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House G
02-27-2010, 06:52 PM
There are always teams in the NCAA tournament that are very good but unknown to some of us. As a Duke fan, I am familiar with the ACC teams and many of the teams that are on TV. Since Duke has alumni from all over the country, I thought some folks might have local knowledge about certain teams that are not as well-known and perhaps some thoughts on how Duke would match up with them. (I realize it may be a little premature to discuss some of these teams). Teams that appear to be headed for the tournament that I know little about include New Mexico, Baylor, Northern Iowa, Temple, Richmond, UTEP, BYU, Butler, Xavier, Cornell, UAB, ODU, Murray State, St. Mary's, Utah State. Any thoughts?

nmduke2001
02-27-2010, 10:07 PM
Few people have seen the Lobos nationally because the Mountain West is dumb enough to have their own channel. That channel isnít available in all areas. I saw them live early in the season and on TV many times. I was not sold on them early. If I am not mistaken, they are the youngest team in the country with only one senior. They are a really athletic team, but very short. They donít have a single player who is 6í8Ē or taller. Their best player is Darrington Hobson. He is a JUCO kid that stands 6í7Ē and plays a lot of 2 guard. He leads the team in points, rebounds and assists. Hobson is a legit NBA talent but a bit of a head case. He went through five high schools in his final two years. He often celebrates after making a good play on offense. While he celebrates, his man usually scores a lay-up on the other end.

The Lobos really rely on their lone senior, Roman Martinez, for leadership. He is a heady player with tons of heart. He sort of reminds me of Dave McClure but Roman is more talented. The rest of the team is made of players that really know their roles. Steve Alford has really done a great job coaching this year. In fact, the fear here locally is that he will leave for a better job at the end of the year.

Overall, I think they might be a tough out. As a Duke Grad who grew up in New Mexico and currently lives in Albuquerque, I hope we donít play them. If Duke wins, big deal; if Duke loses, I will never hear the end of it.

Lastly, this Lobo team has really added perspective for me. This is the best UNM team in decades. The town is crazy for them. It really makes me appreciate what we, as Duke fans, sometimes take for granted.

ReformedAggie
02-28-2010, 08:13 AM
Don't worry about Northern Iowa. Seriously. They just don't have the conditioning and the bench strength to handle the tourney schedule. At best I'd guess they are two and done. As re matching up with Duke - not even in the same hemisphere. (I watch this team a lot because my sis did undergrad there for reasons known only to herself and the hunk she broke up with after her first semester.)

strawbs
02-28-2010, 02:14 PM
Don't worry about Northern Iowa. Seriously. They just don't have the conditioning and the bench strength to handle the tourney schedule. At best I'd guess they are two and done. As re matching up with Duke - not even in the same hemisphere. (I watch this team a lot because my sis did undergrad there for reasons known only to herself and the hunk she broke up with after her first semester.)

I go to UNI and though i don't think they will beat duke or any of the other top teams in the country, i think they would give just about all of them a run for their money, and could very easily knock of a higher seed or two in the tourney. The thing they have going for them is that they run a lot of clock and play great d, they are great at controlling the pace of the game. The other thing that i think helps them is they have extremely balanced scoring with no one over 13 ppg, but all 5 starters have had a game scoring over 17 points and they've had 9 guys who have scored in double figures. I think he's a bit overrated, but they have a 7 footer jordan eglseder who has a nice offensive game but he is pretty slow, seeing him match up with Big Z would be interesting. UNI also has the best player in the MVC (IMO) adam koch a 6'8" pf who has a nice post game and can also step out and hit the 3 (37%). Their pg is kwadzo ahelgbe who I think has a pretty nice game. He is very capable offensively, but is prone to some pretty dumb to's at times. there sg ali farokhmanesh has a lot of range and is probably the teams biggest threat from 3, but he is also streaky. In the bracketbuster game this past week against old dominion he hit 5 threes and scored all of his 23 points in the 2nd half.
Like i said i think Duke would beat UNI as would proably any of the other top 10 teams in the country. After that though i think UNI could beat anyone and i wouldn't want to play them in the tourney. I could be dead wrong in my analysis though, UNI has had a pretty easy non conference schedule and the MVC is down this year, so their success could be very misleading.

CMARTZ
02-28-2010, 02:55 PM
Few people have seen the Lobos nationally because the Mountain West is dumb enough to have their own channel. That channel isnít available in all areas. I saw them live early in the season and on TV many times. I was not sold on them early. If I am not mistaken, they are the youngest team in the country with only one senior. They are a really athletic team, but very short. They donít have a single player who is 6í8Ē or taller. Their best player is Darrington Hobson. He is a JUCO kid that stands 6í7Ē and plays a lot of 2 guard. He leads the team in points, rebounds and assists. Hobson is a legit NBA talent but a bit of a head case. He went through five high schools in his final two years. He often celebrates after making a good play on offense. While he celebrates, his man usually scores a lay-up on the other end.

