree with the position that the ACC is having a down year. That conflates UNC's collapse with a down year in the conference. I don't think so. The fact that all the ACC teams keep beating each other underlines the competitiveness, not the overall strength of the ACC. Duke's conference record speaks for itself.

I think Duke is a #1 seed and FF team this year. National champions? Possible. We'll see who shows up in Indianapolis. There may be some surprises.:)

Finally, I don't understand your parting shot. "Youth and lack of depth in the backcourt?" Huh? This is the most experienced Duke team since 2002. Looks to me that, barring injury, that backcourt depth is not a problem. Why would you substitute for Jon, Nolan and Kyle? They seem to be able to handle the minutes just fine.


sagegrouse

Duvall
02-21-2010, 12:25 AM
Kansas is good, but why is anyone so scared of Kentucky? Have people actually watched them play this year? Forget about Duke -- Syracuse is clearly better than Kentucky and I might put Villanova ahead of UK as well.


Villanova? Wouldn't they have to start guarding people first?

Saratoga2
02-21-2010, 07:02 AM
There are a number of really good teams ahead of us and another group comparable with us in ability. Kansas, Syracuse, Kentucky, Purdue all have a good shot of advancing to the final four. The second group is larger.

We have to take care of business during the regular season and win the ACC tournament to have any shot at a #1 seed. Any of the top four, and possibly Villanova would have to falter for us to move up in seeding. These things are possible, but there is a lot for us to achieve to get into that favorable position.

In horse racing I put a % probability of winning on the race. Las Vegas does the same and will for the tournament. Where teams will be rated in anyone's guess at this point, but if I was to guess now it would be Kansas 20%, Syracuse and Kentucky 15% each, Purdue 10%, Villanova about 7% Duke would be about at 5%. Lots of teams will be in the 3% or less.

Our team is good and has talent, experience, size and coaching. The problem is so do many other teams.

hq2
02-21-2010, 07:24 AM
This team is not as talented as recent Duke final four teams. The '99, '01, and '04 teams were arguably the best teams in the country those years, or no worse than second best. The '04 team had six future NBA players on it. This team has maybe three on it, and probably not particularly good ones. It is clearly not as good.

For this team to make it to the FF, we need two things; momentum and good matchups. By momentum, we need to continue our current higher level of play; good ball movement, agressive defense, decent contributions by the Front Four rotation. By matchups, we need to be lucky and not have to play Georgetown/Villanova teams with big frontcourts and quick/deep backcourts where we don't match up. I'd say we probably won't make it, but you never know; we might even beat one of those type teams if the big three have a lights out shooting game. You never know.

Clipsfan
02-21-2010, 07:31 AM
The '04 team had six future NBA players on it. This team has maybe three on it, and probably not particularly good ones.

Would you like to make a bet on the number of future NBA players on this team? I'll take the over at 3.5...

BobbyFan
02-21-2010, 07:43 AM
Fourth, Duke has three players that seem certain to be All ACC -- probably a first teamer and two second teamers. That's a lot of talent. When he had comparable breadth of talent in 2001 and 2002, we were clearly FF and NC material.

We certainly have the talent required to be among the teams that can win a title. But if you're going to draw comparisons to our 01 and 02 teams, we simply aren't on that level. The 01 team had the two best players in the country, and the 02 team featured three All-Americans. And the supporting casts were rock solid with guys like James, Duhon, and Jones.

moonpie23
02-21-2010, 09:06 AM
i'm not into predicting when a team will fail....but i will say this....

Watching teams like Syracuse, Villanova, Gerogetown, Kansas, and UK, there is a talent level that is undeniable. At the start of the season, folks were touting Texas as a team that "had it all"....but we see how they've faded...


i see tremendous strengths in the teams above. I also see strengths in this duke team, however, i haven't seen the consistent component of having ALL the strengths clicking for more than a game here and a game there....

the more i see UK, the more i think they actually ARE getting better....and with that talent level, could be a legit contender...look at that team's weaknesses and you will see that they are beginning to figure it out...


Those big east teams are legit.....when you look at other teams like purdue, Kstate, Mich state or West virginia, they look to have what it takes given the correct matchups.


for duke to have a good run, they need to show continued improvement down the stretch . I think if i was any of those teams above, i wouldn't be licking my chops at the prospect of playing duke in the tourny.

Troublemaker
02-21-2010, 10:13 AM
Of course this team can win the NC. So could last year's Duke team, and the team before that, and the team before that, etc. You, me, and three DBR posters could win the NC. Our odds would be maybe 1 in a trillion but it could happen. There really is only one answer to the question in the thread title. Regardless, that question has generated some interesting discussion which I've enjoyed reading.

House G
02-21-2010, 11:32 AM
I think many people are looking for a guaranteed final four presence. I don't that it is possible with this team. However, Duke has a few things that set it apart from the others:

1) size. when we go big...we go BIG
2) experience. our starters are 3 seniors and 2 juniors
3) leadership. you can't say enough about Mr. scheyer.
4) we got the mastermind: coach K
Don't forget that we are one of the better FT shooting teams in the country (75.7%). Obviously this can be a difference-maker against a team like Texas who shoots 61%.

bluepenguin
02-21-2010, 11:33 AM
would love for them to go all the way. but the realist in me says there are a few problems - that have been innumerated ad nausem on these boards - that will keep them from winning it all. Unless of course, all the stars align and lady luck smiles down upon them.

Franzez
02-21-2010, 12:51 PM
i'm not into predicting when a team will fail....but i will say this....

Watching teams like Syracuse, Villanova, Gerogetown, Kansas, and UK, there is a talent level that is undeniable. At the start of the season, folks were touting Texas as a team that "had it all"....but we see how they've faded...


i see tremendous strengths in the teams above. I also see strengths in this duke team, however, i haven't seen the consistent component of having ALL the strengths clicking for more than a game here and a game there....

the more i see UK, the more i think they actually ARE getting better....and with that talent level, could be a legit contender...look at that team's weaknesses and you will see that they are beginning to figure it out...


Those big east teams are legit.....when you look at other teams like purdue, Kstate, Mich state or West virginia, they look to have what it takes given the correct matchups.


for duke to have a good run, they need to show continued improvement down the stretch . I think if i was any of those teams above, i wouldn't be licking my chops at the prospect of playing duke in the tourny.

A good coherent post, some of the posts I just read seemed more like fan optimism rather than seeing things from a neutral standpoint.

My worries is that Duke can just have one of those nights and drop a game early against an undisciplined team so far this season that can work things out in the tournament.

Just predicting, I think we'll be a #2 seed if we win the ACC thats solely because how weak the conference is this season and the fact we dont have any signature wins this season. Usually theres an undisciplined/streaky team like Cincinatti or Baylor or UTEP that has a shot to pull the upset or get blown out depending on how they react. A win will be tough to come by from the 2nd round on, we'll really see how strong the veteran leadership is and if anyone emerges as the clutch performer.

mehmattski
02-21-2010, 01:38 PM
would love for them to go all the way. but the realist in me says there are a few problems - that have been innumerated ad nausem on these boards - that will keep them from winning it all. Unless of course, all the stars align and lady luck smiles down upon them.

I wonder when the last "unlucky" team won the national championship.

Last year, simulations showed Carolina to have the best chance of winning the tournament, but it was still at less than a 6% chance before the first game was played. In a single-elimination tournament that takes six consecutive wins, sometimes it's a tossup among the 10-15 teams with a realistic shot.

Stated differently: luck isn't unique to Duke's NC chances. All teams need it. The question is whether Duke is in that group of 10-15 teams. I say yes, near the top of it.

Jumbo
02-21-2010, 02:01 PM
A good coherent post, some of the posts I just read seemed more like fan optimism rather than seeing things from a neutral standpoint.

Interesting. I've read a ton of coherent posts in this thread. Yet you've once again dropped another canard on us, by painting the discussion as an either/proposition between "fan optimism" and a "neutral standpoint." I don't even know what a "neutral standpoint" is. No one is neutral when it comes to analysis like this. Some people are biased because of rooting interests. Some people are biased because they've watched certain teams more than others. Some people are biased because they've been burned before. I think the term you're looking for is an "analytical standpoint" as opposed to "raw emotion." And I think nearly everyone has delivered reasonable analysis.


