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porkpa
03-26-2018, 08:33 AM
Just thinking. Will Duke revert to mano a mano or stick with the zone next year?
I'm guessing that Coach K will start with man to man and will stick with that unless it isn't working.

Devils Librarian
03-26-2018, 08:39 AM
My guess is that K will want to play man-to-man. It's nice to know that if the freshman show a complete inability to run the defense he will adapt to what his players can do. I wonder if we would have made it to the Elite 8 if he would have stuck to man-to-man.

Troublemaker
03-26-2018, 09:18 AM
The zone is part of the program now and really has been since 2015.

So, we'll play both m2m and zone, and whichever we're better at, will become the primary defense.

kAzE
03-26-2018, 09:20 AM
We will be a much more perimeter oriented team next year, so I would expect us to go back to M2M as the base scheme, but probably still play a little bit of zone at times to mix it up.

RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish, and Tre Jones are known for their defense. RJ and Cam should be capable of guarding up to 4 positions. Not sure about Zion, although he is most definitely a rim proctector.

Now whether or not that translates into quickly learning Coach K's M2M scheme, I have no idea. Both Barrett and Reddish project as 2-way stars at the NBA level, though, FWIW.

jv001
03-26-2018, 09:26 AM
I was thinking about this very thing last night after the game. I wonder if Coach K had gone to the zone earlier in the year if the season would have been different. I can't help but think we would have been a #1 seed but we would probably had the same negatives; turnovers, inconsistent 3 point shooting and at times poor rebounding. Whatever defense Coach K decides to use, I hope we play D very well from November to April. GoDuke!

CDu
03-26-2018, 09:29 AM
I would assume that man-to-man will be what we start out the season with as the primary defense. Given the makeup of the roster (with lots of 6'5"-6'8" wing types), I'd expect a lot of switching on ball screens. But if the man-to-man doesn't work, I'm sure we won't rule out the zone.

That being said, I'm not sure that the zone would be as effective next year without the length of this year's team. Being able to put 1 and sometimes 2 6'10" guys on the forward spots of the zone with another 6'10" guy at center, and with a couple of ballhawks like Allen and Duval up front, that was a tailor-made zone team. I think the team next year will be better served in man-to-man.

But, we'll see.

Reddevil
03-26-2018, 09:35 AM
I really hope they play man simply because as effective as a zone CAN be, it is hard to watch it get picked apart. I know they were ranked 9th defensively, but against really good teams that can shoot and attack the weak spots it is really hard for me to defend from my recliner at home. I find it easier to provide help side pillow defense when they play man. Just sayin'.

jv001
03-26-2018, 09:42 AM
I really hope they play man simply because as effective as a zone CAN be, it is hard to watch it get picked apart. I know they were ranked 9th defensively, but against really good teams that can shoot and attack the weak spots it is really hard for me to defend from my recliner at home. I find it easier to provide help side pillow defense when they play man. Just sayin'.

I hope we play both the man2man and the zone because I think it gives teams something to prepare for. As for the 9th rating in defense, we became a better team with that defense. However, we had extreme length and that helped to make the zone effective. Next years team will not have that length, so man2man might be better. What I don't want to see is a layup line because we get beaten off the dribble. Plus kick out threes. GoDuke!

gocanes0506
03-26-2018, 09:55 AM
Zone as all about close outs, communication between back line and front line defenders, and hard working front line players.

Our Zone:
Not a lot of communication between the guys in big games. Hence why wingers we sneaking around and Grayson trying to scramble to throw a hand up and 3 guys collapsing on one defender.
The front line gaurds worked hard at trying to keep the back line guys from having to come up.
The close outs weren’t consistently great due to being out of position from scrambling or a guy making the wrong play.

Overall the guys didn’t talk well enough to be considered a team defense/ effective zone. We’ll see if we revert back or have guys that buy in to a team defense. Since kids are brought up in basketball that is a 1v1 game more than a 5v5 game, the new guys are more ready for a MvM Defense. Sadly enough an effective MvM requires more team defense than the kids are brought up in today. When Hardens are celebrated for amazing O but lost on D, that is what you’ll get.

CDu
03-26-2018, 10:05 AM
Overall the guys didn’t talk well enough to be considered a team defense/ effective zone.

This is silly. Only one team in the country played better, more consistent defense than we did once we switched to zone. Our adjusted defense over that stretch - even after Kansas blew up in overtime - was in the low-80s. We were a GREAT defensive team down the stretch of the year.

Even in the Kansas game, we finished regulation with an adjusted efficiency of ~91 (72 points in 69 possessions against an offense with a 121 rating). We fell off a bit in overtime, but even still our adjusted rating against one of the top 5 offenses in the country was good for a ~96, which is a top-30 performance.

We were a GREAT defensive team once we switched to zone. Our two worst games of the season in zone were still very solid defensive efforts, and for the most part we were consistently the best defense in the country in zone.

Ian
03-26-2018, 10:10 AM
This is silly. Only one team in the country played better, more consistent defense than we did once we switched to zone. Our adjusted defense over that stretch - even after Kansas blew up in overtime - was in the low-80s. We were a GREAT defensive team down the stretch of the year.

