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pfrduke
02-16-2013, 07:30 PM
Lost to a desperate team on the road. Next Play.

Jderf
02-16-2013, 07:31 PM
Not our rival.

Les Grossman
02-16-2013, 07:31 PM
eh, lost by 2 in Mason's worst game of the year
no biggie

rsvman
02-16-2013, 07:31 PM
Quinn's last shot was pretty close.

Next play.

Furniture
02-16-2013, 07:31 PM
Move on....
I'm proud of the guys...

AsiaMinor
02-16-2013, 07:32 PM
Each game is a learning experience. I STILL BELIEVE. Go Duke.

Wheat/"/"/"
02-16-2013, 07:32 PM
All I have to say is that the quality of college basketball is pitiful these days.

CLW
02-16-2013, 07:32 PM
we lost to a BAD team today. 25 turnovers many of them of the "unforced" variety but get killed on the boards -23. Plumlee was owned by Len and we played really bad defense. If we continue to play the way we played this past week (3 games) we will lose in the 1st weekend of the tourny.

Chris Randolph
02-16-2013, 07:33 PM
Maryland deserved to win. They hand us the ball 26 times and still scored 83 points. Think about that. I said it was gonna be decided in the paint, it was. They owned it

g-money
02-16-2013, 07:33 PM
Proud of the way our guys fought back. I think this bodes well for our chances in March, to be honest.

Hope to play these guys again in the ACCT. I'd like to see the Plumlee/Len matchup on a neutral court.

rthomas
02-16-2013, 07:33 PM
I hope this is not the last game against the Twerps.

Bob Green
02-16-2013, 07:33 PM
A valiant effort down the stretch that came up short. Sulaimon, Cook, Curry and Thornton played tough, tough defense. It absolutely sucks to lose but next play.

muzikfrk75
02-16-2013, 07:34 PM
All I have to say is that the quality of college basketball is pitiful these days.

It honestly is this season. There are zero great teams this year.

FerryFor50
02-16-2013, 07:34 PM
Gotta love the two hand shove on the Duke kid leaving the court by the Twerp fan during the court rush. Classy. Don't let the door hit ya on the way out, Maryland.

That said, the poor recent play by Duke had to eventually catch up to them. Maryland answered every run and stayed in control. The worst part was how dominated on the boards Duke was. Ugh.

The FT discrepancy was a bit.... Odd. Odder was that Duke shot worse from the line. Oh well. Next play.

NSDukeFan
02-16-2013, 07:34 PM
Move on....
I'm proud of the guys...

I thought they played with a lot of effort and kept creeping back in, though they could never quite get the lead and then Maryland got a few scores. So close... Great poise by Rasheed to hit those three huge free throws and great step back 3 by Curry. Almost a great finish from Cook. So close.

cbarry
02-16-2013, 07:34 PM
Mason's defense has been pretty poor all year. Today, his offense caught up. Great performance by Seth and Josh, but another mediocre team performance. Ryan, we need ya man!

DukieInBrasil
02-16-2013, 07:34 PM
The story of the game was our inability to defend their shots. We forced a ton of turnovers, which is good, but once they got the ball near the rim it was nearly automatic. Complete ghost performance from Plumlee. I think the talk of NPOY might quiet down quite a bit now. Fantastic game from Curry, and a big-hearted 2nd half effort from Sulaimon.
But aghh! the terrible defense in the paint! That's what did us in.

Bob Green
02-16-2013, 07:35 PM
...and we played really bad defense.

We didn't watch the same game.

ChicagoCrazy84
02-16-2013, 07:35 PM
The most disappointing part in my mind was watching the entire lower bowl spill onto the court over that. I knew it was coming, but still seeing Terps fans do that at our expense is so very aggravating.

scottdude8
02-16-2013, 07:35 PM
Its time for Mason to man up, end of story. He played like a freshman today after playing similarly for a majority of the game on Wednesday. I love Mason Plumlee, and he's the best player on our team. But he can't play lethargic without getting called out for it. I swear his girlfriend must've broke up with him--that's the only explanation I have for a guy who epitomized fire and energy to all of a sudden play like he's down in the dumps and doesn't care.

If he plays like a superstar we can win a national title. If he plays like he did this week we're a Sweet-16 team. AAARGH.

arnie
02-16-2013, 07:35 PM
eh, lost by 2 in Mason's worst game of the year
no biggie

Mason a frustrating a player to watch. You know he can play - it just doesn't happen every game. He needs to grow out of this in NBA

Wildling
02-16-2013, 07:36 PM
we lost to a BAD team today. 25 turnovers many of them of the "unforced" variety but get killed on the boards -23. Plumlee was owned by Len and we played really bad defense. If we continue to play the way we played this past week (3 games) we will lose in the 1st weekend of the tourny.

Sums up me feelings as well. Last 3 games the guys seemed uninspired. The energy level didn't seem to match any of the last 3 teams they just played.

SmartDevil
02-16-2013, 07:36 PM
Ah, now go celebrate your victory, Terps fans, by once again setting your campus and town on fire. Pretty smart.

You'll have nothing ever to celebrate in your new conference since other teams will be indifferent to you--and your own fans indifferent to competition with your new "rivals."

Good riddance.

cbarry
02-16-2013, 07:36 PM
Maryland deserved to win. They hand us the ball 26 times and still scored 83 points. Think about that. I said it was gonna be decided in the paint, it was. They owned it
Wow- quite a stat! That's embarrassing for our D. Gotta shore up on defense!!

wavedukefan70s
02-16-2013, 07:36 PM
Hated the loss.a bonus that we don't have to hear there fanbase on tv anymore.

FerryFor50
02-16-2013, 07:37 PM
Ah, now go celebrate your victory, Terps fans, by once again setting your campus and town on fire. Pretty smart.

You'll have nothing ever to celebrate in your new conference since other teams will be indifferent to you--and your own fans indifferent to competition with your new "rivals."

Good riddance.

If they think the ACC officiating is bad, I'd hate to see their reaction to the B1G officiating....

TwiceDuke
02-16-2013, 07:37 PM
All I have to say is that the quality of college basketball is pitiful these days.

Lots of factors going into this.

I'm still frustrated that with Seth Curry (all-American caliber player) and Mason Plumlee (a one-time POY candidate), this team STILL lacks an identity.

Nor am I sold that it's Ryan's injury. I'd love to be proven wrong. But outside of the 2010 season, it's been awhile since we've seen a Duke team that was able to dictate games. Now it seems like we're often stuck playing the opponent's game, whatever that is. Makes the game much more difficult when you're playing a different style each night.

dukelifer
02-16-2013, 07:37 PM
Tough game - Duke fought hard. Duke is entering a tough part of the schedule. Duke did all they could do to hold this together without Ryan but eventually you get a game where a key guy has an off night and the opponent plays a bit out of their heads. The regular season seems out of reach now- time to prepare for the post season and get as high a seed as possible. If Ryan can come back- you never know.

sporthenry
02-16-2013, 07:38 PM
Still not sure I saw the foul on Cook. Not that it justifies the other 39 minutes or letting your man get behind you.

Disappointed in Mason. As I've said and K echoed, we don't really have guys who get mad. When someone takes it to you like this, you want them to get the ball to stop them. You want the ball so you can take it to the other guy.

KandG
02-16-2013, 07:38 PM
Third straight stinker against a non-tournament/barely tournament team. Mason clearly going through a brutal slump. Oh well, we'll always have Alex Murphy's dunk.

CLW
02-16-2013, 07:39 PM
We didn't watch the same game.

take away the turnovers (again many of them were just stupid unforced errors) and Maryland's offensive efficiency was off the charts i would have to imagine. they shot 60% from the field and thats with 4/13 from 3 so they basically had a layup drill on us otherwise.

NSDukeFan
02-16-2013, 07:39 PM
The most disappointing part in my mind was watching the entire lower bowl spill onto the court over that. I knew it was coming, but still seeing Terps fans do that at our expense is so very aggravating.

To be honest, I didn't mind that part at all. I like that every time Duke loses the court is stormed. I also like that it shows how important it was for Maryland to win and how dumb it is for them to be playing vs. Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan St. et al. next year.

NDMD
02-16-2013, 07:39 PM
Not our rival.

Sorry to be perfectly technical, but as of 2014, you're not in Maryland's conference either.

dukelifer
02-16-2013, 07:39 PM
Lots of factors going into this.

I'm still frustrated that with Seth Curry (all-American caliber player) and Mason Plumlee (a one-time POY candidate), this team STILL lacks an identity.

Nor am I sold that it's Ryan's injury. I'd love to be proven wrong. But outside of the 2010 season, it's been awhile since we've seen a Duke team that was able to dictate games. Now it seems like we're often stuck playing the opponent's game, whatever that is. Makes the game much more difficult when you're playing a different style each night.

Really? 2011 Duke dictated a lot. Maybe you have watched a different Duke team.

moonpie23
02-16-2013, 07:40 PM
really proud when sully tied it up...

next game...

FerryFor50
02-16-2013, 07:40 PM
Sorry to be perfectly technical, but as of 2014, you're not in Maryland's conference either.

Wow, haven't seen a Twerp fan in a while... Wonder why?

TwiceDuke
02-16-2013, 07:40 PM
Hated the loss.a bonus that we don't have to hear there fanbase on tv anymore.

I'm not sure anyone will after this one.

Gthoma2a
02-16-2013, 07:41 PM
Third straight stinker against a non-tournament/barely tournament team. Mason clearly going through a brutal slump. Oh well, we'll always have Alex Murphy's dunk.

I like him. I hope he just gets his confidence to the level of a starter soon. I think confidence is the main thing he lacks. He seems to have a good game.

dukelifer
02-16-2013, 07:41 PM
Third straight stinker against a non-tournament/barely tournament team. Mason clearly going through a brutal slump. Oh well, we'll always have Alex Murphy's dunk.

Again not sure which Mason you are watching. This was a bad game. The two before were not

ChicagoCrazy84
02-16-2013, 07:41 PM
Still not sure I saw the foul on Cook. Not that it justifies the other 39 minutes or letting your man get behind you.

Disappointed in Mason. As I've said and K echoed, we don't really have guys who get mad. When someone takes it to you like this, you want them to get the ball to stop them. You want the ball so you can take it to the other guy.

I wish Mason had that fire in him. So many times Mason got handled and I thought he would come back with a big play but it never happened...very disappointing to see that lack of pride.

CameronBlue
02-16-2013, 07:41 PM
We didn't watch the same game.

Duke has either fundamentally changed its defensive schemes and abandoned help side defense or this team fails to grasp the concept of help and recover. On the ball defense has been outstanding at times but the interior has been woefully porous at times as it was today.

subzero02
02-16-2013, 07:42 PM
Mason isn't a NPOY candidate anymore in my opinion...

dyedwab
02-16-2013, 07:42 PM
Nor am I sold that it's Ryan's injury.

Agree. this team without Ryan is better than the Terps team that we played tonight. We just didn't play better.

Mason was weak, weak, weak.

if there's one thing that Alex Murphy HAS to do when he's on the floor is hit open 3's. He didn't.

Rasheed had stones at the end, and some aggressive drives in the 2nd half, but as he goes, we go. Rasheed plays well, we look dominant. He doesn't, we look ordinary.

FerryFor50
02-16-2013, 07:42 PM
I like him. I hope he just gets his confidence to the level of a starter soon. I think confidence is the main thing he lacks. He seems to have a good game.

I just hope Alex gets near to what his brother is at Florida. Kid's a player!

Bob Green
02-16-2013, 07:42 PM
Sorry to be perfectly technical, but as of 2014, you're not in Maryland's conference either.

Wrong, as of 2014 Maryland is not in our conference.

fgb
02-16-2013, 07:43 PM
really hate the fact that maryland, a team that is averaging 71.5 ppg, just put up 80 on us (that with, as someone mentioned, all their turnovers). all i can think of is, man, we are now the team that maryland uses to up their scoring average? ugh.

wtm001
02-16-2013, 07:43 PM
On the plus side, FRESHMAN 'sheed hit three free throws to tie the game.

TwiceDuke
02-16-2013, 07:43 PM
Really? 2011 Duke dictated a lot. Maybe you have watched a different Duke team.

I think it's close. But I still don't think it was like some other Duke teams. Nolan Smith hid a lot of weaknesses once Irving went down.

jipops
02-16-2013, 07:44 PM
This was a predictable result. The team is emotionally spent coming in, terps have been preparing all week, Duke is outsized. Mason really looked like he had no air in the tires, more emotionally than physically.

That being said, we have yet to prove capable of playing any defense on the road. With several more tough road games I think there will be a few more disappointing results. We just are not strong at all on the defensive side of the ball and have not shown capable of beating a decent team on their floor.

But despite all this we still gave them a heck of a game.

CLW
02-16-2013, 07:44 PM
On the plus side, FRESHMAN 'sheed hit three free throws to tie the game.

good point and after an "icing" on the final one as well. Sheed has "stones"

FerryFor50
02-16-2013, 07:45 PM
Wow, Duke's loss has Lunardi replacing Duke with Gonzaga??? Who has Gonzaga really played lately?

Durham Thunder
02-16-2013, 07:45 PM
This will sting tonight, and tomorrow.

But remember: 110>62.

subzero02
02-16-2013, 07:45 PM
How many times did Mason watch the Terps drive to the hole without contesting the shot... Unreal. I can't remember being more disappointed in one of our player's performances

fgb
02-16-2013, 07:45 PM
that's also one loss and three tight wins in the past four games against legitimately unranked teams. what the hell is going to happen when we play an actual good team, like miami?

ChillinDuke
02-16-2013, 07:46 PM
Was that even a sport played out there? Crowd, turnovers, fouls...

I don't know that much can really be said about today. At the end of the day, Maryland won and we showed heart not to quit.

Other than those 2 statements, not sure anything else can be made of what happened on that court.

- Chillin

1 24 90
02-16-2013, 07:46 PM
Wow, Duke's loss has Lunardi replacing Duke with Gonzaga??? Who has Gonzaga really played lately?

They just won at San Francisco by 10. Come on that's really impressive. :rolleyes:

TruBlu
02-16-2013, 07:46 PM
Has there been any word on when Mason's delayed airline flight is due to arrive in Baltimore?

Just kidding guys, he had a bad game, no doubt. But let's see how he reacts next week. Not going to throw him under the bus for one bad game.

FerryFor50
02-16-2013, 07:46 PM
that's also one loss and three tight wins in the past four games against legitimately unranked teams. what the hell is going to happen when we play an actual good team, like miami?

Duke will probably play well, like they did against NCSU.

Maybe this team is guilty of playing to the level of their competition a bit?

SCMatt33
02-16-2013, 07:47 PM
Here's what I'm concerned about. Every year there is a debate whether the season-long "fatigue" factor is real. Personally I think it has more to do with Duke being pretty static in the year with it's attack the "book on Duke get's out" so to speak. Either way, you could see that a short week with 3 games in 7 days had an affect on this team. Mason and Seth have to carry large loads, and it cause Mason to have trouble with Maryland's big bodies, and hurt Seth on everything but his shot. He had trouble defending and had trouble getting open. You credit him for making those shots, but you could see the struggles.

The important part however, was that this came at the end of a stretch of 3 games in 7 days. I know the coaches and ESPN called it 6, but you don't call 2 games that start 24 hours apart 2 games in one day, so that principle applies here, too. In that span Duke had to travel to the northeast twice. Why is this all important? There is a good chance that this exact scenario will play out in the NCAA tournament. Unless Duke falls all the way to a 3 or 4 seed and gets passed on the S-curve by a team like Georgetown or Pitt, they will end up in Philly for the first and second round. Philly is a Friday-Sunday site. For the regional, their preferred site is Washington, which is Thurday-Saturday. If Duke is the 1 or 5 overall seed, they will go here. If they are the number 4 or 8 seed, there is a 99% chance that they will go to the west, which is also a Thursday site. Even if they are 2 or 6, a good number of the top teams prefer Indy, so they could still end up out there. That would set up pretty much this exact same scenario, and we didn't handle it very well this week.

NSDukeFan
02-16-2013, 07:48 PM
I wish Mason had that fire in him. So many times Mason got handled and I thought he would come back with a big play but it never happened...very disappointing to see that lack of pride.
I am pretty sure that because Mason had a poor game that doesn't erase all the great games and enormous displays of pride he has shown in being a great leader for a 23-3 team.


Mason isn't a NPOY candidate anymore in my opinion...

I disagree. I don't believe a bad game eliminates a candidate for NPOY. Otherwise, there would be no candidates.

KandG
02-16-2013, 07:49 PM
Again not sure which Mason you are watching. This was a bad game. The two before were not

He had respectable numbers in the previous games, but he also had stretches of play so passive and/or arid (on both ends of the floor) - along with 7 turnovers - that the team looked better playing small. Tonight, there was no doubt he was the wrong kind of anchor on the team's offense and defense.

sporthenry
02-16-2013, 07:49 PM
Good things included Curry looking like a NPOY candidate. Sheed to continue to be aggressive. Thornton and Hairston doing what they do best and Murphy provided a lot of good minutes.

Bad things included the defense which didn't help at all on Len or drives. And have to include Mason.

jipops
02-16-2013, 07:50 PM
The FT discrepancy was a bit.... Odd. Odder was that Duke shot worse from the line. Oh well. Next play.

Something else indicative of fatigue.

NSDukeFan
02-16-2013, 07:51 PM
They just won at San Francisco by 10. Come on that's really impressive. :rolleyes:

It is if Bill Russell was playing for San Francisco. (Even at whatever age he is.)
One big reason for Maryland's win is that they really took advantage of their free throws and made them count. That mattered.

grossbus
02-16-2013, 07:51 PM
wouldn't surprise me at all to learn that mason was fighting a big.

Saratoga2
02-16-2013, 07:52 PM
A valiant effort down the stretch that came up short. Sulaimon, Cook, Curry and Thornton played tough, tough defense. It absolutely sucks to lose but next play.

The loss doesn't mean our players had bad games. There was good play on our part and growth shown by Rasheed, Josh and Quinn to some extent.

1. Rasheed played really well and took a lead role in the second half with going for broke and succeeding on offense and playing tough defense.
2. Seth played a very good overall game. His shooting was on despite being guarded by a much taller and longer player for much of the game.
3. Quinn also played tough defense and was a factor offensively. Yes he had a few costly TO's but his overall game was very good.
4. Tyler also played very tough defense. I wish he would avoid the fouls he sometimes gets by being so aggressive, but his defense was very solid.
5. I usually am not a fan of Josh, but today he was our best big despite being shorter and lighter than those he guarded.

Unfortunately, it wasn't Mason's day. His weaknesses showed up against the bigger and athletic Len. Mason has been getting into a rather poor defensive stretch of late and he was somewhat ineffective tonight. Will he start providing help defense after this effort?

I know that Amile had to give up pounds but I would have loved to see him in on the last play and probably more often in the game.

If we look back at the stats, I think that they made a lot of their FT's while we had several players in a row, Mason, Seth and Quinn miss. With a 2 point loss, those misses were meaningful.

As someone else points out, if Quinn's last shot goes in its a win.

IBleedBlue
02-16-2013, 07:52 PM
I wonder why we didn't try to double team Alex Len. He played Mason one-on-one very well.

FerryFor50
02-16-2013, 07:52 PM
It is if Bill Russell was playing for San Francisco. (Even at whatever age he is.)
One big reason for Maryland's win is that they really took advantage of their free throws and made them count. That mattered.

Exactly. Remember that old adage that "Duke makes more FTs than their opponents take"? Well, Maryland just Duked Duke.

TwiceDuke
02-16-2013, 07:53 PM
Here's what I'm concerned about. Every year there is a debate whether the season-long "fatigue" factor is real. Personally I think it has more to do with Duke being pretty static in the year with it's attack the "book on Duke get's out" so to speak. Either way, you could see that a short week with 3 games in 7 days had an affect on this team. Mason and Seth have to carry large loads, and it cause Mason to have trouble with Maryland's big bodies, and hurt Seth on everything but his shot. He had trouble defending and had trouble getting open. You credit him for making those shots, but you could see the struggles.

The important part however, was that this came at the end of a stretch of 3 games in 7 days. I know the coaches and ESPN called it 6, but you don't call 2 games that start 24 hours apart 2 games in one day, so that principle applies here, too. In that span Duke had to travel to the northeast twice. Why is this all important? There is a good chance that this exact scenario will play out in the NCAA tournament. Unless Duke falls all the way to a 3 or 4 seed and gets passed on the S-curve by a team like Georgetown or Pitt, they will end up in Philly for the first and second round. Philly is a Friday-Sunday site. For the regional, their preferred site is Washington, which is Thurday-Saturday. If Duke is the 1 or 5 overall seed, they will go here. If they are the number 4 or 8 seed, there is a 99% chance that they will go to the west, which is also a Thursday site. Even if they are 2 or 6, a good number of the top teams prefer Indy, so they could still end up out there. That would set up pretty much this exact same scenario, and we didn't handle it very well this week.

Similar, but not the same. For one, you're not playing at Maryland for the final time. Two, the other team is also likely to be traveling (unless you hit Arizona in the West on a night where no one misses). Also, the tournament is an interesting beast. I find it difficult to extrapolate from the regular season to the post-season under all but rare circumstances. With all of the mitigating factors here, I'm not ready to draw any parallels.

dukelifer
02-16-2013, 07:55 PM
I wish Mason had that fire in him. So many times Mason got handled and I thought he would come back with a big play but it never happened...very disappointing to see that lack of pride.

