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Greg_Newton
02-06-2012, 12:11 AM
Consider our current situation:

-Our defensive efficiency is already terrible, hovering in the 90-100 range.

-We're undersized and not that quick laterally at the guard positions.

-We are, however, very deep at guard, and have guards with quick hands, great instincts, and good end-to-end speed.

-We have two long, athletic bigs who can run the floor and finish as well as anyone, plus protect the rim fairly well.

--------------------------------
Basically, teams are going to score on us even if we grind it out in a halfcourt set and let other teams spread and drive past us. Why not at least make them do it on our terms and disrupt what they're trying to do?

To that end, consider:

-A trapping press forces our guys to play fast and with urgency.

-It's more reliant on rotations and defensive playmakers than it is on a deep, agile defensive stance (a concept we've struggled with all year).

-It minimizes the impact of our historically inept half-court defense on the game.

-We ran it extremely effectively today.


It has its vulnerabilities, certainly, but K's pulled out almost all of the stops; maybe it's time to just get after it and go down swinging if we have to. I mean, the team could certainly use a little jolt that forces some edge and energy into the game by design. Thoughts?

Kedsy
02-06-2012, 12:40 AM
Today, it seemed to me to be more of a half-court trap than a trapping full-court press. And it was surprisingly effective, even against Miami's quick, good ballhandling guards. Whatever it was, I wouldn't mind seeing more of it.

However, I would note that after the trapping D helped us successfully catch up to Miami, we pretty much stopped using it. Which may have meant K didn't really trust it.

UrinalCake
02-06-2012, 12:51 AM
I don't know, the same knocks on our half-court defense (size/length and quickness at guard, lack of a versatile wingman) seem like they would be big issues in the full court as well, if not more so. If we can't keep a guy in front of us in the half-court then how in the world are we going to trap in the full court? It seems like most guards should be able to break our press by simply dribbling through it. And if guys can shoot over us then they should be able to pass over us too. We don't have that versatile 6'8 guy to roam the middle of the court like a free safety. And finally, I don't see the Plumlees or Kelly as being particularly suited to anchoring the back of the trap, due to lack of lateral quickness.

I do like the idea of speeding up the game, as I think the higher the score the better the chance we have at winning. Maybe we need to push more on offense and only sprinkle in some full-court defensive pressure as a surprise tactic like we did today.

Greg_Newton
02-06-2012, 02:26 AM
I don't know, the same knocks on our half-court defense (size/length and quickness at guard, lack of a versatile wingman) seem like they would be big issues in the full court as well, if not more so. If we can't keep a guy in front of us in the half-court then how in the world are we going to trap in the full court? It seems like most guards should be able to break our press by simply dribbling through it. And if guys can shoot over us then they should be able to pass over us too. We don't have that versatile 6'8 guy to roam the middle of the court like a free safety. And finally, I don't see the Plumlees or Kelly as being particularly suited to anchoring the back of the trap, due to lack of lateral quickness.

Good points - particularly the bolded. However, I disagree that the issues would be magnified by trapping; our massive, glaring problem has been with stopping dribble penetration one-on-one, a situation which trapping pretty much prevents, for better or worse.

Mainly though, I think we have guys that are much more natural and intuitive in chaotic, broken-play types of defensive situations than in standard halfcourt sets. Take Curry and Thornton - we've seen both guys get blown by 1-on-1 in the halfcourt like they weren't even moving on countless occasions. However, how many times has Curry sneakily jumped a pass or dribble and gotten his hand on a ball he shouldn't have, come out of a "scrum" with the ball in his arms, swooped in and grabbed a 50/50 ball in the open court (like he did late today before dribbling in and nailing a huge 3)? How many times has Thornton come off of his man to draw a charge, strip the ball away from somebody, or disrupt the offense in general?

These are guys who thrive on creating that kind of havoc, and most offenses aren't all that comfortable with full-court improvisation. It seems like we might be able to exploit our strengths and hide our weaknesses a little better in a system that creates that kind of unpredictability.

