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gep
07-30-2010, 03:31 PM
I don't think I saw this posted. Interesting look back to 1991-1992 and comparisons with 2010-2011.

http://dukechronicle.com/article/how-repeatby-1991-1992-blue-devils

Also, I thought the picture was pretty neat:cool:

And, cool articles linked in "related articles"...

77devil
07-30-2010, 04:35 PM
I don't think I saw this posted. Interesting look back to 1991-1992 and comparisons with 2010-2011.

http://dukechronicle.com/article/how-repeatby-1991-1992-blue-devils

Also, I thought the picture was pretty neat:cool:

And, cool articles linked in "related articles"...

More parallels than I realized, but I think the statement that the 1991 win was a fluke, an accident, is an overstatement. Sure, UNLV was the major favorite, but how can it be a fluke for a team that was in the championship game the year before, even if it did get stomped?

I was overseas in 1991 and do not have a good sense of the sentiment at the time. I have to believe, however, that it was no surprise that Duke was in the Final Four, again, and apart from UNLV, was considered to have as good a shot as any other team. While beating UNLV was an upset, it was hardly an accident.

There is a bar, incidentally, at 26 Via Vittor Pisani, about 2 blocks down from Stazione Centrale, in Milan with a 1991 Duke championship pendant hanging behind the bar. It was still there a few years ago. Guess how it got there.

Kedsy
07-30-2010, 05:25 PM
More parallels than I realized, but I think the statement that the 1991 win was a fluke, an accident, is an overstatement. Sure, UNLV was the major favorite, but how can it be a fluke for a team that was in the championship game the year before, even if it did get stomped?

I was overseas in 1991 and do not have a good sense of the sentiment at the time. I have to believe, however, that it was no surprise that Duke was in the Final Four, again, and apart from UNLV, was considered to have as good a shot as any other team. While beating UNLV was an upset, it was hardly an accident.

It was a huuuuuuge upset. I was at the game and we were all holding our breath for the full 40 minutes. It seemed if Duke made even one teensy, little mistake then UNLV would take control and crush us. When the game ended the entire stadium just stood there, stunned.

I occasionally watch a replay of that game, and I still think we're going to lose.

Big Pappa
07-30-2010, 05:31 PM
I occasionally watch a replay of that game, and I still think we're going to lose.

That, in itself, is a parallel from this year's game.

Merlindevildog91
07-30-2010, 06:01 PM
and Duke beating UNLV was a huge upset, although as I recall the Durham Morning Herald had Dean's ejection and UNC's loss to Kansas as the top story.

Looking back, it's hard to describe just how big an underdog we were. The 1991 championship video showed quips from various talking sports heads, asking how anyone would beat UNLV, and the sportscasters were pretty unanimous that UNLV would win unless someone tied their shoes together and chained their locker room door shut. Mike Francesa was the last one interviewed, and he said he didn't think there was any way anyone would beat UNLV that year.

Thankfully, our beloved guys proved him wrong.

gumbomoop
07-31-2010, 08:57 AM
My recollection is the obvious: that it was near-universally assumed that UNC had a slight chance to beat UNLV in the Finals, but that the most likely outcome would be a couple of double-digit UNLV wins and repeat.

The only minor dissent I can recall did, however, definitely catch my attention and stoke my even-then optimism. Namely, a day or two before the semis, Brian Davis looked into the camera during an interview and said, "My guys won't back down." He may also have said, but in any case my impression was that he meant, "I'm telling you, my guys aren't the same guys as last year's team. We're not afraid of big bad UNLV. We can play, and we are going to play."

DevilDan
07-31-2010, 10:25 AM
My recollection is the obvious: that it was near-universally assumed that UNC had a slight chance to beat UNLV in the Finals, but that the most likely outcome would be a couple of double-digit UNLV wins and repeat.

The only minor dissent I can recall did, however, definitely catch my attention and stoke my even-then optimism. Namely, a day or two before the semis, Brian Davis looked into the camera during an interview and said, "My guys won't back down." He may also have said, but in any case my impression was that he meant, "I'm telling you, my guys aren't the same guys as last year's team. We're not afraid of big bad UNLV. We can play, and we are going to play."