Losses are tough- Duke has only had three but to say Mason has no pride is ridiculous. The kid had a bad game. That simple

Phoenix22
02-16-2013, 07:55 PM
wouldn't surprise me at all to learn that mason was fighting a big.

He was fighting a big and he lost.

oldnavy
02-16-2013, 07:58 PM
Can't say this surprised me. I was definately worried about our emotion going into the game. I do not think that we matched MD intensity. Mason had probably one of his worse games in a Duke uniform and we played a team with NOTHING to lose, with a weeks rest, in a must win situation. We were sloppy with the ball and didn't shoot very well, but yet at the end of the day we had a shot to win the game....

This was a very tough stretch for us. We won 2 of the 3 games this week, which was our toughest week in ACC play, so there are still good things to take away.

Suliamon, Cook, Curry, Hairston!!, even Murphy made up for a bad play with a hustle play. We were poor on rebounding and stoping points in the paint.

Please, posters who point to this game and say we have no chance come tournament time, get a realilty check!

Not the worst lost. Lots of teaching points and NOBODY got hurt!!! - REPEAT nobody got hurt which is always a plus coming out of this game.

And LASTLY, thank GOD we don't ever have to go back to that hell hole to play again!

So long Maryland, don't let the door hit you on the butt on the way out. Enjoy the trips to Minnesota, and Chicago in February...

pamtar
02-16-2013, 08:00 PM
Who's doing the riot report? I would but my kid is sick. I volunteer Wheat!! ;) If you need to put out a fire I'm pretty sure Gary keeps his sweat reserves at 102 West 3rd Street, and thats Chevy Chase, not College Park...

SCMatt33
02-16-2013, 08:01 PM
Similar, but not the same. For one, you're not playing at Maryland for the final time. Two, the other team is also likely to be traveling (unless you hit Arizona in the West on a night where no one misses). Also, the tournament is an interesting beast. I find it difficult to extrapolate from the regular season to the post-season under all but rare circumstances. With all of the mitigating factors here, I'm not ready to draw any parallels.

You're right, those are some mitigating factors, but there are also aggravating factors to consider as well. Maryland is a bubble team. Duke will likely be looking a team that is a much more talented 3-6 seed by comparison. While the other team will also travel, there is a good chance that they will be coming from a Thursday regional, because a lot of 3 and 4 seed will get sent west with the plethora of east and midwest 1 and 2 seeds. Both western subregionals will be Thurday subregionals so they will have the extra day of rest before the travel turnaround. Also, Duke's travel schedule will be a bit tougher because the second game won't be at home. This week, Duke came home late on Sunday and didn't fly back out until Friday. Duke will likely have to come home late on a Sunday in the tourney and turn around to leave again on Tuesday (based on past travel schedules).

I figured that those mitigating and aggravating factors would roughly cancel out. You never know what will happen until it does, but I do worry about how Seth in particular would be able to handle that type of schedule.

Of coarse, this whole point could be moot if we could just get Ryan back before the month is out.

throatybeard
02-16-2013, 08:01 PM
Wow, Duke's loss has Lunardi replacing Duke with Gonzaga??? Who has Gonzaga really played lately?

Lunardi is just trying to get attention. He moved 25th-ranked Kentucky out of his field within seconds of their loss at Tennessee.

Cameron
02-16-2013, 08:03 PM
eh, lost by 2 in Mason's worst game of the year
no biggie

While I agree with that general statement, I think it may be a very big deal. Mason got utterly dominated tonight. And worse, he appeared to be intimidated by Len as the game wore on. He looked completely devoid of any confidence that he could play with him on this day. Once Mason started shying away from Len inside in exchange for shooting nine-foot no-look skyhooks, that was all I needed to see. That worries me quite a lot for a senior leader who is supposed to be a legitimate NPOTY candidate. Four points, three rebounds, zero blocks, two turnovers and five fouls is alarming against a center in Len who had averaged eight points per game and just played awfully over the past seven games.

I have no doubt that we will bounce back at some point and right the ship. We have the best to ever do it in this business on our sideline. That counts for a lot. And a ton of talent at our disposal. Seth Curry played like a Duke legend tonight. And on two bad legs. He deserves any accolades that come his way. He refuses to ever back down. That's the mentality you have to have. We needed that attitude from Mason tonight. He packed it in as soon as he realized he had no answer for Len. He has got to be tougher than that mentally.

While I fully expected a loss tonight, this was more disappointing than I envisioned it would be. If Ryan Kelly doesn't come back soon in order to give us more balance on both sides of the ball, we are in grave jeopardy of enduring another historic blow in the NCAA Tournament.

FerryFor50
02-16-2013, 08:03 PM
Lunardi is just trying to get attention. He moved 25th-ranked Kentucky out of his field within seconds of their loss at Tennessee.

Well that at least made sense. Three losses for Kentucky this week - Florida, Tennessee and Nerlens Noel.

Plus, it was a baaaaad loss to Tennessee.

darthur
02-16-2013, 08:03 PM
Wow, Duke's loss has Lunardi replacing Duke with Gonzaga??? Who has Gonzaga really played lately?

Who has Duke really beaten lately? We are not even close to playing the best basketball in our own league right now. If we can get that back on track, *then* we can worry about a national #1 seed. In the meantime, there's no shame in being a #2 seed.

sporthenry
02-16-2013, 08:04 PM
Losses are tough- Duke has only had three but to say Mason has no pride is ridiculous. The kid had a bad game. That simple

Nobody is saying Mason doesn't have pride. Fire is different from pride. Fire is what Wojo showed. What TT shows. When K talks about getting mad. Mason doesn't get like this. The only time I really remember him being angry was the steal and dunk he had a game or two ago.

It isn't a bad thing per se and a team full lf angry guys probabaly gets a lot of technicals but I like it when my best player gets angry.

When my best player is getting dominated. I want him to go sit on the block demand the ball and go right into Lens armpit.

Mason had a few weak fouls go against him and did take the charge but this should have been a Duke 5 point lead at the half and Len was a big reason Maryland had the lead.

FerryFor50
02-16-2013, 08:05 PM
Who has Duke really beaten lately? We are not even close to playing the best basketball in our own league right now. If we can get that back on track, *then* we can worry about a national #1 seed.

It wasn't so much that Duke got dropped - it was who they got replaced with.

BlueDevilBrowns
02-16-2013, 08:06 PM
Lunardi is just trying to get attention. He moved 25th-ranked Kentucky out of his field within seconds of their loss at Tennessee.

BINGO!!! Then ESPN runs his "projections" on the ticker as if it's breaking real news. Self-promotion at its finest.

oldnavy
02-16-2013, 08:08 PM
Losses are tough- Duke has only had three but to say Mason has no pride is ridiculous. The kid had a bad game. That simple

Let's not forget that Mason is the one player on this team we CANNOT afford to get into foul trouble. He HAS to play conservative on both ends. If he gets in foul trouble who do we have to back him up??? No one. Josh is now playing for Ryan as is Amile. I even heard K say that Mason cannot get into foul trouble.

I do not think it is a matter of drive on his part, I think he is trying to stay in the game for 35 minutes. It has to impact his play. If we are lucky enough to get Ryan back, so that Mason can be more aggerssive, I think we will see much more consistance out of him.

We have no depth at the 5, none! Marshall as good as he may end up being is not there yet, Josh and Amile are both undersized and playing for Ryan. I am not sure what Mason is supposed to do??

It is a weakness for us right now.

dukelifer
02-16-2013, 08:10 PM
While I agree with that general statement, I think it may be a very big deal. Mason got utterly dominated tonight. And worse, he appeared to be intimidated by Len as the game wore on. He looked completely devoid of any confidence that he could play with him on this day. Once Mason started shying away from Len inside in exchange for shooting nine-foot no-look skyhooks, that was all I needed to see. That worries me quite a lot for a senior leader who is supposed to be a legitimate NPOTY candidate. Four points, three rebounds, zero blocks, two turnovers and five fouls is alarming against a center in Len who had averaged eight points per game and just played awfully over the past seven games.

I have no doubt that we will bounce back at some point and right the ship. We have the best to ever do it in this business on our sideline. That counts for a lot. And a ton of talent at our disposal. Seth Curry played like a Duke legend tonight. And on two bad legs. He deserves any accolades that come his way. He refuses to ever back down. That's the mentality you have to have. We needed that attitude from Mason tonight. He packed it in as soon as he realized he had no answer for Len. He has got to be tougher than that mentally.

While I fully expected a loss tonight, this was more disappointing than I envisioned it would be. If Ryan Kelly doesn't come back soon in order to give us more balance on both sides of the ball, we are in grave jeopardy of enduring another historic blow in the NCAA Tournament.

Historic only if Duke is a number 1 seed. Everything else has happened before. Duke will only be a 1 seed if they win out. Duke can get better.

CAT Blue Devil
02-16-2013, 08:10 PM
I like this team a great deal; toughness to be in the game until the end despite the intensity of the arena. But, you have to take a step back and look at the victories against Minnesota, Kentucky, Louisville, and OSU with somewhat of a less intense aura than they had at the time. Nevertheless, I like our chances with a lot of basketball left to play, and the fact that wherever we land in the tourney, no one will be happy to see us.

FerryFor50
02-16-2013, 08:11 PM
Historic only if Duke is a number 1 seed. Everything else has happened before. Duke will only be a 1 seed if they win out. Duke can get better.

I'd say they're only one player away from getting MUCH better. They've survived pretty well while waiting for Kelly to return...

sporthenry
02-16-2013, 08:12 PM
Let's not forget that Mason is the one player on this team we CANNOT afford to get into foul trouble. He HAS to play conservative on both ends. If he gets in foul trouble who do we have to back him up??? No one. Josh is now playing for Ryan as is Amile. I even heard K say that Mason cannot get into foul trouble.

I do not think it is a matter of drive on his part, I think he is trying to stay in the game for 35 minutes. It has to impact his play. If we are lucky enough to get Ryan back, so that Mason can be more aggerssive, I think we will see much more consistance out of him.

We have no depth at the 5, none! Marshall as good as he may end up being is not there yet, Josh and Amile are both undersized and playing for Ryan. I am not sure what Mason is supposed to do??

It is a weakness for us right now.

Well the fact he was seemingly benched even without being in dire foul trouble would indicate that the coaches weren't happy either. There were times when it was Josh even though Mason wasn't in foul trouble.

scottdude8
02-16-2013, 08:12 PM
Its now been two straight games-one a hard-fought win over UNC, the other an extremely disappointing loss to an inferior Maryland team-in which Mason has seemingly disappeared for large stretches of the game. He's been disinterested on defense, both with and without foul trouble, hasn't been aggressive on the offensive end, and, perhaps most alarmingly, has lost the fire and intensity that has defined him for much of the season.

It seems like this fact is getting overlooked because A) WE BEAT UNC! THEY WENT TO HELL! WOOHOO! and B) He's Mason, he's our best player, and we all love him. But I for one am now extremely concerned.

My question is (particularly to those who are more closely connected to the program), has something happened to put him off his game? Has he been playing like this in practice? Have the coaching staff tried to change his playing style? Is he fatigued? Heck, did his girlfriend break up with him? His complete 180 in terms of performance, especially after playing some of the best basketball of his career just a week ago, is baffling me.

I wanted to make this its own thread because these type of comments/questions, and there have been many, seem to get glossed over in the post game threads where people are either reveling in a victory or trying to understand a defeat. I love Mason, but I'm concerned about him-not because he's playing poorly, but because all of a sudden he's playing like he really doesn't care. And that's frightening, because I know that's not him.

BlueDevilBrowns
02-16-2013, 08:14 PM
Who has Duke really beaten lately? We are not even close to playing the best basketball in our own league right now. If we can get that back on track, *then* we can worry about a national #1 seed. In the meantime, there's no shame in being a #2 seed.

Actually, I would much rather Duke be the #2 in the East than the #1 in the West.

Fighting Ships
02-16-2013, 08:14 PM
Not much worse than losing at that wretched hive of scum and villany that is "Mos Eisley" / College Park. I live in Northern Virginia and can hear the sirens in and see the smoke rising over College Park from here (well, sort of). . . Sophisticates in action.

Still, if you discount the 26 possessions in which Maryland turned it over, Maryland was incredibly efficient. Some of that was them, some was a poor defensive effort. And a lot of free throws. So, this is how other teams' fans feel when they lose to Duke.

On Lundardi, who cares? The guy is an absolute yahoo. First four in, first four out . . . Top seeds. Its mid-February. Im no Nate Silver, but I suspect that one or two things may change in the next four weeks.

Go Duke!

SCMatt33
02-16-2013, 08:16 PM
I like this team a great deal; toughness to be in the game until the end despite the intensity of the arena. But, you have to take a step back and look at the victories against Minnesota, Kentucky, Louisville, and OSU with somewhat of a less intense aura than they had at the time. Nevertheless, I like our chances with a lot of basketball left to play, and the fact that wherever we land in the tourney, no one will be happy to see us.

Not necessarily. Certainly, Kentucky was never a top 5 team, but I don't see a win like Minnesota as being worse than we thought it was. We crushed a team that was in the middle of a 15-1 start and beat some really good opponents. The fact that they fell off after that doesn't mean that they weren't that good when we beat them. Now as far as being a "good" win for the committee, sure it doesn't look as good now, but the team getting worse doesn't mean they were always at this level.

superdave
02-16-2013, 08:16 PM
Its now been two straight games-one a hard-fought win over UNC, the other an extremely disappointing loss to an inferior Maryland team-in which Mason has seemingly disappeared for large stretches of the game. He's been disinterested on defense, both with and without foul trouble, hasn't been aggressive on the offensive end, and, perhaps most alarmingly, has lost the fire and intensity that has defined him for much of the season.

It seems like this fact is getting overlooked because A) WE BEAT UNC! THEY WENT TO HELL! WOOHOO! and B) He's Mason, he's our best player, and we all love him. But I for one am now extremely concerned.

My question is (particularly to those who are more closely connected to the program), has something happened to put him off his game? Has he been playing like this in practice? Have the coaching staff tried to change his playing style? Is he fatigued? Heck, did his girlfriend break up with him? His complete 180 in terms of performance, especially after playing some of the best basketball of his career just a week ago, is baffling me.

I wanted to make this its own thread because these type of comments/questions, and there have been many, seem to get glossed over in the post game threads where people are either reveling in a victory or trying to understand a defeat. I love Mason, but I'm concerned about him-not because he's playing poorly, but because all of a sudden he's playing like he really doesn't care. And that's frightening, because I know that's not him.

Yes, his play the past two games is a concern. He's been very consistent all season but seems to be passive for short stretches. Tonight was a long stretch.

I am not sure what the issue is, although I do not think the guards did a very good job of getting him the ball tonight and it did not seem to be a point of emphasis with the coaching staff. Mason sat more tonight than in any close game all season.

He seemed to revert to deferential sophomore Mason tonight. We shall see. I got no answers.

Cameron
02-16-2013, 08:16 PM
BINGO!!! Then ESPN runs his "projections" on the ticker as if it's breaking real news. Self-promotion at its finest.

Kentucky is not even close to playing like an NCAA Tournament team right now, and they've beaten absolutely nobody of merit this season. The Wildcats' best win is Ole Miss, and Ole Miss is a very average team. UK is 0-5 against the RPI Top 50, and finishes the season at Arkansas (who is 15-1 at home and will dominate UK when it visits Bud Walton Arena) and tilts with Missouri and Florida, two more games that are likely losses at this point. And without Noel in the middle, who knows what will happen in the Wildcats' other three games. The team looked like it had all but given up today in Knoxville, and Calipari made several alarming comments in the presser after the game that indicate team chemistry, if there was any, has crumbled.

UK should throw a surprise party in Rupp if they make it to the tournament at this point.

sporthenry
02-16-2013, 08:16 PM
Actually, I would much rather Duke be the #2 in the East than the #1 in the West.

Really? The East will either feature Miami in which case we can't get it or Florida who many think are the best team in the country. Out west it'll be gonzaga and maybe Arizona. I'll take the west.

throatybeard
02-16-2013, 08:17 PM
BINGO!!! Then ESPN runs his "projections" on the ticker as if it's breaking real news. Self-promotion at its finest.

Exactly. I'm not saying it's impossible that Kentucky will miss the field, ultimately, or that they won't drop out of the Top 25 for the rest of the RS. But the timing of it is pure self-promotion. As if we need a crawl for every thought Joe Lunardi has, when a trained chimpanzee could probably sit down on Selection Sunday and pick 66 of the 68 teams in the field every year.

dukelifer
02-16-2013, 08:17 PM
I'd say they're only one player away from getting MUCH better. They've survived pretty well while waiting for Kelly to return...

Indeed. This type of game is common in college bball. You are going to have few where the opponent plays their best and you don't. Maryland was fully capable of a big game as is the case with every ACC team. Would not be surprised to see MD lose their next game.

sdwGT2
02-16-2013, 08:18 PM
Mason had a bad game, that's all. Pride isn't something you just lose for one game, c'mon. Mason will probably be his own toughest critic this week. No worries.

Wow, does anyone else salivate while watching 'Sheed? Damn, that kid is really going to be something else. Hell, at times he already looks like an AA.

I really think the best part of Maryland going to the Big 10 has nothing to do with basketball. It will be when they are getting shellacked in football 60-0 by Nebraska, and Michigan, etc. Then, they will have to sit through the monotony of playing Nebraska, Iowa and Northwestern in basketball. Good riddance.

scottdude8
02-16-2013, 08:18 PM
Yes, his play the past two games is a concern. He's been very consistent all season but seems to be passive for short stretches. Tonight was a long stretch.

I am not sure what the issue is, although I do not think the guards did a very good job of getting him the ball tonight and it did not seem to be a point of emphasis with the coaching staff. Mason sat more tonight than in any close game all season.

He seemed to revert to deferential sophomore Mason tonight. We shall see. I got no answers.

Yeah, his performance drove me up the wall. It was very similar to his performance against UNC, which got swept under the rug because we won.

Can someone explain to me why this was moved from its own thread into here? I think it quite clearly merited its own thread because its a different conversation, talking about a specific player and his performance over the past few games. I said as much in the post itself. I'm confused as to the moderation rules here...

dukelifer
02-16-2013, 08:18 PM
Kentucky is not even close to playing like an NCAA Tournament team right now, and they've beaten absolutely nobody of merit this season. The Wildcats' best win is Ole Miss, and Ole Miss is a very average team. UK is 0-5 against the RPI Top 50, and finishes the season at Arkansas (who is 15-1 at home and will dominate UK when it visits Bud Walton Arena) and tilts with Missouri and Florida, two more games that are likely losses at this point. And without Noel in the middle, who knows what will happen in the Wildcats' other three games. The team looked like it had all but given up today in Knoxville, and Calipari made several alarming comments in the presser after the game that indicate team chemistry, if there was any, has crumbled.

UK should throw a surprise part in Rupp if they make it to the tournament at this point.
Well next year will be very different for them

Ima Facultiwyfe
02-16-2013, 08:19 PM
....it's all practice until March.
Love, Ima

Durham Thunder
02-16-2013, 08:20 PM
This certainly ends our acc regular season title chance.

dukelifer
02-16-2013, 08:21 PM
This certainly ends our acc regular season title chance.

We needed help anyway - this means we need more

Saratoga2
02-16-2013, 08:22 PM
With all the long term fans and BB freaks on this board can anyone identify any things that our front court players can do to be more effective with both defense and rebounding?

In Mason's case, I think he has been letting guys set up too close to the basket. Someone as big and strong as Len could bull him back and essentially have a 5 foot shot. Also, that leaves Mason nearly under the basket and in a poor position to get any rebounds. The guards as well need to double down when it becomes obvious that our big can't handle the opponent, and that rarely happened against Len. Mason has been shying away from contact recently with the idea we must have him in the game to be effective. I would rather see Mason be more active defensively and try to reduce his offensive fouls. If he scores 20 but gives up 16 by weakly defending, is that a good bargain?

Josh did a good job of fighting inside, but he was giving away both height and weight. We really don't have a perfect sub for the 4 and the choice was between Marshall, Amile and Alex. It appeared that coach K felt Alex was our best bet. Marshall certainly looked ineffective. I like Amile's style but realize he was giving up 50 pounds so had no chance of holding guys posting up on him.

Any thoughts about what can be done?

BlueDevilBrowns
02-16-2013, 08:22 PM
I'd say they're only one player away from getting MUCH better. They've survived pretty well while waiting for Kelly to return...

Agreed. Take Zeller from IU, Burke from Michigan, and Larkin from Miami and they would be just as "exposed" as experts think Duke is now.

It's actually quite impressive Duke has been able to keep pace with the other top 5 teams considering the Kelly injury.

MaxAMillion
02-16-2013, 08:23 PM
This certainly ends our acc regular season title chance.

This team has too many holes to win the ACC. i think at least two more conference losses are coming. My takeaway for the future is how bad they got outrebounded. I could see that being the norm next season.

dukelifer
02-16-2013, 08:24 PM
Yeah, his performance drove me up the wall. It was very similar to his performance against UNC, which got swept under the rug because we won.

Can someone explain to me why this was moved from its own thread into here? I think it quite clearly merited its own thread because its a different conversation, talking about a specific player and his performance over the past few games. I said as much in the post itself. I'm confused as to the moderation rules here...

If Mason had the UNC performance Duke wins going away. How are they remotely similar?

BlueDevilBrowns
02-16-2013, 08:24 PM
This certainly ends our acc regular season title chance.

Hard to believe its been since 2006 that Duke won an outright regular season.

vick
02-16-2013, 08:24 PM
Yeah, his performance drove me up the wall. It was very similar to his performance against UNC, which got swept under the rug because we won.