My worries is that Duke can just have one of those nights and drop a game early against an undisciplined team so far this season that can work things out in the tournament.

This is one of the many oft-repeated ideas I can't comprehend. EVERYONE can have "one of those nights." Everyone. Duke was incredibly talented in 2001-02 and had "one of those nights" against Indiana in the Sweet 16. Top teams around the country get upset early every year. That's the nature of the tournament.


Just predicting, I think we'll be a #2 seed if we win the ACC thats solely because how weak the conference is this season and the fact we dont have any signature wins this season.

If beating a very good Gonzaga team by 35 points doesn't count as a signature win, I don't know what does. And if Duke doesn't have any "signature wins," what does Kentucky have? Never mind that the ACC is far stronger than you state; Duke has been an extremely strong team throughout the season.


Usually theres an undisciplined/streaky team like Cincinatti or Baylor or UTEP that has a shot to pull the upset or get blown out depending on how they react. A win will be tough to come by from the 2nd round on, we'll really see how strong the veteran leadership is and if anyone emerges as the clutch performer.

I have no idea what this means, why it's different for Duke than for any other team, or why it's different this season.

Hermy-own
02-21-2010, 02:02 PM
A good coherent post, some of the posts I just read seemed more like fan optimism rather than seeing things from a neutral standpoint.

My worries is that Duke can just have one of those nights and drop a game early against an undisciplined team so far this season that can work things out in the tournament.

Just predicting, I think we'll be a #2 seed if we win the ACC thats solely because how weak the conference is this season and the fact we dont have any signature wins this season. Usually theres an undisciplined/streaky team like Cincinatti or Baylor or UTEP that has a shot to pull the upset or get blown out depending on how they react. A win will be tough to come by from the 2nd round on, we'll really see how strong the veteran leadership is and if anyone emerges as the clutch performer.

I may just be stating the obvious, but I don't want to find a clutch performer before the 2nd weekend of the tourney at least. Last year we only barely won our first game, only barely beat Texas, and then got blown out by Villanova. Clearly we weren't playing our best ball. I would love to win our first two games big, and get on a roll. A clutch performance is nice in the F4, but needing the clutch early on in the tourney isn't a good sign.

Bob Green
02-21-2010, 02:11 PM
Last year we only barely won our first game....

Duke 86 - Binghamton 62. That's a 24 point victory. I believe you are remembering the previous year when Duke beat Belmont 71-70 in the opening round.

Jumbo
02-21-2010, 02:16 PM
I may just be stating the obvious, but I don't want to find a clutch performer before the 2nd weekend of the tourney at least. Last year we only barely won our first game, only barely beat Texas, and then got blown out by Villanova. Clearly we weren't playing our best ball. I would love to win our first two games big, and get on a roll. A clutch performance is nice in the F4, but needing the clutch early on in the tourney isn't a good sign.

Duke barely won its first game? It beat Binghamton by 24 points. Texas was tight, on doubt. And here's the interesting thing about the Villanova game -- everyone always forgets that Duke was right there at the half. Duke was down 3, and then Singler hit the first basket of the second half to put Duke down by 1. Now, we all know what happened from there -- a Villanova run in which Duke's defense came apart and the team couldn't buy a jump shot. But I contend that last year's team wasn't as good or as tough as this current group. To put it another way, if this year's team is in a tight game at the half despite not playing well, I have a ton of confidence that they'll put it together in the second half, especially given the added size and ways to make an impact that this team enjoys. And, sure enough, we've seen examples of that -- against Clemson, UNC, Miami, etc.

bird
02-21-2010, 02:26 PM
If I was assigning probabilities, I would give higher probabilities to Kansas and Syracuse than Duke. I am not sure I would give anyone else a higher chance.

First, the Duke team has several of the "markers" of a contender:

-- strong defense (No. 14 in Kenpom)
-- good foul shooting (No. 14 in Kenpom)
-- experience in the backcourt

These are factors that I hear often discussed as being typical attributes or requirements of a potential championship team that can get through the defensive-oriented grind of the tourney.

Second, I would add to this list Duke's ability to score efficiently and often. Put simply, on a given night Duke's offense can beat anyone. We have No. 1 offensive efficiency in the bleeping nation, according to Kenpom. And anyone paying attention to these boards, to the games and the comments of the coaching staff know that the Duke offense, as good as it has been overall, has plenty of room for improvement.

The big knock on Duke is the lack of NBA "bodies" on the team. I think Moneyball - how the fascination with "bodies" and "I know it when I see it" can blur clear vision on actual sports productivity. I repeat, we have the No. 1 offensive efficiency in the bleeping nation without the Favors and Lawalls of the world.

Maybe Duke has a one-in-ten chance of winning the championship. I like our chances, gentlemen.

Hermy-own
02-21-2010, 02:50 PM
Duke 86 - Binghamton 62. That's a 24 point victory. I believe you are remembering the previous year when Duke beat Belmont 71-70 in the opening round.

Yup, you're right. I mixed those games up. I would still love to see two blowouts on the first weekend, although it isn't essential as long as our team is playing well. The other team can play us hard, but if we win AND we win by playing well (not by jacking up 3's and grinding it out at the end) then it's all good.

Jumbo
02-21-2010, 03:14 PM
Yup, you're right. I mixed those games up. I would still love to see two blowouts on the first weekend, although it isn't essential as long as our team is playing well. The other team can play us hard, but if we win AND we win by playing well (not by jacking up 3's and grinding it out at the end) then it's all good.

The first weekend is another area where too much is made of tight wins or close calls. Remember UNC-LSU last year in the second round? That was a tie game with 8 minutes to go. Didn't stop UNC from winning it all. Remember when it looked like we wouldn't even have to play Villanova, because they were down 10 at the half to American and were still tied with 6:32 to go? How about Michigan State, which was in a 2-point game against 10th-seeded USC in the second round last year, survived to win by 5, and reached the national championship game?

And that's just last season. I can go back to pretty much any tourney you'd like and show you that playing a tight game or two during the first weekend isn't a signal that you're in trouble down the road, or that a pair of blowout wins doesn't mean you're home free. The tourney is absolutely crazy, with tons of randomness involved. There's a reason they call it March Madness, after all.

Wander
02-21-2010, 03:46 PM
First, the Duke team has several of the "markers" of a contender:

-- strong defense (No. 14 in Kenpom)
-- good foul shooting (No. 14 in Kenpom)
-- experience in the backcourt



I'm not sure where you came up with these markers. Strong defense is of course important, but I've never understood why anyone would ever think that either defense or offense is more important than the other.

Free throws are absolutely NOT a strength of this Duke team. Would you rather shoot 20-30 from the line in a game or 14-15?

I also don't particularly care about experience in the backcourt. What I do care about is having a very good backcourt and a very good frontcourt regardless of age. We obviously have a great, but thin, backcourt. I just don't think our frontcourt is good enough to win the tournament right now.

pfrduke
02-21-2010, 04:31 PM
Free throws are absolutely NOT a strength of this Duke team. Would you rather shoot 20-30 from the line in a game or 14-15?


With pretty much any team, 14-15. The odds are you'll get more than 6 points in the other ~7 possessions that make up the difference between 15 and 30 free throw attempts.

I both agree and disagree with your points. This is not a team that can generate a lot of mid-game offense by getting to the line, so in that sense, free throws are not a strength. But in close games down the stretch, we have 5 guys who shoot 76% or better. That's really good, and something that will likely serve as well in postseason play.

Kedsy
02-21-2010, 05:14 PM
This team is not as talented as recent Duke final four teams. The '99, '01, and '04 teams were arguably the best teams in the country those years, or no worse than second best. The '04 team had six future NBA players on it. This team has maybe three on it, and probably not particularly good ones. It is clearly not as good.