AH YES, I remember it well .... and a word about Brian's roommate ... while all the experts were asking "How can Duke handle Larry Johnson, Greg Anthony, Anderson Hunt, and the rest of the Rebels?" , Coach K was asking (privately at first, then after the game to the press) "Who do they have who can handle Christian Laettner?"

Laettner had a remarkable mean streak in him ... on DBR awhile back, I used the term RELENTLESS as a one word description of the great ART HEYMAN. Laettner had a very similar quality about him. As a freshman, he missed a couple of late free throws at Arizona, and then later he missed a driving shot at Carolina that would have won the game. But he learned from those experiences -- the last second shots vs. Connecticut and Kentucky (10-10 FG's, 10-10 FT's) more than made up for those early misses in his great career ....

Olympic Fan
07-31-2010, 10:46 AM
I think the parallel between 1991-92 is valid in some ways. maybe not in others.

The '91 team started the season ranked No. 6 in the nation and fluctuated between 5 and 12 all season, entering the NCAA Tournament at the same spot it started the season -- No. 6. Duke was a No. 2 seed in the tourney, but was probably considered the strongest No. 2 since it was the in the regional with the weakest No. 1 (Ohio State). Interesting that Duke spent most of the season ranked behind UNC. Although Duke beat them twice head to head in the regular season, UNC routed Duke by 20 in the ACC title game and claimed a No. 1 seed.

The '10 team started the season at No. 9 and spent the whole season between 5 and 10 until March 1, when Duke climbed to No. 4. In the final poll, after the ACC Tournament, Duke climbed to No. 3 and earned a No. 1 seed.

I'd say the two season tracts were similar. In both years, Duke was regarded as a good, solid team, but was never really a part of the national championship conversation. I think in 1991 that was a large part due to Vegas. Really, you had to be there to understand the hype. They were being portrayed as the greatest team off all time (I remember USA Today ran an article in March, explaining why Vegas was better than the Alcindor or Walton UCLA teams or the Bill Russell USF teams). They were invincible and when Duke "vinced" them, it was an unbelievable upset. The 2010 Devils didn't have to do anything like that to win the title.

One other comparison is that both the '91 and 2010 teams kind of struggled to find their identity. The '91 team was a very young team that had to replace three starters from the '90 Final Four team (Phil Henderson, Robert Brickey and Alaa Abdelnaby). K had to break in freshman Grant Hill (he was like Kyrie in that we all knew he would be great, but the team had to learn to play to his strengths) and find two more starters to go with the freshmen and the two returning studs (Laettner and Hurley).

Kind of like this year, right? K juggled a lot of starting lineups in '91 -- Thomas Hill only became a fulltime starter in mid-February (about when Zoubek joined the 2010 lineup). Greg Koubek (Koubek-Zoubek ... another parallel?) was in and out of the lineup all year. He was out in the ACC Tournament, but back in as the fifth starter for the NCAA run.

But where the teams diverged is the next year. The 1992 team was almost intact -- losing 5th man Koubek and 6th man McCafferty (as well as backup centers Palmer and Buckley). It started the year No. 1 and stayed there all season, despite two losses and a slew of injuries. It started the NCAA Tournament as a strong favorite to repeat -- maybe not quite as strong as Vegas the year before, but still stronger than say Kansas last season or UNC the year before.

It's worth keeping in mind that the 1992 team, for all its power and success, came within a miraculous play against Kentucky in the East Regional finals from not returning to the Final Four.

And before we leave the subject, we should look at the similar parallels between 2001 and 2002. The 2001 team was higher regarded than either the 1991 or 2010 team, although Boozer's late injury did turn the title run into something of a surprise.

That team returned four starters including three All-American type players in Jason Williams, Carlos Boozer and Mike Dunleavy, plus a future A-A in Chris Duhon. They added a future first-round draft pick in Dahntay Jones and a great freshman in Daniel Ewing.

But they had to replace national player of the year Shane Battier and glue guy Nate James -- in terms of team chemistry, he provided a lot of what Zoubek and Thomas provided a year ago.

The 2002 team started the season No. 1 and spent all but four weeks on top, before finishing at No. 1 after winning the ACC Tournament. The difference is that when they needed a miracle in the NCAA Tournament, they didn't get one -- instead Bruce Benedict swallowed his whistle and they didn't return to the Final Four.