Not really. He had 18 (on 6-13 shooting and 6-8 from the line) and 11 boards against UNC. He was plenty aggressive at times, often to the point of foolishness, picking up bad offensive fouls. Yes he was outplayed by McAdoo for 22 minutes or so, but today was much different.

Wheat/"/"/"
02-16-2013, 08:24 PM
I won't call out the poster, but I was just zinged and told in a PM that I am wrong...

"That was an exciting game played at a pretty high level - not the textbook example of a criticism against college basketball"

I could be convinced to agree that it was an entertaining, maybe even exciting game...but just curious how many of you guys think that game was played at a "high level"?

OldSchool
02-16-2013, 08:25 PM
As I watched the last few minutes winding down, with Maryland seeming to have a working margin but Duke just managing to hang around and hang around, the thought crossed my mind that the Maryland fan base was being set up by the basketball gods in their last home game against Duke to have their heart ripped out and shredded and cast into the gutter along Route 1, in cosmic retribution for a fan base consumed less with love of their own team than hatred and vitriol for the opponent and with a history of having nothing more clever to say than repeatedly chanting crude obscenities.

And when Quinn got the ball with a decent look at a long buzzer-beater, I thought here it comes. Perhaps the cruelest cut of all in this ugly series, as it would be in their last crack at Duke in their home arena. And the shot clanked off the rim, and the basketball gods showed mercy.

Perhaps a future of bottom-dwelling in the Big whatever was deemed punishment enough.

FerryFor50
02-16-2013, 08:27 PM
Agreed. Take Zeller from IU, Burke from Michigan, and Larkin from Miami and they would be just as "exposed" as experts think Duke is now.

It's actually quite impressive Duke has been able to keep pace with the other top 5 teams considering the Kelly injury.

Well taking NPOY candidates from IU and Mich isn't in the same area code as losing Kelly. I'd say losing Sheehy from IU or Stauskus from UM is closer - a floor stretcher and defender that improves your whole team.

DBFAN
02-16-2013, 08:29 PM
This team has too many holes to win the ACC. i think at least two more conference losses are coming. My takeaway for the future is how bad they got outrebounded. I could see that being the norm next season.

Well Maryland does lead the nation in Rebound differential at +10 so I am not gonna obsess about that. Not really sure why you think that will be the Norm next season, we have a pretty awesome team assembled for next year with prob the best mix of talent and leadership in the nation.

CLW
02-16-2013, 08:29 PM
I won't call out the poster, but I was just zinged and told in a PM that I am wrong...

"That was an exciting game played at a pretty high level - not the textbook example of a criticism against college basketball"

I could be convinced to agree that it was an entertaining, maybe even exciting game...but just curious how many of you guys think that game was played at a "high level"?

No the game was anything but "high level" basketball. College basketball as a whole has been on a decline for years now. The great teams of the 80s; 90s and even early 00s would wipe the floor with the teams of today. It's not even close and unfortunately I don't see any signs of the quality of play getting any better in the near future. Tonight's game was "bad basketball" even by today's "standards".

throatybeard
02-16-2013, 08:29 PM
Hard to believe its been since 2006 that Duke won an outright regular season.

Which makes the ACC titles from 2009, 2010, and 2011 really impressive.

BlueDevilBrowns
02-16-2013, 08:30 PM
Well taking NPOY candidates from IU and Mich isn't in the same area code as losing Kelly. I'd say losing Sheehy from IU or Stauskus from UM is closer - a floor stretcher and defender that improves your whole team.

How do we know Kelly wouldn't be a NPOY candidate had he not been injured? Kelly had been getting better and better before his injury.

dukelifer
02-16-2013, 08:30 PM
I won't call out the poster, but I was just zinged and told in a PM that I am wrong...

"That was an exciting game played at a pretty high level - not the textbook example of a criticism against college basketball"

I could be convinced to agree that it was an entertaining, maybe even exciting game...but just curious how many of you guys think that game was played at a "high level"?

It had moments. Thiswas a fine college game - crowd was rowdy and home team fed off it. I thought the State game today was a better game- lots of momentum runs

-bdbd
02-16-2013, 08:31 PM
This certainly ends our acc regular season title chance.


There is no such thing. Only believed in Chapel Hill.



Not too upset tonight. This is one that I think would have gone entirely different if we'd have had Kelly available. MP2 had maybe his worst game of the season. I agree that he just didn't seem fired up. Tired??? But the team put on a valiant comeback, and if that last shot goes and we've got another comeback for the ages.

Not a lot went our way early, lots of close calls not going our way (mostly thinking of all the no-calls on MD's/Len's physical D), and MP2 just looked uninspired/overmatched(?), but they still fought back extremely well. Not bad games from the guards, and Josh played well, and Murphy maybe even emerges with more confidence now.

Just keep the eye of the real prize - win the ACC (that means win the TOURNAMENT, which BTW gets the ACC's auto-bid), get a one or two-seed, get healthy (esp Kelly), and then make a run in March. No need to hit any panic buttons gang. And the sked gets a little softer for a brief stretch now. We're still just a 3-loss team.

:)

FerryFor50
02-16-2013, 08:31 PM
How do we know Kelly wouldn't be a NPOY candidate had he not been injured? Kelly had been getting better and better before his injury.

We don't. But at the time, he wasn't.

darthur
02-16-2013, 08:33 PM
How do we know Kelly wouldn't be a NPOY candidate had he not been injured? Kelly had been getting better and better before his injury.

Yeah... but NPOY? Before this stretch, I'm pretty sure most people would have named him either the 3rd or 4th most important player on the team.

SCMatt33
02-16-2013, 08:33 PM
With all the long term fans and BB freaks on this board can anyone identify any things that our front court players can do to be more effective with both defense and rebounding?

In Mason's case, I think he has been letting guys set up too close to the basket. Someone as big and strong as Len could bull him back and essentially have a 5 foot shot. Also, that leaves Mason nearly under the basket and in a poor position to get any rebounds. The guards as well need to double down when it becomes obvious that our big can't handle the opponent, and that rarely happened against Len. Mason has been shying away from contact recently with the idea we must have him in the game to be effective. I would rather see Mason be more active defensively and try to reduce his offensive fouls. If he scores 20 but gives up 16 by weakly defending, is that a good bargain?

Josh did a good job of fighting inside, but he was giving away both height and weight. We really don't have a perfect sub for the 4 and the choice was between Marshall, Amile and Alex. It appeared that coach K felt Alex was our best bet. Marshall certainly looked ineffective. I like Amile's style but realize he was giving up 50 pounds so had no chance of holding guys posting up on him.

Any thoughts about what can be done?

The snarky answer is go back in time and either prevent Ryan from getting hurt or get Amile, Josh, and Alex more PT and more experience.

In reality, Mason can't pressure as much as he did before Ryan got hurt because he has to be on the floor for 38 minutes a game. That means he can't get in foul trouble and he can't run out of gas. At the four position, Those guys did just about all they can do. The only answer is to simply play better mentally. They have to be absolutely perfect when it comes to positioning, double teams, and help defense. Even the smallest mistakes meant 2 points or 2 shots for Maryland.

The good news is that one you get to the tourney, every game could be your last, so Mason won't have to worry as much about running out of gas and holding back, but otherwise there isn't much to be done.

CDu
02-16-2013, 08:33 PM
Well, that stunk. We were completely dominated on the boards. And defensively, we were pretty bad unless Maryland helped us with turnovers. They shot 60% from the field. They scored 83 points even though they turned it over 26 times.

It was a valiant effort by Curry (25 points), Cook (18 points, 6 assists, 4 steals, but 5 turnovers), Sulaimon (16 points and 4 rebounds), and Hairston (11 points). But our bigs were just completely outplayed. Mason (4 points, 3 rebounds) badly lost his matchup with Len (19 points, 8 rebounds), and the three-headed monster of Hairston, Jefferson, and Murphy (15 points, 5 rebounds) were outdone by their Maryland counterparts (21 points, 10 rebounds).

This pretty much eliminates us winning a share of the ACC regular season title. At this point, with potentially tough road games remaining against UNC, UVa, and Va Tech, I think there is reason to wonder if we'll even hang on to the #2 spot in the ACC.

Hopefully, Kelly will be able to come back, and we'll regain some confidence.

jipops
02-16-2013, 08:34 PM
While I agree with that general statement, I think it may be a very big deal. Mason got utterly dominated tonight. And worse, he appeared to be intimidated by Len as the game wore on. He looked completely devoid of any confidence that he could play with him on this day. Once Mason started shying away from Len inside in exchange for shooting nine-foot no-look skyhooks, that was all I needed to see. That worries me quite a lot for a senior leader who is supposed to be a legitimate NPOTY candidate. Four points, three rebounds, zero blocks, two turnovers and five fouls is alarming against a center in Len who had averaged eight points per game and just played awfully over the past seven games.

I have no doubt that we will bounce back at some point and right the ship. We have the best to ever do it in this business on our sideline. That counts for a lot. And a ton of talent at our disposal. Seth Curry played like a Duke legend tonight. And on two bad legs. He deserves any accolades that come his way. He refuses to ever back Downey. That's the mentality you have to have. We needed that attitude from Mason tonight. He packed it in as soon as he realized he had no answer for Len. He has got to be tougher than that mentally.

While I fully expected a loss tonight, this was more disappointing than I envisioned it would be. If Ryan Kelly doesn't come back soon in order to give us more balance on both sides of the ball, we are in grave jeopardy of enduring another historic blow in the NCAA Tournament.

Mason's output tonight doesn't worry me in the slightest. It's been a grueling week for him and the team. The kid was spent tonight. I didn't expect 4 points but I did expect a poor outing. Now it's out of his system, we won't see it again, he won't let it happen.

I'm concerned about our putrid defense. I know we were tired but this was same 'ol, same 'ol since the Kelly injury. It has shown brief glimpses over the course of a half or two of being effective but on the whole it has been awful. This kind of defense will give us a another one weekend ncaat. Teams are able to drive the lane almost at will and many times the communication is very poor, as evidenced tonight. I don't know if getting Kelly back will be the answer but we certainly didn't have this issue before the injury.

sporthenry
02-16-2013, 08:35 PM
I won't call out the poster, but I was just zinged and told in a PM that I am wrong...

"That was an exciting game played at a pretty high level - not the textbook example of a criticism against college basketball"

I could be convinced to agree that it was an entertaining, maybe even exciting game...but just curious how many of you guys think that game was played at a "high level"?

From an offensive standpoint, the game was actually pretty good. Maryland shot 60 percent Dike at 47 percent.

The unc/Duke game was much worse. Maryland did turn the ball over a lot but so many of them were just stupid ones like losing your shoe or throwing an outlet pass out of bounds. I don't consider that bad basketball.

I thought both teams played well on offense but Maryland played better on defense and if you want an example of how college basketball has fallen. You could probably just watch unc games for that.

Saratoga2
02-16-2013, 08:36 PM
Well Maryland does lead the nation in Rebound differential at +10 so I am not gonna obsess about that. Not really sure why you think that will be the Norm next season, we have a pretty awesome team assembled for next year with prob the best mix of talent and leadership in the nation.

We have one player next year who is a natural center and he hasn't really shown he can handle the position as yet. While we should be strong at other positions, several of our players will be freshmen. I think we will be good, but also think we may suffer with weak rebounding and front court defense. Hope we get another big player to big strong at all positions.

BlueDevilBrowns
02-16-2013, 08:37 PM
Which makes the ACC titles from 2009, 2010, and 2011 really impressive.

Oh certainly so. I wasn't complaining, just pointing out that with all of our success the last 5 years to not have an outright ACC title seems strange.

dukelifer
02-16-2013, 08:41 PM
Well, that stunk. We were completely dominated on the boards. And defensively, we were pretty bad unless Maryland helped us with turnovers. They shot 60% from the field. They scored 83 points even though they turned it over 26 times.

It was a valiant effort by Curry (25 points), Cook (18 points, 6 assists, 4 steals, but 5 turnovers), Sulaimon (16 points and 4 rebounds), and Hairston (11 points). But our bigs were just completely outplayed. Mason (4 points, 3 rebounds) badly lost his matchup with Len (19 points, 8 rebounds), and the three-headed monster of Hairston, Jefferson, and Murphy (15 points, 5 rebounds) were outdone by their Maryland counterparts (21 points, 10 rebounds).

This pretty much eliminates us winning a share of the ACC regular season title. At this point, with potentially tough road games remaining against UNC, UVa, and Va Tech, I think there is reason to wonder if we'll even hang on to the #2 spot in the ACC.

Hopefully, Kelly will be able to come back, and we'll regain some confidence.

Not sure what rabbit they can pull out of the hat other than Kelly. Duke played hard and came up short. All they can do is fight and put themselves in a position to win. I think they may have a tough time with the number 2 seed as well but you never know. 3 more losses seem likely but other than Miami- every team is struggling on the road. Duke will become mortal and be ranked in the teens where they belong. If Ryan comes back -then Duke will be a scary 4 or 5 seed.

throatybeard
02-16-2013, 08:42 PM
This pretty much eliminates us winning a share of the ACC regular season title. At this point, with potentially tough road games remaining against UNC, UVa, and Va Tech, I think there is reason to wonder if we'll even hang on to the #2 spot in the ACC.

Fortunately (?), Carolina beat Virginia today, to give us a little breathing room.

jipops
02-16-2013, 08:42 PM
All I have to say is that the quality of college basketball is pitiful these days.

I agree. Duke's defense has been UNC-esq since mid-January

Wheat/"/"/"
02-16-2013, 08:43 PM
...The unc/Duke game was much worse. Maryland did turn the ball over a lot but so many of them were just stupid ones like losing your shoe or throwing an outlet pass out of bounds. I don't consider that bad basketball.


Dude, you are kidding, right?

Wheat/"/"/"
02-16-2013, 08:45 PM
I agree. Duke's defense has been UNC-esq since mid-January

You'll get no disagreement from me that UNC has been guilty of bringing the level of play down this year as well.

cptnflash
02-16-2013, 08:46 PM
While it's true that Mason played poorly tonight, to me, that's not the story. Neither is the fact that we lost... I said in the pregame thread that Maryland had every conceivable intangible in their favor and I would have been more than satisfied with an ugly, one point win. If Quinn's shot at the buzzer had gone in, that's exactly what we would have had, so I'm not particularly disappointed or surprised by the outcome.

To me, the big picture issue is that we are not a good defensive team without Ryan. We've played enough games without him now to establish a pretty good sample size, and the data are not pretty. Starting with the NC State game, we've now allowed 722 points on 699 possessions without him, or 1.03 points per possession. By way of comparison, that's worse than our per possession average last year, when everyone agreed that we had a poor defensive team by Duke standards. It goes without saying that we have no chance of achieving anything meaningful in the postseason unless our defense improves considerably.

I should point out that this is not an original insight on my part - John Gasaway recently wrote an article for ESPN insider making this exact same point. However, I haven't seen it discussed in this forum, and it seems especially apropo tonight, given that we absolutely could not stop a mediocre Maryland offense, except on possessions where they turned the ball over. I've never had so little confidence in our ability to get a stop in a critical spot as I did on Maryland's final possession tonight, and sure enough, we didn't get one.

The obvious solution to the problem would be for Ryan to return from his injury tomorrow and subsequently get reintegrated into the team and back into game shape over the next few weeks. But since that's not happening... is there another solution? If there is one, it's not apparent to me. None of our replacements at the 4 are as tall as Ryan (he's a better shot blocker statistically than Mason), and certainly none of them have Ryan's experience, basketball IQ, and positive impact on defensive chemistry.

Part of the problem is clearly Mason - he is so obsessed with avoiding foul trouble that he has become totally passive on defense. His block rate and rebounding rates (offensive and defensive) are all down from last year, which is clearly because of his anti-foul mindset. Maybe that can be fine tuned a bit, but Mason can't suddenly start playing with Tyler-level aggressiveness, because obviously we need him on the court (the past two games notwithstanding). Otherwise?... I'm at a loss for solutions. Josh, Amile, and Alex all have significant defensive limitations, and Marshall just isn't a 4.

At this point, I think reasonable goals for this team are:

1) Hold on for second in the ACC regular season.
2) Make it to the championship game in the ACC tournament.
3) Make it to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.

Anything beyond that is gravy to me, unless Ryan is back really, really soon.

dukelifer
02-16-2013, 08:46 PM
Mason's output tonight doesn't worry me in the slightest. It's been a grueling week for him and the team. The kid was spent tonight. I didn't expect 4 points but I did expect a poor outing. Now it's out of his system, we won't see it again, he won't let it happen.

I'm concerned about our putrid defense. I know we were tired but this was same 'ol, same 'ol since the Kelly injury. It has shown brief glimpses over the course of a half or two of being effective but on the whole it has been awful. This kind of defense will give us a another one weekend ncaat. Teams are able to drive the lane almost at will and many times the communication is very poor, as evidenced tonight. I don't know if getting Kelly back will be the answer but we certainly didn't have this issue before the injury.
Yes - the D was poor and that has been consistent over a number of games. Kelly does give us a crafty shot blocker. But Dukes interior D has been exploited for a while it seems.

Billy Dat
02-16-2013, 08:47 PM
I could be convinced to agree that it was an entertaining, maybe even exciting game...but just curious how many of you guys think that game was played at a "high level"?


The unc/Duke game was much worse.

I don't think it was played at a high level, but I thought it was a highly entertaining and exciting game. I hate to lose, but I can't deny that some games provoke positive butterflies in my stomach while I watch - this game did and the UNC game did not. Mason laid an egg, no doubt. But, the fact that we hung tough without him, never stopped fighting, and were a Gordon Hayward heave away from a historic final stomach punch victory leaves me disappointed but not despondent.

Maryland played really hard - they gave us plenty of chances to get a lead due to their sloppy play but we were sloppy too. The environment was hyper intense - incredibly electric. The play of Seth Allen kind of represented the game. He was really sloppy with the ball, but he was also really hard to stop and hit the free throws he needed to. Curry, Quinn, Tyler, Josh and Sheed were our rocks, and Alex kind of made his bones even if he should have pulled the trigger on that 3 instead of throwing the ball out of bounds.

I have two wishes:
-Seth had tried for a 3 and the lead instead of the 2, but that was a great look he got in the lane
-I wish we'd forced Maryland to take a shot instead of putting Allen on the line for the FTs at the end

We lost, but it was a real back and forth battle that, for me, was really exciting. I'll miss our games with Maryland.

sporthenry
02-16-2013, 08:47 PM
Dude, you are kidding, right?

No. I don't think your shoe falling off or the ball going through your hands is a bad turnover. I guess they should tie their shoes better.

On an unrelated note. I really appreciate your presence after Duke losses.

mapei
02-16-2013, 08:52 PM
Aside from the fact that I hate the MD fans - I'd rather lose to UNC than these guys - I was very impressed with their crowd. Not impressed that they were classy, which at least at one point they weren't, but impressed with their numbers, energy and enthusiasm. That was as good as anything I've seen in Cameron in recent years, and better than everything else.

Len completely dominated the guy we thought was the NPOY earlier. I don't so much think it was "fire" or "anger" or any of that stuff as it was that he wasn't big enough and strong enough to cope with MD's bigs. We were better on the perimeter, but it didn't matter because we were so weak inside. The only player I thought was fatigued was Curry. He made big shots anyway, but he looked really out of gas to me. If we had somehow won, it wouldn't have felt deserved.

BlueDevilBrowns
02-16-2013, 08:53 PM
Not sure what rabbit they can pull out of the hat other than Kelly. Duke played hard and came up short. All they can do is fight and put themselves in a position to win. I think they may have a tough time with the number 2 seed as well but you never know. 3 more losses seem likely but other than Miami- every team is struggling on the road. Duke will become mortal and be ranked in the teens where they belong. If Ryan comes back -then Duke will be a scary 4 or 5 seed.

If Kelly comes back, Duke won't be a 4 or 5 seed. The committee would probably put a 6 loss Duke team as a 2 seed or 3 seed at worst.

throatybeard
02-16-2013, 08:54 PM
While it's true that Mason played poorly tonight, to me, that's not the story. Neither is the fact that we lost... I said in the pregame thread that Maryland had every conceivable intangible in their favor and I would have been more than satisfied with an ugly, one point win. If Quinn's shot at the buzzer had gone in, that's exactly what we would have had, so I'm not particularly disappointed or surprised by the outcome.

Exactly. This is a one-possession loss, after three clutch FTs by a Frosh (!) on the road to a conference foe who hates us more than Osama bin Laden. It's not a catastrophe.


At this point, I think reasonable goals for this team are:

1) Hold on for second in the ACC regular season.
2) Make it to the championship game in the ACC tournament.
3) Make it to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.

Anything beyond that is gravy to me, unless Ryan is back really, really soon.

All reasonable. And a pretty good season, even though few folks here would agree, I think. We're really spoiled.

I'd add 4) beat Carolina again, but I'm greedy.

sporthenry
02-16-2013, 08:54 PM
As far as the rebounding margin. I'd suggest it is more a defense problem or an offense problem. Anytime the other team shoots 60% there aren't a lot of rebounds to be had. And with us shooting a lot more and missing they cleaned up on the defensive boards.

I'd like more than 4 offensive boards on that many misses but it isn't like Maryland missed a ton and got a ton of offensive boards which was the case in a few games I can't name off the top of my head.

DevilYouthCoach
02-16-2013, 08:55 PM
Nobody is saying Mason doesn't have pride. Fire is different from pride. Fire is what Wojo showed. What TT shows. When K talks about getting mad. Mason doesn't get like this. The only time I really remember him being angry was the steal and dunk he had a game or two ago.