(I also think that Mason has been pretty good in 2-on-1 situations; he's had to defend them all year in the halfcourt, and has generally done a decent job of preventing open layups without fouling.)

roywhite
02-06-2012, 07:27 AM
I like the idea of using it more.

1. As noted, it seems to fit well with our roster and depth at guard.
2. I hate seeing other teams dictate the pace of the game to us.
3. Using it early would be a good way to make sure the team starts with energy; to run this defense, the guys would pretty much have to run hard and move fast.

RoyalBlue08
02-06-2012, 08:05 AM
I'm no basketball expert, but it seemed to me that the press seemed to suit Kelly particularly well give his mobility for his size and length. And IMO Kelly is one of our biggest weaknesses in half court defense because he can't stay in front of small guys and gets pushed around by big guys.

Dr. Rosenrosen
02-06-2012, 08:21 AM
Two things:

1. I liked it mostly because it seemed to give us energy. We played with real aggression and passion. For me, it demonstrated without question that defensive intensity can drive a winning attitude and strong execution for this team. During that stretch, our defense literally created offense and I thought gave us an extra step on both ends.

2. I wouldn't want to see it all the time. Can't become a totally predictable element of our game plan. But for a team that has obviously struggled on half court D, I thought we executed the half court trap quite well. It's clear to me that this is a wholly different team when we are playing up on our toes instead of back on our heels.

Perhaps this will be a positive outcome of an otherwise ugly affair.

greybeard
02-06-2012, 09:14 AM
I think that the lack of length among the guards, ande the lack of enough big men, make pressing except in spots a bad idea.

Wander
02-06-2012, 09:36 AM
I'm not sure if it should be a full court press or halfcourt traps, but I agree this is a team that is better suited to a more aggressive, risk-taking style of defense. If K has decided that Hairston is ready for meaningful minutes, then we have enough big guys to do it.

Kedsy
02-06-2012, 10:49 AM
If we can't keep a guy in front of us in the half-court then how in the world are we going to trap in the full court? It seems like most guards should be able to break our press by simply dribbling through it.

I agree with Greg_Newton that this isn't necessarily true. In a press you don't sit back and try to stay in front of your man. You aggressively go after him and force him to either make a tough pass or dribble directly through two guys, which is a much different than a one-on-one move. What might be more of a problem for us pressing is the fact that our guards are short. If the opponent can pass right over the press, it doesn't help much. That's probably why, in our half court trapping yesterday, we came at the dribbler with a guard and a big.


I like the idea of using it more.

3. Using it early would be a good way to make sure the team starts with energy; to run this defense, the guys would pretty much have to run hard and move fast.

This is a fabulous point. We have several players that if they get going early seem to play better and with more energy the entire game (especially Mason, Miles, and Andre). Our team as a whole seems to have problems bringing the intensity consistently. This might do the trick.

loldevilz
02-06-2012, 11:04 AM
Two things:

1. I liked it mostly because it seemed to give us energy. We played with real aggression and passion. For me, it demonstrated without question that defensive intensity can drive a winning attitude and strong execution for this team. During that stretch, our defense literally created offense and I thought gave us an extra step on both ends.

2. I wouldn't want to see it all the time. Can't become a totally predictable element of our game plan. But for a team that has obviously struggled on half court D, I thought we executed the half court trap quite well. It's clear to me that this is a wholly different team when we are playing up on our toes instead of back on our heels.

Perhaps this will be a positive outcome of an otherwise ugly affair.

I think its incorrect to assume that the team had energy because it started pressing. It had energy because it was scared as heck to lose at home. It was finally playing with a purpose.

Plus, I think the "energy" is the problem is overrated. We simply weren't hitting shots or finishing plays in the first half. On defense Reggie Johnson's size was overwhelming us. Yeah part of that was energy, but part was a bad matchup.