My point is that the earlier parallels should lead us to expect that 2011 Duke will have a great regular season and spend most of the year at or near No. 1. It should start the 2011 NCAA Tournament as one of the favorites, if not THE favorite to win it all.

But you just can't predict a one-and-done tournament. Somewhere along the way, Duke will face elimination and will either rise to the occasion as the 1992 team did against Kentucky or come up short -- as the 2002 team did against Indiana.

Newton_14
07-31-2010, 10:48 AM
and Duke beating UNLV was a huge upset, although as I recall the Durham Morning Herald had Dean's ejection and UNC's loss to Kansas as the top story.

Looking back, it's hard to describe just how big an underdog we were. The 1991 championship video showed quips from various talking sports heads, asking how anyone would beat UNLV, and the sportscasters were pretty unanimous that UNLV would win unless someone tied their shoes together and chained their locker room door shut. Mike Francesa was the last one interviewed, and he said he didn't think there was any way anyone would beat UNLV that year.

Thankfully, our beloved guys proved him wrong.

I mentioned this in another thread a few months back, but there was exactly one media member in 1991 that picked another team other than UNLV to win the tournament. In one of the shows on ESPN either just before the Sweet 16 or Elite 8, can't recall which, one ESPN guy picked Duke to win the whole thing. His name was Jim Valvano.

I guess he was getting the same vibes as he had in 83 or something but he went out on the limb and ended up being right.

DevilDan
07-31-2010, 12:37 PM
I mentioned this in another thread a few months back, but there was exactly one media member in 1991 that picked another team other than UNLV to win the tournament. In one of the shows on ESPN either just before the Sweet 16 or Elite 8, can't recall which, one ESPN guy picked Duke to win the whole thing. His name was Jim Valvano.

I guess he was getting the same vibes as he had in 83 or something but he went out on the limb and ended up being right.



As the late, great Coach Al McGuire would say .... THE LATE GREAT, JIMMY V ! And he was ...

toooskies
07-31-2010, 03:30 PM
As good as the comparisons may be, the leadership situation on the team seems to me to match 2001-2002. This year promises to be one of the most talented in the land, but there's a definite leadership vaccuum left by Scheyer/Thomas/Zoubek that may be impossible to fill, just like it was impossible for the 2002 team to replace Battier.

uh_no
07-31-2010, 03:55 PM
As good as the comparisons may be, the leadership situation on the team seems to me to match 2001-2002. This year promises to be one of the most talented in the land, but there's a definite leadership vaccuum left by Scheyer/Thomas/Zoubek that may be impossible to fill, just like it was impossible for the 2002 team to replace Battier.

i disagree....I seem to find both kyle and nolan exceptional leaders....not to mention this will be miles' third year.....

nobody thought zoubek would be the leader he was at the beginning of the year, and to say that lance was any more of a leader than either of this year's seniors at the BEGINNING of last year is just folly.....

we have a team with two of the best players in the country coming off a national title....both seniors who showed themselves to be great characters all year.....if that's not leadership....idk.....

obviously Jon is something special, but don't count out this year's upperclassmen

Duvall
07-31-2010, 04:15 PM
As good as the comparisons may be, the leadership situation on the team seems to me to match 2001-2002. This year promises to be one of the most talented in the land, but there's a definite leadership vaccuum left by Scheyer/Thomas/Zoubek that may be impossible to fill, just like it was impossible for the 2002 team to replace Battier.

It's impossible to say what next year's leadership situation will be, but we know that Duke will have two senior captain who between them have done everything a basketball player can be asked to do on the court.

Besides, leadership wasn't the biggest problem for the 2002 Duke team. Having to defend opposing power forwards with tall or athletic shooting guards was its biggest problem. Next year's Duke team should not have that kind of hole in its lineup.

Cockabeau
07-31-2010, 04:36 PM
ummm-the 92 team had arguably three of the best college players to ever play on a single team in Laettner, Hurley and Hill and arguably two of the best role players ever to play in Thomas Hill and Bryan Davis. In addition-Laettner and Davis provided that senior leadership.

Kedsy
07-31-2010, 05:19 PM
ummm-the 92 team had arguably three of the best college players to ever play on a single team in Laettner, Hurley and Hill and arguably two of the best role players ever to play in Thomas Hill and Bryan Davis. In addition-Laettner and Davis provided that senior leadership.

