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View Full Version : Duke MBB vs. Temple Post-Game Thread



JBDuke
01-09-2008, 08:12 PM
Post your thoughts on the Temple game here.

DBFAN
01-09-2008, 08:14 PM
We do not look good right now, and we seem to be regressing.

jipops
01-09-2008, 08:16 PM
76% from the free throw line as a team. DeMarcus was 4-5.

4 guys in double figures.

Just pointing out some positives since I'm sure there will be plenty of negatives here.

RelativeWays
01-09-2008, 08:19 PM
To be fair, there's not much you can do when someone like that Christmas kid hits basically every shot he takes.....well you can shoot him I guess. This team is missing the confidence and cohesiveness it had before the break. I can't imagine that a 1pt loss to the then 10 team in the nation could really destroy that *looks at Clemson* okay it is possible.

mgtr
01-09-2008, 08:21 PM
I was impressed by the game Dave McClure had. He is a great, great defender. Very smart.

DBFAN
01-09-2008, 08:21 PM
This team is looking worse that last years team right now, Singler had disappeared and so has Scheyer (Sp?)

mgtr
01-09-2008, 08:24 PM
Scheyer came through at the end of the game.

RelativeWays
01-09-2008, 08:24 PM
This team is looking worse that last years team right now, Singler had disappeared and so has Scheyer (Sp?)

Singler had 15 Sunday and had 9 tonight in a pretty low scoring game, Scheyer also got 11 or 10 points in both games. What about Gerald....5 points? WTF?

dukeisawesome
01-09-2008, 08:24 PM
Personally I haven't been too pumped up for the games since break either so I can't blame the team at this point, but I think the start of the ACC season will have them playing with a new vigor.

Highlander
01-09-2008, 08:24 PM
76% from the free throw line as a team. DeMarcus was 4-5.

4 guys in double figures.

Just pointing out some positives since I'm sure there will be plenty of negatives here.

Another one - we won the game. We also managed to hold Temple in the 60s with two of our 9 man rotation on the bench, and only one player over 6'6". We won with small ball. It wasn't pretty, don't get me wrong, but I'll take an ugly win over a well played loss any day.

Oriole Way
01-09-2008, 08:25 PM
It's beyond me how this team goes scoreless in the second half like clockwork. You can bank on a second half run by every single decent team we play - we went scoreless for EIGHT minutes tonight. Just disheartening and unbelievable.

If K can figure out how to avoid these offensive droughts, this team is an excellent, Final Four contender. But he hasn't, and I don't think he will this year, especially since foul trouble will always be an issue thanks to these ridiculous injuries.

Including last season, this has been the most frustrating Duke team to watch in a decade.

yancem
01-09-2008, 08:26 PM
This team is looking worse that last years team right now, Singler had disappeared and so has Scheyer (Sp?)

Henderson has disappeared a little as well. I have to say that the free throw shooting was nice breath of fresh air.

mgtr
01-09-2008, 08:28 PM
What happened to the big plays with Hendo and Nelson getting to the rim? I guess other teams have been watching tape. I miss those plays, though.

Devilsfan
01-09-2008, 08:29 PM
This team is starting to look a lot like.... last years edition. I hate the scoring droughts and the blocked shots around the basket. Thank goodness they played good defense and hustled. We look like a very good NIT team right now.

beach rev
01-09-2008, 08:33 PM
I'm going to take a page from Jumbo and Ozzie's book and see this as a 'glass-half-full' game. With a shortened bench, we found a way to win (even with an ugly second half drought), and for the most part, Smith and King made strong contributions. McClure (once again) was the king of intangibles, and Demarcus' grittiness always impresses me. Sure, the match-up problems loom large (Clemson and Carolina concern me greatly), but I think tonight was a nice 'bounce-back' from what I thought was a pretty dismal outing against Cornell.