I do think pressing could be good when you play Quinn, Curry/ Dawkins, Rivers, Hairston and Mason, but most of the time I don't think this team is suited to running.

dukeballboy88
02-06-2012, 12:33 PM
I said we should consider it at least in the VATech pre game thread and got bad feedback for it. I like Greg_Newtons post about it creating havoc because that is what a press is supposed to do. Trap and take the ball out of ball handlers hands and force non ball handlers to handle it. Its pretty simple concept and we have the depth to do it. Plus it will force a quick shot and we dont have to play d for 30 seconds a possesion giving up a clear path to lane for the dump down and lay up.

jv001
02-06-2012, 01:07 PM
I would like to see us use the half court trap, but not the full court press. On a few occasions we've tried to press full court and the result was a layup or dunk on the other end. But in the half court we used yesterday we were able to use the trap along the sidelines and it was successful. I'm all for it and as roywhite stated, maybe it will get the guys energized early in the game. Andre is one player that this might help. GoDuke!

JNort
02-06-2012, 02:14 PM
When we were doing against Miami I noticed Austin and Quinn seemed to absolutely love it. I can't remember who it was but we scored and immediately started for a full court trap/press and Quinn was so excited on defense. He was jumping up and down and shaking his head as if to say "no way you can score this time!" Austin too started getting excited and was pumped on all the defensive stops and was smacking his hands together while transitioning over to defense from the offensive side.


Idk why I said smacking his hands. I meant clapping fiercely.... doh!

azzefkram
02-06-2012, 02:20 PM
I am all for a half court trap. We have the depth for it (especially if we utilize Silent G). Will we get burned utilizing it at times? Sure. But I don't think any more than we are in our traditional half court and maybe even generate some easy transition baskets.

Dr. Rosenrosen
02-06-2012, 02:39 PM
I think its incorrect to assume that the team had energy because it started pressing. It had energy because it was scared as heck to lose at home. It was finally playing with a purpose.

Plus, I think the "energy" is the problem is overrated. We simply weren't hitting shots or finishing plays in the first half. On defense Reggie Johnson's size was overwhelming us. Yeah part of that was energy, but part was a bad matchup.

I do think pressing could be good when you play Quinn, Curry/ Dawkins, Rivers, Hairston and Mason, but most of the time I don't think this team is suited to running.

Well, per Coach K...
“For 24 minutes, we were just not good at all,” Krzyzewski said. “We had no energy and they did. I thought they played really well. Last 16 minutes of regulation, I thought we played extremely well and gave ourselves an opportunity to win."

And AR's comments...
“What lost us the game, overall, was the first half,” said Duke freshman guard Austin Rivers, who scored 20 points. “We played awful. We didn’t play with any fight. We didn’t play any defense. We let them come in here and have their way with us. You can’t do that against teams in the ACC.”

And Mason's...
“We weren’t there defensively,” Duke junior center Mason Plumlee said. “The main thing to learn is we can’t come out and play that way in the first half."


No mention of not hitting shots, etc. Coach and the players are explicitly acknowledging a lack of intensity and energy. Coach has repeatedly said that defense generates offense. That means sometimes literally by converting turnovers into baskets and at other times just having that edge that comes from stopping the other guys and being able to run the floor. I'd take Seth Curry 3's in transition ALL DAY LONG.

Greg_Newton
02-06-2012, 05:48 PM
One the one hand, it seems pretty unlikely:


I don't think you can draw any conclusions from that. Against another team doing that you could get drilled. It just worked for that period of time. We have won 19 games, and now all of a sudden we found something, must have had something to win 19 minutes. What we found was a game we were not playing with energy. We were able to turn that around, and we found a loss.

But on the other hand, UNC has exactly one ballhandler; could we see it again Wednesday, especially if we fall behind?

Newton_14
02-06-2012, 07:45 PM
Consider our current situation:

-Our defensive efficiency is already terrible, hovering in the 90-100 range.