How are you measuring "two of the best role players ever to play"? That's a pretty bold statement.

uh_no
07-31-2010, 05:49 PM
How are you measuring "two of the best role players ever to play"? That's a pretty bold statement.

i'm not sure I agree with either statement....there have been so many good teams, to claim our 92 group as the best is ludicrous......yeah they were good.....among the best.....but to claim either the front three, or the other two as the best....crazy....

Newton_14
07-31-2010, 07:56 PM
i'm not sure I agree with either statement....there have been so many good teams, to claim our 92 group as the best is ludicrous......yeah they were good.....among the best.....but to claim either the front three, or the other two as the best....crazy....

I can't believe I am doing this but I do think he is partially right. Partially. One can easily argue that Laettner was one of the greatest college players of all time. Having a PG, SF, and C as good as those 3 were is hard to find in college as well. Best ever? NO. But really really good!

BattierBattalion
07-31-2010, 08:06 PM
I think the parallel between 1991-92 is valid in some ways. maybe not in others.

The '91 team started the season ranked No. 6 in the nation and fluctuated between 5 and 12 all season, entering the NCAA Tournament at the same spot it started the season -- No. 6. Duke was a No. 2 seed in the tourney, but was probably considered the strongest No. 2 since it was the in the regional with the weakest No. 1 (Ohio State). Interesting that Duke spent most of the season ranked behind UNC. Although Duke beat them twice head to head in the regular season, UNC routed Duke by 20 in the ACC title game and claimed a No. 1 seed.

The '10 team started the season at No. 9 and spent the whole season between 5 and 10 until March 1, when Duke climbed to No. 4. In the final poll, after the ACC Tournament, Duke climbed to No. 3 and earned a No. 1 seed.

I'd say the two season tracts were similar. In both years, Duke was regarded as a good, solid team, but was never really a part of the national championship conversation. I think in 1991 that was a large part due to Vegas. Really, you had to be there to understand the hype. They were being portrayed as the greatest team off all time (I remember USA Today ran an article in March, explaining why Vegas was better than the Alcindor or Walton UCLA teams or the Bill Russell USF teams). They were invincible and when Duke "vinced" them, it was an unbelievable upset. The 2010 Devils didn't have to do anything like that to win the title.

One other comparison is that both the '91 and 2010 teams kind of struggled to find their identity. The '91 team was a very young team that had to replace three starters from the '90 Final Four team (Phil Henderson, Robert Brickey and Alaa Abdelnaby). K had to break in freshman Grant Hill (he was like Kyrie in that we all knew he would be great, but the team had to learn to play to his strengths) and find two more starters to go with the freshmen and the two returning studs (Laettner and Hurley).

Kind of like this year, right? K juggled a lot of starting lineups in '91 -- Thomas Hill only became a fulltime starter in mid-February (about when Zoubek joined the 2010 lineup). Greg Koubek (Koubek-Zoubek ... another parallel?) was in and out of the lineup all year. He was out in the ACC Tournament, but back in as the fifth starter for the NCAA run.

But where the teams diverged is the next year. The 1992 team was almost intact -- losing 5th man Koubek and 6th man McCafferty (as well as backup centers Palmer and Buckley). It started the year No. 1 and stayed there all season, despite two losses and a slew of injuries. It started the NCAA Tournament as a strong favorite to repeat -- maybe not quite as strong as Vegas the year before, but still stronger than say Kansas last season or UNC the year before.

It's worth keeping in mind that the 1992 team, for all its power and success, came within a miraculous play against Kentucky in the East Regional finals from not returning to the Final Four.

And before we leave the subject, we should look at the similar parallels between 2001 and 2002. The 2001 team was higher regarded than either the 1991 or 2010 team, although Boozer's late injury did turn the title run into something of a surprise.

That team returned four starters including three All-American type players in Jason Williams, Carlos Boozer and Mike Dunleavy, plus a future A-A in Chris Duhon. They added a future first-round draft pick in Dahntay Jones and a great freshman in Daniel Ewing.

But they had to replace national player of the year Shane Battier and glue guy Nate James -- in terms of team chemistry, he provided a lot of what Zoubek and Thomas provided a year ago.