Even in the Kansas game, we finished regulation with an adjusted efficiency of ~91 (72 points in 69 possessions against an offense with a 121 rating). We fell off a bit in overtime, but even still our adjusted rating against one of the top 5 offenses in the country was good for a ~96, which is a top-30 performance.

We were a GREAT defensive team once we switched to zone. Our two worst games of the season in zone were still very solid defensive efforts, and for the most part we were consistently the best defense in the country in zone.

I'm okay with staying with the zone. The Zone was fine, the problem was offense, Bagley never figured out all year how to handle a double team, when teams double teamed him we struggled on offense unless we either have extraordinary shooting or offensive rebounding.

gocanes0506
03-26-2018, 10:22 AM
This is silly. Only one team in the country played better, more consistent defense than we did once we switched to zone. Our adjusted defense over that stretch - even after Kansas blew up in overtime - was in the low-80s. We were a GREAT defensive team down the stretch of the year.

Even in the Kansas game, we finished regulation with an adjusted efficiency of ~91 (72 points in 69 possessions against an offense with a 121 rating). We fell off a bit in overtime, but even still our adjusted rating against one of the top 5 offenses in the country was good for a ~96, which is a top-30 performance.

We were a GREAT defensive team once we switched to zone. Our two worst games of the season in zone were still very solid defensive efforts, and for the most part we were consistently the best defense in the country in zone.



We switched to the zone right when the schedule got easy. Any adjusted D stats helped once we got a string of Louisville, Cuse, Vt, Clemson. The D was carved up once they played teams with legitimate talent and mid range jumpers. UNX and Kansas killed the zone. ND did a decent job of carving it up but they got really tired at the end of the game. Heck, VT did a good job of carving it up in crunch time to win the game. In the end if you watched the team execute the zone, it was far from a team I would fear playing O against. They were unorganized and lacked communication. That really cost players like WCJr playing time. He took a lot of fouls being the last line of defense from failures of the other players.

scottdude8
03-26-2018, 10:25 AM
We will be a much more perimeter oriented team next year, so I would expect us to go back to M2M as the base scheme, but probably still play a little bit of zone at times to mix it up.

RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish, and Tre Jones are known for their defense. RJ and Cam should be capable of guarding up to 4 positions. Not sure about Zion, although he is most definitely a rim proctector.

Now whether or not that translates into quickly learning Coach K's M2M scheme, I have no idea. Both Barrett and Reddish project as 2-way stars at the NBA level, though, FWIW.

I had been wondering about this for a while, since I haven't followed recruiting as closely this season as I normally do. Is this a key part of their scouting report? That would make me sleep much better for the next 6 months, haha.

kAzE
03-26-2018, 10:37 AM
I had been wondering about this for a while, since I haven't followed recruiting as closely this season as I normally do. Is this a key part of their scouting report? That would make me sleep much better for the next 6 months, haha.

For RJ and Cam, absolutely. They are considered elite players on both ends. They both have NBA size & length, and they bring it in terms of effort. Tre clearly doesn't have the size or length of those 2, but in comparisons to Tyus, Tre is always noted as a better defender. Zion is a question mark. He clearly has the athleticism and body control to be a decent defender, but I worry that he might have some Bagley in him, and perhaps not bring the same intensity on defense as he does when going for one of his highlight dunks. We will see.

In any case, we are really going to miss Wendell's rim protection. He was a HUGE part of why our defense was so good towards the end of this year. Bolden showed some flashes of being Wendell-like, but he's not nearly as agile or as strong as Wendell.

I do think Cam and RJ are very promising as perimeter defenders, though.

scottdude8
03-26-2018, 10:40 AM
For RJ and Cam, absolutely. They are considered elite players on both ends. They both have NBA size & length, and they bring it in terms of effort. Tre clearly doesn't have the size or length of those 2, but in terms of comparisons to Tyus, Tre is always noted as a better defender. Zion is a question mark. He clearly has the athleticism and body control to be a decent defender, but I worry that he might have some Bagley in him, and perhaps not bring the same intensity on defense as he does when going for one of his highlight dunks. We will see.

In any case, we are really going to miss Wendell's rim protection. He was a HUGE part of why our defense was so good towards the end of this year.

I do think Cam and RJ are very promising as perimeter defenders, though.

Awesome. Do you think one of them will be capable of guarding a smaller, quicker 2 man? That is my biggest concern, that despite their length and athleticism their larger size might make them a liability against a team playing a bunch of quick guards. That said, if this is indeed the case color me slightly more optimistic about next year now.

kAzE
03-26-2018, 10:46 AM
Awesome. Do you think one of them will be capable of guarding a smaller, quicker 2 man? That is my biggest concern, that despite their length and athleticism their larger size might make them a liability against a team playing a bunch of quick guards. That said, if this is indeed the case color me slightly more optimistic about next year now.

That's kind of impossible to predict, but both RJ and Cam are pretty quick for their size. If I had to speculate, I'd say that the quickest college guards could probably blow by them a few times in a game, but RJ and Cam are so long & athletic, that it's very possible they could get right back into the play and still block the shot or something. But obviously, that would be a huge, huge advantage on the other end, trying to match up with their size. RJ typically punishes smaller defenders in the paint.

