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View Full Version : MBB: Duke 85 - Gardner Webb 66 Postgame Thread



FerryFor50
12-16-2013, 08:05 PM
Uneven, sloppy. Pretty typical for such a long layoff.

Still, a win's a win. D was better in the 2nd half.

luburch
12-16-2013, 08:14 PM
Two things:

1. Was this Jay Williams worst game in CIS?

2. Andre Dawkins.

CLW
12-16-2013, 08:15 PM
Well according to Twitterverse it was the same ole.

134.5 offensive efficiency for Duke, 108.6 for Gardner Webb.

Coming into the game GW averaged 97.3 (295th in the country).

If we cannot keep the 295th best offense in the country to under a point per possession by March its going to be a quick exit in the tourny.

roywhite
12-16-2013, 08:30 PM
Geez, what a gloomy bunch of posts after a solid win over a decent opponent.

Loved the ball movement in the first half; seeing signs of better defense; the team will have a good stretch coming up to practice and improve before conference play starts.

DBFAN
12-16-2013, 08:32 PM
Well according to Twitterverse it was the same ole.

134.5 offensive efficiency for Duke, 108.6 for Gardner Webb.

Coming into the game GW averaged 97.3 (295th in the country).

If we cannot keep the 295th best offense in the country to under a point per possession by March its going to be a quick exit in the tourny.

I have to disagree slightly on this. We only gave up 32 pts in the second half. A good amount of those points came in garbage time. Cook was the only starter on the floor during the last 4 mins or so, so it is quite reasonable to expect that we would have kept them below 30 pts in the second half had they stayed in. I do agree that first half D was pretty bad, but it seemed to get addressed at halftime. And keeping GW to just 32 pts isn't bad at all, considering they only lost to Missouri a few days ago by 9. Don't know this for fact but if the game was at Missouri, they probable also had their student body their to cheer them on, which made it harder. As opposed to the Christmas break crowd in Cameron tonight

GGLC
12-16-2013, 08:33 PM
Awful defense in the first half and awful effort in the second half.

mr. synellinden
12-16-2013, 08:46 PM
Geez, what a gloomy bunch of posts after a solid win over a decent opponent.

Loved the ball movement in the first half; seeing signs of better defense; the team will have a good stretch coming up to practice and improve before conference play starts.

I know this thread is likely to devolve into a lot of the same back and forth as after the Vermont game, but this was not a "decent" opponent. That was a relatively bad opponent who, as others have noted, is one of the worst offensive teams in the country, and they shot 54% for the game. I didn't see any signs of better defense, but if others did, then great. Jabari got abused on the defensive end. There was no cohesiveness and we still are not getting the switches right. We were not only terrible on defense, we played lethargic and uninspired team basketball in the second half. This was a bad game. And we've had several this season - it's more than anomaly. It's a trend, and I don't think we're playing like a top 10 team right now.

I love Duke. I love our coaching staff. I love every one of our players. I will always root as hard as I can for Duke. But there's nothing wrong with saying objectively that we are a bad defensive team right now and a only good basketball team in general. And I'd argue that we are still far away from the "team" part. Among the rotation guys - Jabari, Rodney, Andre, and Matt did not play last year. I hope it comes around for the team, soon.

-bdbd
12-16-2013, 08:47 PM
Didn't get to see the first half, but the ESPNU postgame desk guys seemed to think that Duke's defense is the big question mark for them moving on through March. It doesn't seem like we exactly shut down a very mediocre offense tonight. Great to see Dawkins shooting so well. Obviously Jabari, Rodney and Quin played very well. I was thrilled to see MP3 get some burn too (but that was a terrible, telegraphed cross-court pass that he threw for the interception at the end). If only some of the young guys could demonstrate a little real defense. It is frustrating. I'm sure much more so for K, Wojo, Capel, James and the rest of the staff.

Indoor66
12-16-2013, 08:47 PM
This amazes me. A nineteen point victory and someone who must have watched the damn game with a sliderule in their hand can only complain. Get a life!

sagegrouse
12-16-2013, 08:51 PM
I have to disagree slightly on this. We only gave up 32 pts in the second half. A good amount of those points came in garbage time. Cook was the only starter on the floor during the last 4 mins or so, so it is quite reasonable to expect that we would have kept them below 30 pts in the second half had they stayed in. I do agree that first half D was pretty bad, but it seemed to get addressed at halftime. And keeping GW to just 32 pts isn't bad at all, considering they only lost to Missouri a few days ago by 9. Don't know this for fact but if the game was at Missouri, they probable also had their student body their to cheer them on, which made it harder. As opposed to the Christmas break crowd in Cameron tonight


Awful defense in the first half and awful effort in the second half.

Defense wasn't great in the first half, but it looked worse because Gardner-Webb hardly missed an open shot. We did OK with steals and TOs against the Bulldogs.

Our offense wasn't operating on all cylinders in the second half, but I thought the defense was pretty good.

sage

vick
12-16-2013, 08:53 PM
This amazes me. A nineteen point victory and someone who must have watched the damn game with a sliderule in their hand can only complain. Get a life!

Hey I watched the game with a spreadsheet open and I'm not complaining that much. No I don't think that level of defensive performance will likely lead to a Final Four run. But it's December and we're replacing three senior starters. Why would anyone think this team would be a nearly-finished product right out of the gate?

ncexnyc
12-16-2013, 08:54 PM
This amazes me. A nineteen point victory and someone who must have watched the damn game with a sliderule in their hand can only complain. Get a life!
Sliderule? Now you're really dating yourself.;) But I do get your point. Way too many on this board just can't enjoy the game for what it is. Why must everything be over analyzed? It's like the thread on the Off-Topic board discussing movies. Instead of having a fun night out, people want to disect every scene and debate it's merits or faults. It seems like many of them would fit in perfectly with the wine and cheese crowd over at the Dean Dome.

CameronDuke
12-16-2013, 08:57 PM
Awful defense in the first half and awful effort in the second half.


Gotta disagree. My take on tonight:

It was evident Dawkins got a few extra jumpers off over the long exam break. In his post game presser, Coach K said that given Dawkins is a grad student, his exam schedule left him with more time to get some extra work in compared to the undergrads. If Dawkins can continue to come in off the bench and give us great instant offense in the form of "momentum 3s, a great offense will become that much better. It seems like the team gets a boost almost every time Dawkins drills home a 3 pointer.

I liked Plumlee's ability to tip rebounds out for extra possessions when he couldn't fully grasp a rebound. Hairston did this once too and it reminded me of Zoubek's extra effort to do this during our 2010 national title run. These extra efforts by both big men will go a long way over the course of the season if they can continue developing these skills.

Quinn Cook continued to build on a marvelous season with his ability to balance great passing with finding his own offensive skills shooting the ball and driving.

Jabari is just so smooth. I would like him to try playing inside the paint more and look for his jumper a bit less but that's my only gripe with him. He has such soft touch and a knack for finishing around the rim and I think with a good touch at the free throw line, he could feast inside the paint. He has proven he can shoot the 3 but maybe we can focus on getting it into him inside the paint more.

I still think Matt Jones needs to play more. He made a great rotation on defense tonight where he came from the weak side of a GW player going for a layup and knocked the ball out of bounds under the basket. It doesn't seem like much but his rotation on D just proved how much he understands Coach K's defensive schemes at an early stage of his career.

Thursday in MSG should be fun with two high octane offenses.

Let's Go Duke!

GGLC
12-16-2013, 09:01 PM
Gotta disagree. My take on tonight:

It was evident Dawkins got a few extra jumpers of fiber the long exam break. In his post game presser, Coach K said that given Dawkins is a grad student, his exam schedule left him with more time to get some extra work in compared to the undergrads. If Dawkins can continue to come in off the bench and give us great instant offense in the form of "momentum 3s, a great offense will become that much better. It seems like the team gets a boost almost every time Dawkins drills home a 3 pointer.

I liked Plumlee's ability to tip rebounds out for extra possessions when he couldn't fully grasp a rebound. Hairston did this once too and it reminded me of Zoubek's extra effort to do this during our 2010 national title run. These extra efforts by both big men will go a long way over the course of the season if they can continue developing these skills.

Quinn Cook continued to build on a marvelous season with his ability to balance great passing with finding his own offensive skills shooting the ball and driving.

Jabari is just so smooth. I would like him to try playing inside the paint more and look for his jumper a bit less but that's my only gripe with him. He has such soft touch and a knack for finishing around the rim and I think with a good touch at the free throw line, he could feast inside the paint. He has proved he can shoot the 3 but maybe we can focus on getting it into him inside the paint more.

I still think Matt Jones needs to play more. He made a great rotation on defense tonight where he came from the weak side of a GW player going for a layup and knocked the ball out of bounds under the basket. It doesn't seem like much but his rotation on D just proved how much he understands Coach K's defensive schemes at an early stage of his career.

Thursday in MSG should be fun with two high octane offenses.

Let's Go Duke!

I agree with everything you've said, so I'm not sure why your post disagrees with mine. The second half effort was self-evidently lacking, particularly during the long stretch in the middle where all we seemingly did was make ill-considered offensive decisions and appear disinterested on defense.

Furniture
12-16-2013, 09:04 PM
I thought Quinn had a much quieter game in the second half for whatever reason and that was probably the difference on O. I think most of his assists happened in the first.
It was a bit of a boring game. Can anyone relate this result to last years team. I seem to remember us struggling against some weaker teams last year too...

CameronDuke
12-16-2013, 09:07 PM
I agree with everything you've said, so I'm not sure why your post disagrees with mine. The second half effort was self-evidently lacking, particularly during the long stretch in the middle where all we seemingly did was make ill-considered offensive decisions and appear disinterested on defense.

Not gonna get into a pissing match with you but I don't think effort was lacking in the second half or all game. Many posters on this board contribute nothing but calling out the effort of 18-22 year old kids, currently, at a time where they're coming off exams at one of the toughest academic institutions in America. Execution may have been lacking but effort - it looked to me like it was there. I thought the guys tried hard. I thought they did what the coaching staff probably wanted them to do. Why do you think there wasn't effort? I thought players tried tipping out rebounds better, Dawkins played with great effort in showcasing his shooting skills he honed in on during the long layoff, and Matt Jones displayed good effort applying his defensive knowledge of the schemes the coaching staff wants to implement.

Again, not getting into a pissing match but this isn't a video game or a situation where we roll the balls out of the ball rack for layup lines then beat teams by 50...Guys are learning on the fly and each game will show us we have strengths and weaknesses. I'll take a 19 point win over anyone we play.

kAzE
12-16-2013, 09:14 PM
Boy, alot of naysayers here in this thread. How come nobody has mentioned that we did a great job rebounding this game? Jefferson was really doing a great job out there cleaning the glass. At one point we had 9 offensive boards to their 5 defensive boards. That's an area in which we definitely made some progress.

I like the fact that Dawkins is the 6th man in the rotation now. His offense is just too valuable to be buried in the rotation, especially when we have 2 non offensive threat/defensive players in the starting lineup. Even though Jones is superior defensively, I think Dawkins should be in the game more when he's shooting well. It just opens up the floor for everyone else to operate.

Of course, it would be even better if Sulaimon could get back on track. Hoping he has a couple of confidence building performances in the next few.

OldPhiKap
12-16-2013, 09:19 PM
Good, typical post-exam game. Got it done. Get ready for UCLA.

Troublemaker
12-16-2013, 09:21 PM
Not gonna get into a pissing match with you but I don't think effort was lacking in the second half or all game. Many posters on this board contribute nothing but calling out the effort of 18-22 year old kids, currently, at a time where they're coming off exams at one of the toughest academic institutions in America.

Agreed. I think psychologists call it "fundamental attribution error." Duke was subpar in this game but had reason to be. I bet we play much better in NY.

Goduke2010
12-16-2013, 09:30 PM
Agreed. I think psychologists call it "fundamental attribution error." Duke was subpar in this game but had reason to be. I bet we play much better in NY.

I think Duke was pretty typical for how they've played this year, not subpar. Got a chuckle out of someone blaming our performance on exams.

I enjoyed tonight's game, probably because I've concluded we're not destined to be a great team this year. Disappointing, but surely by now we have enough evidence to realize that mediocre D and lack of size aren't really fixable.

My hope is that means Jabari comes back next year.

pfrduke
12-16-2013, 09:37 PM
This amazes me. A nineteen point victory and someone who must have watched the damn game with a sliderule in their hand can only complain. Get a life!

This is not a productive attitude to take and is needlessly dismissive of reasonable constructive criticism offered of the team's play tonight. I didn't watch the game with a slide rule, but I saw plenty to be concerned about in the way we played defense. I saw Jabari Parker look absolutely lost on several 1-on-1 post match ups (and, in his limited minutes, Ojeleye get faked out of his shoes in a similar situation). I saw several players get confused on assignment switches, leaving Gardner-Webb players open in space for easy shots. I saw players get lost in transition, to the same result. And I saw what has been a far too often sight this season - players driving from the top of the key or the wing into the lane essentially unobstructed, with easy looks from the hoop to 8 feet away.

I wasn't in the huddle, but I suspect Coach K saw, and was concerned by, many of the same things. The defense remains a work in progress. That's not the end of the world, certainly. It's December, and there's a lot of time left for the team to learn and play better. But telling anyone who questions our defense to "get a life" is misguided.

I saw plenty of good, tonight, too. Our offense looked sharp, particularly in the first half - Quinn capably carved up the zone, which has been problematic for us this year. Andre showed again while he's such a dangerous weapon on offense (dangerous enough to overcome the ever-present lapses in defense). The team's rebounding was quite strong. We're also simply a lot more talented than Gardner-Webb, which helps get to a 19-point margin. All in all, it made for a solid win. But it wasn't a perfect win, or a great performance by the team. It was merely good, with lots of room for improvement.

OldPhiKap
12-16-2013, 09:39 PM
I enjoyed tonight's game, probably because I've concluded we're not destined to be a great team this year. Disappointing, but surely by now we have enough evidence to realize that mediocre D and lack of size aren't really fixable.

That may be the single most asinine thing I have read on this board in quite some time.

gcashwell
12-16-2013, 09:41 PM
Marshall is my favorite player on this team. Yes, that pass was terrible, but he sure does try hard. I think that means a lot on this team.

GGLC
12-16-2013, 09:41 PM
That may be the single most asinine thing I have read on his board in quite some time.

At least you're being civil about it.

Bluealum
12-16-2013, 09:57 PM
Sheed looked really frustrated at the end of the game.

He is in a tough place, here's hoping he pushes through it to the other side. Many former players have talked about times like this, Nolan specifically comes to mind (when I believe he said he even considered transferring). He is playing a position that he is sharing time with one of the best pure shooters in the country, and one of the best freshmen defenders you are going to see, along with a veteran senior captain that the coach absolutely loves.

Next year with the departure of the 3 seniors, and in all likelyhood, Jabari and Rodney, he will still have competition from two other shooting guards, not to mention the possibility that we play with two point guards for significant minutes in games. My guess is no other position will have so many players competing for time in this scenario. Given all this, he has to decide if he is willing to compete day in and day out and push through slumps and off nights on the bench rather than working through it on the court as he did last year. Not an easy task for a young player who has enjoyed only incredible success in his basketball career. Doing this under the scrutiny of the media makes all this that much harder, but K does everything with purpose. if he is talking about him with the announcers before a game, and he is having Tyler speak specifically about him after games, than I suspect he is sending a message by ramping up the external pressure on him to rise to the occasion. I think we are all hoping that approach is successful as there is something very compelling about the young man.

SheltonBob
12-16-2013, 09:57 PM
Former Duke Great Jay Williams said throughout the broadcast that Duke needs a presence at the "5" position in order for this year's team to reach its potential. This is an analysis I have been harping on all year. The play-by-play announcer then asked the question I have been asking all year - if Plumlee is a necessary component of the team's development, how does playing 2-3 minutes help develop Plumlee? Jay Williams' comment was something about this is now only December, and more time will/may come.

I disagree (for what t is worth - and it is probably worth very little). The time for the bad pass or the travel is now against teams like Gardner-Webb and other similar calibre teams, not against Carolina or Tech etc. I will enjoy this great season and fatastic personnel no matter what; however, I still believe Plumlee needs to play 10-15 minutes per game for the long haul. I don't see practices but in the games I have seen - which is all games on TV and one in person (Arizona), Plumlee deserves more PT

And these comments make me no less of a Duke FANatic as anyone else - it just reflects my devotion to this team and the desire to watch Duke run its own race in this marathon of a season (not a sprint) with the best chance of going as far as possible in the tournament.

Will be at MSG on Thursday, eating some Carnegie Deli corned beef and cheering for THE BLUE DEVILS ................, and praising the many goods things that happen and commenting upon the areas that I think need improvement.

ricks68
12-16-2013, 10:03 PM
That may be the single most asinine thing I have read on this board in quite some time.