It isn't a bad thing per se and a team full lf angry guys probabaly gets a lot of technicals but I like it when my best player gets angry.

When my best player is getting dominated. I want him to go sit on the block demand the ball and go right into Lens armpit.

Mason had a few weak fouls go against him and did take the charge but this should have been a Duke 5 point lead at the half and Len was a big reason Maryland had the lead.


Personally, I enjoy seeing a player who can really be mean, and blessedly Duke has had more than its share over the years. Laettner was the epitome, but Hurley, Redick, Wojo, and Dennard come quickly to mind too. Coach K also has a real big mean streak. I like a player who refuses to take any grief, who knows he's good and is glad to show you. Mason grew up big and tall and talented, but he can't really get mean, can he? I don't think that deficiency can be fixed very easily, and it does no good to fake it. Can't imagine Mason doing much belly-stomping. BUT, this kid is really, really good, and he's going to win a lot more games for us. Eventually he is going to learn how to school these other big men as well. In this game he was just confused and out of rhythm -- heck, maybe his girl did break up with him on Valentine's Day AND he flunked a P-Chem quiz, AND he was just plain tired out. Bad timing for us Crazy Fans, but I predict he will make a bunch of other guys pay during the next few weeks. I say let's cut him some slack.....

jipops
02-16-2013, 08:55 PM
While it's true that Mason played poorly tonight, to me, that's not the story. Neither is the fact that we lost... I said in the pregame thread that Maryland had every conceivable intangible in their favor and I would have been more than satisfied with an ugly, one point win. If Quinn's shot at the buzzer had gone in, that's exactly what we would have had, so I'm not particularly disappointed or surprised by the outcome.

To me, the big picture issue is that we are not a good defensive team without Ryan. We've played enough games without him now to establish a pretty good sample size, and the data are not pretty. Starting with the NC State game, we've now allowed 722 points on 699 possessions without him, or 1.03 points per possession. By way of comparison, that's worse than our per possession average last year, when everyone agreed that we had a poor defensive team by Duke standards. It goes without saying that we have no chance of achieving anything meaningful in the postseason unless our defense improves considerably.

I should point out that this is not an original insight on my part - John Gasaway recently wrote an article for ESPN insider making this exact same point. However, I haven't seen it discussed in this forum, and it seems especially apropo tonight, given that we absolutely could not stop a mediocre Maryland offense, except on possessions where they turned the ball over. I've never had so little confidence in our ability to get a stop in a critical spot as I did on Maryland's final possession tonight, and sure enough, we didn't get one.

The obvious solution to the problem would be for Ryan to return from his injury tomorrow and subsequently get reintegrated into the team and back into game shape over the next few weeks. But since that's not happening... is there another solution? If there is one, it's not apparent to me. None of our replacements at the 4 are as tall as Ryan (he's a better shot blocker statistically than Mason), and certainly none of them have Ryan's experience, basketball IQ, and positive impact on defensive chemistry.

Part of the problem is clearly Mason - he is so obsessed with avoiding foul trouble that he has become totally passive on defense. His block rate and rebounding rates (offensive and defensive) are all down from last year, which is clearly because of his anti-foul mindset. Maybe that can be fine tuned a bit, but Mason can't suddenly start playing with Tyler-level aggressiveness, because obviously we need him on the court (the past two games notwithstanding). Otherwise?... I'm at a loss for solutions. Josh, Amile, and Alex all have significant defensive limitations, and Marshall just isn't a 4.

At this point, I think reasonable goals for this team are:

1) Hold on for second in the ACC regular season.
2) Make it to the championship game in the ACC tournament.
3) Make it to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.

Anything beyond that is gravy to me, unless Ryan is back really, really soon.

I think that is a reasonable ceiling given the current state of our D. It's hard to imagine us doing any better than that with no ability to defend.

superdave
02-16-2013, 08:55 PM
Laura Keeley ‏@laurakeeley

#Duke's K: This has been an exhausting schedule for our team since N.C. State. We’re playing on fumes, & I think you can tell that in Mason

Laura Keeley ‏@laurakeeley

#Duke's Krzyzewski said he thought Mason Plumlee looked exhausted all night. He finished with four points, five boards and five fouls

Class of '94
02-16-2013, 08:57 PM
I can't believe I'm saying this but I actually feel ok about our Duke team after this loss. This team gave a much better effort in this loss compared to the loss to Miami on Miami's homecourt. This team is growing and guys like Josh and Alex are getting better.

And while I am annoyed at the fact that MD might have potentially won their last game against Duke on MD's homecourt and having to see MD's fans rushing the court, Duke played well enough to win. With all the instances of poor defense by our team, lack of rebounding, and letting the MD guards penetrate into the lane far too many times, Duke had so many opportunities to steal this game. If Mason and Rasheed had made some of those shots that were right at the rim, Duke could've won; and if Mason and Seth had made their FTs towards the end of the 2nd half or Alex making his open 3s, Duke could've won.

As another poster mentioned, Duke came out of this stretch 2-3 and Duke easily could've gone 0-3 with all of the adversity they had to face. I'm proud of these guys; and disagree with the notion that Duke hasn't shown or proven they can win on the road. They dominated FSU at FSU where teams like Miami and UNC had to fight hard to get wins there. They beat a Wake Forest team that very strong at home; and they beat a BC team at their place where Miami struggled to win by 1 pt.

Duke has issues to work out (the slippage in defense and Mason's play of late as well as getting Amile back on track); but I think this loss will allow the guys to get refocused and reenergized by hopefully getting mad and coming back to Duke ready to practice and make up for the poor play by taking it out on their next opponent and being sharper.

DBFAN
02-16-2013, 08:57 PM
Even though there have been some meteors landing, I just checked outside and the sky indeed, is not falling. Relax, yes it stinks losing to the twerps, but we all know how physical the game is allowed to be played when the ACC really needs another team or two to make the tourney. If I'm not mistaken the last time we lost in College Park our season ended pretty well.

DevilYouthCoach
02-16-2013, 08:59 PM
Agreed. Take Zeller from IU, Burke from Michigan, and Larkin from Miami and they would be just as "exposed" as experts think Duke is now.

It's actually quite impressive Duke has been able to keep pace with the other top 5 teams considering the Kelly injury.


I completely agree. We are close to being a wonderful team. Need you, Mr. Kelly!

throatybeard
02-16-2013, 09:00 PM
OK, so I was at a restaurant with no audio. How loud was the "[verb] Duke" chant? Everyone is talking about it.

FerryFor50
02-16-2013, 09:00 PM
OK, so I was at a restaurant with no audio. How loud was the "[verb] Duke" chant? Everyone is talking about it.

Pretty loud. Clearly audible.

DBFAN
02-16-2013, 09:01 PM
Some great stuff from K tonight

@laurakeeley: #Duke's K "It’s been a murder’s row for our team, and we ended up 3-1 in it without Ryan. That says a lot for my guys."

@laurakeeley: #Duke's K :"I can’t ask any more form those kids than what they gave tonight. They put themselves in a position to win."

Meckler
02-16-2013, 09:01 PM
I couldn't agree more. Duke is two different teams this year between home and true road games. They don't seem to have the same mental "toughness" on the road. I hear a lot that Duke hasn't really played many "true" road games this year and the ones they have played has exposed their weaknesses. Trying to figure out why this is. I mean is it the opposing fans heckling them or the nets or maybe the lighting?

I also agree that the margin for error is razor thin with this team. When they play with fire and passion and are mentally focused, they have the skill set to beat just about anyone. On the road, though, they look lost at times.

Everybody gives Duke their best shot. I would like to see Duke play the same way. Especially on the road.


The snarky answer is go back in time and either prevent Ryan from getting hurt or get Amile, Josh, and Alex more PT and more experience.

In reality, Mason can't pressure as much as he did before Ryan got hurt because he has to be on the floor for 38 minutes a game. That means he can't get in foul trouble and he can't run out of gas. At the four position, Those guys did just about all they can do. The only answer is to simply play better mentally. They have to be absolutely perfect when it comes to positioning, double teams, and help defense. Even the smallest mistakes meant 2 points or 2 shots for Maryland.

The good news is that one you get to the tourney, every game could be your last, so Mason won't have to worry as much about running out of gas and holding back, but otherwise there isn't much to be done.
*******************

sporthenry
02-16-2013, 09:03 PM
OK, so I was at a restaurant with no audio. How loud was the "[verb] Duke" chant? Everyone is talking about it.

Obviously an uck sound. Could have been suck but there was no s so it sounded like suck duke or duke suck which makes no sense. But all of their chants were audible. Either espn does them no favors with where the microphone is or they just are that much worse than anyone else but don't remember hearing chants that audible in a while.

grad_devil
02-16-2013, 09:05 PM
OK, so I was at a restaurant with no audio. How loud was the "[verb] Duke" chant? Everyone is talking about it.

I honestly didn't even notice that chant - I typically tune out the classy UMD fans.

However, I thought the worse chant was the "Mason Swa***ws". Yeah. Sheesh.

Billy Dat
02-16-2013, 09:07 PM
K closing salvo - shots fired!!!!!!!!!

On what he thinks about the end of the Maryland/Duke rivalry:
“We don’t look at any rivalries; we look at each opponent the same. I’ve said that every time I’ve come here. I have a great deal of respect for Maryland. If it was such a rivalry they’d still be in the ACC. Obviously they don’t think it’s that important, or they wouldn’t be in the Big Ten. I respect their basketball program and the job their coaches have done and their players have done over the years. We’ve had some great games with them, but we have great games against a lot of people. A lot of people want to beat us, and they’re one of them.”

jipops
02-16-2013, 09:09 PM
OK, so I was at a restaurant with no audio. How loud was the "[verb] Duke" chant? Everyone is talking about it.

I'm waiting for the Shane Ryan video interpretation and ensuing uproar.

dukelifer
02-16-2013, 09:10 PM
I couldn't agree more. Duke is two different teams this year between home and true road games. They don't seem to have the same mental "toughness" on the road. I hear a lot that Duke hasn't really played many "true" road games this year and the ones they have played has exposed their weaknesses. Trying to figure out why this is. I mean is it the opposing fans heckling them or the nets or maybe the lighting?

I also agree that the margin for error is razor thin with this team. When they play with fire and passion and are mentally focused, they have the skill set to beat just about anyone. On the road, though, they look lost at times.

Everybody gives Duke their best shot. I would like to see Duke play the same way. Especially on the road.


*******************
At what point did Duke give up in your mind? When did they stop playing with fire? Yes Mason had a bad night but I saw nothing resembling a team that gave up or stopped trying.

Oriole Way
02-16-2013, 09:10 PM
While it's true that Mason played poorly tonight, to me, that's not the story. Neither is the fact that we lost... I said in the pregame thread that Maryland had every conceivable intangible in their favor and I would have been more than satisfied with an ugly, one point win. If Quinn's shot at the buzzer had gone in, that's exactly what we would have had, so I'm not particularly disappointed or surprised by the outcome.

To me, the big picture issue is that we are not a good defensive team without Ryan. We've played enough games without him now to establish a pretty good sample size, and the data are not pretty. Starting with the NC State game, we've now allowed 722 points on 699 possessions without him, or 1.03 points per possession. By way of comparison, that's worse than our per possession average last year, when everyone agreed that we had a poor defensive team by Duke standards. It goes without saying that we have no chance of achieving anything meaningful in the postseason unless our defense improves considerably.

I should point out that this is not an original insight on my part - John Gasaway recently wrote an article for ESPN insider making this exact same point. However, I haven't seen it discussed in this forum, and it seems especially apropo tonight, given that we absolutely could not stop a mediocre Maryland offense, except on possessions where they turned the ball over. I've never had so little confidence in our ability to get a stop in a critical spot as I did on Maryland's final possession tonight, and sure enough, we didn't get one.

The obvious solution to the problem would be for Ryan to return from his injury tomorrow and subsequently get reintegrated into the team and back into game shape over the next few weeks. But since that's not happening... is there another solution? If there is one, it's not apparent to me. None of our replacements at the 4 are as tall as Ryan (he's a better shot blocker statistically than Mason), and certainly none of them have Ryan's experience, basketball IQ, and positive impact on defensive chemistry.

Part of the problem is clearly Mason - he is so obsessed with avoiding foul trouble that he has become totally passive on defense. His block rate and rebounding rates (offensive and defensive) are all down from last year, which is clearly because of his anti-foul mindset. Maybe that can be fine tuned a bit, but Mason can't suddenly start playing with Tyler-level aggressiveness, because obviously we need him on the court (the past two games notwithstanding). Otherwise?... I'm at a loss for solutions. Josh, Amile, and Alex all have significant defensive limitations, and Marshall just isn't a 4.

At this point, I think reasonable goals for this team are:

1) Hold on for second in the ACC regular season.
2) Make it to the championship game in the ACC tournament.
3) Make it to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.

Anything beyond that is gravy to me, unless Ryan is back really, really soon.

Fantastic post. Really cuts to the core of Duke's problems right now.

I believe the staff has told Mason to play the defense he's playing, I would be shocked otherwise since his effort level on defense is nowhere near Coach K's lofty standards. Coach K will need to start accepting the downside of foul trouble and ask Mason to be more aggressively defensively. Otherwise the team is going to lose more games it should win and jeopardize its tournament seeding.

I lament the lack of PT Jefferson and Murphy have gotten this season. Jefferson prior to Kelly's injury, and Murphy all season, even if it had only been a few additional minute per game. Murphy was able to come in to the game tonight and contribute. While he has his limitations, I believe he brings some needed ability and size to the wing and he'd be even more ready to contribute if he had gotten some extra PT throughout the season in our easier non-conference (post Atlantis tourney) games and home conference games against weaker teams.

I believe the team can address its rebounding problems by playing Jefferson and Murphy together more often (even if just for 10 minutes a game), and Jefferson and Kelly together once Kelly returns. I'd like to see K try out more 2-guard lineups to see if we can improve our rebounding without sacrificing our offense too much. At this point, I don't feel that the defensive performance of 3 and 4-guard lineups will be worth the substantial rebounding disadvantages we will be giving up. Our perimeter defense is way too porous.

Unless Kelly comes back healthy, I will look back on Seth Curry's Duke career less than fondly. While a great offensive player, and understanding that he played phenomenally today and without him we would have been blown out, I feel that our poor perimeter defense this season and least season is largely a result of Curry's lackluster man-to-man defensive ability and slow lateral footspeed.

I do believe Kelly coming back healthy greatly changes everything (as most here believe as well). Not only is he an excellent individual defender, but he is a superb help defender that rotates extremely well, helping to cover up mistakes by our guards when they get beat by their assignments. He alters shots, blocks shots, and halts penetration as a help defender like no one else on our team can. Yet I am pessimistic about his return. 8 weeks (given his current projected return) is an absurdly long time for an ankle sprain, so it's likely he's dealing with soft tissue damage. The chances of him coming back and reaching 100% before (or early during) the tournament are slim, and the chances of aggravation are high. It's really a shame that two great chances of winning a title have been compromised by foot injuries.

FerryFor50
02-16-2013, 09:12 PM
At what point did Duke give up in your mind? When did they stop playing with fire? Yes Mason had a bad night but I saw nothing resembling a team that gave up or stopped trying.


Agreed.

You don't come within a last second shot of winning a game you were down by 10 in if you "gave up"...

freshmanjs
02-16-2013, 09:13 PM
I think that is a reasonable ceiling given the current state of our D. It's hard to imagine us doing any better than that with no ability to defend.

wait, so you're saying that if duke gets to the sweet 16, they would have zero chance of winning that game? absurd.

what did you think the "ceiling" was for uconn at around this time in 2011?

what was the "ceiling" for vcu that year?

BlueandWhite
02-16-2013, 09:19 PM
Mason had a bad game, that's all. Pride isn't something you just lose for one game, c'mon. Mason will probably be his own toughest critic this week. No worries.

Wow, does anyone else salivate while watching 'Sheed? Damn, that kid is really going to be something else. Hell, at times he already looks like an AA.

I really think the best part of Maryland going to the Big 10 has nothing to do with basketball. It will be when they are getting shellacked in football 60-0 by Nebraska, and Michigan, etc. Then, they will have to sit through the monotony of playing Nebraska, Iowa and Northwestern in basketball. Good riddance.

Good riddance indeed ... ridiculous that they're jumping to the Big Ten. I'm sure that their athletes in non-revenue sports will just love traveling to Iowa City, West Lafayette, Minneapolis and Urbana in the middle of January. What was the reason for this nonsense, increased revenues from football? This conference shuffling is out of hand -- West Virginia in the Big 12 is another prime example.

As for the game...they almost pulled this one out! Seth played like a senior leader. Hope they have some good practices and focus on the next opponent...

freshmanjs
02-16-2013, 09:21 PM
Good riddance indeed ... ridiculous that they're jumping to the Big Ten. I'm sure that their athletes in non-revenue sports will just love traveling to Iowa City, West Lafayette, Minneapolis and Urbana in the middle of January.

instead of boston, syracuse, pittsburgh, and south bend.

vick
02-16-2013, 09:21 PM
Fantastic post. Really cuts to the core of Duke's problems right now.

I believe the staff has told Mason to play the defense he's playing, I would be shocked otherwise since his effort level on defense is nowhere near Coach K's lofty standards. Coach K will need to start accepting the downside of foul trouble and ask Mason to be more aggressively defensively. Otherwise the team is going to lose more games it should win and jeopardize its tournament seeding.

I lament the lack of PT Jefferson and Murphy have gotten this season. Jefferson prior to Kelly's injury, and Murphy all season, even if it had only been a few additional minute per game. Murphy was able to come in to the game tonight and contribute. While he has his limitations, I believe he brings some needed ability and size to the wing and he'd be even more ready to contribute if he had gotten some extra PT throughout the season in our easier non-conference (post Atlantis tourney) games and home conference games against weaker teams.

I believe the team can address its rebounding problems by playing Jefferson and Murphy together more often (even if just for 10 minutes a game), and Jefferson and Kelly together once Kelly returns. I'd like to see K try out more 2-guard lineups to see if we can improve our rebounding without sacrificing our offense too much. At this point, I don't feel that the defensive performance of 3 and 4-guard lineups will be worth the substantial rebounding disadvantages we will be giving up. Our perimeter defense is way too porous.

Unless Kelly comes back healthy, I will look back on Seth Curry's Duke career less than fondly. While a great offensive player, and understanding that he played phenomenally today and without him we would have been blown out, I feel that our poor perimeter defense this season and least season is largely a result of Curry's lackluster man-to-man defensive ability and slow lateral footspeed.

I do believe Kelly coming back healthy greatly changes everything. Not only is he an excellent individual defender, but he is a superb help defender that rotates extremely well, helping to cover up mistakes by our guards when they get beat by their assignments. He alters shots, blocks shots, and halts penetration as a help defender like no one else on our team can. Yet I am pessimistic about his return. 8 weeks (given his current projected return) is an absurdly long time for an ankle sprain, so it's likely he's dealing with soft tissue damage. The chances of him coming back and reaching 100% before (or early during) the tournament are slim, and the chances of aggravation are high. It's really a shame that two great chances of winning a title have been compromised by foot injuries.

I don't know if I'd describe it as the staff has told him to play defense this way, though obviously I'm not in the locker room, but there are times the coaches certainly look annoyed at his defense. Earlier this season, someone (and I forget who) described Tyler as having two modes, 'bulldog' mode, who really plays aggressively and picks up fouls, and 'regular' mode, who is a solid perimeter defender. It seems to me--and there are tons of people here who know X's and O's far better than I do, so I might be way off--that Mason doesn't seem to have figured out a good 'regular' way to avoid fouls. He just plays solid defense, or completely lays off, without any useful 'in between' way.

I, too, am a little frustrated by how we supposedly 'gave up.' Maybe it's easier to believe that than just the reality that we aren't a great team, just a good one, at least until Ryan gets back, but it seems to be a little defamatory. Sometimes the other team's soon-to-be NBA lottery big man just outplays you.

throatybeard
02-16-2013, 09:35 PM
wait, so you're saying that if duke gets to the sweet 16, they would have zero chance of winning that game? absurd.

what did you think the "ceiling" was for uconn at around this time in 2011?

what was the "ceiling" for vcu that year?

Exactly, the tournament is a crazy single-elimination tilt subject to a lot of variation. But people act like a "sweet sixteen team" and an "elite eight team" and a "final four team" are completely distinct entities, that manifest in January and February.

Someone tell me whether the 1992 team was a national champion or an "elite eight team," when the fulcrum was a single shot in Philadelphia.

sporthenry
02-16-2013, 09:39 PM
I believe the staff has told Mason to play the defense he's playing, I would be shocked otherwise since his effort level on defense is nowhere near Coach K's lofty standards. Coach K will need to start accepting the downside of foul trouble and ask Mason to be more aggressively defensively. Otherwise the team is going to lose more games it should win and jeopardize its tournament seeding.


I'm sorry but I've called this out from the start. This goes against everything K preaches. I'm sure K worked with Mason on not fouling since he had that problem just like Miles, Lance, and even Josh when they came to Duke. So I'm sure he has said, don't pick up stupid fouls 90 feet from the basket (cough-cough) or don't pick up a foul on an easy basket (like when Len beat him in the first half and he didn't foul). Those I can't argue against. But the plays when he doesn't help out on the weak side or doesn't challenge much when he is on the offensive guys back are unacceptable. From what I remember, he did use his hops once to challenge a weak side and made a Maryland guard make a tough shot over him.