UrinalCake
03-26-2018, 10:48 AM
The zone was a necessity this season because we played two bigs and neither of them could guard on the perimeter. In the M2M, opposing teams could very easily pull one of them out onto the perimeter. They could also use the high ball screen to generate switches and then we have a big guarding the point guard. This happened over and over and over again for the first half of the season. Playing the zone allowed us to keep our bigs close to the basket where they belong.

Next year we will have multiple interchangable wings on defense. I would be shocked if K played zone. I think we'll do a ton of switching off of ball screens especially among the 1-3 positions. Maybe if Zion and Bolden are both in the game together then we play some type of zone for the reasons described above. But I also think that giving up all those corner threes out of the zone was secretly driving K insane.

Kfanarmy
03-26-2018, 10:51 AM
We switched to the zone right when the schedule got easy. Any adjusted D stats helped once we got a string of Louisville, Cuse, Vt, Clemson. The D was carved up once they played teams with legitimate talent and mid range jumpers. UNX and Kansas killed the zone. ND did a decent job of carving it up but they got really tired at the end of the game. Heck, VT did a good job of carving it up in crunch time to win the game. In the end if you watched the team execute the zone, it was far from a team I would fear playing O against. They were unorganized and lacked communication. That really cost players like WCJr playing time. He took a lot of fouls being the last line of defense from failures of the other players.

Your argument is that the ACC schedule was softer than the preseason with a couple of ACC games mixed in? That seems pretty off base to me.

CDu
03-26-2018, 10:52 AM
That's kind of impossible to predict, but both RJ and Cam are pretty quick for their size. If I had to speculate, I'd say that the quickest college guards could probably blow by them a few times in a game, but RJ and Cam are so long & athletic, that it's very possible they could get right back into the play and still block the shot or something.

Yeah, if I had to guess, I'd say Barrett is the most likely "stopper" of the group. He's the most aggressive, most intense, most "killer instinct" guy coming in. Reddish is a bit more passive, with intensity coming and going, but he's the most skilled of the group. With Williamson, my concern is body type. He played mostly zone in high school, and I'm not sure he's all that quick. And like you said, I'm not sure if his intensity shows on defense. He is an absolute mauler in the open court though, and with a head of steam he's an absolute diesel. I just wonder how effective he'd be in a quick stop-start/direction-change sense, which is what really drives half-court defensive skills.

Jones is a really smart player, but he's the least athletic and least physically imposing guy of the bunch. I don't expect him to be a great individual defender.

FerryFor50
03-26-2018, 10:53 AM
This is silly. Only one team in the country played better, more consistent defense than we did once we switched to zone. Our adjusted defense over that stretch - even after Kansas blew up in overtime - was in the low-80s. We were a GREAT defensive team down the stretch of the year.

Even in the Kansas game, we finished regulation with an adjusted efficiency of ~91 (72 points in 69 possessions against an offense with a 121 rating). We fell off a bit in overtime, but even still our adjusted rating against one of the top 5 offenses in the country was good for a ~96, which is a top-30 performance.

We were a GREAT defensive team once we switched to zone. Our two worst games of the season in zone were still very solid defensive efforts, and for the most part we were consistently the best defense in the country in zone.

Yup.

And they communicated way better in zone than in man.

CDu
03-26-2018, 10:57 AM
We switched to the zone right when the schedule got easy. Any adjusted D stats helped once we got a string of Louisville, Cuse, Vt, Clemson. The D was carved up once they played teams with legitimate talent and mid range jumpers. UNX and Kansas killed the zone. ND did a decent job of carving it up but they got really tired at the end of the game. Heck, VT did a good job of carving it up in crunch time to win the game. In the end if you watched the team execute the zone, it was far from a team I would fear playing O against. They were unorganized and lacked communication. That really cost players like WCJr playing time. He took a lot of fouls being the last line of defense from failures of the other players.

We played the following teams in zone: UNC (twice), VT (twice), Notre Dame (with Bonzi), Kansas, Syracuse (twice), Ga Tech, Clemson.

And no, the defense was never carved up. We held UNC to below a point per possession in both games (even in the loss). Ditto with VT. We had a top-30 defensive performance against Kansas (top-10 in regulation; we got torched in OT when Carter fouled out).

We had literally one mediocre defensive game in the bunch: the Sweet-16 game against Syracuse. But in that one, we played 37 minutes of top-30 defense and then had one unlucky stretch (the odd mid-court foul by Carter when we were just trying to waste clock, the crazy tip-in by Dolezaj, and the long, contested 3 by Battle). If 2 of those possessions go the other way, we maintain a top-30 defensive performance in that one as well. In all of the other games, our defense was at a top-10 level.

gocanes0506
03-26-2018, 01:30 PM
We played the following teams in zone: UNC (twice), VT (twice), Notre Dame (with Bonzi), Kansas, Syracuse (twice), Ga Tech, Clemson.

And no, the defense was never carved up. We held UNC to below a point per possession in both games (even in the loss). Ditto with VT. We had a top-30 defensive performance against Kansas (top-10 in regulation; we got torched in OT when Carter fouled out).