The Lobos really rely on their lone senior, Roman Martinez, for leadership. He is a heady player with tons of heart. He sort of reminds me of Dave McClure but Roman is more talented. The rest of the team is made of players that really know their roles. Steve Alford has really done a great job coaching this year. In fact, the fear here locally is that he will leave for a better job at the end of the year.

Overall, I think they might be a tough out. As a Duke Grad who grew up in New Mexico and currently lives in Albuquerque, I hope we donít play them. If Duke wins, big deal; if Duke loses, I will never hear the end of it.

Lastly, this Lobo team has really added perspective for me. This is the best UNM team in decades. The town is crazy for them. It really makes me appreciate what we, as Duke fans, sometimes take for granted.

Hey, good to see another NM Duke fan! We're a very rare breed it seems. I'm from Albuquerque and I'm a sophomore. When were you at Duke?

To return to the topic, I would say I agree with your evaluation of New Mexico. I feel like it would be very difficult for them to keep up with us on the boards, but that would be a matchup that a handful of unfortunate bounces could lead to a Duke loss. I hope to see the Lobos go far, just on the other side of the bracket :) They really deserve it this year.

nmduke2001
02-28-2010, 06:55 PM
Hey, good to see another NM Duke fan! We're a very rare breed it seems. I'm from Albuquerque and I'm a sophomore. When were you at Duke?

To return to the topic, I would say I agree with your evaluation of New Mexico. I feel like it would be very difficult for them to keep up with us on the boards, but that would be a matchup that a handful of unfortunate bounces could lead to a Duke loss. I hope to see the Lobos go far, just on the other side of the bracket :) They really deserve it this year.

CMARTZ. I graduated in 2001 and my wife graduated in 2000. I'm pretty sure that I have met you. You were at the send off party the summer before your freshman year, right?

We are actually organizing a hoops watch for the UNC game at Spectators. I hate watching games outside of my living room, especially for the UNC game, but the Duke club really wanted to do it.

CMARTZ
03-02-2010, 11:11 AM
CMARTZ. I graduated in 2001 and my wife graduated in 2000. I'm pretty sure that I have met you. You were at the send off party the summer before your freshman year, right?

We are actually organizing a hoops watch for the UNC game at Spectators. I hate watching games outside of my living room, especially for the UNC game, but the Duke club really wanted to do it.

Yeah, that was me. Now I remember you and your wife. I'd love to join you guys at Spectators but I'm actually going to stay in Durham until Sunday and try to get in via the walk-up line.

rsvman
03-02-2010, 11:31 AM
I'm a BYU grad but I live in Virginia. My father follows the Cougars faithfully, but I've only been able to see one game this season.

They have a guard by the name of Jimmer Fredette who is the John Scheyer of the Mountain West. A very smart, multi-talented guy but not overly athletic. He's in the right place at the right time. Tavernari is an experienced guy who now comes off the bench. He has SICK range and an incredibly quick release. He is a very streaky shooter. If he is on, he is virtually unstoppable, but he has a tendency to go on long cold streaks. Kind of like Taylor King when it comes to shooting. He is also a good rebounder and reasonable defender.

They have a freshman kid named Haws that is an outstanding outside shooter, but he is a spot-up shooter with a relatively slow release. He can't be allowed to shoot the open jumper, but it should be pretty easy to keep him from getting off too many shots.

they have a very athletic guard who comes off the bench whose name is eluding me right now. Against New Mexico, when Fredette was sidelined with a stomach ailment, the sub put up 15 or 17 points in the second half! He has a quick first step, reasonable dribbling skills, and can jump.

I have not been that impressed with their center. I think any of our big guys would have a huge advantage over him.

Their offense is very simple, and doesn't utilize a lot of screens. They play a lot of mostly old-school man-to-man but slip into a zone occasionally on defense. They are an excellent free-throw shooting team.

They are fundamentally solid and can beat anybody because of their plethora of skilled outside shooters, but they can be beat by locking down the perimeter.

brevity
03-02-2010, 11:46 AM
they have a very athletic guard who comes off the bench whose name is eluding me right now. Against New Mexico, when Fredette was sidelined with a stomach ailment, the sub put up 15 or 17 points in the second half! He has a quick first step, reasonable dribbling skills, and can jump.

You're thinking of Michael Loyd Jr, who was all over the place. With Oklahoma State taking care of business against Kansas last weekend, I watched the BYU-New Mexico game instead on Versus HD. Fun game until the very end, when some poor decisions by BYU's coach doomed his team. In that regard, Dave Rose reminds me of Al Skinner.