I would bet a large amount of money that this year's Duke team has a lot more than three future NBA players. It would not shock me if ultimately as many as eight players from this year's team make the League. I don't think more than three of them will necessarily be starters in the NBA, and a couple of them might have to make a team as undrafted free agents, but you are way underselling the depth of talent on this team.

kong123
02-21-2010, 05:31 PM
IMHO, Duke will be extremely lucky to make the Elite 8. If they get a tough draw, they have no chance. Duke is enjoying a weak ACC this year, which ranks 3rd behind the Big 12 and the Big East. IF Duke played in the Big East, would they still be ranked in the top 10? Probably not. Again, being able to keep everyone healthy in the backcourt as well as avoiding the usual "wearing out" of the players that have to play 35+ minutes each game will tell the story. Can they do it? Depends on how dark blue your glasses are. There is no doubt, Duke is one of the best in the ACC, but this year -- that isn't saying very much.

Kedsy
02-21-2010, 05:35 PM
IMHO, Duke will be extremely lucky to make the Elite 8. If they get a tough draw, they have no chance. Duke is enjoying a weak ACC this year, which ranks 3rd behind the Big 12 and the Big East. IF Duke played in the Big East, would they still be ranked in the top 10? Probably not. Again, being able to keep everyone healthy in the backcourt as well as avoiding the usual "wearing out" of the players that have to play 35+ minutes each game will tell the story. Can they do it? Depends on how dark blue your glasses are. There is no doubt, Duke is one of the best in the ACC, but this year -- that isn't saying very much.

Well, we all know what shade of blue your glasses are.

gumbomoop
02-21-2010, 06:12 PM
..... last year's team wasn't as good or as tough as this current group. To put it another way, if this year's team is in a tight game at the half despite not playing well, I have a ton of confidence that they'll put it together in the second half, especially given the added size and ways to make an impact that this team enjoys. And, sure enough, we've seen examples of that -- against Clemson, UNC, Miami, etc.

I agree with this, and think this team's toughness is a constant. JS and KS are palpably tougher than last year, and NS even more dramatically different now from previously. Actually LT, too, way more focused and consistent [though, admittedly, still reckless occasionally]. To the 3 examples cited by Jumbo, one might add the early-season BC game at home, and Wake [remember: "brutal"].

True that this team will need to be tough, because they won't clearly [and possibly not at all] out-talent likely foes by 16/Elite 8.

Maybe the dispute in this interesting thread comes down to the "matchup nightmare scenario" in 16 or Elite 8. Those who see this team as a little, but not a lot, better than last year's Devils can logically argue, "Same thing's gonna happen. Can't stop penetrating quick guards. We get steamrolled." Other posters, thinking this team [I]substantially tougher, counter: "These guys may lose, but they ain't gettin' steamrolled. They don't panic and they don't go away."

pfrduke
02-21-2010, 06:19 PM
Those who see this team as a little, but not a lot, better than last year's Devils can logically argue, "Same thing's gonna happen. Can't stop penetrating quick guards. We get steamrolled."


TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
15 WALKER, Kemba....... g 4-12 0-1 1-2 0 4 4 5 9 8 5 2 2 34
10 Ishmael Smith....... g 3-12 0-0 1-2 3 1 4 5 7 4 4 1 3 36
11 Larry Drew II....... g 4-15 1-8 2-3 1 3 4 1 11 4 2 0 0 33

We've done well against quick guards this year. This team's problem is mobile 4s who can spread us out on defense and prevent the help rotation. That was less of a problem last year when we were smaller.

Exiled_Devil
02-21-2010, 08:00 PM
I think you left your Duke colored glasses on, I dont know how Jon can be considered a NPOY candidate at this point in the season. The media has made it clear that John Wall is the best player in college basketball, and we all must believe it. What im saying is the media picks these award winners.

I dont think its a might, Smith is the 2nd best guard in the ACC behind only Delaney.

I'm sorry, but I can't believe that no one else has said anything about this.

Jon Scheyer is a NPOY candidate. Wall may be the favorite, but that doesn't mean others are not candidates.

And are you saying that Nolan is the 2nd best guard in the ACC, but Jon is not #1? So Nolan is better than Jon? On what metric?

ACCBBallFan
02-21-2010, 10:06 PM
At this point I see ACC getting 7 teams in, but 5 of them will be 8 seeds or worse. My round of 32:

I have Duke beating UK in semi finals and losing to KU in finals.

01 B12 Kansas -1
02 ACC Duke -1
03 SEC Kentucky -1 (E-1)
04 BE Villanova -1


05 BE Syracuse -2
06 B10 Purdue -1
07 BE West VA -3
08 B12 Kansas St. -2


09 B12 Texas - 3
10 HOR Butler -1
11 B10 Michigan St -2
12 MWC BYU -1

13 WCC Gonzaga -1
14 BE Georgetown -4
15 MWC New MX -2
16 SEC Tennessee -2 (E-2)

17 B10 Ohio St. -3
18 B10 Wisc -4
19 MVC Northern Iowa -1
20 ACC Wake Forest -2

21 SEC Vandy -3 (E-3)
22 BE Pittsburgh -5
23 A10 Xavier -1
24 A10 Temple -2

25 A10 Richmond -3
26 B12 Baylor -4
27 A10 Dayton -4
28 MWC UNLV -3

29 P10 California -1
30 ACC GA Tech -3
31 ACC Maryland -4
32 ACC Clemson -5

The 9 seeds ACC team swould have to beat

33 MAAC Siena -1
34 B12 TX A&M -5
35 CAA ODU -1
36 B12 Missouri -6

Morris614
02-21-2010, 10:16 PM
The bench is gonna need to step up in the round of 16/8 games for Duke to make a deep run and have a legit change at the championship.

VanDuk
02-21-2010, 10:21 PM
I love this team, seriously.. this is my favorite Duke team in the last few years...and I think there is a chance they could make a tourney run at the title.
But then again, I have seen this same story for the last few years. They always peak around .. well.. right now.. like they are right now... and then fade come tourney time because of a lack of a legit inside presence and being too dependent on shooting 3's. Also they always have a backcourt that is worn to the bone because of all the minutes they have played. And to my eyes.. as much as I love this team.. we are in the same boat this year. I hope I'm wrong.

To make a run.. IMO. Zoub will have to keep playing at the level he has for the last 3 games... and Dawkins or one of the Plumlees will have to make a major turn for the awesome to provide us with some legit bench minutes. If not.. I see us stacking up about how we have the last few years.

-bdbd
02-21-2010, 10:23 PM
In today's (Sunday) Washington Post there was a weekly bit that they do each Sun. where they show a hypothetical NCAA field of 64, complete with seeding numbers and arrows showing direction of current movement within the rankings. The ACC has a plethora of 6 - 9 seeds (6 Clemson, 7-MD, 8-GT, 6-Wake, 9-VPI, 9-FSU). But reminding everyone that the Post is a Terp (and VPI and Georgetown)-biased vehicle, with many sports writers from the MD journalism school, the comment next to the #2 seeded Devils (in the UK Regional) today was typical: Immediately following a Purdue #2 seed that said "Becoming a serious Final-Four threat." The Duke comment was "NOT a serious Final-Four threat." Would love to see that make the Duke men's bulletin board, maybe leading up to the game vs the Terps in College Park. Hmmm.

'don't think we'll break ourselves of that condescention until we snap the string of non-FF finishes, fairly or not. I for one think this squad IS a serious threat to make it to Indy!


:cool:

Morris614
02-21-2010, 10:25 PM
I love this team, seriously.. this is my favorite Duke team in the last few years...and I think there is a chance they could make a tourney run at the title.
But then again, I have seen this same story for the last few years. They always peak around .. well.. right now.. like they are right now... and then fade come tourney time because of a lack of a legit inside presence and being too dependent on shooting 3's. Also they always have a backcourt that is worn to the bone because of all the minutes they have played. And to my eyes.. as much as I love this team.. we are in the same boat this year. I hope I'm wrong.