Maybe we should just give it the asinine POTY.

ricks

Native
12-16-2013, 10:05 PM
I liked Plumlee's ability to tip rebounds out for extra possessions when he couldn't fully grasp a rebound. Hairston did this once too and it reminded me of Zoubek's extra effort to do this during our 2010 national title run. These extra efforts by both big men will go a long way over the course of the season if they can continue developing these skills.

This. A thousand times over.

Goduke2010
12-16-2013, 10:20 PM
That may be the single most asinine thing I have read on this board in quite some time.

Wasn't intended that way, why do you say that?

Newton_14
12-16-2013, 10:25 PM
I was there and I have to say this was easily the worst crowd I have experienced in Cameron Indoor ever. Not exaggerating. I felt bad for the very nice elderly couple I met in Will Call who drove all the way from Ohio to watch their first ever game in Cameron. Can't imagine what they thought leaving. The bad part about that is the lower bowl was absolutely packed all the way around. However, about 5% of that were students (rest are on Christmas Break, not calling them out here). The rest were non-students who for whatever reason chose not to join in with the students who were trying all night to lead cheers and make noise to no avail. Whatever energy the players had, they generated themselves. It was just quiet as a mouse the entire night. Very odd.

On to the game. First I find it absolutely fair to state that a 2 week layoff, and exams at Duke University, had an impact on the team's performance, and energy levels. They were certainly trying, but the rust was apparent, moreso on defense and communication than offense. I thought offensively they were fairly crisp in the first half with Quinn and Andre leading the way early. I have been tough on Quinn but he had one of his best overall games tonight. Ran the offense well, attacked under control, passed well, and for the most part defended well. Andre was not far behind him, and for the record, Andre actually had 21 as that 3 ball went in on its own, or at least looked that way to me live and on replay. Was surprised they gave Jabari credit for a tip-in there. Interested to know what it looked like on TV? Anyway, I don't know why K doesn't go ahead and just start Andre, given how many minutes he is playing now and the way he is playing. I assume K likes the instant offense off the bench, but as of right now, I would start him.

Hood amazes me. He has to be the quietest scorer I have seen in a long time. At one point I felt like he had not done much and I looked up and he had 15 points. Jabari is similar at times. With those two, along with Andre and Quinn, I like where I offense is right now and the thing is, it can get quite a bit better. I think they have just scratched the surface of what they can be offensively. Defense is another story. Like everyone has noted, it was another subpar defensive effort and not because lack of effort. I do feel their collective energy was low and K has mentioned many times over the years that the kids go through "energy cycles" and will have games where they are on the lowend of one of those cycles. I think they will come out much more refreshed on Thursday. We will see.

I still think the biggest problem on defense is that they are still not playing 5 man team defense, with good movement and communication. The combination of so many new faces trying to learn a very complicated defensive system as well as learning the nuances of their teammates, combined with the fact that the lineup/normal rotation has still not settled itself yet, is playing a large role in the current defensive issues. People can toss out "lack of size", but to be honest I don't feel that is the problem. Gardner-Webb was not a big team. Their big's were not small, but it wasn't like they had huge guys. I think crisp ball movement, and the dribble drive is causing us far more problems than lack of size is. The wings and forwards just have to improve their communication, awareness, and movement. Also, Jabari and Rodney both have to get better on defense. Both are wonderful offensive players with star/superstar potential, but their defense leaves a lot to be desired right now. As the leaders of the team, along with Quinn, those guys are going to have to make a committment to work their tails off on the defensive end of the court, and demand the same from their teammates. At the same time, the guards, collectively, have to start pressuring the ball better, be disruptive, vocal, move their feet to stop penetration, and make it difficult to see an hit the open man, or cutter. Looking at the makeup of the team, there is no good reason why they can't get a lot better on the defensive end. I would still like to see K try to press and trap more in an attempt to generate turnovers, especially as deep as we are in the guard dept. At this point it is clear that all of Quinn, Tyler, Rodney, Andre, Rasheed, and Matt are good enough players to play against any opponent we will face so foul trouble is not that big of a deal. I hope K has not given up on pressing and trapping just yet. We will see.

I know folks want a finished product right now today, but you are not going to get that with this group. They are a work in progress, and need more games to come together and gel. The sky however, is not falling.

On to New York and a date with O'l Roy's twins!

Go Duke!

Goduke2010
12-16-2013, 10:26 PM
Former Duke Great Jay Williams said throughout the broadcast that Duke needs a presence at the "5" position in order for this year's team to reach its potential. This is an analysis I have been harping on all year. The play-by-play announcer then asked the question I have been asking all year - if Plumlee is a necessary component of the team's development, how does playing 2-3 minutes help develop Plumlee? Jay Williams' comment was something about this is now only December, and more time will/may come.

I disagree (for what t is worth - and it is probably worth very little). The time for the bad pass or the travel is now against teams like Gardner-Webb and other similar calibre teams, not against Carolina or Tech etc. I will enjoy this great season and fatastic personnel no matter what; however, I still believe Plumlee needs to play 10-15 minutes per game for the long haul. I don't see practices but in the games I have seen - which is all games on TV and one in person (Arizona), Plumlee deserves more PT

And these comments make me no less of a Duke FANatic as anyone else - it just reflects my devotion to this team and the desire to watch Duke run its own race in this marathon of a season (not a sprint) with the best chance of going as far as possible in the tournament.

Will be at MSG on Thursday, eating some Carnegie Deli corned beef and cheering for THE BLUE DEVILS ................, and praising the many goods things that happen and commenting upon the areas that I think need improvement.

Said the exact same thing to my wife while watching tonight's game. I think we have little chance of advancing far in the tourney if Plumlee isn't contributing significant minutes by then. He's are only player with real size in the post. In which case, not getting him major minutes now seems like a mistake.

Sorry you feel the need to preempt potential blowback to your comments. I think they're spot on.

Dukehky
12-16-2013, 10:28 PM
Need to be sharper defensively against UCLA. That should be a really entertaining game, and I'm looking forward to it.

I thought that the defense was, well, not great. Better in the second half. While I will acknowledge that in the first have G-Wu hit like every open shot, they still got too many open shots. Nearly every on ball pick-n-roll they ran on the top of the key led to some kind of open shot, which is the discouraging part, rather than the makes. I would still be a little worried even if they didn't make a single shot.

I'm just not sure where to go with this. There is plenty of defensive talent on the roster, they just have to put it together. They did show strides against Bama and in stretches against Zona. I imagine they took this team too lightly, which isn't really understandable given what's happened against similar opponents, but I don't really know.

Jabari has been pretty weak on the defensive end other than his help side blocks. He certainly has the ability to be better, and if there's anyone who can help him make strides on that side of the ball, it's K.

While I'm not going to complain too heavily about this performance, I don't think that anybody should be saying they were happy with the performance tonight. They won the game, by a pretty substantial margin which is the most important thing, but I didn't think Duke played particularly well overall. I was happy with Marshall and Dre and QC in the first half. I expect a better game against UCLA.

Probably the most distressing thing about this game was Jay Williams' grammar during the commentary. He used "came" instead of "come" like 100 times. Come on big guy, let's get it together. As for any talk concerning if we would beat UNC Cuse etc, this team is going to play to the level of its opponents for the foreseeable future. As long as that trends starts leaning towards wins over good teams instead of close games like KU and Arizona, I'm good.

I think that our defense is centered around stopping the 3-point shot. In theory this is a good idea. 3 pointers get you beat by inferior teams. As lots of people talk about, it's the great equalizer in college basketball. However, most of the top teams in the country aren't great beyond the arc, so when you pressure out to the hash mark, it gives a ton of room that plays into the strengths of teams. The shooting in college basketball this year seems a little down, with the exception of a few teams, Wisconsin comes to mind. So our defensive strength isn't really taking away a substantial weapon of some of the top teams. It means that we're less likely to be upset by lesser teams, but those lesser teams are going to have closer games against Duke. I'm not saying I want to go zone or anything, but I would like to see us pack it in on defense a little more, allowing us to gang rebound, which is something we're going to have to do. Maybe I'm still prisoner of the moment with how effective this strategy was in 2010. But if we can't turn over these lesser teams and get into fast breaks, we're not gonna do it against ACC schools. Also, from what I've seen, Duke is still not a running team. Quinn and Tyler pull the ball out and run a set every time down the court. I was expecting this team to do more of a UNC style where as soon as it comes through the net, it's back in play and moving down the court. Is that the best thing for the team? I don't know, but we're not doing that, so I have conceded that we're not going to be that type of team moving forward.

I still think that this is a team that has the potential to win the national championship, but I don't think we should be done tweaking how Duke is going to play for the rest of the season. K knows what he's doing, I just hope that what I think K is doing is in fact what he is doing.

New Mecca of CBB vs. Old Mecca of CBB in MSG, hell yeah. I think Duke beats UCLA by double digits. I expect K to coach circles around Alford; as long as the kids do what he says, we're gonna be alright in that game, and in the rest of the season moving forward.

Kedsy
12-16-2013, 11:20 PM
If we cannot [blah, blah, blah] by March its going to be a quick exit in the tourny.

Obviously I'm paraphrasing the middle of the above quote, but why do people think that a December game against a Big South team can accurately presage anything regarding the NCAA tournament? I know we see this kind of post over and over again, every season, but personally I think the above sentence structure should be outlawed.


Defense wasn't great in the first half, but it looked worse because Gardner-Webb hardly missed an open shot.

I think the point of those who were disappointed in Duke's defense was Gardner-Webb shouldn't have had so many open shots that they were able to hit 62.5% of them in the first half. I agree our D was better in the second half, but overall I join those who were a bit disappointed in our defense.


I thought Quinn had a much quieter game in the second half for whatever reason and that was probably the difference on O. I think most of his assists happened in the first.

Actually, all of Quinn's assists were in the first half. As was most of our offensive execution. To me the first half looked like our first few games, great offense and awful defense. The second half more resembled the Alabama/Arizona game, decent defense and a lot of somewhat ineffective one-on-one offense.

I think more mention should be made of Amile continuing his excellent rebounding with 10 boards in 12 minutes.

For those calling for more minutes for Matt and Marshall, whose minutes do you want to take away? That's a rhetorical question, I know whose minutes you want to take away, but I wouldn't hold my breath if you're waiting for Tyler and Josh to play substantially fewer minutes than the 25 and 23 they played tonight. Maybe that drops to 20 and 15 by the end of the season, but I'd expect those 13 extra minutes to go to Jabari and Rodney (who each played just 26 minutes tonight) or Amile (who played just 12) or even Rasheed before Matt or Marshall. I expect Andre's minutes (22 tonight) to be up and down, but when he plays less, I'd also expect his minutes to go to Rasheed (who played just 5 minutes tonight). In fact, rather than expecting Matt's minutes to go up from the 14 he played tonight, I assume they'll go down once Rasheed wins back his place in the rotation.

Obviously that's just my opinion. And speaking of opinions, despite the strong feelings of Jay Williams and SheltonBob, I think Marshall's 5 minutes is about what we're going to see for most of the year. If he can get that up to 8 or 10 per game, I'll be very pleased, but again I'm not holding my breath.

NashvilleDevil
12-16-2013, 11:58 PM
I think Duke was pretty typical for how they've played this year, not subpar. Got a chuckle out of someone blaming our performance on exams.

I enjoyed tonight's game, probably because I've concluded we're not destined to be a great team this year. Disappointing, but surely by now we have enough evidence to realize that mediocre D and lack of size aren't really fixable.

My hope is that means Jabari comes back next year.

Please explain why you don't think exams had something to do with the performance tonight?

And the second part of your post is ridiculous.

Edouble
12-17-2013, 12:25 AM
Wow, Jay Williams was bad tonight. I want Jason Williams back.

Low Points:

As another poster mentioned, he said "came" instead of "come" several times.
Claimed that Duke lost to St. John's in Madison Square Garden in 1999.
Noted that "Tyler Thornton can play the 2 guard at times". Well, yeah, he is our starting 2 guard.
Invented the word "Athleticsism"
Said that Victor Oladipo is clearly the Rookie of the Year so far in the NBA. I'm pretty certain that's not clear, as I would think most people would say it's Michael Carter-Williams at this point.
Said "teams like a Kansas, a Arizona". Really?
Said that "ESPN is begging you for your money for the V Foundation" (that just doesn't sound good) and generally just flubbed his whole V Foundation spot.
Showed a very strange working knowledge of idioms. Made up his own idioms too.


I can't remember them all, but it was really painful to listen to.

Billy Dat
12-17-2013, 12:32 AM
He is in a tough place, here's hoping he pushes through it to the other side.....

Excellent post about Rasheed's status.


I still think the biggest problem on defense is that they are still not playing 5 man team defense, with good movement and communication. The combination of so many new faces trying to learn a very complicated defensive system as well as learning the nuances of their teammates, combined with the fact that the lineup/normal rotation has still not settled itself yet, is playing a large role in the current defensive issues. People can toss out "lack of size", but to be honest I don't feel that is the problem. Gardner-Webb was not a big team. Their big's were not small, but it wasn't like they had huge guys. I think crisp ball movement, and the dribble drive is causing us far more problems than lack of size is. The wings and forwards just have to improve their communication, awareness, and movement. Also, Jabari and Rodney both have to get better on defense. Both are wonderful offensive players with star/superstar potential, but their defense leaves a lot to be desired right now. As the leaders of the team, along with Quinn, those guys are going to have to make a committment to work their tails off on the defensive end of the court, and demand the same from their teammates. At the same time, the guards, collectively, have to start pressuring the ball better, be disruptive, vocal, move their feet to stop penetration, and make it difficult to see an hit the open man, or cutter. Looking at the makeup of the team, there is no good reason why they can't get a lot better on the defensive end. I would still like to see K try to press and trap more in an attempt to generate turnovers, especially as deep as we are in the guard dept. At this point it is clear that all of Quinn, Tyler, Rodney, Andre, Rasheed, and Matt are good enough players to play against any opponent we will face so foul trouble is not that big of a deal. I hope K has not given up on pressing and trapping just yet. We will see.

I know folks want a finished product right now today, but you are not going to get that with this group. They are a work in progress, and need more games to come together and gel. The sky however, is not falling.


I think your overall summary was solid and especially agree with this part about our defense. I guess we all fear that, like 2012, we'll never get great on defense because we think we can outscore everyone.


I think that our defense is centered around stopping the 3-point shot. In theory this is a good idea. 3 pointers get you beat by inferior teams. As lots of people talk about, it's the great equalizer in college basketball. However, most of the top teams in the country aren't great beyond the arc, so when you pressure out to the hash mark, it gives a ton of room that plays into the strengths of teams. The shooting in college basketball this year seems a little down, with the exception of a few teams, Wisconsin comes to mind. So our defensive strength isn't really taking away a substantial weapon of some of the top teams. It means that we're less likely to be upset by lesser teams, but those lesser teams are going to have closer games against Duke. I'm not saying I want to go zone or anything, but I would like to see us pack it in on defense a little more, allowing us to gang rebound, which is something we're going to have to do. Maybe I'm still prisoner of the moment with how effective this strategy was in 2010. But if we can't turn over these lesser teams and get into fast breaks, we're not gonna do it against ACC schools. Also, from what I've seen, Duke is still not a running team. Quinn and Tyler pull the ball out and run a set every time down the court. I was expecting this team to do more of a UNC style where as soon as it comes through the net, it's back in play and moving down the court. Is that the best thing for the team? I don't know, but we're not doing that, so I have conceded that we're not going to be that type of team moving forward.

Interesting thoughts about us being geared to stop the 3. The efficiency movement on offense stresses 3s, shots at the rim, and foul shots above all else. Is there a statistical basis around the theory that those shots are becoming a greater portion of every team's offense? Seem like we would rather give up 2 than 3...


To me the first half looked like our first few games, great offense and awful defense. The second half more resembled the Alabama/Arizona game, decent defense and a lot of somewhat ineffective one-on-one offense.

For those calling for more minutes for Matt and Marshall, whose minutes do you want to take away? That's a rhetorical question, I know whose minutes you want to take away, but I wouldn't hold my breath if you're waiting for Tyler and Josh to play substantially fewer minutes than the 25 and 23 they played tonight. Maybe that drops to 20 and 15 by the end of the season, but I'd expect those 13 extra minutes to go to Jabari and Rodney (who each played just 26 minutes tonight) or Amile (who played just 12) or even Rasheed before Matt or Marshall. I expect Andre's minutes (22 tonight) to be up and down, but when he plays less, I'd also expect his minutes to go to Rasheed (who played just 5 minutes tonight). In fact, rather than expecting Matt's minutes to go up from the 14 he played tonight, I assume they'll go down once Rasheed wins back his place in the rotation.


Great summary of our recent offensive and defensive performances. As for Matt and Marshall, I thought Matt played well and actually prefered Semi's minutes to Marshall's. While I saw Semi get absolutely abused one-on-one in single coverage off the wing (it happened to Jabari, too) I thought he gave us a physical presence down low. I like the hard foul he doled out. He had a nasty block. I liked his presence.