But last time we got into this argument I was in the minority until the post game comments came out and he even admitted in an interview that the coaches weren't happy with his offense. K always believes in defense first. That is why guys like Thornton will play over a guy like Cook last year. Cook provided more offensively but was a defensive liability so who got more PT last year?

Mason wasn't told to play defense this way and this game should be an obvious example of this. Mason was pretty much benched tonight.
At some point with just 3 fouls and under 10 minutes, he wasn't playing significant minutes and the offense actually worked better with Hairston until he picked up his 4th.

jipops
02-16-2013, 09:43 PM
wait, so you're saying that if duke gets to the sweet 16, they would have zero chance of winning that game? absurd.

what did you think the "ceiling" was for uconn at around this time in 2011?

what was the "ceiling" for vcu that year?

Not what I said. But we have yet to see a Duke team go far that has had such issues on defense.

freshmanjs
02-16-2013, 09:49 PM
Not what I said. But we have yet to see a Duke team go far that has had such issues on defense.

there is a difference between saying you think a final 4 run is low probability and saying sweet 16 is the team's ceiling. you said the latter.

jipops
02-16-2013, 09:50 PM
Laura Keeley ‏@laurakeeley

#Duke's K: This has been an exhausting schedule for our team since N.C. State. We’re playing on fumes, & I think you can tell that in Mason

Laura Keeley ‏@laurakeeley

#Duke's Krzyzewski said he thought Mason Plumlee looked exhausted all night. He finished with four points, five boards and five fouls

It's about to get harder though.

Meckler
02-16-2013, 09:52 PM
I don't mean to sound chippy, but I never said they gave up. In fact, I was very proud of their effort in the last minute and half of play. What confuses me most is their style of play on the road. That's not to say they are flawless at home, but they don't seem completely in sync at times on the road. The team fluidity is not the same. Its not like Maryland played lights out ball.

Not trying to bash. Just pointing out what I see.



At what point did Duke give up in your mind? When did they stop playing with fire? Yes Mason had a bad night but I saw nothing resembling a team that gave up or stopped trying.

Oriole Way
02-16-2013, 09:53 PM
I'm sorry but I've called this out from the start. This goes against everything K preaches. I'm sure K worked with Mason on not fouling since he had that problem just like Miles, Lance, and even Josh when they came to Duke. So I'm sure he has said, don't pick up stupid fouls 90 feet from the basket (cough-cough) or don't pick up a foul on an easy basket (like when Len beat him in the first half and he didn't foul). Those I can't argue against. But the plays when he doesn't help out on the weak side or doesn't challenge much when he is on the offensive guys back are unacceptable. From what I remember, he did use his hops once to challenge a weak side and made a Maryland guard make a tough shot over him.

But last time we got into this argument I was in the minority until the post game comments came out and he even admitted in an interview that the coaches weren't happy with his offense. K always believes in defense first. That is why guys like Thornton will play over a guy like Cook last year. Cook provided more offensively but was a defensive liability so who got more PT last year?

Mason wasn't told to play defense this way and this game should be an obvious example of this. Mason was pretty much benched tonight.
At some point with just 3 fouls and under 10 minutes, he wasn't playing significant minutes and the offense actually worked better with Hairston until he picked up his 4th.

Disagree. Mason has been playing matador defense for several games now. And he was never benched until tonight. He was benched tonight because Len abused Mason and made him a non-factor on both ends of the court.

SoCalDukeFan
02-16-2013, 09:54 PM
Exactly, the tournament is a crazy single-elimination tilt subject to a lot of variation. But people act like a "sweet sixteen team" and an "elite eight team" and a "final four team" are completely distinct entities, that manifest in January and February.

Someone tell me whether the 1992 team was a national champion or an "elite eight team," when the fulcrum was a single shot in Philadelphia.

Obviously a team can get lucky and good and go pretty far in the NCAA Tournament.

Likewise a team can get unlucky and bad and lose early.

I think what is meant is the reasonable expectation as to how far the team will go. And Sweet 16 or maybe Elite 8 without Ryan worked into the lineup and at close to 100% is where I would put them. With Ryan worked in, I think it is much further.

This year there is no outstanding, scary team. Even without Ryan we could get a good draw, some breaks and maybe win it all. And with him we could run into some team that shoots out of their minds and upsets us.

SoCal

Class of '94
02-16-2013, 09:56 PM
Not what I said. But we have yet to see a Duke team go far that has had such issues on defense.

IMO, the defensive issues start with guard penetration and end with "lack of defensive rebounding". The issues with Duke defensive rebounding have always been there, even with Ryan; but I were able to overcome that with our offense and good on-ball pressure by our guards (specifically Quinn) earlier in the season. Compound that with fouling too much due to defensive breakdowns and you have a recipe for disaster. IMO, the first step has to be Quinn having a renewed focus on stopping guard penetration; and our guards crashing the boards while our bigs box out at the very least. I still believe we have enough time to improve significantly on these issues even w/out Ryan; and with this loss, hopefully the team will make a renewed commitment to their defensive principles.

sporthenry
02-16-2013, 09:57 PM
Personally, I enjoy seeing a player who can really be mean, and blessedly Duke has had more than its share over the years. Laettner was the epitome, but Hurley, Redick, Wojo, and Dennard come quickly to mind too. Coach K also has a real big mean streak. I like a player who refuses to take any grief, who knows he's good and is glad to show you. Mason grew up big and tall and talented, but he can't really get mean, can he? I don't think that deficiency can be fixed very easily, and it does no good to fake it. Can't imagine Mason doing much belly-stomping. BUT, this kid is really, really good, and he's going to win a lot more games for us. Eventually he is going to learn how to school these other big men as well. In this game he was just confused and out of rhythm -- heck, maybe his girl did break up with him on Valentine's Day AND he flunked a P-Chem quiz, AND he was just plain tired out. Bad timing for us Crazy Fans, but I predict he will make a bunch of other guys pay during the next few weeks. I say let's cut him some slack.....

I'm not saying that Mason is bad. Obviously he is one of our best players and will be an AA of some type. But this is sort of why I think it is crazy that we were talking about NPOY or retiring his jersey. I think Mason will determine how far this team goes in March and luckily, there aren't too many teams who have lottery picks at center but Mason has struggled historically versus these big centers. Luckily, we won't see Reggie Johnson or Howell in the NCAAT until the F4 and guys like Withey won't be seen til the E8/F4 which would be a successful year.

I think Mason is very good but not that dominant big man. Elton Brand's worst game as a Sophomore was 8 points/10 boards in a 10 point win for Duke. His 2 worst shooting games 38% and 40% were in 29 and 30 point wins. Mason shot 28.6% tonight. I guess people will say it isn't fair to compare him to Elton but if you thought he was NPOY caliber, then I'd say he is open for comparison to anyone.

Class of '94
02-16-2013, 09:59 PM
instead of boston, syracuse, pittsburgh, and south bend.

Still way closer to College Park than Minn, Nebraska, Ill, Wisconsin and Iowa are.

HaveFunExpectToWin
02-16-2013, 10:01 PM
Gotta love the two hand shove on the Duke kid leaving the court by the Twerp fan during the court rush. Classy. Don't let the door hit ya on the way out, Maryland.

Surprised there isn't more chatter about that Twerp. Yet another good reason to penalize court rushing much like the SEC.

sporthenry
02-16-2013, 10:02 PM
Disagree. Mason has been playing matador defense for several games now. And he was never benched until tonight. He was benched tonight because Len abused Mason and made him a non-factor on both ends of the court.

What do you disagree with? He has already said that the coaches weren't happy with his defense. It isn't crazy to think that it reached a breaking point. Him being abused by Len isn't mutually exclusive of his defense getting him benched. In fact, it is actually pretty correlated. And when Duke had guys like Murphy and Hairston who actually played well tonight, it makes it much easier to bench him.

vick
02-16-2013, 10:03 PM
But last time we got into this argument I was in the minority until the post game comments came out and he even admitted in an interview that the coaches weren't happy with his offense. K always believes in defense first. That is why guys like Thornton will play over a guy like Cook last year. Cook provided more offensively but was a defensive liability so who got more PT last year?

Mason wasn't told to play defense this way and this game should be an obvious example of this. Mason was pretty much benched tonight.
At some point with just 3 fouls and under 10 minutes, he wasn't playing significant minutes and the offense actually worked better with Hairston until he picked up his 4th.

Well, the problem with the "K always believes in defense first" philosophy is that it would seemingly imply that Duke teams should be better defensively than offensively. Unfortunately for that theory, the facts say otherwise. Here are the offensive and defensive efficiency ranks from 2003-present, when first available:



Year Off Def Better
2003 17 15 Def
2004 2 4 Off
2005 15 1 Def
2006 5 13 Off
2007 40 5 Def
2008 11 9 Def
2009 10 20 Off
2010 1 4 Off
2011 4 8 Off
2012 11 70 Off
2013 6 20 Off

Average 11 15
Median 10 9


Duke has been a better offensive than defensive team in 7 of 11 years. I don't doubt he cares a lot about defense, but in my opinion there's more than a little coachspeak in the "defense first" claim.

As for Mason specifically, I don't think anyone before or now would say his defense is what the coaches want--I was one on the other "side" and I didn't believe it. What I was rejecting was the notion that "effort" is the problem, and I maintain that this is true. I do not see any evidence that he isn't "hustling," he's just not playing very good defense. There's a difference between those positions.

dukelifer
02-16-2013, 10:08 PM
I don't mean to sound chippy, but I never said they gave up. In fact, I was very proud of their effort in the last minute and half of play. What confuses me most is their style of play on the road. That's not to say they are flawless at home, but they don't seem completely in sync at times on the road. The team fluidity is not the same. Its not like Maryland played lights out ball.

Not trying to bash. Just pointing out what I see.

What team looks consistently better on the road? Miami has not been as dominant on the road either or has Indiana or Michigan. For the Duke freshman - this is their first trips on the road. These are hostile arenas. Players are human and young.

jipops
02-16-2013, 10:09 PM
there is a difference between saying you think a final 4 run is low probability and saying sweet 16 is the team's ceiling. you said the latter.

I also said given the current state of our D, which has been in this state for awhile.

I'm holding out hope something changes.

dukelifer
02-16-2013, 10:13 PM
I also said given the current state of our D, which has been in this state for awhile.

I'm holding out hope something changes.

The D has looked better with Mason out with Josh in. Not sure if that is a small sample size or something about the way they help. That said- duke is not same offensively.

Class of '94
02-16-2013, 10:14 PM
What do you disagree with? He has already said that the coaches weren't happy with his defense. It isn't crazy to think that it reached a breaking point. Him being abused by Len isn't mutually exclusive of his defense getting him benched. In fact, it is actually pretty correlated. And when Duke had guys like Murphy and Hairston who actually played well tonight, it makes it much easier to bench him.

My hope is that this loss will re-energize Mason. He talked a lot in postgame interviews after the Carolina game about not having any regrets. Well, I'm sure he has regrets after this loss to MD; and I'm hoping he will use tonight's regrets to fuel him and Duke to a strong finish to his senior season.

Meckler
02-16-2013, 10:18 PM
What team looks consistently better on the road? Miami has not been as dominant on the road either or has Indiana or Michigan. For the Duke freshman - this is their first trips on the road. These are hostile arenas. Players are human and young.

Fair enough. Next play!

Oriole Way
02-16-2013, 10:23 PM
What do you disagree with? He has already said that the coaches weren't happy with his defense. It isn't crazy to think that it reached a breaking point. Him being abused by Len isn't mutually exclusive of his defense getting him benched. In fact, it is actually pretty correlated. And when Duke had guys like Murphy and Hairston who actually played well tonight, it makes it much easier to bench him.

I disagree with your statement that the staff hasn't told him to ease up defensively so that he can avoid foul trouble. He played absolutely no defense on McAdoo during the UNC game even before he got into foul trouble. Using not only your logic, and also K's tendency to bench players for poor defense, Mason would have been benched at some point against UNC or BC, or several other games. But he never was. His defense has basically been non-existent for several games now, and his level of effort looked exactly the same tonight as the past few games.

The reason for Mason's defensive approach, and the reason the staff has allowed it, is that the coaching staff doesn't want Mason to get into foul trouble. But you'll never hear Mason or the staff admit to that, it doesn't make sense to do so because then teams will attack Mason even more (although I'm sure opposing coaches have long since picked up on Mason's defensive strategy), but also it goes against what coach K preaches fundamentally. But playing "prevent foul trouble" defense makes sense because if Mason picks up 3 or 4 fouls to quickly, or fouls out to early, we have very little chance of winning a game. The problem is that he's playing lazy defense to too extreme a degree. That needs to be adjusted. Which shouldn't be hard, given that Mason has played very little defense whatsoever over the past several games.

The reason we reached a breaking point today was specifically because Mason was completely ineffective offensively. Otherwise he wouldn't have been benched. That's something else we disagree on.

jipops
02-16-2013, 10:24 PM
The D has looked better with Mason out with Josh in. Not sure if that is a small sample size or something about the way they help. That said- duke is not same offensively.

No it's not, but we did still pour in 81 points on the road tonight and 98 points on State. So I'd say we're still ok there. We can win ugly if we can just make the other guys uglier.

sporthenry
02-16-2013, 10:26 PM
Well, the problem with the "K always believes in defense first" philosophy is that it would seemingly imply that Duke teams should be better defensively than offensively. Unfortunately for that theory, the facts say otherwise. Here are the offensive and defensive efficiency ranks from 2003-present, when first available:


I'm not sure that implication is correct or has any value in this discussion. Perhaps he did play the best defensive players but they weren't better than the offense still.

But his defense first would explain why guys like Murphy or even Amile get yanked quickly when they can't defend. Why Cook or Gbinije got little burn last year despite their potential for offense. Why Marshall barely plays. Why Dre struggled to stay on the floor. Now these guys are role players so in theory, if you aren't a role player like AR wasn't, you will play despite your defense not being as good as he'd like but I also think with Mason, a lot had to do with no adequate back up since Marshall wasn't much better.

I guess someone can correct me if I'm wrong but I believe that K has always been a defense first guy.

Oriole Way
02-16-2013, 10:28 PM
The D has looked better with Mason out with Josh in. Not sure if that is a small sample size or something about the way they help. That said- duke is not same offensively.

Maybe. But as soon as Mason was benched in the second half, MD immediately pushed the lead to 10 points. That was the game right there.

Maybe it was purely a coincidence, but I believe there's something to be said for the mere post presence Plumlee provides, even if he's playing very poor defense and having his worst game of the season.

devildeac
02-16-2013, 10:31 PM
Thought I read here earlier today that Mason tweaked his ankle and, in a PM with one of the mods tonight, he also thought Mason was playing injured. If so, I want them again in the ACCT. If not, then he truly was MIA.

Class of '94
02-16-2013, 10:32 PM
Thought I read here earlier today that Mason tweaked his ankle and, in a PM with one of the mods tonight, he also thought Mason was playing injured. If so, I want them again in the ACCT. If not, then he truly was MIA.

Here is a quote from Mason during the MD postgame interviews that was posted on goduke.com. Here is the link http://www.goduke.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=22724&SPID=1845&DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=4200&ATCLID=206447369 .

“I don’t think it was so much [Maryland’s] defensive coverage—I just have to show up. I didn’t show up to play today and I let my teammates down. That’s not how I’ve played all season. I hope it doesn’t happen again. It’s all on me.”

I love Mason and the leadership that he has shown. To his credit, he owned up to his performance tonight; but I have to admit that I wished he would've definitively said that this [his no-show] will not happen again as opposed to "I hope" it won't happen again. That to me signifies that he thinks there a chance that this type of performance could happen again; and it reflects a lack of "getting mad/angry" about his performance. I'm sure he's upset by it; but it maybe more feeling disappointed about than being angry or mad about it. Again, I hope Mason uses this experience tonight as a way to re-energize himself for the stretch run by getting strongly upset by this and making sure this type of performance never happens again.

mo.st.dukie
02-16-2013, 10:35 PM
It's about to get harder though.

The one I'm worried about is the 2 day turnaround from @UVA to Miami at home (UVA on Thursday, Miami on Saturday). Other than that it's a little bit better than this week as we only had 2 days to prepare for each of BC, UNC, and Maryland (of course the BC preparation got thrown out of sync because of travel schedule) after playing a tough, exhausting game against NCSU.

sporthenry
02-16-2013, 10:36 PM
I disagree with your statement that the staff hasn't told him to ease up defensively so that he can avoid foul trouble. He played absolutely no defense on McAdoo during the UNC game even before he got into foul trouble. Using not only your logic, and also K's tendency to bench players for poor defense, Mason would have been benched at some point against UNC or BC, or several other games. But he never was. His defense has basically been non-existent for several games now, and his level of effort looked exactly the same tonight as the past few games.

The reason for Mason's defensive approach, and the reason the staff has allowed it, is that the coaching staff doesn't want Mason to get into foul trouble. But you'll never hear Mason or the staff admit to that, it doesn't make sense to do so because then teams will attack Mason even more (although I'm sure opposing coaches have long since picked up on Mason's defensive strategy), but also it goes against what coach K preaches fundamentally. But playing "prevent foul trouble" defense makes sense because if Mason picks up 3 or 4 fouls to quickly, or fouls out to early, we have very little chance of winning a game. The problem is that he's playing lazy defense to too extreme a degree. That needs to be adjusted. Which shouldn't be hard, given that Mason has played very little defense whatsoever over the past several games.

The reason we reached a breaking point today was specifically because Mason was completely ineffective offensively. Otherwise he wouldn't have been benched. That's something else we disagree on.

Mason was benched in the UNC game. He gave up a few easy layups when he got his 4th foul and K immediately pulled him. The commentators even mentioned this.

As I said, I'm sure they said don't pick up stupid fouls. If Len has an easy basket, as he did the one time when Mason cheated on the entry pass and Mason let him go, I'm sure they said just give up the basket. As opposed to someone like Josh or Marshall who I would assume they want to take the foul. But that is different from saying don't get in foul trouble. As I've said and we have in one post game thread, Mason specifically said the coaches weren't happy with his defense in a close game. I don't know why they would go out of their way if Mason was doing what he was told.

And my point is, even if he had the terrible offensive game tonight, if he limited Len to 10-12 points of 50% shooting, he would not have been benched. Yes, his lack of offense certainly made the decision to bench him easier but against UNC he played well on offense and was still benched.

vick
02-16-2013, 10:39 PM
I'm not sure that implication is correct or has any value in this discussion. Perhaps he did play the best defensive players but they weren't better than the offense still.

But his defense first would explain why guys like Murphy or even Amile get yanked quickly when they can't defend. Why Cook or Gbinije got little burn last year despite their potential for offense. Why Marshall barely plays. Why Dre struggled to stay on the floor. Now these guys are role players so in theory, if you aren't a role player like AR wasn't, you will play despite your defense not being as good as he'd like but I also think with Mason, a lot had to do with no adequate back up since Marshall wasn't much better.

I guess someone can correct me if I'm wrong but I believe that K has always been a defense first guy.

So, take 2006. Do you think the best defensive backcourt would have been:

Redick (SR), Dockery (SR), Paulus (FR)

or

Redick (SR), Dockery (SR), Nelson (SO)?

The former was the starting lineup for most of the season, but I think most people would argue that the latter would have been better defensively, and not by a little.

And Murphy hasn't exactly torn it up offensively--he has one of the lowest offensive ratings on the team (http://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/schools/duke/2013.html). Amile has been better but there are serious physical matchup problems with a number of competitors.

Look, I know coach K preaches defense. He also said Alex could be a four-year starter and Marshall was good enough to be the sixth man before his injury. I'm not sure I'd take him literally when the actual facts are, our teams tend to be relatively balanced between offense and defense.

Oriole Way
02-16-2013, 10:42 PM
Mason was benched in the UNC game. He gave up a few easy layups when he got his 4th foul and K immediately pulled him. The commentators even mentioned this.

As I said, I'm sure they said don't pick up stupid fouls. If Len has an easy basket, as he did the one time when Mason cheated on the entry pass and Mason let him go, I'm sure they said just give up the basket. As opposed to someone like Josh or Marshall who I would assume they want to take the foul. But that is different from saying don't get in foul trouble. As I've said and we have in one post game thread, Mason specifically said the coaches weren't happy with his defense in a close game. I don't know why they would go out of their way if Mason was doing what he was told.

And my point is, even if he had the terrible offensive game tonight, if he limited Len to 10-12 points of 50% shooting, he would not have been benched. Yes, his lack of offense certainly made the decision to bench him easier but against UNC he played well on offense and was still benched.

He was benched shortly against UNC because of the 4th foul, and no other reason. He was benched tonight before getting into serious foul trouble, and for a prolonged period, because of his offensive struggles (and yes, his poor defense as well, but the point remains he stays in the game if he hadn't struggled so mightily offensively against Len).

tele
02-16-2013, 10:56 PM
Not what I said. But we have yet to see a Duke team go far that has had such issues on defense.

Does going out west to the regional count as far? Actually, the team battled back and had a couple of shots to take the lead. Doing that with a subpar Mason is a good effort as Coach K said. I thought Mason must be ill or something, he usually doesn't get subbed for in a close game if he was feeling right, and it was obvious they were trying to get him all the rest they could by how they were subbing for him around timeouts so he could get an extended longer blow. Have to hand it to Mason for toughing it out and trying to help his team win, without Mason I doubt it would have been as close as it was. Josh really stepped up too. Curry did what he could but he wasn't able to get very many good looks from three so MD's D made him a driver and a two point shooter which wasn't enough to get Duke over the hump(as they say in capah heaH).