-We're undersized and not that quick laterally at the guard positions.

-We are, however, very deep at guard, and have guards with quick hands, great instincts, and good end-to-end speed.

-We have two long, athletic bigs who can run the floor and finish as well as anyone, plus protect the rim fairly well.

--------------------------------
Basically, teams are going to score on us even if we grind it out in a halfcourt set and let other teams spread and drive past us. Why not at least make them do it on our terms and disrupt what they're trying to do?

To that end, consider:

-A trapping press forces our guys to play fast and with urgency.

-It's more reliant on rotations and defensive playmakers than it is on a deep, agile defensive stance (a concept we've struggled with all year).

-It minimizes the impact of our historically inept half-court defense on the game.

-We ran it extremely effectively today.


It has its vulnerabilities, certainly, but K's pulled out almost all of the stops; maybe it's time to just get after it and go down swinging if we have to. I mean, the team could certainly use a little jolt that forces some edge and energy into the game by design. Thoughts?

I am on board with you here GN. We played much better yesterday when we went to full court pressure, and then traps off of Miami ball screens. At one point there late, we pushed the ball handler way out off the ball screen and trapped with the hedging big and the guard and forced 2 or 3 turnovers. Pressing breeds energy, which these guys have a hard time generating themselves. Duke used to routinely press full court right out of the gate in home games, going for the early KO and rattle the opponent early. We have gotten away from that the past few years. Partly due to personnel I suppose, but with 5 backcourt guys, (6 counting Silent G), the depth is definitely there to keep fresh guys in there bringing high energy.

K talked today about how comfortable Miami was for 24 minutes, and Duke's play did not create an atmosphere of discomfort. He said once we turned up the defensive pressure, Miami was taken out of their comfort zone and mistakes followed. I have to wonder how the game would have went had we deployed the pressing, helter skelter defense right after the opening tip. Might have been a different game?

airowe
02-07-2012, 12:13 AM
But on the other hand, UNC has exactly one ballhandler; could we see it again Wednesday, especially if we fall behind?

Kendall Marshall will play as many minutes as he can, as long as he needs to on Wednesday. We will have to make shots in order to utilize a press, but against a dangerous weapon like Marshall, I'm not crazy about using it in the full court unless our bigs can get back quick enough to neutralize the 3/4 court pass to UNC's bigs in their secondary break. Maybe a 3/4 court trapping press or a 1/2 court one, if the Plumlees and Kelly show they can get back in time. Marshall turns the ball over three times a game. If we can push that up to 5, 6, or 7 it will help tremendously. If we can wear him out and force him to play less minutes, even better. I'm surprised there isn't as much talk about how poor UNC's bench is. Hairston and Bullock have not been good in conference play and there really isn't anything after them. Duke is more talented deeper into the bench.

tbyers11
02-07-2012, 08:00 AM
Kendall Marshall will play as many minutes as he can, as long as he needs to on Wednesday. We will have to make shots in order to utilize a press, but against a dangerous weapon like Marshall, I'm not crazy about using it in the full court unless our bigs can get back quick enough to neutralize the 3/4 court pass to UNC's bigs in their secondary break. Maybe a 3/4 court trapping press or a 1/2 court one, if the Plumlees and Kelly show they can get back in time. Marshall turns the ball over three times a game. If we can push that up to 5, 6, or 7 it will help tremendously. If we can wear him out and force him to play less minutes, even better. I'm surprised there isn't as much talk about how poor UNC's bench is. Hairston and Bullock have not been good in conference play and there really isn't anything after them. Duke is more talented deeper into the bench.

I think a half or 3/4 court press to try and get the ball out of Marshall's hands early in the possession could be a good idea if used judiciously.

I also agree about UNC's lack of depth. Elmore repeatedly talked about UNC having a depth advantage over Md over the weekend. I kept yelling at the TV that they now have a seven man rotation in close games after Strickland's injury. 2 minutes from Stillman White and 3 minutes from Justin Watts does not count as quality depth in my book.