A few other small things:
-After Jabari, Cook is our next most important player. Rodney is an important scorer, but who could we afford to lose more, Cook or Rodney?
-It's tough to maintain intensity when you run out to a lead. Once we pulled ahead after the first 6 minutes, it barely got within 10 the rest of the way. They never through a scare into us, the team is pretty young - especially in important positions - and they don't have a feel for how to keep their foot on the gas.
-The line-ups continue to juggle like crazy. It would be really interesting to see the number of different line-ups K has used this year, and how many minutes each has played this year.
-The Rasheed "thing" is in danger of becoming a THING. What happened tonight to show that he deserves any more PT than he is getting? Andre is stepping aside for no one, neither is Thornton/Jones. Very interesting.
-That Hairston/Thornton "double charge" was unique. We are trying to get back the early season no calls two at a time.
-We need to keep working to make sure Jabari is getting the right touches in the right places. Points pour off his back.

The board is definitely getting a little chippy. We're not used to still being such a work in progress at this time of year. Saying that a team can't win a title because of XYZ would be a true statement on any message board at any time of year based on any evidence for all but one team each year. We've had a good pre-conference. Let's beat UCLA this week and keep it moving.

kAzE
12-17-2013, 01:00 AM
Someone start the MOTM thread for this game. I would do it, but apparently, I lack the intelligence to figure out how to create a poll on this board :(

MarkD83
12-17-2013, 01:53 AM
So far the thread seems spot on with my observations. The comments I would add to summarize the team right now are the offense is very natural and instinctive while everyone is thinking too much on defense. The thinking too much is especially true on the hedges on ball screens. You can just see our bigs running out to the top of the key, hedging, pausing to think and then running back to the baseline because they just remembered what to do next. There were some instinctive plays that I am sure the coaches will point out. On a couple of steals Duke double teamed the man with the ball and one of the guards rotated over to cut of the passing lane and there was the ball.

With more game repetition I am sure the bigs will hedge and get back without thinking and the guards will instinctively rotate back into the passing lanes.

Bob Green
12-17-2013, 04:13 AM
The game was a good performance against a gutty but over matched opponent. Basically the typical post exams game we see year in and year out. Eight players played double digit minutes with all 11 scholarship players seeing action.

I was most impressed with how hard Andre Dawkins worked, moving without the ball to get open for his shot. He played 22 minutes and scored 18 points shooting 50% on 3PT FGs. I'd really like to see him in the starting line-up, on Thursday, against UCLA. Teams are going to try to play zone on us so Dawkins needs to be the designated Zone Buster.

Saratoga2
12-17-2013, 04:50 AM
This was a game coming after exams so the guys should get a break for their defensive struggles, except, they have shown similar lapses in some games earlier on. Let,s hope they can return to the more recent form defensively when they play UCLA. It is interesting that the defensive woes showed up with our most experienced defensive team on the floor, including Tyler and Josh. Maybe Matt could help that group defensively.

We have been witnessing Andre come alive as he gets over the back issues that were bothering him earlier. He is a remarkable shooter and if his defense can pick up with it he will become a star player.

At any rate, it is clear that we have 4 players who can give us offensive punch.

The last 9 minutes of the game was kind of a helter skelter mess. It is understandable in a way, since we had several of our deeper bench players in at one time. Lots of turnovers, poor shooting, so could anything be taken away from that period? To me, Semi seemed to have some good moments along with his defensive lapses. I'd like to see him get into games at least for a few minutes every night to see if he can make progress through playing in competition.

BD80
12-17-2013, 06:43 AM
... someone who must have watched the damn game with a sliderule in their hand can only complain. ...

Is that a droid app?


... I don't think effort was lacking in the second half or all game. ...

Quinn was a different player in the second half.


... I like the fact that Dawkins is the 6th man in the rotation now. His offense is just too valuable to be buried in the rotation, especially when we have 2 non offensive threat/defensive players in the starting lineup. ...

But his defense is so damn ugly. Dre is certainly a loose cannon, something is gonna get blowed up when he comes in. Coach K uses him as a tactical weapon, inserting him when he wants to ramp up the tempo, or shake up the offense. But Dre gets so lost on D that he cannot start.


That may be the single most asinine thing I have read on this board in quite some time.

The magnitude of that statement takes the breath away. Of course, I completely agree.

I really enjoy watching this year's team, and see a great deal of potential. The defense is improving, although it has been a painful process to watch. Remember, as long as Coach K is on the sideline, defense will drive the bus, and until Marshall, Matt, Rasheed and Semi show that they can hold their own at that end, they aren't going to crack the "rotation." That said, once we get into conference play with 2 games a week against bigger opponents, I think Marshall will see more PT.

Jabari is a special player that should be enjoyed while we can.

Quinn is transforming into a very good point guard, even by Duke standards.

Saratoga2
12-17-2013, 06:57 AM
Nice article in USA Today about Bo Ryan's team and how he teaches basics, particularly defense but also passing and foul shooting. Coach K also teaches defensive prowess but this years this years team has more to learn. Watching Kentucky play the other day against UNC indicates that they are also behind the curve despite tremendous talent.

oldnavy
12-17-2013, 06:58 AM
About what one would expect coming off a long exam break. I am not disappointed nor am I surprised at how we played.

The one thing that really stood out to me was HOW UGLY Gardner-Webb's uniforms are!

Wow, really, black on black with dark red trim?? I felt bad for the kids, because there was no way you could read the names on the back of their jersey's and this might be their only TV appearance of the year....

killerleft
12-17-2013, 08:19 AM
This amazes me. A nineteen point victory and someone who must have watched the damn game with a sliderule in their hand can only complain. Get a life!

You can prove Duke lost this game with a sliderule.:)

I, for one, am glad our team isn't already past its peak. I find it refreshing that every single player has room for improvement. We've had a number of years when November and December had us riding on a cloud that dissipated by mid-January. A sliderule could disprove that, too, I suppose.

Give thse guys some time.

ChillinDuke
12-17-2013, 08:21 AM
I may have to watch the first half of the game again, because I felt that there was at least a 5-minute stretch where we played excellent defense. I thought Quinn's on-ball defense was exceptional for a chunk of the first half, I thought the hedging was above average from what we've seen this year, I thought players were more quickly recognizing when they lost assignments (as opposed to purely leaving them open), and I thought we were very energetic and had active hands and bodies throughout passing lanes.

Perhaps a long day at work and a 13-day layoff from games just made me giddy at watching us play. So maybe I'm way off here. But that was how it felt when I watched the first half (recorded on tape delay).

I actually felt the second half was when we kind of went back into our "coasting" mode where we seemed to lose intensity on both sides of the ball and the lead shrunk a bit. I dunno.

In any event, I didn't see nearly as many negatives as other posters in this particular game and quite a few positives to keep me satisfied. Can't complain about outscoring them fairly easily in both halves.

I'll be in the Garden for UCLA!

- Chillin

freshmanjs
12-17-2013, 08:24 AM
I may have to watch the first half of the game again, because I felt that there was at least a 5-minute stretch where we played excellent defense. I thought Quinn's on-ball defense was exceptional for a chunk of the first half, I thought the hedging was above average from what we've seen this year, I thought players were more quickly recognizing when they lost assignments (as opposed to purely leaving them open), and I thought we were very energetic and had active hands and bodies throughout passing lanes.

Perhaps a long day at work and a 13-day layoff from games just made me giddy at watching us play. So maybe I'm way off here. But that was how it felt when I watched the first half (recorded on tape delay).

I actually felt the second half was when we kind of went back into our "coasting" mode where we seemed to lose intensity on both sides of the ball and the lead shrunk a bit. I dunno.

In any event, I didn't see nearly as many negatives as other posters in this particular game and quite a few positives to keep me satisfied. Can't complain about outscoring them fairly easily in both halves.

I'll be in the Garden for UCLA!

- Chillin

Duke has played the worst defense of any team in the top-50 according to the KenPom efficiency ratings. That will need to improve for this team to accomplish what we all hope they will accomplish. I'm not feeling negative, because I think they will improve. However, I don't see much of a case that the defense has been good or even average for a ncaa-t bound team.

tdrake51
12-17-2013, 08:27 AM
I don't think our defense will reach its potential until the playing time becomes more concrete. The amount of help and communication that is needed is different depending on who is beside you. Take Quinn for example. The help he can expect is different if Tyler is beside him vs. Dre. Same goes for Matt and Sheed. The bigs all give different styles of help/hedge screens differently as well. As K settles on a rotation, I think the D will start becoming cohesive.

flyingdutchdevil
12-17-2013, 08:29 AM
Okay, here are my thoughts about the game:

1) I know Rodney Hood is one of our two most talented players. But I honestly feel that Cook is one of our two most important players. When he's playing well (distributing the ball, scoring when there is an open lane), we're unbeatable.

2) Team defense was, again, terrible. Jabari, as of right now, is a sub-par defender. Quinn isn't that much better. Hairston fouls way too much, especially for a senior.

3) Speaking of Hairston, thank God he didn't attempt a mid-range jumper. I'm glad the coaching staff put a stop to that.

4) I feel so bad for Rasheed. When he's on the court, he doesn't know what to do anymore. His on-the-ball defense is still really good, but he looks lost on offense. I really hope this is a short, short-term situation.

5) There was a 3-4 minute sequence mid-way through the first half where Duke played insane offense and really good defense. We went on a crazy run (14-2, or something like that). I haven't seen those runs in a long time. I hope we can get there consistently by February.

6) It's been said before, but I love Rodney as the silent killer. He is so sneaky on offense that he is guaranteed 10 points a game just because the defender isn't playing Rodney that hard or because they are so focused on Jabari.

7) Dawkins is a God send on offense. When he comes in, it's instant offense. It really opens the floor. However, I noticed at least 2 possessions where the opposing team scored and Dawkins was the primary culprit. After 4.5 years, his defense is still very sub-par.

Ichabod Drain
12-17-2013, 08:31 AM
Duke has played the worst defense of any team in the top-50 according to the KenPom efficiency ratings. That will need to improve for this team to accomplish what we all hope they will accomplish. I'm not feeling negative, because I think they will improve. However, I don't see much of a case that the defense has been good or even average for a ncaa-t bound team.

We also have the number one offense according to Kenpom. This is a strange year and I honestly have no idea what this team will look like come March. It's fun to watch though :cool:... if I could just get past this nauseating feeling in my stomach whenever we play...

jipops
12-17-2013, 08:32 AM
One can associate the poor defensive effort in the first half and parts of the second to a 13 day layoff if one likes. There is certainly some credence there. But still... this is the 283rd ranked offense shooting 62% in the first half at our place. This is rather alarming to me and does not leave me feeling all warm and fuzzy going into the next match up which will be the most efficient offense we have faced so far.

I had two hopes going into this one besides getting the win - attention on defense and some kind of spark from Sheed. Unfortunately we saw neither, but I'll reason that Sheed needs more time after the layoff. We already know we can score against lower level teams so I don't think we saw anything enlightening there. But I'll take the win. I'm sure Kentucky would have liked to have had at least that a few years ago.

davekay1971
12-17-2013, 08:36 AM
I was late in to work this morning because, when I went outside of my house I found that the sky had fallen on my car. What a mess.

Oh well, at least Duke thoroughly dominated an outclassed opponent for the entire game, jumping out to a 20 point lead and never letting the opponent back in the game.

So, what's going on in the DBR this morning?

freshmanjs
12-17-2013, 08:38 AM
I was late in to work this morning because, when I went outside of my house I found that the sky had fallen on my car. What a mess.

Oh well, at least Duke thoroughly dominated an outclassed opponent for the entire game, jumping out to a 20 point lead and never letting the opponent back in the game.

So, what's going on in the DBR this morning?

eh...I don't see any sky is falling stuff here, except from one poster. just some concern about the defense which I think is warranted + hope and expectation of improvement.

oldnavy
12-17-2013, 08:48 AM
One thing to think about... we don't have to be a great "Duke" team to do really well, we just need to be better than most of the other teams out there.

What I mean is, yes we have weaknesses, but what team doesn't? MSU, UK, KU, AZ, CUSE, all have issues... UNC has issues.... everyone has issues!

I think we (myself included) slip into a tendency to judge Duke against Duke and that is fine and it is part of the landscape of long standing excellence.

However, I am also trying to look around and judge Duke against the other programs out there, and honestly I think we are as good as any of them right now! But what is even better is that we have a ton of ways we can improve and we have a pretty good ;) coaching staff that knows how to get the best out of the team.

So, yes we can point out the problems with defense, shot selection, players minutes, etc.... that's what we do as armchair coaches, but take a step back and look at the other teams, all have had their moments/games where they struggled.

Just saying, We don't look like the 1999 team, but we don't look so bad right now IMO.

azzefkram
12-17-2013, 08:56 AM
We won after a long layoff. Still a work in progress. If we are playing the same rotations and minutes by mid to late January well...

flyingdutchdevil
12-17-2013, 08:57 AM
One thing to think about... we don't have to be a great "Duke" team to do really well, we just need to be better than most of the other teams out there.

What I mean is, yes we have weaknesses, but what team doesn't? MSU, UK, KU, AZ, CUSE, all have issues... UNC has issues.... everyone has issues!

I think we (myself included) slip into a tendency to judge Duke against Duke and that is fine and it is part of the landscape of long standing excellence.

However, I am also trying to look around and judge Duke against the other programs out there, and honestly I think we are as good as any of them right now! But what is even better is that we have a ton of ways we can improve and we have a pretty good ;) coaching staff that knows how to get the best out of the team.

So, yes we can point out the problems with defense, shot selection, players minutes, etc.... that's what we do as armchair coaches, but take a step back and look at the other teams, all have had their moments/games where they struggled.

Just saying, We don't look like the 1999 team, but we don't look so bad right now IMO.

Our O is fantastic. 1st in the country, according to KenPom. Whatever criticisms our board has about our offense are, IMO, unwarranted. But our D is horrific, and I don't think I'm exaggerating. KenPom has us at 101st in the country for defense. You have to go to the 51st ranked team on Pomeroy to find a team that has worse D than us. Somehow, our D is significantly worse this year than 2011-2012, and we were horrid in D that year.

I've always believed in the mantra that offense wins games and defense wins tournaments. Unfortunately, I haven't seen anything about this Duke team to convince me otherwise. The good news is that it's only mid-December. I hope the ACC forces us to play better D or else it's gonna be a looooooooooong season.

jv001
12-17-2013, 09:11 AM
One thing to think about... we don't have to be a great "Duke" team to do really well, we just need to be better than most of the other teams out there.

What I mean is, yes we have weaknesses, but what team doesn't? MSU, UK, KU, AZ, CUSE, all have issues... UNC has issues.... everyone has issues!

I think we (myself included) slip into a tendency to judge Duke against Duke and that is fine and it is part of the landscape of long standing excellence.

However, I am also trying to look around and judge Duke against the other programs out there, and honestly I think we are as good as any of them right now! But what is even better is that we have a ton of ways we can improve and we have a pretty good ;) coaching staff that knows how to get the best out of the team.

So, yes we can point out the problems with defense, shot selection, players minutes, etc.... that's what we do as armchair coaches, but take a step back and look at the other teams, all have had their moments/games where they struggled.

Just saying, We don't look like the 1999 team, but we don't look so bad right now IMO.

Since I can't give you a spork/pitchfork. Great post oldnavy. When I saw the nationally ranked teams on tv last night, I thought the same thing you did. There is not one team in the nation that I would say is better than Duke. But there are some teams that will be a match up problem in the NCAAT. We will need to make up for not having a true 5 in our rotation. My hope is Marshall develops into that 5, but I don't know it that will happen. Probably not, judging by his minutes played last night after playing well enough in practice that Coach K acknowledged his improvement. We can make up for that lack of a true 5 by playing better defense. We did that early in last nights game, but as substitutions were made the defense fell off. Someone mentioned Quinn plays better defense when Tyler is in the game and that seems true. (and Coach K loves Tyler). Andre is playing very well on offense, but his defense is not above average, but we can live with that as long as he's shooting the ball like he has been doing. Parker and Hood have room for improvement on defense as well and that's what will make Duke a better defensive team. Communication and knowing Coach K's system on defense is what's needed most and it can be learned. Those two guys have the basketball knowledge to make it happen. I'm looking forward to seeing this Duke team grow. It's too early to start thinking about next years team. We have a very good team right now. I for one am going to enjoy the ride this team takes me on. GoDuke!

alteran
12-17-2013, 09:15 AM
I think Duke was pretty typical for how they've played this year, not subpar. Got a chuckle out of someone blaming our performance on exams.

Yeah, that Coach K, what a kidder.

HCheek37
12-17-2013, 09:20 AM
Okay, here are my thoughts about the game:

1) I know Rodney Hood is one of our two most talented players. But I honestly feel that Cook is one of our two most important players. When he's playing well (distributing the ball, scoring when there is an open lane), we're unbeatable.

3) Speaking of Hairston, thank God he didn't attempt a mid-range jumper. I'm glad the coaching staff put a stop to that.