So good hard fought game in a very hostile gym, if only Duke could have scored one more or gotten one stop somewhere....

Oh, part of the reason I thought he must be not hundred percent is he only got 3 rebounds, you can complain about his D and his free throws or his scoring, but if he was fit he'd get more than 3 rebounds wouldn't he? Does give a good picture of where this team would be without Mason doesn't it?

throatybeard
02-16-2013, 11:00 PM
I'm unclear as to whether it's time to start cracking each others' heads open and feasting on the goo inside.

jipops
02-16-2013, 11:01 PM
I love Mason and the leadership that he has shown. To his credit, he owned up to his performance tonight; but I have to admit that I wished he would've definitively said that this [his no-show] will not happen again as opposed to "I hope" it won't happen again. That to me signifies that he thinks there a chance that this type of performance could happen again; and it reflects a lack of "getting mad/angry" about his performance. I'm sure he's upset by it; but it maybe more feeling disappointed about than being angry or mad about it. Again, I hope Mason uses this experience tonight as a way to re-energize himself for the stretch run by getting strongly upset by this and making sure this type of performance never happens again.

I think you may be clinging to his words a little too much. He made his point and there is nothing more to read into it. He's burning up right now.

I think the signs were there. Mason clinging to his shorts in the first half of the UNC game, the foul trouble in the 2nd half of the UNC game - those were indicative of what would occur tonight. The kid is spent. I think it's hitting him harder what kind of mental toughness he's going to need.

sporthenry
02-16-2013, 11:03 PM
He was benched shortly against UNC because of the 4th foul, and no other reason. He was benched tonight before getting into serious foul trouble, and for a prolonged period, because of his offensive struggles (and yes, his poor defense as well, but the point remains he stays in the game if he hadn't struggled so mightily offensively against Len).

Yes, he was benched in the UNC game. It was actually with 3 fouls in the beginning of the 2nd half. Mason fouled JMM, then gave JMM the wide open layup he missed, then didn't jump for a put back by Bullock then gave JMM that reverse dunk. Right after the reverse dunk, Hairston was sent to check in and Bilas alluded to it and Dickie V specifically said he has to come out if he was going to be passive b/c they'll take lay ups all night. You can check ESPN 3 and just watch the first few minutes of the 2nd half.

Kedsy
02-16-2013, 11:04 PM
we lost to a BAD team today. 25 turnovers many of them of the "unforced" variety but get killed on the boards -23. Plumlee was owned by Len and we played really bad defense. If we continue to play the way we played this past week (3 games) we will lose in the 1st weekend of the tourny.


Mason's defense has been pretty poor all year. Today, his offense caught up.


I'm still frustrated that with Seth Curry (all-American caliber player) and Mason Plumlee (a one-time POY candidate), this team STILL lacks an identity.


that's also one loss and three tight wins in the past four games against legitimately unranked teams. what the hell is going to happen when we play an actual good team, like miami?


This team has too many holes to win the ACC. i think at least two more conference losses are coming. My takeaway for the future is how bad they got outrebounded. I could see that being the norm next season.

It's like Tourette's, right? You guys can't help yourselves?


Its now been two straight games-one a hard-fought win over UNC, the other an extremely disappointing loss to an inferior Maryland team-in which Mason has seemingly disappeared for large stretches of the game. He's been disinterested on defense, both with and without foul trouble, hasn't been aggressive on the offensive end, and, perhaps most alarmingly, has lost the fire and intensity that has defined him for much of the season.

My question is (particularly to those who are more closely connected to the program), has something happened to put him off his game? Has he been playing like this in practice? Have the coaching staff tried to change his playing style? Is he fatigued? Heck, did his girlfriend break up with him? His complete 180 in terms of performance, especially after playing some of the best basketball of his career just a week ago, is baffling me.

I love Mason, but I'm concerned about him-not because he's playing poorly, but because all of a sudden he's playing like he really doesn't care. And that's frightening, because I know that's not him.

Before the game, there were reports that Mason was nursing a sore ankle. I wonder if maybe they were true? As an aside, I completely disagree that Mason had a poor game against UNC; that's just not what I saw.


We have one player next year who is a natural center and he hasn't really shown he can handle the position as yet. While we should be strong at other positions, several of our players will be freshmen. I think we will be good, but also think we may suffer with weak rebounding and front court defense. Hope we get another big player to big strong at all positions.

Unlikely we'll get another big for next year, and even more unlikely we could find one that could make our rotation. But I, for one, am not worried. Rebounding doesn't only happen at the center position and defense is a team game. Our lack of size at center (assuming Marshall doesn't play big minutes) will be made up by our really good size at SF and WF. Our hopefully exceptional defense at 1 through 4 should make up for any potential defensive shortcomings at the 5.

Ima Facultiwyfe
02-16-2013, 11:05 PM
Pretty loud. Clearly audible.

No louder than our own crowd yelling "you s*ck" and "eat s**t" also very audible on TV. That makes me cringe more than hearing that stuff from low lifes in other arenas. We'll have a right to complain when we've cleaned up our own act.
Love, Ima

DUKIE V(A)
02-16-2013, 11:10 PM
As much as I hate to do it, I have to give the Terps a lot of credit. They played like a desparate team tonight and ultimately got the job done. They took advantage of the extra time they had to prepare and rest. Hope it is not enough to get them in the NCAA Tournament.

I was surprised Len outplayed Mason tonight as Mason has had the better of the play in the past and is certainly the better player right now. Ironically, it has been Len who has been struggling lately; he has been called out by Turgeon quite a bit in the local media lately. Mason is entitled to a bad game here and there, and I have no doubt he will bounce back. One bad game does not tarnish a tremendous season.

A Few Postives:

1. Hairston and Sheed stepping up.
2. The outstanding comeback.
3. Curry's Shooting.

Didn't see it mentioned, but I was surprised that Maryland did not miss the second last second free throw intentionally. Duke had no time outs and only 2.8 seconds left. Then the time out seemed to play right into our hands. Why give Coach K a chance to prepare for that last play? I thought Cook's shot was going down. Great execution. Almost.

tele
02-16-2013, 11:11 PM
Maybe. But as soon as Mason was benched in the second half, MD immediately pushed the lead to 10 points. That was the game right there.

Maybe it was purely a coincidence, but I believe there's something to be said for the mere post presence Plumlee provides, even if he's playing very poor defense and having his worst game of the season.

That's right, if Mason's defense was solely the problem Duke should have pulled ahead instead of letting the game slip out of reach. Plus they did make a run and get back in the game at the end, and I think that was with Mason on the floor. I think it was a gutty effort by Mason and to try and play through whatever was ailing him and try and fight for his team to get a win. Show's a lot of heart and leadership too.

sporthenry
02-16-2013, 11:19 PM
So, take 2006. Do you think the best defensive backcourt would have been:

Redick (SR), Dockery (SR), Paulus (FR)

or

Redick (SR), Dockery (SR), Nelson (SO)?

The former was the starting lineup for most of the season, but I think most people would argue that the latter would have been better defensively, and not by a little.

And Murphy hasn't exactly torn it up offensively--he has one of the lowest offensive ratings on the team (http://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/schools/duke/2013.html). Amile has been better but there are serious physical matchup problems with a number of competitors.

Look, I know coach K preaches defense. He also said Alex could be a four-year starter and Marshall was good enough to be the sixth man before his injury. I'm not sure I'd take him literally when the actual facts are, our teams tend to be relatively balanced between offense and defense.

That is one example. There are exceptions to every rule but on the whole, defense seems to be valued ahead of offense.

As far as ratings, they are very flawed b/c they are based on the whole team. I checked last year's ratings, Cook's ORTG was 120.9 while Thornton's was 114. Defensively, Cook was at 103.4 and Thornton at 102.8. So by the ratings alone, playing TT over Cook was a big mistake but I don't think anyone here would say that Cook was even close to the defender TT was.

For more proof, Marshall is currently at 91.0 DRTG, Kelly is at 93.6. Now tell me Marshall is the better defender.

I know K does a lot of coach talk especially with his role players like how he harps on TT after the game versus UNC or Hairston early in the year or how Hood and Curry were both the best players in practice. I've learned to take those with a grain of salt but I'm not sure that is apples to apples to when he talks about defense. Just look at his Olympic coaching experience where he preferred defense and guys like Igoudala in 2008 and Love was seemingly benched for his lack of intensity on the glass/defensive end.

jipops
02-16-2013, 11:19 PM
As much as I hate to do it, I have to give the Terps a lot of credit. They played like a desparate team tonight and ultimately got the job done. They took advantage of the extra time they had to prepare and rest. Hope it is not enough to get them in the NCAA Tournament.

I was surprised Len outplayed Mason tonight as Mason has had the better of the play in the past and is certainly the better player right now. Ironically, it has been Len who has been struggling lately; he has been called out by Turgeon quite a bit in the local media lately. Mason is entitled to a bad game here and there, and I have no doubt he will bounce back. One bad game does not tarnish a tremendous season.

A Few Postives:

1. Hairston and Sheed stepping up.
2. The outstanding comeback.
3. Curry's Shooting.


Didn't see it mentioned, but I was surprised that Maryland did not miss the second last second free throw intentionally. Duke had no time outs and only 2.8 seconds left. Then the time out seemed to play right into our hands. Why give Coach K a chance to prepare for that last play? I thought Cook's shot was going down. Great execution. Almost.

You touched on something here that I don't think has been discussed enough. This may have been the best 2 game stretch for Hairston that we've seen. He did an excellent job on JMM and had a lot to do with holding him scoreless over the final 17 plus minutes (other than JMM himself). Then tonight was his best offensive output of the season. Hope this is sustained. Maybe those 12 footers will finally start going down.

jv001
02-16-2013, 11:36 PM
Here is a quote from Mason during the MD postgame interviews that was posted on goduke.com. Here is the link http://www.goduke.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=22724&SPID=1845&DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=4200&ATCLID=206447369 .

“I don’t think it was so much [Maryland’s] defensive coverage—I just have to show up. I didn’t show up to play today and I let my teammates down. That’s not how I’ve played all season. I hope it doesn’t happen again. It’s all on me.”

I love Mason and the leadership that he has shown. To his credit, he owned up to his performance tonight; but I have to admit that I wished he would've definitively said that this [his no-show] will not happen again as opposed to "I hope" it won't happen again. That to me signifies that he thinks there a chance that this type of performance could happen again; and it reflects a lack of "getting mad/angry" about his performance. I'm sure he's upset by it; but it maybe more feeling disappointed about than being angry or mad about it. Again, I hope Mason uses this experience tonight as a way to re-energize himself for the stretch run by getting strongly upset by this and making sure this type of performance never happens again.

I have to go with Coach K when says the guys were gassed. Mason was just not moving well tonight. Especially on defense. He was beaten by Len and even the small guards and he's been known to block their shots into the stands. The energy was just not there. As for his "hope it doesn't happen again" statement, can you hear Christian saying something like that? I want Mason to have that killer instinct to go along with his very good athletic ability. As a captain, he should will his way to making plays. Here we have Seth basically playing on one leg keeping us in the game and playing like NPOY and Mason just not giving it his all. I have been a Mason supporter all year and have not given up on our big guy, but he has to step up with Ryan out. GoDuke!

Kedsy
02-16-2013, 11:46 PM
Before I say anything else, I was amazed at how well Rasheed handled the pressure when he had to make all three free throws to tie the game at the end there. In a 20 second span late in the 2nd half (between 4:56 to go and 4:36), Duke missed four free throws and I guess that was pretty much the ball game, but Rasheed making those three at the very end almost made up for it.

Also, you can't discount the turnovers and then say Duke's defense was poor. We turned Maryland over 26 times! True, Maryland coughs it up more than any other ACC team, but coming in to this game they still only averaged 15 turnovers a game. And most of the turnovers people have been calling unforced to me looked like we harassed Maryland into them.

Seth was an absolute assassin and Josh played probably his best game at Duke. With everything stacked against us, we had a shot to win at the buzzer. I'd have loved to win, but I'm not upset by this loss at all.

Oh, and Alex's steal/drive/dunk play was pretty rad.


Duke will become mortal and be ranked in the teens where they belong.

Man, what have you been smoking?


I believe the team can address its rebounding problems by playing Jefferson and Murphy together more often (even if just for 10 minutes a game), and Jefferson and Kelly together once Kelly returns.

To me, 10 minutes a game sounds like a LOT. Absent another injury, there's almost no way Coach K would do this.


IMO, the defensive issues start with guard penetration and end with "lack of defensive rebounding". The issues with Duke defensive rebounding have always been there, even with Ryan; but I were able to overcome that with our offense and good on-ball pressure by our guards (specifically Quinn) earlier in the season.

When Ryan went out, Pomeroy rated our defense around 5th in the country (I don't remember the exact rank, but it was definitely top 10 and I believe around 5th). I agree with those who say our D has suffered immensely without Ryan, but once he gets up to speed again we should be OK.


You touched on something here that I don't think has been discussed enough. This may have been the best 2 game stretch for Hairston that we've seen. He did an excellent job on JMM and had a lot to do with holding him scoreless over the final 17 plus minutes (other than JMM himself). Then tonight was his best offensive output of the season. Hope this is sustained. Maybe those 12 footers will finally start going down.

I agree that Josh hasn't gotten enough love on this thread after playing probably his best game at Duke. Way to go, Josh!


The D has looked better with Mason out with Josh in.

I don't know what you've been watching, but even after saying I think Josh played his best game of the season tonight, I completely disagree with your statement.


I disagree with your statement that the staff hasn't told him to ease up defensively so that he can avoid foul trouble. He played absolutely no defense on McAdoo during the UNC game even before he got into foul trouble. Using not only your logic, and also K's tendency to bench players for poor defense, Mason would have been benched at some point against UNC or BC, or several other games. But he never was. His defense has basically been non-existent for several games now, and his level of effort looked exactly the same tonight as the past few games.

I agree with this. Mason has been told he absolutely has to find a way to stay in the game.

No inside info, but it didn't look to me like Mason was "benched" at all tonight. It looked to me like he was either exhausted or had a minor injury, and K wanted to rest him. Hopefully he'll quickly recover from whatever's ailing him and get back to being a NPOY candidate.

throatybeard
02-16-2013, 11:47 PM
^ Totally. I think the lost story here is how stone cold Rasheed was at the line.

MaxAMillion
02-16-2013, 11:50 PM
It's like Tourette's, right? You guys can't help yourselves?



Before the game, there were reports that Mason was nursing a sore ankle. I wonder if maybe they were true? As an aside, I completely disagree that Mason had a poor game against UNC; that's just not what I saw.



Unlikely we'll get another big for next year, and even more unlikely we could find one that could make our rotation. But I, for one, am not worried. Rebounding doesn't only happen at the center position and defense is a team game. Our lack of size at center (assuming Marshall doesn't play big minutes) will be made up by our really good size at SF and WF. Our hopefully exceptional defense at 1 through 4 should make up for any potential defensive shortcomings at the 5.

I think you will need to cross your fingers and toes if you think you will get exceptional defense at the 4 spot.

Kedsy
02-16-2013, 11:55 PM
I think you will need to cross your fingers and toes if you think you will get exceptional defense at the 4 spot.

You mean next year? With Jabari Parker and a bulked up Amile Jefferson (although he may end up playing a lot of 5) and a senior Josh Hairston (ditto) and a more seasoned Alex Murphy and perhaps a 6'8" Semi Ojeleye (more likely he won't be ready but you never know)? I'm not at all concerned about our defense at the 4.

sporthenry
02-16-2013, 11:56 PM
The only problem with the fatigue thing is that most if not all ACC teams will play 3 games in 6 days with ACC Sunday nights. Additionally, many teams play on Friday/Sunday on the first weekend and have to rebound with a Thursday/Saturday schedule which would be even more arduous.

Perhaps we are to start worrying about the length of Duke's rotation and hope that Duke loses early in the ACCT so as to rest their tired legs.

But this is the one thing which I don't think anyone has brought up about Mason. He averages 34.4 minutes a game. According to kenpom, he plays 86% of team minutes good for 94th in the country. It is extremely rare for big men to average this many minutes. For comparison, Zeller only plays 28.6 minutes, Olynyk is at 25.6, Patric Young at 26.7, Withey at 30.4, Andrew Smith at 26.1, Dieng 31.6, Len 26.5 and he even outplays NC State's duo of Howell (31) and Leslie (32.3) despite them only going 6 deep and rarely being in foul trouble.

For comparison to other Duke big men, Boozer's last season he averaged 28.4 minutes, Elton at 29.3, and Shelden at 33.6/33.3 in his last 2 seasons. So hopefully Mason still has some jump in those legs and the season doesn't end like 2006 where we looked a bit tired as well.

sporthenry
02-17-2013, 12:11 AM
And just to expand a bit about the rebounding margin. As I said earlier, when the other team shoots 60%, there aren't a ton of rebounds for either team to get so that would help explain some of the rebounding disparity.

Of UMD's 18 misses, they got 8 offensive boards. Of Duke's 33 misses, they only got 4. So in reality, it was Duke's lack of rebounding on the offensive boards that killed them.

On the season, Duke is a slightly below average rebounding team. They get 30.7 of misses (good for 203) and the opponents get 32.8 (good for 206) while the average is 31.9%. Maryland usually gets 40% of their misses (7th best in the country) and got 44.4% this game and they give up 29.6% of the opponent's misses. So that means Duke's 12% is well below both their average and Maryland's average and probably cost us the game.

TwiceDuke
02-17-2013, 12:46 AM
It's like Tourette's, right? You guys can't help yourselves?

Fair enough. But I would say this after our good wins, too. There have been games this year where it looks like we're beginning to establish an identity, only to see a different Duke team come out the next game.

Naturally, there's value to having a different performer step up each game. And we have had plenty of that. But something that great - rather than good - teams do is to establish an identity. You know who will show up, and you know how the game will be played, before the game starts. With this team, I have felt that to be lacking. I also think that this is true on both the micro- and the macro-levels.

To be concrete. This year, we have lamented the slow starts. I haven't yet decided what is the cause - it may be a lack of focus, it may be the bullseye that we wear, it may be the meals the guys eat before the game. Whatever the cause, it happens. Accordingly, I defy someone to show me a team with a well-defined identity that has similar trouble breaking into games. (I.e. if you've got a hoss, you ride the hoss. Even if he starts 0-5. You find a way to get him involved. Or, if you play a packed-in man-to-man and ride three upperclassmen, you do that.)

Do not misunderstand me. I like this team. Curry has been an absolute gem this season. Mason has exceeded expectations and looks like he's realized that he can be great - which we've been waiting for during his prior three seasons. Cook's been a revelation, and Rasheed too. Hairston and Amile have more than acquited themselves in Ryan's absence. Thornton has been exactly what he needs to be. That doesn't mean I can discern any identity for this team.

So, let me add to my earlier post: "I'd be happy to hear proposals as to what this team's identity is, or should be."

gumbomoop
02-17-2013, 03:24 AM
This certainly ends our acc regular season title chance.


We needed help anyway - this means we need more

My intent in this post is to make everyone a little less bummed out about this game - or at least those of you not totally nuts at this loss, or Mason's play, or Wheat's comment about bad basketball. I doubt I'll succeed.

I have posted several times over the past couple of weeks that Miami was already virtually a lock to win the ACC regular season. Thus I hoped that Miami would beat the Heels last Sat not just because of 9F, but because Miami's record plus remaining games had already made the ACCT #1 seed virtually a lost cause for Duke. Thus, perhaps unlike Durham Thunder and dukelifer, I do not believe that even had Quinn's shot gone in, that Duke would likely win the regular season.

Now I will admit that there was a 2/16-17 scenario that would have given me second thoughts. Namely: [1] Quinn's shot goes in, and [2] Clemson wins in Littlejohn tomorrow. But even then, and even though Duke might get revenge when the 'Canes visit CIS, even then Duke's and Miami's remaining schedules would strongly favor the 'Canes getting the #1 slot.

To be clear, I still hope Clemson upsets the 'Canes tomorrow [tonight], but not because it would provide much hope that Duke might still somehow win the regular season. Rather, I want Clemson to play well and get on a little roll so they can beat UNC in Littlejohn on Feb. 28.

Even before the Md. game, I'd been looking at the schedules of UVa, NCSt, and UNC, to "make sure" none of those teams nip in ahead of the Devils for that #2 ACCT seed. So.....


This pretty much eliminates us winning a share of the ACC regular season title. At this point, with potentially tough road games remaining against UNC, UVa, and Va Tech, I think there is reason to wonder if we'll even hang on to the #2 spot in the ACC.

...... I share CDu's concern about tough road games. Duke's now 9-3. Look, I'm gonna be bummed if our guys lose at home to either BC or VT, so I'm assuming Duke gets to 11 wins. But do the Devils get to 12, and, really, 13, which is probably a good "safe" number for the ACCT #2 seed? The other 4 games are Miami in CIS and those tough road contests with VT, UVa, and UNC. Again assuming wins in CIS v. BC and VT, any additional 3 wins gets Duke to 14-4. Only UVa could possibly match that, and only then by winning out, including a win at Miami. But it's more sensible to hope Duke gets to 13-5 and that none of our competitors matches that. If it's 15-3 or 14-4, great.

This is probably a minority viewpoint, but I don't want UVa to win at Miami. Nor, despite my great admiration for Coach Bennett, do I want the Cavs to win at BC, nor at FSU. I want the Cavs to lose a few, preferably including to Duke. As for NCSt, I sure wish they'd lost today, for [I]the 'Pack is a problem - a bigger problem than Miami. Their schedule is pretty easy from here on out. Sure, I want them to beat the Heels in the return match, but I also want them to lose at least one more game. Which reduces me, right now, just crystal-ball-gazing, to hoping that FSU beats the Pack at season's end.