Dr. Rosenrosen
02-07-2012, 08:01 AM
Kendall Marshall will play as many minutes as he can, as long as he needs to on Wednesday. We will have to make shots in order to utilize a press, but against a dangerous weapon like Marshall, I'm not crazy about using it in the full court unless our bigs can get back quick enough to neutralize the 3/4 court pass to UNC's bigs in their secondary break. Maybe a 3/4 court trapping press or a 1/2 court one, if the Plumlees and Kelly show they can get back in time. Marshall turns the ball over three times a game. If we can push that up to 5, 6, or 7 it will help tremendously. If we can wear him out and force him to play less minutes, even better. I'm surprised there isn't as much talk about how poor UNC's bench is. Hairston and Bullock have not been good in conference play and there really isn't anything after them. Duke is more talented deeper into the bench.

I know I said above I was in favor of the trapping defense if it doesn't become predictable. Your post caused me to rethink this a little with respect to UNC. Love him or hate him, you have to respect Marshall's ability to pass. A press could backfire. I might like to see us try it a few times at unexpected moments. Enough to keep him off balance and thinking about it. But as I recall we had pretty good success in the first game last year by forcing Marshall to make plays himself. Overplaying the passes and forcing him to drive and take shots might be the better way to defend him. He's a great passer but not so fast that he should be able to penetrate and leave our guards in the dust. In the first game he had 6 assists but was 3-11 shooting. I think we want to see something like that again.

davekay1971
02-07-2012, 08:26 AM
Generally speaking, I think the full court press is most effective when used in bursts. Suddenly springing it on a team following a made basket, without warning, can result in a few turnovers in short order, causing a 6-8 point swing. Usually, once a team with decent ball handling becomes used to the press, they are able to start taking advantage of it to get some easy baskets. There are some teams which have employed it successfully all game, but those teams have played the press as a system all year, have practiced it in the offseason, and have mastered it.

Our bigs are so athletic and mobile this year, we could be a very strong pressing team, but I'd be concerned with trying to go primarily to the press. We should, however, use it probably more than we have to date. I have two reasons for this thought. (1) we're pretty good at it and it can help us hit those runs that, in other years, we get with turnovers from our aggressive half-court defense. (2) I think it helps to keep our guys focused and involved. Mixing it up, going into and out of press, may help to keep our team focused and locked in on defense. As we've discussed in several threads, keeping that mental focus is a challenge for this team. A fun change of pace (and, playing defense, going into a full court press is absolutely fun) is a nice mental trick to keep all the players locked in on D.

Kedsy
02-07-2012, 08:51 AM
As we've discussed in several threads, keeping that mental focus is a challenge for this team. A fun change of pace (and, playing defense, going into a full court press is absolutely fun) is a nice mental trick to keep all the players locked in on D.

I totally agree with this (and with roywhite, who said much the same thing). This might be just the trick we need to get focused when our attention is drifting.

Greg_Newton
02-07-2012, 01:33 PM
We will have to make shots in order to utilize a press, but against a dangerous weapon like Marshall, I'm not crazy about using it in the full court unless our bigs can get back quick enough to neutralize the 3/4 court pass to UNC's bigs in their secondary break. Maybe a 3/4 court trapping press or a 1/2 court one, if the Plumlees and Kelly show they can get back in time.

Good point. Perhaps it would make more sense to press Marshall man-to-man on every play to try and wear him down, and only trap halfcourt on the pass when we do run a trap.

If the game goes on and we really look overmatched, though, I'm not sure it would be the worst thing in the world to immediately double Marshall after made baskets/dead balls and simply not rotate up for the steal on the first pass. Giving up a 4-on-3 if Marshall gets a clean pass off isn't ideal, but when it's Hairston/Bullock/Barnes bringing the ball up with a guard sprinting up behind him, it might not be the worst thing in the world - especially if Marshall is killing us in the halfcourt.