Saratoga2
01-09-2008, 08:35 PM
To be fair, there's not much you can do when someone like that Christmas kid hits basically every shot he takes.....well you can shoot him I guess. This team is missing the confidence and cohesiveness it had before the break. I can't imagine that a 1pt loss to the then 10 team in the nation could really destroy that *looks at Clemson* okay it is possible.

We can't sugar coat the fact that the team went on a long dry spell. The defense against us was active at that time, but we had absolutely no answer. I will be interested in Jumbo or someone with good knowlege pointing out why we lost the ability to score during that interval. The combinations during that time would be most interesting, and was it limited to one group, or was it several that failed to generate offense. I think it was Paulus, Nelson, Henderson, McClure and possibly Singler most of the time but am uncertain.

Some thoughts:

Nelson is really a valuable player, but I prefer someone else handling the ball and making the passes. He seems pretty marginal in that area. He did improve from the line tonight, a plus for the team.

King played pretty well. He is a little slow getting back but he has the size to contest around the basket and can rebound. Thats also a plus for the team since his scoring ability is what we normally think about.

Scheyer keeps doing the smart things. You can rely on him to generate offense and play hard nosed defense.

David McClure also had a nice game and scored a couple of times although his main contribution was defense and rebounding.

Singlar is a fine player both ways and was up against a real size disadvantage tonight but hung in there.

I didn't like the announcers tonight who kept on implying the refs gave Duke all the call.

camion
01-09-2008, 08:38 PM
I really have trouble feeling bad about a double digit win when we have lost two players, essentially our center position, since the last game. We were in control the whole game, never threatened at all. It wasn't pretty, but it was a solid win.

Best news of the night was when they said that Zoubs is only out for one to three weeks. That's enough to make my night by itself.

Flyers52
01-09-2008, 08:44 PM
Forget the all the aforementioned for a second. One thing that has stuck out from watching the game on tv, was the hustle at times. I can't get over the one play early in the 2nd half, when Singler came running to the defensive end, and dove in the path of a pass to a Temple player cutting to the basket, ultimately tipping the ball to a teammate ( i can't recall, Scheyer or Paulus maybe?), and sliding totally off screen. He then comes down to the offensive set, and makes a great swing pass to the open Paulus who missed a three---That right there is hustle and heart, and makes Singler one of my favorites on this years team.

Also later in the second half, while McClure was in, there was that period where Temple kept getting blocked around their basket- all started by Dave making a running block from behind Olmos.

I hate the somewhat low foul shooting percentage, and the foul trouble, and the short bench, and the shooting woes, and the woes of Henderson, Scheyer, and Singler, but we made up for it with our Hustle. Hopefully Lance and Zoub come back quick, and we can get into the flow of things to take on the ACC and the rest of the NCAA in the tourney.

DBFAN
01-09-2008, 08:56 PM
The only thing posotive about tonight was that Clemson lost to UNCC, just goes to show you that UNC is not that great.

On a more depressing note, we looked awful tonight, and the last 3 games. I am really starting to wonder if Greg Paulus has some kind of attention problems, he seems to make the same mistakes over and over again. Singler is urning out not to be a great as we all thought. Dont get me wrong there were other problems tonight but these are the ones I have noticed the most over the last few games. Right now this team would not do so well on the tourney. I wished none of this were true. It seems like they are just intimidated by other teams, or they are just scared of messing up. Unfortunately with the way our recruiting is going it could be like this for the next several years. I just really feel like the Basketball program is going nowhere right now. I just do not understand how we can have so much talent, and continually play so bad.

weezie
01-09-2008, 09:06 PM
Singler is urning out not to be a great as we all thought.

Baloney. Singler is as great and getting greater with every game. He's playing center up against bigger, much heavier and older players. He's growing into the Duke defense.
The refs seem to go temporarily blind whenever Henderson has the ball. All manner of fouling and jacking goes on but the stripers grow intrigued with their own fingernails. Duke takes tremendous physical abuse each time they play, the contact is wearing but they'll get smarter. I thought we played pretty good tonight for not having our inside guys out there.

mgtr
01-09-2008, 09:08 PM
The only thing posotive about tonight was that Clemson lost to UNCC, just goes to show you that UNC is not that great.