In fact, I'm hoping FSU starts playing well. For the 'Noles could be real good friends, as they have 2 games remaining with NCSt, and one each with UNC and UVa.

Which brings me to this.......


The one I'm worried about is the 2 day turnaround from @UVA to Miami at home (UVA on Thursday, Miami on Saturday).

...... very reasonable concern. But if I had to choose, right now, one of these 2 games to win, I'd choose to beat the Cavs. The odds of overcoming Miami for #1, even with a win over them in CIS, are longer than are the odds of staying ahead of UVa or NCSt for #2. Or even #3.

We need to keep our "eyes on the prize," the very valuable consolation prize, the #2 ACCT seed. Need to root for results, in every relevant game, that help Duke achieve that prize. Become a Seminole fan for the next 3 weeks, even if their 3-point win today at home v. BC does not inspire. Hey, can you find it in your heart to root for the Terps? Well, they end up with UNC and UVa, so, "Go Terps!" Meanwhile, no harm in hoping the 'Canes collapse. I know I'm hoping Clemson beats them tonight in Littlejohn. But whether Miami wins or loses against Clemson, Tuesday night, I'll be rooting - not enthusiastically, just pragmatically - for the Canes over the Cavs.

That makes you feel better, right?

hillsborodevil
02-17-2013, 06:27 AM
I am very proud of the players. Very gusty comeback. Instead of pointing at individual player performances why not look at the last 16 seconds of the game?

With the score tied, why did Duke lay back and let MD casually dribble the ball up and then start driving the ball with 5/6 seconds left?

IMO Duke should've pressed full court. When or if they crossed mid court I would've double teamed and possibly fouled a poor FT shooter. I'm not 100% sure about fouling but I would've made sure MD's positioning was way off crossing mid court - hoping to rush the offense.

Sure Mason had a bad game - dude looked tired to me - but I think anyone can have a bad game or call - including the coaching staff.

This was a hostile environment and Duke almost make it out with a W. I'll take it each week when beating UNC days earlier. Go Duke

Buckeye Devil
02-17-2013, 06:32 AM
Nothing will make me feel better about this team's future in the ACCT and the NCAAT except seeing Ryan Kelly walk onto the court in a Duke uniform on a healthy foot. And that in time for the team to readjust to him being in there all over again. No repeat scenario from 2011. If that happens we will be alright. If it doesn't, then my expectations need to be realistic. Duke is not the #2 team in the nation without Ryan but they seemed to be a Final 4 threat with him. I think it proves once again the value of Coach K for this team to be sitting at 22-3 at this point of the year given what he has to work with without Kelly.

BlueDevilBrowns
02-17-2013, 06:32 AM
You mean next year? With Jabari Parker and a bulked up Amile Jefferson (although he may end up playing a lot of 5) and a senior Josh Hairston (ditto) and a more seasoned Alex Murphy and perhaps a 6'8" Semi Ojeleye (more likely he won't be ready but you never know)? I'm not at all concerned about our defense at the 4.

Yep! And too, don't forget we have 6'8" Rodney Hood at the 2 or 3 spot and then IF the matchup dictates, 6' 4" Sulaimon could play a little PG as well.

In most cases next year, size won't be the reason for a loss.

Bob Green
02-17-2013, 06:42 AM
There is talk of next year in this thread. News flash folks:

1. The sun rose this morning
2. There is a lot of basketball left to be played this year

porkpa
02-17-2013, 06:42 AM
In the manner that one hot day does not a Summer make, then so does not one bad game a career make. Nevertheless, excluding all the excuses - being tired; playing too many minutes without comparable backup; too much responsibility placed on one young man's shoulders without the presence of Ryan Kelly, etc. Does that poor game yesterday affect Mason's possible draft status? I think that if I were an NBA team it does. Going into the game I wold have thought that Mason was likely a sure lottery pick. Now I'm not so sure.

Reilly
02-17-2013, 06:46 AM
... the value of Coach K ... given what he has to work with without Kelly.

You mean only having five McDonald's All-Americans at his disposal instead of six? Just joshing. K has done a tremendous coaching job this year, it seems. That said, the cupboard is not exactly bare with Mason, Quinn, Sulaimon ...

Buckeye Devil
02-17-2013, 07:01 AM
Absolutely agree the cupboard is not bare especially in comparison to a lot of other teams! Well said and a good reminder.

But losing a senior who played great defense, rebounded well, and scored 13+ a game is a lot for any team to overcome regardless of the other McDonald's All Americans on the team.

oldnavy
02-17-2013, 07:17 AM
Well the fact he was seemingly benched even without being in dire foul trouble would indicate that the coaches weren't happy either. There were times when it was Josh even though Mason wasn't in foul trouble.

Oh, I agree. No body was happy with Mason's play including Mason.

My point is that he has to play like he has a couple of fouls on him from the beginning, and that he cannot be as aggressive as we/he would like.

That along with the stresses of last week came together and he had a very poor game.

I am not making excuses for him, he has to play better no matter, but I am not going to be overly critical of him for this game.

I want to get RK back really bad, because to me that will take pressure off Mase on a couple of fronts.

Without Mason, we are nowhere near our current record or standing. He had a bad game at the end of a tough week... I'm good with that.

jv001
02-17-2013, 07:27 AM
Some things from the box score:
Md= 40 rebounds with 9 on offensive end
Duke= 20 rebounds with 7 on offensive end
The twerps shoot 60% but still get 2 more offensive rebounds than we do. That's telling. With Duke shooting 48% we get 7 offensive.
Turn overs:
Md.= 26 Duke 12. Points in the paint: Md 42, Duke 32. Thats more points for the twerps with all those tos.
These stats show just how bad a game Mason had. I really look for Coach K to go to Mason both early and often against VT on Thursday. I hope he recognizes double teams and doesn't force things in hopes of making up for probably his worse game in his Duke career. I think he bounces back big time. By the way: Maryland 25 fouls and Duke 24. So it wasn't the refs fault. GoDuke!

dukelifer
02-17-2013, 07:27 AM
In the manner that one hot day does not a Summer make, then so does not one bad game a career make. Nevertheless, excluding all the excuses - being tired; playing too many minutes without comparable backup; too much responsibility placed on one young man's shoulders without the presence of Ryan Kelly, etc. Does that poor game yesterday affect Mason's possible draft status? I think that if I were an NBA team it does. Going into the game I wold have thought that Mason was likely a sure lottery pick. Now I'm not so sure.

And if Mason has a 30-20 game against Miami- does he become a lottery pick again. Mason is who he is. Yesterday's game doesn't define him. His draft status will depend on a lot of factors.

TheDukeCreed
02-17-2013, 07:47 AM
People hammering Mason Plumlee. The guy is playing out of position. Center isn't his natural position and he was going up against a guy that had height and size advantage. In the NBA he will not be playing that position. Scouts know this. Unfortunately he doesn't often get to show off his driving skills but if I was a scout I would be in awe of his transition game.

Duke lost because they couldn't match the energy level that Maryland displayed and it is obvious why. Next game. I don't get too concerned with silly biased rankings. It's all aesthetics. The RPI and other factors that determine the seeding tournament time is what I worry about.

slower
02-17-2013, 07:50 AM
I wasn't able to watch the game. Perhaps it's just as well. But I think it's obvious that we are clearly - CLEARLY - not the #1 or #2 team in the country. Just as we can conceivably beat anybody on any given night, we can conceivably lose to almost anybody on any given night.

Now, I admit to being one of those "spoiled" fans. My hope every year, no matter how unrealistic, is that we'll make the Final Four. However, most years reveal the same pattern - early excellence, followed by a seemingly inevitable swoon after conference play starts and, all too often, underperforming or having a shocking flameout in the NCAA tourney. It's silly to have such expectations, I know. And almost every year, it's hard to come to the realization that Jason Williams, Battier, Boozer and Dunleavy aren't walking through that door. For the most part, our teams are not as dominant as that team was (well, in my memory, they were dominant - but I'm sure SOMEBODY will offer some stats as to how they weren't - whatever). The Kyrie team had that potential, but his injury sidetracked things.

If Kelly comes back soon and plays to his earlier level, we'll be in good shape. Without him, no loss should come as a surprise.

BlueDevilBrowns
02-17-2013, 08:03 AM
My intent in this post is to make everyone a little less bummed out about this game - or at least those of you not totally nuts at this loss, or Mason's play, or Wheat's comment about bad basketball. I doubt I'll succeed.

We need to keep our "eyes on the prize," the very valuable consolation prize, the #2 ACCT seed.

That makes you feel better, right?


No, you didn't succeed (for me anyways) and I don't feel better if I'm to be "consoled" with the "prize" of the #2 seed in the ACCT.

I don't care what VA, UNC, NCSU, or anyone else do or don't do as long as Duke wins out(which I think they can do). We should still be quite concerned with Miami's performance going forward because Duke is STILL in direct competition with them for a #1 seed, regardless if we finish behind them in the regular season. The REAL prize Duke should be focusing on is placing themselves in position to receive either a #1 or #2 seed for the NCAAT.

Whether Duke is a #2 or #3 in the ACCT make no difference to me as history has shown they can win the Conference Tournament no matter what their seeding is.

As bad as Duke looks right now(and I think that's debatable) and as good as Miami appears, the simple truth is if Duke finishes the regular season with 27-4 or 26-5, including a win over Miami at home, they will be ahead of Miami for the #1 seed in the East/South/West. Duke's resume is simply better. If Kelly comes back, it just further solidifies Duke's superiority over Miami(on paper, at least).

I'm sure I sound spoiled, but you have to aim high to go far.

sagegrouse
02-17-2013, 08:16 AM
Just as one swallow does not make a spring, one loss does not ruin a season.

Being somewhat lazy and unwilling to dwell on negatives, here is my short list of positives from last night:


After Rasheed's shaky shooting at the start, I thought he was the best player on the court in the second half. In fact, he seemed to take over the game on the offensive end. And how clutch were his three FT's with 16 seconds left? Money player!

Down ten points with 3:39 left, we had an extraordinary comeback to tie the game.

Curry is one heckuva player and kept us in the game.

Hairston in the first half? Eleven points? Pinch me!

Twenty-six turnovers by Maryland? Good ball-hawking by Quinn, Rasheed, Tyler and Seth.

And "One loss does not a season ruin" department: The 1991 National Championship team laid down and died in the ACC finals against UNC, losing by 20. The 2001 NC team lost to Maryland and UNC -- at home. The 2010 NC team got routed by Georgetown with the President in attendance. The 1992 NC team had no bad losses but needed a miracle to get to the Final Four.

sagegrouse
'Let's go, Duke!'

sporthenry
02-17-2013, 08:55 AM
People hammering Mason Plumlee. The guy is playing out of position. Center isn't his natural position and he was going up against a guy that had height and size advantage. In the NBA he will not be playing that position. Scouts know this. Unfortunately he doesn't often get to show off his driving skills but if I was a scout I would be in awe of his transition game. .

I'm not sure why he is considered a PF. Perhaps I'm too enthralled by his size and the fact he can't shoot a lick. His driving game also isn't as good as you seem to indicate.

But when Vucevic was the tallest player in his draft at 6'11, I think Mason will be a 5. Now these positions aren't hard and fast in the NBA so it becomes about system but a lot of your position is dictated by who you can cover but Mason has shown no ability to cover a 4 especially with the NBA going small with guys like LeBron at the 4.

Saratoga2
02-17-2013, 08:58 AM
Some things from the box score:
Md= 40 rebounds with 9 on offensive end
Duke= 20 rebounds with 7 on offensive end
The twerps shoot 60% but still get 2 more offensive rebounds than we do. That's telling. With Duke shooting 48% we get 7 offensive.
Turn overs:
Md.= 26 Duke 12. Points in the paint: Md 42, Duke 32. Thats more points for the twerps with all those tos.
These stats show just how bad a game Mason had. I really look for Coach K to go to Mason both early and often against VT on Thursday. I hope he recognizes double teams and doesn't force things in hopes of making up for probably his worse game in his Duke career. I think he bounces back big time. By the way: Maryland 25 fouls and Duke 24. So it wasn't the refs fault. GoDuke!

He is a kid that has given Duke almost 4 years of his best efforts and deserves to be held in esteem for that alone. He is also 6'10" and between 235 and 240 pounds, with good speed and excellent leaping ability. He makes a fast break dunk as well as anyone I have seen. Those are all really good things.

Is he a center? Not really, since he will face bigger and stronger players who better fit that role both in college and certainly in the pros. So he is a power forward!

What are his offensive skills? He dunks the ball and can hit the baby hook with either hand, especially against smaller forwards and centers. He also has shown some ability to get to the baskets and dunk at times. In saying that, I think we all notice he doesn't have particularly good balance and frequently takes steps resulting in TO's. In our all out effort to get him the ball, we sometimes make ill advised passes and the combination of his turnovers with bad passes to him can come up negatively as they did last night. Mason also has offensive foul problems as his lack of feel around the baskets gets him into a couple or more offensive fouls a game limiting him defensively.

Mason seldom even attempts mid range jump shots, presumably since he doesn't have much accuracy. In the pros, he would have to more than one dimensional offensively.

Mason's free throw shooting has been pretty bad for several years with improvement this year. Even so, he still puts up a very flat shot and has poor form doing it. Watching Len shoot last night the difference was obvious. I don't know why Mason hasn't really been able to develop a better form over the years, but maybe he is not too receptive to change.

Mason's defense has not been good of late. He lets his man set up close to the basket and seldom plays tough, probably because of his need to stay in the game. He seems to be under the basket when rebounding due to his defensive position, which gives him a disadvantage when going for rebounds. He has been very soft in providing help defense as well, again because of his need to stay in the game.

All-in-all, Mason's game works best against teams with smaller centers and PF's. Against Maryland we saw him as ineffective. Perhaps the coaches will think of a new strategy to use Mason to the best of his abilities.

Papa John
02-17-2013, 09:05 AM
K closing salvo - shots fired!!!!!!!!!

On what he thinks about the end of the Maryland/Duke rivalry:
“We don’t look at any rivalries; we look at each opponent the same. I’ve said that every time I’ve come here. I have a great deal of respect for Maryland. If it was such a rivalry they’d still be in the ACC. Obviously they don’t think it’s that important, or they wouldn’t be in the Big Ten. I respect their basketball program and the job their coaches have done and their players have done over the years. We’ve had some great games with them, but we have great games against a lot of people. A lot of people want to beat us, and they’re one of them.”

K: "Not our rival!"

superdave
02-17-2013, 09:05 AM
If Marshall was indeed a top 6 rotation player back in the fall, where has he been with Ryan out? I suspect the comment from Coach K was designed more to boost the kid's confidence than it was to set fan's expectations for Marshall's minutes. Who knows.

I do know that with Mason a little dinged up and tired we could have used a solid couple of stretches out of Marshall last night. We did not get that and have not really seen a flash of it this year either. With Mason avoiding foul trouble like an ex-girlfriend, why not reduce his minutes a little rather than reduce his defensive aggressiveness? Is that not a place where Marshall can help? Len is not the quickest big, and would clearly be bothered by Marshall leaning on him for 2-3 minute stretches. I dont know if it's too late to push Marshall into that role, but we have not tried it. It would be nice to protect the rim and not get creamed on the boards.

Also, the last time I can recall we forced this many turnovers against a conference opponent was GT in 2007. We lost that one too. If we had pressed the Terp guards yesterday we could have doubled their turnovers. Their ballhandling was rotten.

CDu
02-17-2013, 09:10 AM
People hammering Mason Plumlee. The guy is playing out of position. Center isn't his natural position and he was going up against a guy that had height and size advantage. In the NBA he will not be playing that position. Scouts know this. Unfortunately he doesn't often get to show off his driving skills but if I was a scout I would be in awe of his transition game.


Is he a center? Not really, since he will face bigger and stronger players who better fit that role both in college and certainly in the pros. So he is a power forward!

The bolded quotes have been said by a number of posters a number of times, but it's just not true. He is a college center. That is his natural position. He doesn't have the skillset or the quickness to play PF at the college level. Occasionally, he plays a player bigger than him. But for the most part, Mason is as big or bigger than his counterpart at C. And his skillset is DEFINITELY that of a C.

Now, he may transition to PF at the NBA level. But if he does, he'll have to improve his offensive game quite a bit.

But at the college level, Mason is absolutely playing his natural position at Duke.


Duke lost because they couldn't match the energy level that Maryland displayed and it is obvious why. Next game. I don't get too concerned with silly biased rankings. It's all aesthetics. The RPI and other factors that determine the seeding tournament time is what I worry about.

No, we lost this game because we couldn't stay in front of Maryland's guards (most notably Cook failing to stay in front of Allen), because we couldn't defend Alex Len, and because we couldn't keep Maryland off the boards.

FerryFor50
02-17-2013, 09:10 AM
If Marshall was indeed a top 6 rotation player back in the fall, where has he been with Ryan out? I suspect the comment from Coach K was designed more to boost the kid's confidence than it was to set fan's expectations for Marshall's minutes. Who knows.

I do know that with Mason a little dinged up and tired we could have used a solid couple of stretches out of Marshall last night. We did not get that and have not really seen a flash of it this year either. With Mason avoiding foul trouble like an ex-girlfriend, why not reduce his minutes a little rather than reduce his defensive aggressiveness? Is that not a place where Marshall can help? Len is not the quickest big, and would clearly be bothered by Marshall leaning on him for 2-3 minute stretches. I dont know if it's too late to push Marshall into that role, but we have not tried it. It would be nice to protect the rim and not get creamed on the boards.

Also, the last time I can recall we forced this many turnovers against a conference opponent was GT in 2007. We lost that one too. If we had pressed the Terp guards yesterday we could have doubled their turnovers. Their ballhandling was rotten.


With Marshall, you could at least get some value out of some hard fouls challenging layups. Then when the guy goes to the line, he's not smiling like Shane Allen was last night after Cook's phantom touch foul...

FerryFor50
02-17-2013, 09:11 AM
The bolded part has been said by a number of posters a number of times, but it's just not true. He is a college center. That is his natural position. He doesn't have the skillset or the quickness to play PF at the college level.

Now, he may transition to PF at the NBA level. But if he does, he'll have to improve his offensive game quite a bit.

But at the college level, Mason is absolutely playing his natural position at Duke.



No, we lost this game because we couldn't stay in front of Maryland's guards (most notably Cook failing to stay in front of Allen), because we couldn't defend Alex Len, and because we couldn't keep Maryland off the boards.

And because we couldn't hit our FTs at the same pace as MD.

Papa John
02-17-2013, 09:42 AM
I share CDu's concern about tough road games. Duke's now 9-3. Look, I'm gonna be bummed if our guys lose at home to either BC or VT, so I'm assuming Duke gets to 11 wins. But do the Devils get to 12, and, really, 13, which is probably a good "safe" number for the ACCT #2 seed? The other 4 games are Miami in CIS and those tough road contests with VT, UVa, and UNC. Again assuming wins in CIS v. BC and VT, any additional 3 wins gets Duke to 14-4. Only UVa could possibly match that, and only then by winning out, including a win at Miami. But it's more sensible to hope Duke gets to 13-5 and that none of our competitors matches that. If it's 15-3 or 14-4, great.

This is probably a minority viewpoint, but I don't want UVa to win at Miami. Nor, despite my great admiration for Coach Bennett, do I want the Cavs to win at BC, nor at FSU. I want the Cavs to lose a few, preferably including to Duke. As for NCSt, I sure wish they'd lost today, for the 'Pack is a problem - a bigger problem than Miami. Their schedule is pretty easy from here on out. Sure, I want them to beat the Heels in the return match, but I also want them to lose at least one more game. Which reduces me, right now, just crystal-ball-gazing, to hoping that FSU beats the Pack at season's end.

...But if I had to choose, right now, one of these 2 games to win, I'd choose to beat the Cavs. The odds of overcoming Miami for #1, even with a win over them in CIS, are longer than are the odds of staying ahead of UVa or NCSt for #2. Or even #3.

We need to keep our "eyes on the prize," the very valuable consolation prize, the #2 ACCT seed.

Yowza! I hope our players don't have this type of gutless mindset!

VaTech on the road as a "tough contest"? No offense, but VaTech is absolutely awful, whether playing at home or not. Our toughest games left on the slate are Miami at home, UVa on the road, then UNC in Chapel Hill in the order. Lumping VaTech in Blacksburg this season in with those three games is comical at best.

Personally, I think we go 2-1 or 3-0 in those games, and end up second to Miami in the regular season race--they're not slipping up 3 times with their remaining schedule. I think we'll be pumped to get revenge on Miami in Cameron, and have a feeling that Kelly might make his return in that game. I think we take Carolina in the season finale. The game that concerns me most is UVa in C'ville--that has become one of the toughest places to play in the conference.

As an aside, I want UVa to win, except when they're playing us. Our conference feels weak enough this season. We don't need it to become watered down further by having another of its top dogs saddled with half a dozen losses heading into the NCAAs...

AtlDuke72
02-17-2013, 10:11 AM
He is a kid that has given Duke almost 4 years of his best efforts and deserves to be held in esteem for that alone.

I agree completely. Every player that has ever played has a bad game once in awhile. Mason has carried the team all year and some of the comments in this thread questioning his pride, effort etc. are just ridiculous IMO.

Maryland's coach almost managed to give the game back at the end. There was no reason for Allen to make the second free throw at the end of the game. No way Duke could rebound and get it down the court for a 2 point shot in 2 seconds. Then the Terps compounded the mistake by not guarding the in bounds passer and somehow still letting Cook catch the ball near half court. He got a shot off that was not just a heave at the basket.