Bob Green
02-07-2012, 02:02 PM
3. Using it early would be a good way to make sure the team starts with energy; to run this defense, the guys would pretty much have to run hard and move fast.

I like the idea of mixing in a fullcourt and halfcourt press. The big concern I have is the effect upon Andre Dawkins' playing time. Dawkins spent the majority of the 2nd half of the Miama game on the bench. My concern is the more we press the less Dawkins will play.

coachb666
02-08-2012, 05:38 PM
I have read this thread with great interest and commend all those who have put their best "Defensive" foot forward. However, the solution everyone is seeking for the losses does not lie in the Kool-Aid of "Defense" but in college basketball's unspoken dirty word, "Offense". Implicit in most everyone's comments are that pressing/trapping led to "easy scoring opportunities". The margin against Miami shrank and Duke’s point increased as Duke was able to score on a more consistent basis via easy baskets in transition.

Duke's problem in all their losses has been an inability to "score" the basketball on a consistent basis. To highlight the point look at the 4 losses: (Note that for the season Duke’s Avg. Points are 79.8 and Opponents are 69.1)
Ohio State 85 – 63 Duke was 16.8 points under their Current Average
Temple 78 – 73 Duke was 6.8 points under their Current Average
Fla. St. 76 – 73 Duke was 6.8 points under their Current Average
Miami 78 – 74 Duke was 5.8 points under their Current Average in 45 minutes of play, an offensive outage similar to Ohio State.

In all the losses except for Ohio State had Duke only been offensively “average” they would have prevailed regardless of their “defensive liabilities”. I would also offer that the Ohio State margin was much the result of an inept offense putting too much pressure on the defense.

While I realize this is a “chicken and egg” discussion I think it is a point for examination. My many years of observation suggest to me that offense on all levels and particularly in college has been “lost”. As you watch tonight’s game I suggest that you pay attention to 2 things:
1)How hard is Duke working, thru screening, etc. to get off an often “contested” or extremely deep 3 pointer many times with the shooter moving away from the basket.
2) How many passes are made that are either thrown toward the basket or to a player moving toward the basket. I think you will be surprised how infrequently this occurs.

Finally, I would suggest that the only way Duke moves the ball toward the basket is by “driving”.

I would suggest that tonight’s success will be directly proportional to the offensive success of the Blue Devils and how close they come to their scoring average.

Kedsy
02-09-2012, 01:03 AM
I have read this thread with great interest and commend all those who have put their best "Defensive" foot forward. However, the solution everyone is seeking for the losses does not lie in the Kool-Aid of "Defense" but in college basketball's unspoken dirty word, "Offense". Implicit in most everyone's comments are that pressing/trapping led to "easy scoring opportunities". The margin against Miami shrank and Duke’s point increased as Duke was able to score on a more consistent basis via easy baskets in transition.

Duke's problem in all their losses has been an inability to "score" the basketball on a consistent basis. To highlight the point look at the 4 losses: (Note that for the season Duke’s Avg. Points are 79.8 and Opponents are 69.1)
Ohio State 85 – 63 Duke was 16.8 points under their Current Average
Temple 78 – 73 Duke was 6.8 points under their Current Average
Fla. St. 76 – 73 Duke was 6.8 points under their Current Average
Miami 78 – 74 Duke was 5.8 points under their Current Average in 45 minutes of play, an offensive outage similar to Ohio State.

In all the losses except for Ohio State had Duke only been offensively “average” they would have prevailed regardless of their “defensive liabilities”. I would also offer that the Ohio State margin was much the result of an inept offense putting too much pressure on the defense.

While I realize this is a “chicken and egg” discussion I think it is a point for examination. My many years of observation suggest to me that offense on all levels and particularly in college has been “lost”. As you watch tonight’s game I suggest that you pay attention to 2 things:
1)How hard is Duke working, thru screening, etc. to get off an often “contested” or extremely deep 3 pointer many times with the shooter moving away from the basket.
2) How many passes are made that are either thrown toward the basket or to a player moving toward the basket. I think you will be surprised how infrequently this occurs.