The logic here must be that Clemson nearly beat UNC, but then lost to UNCC (implication that UNCC is no good). But UNCC is not that bad, and it is not too surprising that Clemson would have a down night after a very, very close loss toUNC.
I am not ready to write off either Clemson or UNC.

rtnorthrup
01-09-2008, 09:08 PM
Actually, I thought our shot selection was better tonight than against Cornell. Paulus forced a couple of threes, but overall pretty good. We missed a lot of open/decent looks tonight, both from outside and inside the arc. It happens sometimes.

Nolan Smith had his best game yet. King bounced back from being benched in the second half against Cornell and played a great, smart ballgame. He let the game come to him, picked his shots well and had a good stroke tonight. He also rebounded particularly well.

I still think the playing rotation is making it hard for players to get used to each other, and where they are going to be on the court. I also think Singler is trying to figure out what his role is on this team. We have a lot of scorers, our shooters are streaky and we dont have a consistent inside game. This team is just going to take some time to gel.

Glad to see that the announcers were saying that Brian may be back sooner rather than later.

DukeDevilDeb
01-09-2008, 09:08 PM
How can you say Scheyer has disappeared? He has become a defensive force, a great rebounder (remember, in the Pitt game, Scheyer had more rebounds than Nelson and Singler combined). He hit two huge free throws when we hadn't scored for 6 or so minutes, then followed with a HUGE 3 and a great lay up. Coach K had nothing but praise for him.

Remember, we're two guys down tonight. Don't you think some of them may be really tired? I agree that there was a long scoring drought... but I would hardly blame that on Scheyer.

Thought King had a good game too!

DBFAN
01-09-2008, 09:09 PM
Maybe we played well without Z, and Thomas, but do you think we would have played that much better with them, it is good to be positive, but Thomas has not done anything since our 3rd or 4th game.

mgtr
01-09-2008, 09:12 PM
I basically agree. I think Zoubek can be a positive force on this team. I am still waiting to see what Thomas can do. Since Coach K recruited him hard, I gather that he can do some stuff. I just want to see it.

DBFAN
01-09-2008, 09:16 PM
I was implying that UNCC was not that good. I am so tired of hearing about these teams being good and just not recognized. There is a reason you are an ACC team. I just do not buy Clemson, even after that tough loss, they should have walked into a win tonight against UNCC. I never said UNC was not good, just not as good as everyone thinks.

As for Scheyer, early in the year he being tauted as one of the best 6th man in the country. Yeah he hit a big shot, but if he would have hit the runners in the lane (like he was doing earlier this year) that shot would not have been needed. This team just seems so uninspired, where is Lee M. when you need him. (Sorry I was not even going to attempt to spell his name right now)

DukeDevilDeb
01-09-2008, 09:16 PM
The only thing posotive about tonight was that Clemson lost to UNCC, just goes to show you that UNC is not that great.

On a more depressing note, we looked awful tonight, and the last 3 games. I am really starting to wonder if Greg Paulus has some kind of attention problems, he seems to make the same mistakes over and over again. Singler is urning out not to be a great as we all thought. Dont get me wrong there were other problems tonight but these are the ones I have noticed the most over the last few games. Right now this team would not do so well on the tourney. I wished none of this were true. It seems like they are just intimidated by other teams, or they are just scared of messing up. Unfortunately with the way our recruiting is going it could be like this for the next several years. I just really feel like the Basketball program is going nowhere right now. I just do not understand how we can have so much talent, and continually play so bad.

Your grammar needs a little work too (should be we played badly!!:) But I feel as though we weren't watching the same game. I thought the team looked very good in the first half. We played excellent defense; Dave did really well and even scored! Kyle hit some big shots and made some really key defensive plays. I thought Nolan had a good game; so did Scheyer with some really, really important scoring in the second half.