To make a run.. IMO. Zoub will have to keep playing at the level he has for the last 3 games... and Dawkins or one of the Plumlees will have to make a major turn for the awesome to provide us with some legit bench minutes. If not.. I see us stacking up about how we have the last few years.

The team is winning, but honestly I dont think (hope) this is their peak. First half in Miami was ugly, and a large part of this game was ugly. I am not frustrated or anything- but I dont think this is their peak.

VanDuk
02-21-2010, 10:27 PM
The team is winning, but honestly I dont think (hope) this is their peak. First half in Miami was ugly, and a large part of this game was ugly. I am not frustrated or anything- but I dont think this is their peak.

I pray that you are right Mr. Morris. Honestly I do.

Exiled_Devil
02-21-2010, 10:48 PM
The bench is gonna need to step up in the round of 16/8 games for Duke to make a deep run and have a legit change at the championship.

I honestly don't get this. Lots of people talk about points off the bench, but I haven't seen anything stats-based to argue that this is a useful metric.

Points from starters are just as valuable as bench points, aren't they?

Morris614
02-21-2010, 10:58 PM
I honestly don't get this. Lots of people talk about points off the bench, but I haven't seen anything stats-based to argue that this is a useful metric.

Points from starters are just as valuable as bench points, aren't they?

I dont mean points necessarily, but if those points are not coming from the starters- then what? Yeah if all 5 starters are playing well we would be fine with the Plumlees coming in for 5 min each or whatever.

But at some point production needs to come from somewhere else- if this team played like it did at Miami in a elite eight game what would happen?

Plus I think fatigue may be a bigger factor than some people think.

Anyway, its my opinion that at some point the bench will need to step up to make it to the final four- I would be very happy if it doesnt come down to that.

mike88
02-22-2010, 03:12 AM
Generally, a team would like to have multiple scoring threats, so that they can still win when their top players have a bad day and to keep top defenses from being able to design their schemes around stopping 1-2 main threats. This year, however, we have already played against many of the top defenses in the NCAA (our opponent defensive rating is #1 in Division 1 per Ken Pomeroy) and achieved the number one offensive efficiency (again per KenPom), so I am not sure we will see qualitatively different levels of defense until the Elite Eight, after which point we will probably either need to have some exceptional performances from our big three or somewhat better production from our other players in order to win.

You can never be sure in any single game, but to this point we have done pretty well with most of our offense coming from 3 players- everyone knows our strengths, and they haven't had a lot of success in stopping us . . . our losses have had as much or more to do with our defense and turnovers- as long as we continue to play exceptional defense, limit turnovers / fast breaks, and rebound, we seem to be in pretty good shape!

heyman25
02-22-2010, 05:25 AM
Duke could win in Lacrosse,but in basketball it doesn't seem likely.We play very good defense, but our offense is to unreliable to win 6 straight.

flyingdutchdevil
02-22-2010, 06:55 AM
Offense wins games, defense wins tournaments.

That said, us winning the tourney certainly is a long shot.

J_C_Steel
02-22-2010, 07:16 AM
"Can" Duke win the national championship this season?

Yes.

"Will" Duke win the national championship this season?

I predict no.

I really enjoy watching this team. They play with great heart and passion. But I do not believe they have the interior skill or perimeter depth to make a run all the way to the title.

Of course, I really hope I'm wrong...

J_C_Steel
02-22-2010, 07:22 AM
I would bet a large amount of money that this year's Duke team has a lot more than three future NBA players. It would not shock me if ultimately as many as eight players from this year's team make the League. I don't think more than three of them will necessarily be starters in the NBA, and a couple of them might have to make a team as undrafted free agents, but you are way underselling the depth of talent on this team.

OK. I'll bite. Please name these eight future NBA players.

slower
02-22-2010, 07:43 AM
"Can" Duke win the national championship this season?

Yes.

"Will" Duke win the national championship this season?

I predict no.

I really enjoy watching this team. They play with great heart and passion. But I do not believe they have the interior skill or perimeter depth to make a run all the way to the title.

Of course, I really hope I'm wrong...

If EVERYTHING goes right, they can do it. But shooting 30% from the floor ain't taking them very far.

I will reasonably expect them to make the second weekend. Anything after that is gravy. Sorry, just trying to be realistic.

Somebody posted that they had us beating Kentucky in the semis. And if we shoot well, it could happen. But if Kentucky has their act together, I would expect Cousins, Patterson and Orton to decimate us inside. I can easily envision the tournament refs fouling our big guys out in short order. Of course, KY is a schizo team, so we could also shoot them out of the building.

Obviously, everything is just rampant speculation at this stage.

I love this team, but I just don't know if heart and tenacity can overcome poor shooting all the way to the final.

roywhite
02-22-2010, 08:19 AM
Interestingly enough, the path to beating Duke doesn't appear to be making it an ugly, physical contest. That may have been true in some years, but look at games against UConn, Gonzaga, Wake Forest, Florida State, Virginia Tech, etc, etc. This team has the size and experience to fight back, and prevail in games like that.

The best model for beating Duke this year is playing "pretty", good ball movement, good quality shots, and hot shooting. Example: NC State and Georgetown.

Some of our recent wins, honestly, look like NCAA tournament games often do.

Many things can happen in a single elimination tournament, but IMO our chances of advancing to the Final Four are good (or at least improved) because of our experience and our style of play. Go all the way? Perhaps.

left_hook_lacey
02-22-2010, 08:42 AM
Lack of depth in the backcourt? I'm pretty sure that Jon is a senior and a NPOY candidate and Nolan is a junior that might be the second best guard in the ACC. I may have Duke colored glasses on by thinking we can contend but even if I weren't a Duke fan, I would respect our backcourt.

I think you misunderstood him. He wasn't questioning the talent in our backcourt, but the "lack of depth." I don't think anyone is questioning Scheyer and Nolan's ability, but if either of them go down to an injury, or get into foul trouble early, we could be in trouble, especially against a team with quick, athletic guards that are the norm once going deep into a tourney run.

left_hook_lacey
02-22-2010, 08:46 AM
Then we can put Keuucky in the same boat then as well. They have Wall, Bledsoe and Cousins who are all freshman who will be getting critical minutes in the tourney. Not that I am comparing these guys to that group, but I need to attack this statement about experience in the tourney. We have a starting lineup depending on the team that will feature this:

Singler: Senior
Smith: Junior
Singler: Junior
Thomas: Senior
Zoubek: Senior

Bench:

Miles: Sophmore
Mason: Freshman
Kelly: Freshman
Dawkins: Freshman

Dawkins and Kelly have not gotten any critical minutes this season at all... In fact, walk on's at times have taken the minutes of Dawkins and Kelly at times. Barring injury, I find it's hard to believe that Coach K will change there minutes in the NCAA tourney.

I think this team has some of the pieces to make it to possibly a Elite 8 or if in the right brackett, a final four. We could possibly take a Ketucky, but I don't see us being able to handle a Kansas or Nova.



That's a pretty experienced group going into March Madness.

I think the biggest point here is that it's true that Kentucky will have freshmen playing critical minutes, but their freshman start, and have been in star roles all season. That's a huge difference.

Kedsy
02-22-2010, 08:48 AM
OK. I'll bite. Please name these eight future NBA players.

Kyle and Mason, for sure (Mason should be a lottery pick when he comes out). I expect Jon to go late in the second round and make a roster, and Nolan to go early in the second round and make a roster. I expect Andre and Ryan to develop sufficiently to be drafted by the time they leave school. If Miles continues to develop for the next two years, with his hops I would expect him to make the end of an NBA bench, and as discussed in another thread, Z has at least a shot to get a cup of coffee as an undrafted free agent. That's eight.

But what I said is I wouldn't be shocked if there were as many as eight. I didn't say it was a certainty. I do think it's a certainty that there are a lot more than the three future NBA players that the earlier poster suggested.

CDu
02-22-2010, 08:49 AM
OK. I'll bite. Please name these eight future NBA players.