I'd agree that Quinn is a huge part of any future success this year but I would never go as far to say when he is playing well that we're unbeatable. We might be unstoppable on offense but with our defense we are never truly unbeatable.

And to your 3rd point, I'll bet its not the coaching staff putting a stop to that, merely the opportunity not being there. I'll be he shoots a few over the next few games and hopefully they drop!

superdave
12-17-2013, 09:25 AM
Wow, Jay Williams was bad tonight. I want Jason Williams back.

Low Points:

As another poster mentioned, he said "came" instead of "come" several times.
Claimed that Duke lost to St. John's in Madison Square Garden in 1999.
Noted that "Tyler Thornton can play the 2 guard at times". Well, yeah, he is our starting 2 guard.
Invented the word "Athleticsism"
Said that Victor Oladipo is clearly the Rookie of the Year so far in the NBA. I'm pretty certain that's not clear, as I would think most people would say it's Michael Carter-Williams at this point.
Said "teams like a Kansas, a Arizona". Really?
Said that "ESPN is begging you for your money for the V Foundation" (that just doesn't sound good) and generally just flubbed his whole V Foundation spot.
Showed a very strange working knowledge of idioms. Made up his own idioms too.


I can't remember them all, but it was really painful to listen to.

Williams also pointed out how Dawkins did not play that well last season, then later corrected himself by pointing out that Dawkins was not on the team last year. I agree, Williams has a lot to do to get better. Hopefully he's preparing well. He needs to keep his mouth and brain in sync.

roywhite
12-17-2013, 09:26 AM
Yeah, that Coach K, what a kidder.

Indeed.

Here's a link to his post-game presser:
Coach K post-game (http://www.goduke.com/mediaPortal/player.dbml?db_oem_id=4200&id=3140965&catid=901)

This is available soon after most games on goduke.com; I encourage posters to check it out regularly, as he addresses many of the issues that come up in our post-game threads.

Bob Green
12-17-2013, 09:27 AM
I'll be[t] he shoots a few over the next few games and hopefully they drop!

We all hope they drop, but a bunch of us hope he doesn't shoot them to start with.

jv001
12-17-2013, 09:41 AM
Indeed.

Here's a link to his post-game presser:
Coach K post-game (http://www.goduke.com/mediaPortal/player.dbml?db_oem_id=4200&id=3140965&catid=901)

This is available soon after most games on goduke.com; I encourage posters to check it out regularly, as he addresses many of the issues that come up in our post-game threads.

Thanks roywhite for the presser from Coach K. Seems to me that he was pleased with the effort and I agree it would suit us Duke fans to check it out before posting sharp criticism. GoDuke!

NashvilleDevil
12-17-2013, 09:44 AM
Thanks roywhite for the presser from Coach K. Seems to me that he was pleased with the effort and I agree it would suit us Duke fans to check it out before posting sharp criticism. GoDuke!

HAHAHAHA! Don't you know that all those who criticize the team know how to fix what is wrong better than a 4 time national champion, 2 time Gold medal winning coach? :)

OldPhiKap
12-17-2013, 09:50 AM
HAHAHAHA! Don't you know that all those who criticize the team know how to fix what is wrong better than a 4 time national champion, 2 time Gold medal winning coach? :)

"we need more cowbell"

Dukehky
12-17-2013, 10:01 AM
Interesting thoughts about us being geared to stop the 3. The efficiency movement on offense stresses 3s, shots at the rim, and foul shots above all else. Is there a statistical basis around the theory that those shots are becoming a greater portion of every team's offense? Seem like we would rather give up 2 than 3...

In the NBA, you're 1 million % right. You have to stop the three. But that's because if you give an NBA player a wide open corner three, there's a darn good chance he's going to make it. My point is that college shooting APPEARS to be down. Kentucky, Carolina, and Kansas literally cannot buy a three point basket except for like 1 guy on each team, this is just an example. These teams don't have 3/4 people on the court at a time that can knock down a three consistently. With that in mind, and the fact that the rules emphasis this year really benefiting the driver, I think that by pressuring and trying to prevent teams from even getting looks at 3 point shots, which in theory is great I feel like we play much more into their strengths, driving to the rim.

Just for myself, I would like to see us pack it in a bit, prevent some of the easier drives, and if someone jacks a three, it's going to from deep, even if it is a little more open. Also, if you're covering a smaller area of the court, then it is easier to help and recover if someone is beat on the dribble because you don't have to help so far away from your man. Also puts more people closer to the basket to help rebound. So on your comment about stopping the 3 efficiency movements, by packing it in, we would prevent more shots at the rim, and subsequently more freethrows. In Theory Anyawy. I just don't think defending the 3 at all costs is more important than defending the paint, because three point shooting looks down across the board this year. However, even if we stop pressuring out to 40 feet, we can still give good contest to jump shooters. Plus, this way you can always dial it up and go pressure if you want to throw a change of pace at the opponent

I didn't do any research to confirm my 3 point stats, it's just what I've seen from watching a lot of college hoops this year, maybe it's way wrong. I just am not sure the players are going to grasp the current defensive scheme. As everyone has mentioned it's still early so I am more than willing to be patient, but I'll start worrying if things don't improve mid-late January.

tbyers11
12-17-2013, 10:02 AM
Our O is fantastic. 1st in the country, according to KenPom. Whatever criticisms our board has about our offense are, IMO, unwarranted. But our D is horrific, and I don't think I'm exaggerating. KenPom has us at 101st in the country for defense. You have to go to the 51st ranked team on Pomeroy to find a team that has worse D than us. Somehow, our D is significantly worse this year than 2011-2012, and we were horrid in D that year.

I've always believed in the mantra that offense wins games and defense wins tournaments. Unfortunately, I haven't seen anything about this Duke team to convince me otherwise. The good news is that it's only mid-December. I hope the ACC forces us to play better D or else it's gonna be a looooooooooong season.

I agree that our D is not very good. Need a lot of help on help D rotations. Rodney in particular seems to be lost a lot on help D. Jabari seems to be lost a lot on individual post D. I will be very interested to see our D at Notre Dame on Jan 4th. If we aren't beginning to sort some things out with lots of class-free time to practice over the break I'll be much more worried.

With respect to our 101st D ranking on KenPom. I wondered what would happen if we removed the Vermont game from the calculations. Now I know this isn't fair. Vermont is not good and our D was horrendous that game but I thought it would be interesting. Our D rating for this game was 139.3. Other than Kansas (124.6) which was skewed greatly by FTs at the end, all of our individual D ratings have been under 110. So it does seem like a bit of an outlier even with our overall supbar D so far this year.

Now this is approximate, because I don't know exactly how KenPom weights for 1) schedule strength or 2) how much his preseason rankings are still in play or 3) how much he weights more recent games vs old ones. But if you add up all of our individual Deff and divide by 10 you get 104.2. KPom currently has us at 100.1. If you take 100.1/104.2 = .961. This appears to be his schedule strength factor for us. So remove the Vermont game and you get Deff of 100.3. Multiply this by .961 (which would change slightly since UVM is no longer on the schedule) and you get 0.9639. This would put us at 42nd in Deff. To be fair if you do the same thing with our O rating and remove Vermont, our overall Oeff drops from 118.7 (#1) to 117.1 (about #8). The values (117.1 O and 0.964 D) track almost identically with Iowa and would put us at about #14 overall with the #8 O and # 42 D.

This is all theoretical but I found it interesting and thought it gave some data to the idea that a smallish sample size can be heavily influenced by a single data point.

Billy Dat
12-17-2013, 10:07 AM
Williams also pointed out how Dawkins did not play that well last season, then later corrected himself by pointing out that Dawkins was not on the team last year. I agree, Williams has a lot to do to get better. Hopefully he's preparing well. He needs to keep his mouth and brain in sync.

Sadly, J. Willy is a pretty easy target. Before piling on, I will state my admiration for the fact that is working really hard to get better and works a lot. ESPN must be pleased with him, and he always looks good. I think he'll keep getting better as he keeps working at it.

Doing live games is really hard, and I agree that he isn't really smooth in that roll. What made me roll my eyes were some of the really basic Duke stuff that he missed, which you'd assume, as someone who played for the team and is really close to the program, would nail. One example, in talking about Quinn Cook, he mentioned how he had two former point guards to learn from right on the bench...K and Wojo....and I was waiting for...and Capel....and Scheyer. He didn't even identify himself as a former Duke point guard. Again, though, doing color commentary is a lot harder than it looks.

I cracked up when Jason and his play-by-play man mentioned that Scheyer, in glasses, is a dead ringer for Brad Stevens. That is a GREAT call.

Matches
12-17-2013, 10:12 AM
Sadly, J. Willy is a pretty easy target. Before piling on, I will state my admiration for the fact that is working really hard to get better and works a lot. ESPN must be pleased with him, and he always looks good. I think he'll keep getting better as he keeps working at it.


I can't speak to how hard he works because I just don't know, but he seemed really unprepared last night. Last night was the worst performance I've seen from him. Tons of basic factual errors, as pointed out upthread.

I did enjoy his anecdote about how he still feels nervous going into K's office though. That was cute.

As to the game.... eh. Next play. Not a vintage performance but then again we rarely see vintage performances right after exams. IMO the whole point of having that game on the schedule is to tune up for the next one.

MChambers
12-17-2013, 10:13 AM
In the NBA, you're 1 million % right. You have to stop the three. But that's because if you give an NBA player a wide open corner three, there's a darn good chance he's going to make it. My point is that college shooting APPEARS to be down. Kentucky, Carolina, and Kansas literally cannot buy a three point basket except for like 1 guy on each team, this is just an example. These teams don't have 3/4 people on the court at a time that can knock down a three consistently. With that in mind, and the fact that the rules emphasis this year really benefiting the driver, I think that by pressuring and trying to prevent teams from even getting looks at 3 point shots, which in theory is great I feel like we play much more into their strengths, driving to the rim.

Just for myself, I would like to see us pack it in a bit, prevent some of the easier drives, and if someone jacks a three, it's going to from deep, even if it is a little more open. Also, if you're covering a smaller area of the court, then it is easier to help and recover if someone is beat on the dribble because you don't have to help so far away from your man. Also puts more people closer to the basket to help rebound. So on your comment about stopping the 3 efficiency movements, by packing it in, we would prevent more shots at the rim, and subsequently more freethrows. In Theory Anyawy. I just don't think defending the 3 at all costs is more important than defending the paint, because three point shooting looks down across the board this year. However, even if we stop pressuring out to 40 feet, we can still give good contest to jump shooters. Plus, this way you can always dial it up and go pressure if you want to throw a change of pace at the opponent

I didn't do any research to confirm my 3 point stats, it's just what I've seen from watching a lot of college hoops this year, maybe it's way wrong. I just am not sure the players are going to grasp the current defensive scheme. As everyone has mentioned it's still early so I am more than willing to be patient, but I'll start worrying if things don't improve mid-late January.

I'm seeing the same thing as you. Duke has always done a good job taking away the three point shot, but I wondering if that is the right strategy in this year's NCAA.

Carolina has succeeded on defense this year, and they don't play an aggressive brand of D. When I see UNC's games, I see a lot of open 3s against them.

Maybe someone who has subscribed to Kenpom's detailed statistics can take a look at this? Are the better defensive teams this year shutting off the three? Or are they defending closer shots better?

Billy Dat
12-17-2013, 10:16 AM
I didn't do any research to confirm my 3 point stats, it's just what I've seen from watching a lot of college hoops this year, maybe it's way wrong. I just am not sure the players are going to grasp the current defensive scheme. As everyone has mentioned it's still early so I am more than willing to be patient, but I'll start worrying if things don't improve mid-late January.

In my late night writing, I don't think I did a proper job of indicating that I generally agree with your analysis and that I was wondering if college trends back up the NBA efficiency movement - has that philosophy moved to D1? I didn't expect that you would have done that homework, I am wondering if anyone has? As tommy and Kedsy have been pounding away on the defensive analysis, I am not sure any real trends have developed that we can hang our hat on. I intuitively agree with you that packing it in ala 2010 to prevent the drive would be a good idea, but I wonder if we'd run into trouble trying to secure the boards? Even if we are packed in, would that first drive still catch us flat footed opening up kicks to guys in rhythm? Who knows. I don't think we have a handle on exactly which aspect of our defense is giving us the most trouble. I have to think that we're just not yet comfortable "playing on a string", which is the cool term for a connected group of defensive players moving as a unit in reaction to the movement of the ball, always in proper position to defend the ball, provide help, be aware of responsibility for that second and third pass, helping and recovering, and being ready to box out and rebound.

Kedsy
12-17-2013, 10:33 AM
I think that our defense is centered around stopping the 3-point shot. In theory this is a good idea. 3 pointers get you beat by inferior teams. As lots of people talk about, it's the great equalizer in college basketball. However, most of the top teams in the country aren't great beyond the arc, so when you pressure out to the hash mark, it gives a ton of room that plays into the strengths of teams. The shooting in college basketball this year seems a little down, with the exception of a few teams, Wisconsin comes to mind. So our defensive strength isn't really taking away a substantial weapon of some of the top teams. It means that we're less likely to be upset by lesser teams, but those lesser teams are going to have closer games against Duke. I'm not saying I want to go zone or anything, but I would like to see us pack it in on defense a little more, allowing us to gang rebound, which is something we're going to have to do. Maybe I'm still prisoner of the moment with how effective this strategy was in 2010.

Here's the thing that most people don't realize about our 2009-10 defense: opponents shot only 28.2% from three-point range against us that season, which is the lowest opposing three-point percentage in Duke history. The lowest ever.

In fact, stopping the three was the only exceptional thing that team's defense did. We put opponents on the line more than any Duke team in the 2000s (except 2003), our turnover rate was the worst it had been since at least 1996-97 (the earliest date I tracked, although 2010's turnover rate was also better than any season since), our defensive rebounding was good for Duke but average for the rest of the world, and our opposing two-point shooting percentage was good but not outstanding.

So I'm not sure packing it in on defense without focusing on the three would work. Or at least that wasn't the strategy in 2010.

Gugafan2005
12-17-2013, 10:33 AM
Enjoyed watching the game in Cameron last night, but what's with the guys up in the corner section of the stands in the baby blue with the "Free PJ" sign? It seems like every year there's a game where a couple Tarheel fans come make a spectacle of themselves like a couple years ago (?) where a handful snuck into the student section and took off their jackets to reveal Carolina shirts. Ugh. At least the usher came over and took his sign after the crowd heaped a nice chorus of "go to hell Carolina go to hell" on him.

roywhite
12-17-2013, 10:40 AM
In my late night writing, I don't think I did a proper job of indicating that I generally agree with your analysis and that I was wondering if college trends back up the NBA efficiency movement - has that philosophy moved to D1? I didn't expect that you would have done that homework, I am wondering if anyone has? As tommy and Kedsy have been pounding away on the defensive analysis, I am not sure any real trends have developed that we can hang our hat on. I intuitively agree with you that packing it in ala 2010 to prevent the drive would be a good idea, but I wonder if we'd run into trouble trying to secure the boards? Even if we are packed in, would that first drive still catch us flat footed opening up kicks to guys in rhythm? Who knows. I don't think we have a handle on exactly which aspect of our defense is giving us the most trouble. I have to think that we're just not yet comfortable "playing on a string", which is the cool term for a connected group of defensive players moving as a unit in reaction to the movement of the ball, always in proper position to defend the ball, provide help, be aware of responsibility for that second and third pass, helping and recovering, and being ready to box out and rebound.

Good comments. I expect we'll see that sort of improvement at some point and look forward to it. When? my crystal ball says late January, or early Feb. -- strictly a guess.

I think this may have been expressed a time or two on this board :), but I also look forward to these defensive lessons being completely absorbed by players that have better athletic ability and offensive talent than our two senior starters, Josh, and Tyler. That, to my mind, would bring a significant jump in performance for this team. I'm seeing some hopeful signs from Amile and looking forward to Sheed and Matt Jones stepping up, too. As Coach K has expressed many times, playing time is earned, so we'll see how things go.

jipops
12-17-2013, 10:44 AM
Well it's easy to harp on the D and I've been one of those voicing concern, repeatedly, but it's also worth noting the efficiency of our offense at this point. Here we start basically two utility guys from whom we expect little in the way of offense, very little in the way of a post presence exists, a returning double-figure scorer from last year who has fallen into some sort of rut, and 2 leading scorers that are still new to offensive game pressure at Duke... yet we're #1 in offensive efficiency according to kenpom. That is actually pretty astounding when you think about it. Jabari and Rodney are obviously excellent offensive talents and I know it's easy to be critical of Quinn's decision's some times, but Cook is doing one hell of a job directing this offense so far to have it at this level. We're efficient on offense because guys are getting good looks.

flyingdutchdevil
12-17-2013, 10:52 AM
Well it's easy to harp on the D and I've been one of those voicing concern, repeatedly, but it's also worth noting the efficiency of our offense at this point. Here we start basically two utility guys from whom we expect little in the way of offense, very little in the way of a post presence exists, a returning double-figure scorer from last year who has fallen into some sort of rut, and 2 leading scorers that are still new to offensive game pressure at Duke... yet we're #1 in offensive efficiency according to kenpom. That is actually pretty astounding when you think about it. Jabari and Rodney are obviously excellent offensive talents and I know it's easy to be critical of Quinn's decision's some times, but Cook is doing one hell of a job directing this offense so far to have it at this level. We're efficient on offense because guys are getting good looks.