Yes, we went through a long period where we didn't score... do we like that? No, of course not. But we are playing basically with no big man, no rebounder, and yet we held on to win. If this is terrible, I'm not sure what you are judging it against. This isn't the 1992 or 1999 teams beating nearly everyone in sight. But we are FAR better than we were last year.

weezie
01-09-2008, 09:17 PM
If LT could stay out of foul trouble, we would see more of his threading himself under the basket and into the deep paint. He's fearless on the defensive end and has got to be feeling depressed about his bad luck. He looked bummed sitting on the bench. I hope somebody on the coaching staff is trying to keep him positive.

DukeDevilDeb
01-09-2008, 09:18 PM
Maybe we played well without Z, and Thomas, but do you think we would have played that much better with them, it is good to be positive, but Thomas has not done anything since our 3rd or 4th game.

Actually, Lance has been having problems of late... I agree that he doesn't seem to have found his place on the team. But Lance and Z could have given some critical minutes that would have rested a couple of the other players a bit more...

mgtr
01-09-2008, 09:21 PM
When I watch our guys plsy, I am reminded how lucky we are to have a great coach, to have players that don't get in trouble, who do well in school, who don't steal computers, who don't cheat on tests, and who are, all in all, young men of fine character. And to top it off, they can play basketball like nobodys business! I know we won tonight, and nobody is happier about that than I am. And I am ready to rell anybody what we should have done to win by even more.
But there is no way that I would trade, even for a millisecond, a win for a failure in one of the character issues mentioned above. We are blessed with the best of the best -- great young men who can win basketball games.
It is all a question of perspective.
End of sermon.

DBFAN
01-09-2008, 09:21 PM
I did not know this was the Board where we make personal attacks at each other.

DBFAN
01-09-2008, 09:23 PM
I was very happy with the way Dave played, I just wish he would take a few more shots. Did anyone notice that he did not play much at the end. They should a shot of him on the bench, and he was rubbing his knee a little, I am sure that I am being paranoid.

DBFAN
01-09-2008, 09:26 PM
There are other teams that have good kids also, and they know how to win. This is not a question of character. This is a matter of desire, and I do not see that in our teams eyes right now.

dukelifer
01-09-2008, 09:26 PM
There were times tonight that Duke looked good. The defense was disruptive and lots of pressure on the ball. The rebounding was pretty good all night. The offense had its moments- but Duke is struggling in the half court. That 8 minute stretch where they missed 14 shots or so was painful to watch. They broke it open with a bunch of fast breaks off turnovers but this team should be able to execute better in the half court. To be effective, Duke needs a weapon- a reliable scorer or shooter- someone who can confidently knock down shots when all else is failing. Right now, like it or not, the best weapon is King. He did a lot of little things tonight. He seems to be out of the doghouse- although he did look over at the bench a lot tonight. He is a frosh and will make mistakes but he is a real weapon and gives Duke an emotional lift when he is on the floor. He also does more that just shoot. Henderson can also be a weapon, but he still does not make others around him better. He may not be 100% - perhaps that bug is hitting more than Thomas- but he was off all night and almost a non factor. Singler will get better- but he is still rusty. He does make good decisions and his shots are usually in rhythm. But perhaps the best news of the night was the free throw shooting by Paulus and Nelson. The team shot 83% and many under some game pressure. If the team continues to play good D and hits their throws- the Offense will come. The players are there- but they need to play better together. But make no mistake, Duke is much better when King is making shots. He has 15 pts in 12 minutes, was 4-4 from the line had a nice a assist and got 3 boards. The mark of a good team is how they play when they are not hitting on all cylinders. If the shot is not falling, the team needs to do the little things well. Tonight, Duke showed they can win ugly-play good D even when much smaller than their opponent. All this, despite the bad moments, is a step forward.

ChrisP
01-09-2008, 09:29 PM
It's beyond me how this team goes scoreless in the second half like clockwork. You can bank on a second half run by every single decent team we play - we went scoreless for EIGHT minutes tonight. Just disheartening and unbelievable.