If I had to guess who Kedsy was talking about, I'd say:

Singler
Scheyer (craftiness may be enough to offset lack of quickness/leaping ability)
Smith
Mason (great size and athleticism for a PF)
Dawkins (good size and athleticism for a SG, great shooter)
Kelly (good height and skill set, will eventually fill out and maybe become an impact scorer)
Zoubek (great size, which has a way of finding NBA rosters even without great talent)
Miles (good size and athleticism for an NBA PF)

I don't think he meant that these 8 will definitely be NBA players. I think he just meant that they all could eventually make an NBA roster.

Of course, the caveat is that several of these guys are far from reaching NBA potential. The Plumlees, Zoubek, Kelly, and Dawkins are a long way from where they'll need to be to make it in the NBA. And only Mason would conceivably be drafted right now out of that fivesome. But each of them has an attribute (or set of attributes) which, if properly cultivated, could result in them reaching the NBA.

EDIT: whoops - just saw Kedsy's response (made while I was typing this). At least I guessed right? Sorry about the repetitive post, though.

Kedsy
02-22-2010, 08:58 AM
I don't think he meant that these 8 will definitely be NBA players. I think he just meant that they all could eventually make an NBA roster.

Of course, the caveat is that several of these guys are far from reaching NBA potential. The Plumlees, Zoubek, Kelly, and Dawkins are a long way from where they'll need to be to make it in the NBA. And only Mason would conceivably be drafted right now out of that fivesome. But each of them has an attribute (or set of attributes) which, if properly cultivated, could result in them reaching the NBA.

EDIT: whoops - just saw Kedsy's response (made while I was typing this). At least I guessed right? Sorry about the repetitive post, though.

Yes, you guessed right, and you also said it more eloquently than I did. Thanks.

gumbomoop
02-22-2010, 09:06 AM
You can never be sure in any single game, but to this point we have done pretty well with most of our offense coming from 3 players- everyone knows our strengths, and they haven't had a lot of success in stopping us . . . our losses have had as much or more to do with our defense and turnovers- as long as we continue to play exceptional defense, limit turnovers / fast breaks, and rebound, we seem to be in pretty good shape!

The title you gave this post - "Is 3 the magic number" - raises a good point. Several of us have argued that having 3 threats is one of the things that's just different about this team from recent early NCAAT-departures.

Now, I can see - and I'm pretty sure it's either been explicitly or implicitly stated - a counter-argument that says, "By itself it's not magic enough. There's gotta be other contributions, something, something for heaven's sake, on O."

I'm inclined to split the difference and say 3 is proto-magic, but not always sufficient. Thus, win last night v. VT can't be taken as proof of magic. If that's not an outlier game, uh-oh. Rather, for deep run, must have some points from 4 Bigs and 1-2 baskets or a random FT from RK and D.

But the "Is 3 magic?" is worth pondering, for I think by it you refer exclusively to O. It's at least a whole lot different from 2, and it says nothing about our D, which in most circumstances is very effective. And there is something also magical about 3-S on D: they all play fierce D, every play[yep, 38-40 mpg from here on out], with rare foul trouble. That's surely very unusual. Neither my memory nor my knowledge is good enough to think of a similar 3-Set that's as effective on both ends of the court, even when their collective FG % is mediocre in any game. Not to mention the impressive magic that LT and Z have displayed on D last few games.

This is an [I]unusual team, an outlier in several ways, so much so that for me, their unusual-ness is too little considered in the "same old story" position re this year's Madness. K briefly referred to this team's being different in post-game comments last eve. Was he blowing smoke? I don't see him doing that; he's pretty straightforward.

Hard to say whether, by 16/8 weekend, their unusual strengths will trump their apparent flaws. I say yes, and claim I'm being realistically rather than Pollyannishly optimistic.

bird
02-22-2010, 09:29 AM
Interestingly enough, the path to beating Duke doesn't appear to be making it an ugly, physical contest. That may have been true in some years, but look at games against UConn, Gonzaga, Wake Forest, Florida State, Virginia Tech, etc, etc. This team has the size and experience to fight back, and prevail in games like that.

The best model for beating Duke this year is playing "pretty", good ball movement, good quality shots, and hot shooting. Example: NC State and Georgetown.

Some of our recent wins, honestly, look like NCAA tournament games often do.

Many things can happen in a single elimination tournament, but IMO our chances of advancing to the Final Four are good (or at least improved) because of our experience and our style of play. Go all the way? Perhaps.

We just turned in an exemplary defensive effort against VT. According to Kenpom, VT has a solid 1.06 offensive efficiency for the year, and we just held them to .87. In prior seasons' declines, my memory is that defense led the way downward. We are not seeing that in the numbers so far. Miami had a respectable 1.05 efficiency, but we held Maryland to .88 and NC to .85. Looking at defensive efficiency numbers, I would say the efforts against MD and VT are two of the best defensive performances of the year, with maybe only the Gonzaga game being clearly better.

On the second metric I postulated above in the thread for a championship contender, free throw performance, Duke was solid both with attempts (26) and makes (21, or 81 percent).

My last factor was guard play. Scheyer was credited with 7 assist and 2 turnovers. Nolan had two turns. Especially considering the style of the game, again this was a strong performance.

Would it be a mistake to predict the Duke will win the championship? Certainly, any team is going to have a modest chance of success against the field. I emphatically argue that Duke's actual performance at this point in the season very much warrants consideration as a legitimate contender.

-jk
02-22-2010, 10:01 AM
We just turned in an exemplary defensive effort against VT. According to Kenpom, VT has a solid 1.06 offensive efficiency for the year, and we just held them to .87. In prior seasons' declines, my memory is that defense led the way downward. We are not seeing that in the numbers so far. Miami had a respectable 1.05 efficiency, but we held Maryland to .88 and NC to .85. Looking at defensive efficiency numbers, I would say the efforts against MD and VT are two of the best defensive performances of the year, with maybe only the Gonzaga game being clearly better.

On the second metric I postulated above in the thread for a championship contender, free throw performance, Duke was solid both with attempts (26) and makes (21, or 81 percent).

My last factor was guard play. Scheyer was credited with 7 assist and 2 turnovers. Nolan had two turns. Especially considering the style of the game, again this was a strong performance.

Would it be a mistake to predict the Duke will win the championship? Certainly, any team is going to have a modest chance of success against the field. I emphatically argue that Duke's actual performance at this point in the season very much warrants consideration as a legitimate contender.

I've seen high efficiency stats thrown around for VT, but how much can be attributed to their pathetic out of conference schedule? Is there a "vs. top 100" or "vs. ACC" version of the stats?

-jk

pfrduke
02-22-2010, 10:10 AM
I've seen high efficiency stats thrown around for VT, but how much can be attributed to their pathetic out of conference schedule? Is there a "vs. top 100" or "vs. ACC" version of the stats?

-jk

Going into this week, they were scoring at 1 point per possession in ACC play. They scored 87 in 77 possessions against Wake, and then 55 in 63 possessions against us, so they're still right about 1.00, 1.01.

JDev
02-22-2010, 10:16 AM
Interestingly enough, the path to beating Duke doesn't appear to be making it an ugly, physical contest. That may have been true in some years, but look at games against UConn, Gonzaga, Wake Forest, Florida State, Virginia Tech, etc, etc. This team has the size and experience to fight back, and prevail in games like that.

The best model for beating Duke this year is playing "pretty", good ball movement, good quality shots, and hot shooting. Example: NC State and Georgetown.

Some of our recent wins, honestly, look like NCAA tournament games often do.

Many things can happen in a single elimination tournament, but IMO our chances of advancing to the Final Four are good (or at least improved) because of our experience and our style of play. Go all the way? Perhaps.