We had literally one mediocre defensive game in the bunch: the Sweet-16 game against Syracuse. But in that one, we played 37 minutes of top-30 defense and then had one unlucky stretch (the odd mid-court foul by Carter when we were just trying to waste clock, the crazy tip-in by Dolezaj, and the long, contested 3 by Battle). If 2 of those possessions go the other way, we maintain a top-30 defensive performance in that one as well. In all of the other games, our defense was at a top-10 level.

You can’t sell on numbers alone on this one. The defense didn’t pass the eye test in either UNX game, the Kansas game, or the final minutes against VT. Again ND was beating up the zone but the team (and mostly Bonzi) got tired and missed jumpers in the end.
UNX beat up the zone but missed their normal shots in the win. In the loss, they did the same carving up but missed less open shots.
Kansas passed in and out of that zone with a ridiculous amount of open shots.

This efficiency stat is ridiculous anyways. Trying to show what a defense looks like over 100 possessions. Absolutely meaningless stat. Here’s is what matters: turnovers forced, open shots given, deflections and rebounds. We could add stops in crunch time. Oh I forgot Ws. Since Ws are what matters, winning percentage of Ds:
M2M- 81.48 (22-5)
Zone-70 (7-3)

Kedsy
03-26-2018, 01:58 PM
You can’t sell on numbers alone on this one. The defense didn’t pass the eye test in either UNX game, the Kansas game, or the final minutes against VT. Again ND was beating up the zone but the team (and mostly Bonzi) got tired and missed jumpers in the end.
UNX beat up the zone but missed their normal shots in the win. In the loss, they did the same carving up but missed less open shots.
Kansas passed in and out of that zone with a ridiculous amount of open shots.

This efficiency stat is ridiculous anyways. Trying to show what a defense looks like over 100 possessions. Absolutely meaningless stat. Here’s is what matters: turnovers forced, open shots given, deflections and rebounds. We could add stops in crunch time. Oh I forgot Ws. Since Ws are what matters, winning percentage of Ds:
M2M- 81.48 (22-5)
Zone-70 (7-3)

So, wait. You're telling us the stats that are accepted as important by pretty much everyone (i.e., points per possession) are "absolutely meaningless," but stats that you personally pick and choose are all that matter? Oooookaaaaaay.

Oh, and if you want meaningless, try using win/loss percentage to evaluate defense -- we won the FSU game, for example, did you think we played good defense in that game (in which we gave up 93 points in approximately 81 possessions)?

CDu
03-26-2018, 02:14 PM
You can’t sell on numbers alone on this one. The defense didn’t pass the eye test in either UNX game, the Kansas game, or the final minutes against VT. Again ND was beating up the zone but the team (and mostly Bonzi) got tired and missed jumpers in the end.
UNX beat up the zone but missed their normal shots in the win. In the loss, they did the same carving up but missed less open shots.
Kansas passed in and out of that zone with a ridiculous amount of open shots.

This efficiency stat is ridiculous anyways. Trying to show what a defense looks like over 100 possessions. Absolutely meaningless stat. Here’s is what matters: turnovers forced, open shots given, deflections and rebounds. We could add stops in crunch time. Oh I forgot Ws. Since Ws are what matters, winning percentage of Ds:
M2M- 81.48 (22-5)
Zone-70 (7-3)

Oooooooookay. Whatever you say.

Me? I'll trust the fact that the defense consistently held teams to at or below 1 point per possession all season in zone, whereas our man-to-man was awful.

Also, your numbers are wrong. Wins we got playing primarily zone: 8-3 (we played primarily zone against MSU), man 21-5.

Also, your "Ws are all that matters" stat is silly anyway, because we played zone in the second halves of many of our comeback wins this year. If we'd stuck to man-to-man in several of those gams, we probably add a few more losses. And beyond that, the 21-5 is misleading because we played 7 games against teams in the sub-150 range when we were a primarily man-to-man team, versus 1 (Iona) when we switched to zone. The schedule was, on aggregate, MUCH easier when we were a man-to-man team.

So exclude the "gimme" wins, and it's 14-5 in man-to-man, 7-3 in zone. And that's ignoring that zone saved some wins for man-to-man too. Hey, look, even in your silly stat zone was better!

Devilwin
03-26-2018, 02:17 PM
Lose the zone next year, for the most part. We'll have a quicker team.

jv001
03-26-2018, 02:21 PM
Lose the zone next year, for the most part. We'll have a quicker team.

But can the new guys stay in front of the opposing players and how do they react to screens. One year guys have a problem learning Duke's man2man. GoDuke!

flyingdutchdevil
03-26-2018, 02:22 PM
Lose the zone next year, for the most part. We'll have a quicker team.

???

Duval is the quickest Duke player in the last 5+ years. Bagley is like a gazelle. Allen did Allen-type things on defense (not tripping, but always moving).

The zone worked because a) we were incredibly long, b) we couldn't fight through screens, c) we communicated poorly, and d) we have really good rebounders so could sacrifice two internal presences.

I do agree that M2M makes more sense for next year. We are fairly long but more importantly well-sized, so switching on screens doesn't achieve the desired benefit from the opposing offense. However, we will start 4 freshman and [insert junior here]. The communication will be, at best, mediocre. Freshman - unless your name is MKG or Winslow - don't full grasp M2M defensive nuances.

So it will be very challenging. But the size makes me think M2M really could work.