If K can figure out how to avoid these offensive droughts, this team is an excellent, Final Four contender. But he hasn't, and I don't think he will this year, especially since foul trouble will always be an issue thanks to these ridiculous injuries.

Including last season, this has been the most frustrating Duke team to watch in a decade.

And by "it", I mean the era of fans having reasonable and realistic takes on a game. Jeez, by some of the posts here, you'd have thought we LOST to Temple instead of winning by double digits in a game where we were without 2 guys who have both started for us this year...in a game where Henderson was MIA on the offensive end...a game where we had 3 freshmen play significant minutes (guys who have a grand total of THIRTEEN college games under there collective belt, mind you) and a game where one of our starters and best players (hint: He's from OR) was saddled with foul trouble for a big part of the second half!!!

I mean, it certainly wasn't a thing of beauty, but I was very proud of the team tonight. They started off slow and couldn't hit the backside of a barn, but they ratcheted up the "D", started converting on the break, and shot very, very well from the line (over 82%!). Plus, when Temple cut the lead to 9 fairly late in the game, we showed a lot of heart and character and, thanks largely to Scheyer, built a nice working margin back up to like 14-16 pts, I think. The team looked light years better than the group of imposters in Duke uniforms that played Cornell the other day. C'mon!

I'll admit, my enthusiasm for this year's team isn't as high as it was after the Maui trip and I'd really, really love to see Lance Thomas step it up and for Henderson to become a bit more consistent, and for Zoubs to get and stay healthy ASAP, but man...what do you people want? This is a young team and we're maybe a little over a third of the way into the season. I'm not disappointed at all in this game. Let's be honest, they've kinda stunk it up a couple times this year (NM St., Cornell, large parts of the Pitt game). But after all, as someone else pointed out here on the board previously, we're 2 points away from being 13-0. Perfection is NOT the goal. Here's a news flash - every foul shot isn't going in, every 3 that Taylor King launches is not going in, we're gonna turn it over some, we're gonna look sloppy at times, we're going to be inconsistent as the young players grow and the team gels. The only way I'll be disappointed in this team is if they stop improving.

On a side note: MAJOR props to DeMarcus Nelson and the coaching staff or whomever has obviously worked with him to improve his FT shooting. Keep gettin' some air under the ball and you'll be hitting 80% on a regular basis. Way to go!

Oriole Way
01-09-2008, 09:36 PM
Nolan Smith had his best game yet. King bounced back from being benched in the second half against Cornell and played a great, smart ballgame. He let the game come to him, picked his shots well and had a good stroke tonight. He also rebounded particularly well.

You obviously didn't watch the Michigan game.


The refs seem to go temporarily blind whenever Henderson has the ball. All manner of fouling and jacking goes on but the stripers grow intrigued with their own fingernails. Duke takes tremendous physical abuse each time they play, the contact is wearing but they'll get smarter. I thought we played pretty good tonight for not having our inside guys out there.

I thought it was a terribly officiated game, but I thought we got way too many bad calls in our favor. I thought we played decently in the first half and poorly in the second. This is a painfully average Temple team (most of their multitude of turnovers were a joke and that was why we handled them in the first half), and overall the performance was disappointing.

The only time Duke played 40 minutes up to their ideal potential was at home against Wisconsin. Just one time, I'd like to see Duke start a game off against an elite opponent slow and dominate the second half like we've owned the first half this year. Until we do, I don't think Duke will go very far in the post-season.


I still think the playing rotation is making it hard for players to get used to each other, and where they are going to be on the court. I also think Singler is trying to figure out what his role is on this team. We have a lot of scorers, our shooters are streaky and we dont have a consistent inside game. This team is just going to take some time to gel.

Singler is our most talented player. He just needs to work on limiting his touch fouls so that he's not constantly in foul trouble. Then he'll be the best player on this team, and we'll be much better off for it.