I think that is a very good post and point. The majority of the time tournament games are not things of beauty. Teams value possessions much more, knowing that each game could be there last. As a result, things don't come easily. Duke has shown they can grind out tough wins against quality opponents. I think a big thing that will come into play in determining exactly how far this Duke team can go will be the shooting. This team has shown it is not reliant on the three, but to beat the high-level competition in the Sweet 16 and beyond, Duke will most likely need to shoot at least a reasonable percentage. Duke can win in the first few rounds without lighting the nets up, much like last night's win against a tournament-bound opponent while shooting 29%. But, in the round of 16 and beyond, if Duke shoots 29% from the floor, I really don't like their chances. The good news is this team definitely has the parts to put together a run of 3+ wins against good teams. The vast majority of teams would really love to enter the tournament with what Duke has: a reasonable chance.

SoCalDukeFan
02-22-2010, 11:00 AM
First of all you need to the talent level that can win a NC. We have that. So do several other teams.

Second you need to avoid a bad game against a good team. Who knows if we do that? Our talent level is not so outstanding that it can overcome a bad game. However we might not play a bad game.

Third you need to avoid bad match ups. I continue to think that good quick penetrating guards are our biggest match up problem (Wisconsin). Kentucky and Villanova would be bad match ups for us. (A previous poster disagrees and uses Drew 2 as an example. IMHO he is not very good.)

Fourth you need to play great against good teams playing well. Who knows if that will happen.

Fifth you need to avoid horrible officiating (see Duke 2004).

SoCal

Duke of Nashville
02-22-2010, 11:32 AM
Offense brings the crowds, defense wins games, and rebounding wins championships.

I think Wooden said this....can't remember. You get in the right groove, regarding seeding, and use the three things mentioned to your advantage and we have a shot.

-bdbd
02-22-2010, 11:49 AM
Kyle and Mason, for sure (Mason should be a lottery pick when he comes out). I expect Jon to go late in the second round and make a roster, and Nolan to go early in the second round and make a roster. I expect Andre and Ryan to develop sufficiently to be drafted by the time they leave school. If Miles continues to develop for the next two years, with his hops I would expect him to make the end of an NBA bench, and as discussed in another thread, Z has at least a shot to get a cup of coffee as an undrafted free agent. That's eight.

But what I said is I wouldn't be shocked if there were as many as eight. I didn't say it was a certainty. I do think it's a certainty that there are a lot more than the three future NBA players that the earlier poster suggested.

Coach K has said that he EXPECTS Lance to make an NBA team. I doubt as a starter, but could easily see him there as a defensive specialist.
I absolutely expect Z to make the league. If Martin Nessley (7-2 but slow, not great scorer) can get drafted and spend a couple years there, then so can Z -- who is more coordinated and athletic, with similar size.

At this point I might give Lance a better shot than Miles, though both "have a chance."

-bdbd
02-22-2010, 12:13 PM
Offense wins games, defense wins tournaments.

That said, us winning the tourney certainly is a long shot.

Are we a favorite? No.

Can we win it all? Most certainly.

The NCAA's are replete with teams winning it all when very few thought they had a chance. There isn't a true dominant team this year. So I can see us easily playing well enough to make the FF. And get a couple good breaks - or K strategy breakthroughs - to beat say a Purdue (semi) and a KY or KA (finals). The idea is, if you are a "contender" enough times - say top-8, then odds are you'll eventually break through. While not perfect by any means, this squad has enough special attributes to break through. It can happen.

Just gotta believe. Anybody seeing 'nova vs Pitt or Miss State vs KY knows there's no invincible teams out there that we CAN'T beat.

sagegrouse
02-22-2010, 12:46 PM
Can Duke win the National Championship?

Lets work the problem backwards.

What are Duke's chances of winning the NC if it makes the Final Four? Well, it depends. If things work out per normal, there may be only one #1 seed among the other three teams. Or, there may be three. Duke's toughness and experience are real pluses in the NCAAs. We gotta have a chance.

What are Duke's chances of making the Final Four? As a #1 or #2 seed, we would likely have to have beat a Big East team or maybe Purdue in the regional finals and a top 10-16 team in the round of 16. And, of course, help is always welcome in the form of early upsets. Seems like a reasonable opportunity. I, for one, would like our chances against Georgetown or Villanova: Gawd, they would have to be overconfident. :);):)

What are Duke's chances of making the Sweet Sixteen? The first round game shouldn't be a problem. Duke would have to beat a 7-10 seed in the second round, such as the list of "Others receiving votes" in the Coaches Poll (less the ACC teams, who would not be our bracket):


Baylor 33, Utah State 18, Cornell 17, Xavier 14, UNLV 8, Missouri 7, Murray State 1, Saint Mary's 1.

Seems attainable.

I like Duke's chances overall: really good defense, toughness, the development of Zoubs as the best offensive rebounder in the country, the recent play of Kyle, the versatility of the three S's, and the potential to win at least one game by shooting lights out.

Is this an even-money chance? Are you serious? No way! But it's a chance about as good as anyone's. There is no dominant team this year. Kansas seems like the strongest team, but its Big 12 play of late has been lackluster. UKy is extremely dangerous but very young. Syracuse is solid, solid, but not spectacular.

sagegrouse

tele
02-22-2010, 01:10 PM
Good discussion of the teams chances, but in weighing the pluses and minuses, don't overlook the Coach. I sometimes have to remind myself what we are getting to see here, one of the best coaches ever at the peak of his profession. They don't come around that often.

They used to say guard play wins championships in college hoops, but that may be truer when the guards are an extension of the Coach. This team has a talented experienced backcourt. They'll be a tough team to beat and I doubt any other teams will be hoping to see them in their side of the bracket. Can they win it all? Most definitely, I like their chances.

Franzez
02-22-2010, 01:12 PM
If I had to guess who Kedsy was talking about, I'd say:

Singler
Scheyer (craftiness may be enough to offset lack of quickness/leaping ability)
Smith
Mason (great size and athleticism for a PF)
Dawkins (good size and athleticism for a SG, great shooter)
Kelly (good height and skill set, will eventually fill out and maybe become an impact scorer)
Zoubek (great size, which has a way of finding NBA rosters even without great talent)
Miles (good size and athleticism for an NBA PF)

I don't think he meant that these 8 will definitely be NBA players. I think he just meant that they all could eventually make an NBA roster.

Of course, the caveat is that several of these guys are far from reaching NBA potential. The Plumlees, Zoubek, Kelly, and Dawkins are a long way from where they'll need to be to make it in the NBA. And only Mason would conceivably be drafted right now out of that fivesome. But each of them has an attribute (or set of attributes) which, if properly cultivated, could result in them reaching the NBA.

EDIT: whoops - just saw Kedsy's response (made while I was typing this). At least I guessed right? Sorry about the repetitive post, though.

Why do you guys always do this?:p

Nobody is going to draft Mason right now, not first round or 2nd round. None of these guys are NBA prospects until their name is in the Draft.

Gosh, you guys could sell Demarcus Nelson or Daniel Ewing as NBA starters if you could.

G man
02-22-2010, 01:16 PM
With the exception of the game against the Zag's we have had our best games in ugly wins. When we make it a defensive struggle we seem to win those games. So I would argue that if we match-up with a well coached team that has excellent offensive execution such as a Wisconsin or a G' Town we could be in trouble. I don't think it is the athletic teams that scare me as much as disciplined teams that can handle our defense. So like always it comes down to the match-ups. I think minutes played by out our big three is over rated. The pro's due it for minutes a night and more games a year so that does not worry me. Injuries and good coaching are the biggest concerns this year. Lets hope we run into young teams all the way to a title!

94duke
02-22-2010, 01:19 PM
Why do you guys always do this?:p

Nobody is going to draft Mason right now, not first round or 2nd round. None of these guys are NBA prospects until their name is in the Draft.

Gosh, you guys could sell Demarcus Nelson or Daniel Ewing as NBA starters if you could.

Um, DeMarcus DID start in the NBA. :)

BlueintheFace
02-22-2010, 01:28 PM
Um, DeMarcus DID start in the NBA. :)

started from the beginning of his first season if memory serves...

CDu
02-22-2010, 01:37 PM
Why do you guys always do this?:p

Nobody is going to draft Mason right now, not first round or 2nd round. None of these guys are NBA prospects until their name is in the Draft.

Gosh, you guys could sell Demarcus Nelson or Daniel Ewing as NBA starters if you could.