Ian
03-26-2018, 02:27 PM
???

Duval is the quickest Duke player in the last 5+ years. Bagley is like a gazelle. Allen did Allen-type things on defense (not tripping, but always moving).

The zone worked because a) we were incredibly long, b) we couldn't fight through screens, c) we communicated poorly, and d) we have really good rebounders so could sacrifice two internal presences.

I do agree that M2M makes more sense for next year. We are fairly long but more importantly well-sized, so switching on screens doesn't achieve the desired benefit from the opposing offense. However, we will start 4 freshman and [insert junior here]. The communication will be, at best, mediocre. Freshman - unless your name is MKG or Winslow - don't full grasp M2M defensive nuances.

So it will be very challenging. But the size makes me think M2M really could work.

Much will be determined by the players, some players have good natural defensive instincts, pick up new defensive concepts faster, some don't. This year's group just didn't have guys like that. Bagley has poor defensive instincts and so does Duval. The staff will evaluate and might take half a regular season to determine what the best defense will be.

Acymetric
03-26-2018, 02:30 PM
???

Duval is the quickest Duke player in the last 5+ years. Bagley is like a gazelle. Allen did Allen-type things on defense (not tripping, but always moving).

The zone worked because a) we were incredibly long, b) we couldn't fight through screens, c) we communicated poorly, and d) we have really good rebounders so could sacrifice two internal presences.

I do agree that M2M makes more sense for next year. We are fairly long but more importantly well-sized, so switching on screens doesn't achieve the desired benefit from the opposing offense. However, we will start 4 freshman and [insert junior here]. The communication will be, at best, mediocre. Freshman - unless your name is MKG or Winslow - don't full grasp M2M defensive nuances.

So it will be very challenging. But the size makes me think M2M really could work.

I'm not convinced that's true...I would put my money on Cook in a footrace.

CDu
03-26-2018, 02:35 PM
???

Duval is the quickest Duke player in the last 5+ years.

I think Duval was actually a pretty heavy-footed defender actually. I don't remember ever thinking he was quick defensively this year, either in man-to-man or zone. He was rangy for sure, which made him dangerous in the 3/4 court press, but he wasn't terribly quick. Which is weird, because on offense he seemed extremely explosive. But on defense, he seemed to very frequently be left standing still as his man blew by.


Bagley is like a gazelle.

Bagley definitely didn't seem quick. He was a great long strider and fast, but not quick. Over a 30-40 foot distance, he could play with anyone. Over a 5-10 foot distance, he could be had though. And Carter definitely lacked quickness.

I actually think that both of our two primary backup bigs were quicker laterally than the two starters.


Allen did Allen-type things on defense (not tripping, but always moving).

Allen also definitely wasn't quick. Rangy, strong, and smart, and a good leaper, but definitely lacked quickness.


The zone worked because a) we were incredibly long, b) we couldn't fight through screens, c) we communicated poorly, and d) we have really good rebounders so could sacrifice two internal presences.

I do agree that M2M makes more sense for next year. We are fairly long but more importantly well-sized, so switching on screens doesn't achieve the desired benefit from the opposing offense. However, we will start 4 freshman and [insert junior here]. The communication will be, at best, mediocre. Freshman - unless your name is MKG or Winslow - don't full grasp M2M defensive nuances.

So it will be very challenging. But the size makes me think M2M really could work.

Totall agree here. I think we will be quicker next year, but we'll definitely have to fight through the lack of defensive principles these guys will have and the lack of practice in having to play defense before arriving. If they can figure out the communication and effort part of it, I think they'll be better suited to play man to man than this year's team was. But that is definitely an "if."

CDu
03-26-2018, 02:36 PM
I'm not convinced that's true...I would put my money on Cook in a footrace.

On a full-court sprint, I'd take Duval. In terms of reflexes and reaction time in small-distance settings, I'd definitely take Cook.

proelitedota
03-26-2018, 02:38 PM
I want to see a combination of switching m2m and 2-3 zones all year. We should switch 2-4 on defense against teams that can't run the pick n roll, and play 2-3 against good pick n roll teams.

In the 2-3 I expect Tre Jones to be at the top defending the ball handler, and Barrett and Reddish playing the passing lanes. We'll have Zion Williamson roam depending on the matchup. Bolden/Delaurier would be the anchor and should be directly the defense.

Acymetric
03-26-2018, 02:43 PM
On a full-court sprint, I'd take Duval. In terms of reflexes and reaction time in small-distance settings, I'd definitely take Cook.

Fair enough. Total side-note, I looked back at some old rosters and saw Quinn listed at 6'2...is that from the floor to the top of his hair with shoes (senior year when he grew it out of course)? He always seemed awfully short to me and 6'2 is pretty decent height for a PG.

Edit: To answer my own question, it looks like he measured 6' 0.25" at the combine which sounds about right (I might have guessed a true height of 5'11 if I were asked on the street).

simplyluvin
03-26-2018, 02:45 PM
Coach K is a M2M guy. We went some because of poor communication and inability to guard against dribble penetration and to a certain extent pick and roll (remember StJ game). With Cam and RJ, I believed we are getting potential lockdown guys that are conducive to Man (think Justise). Zion is a question mark to me.