The 2002 team started the season No. 1 and spent all but four weeks on top, before finishing at No. 1 after winning the ACC Tournament. The difference is that when they needed a miracle in the NCAA Tournament, they didn't get one -- instead Bruce Benedict swallowed his whistle and they didn't return to the Final Four.

My point is that the earlier parallels should lead us to expect that 2011 Duke will have a great regular season and spend most of the year at or near No. 1. It should start the 2011 NCAA Tournament as one of the favorites, if not THE favorite to win it all.

But you just can't predict a one-and-done tournament. Somewhere along the way, Duke will face elimination and will either rise to the occasion as the 1992 team did against Kentucky or come up short -- as the 2002 team did against Indiana.

First of all, fantastic post. I agree with everything you said.

I agree that we'll be good next year, but I think Coach K said it best... next year's team will be more talented, but not necessarily as much character. Anything can happen in college basketball, especially the NCAAT. This lends me to believe 2011 is more like 2002 Duke than 1992.

Class of '94
08-01-2010, 07:53 PM
I agree that we'll be good next year, but I think Coach K said it best... next year's team will be more talented, but not necessarily as much character. Anything can happen in college basketball, especially the NCAAT. This lends me to believe 2011 is more like 2002 Duke than 1992.[/QUOTE]

I see the potential similiarities between the 2011 team and the 2002 team; but I also see key differences between the two teams and they are potential gamechangers Kyrie Irving and Seth Curry. The 2002 team didn't have incoming freshmen and new players with the potential impact and gamechanging abilities that Kyrie and Seth have. If anything, the 2011 team could be a blend of the 1992 and 2002 teams; wherein the 2011 team has the returning talent that reminds you of the 1992 team combined with the potential dip in leadership from the previous season that could remind you of the 2002 team. Obviously, the 2011 team could go either way; but my gut feeling is that the leadership of the 2011 team will be just fine with Nolan and Kyle; and that they will bring a similar edge to this team that Christian and Brian brought to the 1992 team. You can tell that Nolan has that chip on his shoulder to prove that the 2010 championship wasn't a fluke; and Kyle brings an intensity and competitiveness to the team that is second to none in college basketball IMO. Hence, I think this team will be closer to the 1992 team in potential.

And to put one more log in the fire as a side note, the 2011 team IMO has the potential to dominate the ACC like the 1999 team did.

Kedsy
08-01-2010, 08:42 PM
I agree that we'll be good next year, but I think Coach K said it best... next year's team will be more talented, but not necessarily as much character. Anything can happen in college basketball, especially the NCAAT. This lends me to believe 2011 is more like 2002 Duke than 1992.

I see the potential similiarities between the 2011 team and the 2002 team; but I also see key differences between the two teams and they are potential gamechangers Kyrie Irving and Seth Curry. The 2002 team didn't have incoming freshmen and new players with the potential impact and gamechanging abilities that Kyrie and Seth have. If anything, the 2011 team could be a blend of the 1992 and 2002 teams; wherein the 2011 team has the returning talent that reminds you of the 1992 team combined with the potential dip in leadership from the previous season that could remind you of the 2002 team. Obviously, the 2011 team could go either way; but my gut feeling is that the leadership of the 2011 team will be just fine with Nolan and Kyle; and that they will bring a similar edge to this team that Christian and Brian brought to the 1992 team. You can tell that Nolan has that chip on his shoulder to prove that the 2010 championship wasn't a fluke; and Kyle brings an intensity and competitiveness to the team that is second to none in college basketball IMO. Hence, I think this team will be closer to the 1992 team in potential.

And to put one more log in the fire as a side note, the 2011 team IMO has the potential to dominate the ACC like the 1999 team did.

In my mind there are few parallels between the 2011 and either the 1992 or 2002 teams. Both of those clubs returned the bulk of their squads (although obviously the 2002 team had lost Shane and Nate, which was a major loss).

The 1992 team kept their swagger and stayed hungry all year, although they seemed to run out of gas a little bit in the NCAAT (it wasn't just the Kentucky game; the Indiana game was a 3 point, come from behind win, and the Michigan game was tied at halftime, or it might have been 1 point either way, I can't entirely remember).