Couldn't agree more. Our O is outstanding, especially considering that we start two of the least O-minded players in the last 10 years or so.

However, our D is so bad. This is what we 100% need to focus on. I actually think our rebounding is okay, but our perimeter and interior D is pitiful. We can't stop penetration and we get posted up on quite frequently. I have faith in the coaching staff, but they can only do so much. The players need to have a better mentality on defense, and I haven't seen that yet.

It's a problem, and for posters who think it isn't, please take off the Duke blue glasses.

roywhite
12-17-2013, 10:58 AM
Well it's easy to harp on the D and I've been one of those voicing concern, repeatedly, but it's also worth noting the efficiency of our offense at this point. Here we start basically two utility guys from whom we expect little in the way of offense, very little in the way of a post presence exists, a returning double-figure scorer from last year who has fallen into some sort of rut, and 2 leading scorers that are still new to offensive game pressure at Duke... yet we're #1 in offensive efficiency according to kenpom. That is actually pretty astounding when you think about it. Jabari and Rodney are obviously excellent offensive talents and I know it's easy to be critical of Quinn's decision's some times, but Cook is doing one hell of a job directing this offense so far to have it at this level. We're efficient on offense because guys are getting good looks.

Boxscore (http://www.goduke.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=22724&SPID=1845&DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=4200&ATCLID=209343286)

Yeah, we've almost become used to the amazing talent that Jabari Parker brings. Last night, he had a fairly quiet 21 points and 6 rebounds; he achieved that in only 26 minutes of playing time, and in a very encouraging trend, had only 1 turnover, as he didn't force things. Some of his offense looks waaay beyond what we see from college players, so smooth, decisive, and "no wasted motion" as Jason Williams said last night. And what a huge plus it is for him to draw fouls and get to the line, where he has been very productive.

Billy Dat
12-17-2013, 11:13 AM
Yeah, we've almost become used to the amazing talent that Jabari Parker brings. Last night, he had a fairly quiet 21 points and 6 rebounds; he achieved that in only 26 minutes of playing time, and in a very encouraging trend, had only 1 turnover, as he didn't force things. Some of his offense looks waaay beyond what we see from college players, so smooth, decisive, and "no wasted motion" as Jason Williams said last night. And what a huge plus it is for him to draw fouls and get to the line, where he has been very productive.

The play Jay was referring to, where he caught it mid key on the left side with his back to the basket, immediately faced up in triple threat position only to very quickly spin to his right and toss in a mini hook, was SICK. Around the same time, he had his man pinned on the right block and someone lofted the ball at the rim over Jabari's head. He calmly spun, caught the ball and dunked it all in one motion without coming down to land. I watched that play, assumed he would dunk the ball with ease, which he did, and then sat back and considered the whole thing...from the nature of the play to my complete assumption that he would execute it. Offense is so easy for him, he is a prodigy. I still think, despite being #1 offense on KenPom, we have a higher offensive ceiling because we haven't figured out how to leverage Jabari's passing and unselfishness to run more and more offense through him, using the attention he draws to set up other guys - moving from Jabari watching to Jabari-leveraging.

jimsumner
12-17-2013, 11:15 AM
Okay, here are my thoughts about the game:

Hairston fouls way too much, especially for a senior.

.

Hairston played 23 minutes and committed two fouls.

That doesn't meet my way-too-much-threshold.

uh_no
12-17-2013, 11:26 AM
Hairston played 23 minutes and committed two fouls.

That doesn't meet my way-too-much-threshold.


http://www.teamrankings.com/ncaa-basketball/player-stat/fouls-personal

josh hairston is fouling at a rate of .23 fouls/minute, good for 23rd in the country, and i believe up from .19 last year...

so while last night was a good night for him foul-wise (contrary to what the guy you were responding too thought), on the whole, it is very difficult to argue he doesn't foul way-too-much


that said, I can imagine someone trying to make the argument that his not fouling arose from sagging off his man, allowing open shots and more made buckets....and if someone had data to back that up, that could be a reasonable argument....but i didn't watch the game much nor do I have any data,so i'm not sure I could make any argument one way or the other. I'll give him the benefit of doubt and hope that he keeps that level of performance up.

Newton_14
12-17-2013, 11:28 AM
Couldn't agree more. Our O is outstanding, especially considering that we start two of the least O-minded players in the last 10 years or so.

However, our D is so bad. This is what we 100% need to focus on. I actually think our rebounding is okay, but our perimeter and interior D is pitiful. We can't stop penetration and we get posted up on quite frequently. I have faith in the coaching staff, but they can only do so much. The players need to have a better mentality on defense, and I haven't seen that yet.

It's a problem, and for posters who think it isn't, please take off the Duke blue glasses.

Ok I'll bite. Who here has said defense isn't a problem? I think everyone has acknowledged the defense is bad and needs improvement, no? If there was a post praising the defense, I missed it.

CDu
12-17-2013, 11:43 AM
Here's the thing that most people don't realize about our 2009-10 defense: opponents shot only 28.2% from three-point range against us that season, which is the lowest opposing three-point percentage in Duke history. The lowest ever.

In fact, stopping the three was the only exceptional thing that team's defense did. We put opponents on the line more than any Duke team in the 2000s (except 2003), our turnover rate was the worst it had been since at least 1996-97 (the earliest date I tracked, although 2010's turnover rate was also better than any season since), our defensive rebounding was good for Duke but average for the rest of the world, and our opposing two-point shooting percentage was good but not outstanding.

So I'm not sure packing it in on defense without focusing on the three would work. Or at least that wasn't the strategy in 2010.

So are you suggesting that we didn't play less aggressively on the perimeter in 2009-2010? If so, I'd disagree. We absolutely played much less extended defense than in previous years. It was somewhat out of necessity as we only had 4 scholarship perimeter players on that team to play 3 positions.

If anything, the fact that we held opponents to low 3pt % that year might suggest that playing extended perimeter defense on the perimeter may or may not be the best way to limit 3pt% for the opposition, as we seemed to do just fine defending the three while packing it in a bit defensively. But the more likely scenario may be that we didn't face a bunch of outstanding 3pt shooting teams that year.

I'm not saying that packing it in will (or will not) help fix this team's defense. I just don't think you can use 2010 as an example of why packing it in won't work.

Now, if you're just saying "you can't completely ignore the 3", then I agree. If anyone is suggesting that we ignore the 3 altogether, then I think that's a bad idea. But I think that an argument that the focus needs to shift to less perimeter pressure on the defense doesn't necessarily mean we have to allow teams to go willy-nilly from 3pt range (as 2010 shows).

I think the biggest thing though is getting a bunch of guys who aren't great defenders to figure out how to become an adequate team defense. Obviously settling on a style helps (the 2010 team would likely not have won the title had they continued to play extended pressure defense). But there is work to be done beyond the selection of defensive strategy.

grad_devil
12-17-2013, 11:56 AM
Enjoyed watching the game in Cameron last night, but what's with the guys up in the corner section of the stands in the baby blue with the "Free PJ" sign? It seems like every year there's a game where a couple Tarheel fans come make a spectacle of themselves like a couple years ago (?) where a handful snuck into the student section and took off their jackets to reveal Carolina shirts. Ugh. At least the usher came over and took his sign after the crowd heaped a nice chorus of "go to hell Carolina go to hell" on him.

I wish the regular Crazies would have been in attendance. I bet in response to the #FreePJ sign, we would've gotten something like "PJ's Guilty <clap> <clap> <clap clap clap>".

As others have stated, I'm tired of Tar Heel fans playing the "victim" card in all of this.

MChambers
12-17-2013, 12:09 PM
So are you suggesting that we didn't play less aggressively on the perimeter in 2009-2010? If so, I'd disagree. We absolutely played much less extended defense than in previous years. It was somewhat out of necessity as we only had 4 scholarship perimeter players on that team to play 3 positions.
I'm not Kedsy, but I didn't read his post to suggest Duke played as aggressively as usual on the perimeter in 2010. I think anyone who watched that team realized that Duke did not extend its defense very far past the 3 point line. Kedsy's just pointing out that Duke still did a great job of limiting three point shots that season.

You might want to read his post again.

Kedsy
12-17-2013, 12:09 PM
So are you suggesting that we didn't play less aggressively on the perimeter in 2009-2010? If so, I'd disagree. We absolutely played much less extended defense than in previous years. It was somewhat out of necessity as we only had 4 scholarship perimeter players on that team to play 3 positions.

If anything, the fact that we held opponents to low 3pt % that year might suggest that playing extended perimeter defense on the perimeter may or may not be the best way to limit 3pt% for the opposition, as we seemed to do just fine defending the three while packing it in a bit defensively. But the more likely scenario may be that we didn't face a bunch of outstanding 3pt shooting teams that year.

I'm not saying that packing it in will (or will not) help fix this team's defense. I just don't think you can use 2010 as an example of why packing it in won't work.

Now, if you're just saying "you can't completely ignore the 3", then I agree. If anyone is suggesting that we ignore the 3 altogether, then I think that's a bad idea. But I think that an argument that the focus needs to shift to less perimeter pressure on the defense doesn't necessarily mean we have to allow teams to go willy-nilly from 3pt range (as 2010 shows).

I think the biggest thing though is getting a bunch of guys who aren't great defenders to figure out how to become an adequate team defense. Obviously settling on a style helps (the 2010 team would likely not have won the title had they continued to play extended pressure defense). But there is work to be done beyond the selection of defensive strategy.

Our opponents in 2009-10 attempted the most three-pointers of any season in the past 12. We played 40 games. In that same dozen years, our opponents' percentage (28.2%) was lower by more than two percentage points than in any other year except 2012-13. I can't imagine it's a statistical anomaly based on facing a small sample of poor shooting teams. That team was exceptional at defending the three.

But MChambers is right. I didn't suggest we played the same extended D we're playing now. In fact, I agree with your point that playing extended perimeter D may not be the best way to defend the three -- our 2001 National Champions allowed opponents to shoot 34.4% from threeland.

What I'm saying is it's not so simple as some make it out to be. Suggesting we "pack it in on defense" like in 2010 because currently "our defense is centered around stopping the 3-point shot" doesn't make sense. The 2010 team defense was certainly centered around stopping the three-point shot. The fact that they could stop the three pointer and stop the drive as well is what made that team's defense so strong.

Now having said all that, I recall that when the 2010 team played four-out, one-in offenses like Georgetown, NC State, and Wisconsin, our defense got shredded, both from outside and inside. Those three teams collectively shot 42.2% from three against us and 62.6% from two. So even that defense was vulnerable and we got lucky we didn't face a four-out, one-in team in the NCAAT.

I agree with you that no matter what strategy we pick, the key is learning to play solid team defense. My point is that accomplishing that is way more complicated than some people seem to think.

Des Esseintes
12-17-2013, 12:14 PM
Here's the thing that most people don't realize about our 2009-10 defense: opponents shot only 28.2% from three-point range against us that season, which is the lowest opposing three-point percentage in Duke history. The lowest ever.

In fact, stopping the three was the only exceptional thing that team's defense did. We put opponents on the line more than any Duke team in the 2000s (except 2003), our turnover rate was the worst it had been since at least 1996-97 (the earliest date I tracked, although 2010's turnover rate was also better than any season since), our defensive rebounding was good for Duke but average for the rest of the world, and our opposing two-point shooting percentage was good but not outstanding.

So I'm not sure packing it in on defense without focusing on the three would work. Or at least that wasn't the strategy in 2010.

Further to your point, there were some notable personnel differences between that season and this one.

Jon Scheyer was not tremendously fast, but he had excellent size at the one and excelled at ball denial. Quinn is pretty much the opposite. Pulling Quinn back takes away one of his best defensive attributes, his quick hands. Jon's height allowed him to be off a shooter and still be able to contest. With Quinn, that's less of an option.
Singler vs. Hood is a similar situation, though Rodney also obviously has excellent size for the 3. Nevertheless, you ideally want his speed and length put to generating turnovers in a way that would have made less sense with Kyle.
Tyler, too, is a guy whose strengths are better in a pressure defense, where is his off-ball havoc and lane-jumping can are most useful. (One of the problems with hanging back is that it lets the offense have a clearer head to make decisions; guys make less risky passes when they don't have a dude in their jersey.)
As for the bench, maybe Dawkins is better suited to fall back, but the strengths of Sulaimon and Jones certainly point in the direction of pressure D.

Just because something worked with a particular combination of players does not mean it will work with an (almost; hi, Andre) entirely different combo of players. K is constantly experimenting, usually in ways that the vast majority of this board, myself included, are unqualified detect, much less judge. That doesn't mean he's infallible; it just means we are ignorant. Out of their total lack of qualification, people call for the changes they can actually see and know the names of. In days of yore, it was zone. Now it's "going 2010."

brevity
12-17-2013, 12:16 PM
My point is that college shooting APPEARS to be down. Kentucky, Carolina, and Kansas literally cannot buy a three point basket except for like 1 guy on each team, this is just an example.

Carolina doesn't need to buy one. They can rent at criminally discounted rates.

Eakane
12-17-2013, 12:21 PM
HAHAHAHA! Don't you know that all those who criticize the team know how to fix what is wrong better than a 4 time national champion, 2 time Gold medal winning coach? :)

At all. Do you suppose K goes up to opposing coaches before a game and says, "Look, I have won 4 NC2A's and 2 gold medals, and more games than any other division 1 coach, Why are we bothering to play?" The blind "K-knows-best-no-matter-what" adds nothing to the conversation. And you knew what? I bet K himself subscribes to that notion. That w as a poor peformance last night. I know it; you know it, and K knows it.

The moment you rest on your laurels is the moment you should retire. I don't think K is anywhere near that.

The criticizers here, and I'm included, do so because we care. We don't care how many points we beat a Gardner Webb or an East Carolina by; we care about whether the team is building towards being at its best in March. We're not suggesting that we can come up with better ideas than K and the staff can; but we are curious about what goes into some of the decisions, and I'm confident K believes, that despite his many accomplishments, he can always get better.

My opinion is that what makes K go is taknig a team and getting every once of effort out of it; getting them to play to their full potential. K took a good but not great team in 2010 and found a way to go all the way. That has to be immenseily satisfying to him. This year's team has light year's more talent than that team, but we are not playing well as a team, at least on the defensive end. That presents another great challenge that is right n K's wheelhouse. Take a team with great talent and find a way to get the most out of that natural ability.

This team has the potential to be the best team in the nation -- bar none. Two wildly talented guys in Parker and Hood, a really solid point guard in QC, and lots of choices everywhere else on the floor. If we get Rasheed back playing like last year, and we got contributions from Dawkins/Jefferson/Jones/Plumlee, and if we figure it out on defense, we are going to be a really tough out.

Edouble
12-17-2013, 12:28 PM
Sadly, J. Willy is a pretty easy target. Before piling on, I will state my admiration for the fact that is working really hard to get better and works a lot. ESPN must be pleased with him, and he always looks good. I think he'll keep getting better as he keeps working at it.

Doing live games is really hard, and I agree that he isn't really smooth in that roll. What made me roll my eyes were some of the really basic Duke stuff that he missed, which you'd assume, as someone who played for the team and is really close to the program, would nail. One example, in talking about Quinn Cook, he mentioned how he had two former point guards to learn from right on the bench...K and Wojo....and I was waiting for...and Capel....and Scheyer. He didn't even identify himself as a former Duke point guard. Again, though, doing color commentary is a lot harder than it looks.

He could make it easier on himself by scaling back on the talking, letting the play by play guy call the game a little more, and then interject with interesting points about the game that his knowledge of basketball and his experience as a point guard in the ACC allow him. But... that's just what I like to hear. Apparently Jason feels the need to follow the Dick Vitale model where he goes off topic and a mile a minute, as opposed to the Jay Bilas/Bob Knight model. That's a shame. I felt like he was trying to impress us by showing us that he can name a lot of the teams in the Big South conference. Nothing will ever impress me more than that stunt that he pulled at Cole back in '01. He doesn't have to work that hard.

Jason also really could have prepared better for his V Foundation voice over. Did he lose his notes or was he just going off the cuff? It was embarrassing how he stumbled over it.

MChambers
12-17-2013, 12:31 PM
Further to your point, there were some notable personnel differences between that season and this one.
[LIST]
Jon Scheyer was not tremendously fast, but he had excellent size at the one and excelled at ball denial. Quinn is pretty much the opposite. Pulling Quinn back takes away one of his best defensive attributes, his quick hands. Jon's height allowed him to be off a shooter and still be able to contest. With Quinn, that's less of an option.
Although it is true that Scheyer had excellent size at the one, that was only on the offensive half of the court. Nolan Smith was our primary defensive point in 2010, not Scheyer.