Firstly, I was actually one of those who said Nelson had next to no shot at sticking in the NBA, because he's too small to play his position (SF) in the NBA. And that has played out. The only chance I felt (and still feel) he had/has would be to become a PG, which I find very unlikely. The point being that I've rarely been accused of overvaluing our players' NBA potential. If anything, I've usually been on the other side of the argument.

Obviously none of the underclassmen can be drafted until they declare (whenever that may be). But I guarantee that Mason is on NBA teams' radars due to his size and athleticism. And that's not me overrating him. Chad Ford (who usually has a pretty good feel for these things) thinks he could even go in the late first round this year if he declared. I don't think he's going anytime soon, but I do expect that when he eventually does declare (i.e., sometime between 2011 and 2013), he'll be a lottery pick.

As for Kelly, Dawkins, and Miles, I'm sure they have no draft stock at all right now. But one can see the path through which they could develop into draftable players. Zoubek is not going to get drafted. His chances are strictly based on showing enough improvement over the next few years in the NBDL/summer leagues to find a suitor. And I don't think it's likely for him.

CDu
02-22-2010, 01:43 PM
started from the beginning of his first season if memory serves...

To be fair, that's kind of overstating his career a bit. He started five NBA games (due to the injury to Golden State's starter Monte Ellis) and played only 13 games there. I'd say he happened to start a few games at the beginning of his NBA career before being sent down to the NBDL and shuttling between 10-day contracts. I wouldn't classify him as an NBA starter, which was Franzez's point.

Classof06
02-22-2010, 01:56 PM
There are about 10-12 teams this season that can legitimately win a national championship and Duke is absolutely one of them.

Outside of our defense, the primary reason I believe Duke can do it is because we've shown the ability to win games when the 3s aren't falling. This is something we have not been able to do in the past (see: WVU in 2008 and Villanova in 2007). The reason we can survive off nights from the field is because, for the first time in a while, we're a good rebounding team. Each of our big men, from Lance Thomas to Mason Plumlee, are average rebounders at worst.

Another reason I believe Duke can win it all is because, in the grand scheme of things, we haven't even approached our ceiling yet. Yeah, we blew out Gonzaga and Maryland but the reality is that Duke has two players in Zoubek and Singler that are just now starting to play their best basketball of the season (or career, in Zoubek's case).

The only thing that scares me is what happened last night; only four points outside the Big 3. For Duke to advance, this cannot continue to happen. The Plumlees are hit or miss but we'll need one of them to consistently hit, along with Zoubek and Lance. If we can get one of our bigs to average around 10 ppg, that would drastically improve our chances. With the exception of last night, Zoubek has been doing exactly that lately (16 vs MD, 10 vs Miami).

CDu
02-22-2010, 02:02 PM
Another reason I believe Duke can win it all is because, in the grand scheme of things, we haven't even approached our ceiling yet. Yeah, we blew out Gonzaga and Maryland but the reality is that Duke has two players in Zoubek and Singler that are just now starting to play their best basketball of the season (or career, in Zoubek's case).

Not to mention that we have another two guys (the Plumlees) who haven't even scratched the surface of their potential. I don't know if they'll make big strides this year, but I agree that in terms of approaching our ceiling as a team we aren't even close.

hq2
02-22-2010, 02:12 PM
I think we are. It's late February, and we're not getting much better than now. The Plumlees have had plenty of time to improve, and are still not tournament ready, while Lance appears to be his usual up and down self. Singler has finally started playing like he was supposed to all along. I think there isn't enough time for us to get much better. We can just be thankful that at least Zoubs is finally doing something; that at least gives us something under the basket, if not a lot of scoring.

CDu
02-22-2010, 02:26 PM
I think we are. It's late February, and we're not getting much better than now. The Plumlees have had plenty of time to improve, and are still not tournament ready, while Lance appears to be his usual up and down self. Singler has finally started playing like he was supposed to all along. I think there isn't enough time for us to get much better. We can just be thankful that at least Zoubs is finally doing something; that at least gives us something under the basket, if not a lot of scoring.

I disagree. Who knows when the Plumlees might "get it?" I don't expect them to suddenly make great strides, but I won't rule it out. As for Thomas, I don't feel like he's been very up-and-down in 2010. He's never going to be an impact player offensively for us, but he's been extremely good defensively for most every game. Right now, the concern is that his leg injury will hold him back.

Durhamrocks68
02-22-2010, 02:36 PM
If M1, M2 or Dre just get it for a game or two down the stretch, that could mean the difference in a Sweet 16 loss or a Regional Final appearance. Right now, I don't think we can look for consistent performances, but I don't think we can say that there aren't some good games left for these players. Again, might just take one or two performances to get us back to the FF.

Classof06
02-22-2010, 03:07 PM
I think we are. It's late February, and we're not getting much better than now. The Plumlees have had plenty of time to improve, and are still not tournament ready, while Lance appears to be his usual up and down self. Singler has finally started playing like he was supposed to all along. I think there isn't enough time for us to get much better. We can just be thankful that at least Zoubs is finally doing something; that at least gives us something under the basket, if not a lot of scoring.

hq2,

I just said this in another thread, but how many times have you walked away from a Duke game saying they played the best they could? That Duke had the kind of game that Georgetown or NC State had against us?

Besides Gonzaga and maybe Maryland, this simply hasn't happened for Duke. We're #5 in the country and have really only played one or two exceptional games. Not too shabby..

CMARTZ
02-22-2010, 03:16 PM
hq2,

I just said this in another thread, but how many times have you walked away from a Duke game saying they played the best they could? That Duke had the kind of game that Georgetown or NC State had against us?

Besides Gonzaga and maybe Maryland, this simply hasn't happened for Duke. We're #5 in the country and have really only played one or two exceptional games. Not too shabby..

I would say we came pretty close in the Maryland game. About 3/4 of that game went just about as well as it could have.

Kedsy
02-22-2010, 03:28 PM
Why do you guys always do this?:p

Nobody is going to draft Mason right now, not first round or 2nd round. None of these guys are NBA prospects until their name is in the Draft.

Gosh, you guys could sell Demarcus Nelson or Daniel Ewing as NBA starters if you could.

Right now has nothing to do with it. Someone said there were only three future NBA players on this team and thus we were nowhere near as talented as the 2004 team which had six future NBA players (including Daniel Ewing and Shavlik Randolph, by the way). I said there was way more than three on this year's team and I wouldn't be surprised if we had as many as eight.

Of the six future NBA players on the 2004 team, only two went pro that year (Deng and Duhon), so my response had nothing to do with who was going to the NBA this year. Mason has a good chance be a lottery pick someday, my guess is in two years. The other freshmen and Miles will probably play four years at Duke before going pro. That doesn't mean they're not eventual pro prospects.

hq2
02-22-2010, 03:57 PM
That someone was me, and I stand by it. I'd say at present Nolan, Kyle, and one of either Scheyer or MP2 will be NBA players. Zoubs may get a look, and that's about it. The '04 team actually only had three decent NBA players on it, J.J., Luol, and Duhon, but that's still better than this team.

I also stand by my statement that the Plumlees are running out of time to show they're tournament-ready. They've had some decent games, but they've been up and down lately, and are foul prone, often out of position on defense and not producing in the low post. I don't think that's going to change in two or three weeks. This team is basically about as good as it's going to get. If we're lucky, we may get an inspired Christian Laettner-like Georgetown game from MP2 in the NCAAs, but I think that's unlikely. At this point in his freshman year, Laettner was already showing potential future greatness (see Arizona game), while MP2 has been up and down. It would be a stretch to see something like that happen this year.

Classof06
02-23-2010, 10:57 AM
That someone was me, and I stand by it. I'd say at present Nolan, Kyle, and one of either Scheyer or MP2 will be NBA players. Zoubs may get a look, and that's about it. The '04 team actually only had three decent NBA players on it, J.J., Luol, and Duhon, but that's still better than this team.