It is almost impossible to win when the other team gets twice as many rebounds and shoots about 15 more free throws. All in all a very strange game. The Devils never quit and they can build off this game.

dukelifer
02-17-2013, 10:27 AM
Yowza! I hope our players don't have this type of gutless mindset!

VaTech on the road as a "tough contest"? No offense, but VaTech is absolutely awful, whether playing at home or not. Our toughest games left on the slate are Miami at home, UVa on the road, then UNC in Chapel Hill in the order. Lumping VaTech in Blacksburg this season in with those three games is comical at best.

Personally, I think we go 2-1 or 3-0 in those games, and end up second to Miami in the regular season race--they're not slipping up 3 times with their remaining schedule. I think we'll be pumped to get revenge on Miami in Cameron, and have a feeling that Kelly might make his return in that game. I think we take Carolina in the season finale. The game that concerns me most is UVa in C'ville--that has become one of the toughest places to play in the conference.

As an aside, I want UVa to win, except when they're playing us. Our conference feels weak enough this season. We don't need it to become watered down further by having another of its top dogs saddled with half a dozen losses heading into the NCAAs...
Va Tech is not awful. Any time you have the leading scorer in the nation playing on a big stage you are in for a tough night. Va Tech is fully capable of beating Duke. They nearly took out State at State yesterday and looked very good.

TruBlu
02-17-2013, 10:47 AM
No, we lost this game because we couldn't stay in front of Maryland's guards (most notably Cook failing to stay in front of Allen), because we couldn't defend Alex Len, and because we couldn't keep Maryland off the boards.

Other than that, we were almost perfect.

You nailed it! (Although you could add that our help defense was almost non-existent.)

gumbomoop
02-17-2013, 10:49 AM
No, you didn't succeed (for me anyways) and I don't feel better if I'm to be "consoled" with the "prize" of the #2 seed in the ACCT.

I don't care what VA, UNC, NCSU, or anyone else do or don't do [1] as long as Duke wins out (which I think they can do). We should still be quite concerned with Miami's performance going forward because Duke is STILL in direct competition with them for a #1 seed, regardless if we finish behind them in the regular season. [2] The REAL prize Duke should be focusing on is placing themselves in position to receive either a #1 or #2 seed for the NCAAT.

[3] Whether Duke is a #2 or #3 in the ACCT make no difference to me as history has shown they can win the Conference Tournament no matter what their seeding is.

[4] I'm sure I sound spoiled, but you have to aim high to go far.

[1] I don't care either, as long as Duke wins out. And if Duke wins out, Duke will be 15-3, Miami will have at least one loss, possibly but not likely 3. So 15-3 would certainly get Duke ACCT #2 seed, just barely possibly ACCT #1 seed. As I said in my post, that would be great, obviously. Because it's not a certainty, however, we should be paying attention to, and hoping for certain results in, many specific ACC games in the last 3 weeks.

[2] Good point, and nothing in my post says the Duke staff and players should be focusing on anything other than doing exactly what you say here. As to what we fans can do, we can walk and chew gum at the same time, by which I mean we can passionately watch each Duke game, expect to win, and at the same time realize that there are circumstances in which it will be helpful for competitors, including competitors other than Miami, to lose. But to repeat: you make a good point here.

[3] While you're right that Duke can win this season's ACCT as any seed, there is a slight advantage to being #2, in that the #2 plays the early game Fri night. It's marginally better to play the early game.

[4] You do sound spoiled, but no more than I; we're all spoiled to some extent here. I have stated repeatedly on this board that I'm always surprised when Duke loses. At the beginning of every game, I think Duke will win. I didn't think the game last evening was beyond Duke's real chance to win at any point. And in fact Quinn had another dribble, possibly 2, before shooting last night. One more dribble, and he'd have made the shot.....



Yowza! I hope our players don't have this type of [1] gutless mindset!

VaTech on the road as a "tough contest"? [2] No offense, but [3] VaTech is absolutely awful, whether playing at home or not. Our toughest games left on the slate are Miami at home, UVa on the road, then UNC in Chapel Hill in the order. Lumping VaTech in Blacksburg this season in with those three games is comical at best.

[4] Personally, I think we go 2-1 or 3-0 in those games, and end up second to Miami in the regular season race--they're not slipping up 3 times with their remaining schedule. I think we'll be pumped to get revenge on Miami in Cameron, and have a feeling that Kelly might make his return in that game. I think we take Carolina in the season finale. The game that concerns me most is UVa in C'ville--that has become one of the toughest places to play in the conference.

[5] As an aside, I want UVa to win, except when they're playing us. Our conference feels weak enough this season. We don't need it to become watered down further by having another of its top dogs saddled with half a dozen losses heading into the NCAAs...

[1] I'll have to think about this point. Naturally I'll resist agreeing with this particular characterization. Maybe "wrong-headed" would make this medicine go down a little easier.

[2] No reason for me to take offense thus far in your response. [Here I am attempting to laugh with, not at, you or me. It is a challenge, but do-able.]

[3] You're right that VT on the road should be a win. I was a little surprised that they took NCSt to OT yesterday, but I'm willing to agree that we should assume that Duke's 3 absolutely-should-and-must-wins include BC and both VTs. Maybe @VT should be in its own difficulty-category: tougher than BC and VT in CIS, but easier than the big 3 tough ones.

[4] I pretty much agree with this, and said as much re Miami in my post. And I agree that away to UVA - UNC, too - is a tougher slog than home to Miami. I think Duke will beat Miami. Might go 15-3, 14-4, yes. But definitely must get to 13-5.

[5] Generally agree here, too. As I noted in my post, I admire Bennett a lot. But come to think of it, I admire the job Larranaga has done, too. I'll have to admit, if by chance Clemson beats Miami tonight, I might have to join you in rooting for UVa on Tuesday. I'll be shocked if Miami loses its next 2. You raise a good point about ACCT teams heading into NCAAT.

Matches
02-17-2013, 11:08 AM
Didn't see it mentioned, but I was surprised that Maryland did not miss the second last second free throw intentionally. Duke had no time outs and only 2.8 seconds left. Then the time out seemed to play right into our hands. Why give Coach K a chance to prepare for that last play? I thought Cook's shot was going down. Great execution. Almost.

I thought the same thing. And THEN they didn't guard the inbounds guy. Paging Mr. Pitino....

It worked out for them, obviously, but it was a really strange decision IMO. I wonder if Turgeon didn't trust his guys not to foul on the rebound.

rsvman
02-17-2013, 11:39 AM
One thing that seems to be getting lost in the discussion about preventing foul trouble for Mason is that he often gets called for offensive fouls; usually good for at least one, and sometimes two or three of these per contest.

When he gets the ball on the block, he initiates a series of bumps with the defender. When he's about to make his move toward the basket he often gives a pretty hard bump, sometimes with the shoulder lowered. All the opposing player has to do is flail a little or fall down and most of the time the refs will give the call (a couple of exceptions in the UNC game, but we got lucky with two good no-calls that would've almost certainly been called offensive fouls in somebody else's arena).

It seems to me that Mason could maintain a little more defensive intensity if he could just avoid the fouls on the offensive end. I know it's easier said than done, since the opposing coaches are probably telling their bigs to fall down when Mason gives that hard bump, but there's got to be a way to cut down on the O fouls so that defensive pressure around the basket can be maintained.

calltheobvious
02-17-2013, 11:40 AM
1/12—40
1/17—40
1/23—37
1/26—37
1/30—36
2/2—25
2/7—40
2/10—38
2/13—35
2/16—33

These are Mason's minutes played since Kelly went down, obviously including this week's challenges that included a horrendous travel situation, his last home game against Carolina, and another road game in a hostile-to-the-max environment. Isn't it possible that the kid is just physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted, and that there's little more to the story than that?

I questioned Mason's effort on the court many times during his first three years at Duke, but he's banked more than enough goodwill this season for me never to do that again.

Kedsy
02-17-2013, 11:46 AM
[1] I don't care either, as long as Duke wins out. And if Duke wins out, Duke will be 15-3, Miami will have at least one loss, possibly but not likely 3.

As you say, if Duke wins out, Miami will have at least one loss. They play at Clemson today, and Kadji may not be 100% (after getting injured two games ago, he only scored 3 points with 2 rebounds in 17 minutes against FSU). Admittedly after today (and other than their game @Duke), the toughest game they play is Virginia in Coral Gables, but upsets happen in the ACC all the time. Miami is no lock to have fewer than 3 losses. Obviously if they win today the odds get longer, but you never know. Ultimately it doesn't matter who we root for, so if you want to root against Virginia and NC State, root your heart out.

CoachJ10
02-17-2013, 11:52 AM
Let's not forget that Mason is the one player on this team we CANNOT afford to get into foul trouble. He HAS to play conservative on both ends. If he gets in foul trouble who do we have to back him up??? No one. Josh is now playing for Ryan as is Amile. I even heard K say that Mason cannot get into foul trouble.

I do not think it is a matter of drive on his part, I think he is trying to stay in the game for 35 minutes. It has to impact his play. If we are lucky enough to get Ryan back, so that Mason can be more aggerssive, I think we will see much more consistance out of him.

We have no depth at the 5, none! Marshall as good as he may end up being is not there yet, Josh and Amile are both undersized and playing for Ryan. I am not sure what Mason is supposed to do??

It is a weakness for us right now.

This is a very solid point...and it is pretty clear the way the help defense (or lack of) has been affected by this. It will, unfortunately, not be going away until we get Ryan back.

Sgt. Dingleberry
02-17-2013, 11:52 AM
Va Tech is not awful. Any time you have the leading scorer in the nation playing on a big stage you are in for a tough night. Va Tech is fully capable of beating Duke. They nearly took out State at State yesterday and looked very good.

Yeah...

Duke almost lost to BC @ BC. Any team (except for Miami so far, but who still also almost lost @ BC) can lose on the road to any other team this year in the ACC.

VA Tech is typically very, very physical inside, which is something, as we saw last night, we can have trouble with.

If some of our guys don't show up Thursday night, we can lose. I don't expect that to happen, but it could....

gumbomoop
02-17-2013, 12:15 PM
As you say, if Duke wins out, Miami will have at least one loss. They play at Clemson today, and Kadji may not be 100% (after getting injured two games ago, he only scored 3 points with 2 rebounds in 17 minutes against FSU). Admittedly after today (and other than their game @Duke), the toughest game they play is Virginia in Coral Gables, but upsets happen in the ACC all the time. Miami is no lock to have fewer than 3 losses. Obviously if they win today the odds get longer, but you never know. Ultimately it doesn't matter who we root for, so if you want to root against Virginia and NC State, root your heart out.

You're right that it doesn't matter whom we root for. My understandably unpopular post and subsequent responses to posters who disagree were intended to say we should pay attention to the distinct possibility that Miami will win the regular season, and to the several possibilities re Duke's finish in the standings, which several possibilities depend not only on Duke's games but on our competitors' games, as well, for their import for bye-slots on ACCT Thursday. Most important, the battle for #1 is close to being, but is not quite, settled; the battle for #2-4 is nowhere close to being settled.

So, in attempting to point out interesting scenarios involving particular non-Duke teams and games X, Y, and Z, I may only be stating the bloody obvious. Still, as we have seen, there's already some disagreement re Duke @ VT, and I'm guessing other disagreements will surface soon enough, on threads yet to be started.

azzefkram
02-17-2013, 12:18 PM
1/12—40
1/17—40
1/23—37
1/26—37
1/30—36
2/2—25
2/7—40
2/10—38
2/13—35
2/16—33

These are Mason's minutes played since Kelly went down, obviously including this week's challenges that included a horrendous travel situation, his last home game against Carolina, and another road game in a hostile-to-the-max environment. Isn't it possible that the kid is just physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted, and that there's little more to the story than that?

I questioned Mason's effort on the court many times during his first three years at Duke, but he's banked more than enough goodwill this season for me never to do that again.

/sarcasm on. Don't you know that kids can play forty minutes a night, practice, attend a top flight university, have a life and never wear down? /sarcasm off. As some dimbulb once said to me, let's not have this tired old argument since it's been irrefutably proven that fatigue doesn't exist.

ChillinDuke
02-17-2013, 12:31 PM
Va Tech is not awful. Any time you have the leading scorer in the nation playing on a big stage you are in for a tough night. Va Tech is fully capable of beating Duke. They nearly took out State at State yesterday and looked very good.

Anyone is "capable" of beating Duke. Just like "Health" is always a concern on the Phase posts. These things are so universal, it's like saying "I really hope the entire Duke team doesn't forget to breath, because then they'll lose."

Va Tech is pretty bad. I won't argue over the definition of "awful", but make no mistake they are pretty bad.

Come on now. Va Tech is 11-14 overall, 2-10 in conference. They are 4-13 against the RPI Top 150. 7-1 against the RPI Sub 150. They are ranked #148 in KenPom, one spot above UT Arlington. #158 in the RPI, #138 in the BPI.

If we lose to Va Tech, even on the road, it will unquestionably be our worst loss of the season - and it's not even close.

We should win both games. And at home, it should be a route.

- Chillin

Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15
02-17-2013, 12:39 PM
I don't even know what the take away from this game is. Obviously, Mason was way off. But, I don't know how to rationalize the TO margin v. the rebounding margin.

Part of me thinks "how on earth can we still be in a game at the buzzer when we were outrebounded by 20?"

The other part thinks "how can we lose a game when we force so many turnovers?"

I understand people who are upset by Maryland's shooting percentage, but 9 times out of 10, we'd be elated to force 26 turnovers. You won't lose many of those games. So, the defense wasn't a total wash, I think we were just taking more gambles. I suppose that might explain a bit of the rebounding disparity too (if you are gambling and pressuring and filling pass lanes, you aren't in position for missed shots) but not to that degree.

As far as Mason goes, I do feel he has been exposed to a degree over the last few games. But, I think that it's also true that the continued absence of Kelly is taking its toll on him. If we get Kelly back, the whole game opens up for Plumlee.

Side note: Doris Burke just about made me mute the game last night. She was fawning over that student section, talking about the intensity and "vitriol" (I swear she used that word three times) while in the background the crowd screamed obscenities in unison through the entire game. Their behavior last night washed away any lingering nostalgia about their impending departure from our league. I hope we get to play them in the ACC tourney and beat the be-Jeezus out of them, reminding them who's boss. They can riot away afterwards if they want, and I won't care.

Kedsy
02-17-2013, 01:10 PM
As far as Mason goes, I do feel he has been exposed to a degree over the last few games.

Exposed is such an overused word. Mason went for 19 and 11 against BC and 18 and 11 against UNC. He had a bad game against Maryland, whether due to fatigue or minor injury or simply because he just had a bad game. That's all. There's no evidence of exposure or wearing down or other teams figuring him out or any of that. It was just a bad game.

MaxAMillion
02-17-2013, 01:26 PM
Anyone is "capable" of beating Duke. Just like "Health" is always a concern on the Phase posts. These things are so universal, it's like saying "I really hope the entire Duke team doesn't forget to breath, because then they'll lose."

Va Tech is pretty bad. I won't argue over the definition of "awful", but make no mistake they are pretty bad.

Come on now. Va Tech is 11-14 overall, 2-10 in conference. They are 4-13 against the RPI Top 150. 7-1 against the RPI Sub 150. They are ranked #148 in KenPom, one spot above UT Arlington. #158 in the RPI, #138 in the BPI.

If we lose to Va Tech, even on the road, it will unquestionably be our worst loss of the season - and it's not even close.

We should win both games. And at home, it should be a route.

- Chillin

Thank you...if Va Tech isn't bad then who is? Does every team in the ACC have to be at least average because they are in the same conference as Duke? Va Tech has a poor team by almost every definition (losing record, bad against teams in the top 150, etc...)

Wander
02-17-2013, 01:35 PM
Eh, it's hard to think of a less troubling Duke loss. Road game against a decent, desperate team in an emotional setting that had a full week to prepare while we had to play our biggest rival a few days ago. Can you even get any more trap-game-ish?

Papa John
02-17-2013, 01:57 PM
Va Tech is not awful.

Um, yes they are. Having a leading scorer on your team says nothing about the quality of your team as a whole. VaTech is awful. We should thrash them in both games.

DBFAN
02-17-2013, 02:05 PM
Interesting little tidbit

@Chris_Mackinder: Unis for losers? RT @ChrisVannini: Losers in Hyper Elite unis: Gonzaga, MSU, Ohio State (2), North Carolina, Duke, Texas, Kentucky.

ChrisP
02-17-2013, 02:36 PM
I realize it's never productive to read too much into one game - good or bad - so I won't comment too much on what was, to me, a really disappointing loss. I'm not saying I'm "disappointed" in the players (because, heaven knows that sort of talk is frowned upon around these parts. See: Williams, Jason) but rather that I'm bummed we didn't rip out MD's collective heart at the end with an improbably, arguably undeserved late rally.

I had hoped that, by now, this team with lots of raw talent and potential would have found a way to become a great team again even without Ryan. But, apparently, that ain't happenin'. I realize RK brings a lot to the table and, weirdly this stretch of this season is actually making me feel just a teeny bit (but just a teeny bit) better about losing to Lehigh in the first round of the NCAA's last year.

I really didn't know what to expect of the team coming into this year and was very pleasantly surprised when we rattled off so many impressive victories early in the season with RK in the lineup. But, without him, we're capable (apparently) of being good - or perhaps even really good - but not great. As another poster mentioned somewhere in this thread, I think, it seems like realistic expectations for this team from here on out are:

A) Make the finals of the ACC tourney
B) Earn a 2-3 see in the NCAA's
C) Make it out of the first weekend of the NCAA tourney (i.e. be at least a sweet 16 team)

Those goals are nothing to hang our heads about and, for a lot of programs, they're good goals. I just hate that we're seeing another very promising season derailed by injury so soon after the 2011 team experienced the same thing with Kyrie's toe. I hate it for myself, selfishly, but mostly, I hate it for our seniors and for the other kids on the team who've played their butts off.

jcastranio
02-17-2013, 02:47 PM
We were set up for a tough one.

Maryland plays on Saturday, then the Terps and their fans take a whole week to prepare for their biggest home game of the year. Alex Len, a 7'1" talent who has NBA scouts interested, is pumped up to play against the Wooden Award candidate and NPOY favorite Mason Plumlee. During the game, Maryland shoots 60%, out-rebounds Duke by 20, hits a ton of free throws - and stills needs a bounce-out from 30 feet to salvage the win.

Duke has an emotional Thursday night game against NC State (ends late - thanks, TV). They manage to get to some classes on Friday, get a practice in, then wait uncertainly for news on when they travel to Boston College (where there is a blizzard). They end up flying and busing in on Sunday - play a Sunday night game in a tough venue - win an emotional game, then they have to get back to Durham. Trying to make something of classes on Monday and Tuesday, the entire campus is absolutely on fire for the biggest game of the year (UNC at home). The pressure is even greater than normal - not only is it UNC, but Duke must win big because the UNC is "terrible" this year. Playing from behind, the Blue Devils take another emotional win. Oh, and did I mention, that the team is ranked (fairly or unfairly) #1 or #2 in the polls - just a little more pressure. After they get to bed at 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning on Wednesday night, it is two more days of classes and practice, before heading to Maryland (on another snowy day) to play a fired-up team that has been pointing to them for a week. In fact, Duke has played two emotional games and traveled a couple thousand miles in the time SINCE Maryland has even played a game. All that crap, Mason plays terrible, and we still are a missed shot from winning? Good job, boys!

Now some thoughts from the game. Mason is running into the same problems that Shelden Williams had - he gets to handle the other team's big guy on his own. We needed team help on Alex Len to keep him from doing well. To protect the 3 pointer and play the passing lanes, we can't do that. So, Mason's man scores big and he looks bad. On the other end, he gets plenty of attention, but we can't hit the 3 pointers that his attention brings. It is just one of those games.

The ACC tournament and the NCAA tournament won't be anything like this stretch. It is all a learning process. If Miami or Indiana had a similar stretch, they would lose to Maryland, too. Michigan - a tough team - just lost by 30 at MSU. The Miami Heat has lost 14 or 15 this year. We should all relax.

I liked the way we fought back from 10 down (twice), tied the game, and had a shot to win.

sporthenry
02-17-2013, 03:13 PM
I don't doubt that fatigue and tiredness played a role, but everyone acts like 3 games in 6 days is akin to back to backs in the NBA or 3 games in 10 days for an NFL team. 3 games in 6 days (actually 7, since 10-16 is 7 days) is fairly common for college basketball, in fact Miami will do it twice. The first one ended in that 1 point win against BC and the second one is about to start tonight. Any time a team plays on Sunday night now, it will happen since the ACC moved their games to mostly Saturdays.

But I digress, I'm not sure why this is a good excuse. It isn't like we have a break coming up in the schedule or have a week off at any time at least until the ACC/NCAAT. Yes, we have 5 days till Va. Tech but we have 2 games a week and will have that brutal stretch of at UVA and versus Miami. Every team has these scheduling quirks but if we are tired now, what is going to make us not tired then? Or the NCAAT with games on Thursday/Saturday or Friday/Sunday?

I broke down and agree that Mason is playing a ridiculous amount of minutes. So perhaps that explains some of his lackluster play yesterday. But that doesn't really help us going forward unless his minutes are cut and Duke somehow builds rest into our schedule. But perhaps it is time for 1A instead of 9F and start the Duke has no bench and the starters will be fatigued come March.