As for the team gelling, a majority of this team has played together for two seasons. The fact they still need time is disappointing. The fact we have suffered so many injuries hurts.

Fortunately, the ACC is weak this year. But this team is going to lose some games like last year against inferior opponents, blowing big leads in the process. So far this year has turned out exactly like last year, and I'm worried about another meltdown after the first half of ACC play.

j.j. jones
01-09-2008, 09:42 PM
There were times tonight that Duke looked good. The defense was disruptive and lots of pressure on the ball. The rebounding was pretty good all night. The offense had its moments- but Duke is struggling in the half court. That 8 minute stretch where they missed 14 shots or so was painful to watch. They broke it open with a bunch of fast breaks off turnovers but this team should be able to execute better in the half court. To be effective, Duke needs a weapon- a reliable scorer or shooter- someone who can confidently knock down shots when all else is failing. Right now, like it or not, the best weapon is King. He did a lot of little things tonight. He seems to be out of the doghouse- although he did look over at the bench a lot tonight. He is a frosh and will make mistakes but he is a real weapon and gives Duke an emotional lift when he is on the floor. He also does more that just shoot. Henderson can also be a weapon, but he still does not make others around him better. He may not be 100% - perhaps that bug is hitting more than Thomas- but he was off all night and almost a non factor. Singler will get better- but he is still rusty. He does make good decisions and his shots are usually in rhythm. But perhaps the best news of the night was the free throw shooting by Paulus and Nelson. The team shot 83% and many under some game pressure. If the team continues to play good D and hits their throws- the Offense will come. The players are there- but they need to play better together. But make no mistake, Duke is much better when King is making shots. He has 15 pts in 12 minutes, was 4-4 from the line had a nice a assist and got 3 boards. The mark of a good team is how they play when they are not hitting on all cylinders. If the shot is not falling, the team needs to do the little things well. Tonight, Duke showed they can win ugly-play good D even when much smaller than their opponent. All this, despite the bad moments, is a step forward.

Thanks, Dukelifer, I always respect and enjoy your analysis of the games. Right on par with Ping's Take. Keep it comin', my friend.

mgtr
01-09-2008, 09:45 PM
There are other teams that have good kids also, and they know how to win. This is not a question of character. This is a matter of desire, and I do not see that in our teams eyes right now.

I agree that desire is critical, but without character, nothing else matters. I would much rather have a 20 win team with character than a 30 win team of crumbums, regardless of their level of desire.

I believe that it is possible to have, and in fact that Duke has had, teams of great character who performed at a very high level. Look at the banners!

I am not talking about a bunch of Division 3 eggheads (sorry, they are not all that way), but a team such as Duke has fielded in the past. As a general rule, you would be delighted to hire any of them in an entry level position in your business, and expect that in five years they would be challenging you for your job.

Isn't that part of the job of a first class university such as Duke? You bet your sweet bippy (to quote Rowan and Martin)!

I don't know if this present team will be successful in the ACC tournament and the NCAA tournament, though I certainly hope they are (I bought the Directv March Madness package). But I am pretty sure that they will be successful in life.

I taught in a university for a number of years, and most of the young men with whom I dealt could not hold a candle to these young men. We can be quick to judge their on-court gaffes, but what about off the court? Where will they be in 20-30 years?

Well, I guess I will climb off my soapbox. I just think we are lucky to be associated with such a fine program, win or lose.

KandG
01-09-2008, 09:49 PM
Including last season, this has been the most frustrating Duke team to watch in a decade.

Well, the first half was pretty good today. :) And I thought our rebounding and general effort inside on the boards was better, though there were some huge lapses, which you expect from a young team.

There's some crazy negativity in this thread, but I have to say that watching the last 3 games, and the frustrating scoring droughts we now seem to experience with regularity, definitely brings back bad memories of last year's team. At one point in the middle of our 8 minute second half drought tonight, I thought to myself, "this is absolutely NO fun to watch" -- just like I did for most of last year. Even when we were overmatched in past years, it always seemed there was a ray of hope, but lately the inability to score seems to be a long, slow, downward spiral that is near impossible to reverse without a gift from the opponents.