I also stand by my statement that the Plumlees are running out of time to show they're tournament-ready. They've had some decent games, but they've been up and down lately, and are foul prone, often out of position on defense and not producing in the low post. I don't think that's going to change in two or three weeks. This team is basically about as good as it's going to get. If we're lucky, we may get an inspired Christian Laettner-like Georgetown game from MP2 in the NCAAs, but I think that's unlikely. At this point in his freshman year, Laettner was already showing potential future greatness (see Arizona game), while MP2 has been up and down. It would be a stretch to see something like that happen this year.

MP2 will definitely play in the NBA and I'm pretty confident Scheyer will as well. If Zoubek continues at his clip, he'll most certainly get a look; what he does with that look is on him.

You may be right about the Plumlees. But with young, talented players, confidence can come in the bat of an eye and that's what both those brothers are lacking right now (that, and the ability to avoid cheap fouls). Mason and/or Miles could string a few good games together in the ACC tournament and have a completely new lease on life come March Madness. Confidence is a really funny thing and it has such an impact on young players.

bird
02-23-2010, 01:11 PM
I stopped a minute on K's twice-repeated statement in in his Virginia Tech post game comments that Duke can start "skipping" down the "yellow brick road" if shooting improves:

http://www.goduke.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=22724&SPID=1845&DB_OEM_ID=4200&ATCLID=204892967

He made a similar sounding comments in Inside Basketball show, suggesting that he is looking for improved shooting going forward.

Do I detect some post-season optimisim here? What's at the end of the yellow brick road?

jimsumner
02-23-2010, 01:25 PM
"What's at the end of the yellow brick road? "

A fradulent wizard? :)

oldnavy
02-23-2010, 01:44 PM
"What's at the end of the yellow brick road? "

A fradulent wizard? :)

Ahhh true, but there was also a trip back HOME!! And everyone knows our home is at the Final Four!!

TheFan
02-23-2010, 06:43 PM
Well we know its possible that Duke can win the National Championship if they win the games to do so.

But do you think Duke is good enough to go on a run and take down one of the teams projected to be in the Final Four? Do you think Duke can beat Kentucky or Kansas?

I've started to think that a success would be for us to reach the Sweet 16 with such youth and lack of depth in the backcourt.


nope.

turnandburn55
02-23-2010, 07:21 PM
Winning 6 games in a row against teams that are all playing for their season is always a tough road to follow.

In the past, it's almost always required either a supremely talented team or a player (or two) who is simply larger than life.

Nice players on this team, but someone has to decide he's going to but the team on his back when they need it most (see: Laettner, Christian; Battier, Shane).

Welcome2DaSlopes
03-28-2010, 11:12 PM
It's looking more likely by the minute.

dyedwab
03-28-2010, 11:16 PM
we are one of only four teams that has that chance...and I think Ken Pomeroy certainly likes us....

cptnflash
03-29-2010, 12:24 AM
we are one of only four teams that has that chance...and I think Ken Pomeroy certainly likes us....

We've been the favorite statistically since the tournament started, and we certainly are now. But it's still more likely that we don't win than we do.

DukieInBrasil
03-29-2010, 08:14 AM
Yes. It will require 2 of our Big 3 having hot hands and some presence inside. We will make the Final 4 and Kentucky will not be there.

money prediction, proven to be true.

gw67
03-29-2010, 08:57 AM
This yearís team is similar to many of Coach Kís teams of the last 20 years. They are skilled; they leave their egos in the locker room and play as a team; and they play with emotion. There are two additional ingredients to this teamís makeup that make them special in my eyes (and Iíve been a fan for nearly 50 years). First, their frontcourt players are tough physically and donít back down when it gets rough under the boards. Second this is a ďmatureĒ team, both from a physical as well as an emotional point of view. Their starting players are all either over 22 years of age or nearly 22, while the Plumlees are 21-1/2 and 20 years old. Only Dawkins is a young college player at 18. Many experts have stated that a winning NCAAT team needs some NBA-quality players (IMO, Duke has some). I would add that in most cases, it helps to have an experienced and mature team with an excellent coach.

gw67

mehmattski
03-29-2010, 09:17 AM
We've been the favorite statistically since the tournament started, and we certainly are now. But it's still more likely that we don't win than we do.

Actually that's not correct:

http://www.basketballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1043#

the log5 prediction method with up-to-date Pomeroy rankings gives us a 56% chance of winning the title.

CDu
03-29-2010, 09:31 AM
Actually that's not correct:

http://www.basketballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1043#

the log5 prediction method with up-to-date Pomeroy rankings gives us a 56% chance of winning the title.

Just goes to show you that you should almost always take the field over a single team in the NCAA tournament. We're the highest seed remaining in the field with only two possible games to go, and yet we're still only considered a coin flip to win it.

Neals384
03-29-2010, 02:17 PM
For a deep run [= F4], in every game:

1. any 2 of 3-S must play O very, very well [= 18-20 pts each, decent 3-pt %, and a killer basket in last 4-5 minutes of tense game], and all 3 of 3-S must play solid D, no foul trouble, a few steals, flicks, hold a key opponent to ineffective O. Hopeful sign here is that we don't have to have superb O from all 3 every game; and odds are that no team can shut down 2 of these 3. These 3 won't go away.

2. LT must maintain fierce, controlled, disruptive D on one of opponent's key men; and must be decent threat on elbow jumper, and hit 75% FTs.

3. any 1 of 3 bigs must have noticeably positive impact on game on O [=7-10 pts, O-rebounds]; and ditto [any 1, doesn't have to be same 1] on D.

4. need a minimal, but good, contribution from either RK or D [a 3pt-er, a couple FTs, a nice entry pass from RK]

5. inspired K-coaching X/O in tight [probably not every] game.

6. Every game, "Duke plays every play." Any question 3-S play every play? How about LT? K?

7. Yep, matchup could get us, as could cold FTs, bad call/bounce. But our odds seem a bit more promising this year.

Pretty much spot on as far as Duke's performance so far!

Franzez
04-07-2010, 03:20 PM
Nothing new here.

Welcome2DaSlopes
04-07-2010, 03:21 PM
What type of question is this? OF COURSE WE CAN, AND DID. AHAHA feels great to say that.

moonpie23
04-07-2010, 04:01 PM
the more i see UK, the more i think they actually ARE getting better....and with that talent level, could be a legit contender...look at that team's weaknesses and you will see that they are beginning to figure it out...


Those big east teams are legit.....when you look at other teams like purdue, Kstate, Mich state or West virginia, they look to have what it takes given the correct matchups.


for duke to have a good run, they need to show continued improvement down the stretch . I think if i was any of those teams above, i wouldn't be licking my chops at the prospect of playing duke in the tourny.


IMHO, Duke will be extremely lucky to make the Elite 8. If they get a tough draw, they have no chance. Duke is enjoying a weak ACC this year, which ranks 3rd behind the Big 12 and the Big East. IF Duke played in the Big East, would they still be ranked in the top 10? Probably not. Again, being able to keep everyone healthy in the backcourt as well as avoiding the usual "wearing out" of the players that have to play 35+ minutes each game will tell the story. Can they do it? Depends on how dark blue your glasses are. There is no doubt, Duke is one of the best in the ACC, but this year -- that isn't saying very much.


Duke could win in Lacrosse,but in basketball it doesn't seem likely.We play very good defense, but our offense is to unreliable to win 6 straight.


"Can" Duke win the national championship this season?

Yes.

"Will" Duke win the national championship this season?

I predict no.

I really enjoy watching this team. They play with great heart and passion. But I do not believe they have the interior skill or perimeter depth to make a run all the way to the title.

Of course, I really hope I'm wrong...


nope.



we gotta fire these guys.......specially that moonpie feller..



(this was a fun thread to re-read.)

Jderf
04-07-2010, 04:06 PM
we gotta fire these guys.......specially that moonpie feller...

Haha nice post. Things like that remind me why I always try to make the slippery (and somewhat cheap) rhetorical move of never making predictions but only discussing various "possibilities." It's great. You can say all the same things with none of that undesirable accountability stuff.