If “playing young” kicks in again, I like that the 2-3 or variants of it are a viable fallback. But I feel we should be better defensively next year, closer to 2015, when Justise became lockdown.

flyingdutchdevil
03-26-2018, 02:49 PM
Coach K is a M2M guy. We went some because of poor communication and inability to guard against dribble penetration and to a certain extent pick and roll (remember StJ game). With Cam and RJ, I believed we are getting potential lockdown guys that are conducive to Man (think Justise). Zion is a question mark to me.

If “playing young” kicks in again, I like that the 2-3 or variants of it are a viable fallback. But I feel we should be better defensively next year, closer to 2015, when Justise became lockdown.

We said this about Duval and Trent exactly one year and one week ago.

I do not believe Cam and Barrett are lock-down defenders.

A lock-down defender as a freshman is a rare thing. They may be good, but there will be plenty of lapses in communication. There will be more penetration that we want there to be. And there will be plenty of frustration amongst fans.

CDu
03-26-2018, 02:54 PM
We said this about Duval and Trent exactly one year and one week ago.

I do not believe Cam and Barrett are lock-down defenders.

A lock-down defender as a freshman is a rare thing. They may be good, but there will be plenty of lapses in communication. There will be more penetration that we want there to be. And there will be plenty of frustration amongst fans.

I think Barrett has the mindset and skill set to be a very good individual defender next year. I'm not sold on Reddish being that, though he could grow into it as the season plays out. But I do expect some speed bumps along the way for all of them.

Neals384
03-26-2018, 02:57 PM
Much will be determined by the players, some players have good natural defensive instincts, pick up new defensive concepts faster, some don't. This year's group just didn't have guys like that. Bagley has poor defensive instincts and so does Duval. The staff will evaluate and might take half a regular season to determine what the best defense will be.


I want to see a combination of switching m2m and 2-3 zones all year. We should switch 2-4 on defense against teams that can't run the pick n roll, and play 2-3 against good pick n roll teams.

In the 2-3 I expect Tre Jones to be at the top defending the ball handler, and Barrett and Reddish playing the passing lanes. We'll have Zion Williamson roam depending on the matchup. Bolden/Delaurier would be the anchor and should be directly the defense.

I fully expect us to be a M2M team next year. But, with 4 frosh starters, let's NOT try to play it both ways. Hard enough to teach an entirely new starting lineup one defense, let alone two. Sure, we can experiment with some zone in the fall, and if the guys just aren't getting the M2M, switch to full time zone, but I don't expect that. Either way, by Jan 1, 2019, let's pick a defense and stick with it. We were way too late switching to zone this season.

dukelifer
03-26-2018, 03:05 PM
I think Barrett has the mindset and skill set to be a very good individual defender next year. I'm not sold on Reddish being that, though he could grow into it as the season plays out. But I do expect some speed bumps along the way for all of them.

Next year will be very bumpy. Goal is to make the tourney and be peaking then.

proelitedota
03-26-2018, 03:20 PM
I fully expect us to be a M2M team next year. But, with 4 frosh starters, let's NOT try to play it both ways. Hard enough to teach an entirely new starting lineup one defense, let alone two. Sure, we can experiment with some zone in the fall, and if the guys just aren't getting the M2M, switch to full time zone, but I don't expect that. Either way, by Jan 1, 2019, let's pick a defense and stick with it. We were way too late switching to zone this season.

I think the litmus test for our m2m should be our first two conference games. If we give up more than 1 PPP adjusted in BOTH those two games, we should make the switch to zone asap.

Devilwin
03-26-2018, 03:32 PM
It's hard to say at this point. Maybe next year's crop will be better in m2m. Maybe not. We will just have to wait and see. I sure don't want to see our opponents doing layup drills.

Billy Dat
03-26-2018, 04:17 PM
Our decision to go zone stirred up some pretty diverse responses across the college basketball landscape from our own fans to opposing fans to media personalities.

To enthusiasts, it's an example of K's open-minded flexibility, his willingness to do whatever is needed for a particular group to maximize its potential.

To detractors, it's an example that he can't teach defense anymore, the continuation of a years-long slide that is blamed on constant roster turnover and a dependence on freshmen. The detractors also say it will ultimately hurt Duke recruiting because the NBA does not play zone and learning it is a waste of time for those serious about moving on. Now that we seem to have really embraced it, it will surely become a negative recruiting tactic by our opponents. Every draft preview I listen to complains that it's hard to project Duke players defensively because they are playing zone. The Duke vs Syracuse game was a Twitter explosion about how bad it was to watch two zone teams play, and the fact that Duke slapped the floor from the zone practically made people's head explode. How dare they take a symbol of lock down defense and apply it to a variation being used as a last resort?

Personally, I don't care what we play as long as it works. I have to side with the folks who think an automatic return to m2m next year is far from ordained. Why is a freshmen heavy line-up going to be ready to play Top 30 defense in m2m, and even if some guys we hope come back do come back, they have been focused on zone?

dukelion
03-26-2018, 07:50 PM
With the length we'll have at 2 and the 3 we'd be crazy to not at least give the M2M an extended look.

Barrett and Reddish can switch on anyone and AOC, Bolden and Javin will be key rotation guys that should know where to be in their M2M rotations.