GGLC
12-17-2013, 12:37 PM
At all. Do you suppose K goes up to opposing coaches before a game and says, "Look, I have won 4 NC2A's and 2 gold medals, and more games than any other division 1 coach, Why are we bothering to play?" The blind "K-knows-best-no-matter-what" adds nothing to the conversation. And you knew what? I bet K himself subscribes to that notion. That w as a poor peformance last night. I know it; you know it, and K knows it.

The moment you rest on your laurels is the moment you should retire. I don't think K is anywhere near that.

The criticizers here, and I'm included, do so because we care. We don't care how many points we beat a Gardner Webb or an East Carolina by; we care about whether the team is building towards being at its best in March. We're not suggesting that we can come up with better ideas than K and the staff can; but we are curious about what goes into some of the decisions, and I'm confident K believes, that despite his many accomplishments, he can always get better.

My opinion is that what makes K go is taknig a team and getting every once of effort out of it; getting them to play to their full potential. K took a good but not great team in 2010 and found a way to go all the way. That has to be immenseily satisfying to him. This year's team has light year's more talent than that team, but we are not playing well as a team, at least on the defensive end. That presents another great challenge that is right n K's wheelhouse. Take a team with great talent and find a way to get the most out of that natural ability.

This team has the potential to be the best team in the nation -- bar none. Two wildly talented guys in Parker and Hood, a really solid point guard in QC, and lots of choices everywhere else on the floor. If we get Rasheed back playing like last year, and we got contributions from Dawkins/Jefferson/Jones/Plumlee, and if we figure it out on defense, we are going to be a really tough out.

Extremely well-said.

flyingdutchdevil
12-17-2013, 12:39 PM
Although it is true that Scheyer had excellent size at the one, that was only on the offensive half of the court. Nolan Smith was our primary defensive point in 2010, not Scheyer.

Also, Scheyer isn't that tall. I know he's listed anywhere between 6'4"-6'5" and, while he probably is that height, he has the longest neck this side of the Mississippi. Having a long neck is great for total height, but for basketball, it's shoulder height that's important. And Scheyer's shoulder height is probably that of a 6'2"-6'3" guard. I know this because I'm stood right next to Scheyer dozens of times at the bus stop near Grace's Cafe and my shoulders are actually higher than Scheyer's (we both had classes end in that building. I stopped eating Grace's after it made me....ummmm....better not finish this statement for everyone's sake).

NashvilleDevil
12-17-2013, 01:32 PM
At all. Do you suppose K goes up to opposing coaches before a game and says, "Look, I have won 4 NC2A's and 2 gold medals, and more games than any other division 1 coach, Why are we bothering to play?" The blind "K-knows-best-no-matter-what" adds nothing to the conversation. And you knew what? I bet K himself subscribes to that notion. That w as a poor peformance last night. I know it; you know it, and K knows it.

The moment you rest on your laurels is the moment you should retire. I don't think K is anywhere near that.

The criticizers here, and I'm included, do so because we care. We don't care how many points we beat a Gardner Webb or an East Carolina by; we care about whether the team is building towards being at its best in March. We're not suggesting that we can come up with better ideas than K and the staff can; but we are curious about what goes into some of the decisions, and I'm confident K believes, that despite his many accomplishments, he can always get better.

My opinion is that what makes K go is taknig a team and getting every once of effort out of it; getting them to play to their full potential. K took a good but not great team in 2010 and found a way to go all the way. That has to be immenseily satisfying to him. This year's team has light year's more talent than that team, but we are not playing well as a team, at least on the defensive end. That presents another great challenge that is right n K's wheelhouse. Take a team with great talent and find a way to get the most out of that natural ability.

This team has the potential to be the best team in the nation -- bar none. Two wildly talented guys in Parker and Hood, a really solid point guard in QC, and lots of choices everywhere else on the floor. If we get Rasheed back playing like last year, and we got contributions from Dawkins/Jefferson/Jones/Plumlee, and if we figure it out on defense, we are going to be a really tough out.

Oh I get it and I know that Coach K will always give it straight with regards to the team's effort and last night in his post game press conference he said he was pleased with the effort after the long layoff. I was responding to the poster who said it would be a good idea that people listen to what the coach has to say about the team before diving in to what they think is wrong because based on the post after a win last night you would have thought Duke lost.

Troublemaker
12-17-2013, 01:47 PM
That w as a poor peformance last night. I know it; you know it, and K knows it.

Coach K also understands the context in which performances occur. As others have said, read the postgame quotes from him.



We're not suggesting that we can come up with better ideas than K and the staff can; but we are curious about what goes into some of the decisions


If I examined your posting history, are you sure you haven't been suggesting this at all? (I'm not going to do it, btw. Who cares? But my impression hasn't been that you've been couching your arguments in terms of "I'm just a Curious Kitten, and I'm just curious as to why Coach K only plays 7 guys, etc etc")

Des Esseintes
12-17-2013, 02:02 PM
At all. Do you suppose K goes up to opposing coaches before a game and says, "Look, I have won 4 NC2A's and 2 gold medals, and more games than any other division 1 coach, Why are we bothering to play?" The blind "K-knows-best-no-matter-what" adds nothing to the conversation. And you knew what? I bet K himself subscribes to that notion. That w as a poor peformance last night. I know it; you know it, and K knows it.

The moment you rest on your laurels is the moment you should retire. I don't think K is anywhere near that.

The criticizers here, and I'm included, do so because we care. We don't care how many points we beat a Gardner Webb or an East Carolina by; we care about whether the team is building towards being at its best in March. We're not suggesting that we can come up with better ideas than K and the staff can; but we are curious about what goes into some of the decisions, and I'm confident K believes, that despite his many accomplishments, he can always get better.

My opinion is that what makes K go is taknig a team and getting every once of effort out of it; getting them to play to their full potential. K took a good but not great team in 2010 and found a way to go all the way. That has to be immenseily satisfying to him. This year's team has light year's more talent than that team, but we are not playing well as a team, at least on the defensive end. That presents another great challenge that is right n K's wheelhouse. Take a team with great talent and find a way to get the most out of that natural ability.

This team has the potential to be the best team in the nation -- bar none. Two wildly talented guys in Parker and Hood, a really solid point guard in QC, and lots of choices everywhere else on the floor. If we get Rasheed back playing like last year, and we got contributions from Dawkins/Jefferson/Jones/Plumlee, and if we figure it out on defense, we are going to be a really tough out.
No one has suggested that K should "rest on his laurels" or that his past accomplishments automatically make this team great. That would be insane, and absolutely no one has said it. What people have said is that K was capable and hard-working and imaginative enough to win four titles, so he is probably capable and hard-working and imaginative enough to do it again. What people have said is that it has probably occurred to K that he is allowed to start players over Tyler and Josh. It probably has occurred to K that he is allowed to modify his defense. We're experimenting with zone this year, for Chrissake! Nobody talks about that, because the defense still sucks, but it's happening. It probably has occurred to K that a playable 7-footer would be useful in the game of basketball. If he does or does not do something, I am willing to bet that he and his very smart staff have considered it and have good reasons for pursuing the present course. But hey, you have probably considered it more than he has. It's only his his job, whereas you care.

tommy
12-17-2013, 02:10 PM
Now, if you're just saying "you can't completely ignore the 3", then I agree. If anyone is suggesting that we ignore the 3 altogether, then I think that's a bad idea. But I think that an argument that the focus needs to shift to less perimeter pressure on the defense doesn't necessarily mean we have to allow teams to go willy-nilly from 3pt range (as 2010 shows).

I think the biggest thing though is getting a bunch of guys who aren't great defenders to figure out how to become an adequate team defense. Obviously settling on a style helps (the 2010 team would likely not have won the title had they continued to play extended pressure defense). But there is work to be done beyond the selection of defensive strategy.

I agree with you. But I would add that, contrary to what K seemed to suggest last summer, we are not playing the type of high-pressure, turnover-forcing defense on the perimeter that we theoretically could be. I see Quinn applying pretty good ball pressure much of the time, but I don't see us doing anything special in terms of denying on the wings, certainly almost no trapping, etc.

The result of this is that this year's team is forcing the LEAST number of turnovers of any Duke team in 32 years, since the 1981-82 team. The 2011-12 team was almost as bad, but even they -- that was the Austin Rivers team -- forced 12.76 per game. We're at 12.6 now. I went back and looked at this statistic for every team in the K era, and wow. Our average over the last 32 years is somewhere around 17 per game, and in our peak years we were forcing 19 and even 20 turnovers per game. That is just a ton of additional possessions that the opponent doesn't get a shot at the basket, we don't have to defensive rebound, we sometimes get run-outs, etc. 7 or 8 more of those opportunities per game in our peak years as compared to this year's squad.

I'm not saying that with this personnel we could force 19 or 20 turnovers a game, but it sure seems like we have the athleticism to force more than 12. Big disappointment for me thus far, especially since these numbers have been compiled against what is presumably the weakest part of our schedule.

CDu
12-17-2013, 02:18 PM
I agree with you. But I would add that, contrary to what K seemed to suggest last summer, we are not playing the type of high-pressure, turnover-forcing defense on the perimeter that we theoretically could be. I see Quinn applying pretty good ball pressure much of the time, but I don't see us doing anything special in terms of denying on the wings, certainly almost no trapping, etc.

The result of this is that this year's team is forcing the LEAST number of turnovers of any Duke team in 32 years, since the 1981-82 team. The 2011-12 team was almost as bad, but even they -- that was the Austin Rivers team -- forced 12.76 per game. We're at 12.6 now. I went back and looked at this statistic for every team in the K era, and wow. Our average over the last 32 years is somewhere around 17 per game, and in our peak years we were forcing 19 and even 20 turnovers per game. That is just a ton of additional possessions that the opponent doesn't get a shot at the basket, we don't have to defensive rebound, we sometimes get run-outs, etc. 7 or 8 more of those opportunities per game in our peak years as compared to this year's squad.

I'm not saying that with this personnel we could force 19 or 20 turnovers a game, but it sure seems like we have the athleticism to force more than 12. Big disappointment for me thus far, especially since these numbers have been compiled against what is presumably the weakest part of our schedule.

Oh I agree - on paper we have the type of length and athleticism to force turnovers with pressure defense. But when we tried that early this season it generally ended badly for us. For whatever reason, our guys weren't forcing turnovers, and they were having trouble preventing easy scoring chances. So the staff apparently scrapped the idea fairly quickly. The switch away from pressure defense was in response to those struggles. And yet we're STILL struggling with staying in front of our men.

flyingdutchdevil
12-17-2013, 02:21 PM
Oh I agree - on paper we have the type of length and athleticism to force turnovers with pressure defense. But when we tried that early this season it generally ended badly for us. For whatever reason, our guys weren't forcing turnovers, and they were having trouble preventing easy scoring chances. So the staff apparently scrapped the idea fairly quickly. The switch away from pressure defense was in response to those struggles. And yet we're STILL struggling with staying in front of our men.

What is the root cause? We are clearly an athletic team, especially at the 2-4, yet we can't stay in front of our men. Is it laziness? Is it lack of lateral movement? Is Coach K losing his defensive touch? Is Coach K recruiting primarily offensive-minded players and forgetting the defensive-minded ones?

I literally cannot think of a reason why our team is so bad on D. It really makes little sense when you look at the individual players.

CDu
12-17-2013, 02:30 PM
What is the root cause? We are clearly an athletic team, especially at the 2-4, yet we can't stay in front of our men. Is it laziness? Is it lack of lateral movement? Is Coach K losing his defensive touch? Is Coach K recruiting primarily offensive-minded players and forgetting the defensive-minded ones?

I literally cannot think of a reason why our team is so bad on D. It really makes little sense when you look at the individual players.

I just don't know. Some guys "get it" defensively and some guys don't. Maybe we just have a bunch of guys who don't get it (at least not yet). Athleticism certainly helps defensively, but it is just one piece of the puzzle. Battier wasn't a ridiculous athlete. He was a decent athlete who just completely "got it" defensively. Conversely, Jason Williams was a FAR superior athlete who just wasn't at all close to Battier as a defender.

In looking at our team, I'd group guys into the following categories defensively:

Not strong defensively yet: Parker, Hood, Dawkins, Plumlee, Jefferson, Ojeleye
Good team defenders who struggle in individual defensive assignments: Hairston, Thornton
Good individual defenders who maybe struggle with the team defense: Sulaimon, Jones, Cook

Hopefully as the season progresses we can get guys to shift out of that top category. Parker is a guy who clearly gets it on offense, but he's probably being challenged defensively for the first time in his career. Hopefully by season's end (or sooner) he makes the jump, but that's asking a lot.

So we don't exactly have a stellar mold to work with here, and on top of that many of our guys are new faces. So when you combine unfamiliarity with poor habits/skills, you get a bad result.

jimsumner
12-17-2013, 02:37 PM
I think I'm reasonably adept at reading body language.

I've seen K when he said all the right things but didn't look like he meant them.

Last night was not one of those times.

He seemed somewhere between moderately pleased and pleased.

FWIW.

FWIW2. K has said from the very beginning that this was a young team that would take some time to gel. So, it's December. A tad early, methinks to start positing low ceilings.

flyingdutchdevil
12-17-2013, 02:39 PM
I just don't know. Some guys "get it" defensively and some guys don't. Maybe we just have a bunch of guys who don't get it (at least not yet). Athleticism certainly helps defensively, but it is just one piece of the puzzle. Battier wasn't a ridiculous athlete. He was a decent athlete who just completely "got it" defensively. Conversely, Jason Williams was a FAR superior athlete who just wasn't at all close to Battier as a defender.

In looking at our team, I'd group guys into the following categories defensively:

Not strong defensively yet: Parker, Hood, Dawkins, Plumlee, Jefferson, Ojeleye
Good team defenders who struggle in individual defensive assignments: Hairston, Thornton
Good individual defenders who maybe struggle with the team defense: Sulaimon, Jones, Cook

Hopefully as the season progresses we can get guys to shift out of that top category. Parker is a guy who clearly gets it on offense, but he's probably being challenged defensively for the first time in his career. Hopefully by season's end (or sooner) he makes the jump, but that's asking a lot.

So we don't exactly have a stellar mold to work with here, and on top of that many of our guys are new faces. So when you combine unfamiliarity with poor habits/skills, you get a bad result.

I think you're absolutely right about the cause behind team defense. It takes a long time to become familiar with it, especially with Coach K's man-to-man, hardcore switching style of D. But it doesn't explain the first two groups (and I would put Cook in the "Not strong defensively yet" category), where everyone is bad individually.

Like you, I really have no explanation. I get the "your just bad at D no matter how hard you try" explanation (see Maggette, Corey and Stoudemire, Amare), but with that many players? I'm not expecting everyone to be a Sean Dockery or a David McClure, but something better than 101st on D in the nation would be nice.

Des Esseintes
12-17-2013, 02:50 PM
I agree with you. But I would add that, contrary to what K seemed to suggest last summer, we are not playing the type of high-pressure, turnover-forcing defense on the perimeter that we theoretically could be. I see Quinn applying pretty good ball pressure much of the time, but I don't see us doing anything special in terms of denying on the wings, certainly almost no trapping, etc.

The result of this is that this year's team is forcing the LEAST number of turnovers of any Duke team in 32 years, since the 1981-82 team. The 2011-12 team was almost as bad, but even they -- that was the Austin Rivers team -- forced 12.76 per game. We're at 12.6 now. I went back and looked at this statistic for every team in the K era, and wow. Our average over the last 32 years is somewhere around 17 per game, and in our peak years we were forcing 19 and even 20 turnovers per game. That is just a ton of additional possessions that the opponent doesn't get a shot at the basket, we don't have to defensive rebound, we sometimes get run-outs, etc. 7 or 8 more of those opportunities per game in our peak years as compared to this year's squad.

I'm not saying that with this personnel we could force 19 or 20 turnovers a game, but it sure seems like we have the athleticism to force more than 12. Big disappointment for me thus far, especially since these numbers have been compiled against what is presumably the weakest part of our schedule.

That is pretty astonishing. I'd noticed a dearth of turnovers forced, but the extremity of the numbers you cite is breathtaking. And mysterious. CDu's points are well taken, and it is indeed a young team. But man. Probably this year's officiating environment plays a role? Kenpom had a posting a few weeks back (http://kenpom.com/blog/index.php/weblog/entry/our_brave_new_world) showing turnover percentages were far lower across the board in college basketball. So we should probably grade this team on a curve, at least for the moment. By season's end, both Duke and the national environment will likely have regressed toward normality.

CajunDevil
12-17-2013, 03:12 PM
I think I'm reasonably adept at reading body language.

I've seen K when he said all the right things but didn't look like he meant them.

Last night was not one of those times.