Finally, I would suggest that the only way Duke moves the ball toward the basket is by “driving”.

I would suggest that tonight’s success will be directly proportional to the offensive success of the Blue Devils and how close they come to their scoring average.

Putting aside your odd tendency to inexplicably place words like "lost," "average," "score," and "driving" in quotes, your analysis is so far off I'm having problems thinking of the proper adjective.

Average points scored is meaningless without looking at the number of possessions (pace) in the game. Also, you don't seem to take into account the quality of the opposition. If you treat Ohio State and Presbyterian as equal data points, why bother with the analysis at all?

According to Pomeroy, Duke has the 2nd best offense in the country and the 97th best defense. Probably not the most accurate thing in the world to describe the 2nd best offense in the nation as "inept" (see, I'm quoting you there, not just employing gratuitous punctuation).

Anyway, I'm too tired and happy to go into detail rebutting your claims right now. Perhaps tomorrow I'll feel more inclined.

JNort
02-09-2012, 02:56 AM
I have read this thread with great interest and commend all those who have put their best "Defensive" foot forward. However, the solution everyone is seeking for the losses does not lie in the Kool-Aid of "Defense" but in college basketball's unspoken dirty word, "Offense". Implicit in most everyone's comments are that pressing/trapping led to "easy scoring opportunities". The margin against Miami shrank and Duke’s point increased as Duke was able to score on a more consistent basis via easy baskets in transition.

Duke's problem in all their losses has been an inability to "score" the basketball on a consistent basis. To highlight the point look at the 4 losses: (Note that for the season Duke’s Avg. Points are 79.8 and Opponents are 69.1)
Ohio State 85 – 63 Duke was 16.8 points under their Current Average
Temple 78 – 73 Duke was 6.8 points under their Current Average
Fla. St. 76 – 73 Duke was 6.8 points under their Current Average
Miami 78 – 74 Duke was 5.8 points under their Current Average in 45 minutes of play, an offensive outage similar to Ohio State.

In all the losses except for Ohio State had Duke only been offensively “average” they would have prevailed regardless of their “defensive liabilities”. I would also offer that the Ohio State margin was much the result of an inept offense putting too much pressure on the defense.

While I realize this is a “chicken and egg” discussion I think it is a point for examination. My many years of observation suggest to me that offense on all levels and particularly in college has been “lost”. As you watch tonight’s game I suggest that you pay attention to 2 things:
1)How hard is Duke working, thru screening, etc. to get off an often “contested” or extremely deep 3 pointer many times with the shooter moving away from the basket.
2) How many passes are made that are either thrown toward the basket or to a player moving toward the basket. I think you will be surprised how infrequently this occurs.

Finally, I would suggest that the only way Duke moves the ball toward the basket is by “driving”.

I would suggest that tonight’s success will be directly proportional to the offensive success of the Blue Devils and how close they come to their scoring average.


Not sure if you know this but yeah to have that 79.8 scoring average we had to score under that some and over it some... otherwise it would not 79.8 which is what you make it sound like we should be scoring every game. No sometimes it is less sometimes it is more.

"Finally, I would suggest that the only way Duke moves the ball toward the basket is by “driving”." I am sorry but this does not even work... It has been pointed out all year that nobody on this team can create or get their own shot outside of Austin and maybe Quinn every now and then.

That leads back to your number 2 which was "2) How many passes are made that are either thrown toward the basket or to a player moving toward the basket. I think you will be surprised how infrequently this occurs." Once again you do realize that every time Mason and Miles score it is because the ball was passed in right? Also most of our players do not make cuts to the basket because they are not the athletic type that finish around the rim. Austin can but he usually like to take the ball off his own dribble move. Curry, Tyler, Quinn would most likely get blocked or the shot would be altered to much.