View Full Version : Duke MBB vs. Illinois Pre-Game and In-Game Thread

11-20-2007, 12:43 AM
Post your thoughts about the Maui Invitational semi-final game vs. Illinois here.

Bob Green
11-20-2007, 12:54 AM
Post your thoughts about the Maui Invitational semi-final game vs. Illinois here.

Illinois shot 10-18 (55.6%) on 3-point shots against ASU's zone. Duke must do a much better job defending the perimeter (and I am confident we will). Their starting small forward was very impressive today. He is 6-7 and it will be interesting to see who guards him. The Illini should provide us a tough game so we will get a much truer measurement of where we are as a team.


11-20-2007, 05:53 AM
Tonight, Duke pulls out the run and gun; sprinkle in some solid defense around the arc, and we are lookin' good.

With our depth, and rotation, we are going to be competitive.


11-20-2007, 07:42 AM
It is surprising that they shot well. Their best outside shooter, Smith, is sitting out this year. Their frontcourt will be a test for Duke. Pruitt is a tough big man and Randle is an outstanding defensive player. His matchup against Singler will be very interesting to watch. Singler will be going up against an experienced player who is his size and who will test him at both ends of the court.


11-20-2007, 08:03 AM
Chet Frazier, their starting PG, is the key to the Illini's chances. If he can handle Duke's pressure and get into the lane, draw Duke's help D, and throw up some mid-range garbage at the glass, their big men will be able to collect the offensive rebound for easy putbacks. Frazier is an excellent defensive guard (and usually bad offensive guard), so this will serve as a great test for Paulus' improvement this season. Illinois' 5 through 3, Pruitt-Randle-Alexander, comprise a talented and big frontcourt. I would be impressed if Duke can hold their own on the boards in this game. Agree that the Randle/Singler matchup will be interesting. Both 6'8/220ish guys who are talented. Also agree that Illinois' shooting last night was fluky. That said, even bad shooters can get on a roll for a couple of days and get comfortable with a shooting background, so I'd be hesitant at first to double-down from the guards. We'll likely see our post defenders guard 1-on-1 at points in this game, which should be VERY interesting. This is our first real test for our big men. Overall, it's our first real test, period. They're an excellent defensive team overall, and I expect occasional ugly looking offensive possessions from Duke tomorrow. As for Duke's defense, I suspect that Illinois only got into an offensive rhythm last night because ASU played a soft zone every possession and Illinois was able to pick that apart for easy shots. Duke is completely different, of course, and I hope/suspect that we will be able to get 17+ turnovers from them when we pick them up fullcourt and halfcourt, which should provide the winning advantage for Duke. If Illinois has a clean ball-handling game, they'll be able to hurt us inside and the game could go down to the wire.

11-20-2007, 08:39 AM
Meachum JR 6-2
Frazier JR 6-2
Alexander JR 6-7
Randle SR 6-8
Pruit SR 6-10

Reserves, 10 MPG or more
Brock JR 6-5
McCarney FR 6-3
Holdren JR 6-5

Start 3 JRs and 2 Srs with 3 players 6-7 or higher.
4 guys average double figures with Randle, their leading scorer at 14 PPG.
Top 2 leading scorers are post players.
Pruit (center) is averaging a double double after 3 games 12 PPG and 10 RPG.
As a team they shoot 49% FG, 63% Ft, and 37% from 3.
They average more TO than assists a game, 13.3 to 14.7
Look for Randle to take alot of high% shots near the basket (63% FG).
Alexander is a well rounded threat (56% FG, 80%Ft, and 43% from 3).
Illinois shot 10-17 from 3 last night against ASU.
Illinois jumped out to a 20-0 lead last night against ASU.
Illinois only beat Hawaii by 2 pts and trailed in the second half.
Duke-Illinois game (http://www.illinoisloyalty.com/Forums/showthread.php?t=4715) thread discussion
Jeffrey Jordan is a bench player, MJ is a comptetitive control freak, and Weber is in the middle...discuss

11-20-2007, 09:05 AM
To put it nicely, Arizona State will make opponents look better than they are. Even if our frontcourt doesn't pass their first real test, I suspect our guards will get us the win. But it sure would be nice to see our frontcourt do well.

11-20-2007, 11:07 AM
Duke opens as 6.5 point favorites over Illinois. Very interesting line. The public will hammer Duke at that line, imo, so if the line doesn't budge, that means the sharps are playing Illinois.