Zion is also a potential great defensive player.

proelitedota
03-26-2018, 08:22 PM
Honestly only Barret looks to be only recruit that'll be able to play some defense. I don't see what Zion can provide that Delaurier cannot provide already. I would gladly trade Zion and Reddish for an extra year of Gary Trent Jr.

If fans had a hard time with Duval, Zion and Reddish will drive them nuts.

jv001
03-26-2018, 08:31 PM
Honestly only Barret looks to be only recruit that'll be able to play some defense. I don't see what Zion can provide that Delaurier cannot provide already. I would gladly trade Zion and Reddish for an extra year of Gary Trent Jr.

If fans had a hard time with Duval, Zion and Reddish will drive them nuts.

You're starting early aren't you? GoDuke!

Newton_14
03-26-2018, 09:47 PM
Coach K is a M2M guy..
You could have stopped right there. Has K adapted/adjusted/changed over 37 years at Duke? Absolutely! Does he like playing zone, ever? Absolutely not. He pretty much made that clear at the 2015 Banquet.

He has abandoned trying to implement the normal "Duke m2m", because of the heavy OAD makeup of the top 7 players, but he still starts every season intent on playing m2m. As we saw in the MSU game, and the second half of the season, he will without hesitation use zone for 40 minutes if he needs to do that to get a win against a top opponent or in the second half of the ACC regular season if he recognizes that they guys just can't play m2m effectively.

In the past several seasons during the first portion of the season against the lesser opponents at home in Cameron, if the guys were struggling with trying to defend the opponent with m2m, in my view he will allow them to struggle and it's almost like his mindset is 'I'm not bailing you out with a switch to a zone. You are going to have to win this game playing m2m". They always end up winning those games even though some are closer than they should be.

With that I fully expect to see m2m defense next year in the first portion of the schedule. He will play a little bit of zone in those games.. which in my opinion is simply getting the guys some "practice" with the zone in a live game and to allow him to evaluate how well they play it. K will always try some form of fullcourt pressure in the early games, especially at home, be it full court m2m pressure, a very agressive 1-2-2 full court press, or the soft version of the 1-2-2 press we used a lot this season. He uses that soft zone in two different ways. One is to simply eat shot clock time, lessening the amount of time the opponent has to run their offense. The other version get's aggressive after the ball is say, halfway or so between the top of the key and the midcourt line in the backcourt. They go hard at that point to try and get a 10 second call or a trap on either side if the opportunity presents itself. Then they either drop back into man or the zone.

Hopefully next year's squad can play a very good m2m. It's been awhile since we had one of those.

Saratoga2
03-27-2018, 09:25 AM
We played zone against Kansas and it was supposed to limit 3 pointers but they hit 13 during the game while we hit only 4 I believe. We were particularly burned from the corner and it wasn't as if one guy was hot. The 3's were distributed 5,3,3,2 for Kansas so it was more of a general problem. The 2017/2018 Duke team was particularly suited to the zone with excellent length and athleticism throughout so I don't expect us to have quite a good a zone team next year and we will probably be quite young on the court as well.

We also suffered from the ball being brought into the space between the perimeter and front line with shots being made from there. One could point out that the overall impact in most game was to keep the opponents offensive efficiency down, so overall it worked better than man to man for us. Syracuse uses a similar zone and recruits for length and athleticism so it suits their approach and because not that many teams zone, it is difficult to navigate a good zone and score.


The UVA pack line defense is a m2m variation and was very effective for them. I believe they were #1 in the country on defense using that scheme and one could argue they weren't the most athletic team in the league but may have been the most disciplined. The Pack line is simpler than the traditional Duke M2M in that the defenders play closer to the basket with the on ball defender up tight with a hand in the shooters face and the others always in a help position. If the ball rotates, the defender nearest becomes the on ball person and the others shift to help defense positions. The off ball defenders are always close enough to their man to close out on the 3 point shot attempt and are packed in enough to limit penetration. Defneisve rebounding is good while the way UVA plays it, they tend to give away offensive rebounding in favor of getting down the floor and into their defensive positions. I watched Villanova playing packline against Tex Tech and they did it quite well. Of course the m2m switching can still take place. A well played Pack Line is a formidable defensse to overcome.


Our traditional M2M can bring us out against a team that spreads the floor. It can then be subject to penetration by quick guards and requires a greal deal of disciple to switch and ice and avoid the pick and roll. A lot to ask for in a group consisting mostly of 1st year players. We have seen the beauty of this defense with different Duke teams but coach K has said it is very difficult to learn the discipline necessary to make it work effectively. He gave the idea up this past season and there is likihood he will return to it next season.

If the coaches don't worry about the NIH factor, and they certainly didn't with borrowing zone strategy, I would recommend they go to the Pack line M2M and also teach the 3 -2 zone with the ability to slide between those two throughout the season. I realize there is insufficient time to teach defensive fundamentals to these young players so implementing two systems would be difficult.

I recommend trying the Pack Line concept first (we have the athletes) and bring the zone on for short periods as the season progresses. Our zone was good at times but a good team showed that it can be exploited and our zone press did cause some turnoovers but also resulted in some easy baskets. I thought it was a wash against good teams, so would not go to it personally.