The 2002 team, to me, seemed a little lackadaisical and overconfident for much of the year, as if they believed they didn't need their full effort to win, if it was a close game all they needed to do is turn it on for the last few minutes and they'd win. And obviously for most of the year that was true, but the attitude failed them in the NCAAT. Personally, I think the overconfidence came from being too comfortable -- they'd been playing the same style and doing the same thing with more or less the same core for two years (maybe three), and they let their hunger fade.

I don't think the 2011 team will resemble either of those squads because there's more personnel change and the styles of play from 2010 to 2011 will be soooooo different. It will stay fresh longer, the hunger will remain. I'm not saying we'll win the championship next year because there are too many variables in play, but I do think that if we lose it won't be like 2002.

nocilla
08-02-2010, 09:44 AM
It's impossible to say what next year's leadership situation will be, but we know that Duke will have two senior captain who between them have done everything a basketball player can be asked to do on the court.

Besides, leadership wasn't the biggest problem for the 2002 Duke team. Having to defend opposing power forwards with tall or athletic shooting guards was its biggest problem. Next year's Duke team should not have that kind of hole in its lineup.

You are assuming that the Plumlees have vastly improved on defense. We shouldn't have trouble with athletic SGs this year, but a good PF/C team could be trouble in the post. I have confidence in K coming up with good defensive game plans and I am optimistic that we will be able to counter a stong inside team with a fast uptempo team. But if you are looking for a weakspot, defense in the post would be it. At least until they prove otherwise.

uh_no
08-02-2010, 09:53 AM
You are assuming that the Plumlees have vastly improved on defense.

we won't need defense next year when we're averaging 120 ppg.... :P

Duvall
08-02-2010, 09:56 AM
You are assuming that the Plumlees have vastly improved on defense. We shouldn't have trouble with athletic SGs this year, but a good PF/C team could be trouble in the post. I have confidence in K coming up with good defensive game plans and I am optimistic that we will be able to counter a stong inside team with a fast uptempo team. But if you are looking for a weakspot, defense in the post would be it. At least until they prove otherwise.

Not really. We still don't know if the Plumlees have yet acquired the skills and experience to be quality post defenders, but it's clear that they have the tools to do so. The 2002 team lacked players that even had the tools.

nocilla
08-02-2010, 10:12 AM
we won't need defense next year when we're averaging 120 ppg.... :P

I hope you are right. Although I would like to see a little better defense than say '09 UNC.


Duvall
Not really. We still don't know if the Plumlees have yet acquired the skills and experience to be quality post defenders, but it's clear that they have the tools to do so. The 2002 team lacked players that even had the tools.

Fair enough.

BoozerWasFouled
08-02-2010, 10:22 AM
It was a huuuuuuge upset. I was at the game and we were all holding our breath for the full 40 minutes. It seemed if Duke made even one teensy, little mistake then UNLV would take control and crush us. When the game ended the entire stadium just stood there, stunned.

I occasionally watch a replay of that game, and I still think we're going to lose.

Kedsy, could you tell us more about your memories of going to that game? It was one of the first Duke games I ever watched (I was 9). I have been obsessed with that game for about twenty years. I'm sure a lot of people would like to have more of your first-person perspective and thoughts about how that group compares to the current one.

gumbomoop
08-02-2010, 10:58 AM
In my mind there are few parallels between the 2011 and either the 1992 or 2002 teams. Both of those clubs returned the bulk of their squads (although obviously the 2002 team had lost Shane and Nate, which was a major loss).

The 1992 team kept their swagger and stayed hungry all year, although they seemed to run out of gas a little bit in the NCAAT (it wasn't just the Kentucky game; the Indiana game was a 3 point, come from behind win, and the Michigan game was tied at halftime, or it might have been 1 point either way, I can't entirely remember).

The 2002 team, to me, seemed a little lackadaisical and overconfident for much of the year, as if they believed they didn't need their full effort to win, if it was a close game all they needed to do is turn it on for the last few minutes and they'd win. And obviously for most of the year that was true, but the attitude failed them in the NCAAT. Personally, I think the overconfidence came from being too comfortable -- they'd been playing the same style and doing the same thing with more or less the same core for two years (maybe three), and they let their hunger fade.