He seemed somewhere between moderately pleased and pleased.

FWIW.

FWIW2. K has said from the very beginning that this was a young team that would take some time to gel. So, it's December. A tad early, methinks to start positing low ceilings.

Thank you Jim for putting this game into context relative to THIS team! We aren't playing with three stud seniors who have been in the program for 4 years. Duke's best players are new to the system. Be patient. We just had a couple of weeks without a game and exams. People need to realize that we are a work in progress and not a finished product, like we tend to be at this point.

I'm eager to see more Marshall when we play bigger teams. He played well last night, aside from the bad cross court pass. As the year goes on I think you will see Marshall take 5-7 of Josh's minutes/game and Matt take 5+ minutes/game of Tyler's time. The wildcard is Rasheed. He could take both Tyler and Matt's minutes if he snaps out of his funk. Or, he could have several more DNPs if he continues to play with no confidence. I hope Sheed pulls through... I think this team will need him at some point.

Troublemaker
12-17-2013, 03:28 PM
I literally cannot think of a reason why our team is so bad on D

We might not be that bad, anymore. I would've characterized our defensive efforts against Alabama, Arizona, and Michigan as "pretty good but needs to get better to contend for the biggest conference and national prizes." Unfortunately, the effort against Gardner-Webb was a regression back to the previous bad defensive efforts of Vermont, Kansas, ECU, Davidson. Was it a one-game regression due to rust and mental exhaustion from exams? I definitely buy into that explanation.

The big test then is UCLA. As I wrote in the pre-game thread for that game, UCLA will test a lot of our weaknesses, especially defensively. A good defensive performance there in my mind erases the Gardner-Webb game and puts us squarely back in "pretty good and hopefully continuing to improve" territory.

BD80
12-17-2013, 04:18 PM
We all hope they drop, but a bunch of us hope he doesn't shoot them to start with.

I don't hope Josh's shots drop, it might just encourage him to shoot more. On the other hand, Amile had a stretch last night where he couldn't even hit from the blocks.


HAHAHAHA! Don't you know that all those who criticize the team know how to fix what is wrong better than a 4 time national champion, 2 time Gold medal winning coach? :)

Only those of us so bold to subject our opinions to examination on these boards. Coach K don't stay at the Holiday Inn Express!


Part of the issue with the defense is that Coach K is going to keep playing the same essential scheme until the players get it right for the full clock. He has also scheduled teams so that they have a chance to prepare to attack our defense. At this stage, patient teams will eventually get us to miss a hedge or a switch or a help rotation. We are getting better, lasting longer into the 35 second clock before breaking down. Soon, we will be more consistent and opposing teams will find themselves running into shot clock issues. Then teams will start pressing on offense, trying to force passes and shots. Come on people, the Duke Blue Kool-Aid tastes GOOOOOOOODD!

g-money
12-17-2013, 05:02 PM
I didn't see the game, but two things jump out at me from the stat sheet:

1) Andre's 18 point explosion off the bench
2) Amile Jefferson with 10 rebounds in 12 minutes! That has got to make the coaches take notice. I suspect he wants his starting minutes back.

Love the effort from these guys.

PS Go Duke women against UConn!

AtlDuke72
12-17-2013, 07:05 PM
[QUOTE=SheltonBob;687559]The play-by-play announcer then asked the question I have been asking all year - if Plumlee is a necessary component of the team's development, how does playing 2-3 minutes help develop Plumlee? Jay Williams' comment was something about this is now only December, and more time will/may come.

I keep hearing a lot of posters saying Plumlee should play more but I haven't seen any indication that he can play at this level. . I don't think he will be playing any more as the year goes on. If he could play at the level he needs to play Coach K would have him in the games. Hope I am wrong but I just don't see it.

-jk
12-17-2013, 07:06 PM
[QUOTE=SheltonBob;687559]The play-by-play announcer then asked the question I have been asking all year - if Plumlee is a necessary component of the team's development, how does playing 2-3 minutes help develop Plumlee? Jay Williams' comment was something about this is now only December, and more time will/may come.

I keep hearing a lot of posters saying Plumlee should play more but I haven't seen any indication that he can play at this level. . I don't think he will be playing any more as the year goes on. If he could play at the level he needs to play Coach K would have him in the games. Hope I am wrong but I just don't see it.

Um... Zoubek? Sometimes a light just goes on.

-jk

vick
12-17-2013, 07:21 PM
Um... Zoubek? Sometimes a light just goes on.

-jk

Yeah, but Zoubek both played a lot more than Plumlee and was significantly more effective even before the Maryland game--his main problem was being able to stay on the floor. If I were looking for a big man to 'pull a Zoubek' I think it's more likely to be Jefferson, who has been fairly effective for what we need offensively, but has a hideous foul rate and is not defending at a high level (but has the athletic tools to be better). I feel like it's much more likely he "gets" defense sometime this year than Plumlee makes the leap.

AtlDuke72
12-17-2013, 07:25 PM
[QUOTE=AtlDuke72;687789]

Um... Zoubek? Sometimes a light just goes on.

-jk

I saw Zoubek play as a freshman in the Blue-White game when he tore McRoberts up. I was one of the few who kept saying he could play and for once I was right. Zoubek had injuries which derailed him for a couple of years, but he showed the potential from the start in my opinion. Wish I could say I see that kind of potential in Marshall . . . Jefferson, with 10 rebounds in 12 minutes last night, looks to be the best hope for the big men on this year's team.

AtlDuke72
12-17-2013, 07:27 PM
Yeah, but Zoubek both played a lot more than Plumlee and was significantly more effective even before the Maryland game--his main problem was being able to stay on the floor. If I were looking for a big man to 'pull a Zoubek' I think it's more likely to be Jefferson, who has been fairly effective for what we need offensively, but has a hideous foul rate and is not defending at a high level (but has the athletic tools to be better). I feel like it's much more likely he "gets" defense sometime this year than Plumlee makes the leap.

At least two of us are thinking alike.

-jk
12-17-2013, 07:29 PM
Yeah, but Zoubek both played a lot more than Plumlee and was significantly more effective even before the Maryland game--his main problem was being able to stay on the floor. If I were looking for a big man to 'pull a Zoubek' I think it's more likely to be Jefferson, who has been fairly effective for what we need offensively, but has a hideous foul rate and is not defending at a high level (but has the athletic tools to be better). I feel like it's much more likely he "gets" defense sometime this year than Plumlee makes the leap.

Never know when someone's light goes on. Z and Alaa senior year. Marshall's a soph. We can hope...

-jk

OldPhiKap
12-17-2013, 07:32 PM
Never know when someone's light goes on. Z and Alaa senior year. Marshall's a soph. We can hope...

-jk

... Shane finding his inner chi before a Maryland game, watching Kung fu movies . . . .

kAzE
12-17-2013, 07:38 PM
This isn't a knock on Coach K or anything, but I think the way he uses his bench in games affects bench players when they get on the court. What I mean by that is, sometimes, a player will be very tentative or try too hard instead of just playing confidently. It tough to come in as a guy off the bench and play comfortably when you know that any mistake you make could result in immediate benching.

I just watched the replay of the GW game and I thought this affect a couple of players. Ojeleye, for example was guarding Hill facing up on the right wing, and you could see he trying really hard to stay in front, but got completely juked by a really simple ball fake, jumping completely out of the way, and leaving a wide open lane to the basket. I think you could tell very clearly that he was just trying too hard instead of just playing the way he knows how to play. He also had a couple of wide open shots from the 3 point line that I thought he could have taken, but he passed them up. I wouldn't mind a couple of long range attempts from Ojeleye if they are wide open, he's a good shooter.

This type of behavior is also very typical of MP3. He's the posterboy "guy who tries way too hard." We've already discussed him ad nauseum, so I'll just let that speak for itself.

This was also evident for Sulaimon. In the first half, he came in and was extremely passive, giving up the ball to a teammate every time he touched it, even when there was an opportunity to attack. After 2 minutes in the game, he was sent back to the bench. Later in the second half, when he got back in the game, he tried to force the issue, at one point driving 1 on 3 and getting rejected. I think a bit of a longer leash could have helped him pick his spots, and establish some sort of rhythm and confidence to start playing well. More than any other player, Sulaimon needs to have a good game.

The only guy off the bench who seemed immune to this was Dawkins, who was aggressive on offense and lost on defense pretty much the entire time he was in there. He had a couple of bad turnovers and some lapses on D, but it didn't affect his confidence. I think being a senior probably has a lot to do with that.

So, again, not a knock on Coach K, and clearly, he prefers to see it in practice before he commits to a player in a game, and you can't fault him for wanting to keep his best guys on the court, but I think the ultra-short leash may explain the erratic play of those guys who are getting around 5-10 minutes off the bench.

Newton_14
12-17-2013, 08:07 PM
I agree with you. But I would add that, contrary to what K seemed to suggest last summer, we are not playing the type of high-pressure, turnover-forcing defense on the perimeter that we theoretically could be. I see Quinn applying pretty good ball pressure much of the time, but I don't see us doing anything special in terms of denying on the wings, certainly almost no trapping, etc.

The result of this is that this year's team is forcing the LEAST number of turnovers of any Duke team in 32 years, since the 1981-82 team. The 2011-12 team was almost as bad, but even they -- that was the Austin Rivers team -- forced 12.76 per game. We're at 12.6 now. I went back and looked at this statistic for every team in the K era, and wow. Our average over the last 32 years is somewhere around 17 per game, and in our peak years we were forcing 19 and even 20 turnovers per game. That is just a ton of additional possessions that the opponent doesn't get a shot at the basket, we don't have to defensive rebound, we sometimes get run-outs, etc. 7 or 8 more of those opportunities per game in our peak years as compared to this year's squad.

I'm not saying that with this personnel we could force 19 or 20 turnovers a game, but it sure seems like we have the athleticism to force more than 12. Big disappointment for me thus far, especially since these numbers have been compiled against what is presumably the weakest part of our schedule.

This is by far the biggest disappointment so far in the young season for me. I envisioned this team pressing like mad, creating turnovers in the backcourt and frontcourt, and getting easy runouts. The thing is, K tried that in the early going, and it just did not work. Not even in the two exhibition games. The guys were expending a ton of energy and getting zero results. They would then get carved up in the halfcourt. After about the 4th or 5th game, K went away from it. Part of me wants to see him give it another go, but, the realist in me, says he won't because he doesn't feel the results will be any different. Very puzzling. With our length and athleticism, you would think we could be a good pressing team.

-jk
12-17-2013, 08:13 PM
This is by far the biggest disappointment so far in the young season for me. I envisioned this team pressing like mad, creating turnovers in the backcourt and frontcourt, and getting easy runouts. The thing is, K tried that in the early going, and it just did not work. Not even in the two exhibition games. The guys were expending a ton of energy and getting zero results. They would then get carved up in the halfcourt. After about the 4th or 5th game, K went away from it. Part of me wants to see him give it another go, but, the realist in me, says he won't because he doesn't feel the results will be any different. Very puzzling. With our length and athleticism, you would think we could be a good pressing team.

If they learn to communicate, it can still happen. Walk before run. (Heck, on our current path, crawl before walk.).

It's part of the fun of college hoops - the process. (Sorry, Jason, for stealing your line.)

-jk

Kedsy
12-17-2013, 10:51 PM
The only guy off the bench who seemed immune to this was Dawkins, who was aggressive on offense and lost on defense pretty much the entire time he was in there. He had a couple of bad turnovers and some lapses on D, but it didn't affect his confidence. I think being a senior probably has a lot to do with that.

I don't think Andre looked "lost on defense pretty much the entire time he was in there." I agree he had a couple lapses, but overall I think Andre's defensive positioning is better than most of our players right now.

Also, according to the box score he only had one turnover in the game, so he couldn't have had "a couple bad turnovers."

Troublemaker
12-17-2013, 11:08 PM
This isn't a knock on Coach K or anything, but I think the way he uses his bench in games affects bench players when they get on the court. What I mean by that is, sometimes, a player will be very tentative or try too hard instead of just playing confidently. It tough to come in as a guy off the bench and play comfortably when you know that any mistake you make could result in immediate benching.

I just watched the replay of the GW game and I thought this affect a couple of players. Ojeleye, for example was guarding Hill facing up on the right wing, and you could see he trying really hard to stay in front, but got completely juked by a really simple ball fake, jumping completely out of the way, and leaving a wide open lane to the basket. I think you could tell very clearly that he was just trying too hard instead of just playing the way he knows how to play. He also had a couple of wide open shots from the 3 point line that I thought he could have taken, but he passed them up. I wouldn't mind a couple of long range attempts from Ojeleye if they are wide open, he's a good shooter.

So, again, not a knock on Coach K, and clearly, he prefers to see it in practice before he commits to a player in a game, and you can't fault him for wanting to keep his best guys on the court, but I think the ultra-short leash may explain the erratic play of those guys who are getting around 5-10 minutes off the bench.

But that possession where Semi got juked by his man was his 1st possession in the game. Coach K didn't yank him, and he went on to have several productive minutes.

I agree with you that players given a short amount of time to play and impress will sometimes feel a lot of pressure to perform well, which could be counterproductive to their purpose. However, that's not unique to Duke. Any player on any team that plays 5mpg will be feeling that pressure sometimes.

kAzE
12-17-2013, 11:39 PM
I don't think Andre looked "lost on defense pretty much the entire time he was in there." I agree he had a couple lapses, but overall I think Andre's defensive positioning is better than most of our players right now.

Also, according to the box score he only had one turnover in the game, so he couldn't have had "a couple bad turnovers."

Apologies, I worded that extremely poorly. Andre's defense was fine, he had a few missed switches and missed box outs, but you're right, he played adequate defense otherwise. And evidently, I misspoke about his turnovers, though I do clearly remember one very bad pass that went straight to a GW player and another lazy pass that nearly got stolen. For the most part, though, I wanted to praise Dawkins for being in "next play" mode and not letting his bad plays affect his overall effort. He had his best game of the year, and I didn't mean to take anything away from his play.


But that possession where Semi got juked by his man was his 1st possession in the game. Coach K didn't yank him, and he went on to have several productive minutes.

I agree with you that players given a short amount of time to play and impress will sometimes feel a lot of pressure to perform well, which could be counterproductive to their purpose. However, that's not unique to Duke. Any player on any team that plays 5mpg will be feeling that pressure sometimes.

You're right, this happens with any team with a short bench. I'm just speculating whether or not Coach K's stature in conjunction with his reputation for playing a short bench might contribute to a player trying way too hard off the bench, and letting that adversly affect his play.

greybeard
12-18-2013, 12:26 AM
[QUOTE=AtlDuke72;687789]

Um... Zoubek? Sometimes a light just goes on.

-jk

Plumlee in practice is playing against a kid who is pretty damn good offensively. How many teams do you think he could play against that would match the starting 5-7 that Duke presents? Not many, right? And the play is controlled. Who cares if it might be less intense, which is probably not the case, the guy is getting sharper and more game ready all the time. Playing in games is great. But, if you love the game, and are not concerned because you have no need to be, about getting your shot at the next level, then playing every day with coaches like Dukes out on the floor picking play apart, playing small games and full, practicing moves on or off defenders, with two other guys, passer and defender, or three pairs involved, well, how is that not making Plumlee better.

On the other hand, this guy has had a stress fracture once. The less time he is on the court with the knee to play "war," all out, the cannons be damned, the more likely he will be in top form as the last part of the regular season hits form.

As for defense, Duke will just have to make sure it scores one point more than the other guy. I like the number of minutes that Parker got. Marshall will gobble up a good part of the extra minutes as time goes on. Duke will score more, and control the ball for more of the game.

Rasheed as a back up for Cook seems even more important to me with Dawkins' emergence. The case can be made that Dawkins' emergence makes Thorton's playing the point a better opinion than before, and that maybe so. But, if Solomon is the penetrator, Dawkins is off the court, and Plumlee is the dump to guy, Rasheed at the point still works for me.Of course, if K wants to run clock, and end with Dawkins or Rasheed initiating, having them both on the wing could work too.

Just score one more point than the other guy. It should be very entertaining.

Gthoma2a
12-18-2013, 10:41 AM
I don't think Andre looked "lost on defense pretty much the entire time he was in there." I agree he had a couple lapses, but overall I think Andre's defensive positioning is better than most of our players right now.

Also, according to the box score he only had one turnover in the game, so he couldn't have had "a couple bad turnovers."

Don't ruin a narrative with facts. It is easier to let the old stereotypes shade the way you look at players than actually watch your pre-conceived notions be proven wrong. This is true of a lot of Duke fans whom, despite seeing other players play very well, feel that Rasheed HAS to start for the team to have an SG and Dre should barely see the court, if this team is to be a true success. It is completely false, but many haven't gotten past it (look at other Duke forums).

The performance of players is fluid, especially when they are still this young. That and, with our defense, nobody should be acting like Dre isn't a good enough defender to see the court or maybe even start a few games on this team (our defense comes and goes no matter what lineups we have this year).