11-20-2007, 01:07 PM
After several games, we can start to see some statistical differences among teams. Illinois' offense is good at rebounding (44.2%, 20th nationally), much better at 2FGs than 3FGs, takes a low percentage of 3FGs (30.2% of shots, 245th) and does not get blocked much at all. Their defense defends both the 2FG and 3FG quite well, and allows very few assisted baskets. However, their D also allows a surprisingly higher percentage of offensive boards (33.8%, 188th) and turns over opponent's offenses just 18.0%, ranking 303rd. Their tempo is slow to middle. Their success so far correlates closely with a slower pace.

These raw numbers come against relatively weak opponents. While the season is still quite young and raw numbers aren't entirely comparable yet, their SOS is low.


Comparatively, Duke's offensive strengths are its rebounding (46.9%, 9th), shooting (nearly identical 2FG% to Illinois' but markedly better 3FG%) and avoiding steals (6.9%, 45th). Duke's D excels at turning over opponents (30.4%, 18th), limiting offensive rebounds (21.2%, 11th) and getting blocks (16.8%, 30th). Duke's tempo is very fast and their success correlates closely with a fast pace.

Duke's SOS is slightly better than Illinois', but Duke has played much better defenses and slightly worse offenses. However, it is hard to put too much stock in SOS calcs this early.


So, the biggest contrasting indicators will be tempo (Duke wants to push it, while the Illini will try a more deliberate, half-court style) and rebounding, especially at Illinois' end of the floor. However, I think Duke gets a big boost on dictating pace with their likely ability to turn over Illinois' more TO-prone offense. If Duke can get steals and run, they should be able not only to dictate pace but reduce/eliminate Illinois' front court strength of scoring and rebounding in the half-court set. If Duke can also put a dent in Illinois' offensive glass, they will be able to push the pace as well.

Using Pomeroy's pythag formula to predict scores, Duke wins 98-70. FWIW, that same formula predicted last night at 84-59 (compare that to the 83-62 final). Obviously these numbers include yet-imperfect adjustments for the SOS of previous games, but I would not at all be surprised by a 20-plus-point win if Duke can get out and run on those boys.

Go Devils!

11-20-2007, 04:19 PM
I'm very excited for this game. Illinois is a solid, tournament caliber team and you know Weber will have these guys ready to play.

Not that our guys need any inspiration, but for us to think about:

"Dick Vitale and his Dukies can shove it" - Bruce Weber


11-20-2007, 05:46 PM
I'm very excited for this game. Illinois is a solid, tournament caliber team and you know Weber will have these guys ready to play.

Not that our guys need any inspiration, but for us to think about:

"Dick Vitale and his Dukies can shove it" - Bruce Weber


Dear Bruce-

Jon Scheyer came to Duke. You lost the recruiting battle. It wasn't the first time. It certainly won't be the last. But whining and being bitter about it won't put first-rate shooting guards on your team. Get over it.


-Blue Devil Nation

11-20-2007, 09:10 PM
um... We went on a 11-0 run because of our zone!?!?
the world has changed.

Lord Ash
11-20-2007, 09:25 PM
DAMN! Gerald HENDERSON. Wow. That was SOME dunk. And that, after the SUPER smart aggressive move, resulting in a third foul for their best defender.

And yeah, I love that a zone sparked our run.

Also, amazing that we are barely shooting any 3s, after so many were saying we would live and die with 3s this year.

11-20-2007, 09:34 PM
henderson and nelson really are makin this team go right now. Zou and Lance arent having bad halves, but Zou, come on, enough of the stupid fouls. other than that, overall a good half. ugly last 2 mins. but other than that I see Duke coming up with a 10+ point win. Especially since Randle is in foul trouble.

11-20-2007, 09:37 PM
we did have a mental lapse the last 1.5 minutes of that half; other than that, i think we look awesome!

let's get the defense working much harder this half; we'll need it, especially against the three ball as they're starting to crank those up.


11-20-2007, 09:43 PM
The dribble, drive, and kick game is really working right now. I'd like to see Singler and Lance duck in the post more often to take advantage of the defense as it rotates. They both look good operating around the basket.

I don't think Illinois can score enough to keep up if Duke makes them work for their scores, rather than giving them cheap second-chance points and gimme free throws.

Very good first half, overall.

11-20-2007, 09:49 PM
I think Zoubek has had a tremendous contribution so far. Some good rebounds, diving for loose ball-starting a break, and a super move for a lay-up, have really been helpful. Henderson is playing at a very high level. It's been a total team effort so far despite the two-man offensive output. Free throw shooting has been key. Keep it up Devils!

11-20-2007, 10:00 PM
we are getting PUNISHED on the glass

edit: HOORAY, an over the back call!

11-20-2007, 10:14 PM
I hate to say this, but Brian may be a little like Roberto Duran.

11-20-2007, 10:46 PM
Best way to sum up this game:
Nelson = Wow
Henderson = WOW