UrinalCake
03-27-2018, 09:28 AM
Agree with Newton. I think it secretly drove K crazy to have to play zone this year, even though it was effective. I also look back and wonder how many teams have ever won a title playing primarily zone. Other than Syracuse back when Carmelo was there, I can't think of any (though I'm sure somebody can correct me).

We will absolutely start next year off playing M2M, the only question in my mind is what kind of variants we will use. Will we press full court or 3/4 court to take advantage of our lengthy wings? Will we extend the pressure 35 feet away from the basket? Will we switch on every screen, hard hedge, ice, or trust our guards to actually fight through them?

Also with regards to Duval, I see him as a guy who is "fast, but not quick" on defense. I know that sounds like a contradiction but what I mean is that he has great raw athleticism but he doesn't anticipate or react well. He also likes to gamble and reach too much. Think of the great one on one defensive guards that we've had over the years - Nolan, Wojo, Duhon - they were not elite athletes. I remember Steve Blake from Maryland always defended Jason Williams really well, even though in a straight up performance measurement test Williams would blow him away. Playing defense is partly about athleticism but probably 80% mental and that takes time to learn.

UrinalCake
03-27-2018, 09:32 AM
We played zone against Kansas and it was supposed to limit 3 pointers but they hit 13 during the game while we hit only 4 I believe.

My instant response to this comment is that Boston College hit 15 threes against us and FSU also hit 15 during that stretch where we gave up an average of 90+ points per game to some not-great offenses playing M2M. Kansas had a great game plan to run the baseline across screeners to free up those corner threes. Every defense has a weakness and they exploited ours. Still, we had plenty of chances to win the game.

CDu
03-27-2018, 10:09 AM
We played zone against Kansas and it was supposed to limit 3 pointers but they hit 13 during the game while we hit only 4 I believe.

A minor quibble, but the zone isn't actually designed to limit 3 pointers. It's designed to limit dribble penetration.

I will first note again that our defense was actually pretty effective against Kansas for the first 40 minutes. We held them to 72 points on 69 possessions. That's an adjusted defensive performance of about 91, which is a top-3 defense this year. Kansas is REALLY good offensively. We werent' going to shut them down completely either in zone or man to man. Especially not man to man; we'd have been roasted by Graham and Newman off the dribble if we were playing man to man.

And I will note that we held a 40% 3pt shooting team to 11-33 (33%) from 3 in regulation. So it isn't like they shot well from 3 against our zone.

I think where things fell apart was that our forwards failed to rotate down and in when there weren't any players on the perimeter wings/corners. Kansas frequently had two guys either both on the baseline or one on the baseline and one at the free throw line. In that scenario, one of the 2 forwards (the one that then doesn't have a corner assignment) needed to drop down to help inside, and communicate to the guards that they have the perimeter assignments on his side of the floor. There should not be 2 guys in the paint to our one guy If that is happening, somebody is missing a rotation. Bagley, DeLaurier, and Trent didn't do a good job of recognizing that. They were so focused on the perimeter that they too often left Bolden/Carter on an island in a 2-on-1 situation.

Now, again, that doesn't mean our defense was bad. We were able to force a bunch of turnovers, and we held them to just 43% shooting, which helped offset our struggles on the offensive glass. But our forwards' struggles with helping down did result in some easy looks that maybe could have been avoided.

We also made a really bad decision to switch from the 2-3 zone to a 1-3-1 zone to start the second half. The goal there was presumably to counter Kansas's use of the high post. But we got absolutely torched in that defense, giving up 15 points in the first 8 possessions of the second half. We then switched to a 3-2 zone after that, and did a pretty good job for the rest of regulation. But by that point, we were fighting back from a 7-point deficit, and Carter was on the bench with 4 fouls. Considering that we weren't really getting torched in the first half (less than a point per possession against us), it was a case of fixing something that wasn't really broken. I'm sure the staff regrets that move.

The other mistake I think we made was going to DeLaurier instead of Bolden once Carter fouled out. DeLaurier didn't have a good game defensively, and he offered really nothing offensively this year. With Duval on the floor, having DeLaurier in the game meant Kansas could ignore two guys on the perimeter and double/triple team Bagley inside. I'd have gone with Bolden for defensive purposes, but also for offensive reasons. With Bolden, you could put him in the post and allow Bagley to get the ball a little further from the basket, with less heavy focus on him defensively.

And of course the biggest oops of the night was bringing Carter back in the first half with 2 fouls. We were winning the game at that point. No reason to risk it unless the game was starting to get away from us. Instead, we bring him back, he picks up the 3rd foul, and then plays the rest of the game tentatively defensively. Sitting him the rest of the half would have had him fresh and without serious foul trouble for the second half.

Sorry to rehash the loss, but I don't think this was a case of the zone being a problem for us. We were doing a great job defensively, and then we made an ill-fated switch of the zone that went really badly, and then foul trouble got Carter, and then we made a bad choice in subbing for Carter at the end. None of those are really related to our 2-3 zone.

As for next year, I don't think zone is ideally the best option for this group, given that we won't be as long as this group. But if the team stinks as much as this team did in man-to-man, I won't be at all surprised to see us go zone.