I am not saying that it is exclusive to any one poster. It is just something that we all do at one point or another to varying degrees.

flyingdutchdevil
12-18-2013, 10:46 AM
I don't think Andre looked "lost on defense pretty much the entire time he was in there." I agree he had a couple lapses, but overall I think Andre's defensive positioning is better than most of our players right now.

Also, according to the box score he only had one turnover in the game, so he couldn't have had "a couple bad turnovers."

Is that really saying much, though? While his defensive positioning may be better than most players, that's kinda like giving credit to the UNC player who goes to class the most.

Andre may have okay positioning, but his lateral quickness (or lack thereof) and communication are still extremely poor, especially for a fifth-year senior.

Gthoma2a
12-18-2013, 11:02 AM
Is that really saying much, though? While his defensive positioning may be better than most players, that's kinda like giving credit to the UNC player who goes to class the most.

Andre may have okay positioning, but his lateral quickness (or lack thereof) and communication are still extremely poor, especially for a fifth-year senior.

Do we have a lot of room to complain about these things at the moment? I want us to play with all of the unity of the Heat in the playoffs, but it's not really one of the options available. I would love to see a cost/benefit analysis of our players. I suppose we could go with a +/- comparison. I would bet that he is still right up there with anybody on the team.

flyingdutchdevil
12-18-2013, 12:07 PM
Do we have a lot of room to complain about these things at the moment? I want us to play with all of the unity of the Heat in the playoffs, but it's not really one of the options available. I would love to see a cost/benefit analysis of our players. I suppose we could go with a +/- comparison. I would bet that he is still right up there with anybody on the team.

It's a forum. It provides us with the opportunity to speak our minds on past, current, and future teams. It's what makes forums amazing.

I give this team a ton of credit on the offensive end. I haven't seen a Duke offense this exciting (was a Duke freshman in 2003, so my timeframe is shorter than most). We are efficient, we have multiple weapons, and we are insanely athletic.

As much as our offense is clicking right now, our defense is gawd awful. There is no way around that.

I think that this team has a great opportunity to go all the way. But, in order for that to happen, our defense needs to be good. We are around 7 steps away from good, and that is unacceptable.

Given, it's still December, and this team still needs time. But, compared to most elite teams, our defense is still horrific.

ncexnyc
12-18-2013, 12:37 PM
A great defense is nice, but as long as you score one more measly point than the other team that is all that counts. Some of you need to remember that.

GGLC
12-18-2013, 12:39 PM
A great defense is nice, but as long as you score one more measly point than the other team that is all that counts. Some of you need to remember that.

I think we can agree that a great offense and a good defense is preferable to a great offense and a bad defense.

flyingdutchdevil
12-18-2013, 12:48 PM
A great defense is nice, but as long as you score one more measly point than the other team that is all that counts. Some of you need to remember that.

I would take an inept offense and great defense over an inept defense and great offense 10 times out of 10.

My mantra for sports: offense wins games, defense wins tournaments.

Newton_14
12-18-2013, 01:01 PM
Don't ruin a narrative with facts. It is easier to let the old stereotypes shade the way you look at players than actually watch your pre-conceived notions be proven wrong. This is true of a lot of Duke fans whom, despite seeing other players play very well, feel that Rasheed HAS to start for the team to have an SG and Dre should barely see the court, if this team is to be a true success. It is completely false, but many haven't gotten past it (look at other Duke forums).

The performance of players is fluid, especially when they are still this young. That and, with our defense, nobody should be acting like Dre isn't a good enough defender to see the court or maybe even start a few games on this team (our defense comes and goes no matter what lineups we have this year).

I am not saying that it is exclusive to any one poster. It is just something that we all do at one point or another to varying degrees.

Really great points here. I will note that Kaze is a good poster and admitted he made a boo boo with his/her intent, but taking Kaze out of the picture your points here are valid and spot on. Well done.

nocilla
12-18-2013, 01:02 PM
I would take an inept offense and great defense over an inept defense and great offense 10 times out of 10.

My mantra for sports: offense wins games, defense wins tournaments.

Are you a fan of UVA or Wisconsin?

Newton_14
12-18-2013, 01:11 PM
I would take an inept offense and great defense over an inept defense and great offense 10 times out of 10.

My mantra for sports: offense wins games, defense wins tournaments.

You are still way too harsh on Andre though, with all due respect, and not entirely accurate. Despite lapses Andre is playing D better than most give him credit for.

The irony here is that the people who are raising hell that K is playing Tyler and Josh for their defense, and saying it would be better to have Amile/Rasheed out there for offense, are the very same people raising hell at K for playing Andre for offense because they don't like his defense. I find that quite hypocritical. They can't have it both ways.

GGLC
12-18-2013, 01:15 PM
The irony here is that the people who are raising hell that K is playing Tyler and Josh for their defense, and saying it would be better to have Amile/Rasheed out there for offense, are the very same people raising hell at K for playing Andre for offense because they don't like his defense. I find that quite hypocritical. They can't have it both ways.

As one of those people who thinks Josh's minutes should be significantly lower, I STRONGLY beg to differ. I think Andre should get as many minutes as he can handle. I love the offense he provides, and think it has TREMENDOUS value and utility.

Andre is unquestionably a better offensive player at this point in time than Rasheed is, as well, so I take issue with your characterization more generally about people thinking Rasheed should be played for his offense. I believe Rasheed's value lies in great part in his defense.

BD80
12-18-2013, 01:25 PM
... My mantra for sports: offense wins games, defense wins tournaments.

Defense wins CHAMPIONSHIPS

flyingdutchdevil
12-18-2013, 01:32 PM
You are still way too harsh on Andre though, with all due respect, and not entirely accurate. Despite lapses Andre is playing D better than most give him credit for.

The irony here is that the people who are raising hell that K is playing Tyler and Josh for their defense, and saying it would be better to have Amile/Rasheed out there for offense, are the very same people raising hell at K for playing Andre for offense because they don't like his defense. I find that quite hypocritical. They can't have it both ways.

Actually, some of us aren't those "same" people. If you look through my posts, I have applauded Coach K for playing Tyler and Josh because this team lacks defensive cohesion and individual defensive skills (I have complained about Josh's mid-range jumper, but that's a completely different story). Also, I have no problem with Coach K playing Andre in select minutes as he brings great offense at the expense of bad defense. In certain scenarios, Andre provides the team with amazing energy (and points!). But I do feel that his defense is still very, very poor. From what I've seen, I feel that my descriptions of Andre's defense are fairly accurate. He loses his man often, he gets hurt off the dribble, and he's not the best communicator.

I think that Tyler and Josh are temporary solutions until other players are caught up to speed. If Tyler and Josh are playing this many minutes (ie starter minutes) in February and March, it's suffice to say that many of the reserves are not playing good defense (team or individual). And that is not good for our team's success.

This team, like every team, has issues - some minor and some major. IMO, we have one major issue and that is defense, both team and individual. I feel the remainder of our problems - FT shooting, rebounding, careless TOs, etc - are irrelevant in comparison with our defensive deficiencies.

Secondly, I agree with you about the hypocrisy - that train of thought doesn't make much sense. But many of us don't have those exact view points.

Newton_14
12-18-2013, 01:32 PM
As one of those people who thinks Josh's minutes should be significantly lower, I STRONGLY beg to differ. I think Andre should get as many minutes as he can handle. I love the offense he provides, and think it has TREMENDOUS value and utility.

Andre is unquestionably a better offensive player at this point in time than Rasheed is, as well, so I take issue with your characterization more generally about people thinking Rasheed should be played for his offense. I believe Rasheed's value lies in great part in his defense.

Fair enough. There are those that fall in both camps though . Glad to hear u are not one of them.
I believe Rasheed has the best all around game of all our 2 guards but not right now. He just isn't playing well.

Amile is pretty much in the same boat except his issues are fouling and getting lost on defense. Both issues are fixable.

The bottom line to me though is that Rasheed and Amile have to improve and until that happens Josh and either Tyler or Andre need to start and get more than normal minutes. Matt is still out playing Rasheed as well which is why K is giving him more minutes...

Hopefully both Amile and Rasheed play their way back to starter minutes. We need that to achieve our potential...

flyingdutchdevil
12-18-2013, 01:34 PM
Defense wins CHAMPIONSHIPS

Like I said, my mantra for sports is defense wins tournaments. Yours may be championships ;)

Indoor66
12-18-2013, 05:31 PM
A great defense is nice, but as long as you score one more measly point than the other team that is all that counts. Some of you need to remember that.

As my pappy always said: It ain't how, it's how MANY."

Gthoma2a
12-18-2013, 06:30 PM
It's a forum. It provides us with the opportunity to speak our minds on past, current, and future teams. It's what makes forums amazing.

I give this team a ton of credit on the offensive end. I haven't seen a Duke offense this exciting (was a Duke freshman in 2003, so my timeframe is shorter than most). We are efficient, we have multiple weapons, and we are insanely athletic.

As much as our offense is clicking right now, our defense is gawd awful. There is no way around that.

I think that this team has a great opportunity to go all the way. But, in order for that to happen, our defense needs to be good. We are around 7 steps away from good, and that is unacceptable.

Given, it's still December, and this team still needs time. But, compared to most elite teams, our defense is still horrific.

I get what you're saying, but I find it hard to criticize a guy like Dre. He's done a lot for us and, IMO, certainly hasn't let us down in any way. He came back because he loves the game and his school. I tend to try to remind people of that when I see some posts.

Gthoma2a
12-18-2013, 06:34 PM
Really great points here. I will note that Kaze is a good poster and admitted he made a boo boo with his/her intent, but taking Kaze out of the picture your points here are valid and spot on. Well done.

Oh, I know. I meant nothing towards Kaze other than to point out something that I see a lot from other people. It just gave me a good example to bring it out into the open, in this instance.

kAzE
12-18-2013, 07:46 PM
As one of those people who thinks Josh's minutes should be significantly lower, I STRONGLY beg to differ. I think Andre should get as many minutes as he can handle. I love the offense he provides, and think it has TREMENDOUS value and utility.

Andre is unquestionably a better offensive player at this point in time than Rasheed is, as well, so I take issue with your characterization more generally about people thinking Rasheed should be played for his offense. I believe Rasheed's value lies in great part in his defense.

Sulaimon's value when he is playing at his best is that he is a dynamic player on BOTH ends. Physically, he is the most gifted of the four guys who play minutes at the 2, between he, Dawkins, Jones, and Thornton. He has the longest wingspan, he's the quickest, and the most athletic. He is VERY good ball handler and passer. When he is at his best, he can make great plays for both himself and his teammates. For whatever reason, the alley oop pass that he made at the end of the Vermont game, with the outcome in question, to Parker comes to mind. That was a great look and a heads up play. Now obviously, he didn't play well for most of the rest of that game, or in any game since, but we've seen what he's capable of. He's a good, but not great shooter who can play some very tough defense and has great handles and floor vision. He has a lot of of trouble finishing at the rim in traffic, but he can get to the free throw line, where he is above 80%.

So I guess my point is, the reason everyone is saying we need Rasheed to start is because he's one of the best 2-way players we have. Our team right now is too much like the New York Knicks. We have too many guys who specialize on only 1 end of the court. Parker, Hood, and Dawkins are offensive beasts, but their defense leaves much to be desired. Hairston and Thornton bring it on D, but can't be relied on offensively. Cook is the one starter who I would consider a pretty good 2-way player, but Sulaimon is really the best 2-way guy we have, when he's playing the way he's capable of. I'm fairly confident that he will get his mojo back and transform this team defensively when it's all said and done. He's too talented not to. This stretch he's going through has got to be 90% mental and preparation related. He's just too good of a player.

Dukehky
12-18-2013, 07:49 PM
Sulaimon's value when he is playing at his best is that he is a dynamic player on BOTH ends. Physically, he is the most gifted of the four guys who play minutes at the 2, between he, Dawkins, Jones, and Thornton. He has the longest wingspan, he's the quickest, and the most athletic. He is VERY good ball handler and passer. When he is at his best, he can make great plays for both himself and his teammates. For whatever reason, the alley oop pass that he made at the end of the Vermont game, with the outcome in question, to Parker comes to mind. That was a great look and a heads up play. Now obviously, he didn't play well for most of the rest of that game, or in any game since, but we've seen what he's capable of. He's a good, but not great shooter who can play some very tough defense and has great handles and floor vision. He has a lot of of trouble finishing at the rim in traffic, but he can get to the free throw line, where he is above 80%.

So I guess my point is, the reason everyone is saying we need Rasheed to start is because he's one of the best 2-way players we have. Our team right now is too much like the New York Knicks. We have too many guys who specialize on only 1 end of the court. Parker, Hood, and Dawkins are offensive beasts, but their defense leaves much to be desired. Hairston and Thornton bring it on D, but can't be relied on offensively. Cook is the one starter who I would consider a pretty good 2-way player, but Sulaimon is really the best 2-way guy we have, when he's playing the way he's capable of. I'm fairly confident that he will get his mojo back and transform this team defensively when it's all said and done. He's too talented not to.

Really? We're like the Knicks? Crap. So Rasheed is like Iman Shumpert, aka Mr. Triple Double (he got one in his college career)?

Just busting your chops a little bit, I understand what you're saying, I just don't like my team to be compared to the freaking Knicks...

kAzE
12-18-2013, 07:59 PM
Really? We're like the Knicks? Crap. So Rasheed is like Iman Shumpert, aka Mr. Triple Double (he got one in his college career)?

Just busting your chops a little bit, I understand what you're saying, I just don't like my team to be compared to the freaking Knicks...

Haha, no, he can't be Shumpert, because Shumpert is one of the defense only guys. Really, it's more like last year's knicks. Think about it, these were their rotation guys last year: Carmelo Anthony (offense only), JR Smith (offense only), Raymond Felton (offense only), Tyson Chandler (defense only), Jason Kidd (horrible all-around, but mostly defense only), Steve Novak (offense only), Iman Shumpert (defense only), Amare Stoudemire (offense only), Ronnie Brewer (defense only)

Literally their whole roster was filled with guys who were only good on 1 end of the floor and below average to bad on the other end. They still wound up as a pretty good team for the most part and making the postseason, but it's hard to win that way. We at least have few guys who are decent 2-way players, with the potential to become very good (Cook, Sulaimon, Jefferson come to mind), but right now, 2 of those guys aren't getting many minutes.

It's a pretty loose analogy (the Knicks are an extreme example), because Parker, Hood, and Dawkins can definitely improve on defense, that's a given. Many of the mistakes they are making on defense are correctable. But just the way we've been playing kind of resembles last year's Knicks.

TruBlu
12-19-2013, 03:54 PM
Just FYI, in case you didn't know:

The offensive juggernaut of Gardner-Webb lost their game at Georgia earlier today by the final score of 58 - 49. UGA was up at halftime by 21 - 12.

G-W shot 17 - 54 (31.5% from the floor. (5 of 19 from 3 point land, 10 of 18 from the charity stripe.)

UGA isn't known for their defense.

:confused:

OldPhiKap
12-19-2013, 04:03 PM
Just FYI, in case you didn't know:

The offensive juggernaut of Gardner-Webb lost their game at Georgia earlier today by the final score of 58 - 49. UGA was up at halftime by 21 - 12.

G-W shot 17 - 54 (31.5% from the floor. (5 of 19 from 3 point land, 10 of 18 from the charity stripe.)

UGA isn't known for their defense.

:confused:

I think that G-W, like many schools, see Duke as one of the biggest games of the year and play to their absolute ability. Then return to mean.

Duke, Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, etc. always get the opposing team's best effort.

I do not think the transitive property works in this context.


But having said all of that -- to be polite, our offense is ahead of our defense presently.

sagegrouse
12-19-2013, 04:50 PM
I think that G-W, like many schools, see Duke as one of the biggest games of the year and play to their absolute ability. Then return to mean.

Duke, Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, etc. always get the opposing team's best effort.

I do not think the transitive property works in this context.


But having said all of that -- to be polite, our offense is ahead of our defense presently.

Cameron reportedly has the softest rims in the college hoops. Unhappily, they are soft for both teams.

sage

Newton_14
12-19-2013, 05:11 PM
I think that G-W, like many schools, see Duke as one of the biggest games of the year and play to their absolute ability. Then return to mean.

Duke, Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, etc. always get the opposing team's best effort.

I do not think the transitive property works in this context.


But having said all of that -- to be polite, our offense is ahead of our defense presently.

I don't think it ever works to be honest. How many times have we seen a Clemson, a VaTech, a UVA, a FSU, a Gatech, lose two, three, even four or more games to SWNobody State, and look horrible, then turn around and play out of their minds against Duke or UNC and beat them both, then cry when they fail to get into the Dance? It happens every year.

On the flipside we have seen many Big Dawg schools win 28+ games and either their BCS conf season title, tourney title or both, then turn around and lose to Ohio, Northern Iowa, etc in the Dance.

That's why I pray we never see the day that the NCAA Tourney is BCS Schools only.