This is quickly becoming the Mountain West appreciation thread, but I think BYU and New Mexico should be taken as seriously as any pair of ranked Pac-10 teams from that bygone era when the Pac-10 was good. I still think both will get seeded around 3 or 4, with BYU scheduled to be in Salt Lake City and New Mexico scheduled to be in Houston, no matter what happens in the conference tournament. If that happens, I'm half-tempted to write both into the Sweet 16 and one of them in the Elite Eight, depending on matchups.

roywhite
03-02-2010, 11:56 AM
Hey, good to see another NM Duke fan! We're a very rare breed it seems. I'm from Albuquerque and I'm a sophomore. When were you at Duke?

To return to the topic, I would say I agree with your evaluation of New Mexico. I feel like it would be very difficult for them to keep up with us on the boards, but that would be a matchup that a handful of unfortunate bounces could lead to a Duke loss. I hope to see the Lobos go far, just on the other side of the bracket :) They really deserve it this year.

Sorry to go off-topic here, but I follow track and field pretty closely, and am really excited to see how Curtis Beach from Albuquerque does at Duke. Saw that he broke the school record in the heptathlon at the ACC Indoors. Is he liking Duke and how is his training going?

As for the Lobos, I'm all for a good story underdog like them, so long as they don't derail the Blue Devils!

House G
03-02-2010, 01:25 PM
You're thinking of Michael Loyd Jr, who was all over the place. With Oklahoma State taking care of business against Kansas last weekend, I watched the BYU-New Mexico game instead on Versus HD. Fun game until the very end, when some poor decisions by BYU's coach doomed his team. In that regard, Dave Rose reminds me of Al Skinner.

This is quickly becoming the Mountain West appreciation thread, but I think BYU and New Mexico should be taken as seriously as any pair of ranked Pac-10 teams from that bygone era when the Pac-10 was good. I still think both will get seeded around 3 or 4, with BYU scheduled to be in Salt Lake City and New Mexico scheduled to be in Houston, no matter what happens in the conference tournament. If that happens, I'm half-tempted to write both into the Sweet 16 and one of them in the Elite Eight, depending on matchups.
I didn't get to see the game but saw where Alford and Tavernari had some words after the game--sounds like Alford may have spent too much time with the General :D.

CMARTZ
03-02-2010, 01:35 PM
Sorry to go off-topic here, but I follow track and field pretty closely, and am really excited to see how Curtis Beach from Albuquerque does at Duke. Saw that he broke the school record in the heptathlon at the ACC Indoors. Is he liking Duke and how is his training going?

As for the Lobos, I'm all for a good story underdog like them, so long as they don't derail the Blue Devils!

Curtis really likes Duke. I was actually a teammate of his in high school and I can see the work ethic (in both athletics and academics) that made him stand out in Albuquerque has already served him well here. I'll have to tell him to check out these boards some time-- I'm sure it would pump him up to know that he's got some fans around here!

A-Tex Devil
03-02-2010, 01:41 PM
Big XII teams:

KU - we all know what they can do. Most disciplined defensive team in the country (that I've seen). And not too shabby on offense, obviously. Aldrich is wildly overrated, but you need a good defensive post presence to throw him off his game (Dexter Pittman and Aldrich each cost each other $$ in the UT-KU game last month). Hopefully they won't matter until final four, if we are good enough to get there.

K-State - tough, brutal team that will push you around. But they have offensive weapons too (Clemente). Would give Duke a tough game, but if our shooters are on and we are playing halfway decent defense, it should allow for a Duke win. They scare me though. They play the type of game that has given past Duke teams fits.

Texas - has been rehashed multiple times here, mostly by me. Gun to his head, every coach in the country save for Calipari, Self and Izzo would have traded rosters with Texas at the beginning of the season (yes, even Coach K). Barnes has been stubborn trying to fit this round team into his square hole. Jordan Hamilton is very good and is getting better. If Rick gets him 35 minutes a game instead of 20-25 going forward, watch out for Texas. Balbay going out may ultimately be good, and I can't believe they have missed Varez Ward so much.

Texas A&M - Physical big men (I hate Brian Davis, but he's a tough dude), solid if unspectacular guards. They are a smart team, with a couple promising young guys. They would be a tough out, but it's the type of team Duke should prevail over. Mark Turgeon is an annoying little whiner, but he's a good coach.

Mizzou - 40 minutes of hell part 2. Just insert our Clemson press break on them and we should be fine. They have been playing above their talent level this year and their coach should be lauded for it.

Baylor - I have not seen them. Scott Drew is a douche, but can recruit and coach. They appear to be a pretty good team.

Okie State - If they sneak in, and I think they will, nothing to see here unless they miraculously get to play in Stillwater.