I don't think the 2011 team will resemble either of those squads because there's more personnel change and the styles of play from 2010 to 2011 will be soooooo different. It will stay fresh longer, the hunger will remain. I'm not saying we'll win the championship next year because there are too many variables in play, but I do think that if we lose it won't be like 2002.

I've enjoyed and been informed by the back-and-forth in this thread re team similarities and differences. Suffice it to say that I'm a bit more persuaded than Kedsy on some of the parallels that several posters have drawn, but Kedsy's overall point is both interesting and persuasive, especially the bolded sentence. Even conceding some similarities, as I do, the big difference Kedsy notes may be more important.

For, thinking about the following pairs - '91 NC and '92 NC, '01 NC and '02, '10 NC and '11 ?? - despite important departures, the '92 and '02 teams had major-mpg core returnees and no newcomers remotely as significant as '11's KI and possibly SC. Further, as happenstance would have it, not only is KI's arrival significant in terms of astounding raw talent, but his assuming the PG requires - indeed, virtually demands - an entirely different mindset on O [Kedsy's "soooooo different"].

And I definitely like the prediction about "fresh hunger." If KS and NS still think they have a lot to prove and gain, if the MPs think they have even more to prove, and if KI, SC and others understand that this is a moment to be seized, then that's real good. Heaven knows, if anyone plays lackadaisically - unlikely, true - hungry others will, hungrily, grab some additional PT.

jafarr1
08-02-2010, 11:03 AM
Looking back, it's hard to describe just how big an underdog we were. The 1991 championship video showed quips from various talking sports heads, asking how anyone would beat UNLV, and the sportscasters were pretty unanimous that UNLV would win unless someone tied their shoes together and chained their locker room door shut. Mike Francesa was the last one interviewed, and he said he didn't think there was any way anyone would beat UNLV that year.

Mike Francesa is not a good person to cite. If memory serves, he picked against Duke five times that tournament (he picked us to win either first or second round).

I distinctly remember Jim Nance and the other studio heads laughing at him when he picked against Duke in the finals after beating UNLV.

uh_no
08-02-2010, 02:36 PM
Mike Francesa is not a good person to cite.

This is generally true always on any subject......does anyone here actually like his show?

the average call length is like 20 seconds and consists of mike saying 'yeah I can agree with that' or 'you're out of your mind: lemme spew my opinion of why you're wrong without backing it up for 30 seconds'

at least when mad dog was on the show it was INTERESTING....and they would have back and forth....now its just mike and its terrible

/rant

Indoor66
08-02-2010, 05:45 PM
You are assuming that the Plumlees have vastly improved on defense. We shouldn't have trouble with athletic SGs this year, but a good PF/C team could be trouble in the post. I have confidence in K coming up with good defensive game plans and I am optimistic that we will be able to counter a stong inside team with a fast uptempo team. But if you are looking for a weakspot, defense in the post would be it. At least until they prove otherwise.

It seems you are assuming that they will not improve over last year. IMO, not a safe assumption.

uh_no
08-02-2010, 06:30 PM
It seems you are assuming that they will not improve over last year. IMO, not a safe assumption.

especially after a) the huge gains miles made between freshman and sophoimore years and b) the fact that mason was quality for us as a freshman

nocilla
08-03-2010, 07:14 AM
It seems you are assuming that they will not improve over last year. IMO, not a safe assumption.

I think it is safe to say that they will be better than last year just from experience and learning from the coaches. But the extent of that improvement won't be determined until we see them in action. I am not assuming that they will be a weakness defensively, but they had a lot of room for improvement.

Indoor66
08-03-2010, 06:57 PM
I think it is safe to say that they will be better than last year just from experience and learning from the coaches. But the extent of that improvement won't be determined until we see them in action. I am not assuming that they will be a weakness defensively, but they had a lot of room for improvement.

Don't we all....

Kedsy
08-03-2010, 07:58 PM
You are assuming that the Plumlees have vastly improved on defense. We shouldn't have trouble with athletic SGs this year, but a good PF/C team could be trouble in the post. I have confidence in K coming up with good defensive game plans and I am optimistic that we will be able to counter a stong inside team with a fast uptempo team. But if you are looking for a weakspot, defense in the post would be it. At least until they prove otherwise.

I completely disagree. Miles and Mason won't have trouble defending good post players one on one. If history is our guide (and it might not be, depending on how much they've improved), their problem (Mason more than Miles) is staying with their man when their man is running backdoor cuts and/or pick and pops. And also they were a little slow to rotate over in help defense when an opponent perimeter player beat his man.

With the quick hands we'll have next year, we'll be pushing opposing guards out of their comfort zone, which makes it hard to get off a shot over your opponent and hard to make a good entry pass. That defense is most prone to opposing ballhandlers driving past their man who is right in their face (which is why traditional Duke teams have had problems with "athletic SGs" but last year's team (who didn't play the traditional Duke defense) really didn't, despite many dire predictions that they would. When the opposing perimeter guy gets past his man, one Duke big has to step up and the other has to rotate over and stop the inside dish by the penetrator. If the big is slow to rotate, it means a layup/dunk.

So that's our potential weakness on D. Not what you said.


Heaven knows, if anyone plays lackadaisically - unlikely, true - hungry others will, hungrily, grab some additional PT.

This is a really good point. Our outstanding depth and the players vying for minutes should hopefully reduce the possibility of our players easing up on the court.


Kedsy, could you tell us more about your memories of going to that game? It was one of the first Duke games I ever watched (I was 9). I have been obsessed with that game for about twenty years. I'm sure a lot of people would like to have more of your first-person perspective and thoughts about how that group compares to the current one.

OK. Sorry I didn't answer this earlier, but I've been busy and it's somewhat of a long answer. Personally, I think the 1991 Duke/UNLV game was the most exciting game I've ever watched. More than the 1992 Duke/Kentucky game or the 2010 Duke/Butler game (both of which I attended).

The first reason is the UNLV game was gutwrenching from the opening tap. As I said before, the feeling was if we even made one tiny mistake we were toast. I don't think the margin ever got more than 5 points (although that's also true for the Butler game, I believe). The Kentucky game was unbelievable in the last 10 minutes of the second half and then the OT, but it wasn't particularly stressful before that. The Butler game was close, but I never once felt we were in any danger of being out of it.

The second reason is UNLV appeared to be so much better than us. They'd crushed us the year before (another game I attended, although I try not to remember it so much) and they just seemed to be men while we seemed to be boys. They had no apparent weaknesses, while we had a skinny center, a scrappy but turnover-prone sophomore PG (Hurley's A/TO ratio was pretty similar to Larry Drew's last year), a freshman wing playing out of position at PF, and a bunch of decent but not spectacular role players (T Hill, McCaffrey, Davis, Koubek). The idea that we could play with them, much less beat them, was hard to sustain, making the game that much more tense, while in the Kentucky and Butler games we were huge favorites and the stress was how long could our opponents hang around (which was pretty long in both games, I admit)? Put another way, it was exhilarating to win both the Kentucky game and the Butler game, but both games had a sort of feeling of relief element to them, while the UNLV game was more of a feeling of disbelief.

I'd been out of Duke for 9 years by 1991, but by coincidence my seats were right next to the Duke student section, which allowed me to stand up for the entire game, much different from the other 20 Final Fours I've attended. It certainly added to the excitement as well. I kept wincing at every mistake we made (which admittedly were not very many) and my friend kept saying "no negative vibes," a mantra I tried to adopt. The team played its best game of the year by far, especially defensively against Larry Johnson and Anderson Hunt, who'd killed us the year before.

When UNLV got up by 5 late in the 2nd half, I thought we were done, but then Bobby Hurley took the ball up the floor and seemingly just after he took it across half court he launched a three that was nothing but net, bringing us back within two. I couldn't believe he had the confidence to take it like that, but it was exactly what we needed, and very soon after that he drew a charge on Greg Anthony that fouled Anthony out of the game. UNLV lost their heart and their focus for a bit and we took the lead. It went back and forth for awhile and on the last play Larry Johnson had an open look from three that could have won it for them, but instead he panicked and passed it to Hunt who was not in a very good position to shoot. He missed, we rebounded and that was it.

My recollection is it was several seconds before the place exploded. It took us that long to realize it was over. Nobody left the arena, either. The Duke fans because we wanted to drink it all in and the UNLV fans because they still couldn't believe it.

I apologize if I got some minor facts wrong in this account; I'm reliving it from memory only and it was 20 years ago. But those were my impressions from the game.