It's one thing to have players with talent and mental toughness who happen to experience lapses occasionally, or run into a bad stretch. But what's been happening lately just looks like ineptitude, particularly on offense. Watching such an arid offense for the better part of a season and a half makes me want to chew my arm off.

OK, now I sound like the naysayers. I do think this is a good team, and we're a little down with all the injuries and still recovering from the layoff. What I'm most baffled by is how the offense gets into such deadening ruts -- we lost McRoberts, but he wasn't exactly an offensive dynamo. I expected Paulus and Scheyer to improve on offense this year, but though both are still among our most valuable players, there are significant stretches where it seems they just totally vanish (they did finish nicely in the last five minutes tonight).

Gerald and Markie are great slashers, but they can be contained and don't necessarily make the best decisions off the dribble if their first or second option has been taken away -- and they don't have the consistent mid-range jumper that keeps a defense honest. I'm most high on Kyle, but it's tough asking him to do everything and stay out of foul trouble. Nolan is up one moment, down the next...today, he got schooled a few times by Christmas. Likewise for Taylor (though I like the energy he gave us today).

We'll be better, but I'm definitely antsy these days about playing any team with a remotely decent point guard and some reasonable size in the middle -- it doesn't have to be Hansborough level talent, either, based on the way that lugs like that guy at Cornell managed to have their way with us.

CameronCrazie
01-09-2008, 09:56 PM
You all keep talking about who is disappearing... Scheyer...Henderson...Singler. They all are. Nobody is imposing their will on these games. We are just lacking the heart that a "go-to" player can bring to a team. Demarcus is the only thing we have close to that this season. Also, somebody said something about Paulus making the same mistakes. Last time I checked he had zero turnovers and 4 assists. His shooting is off tonight, but I think we can let it slide since he is the most consistent three point shooter in the conference.

heyman25
01-09-2008, 09:59 PM
Scheyer plays smart but doesn't finish plays very well. He also makes some questionable passes. I hope this is the last 8 minute scoring drought for the year. Thanks to Taylor King we had a minute amount of good shooting. DeMarcus lost his balance abut 5 or 6 times. He is our best player but he needs to sharpen his handle. It did remind me of last year's team tonight which is going backwards. Recruiting just guards and wings creates this kind of a team.Glad to get a W but man they need a lot of work.

devildeac
01-09-2008, 10:01 PM
We can't sugar coat the fact that the team went on a long dry spell. The defense against us was active at that time, but we had absolutely no answer. I will be interested in Jumbo or someone with good knowlege pointing out why we lost the ability to score during that interval. The combinations during that time would be most interesting, and was it limited to one group, or was it several that failed to generate offense. I think it was Paulus, Nelson, Henderson, McClure and possibly Singler most of the time but am uncertain.

Some thoughts:

Nelson is really a valuable player, but I prefer someone else handling the ball and making the passes. He seems pretty marginal in that area. He did improve from the line tonight, a plus for the team.

King played pretty well. He is a little slow getting back but he has the size to contest around the basket and can rebound. Thats also a plus for the team since his scoring ability is what we normally think about.

Scheyer keeps doing the smart things. You can rely on him to generate offense and play hard nosed defense.

David McClure also had a nice game and scored a couple of times although his main contribution was defense and rebounding.

Singlar is a fine player both ways and was up against a real size disadvantage tonight but hung in there.

I didn't like the announcers tonight who kept on implying the refs gave Duke all the call.

I don't listen to the TV but in the chat room, they said it was elmore and patrick so what do you expect from espn and those two clowns?

Oriole Way
01-09-2008, 10:02 PM
You all keep talking about who is disappearing... Scheyer...Henderson...Singler. They all are. Nobody is imposing their will on these games. We are just lacking the heart that a "go-to" player can bring to a team. Demarcus is the only thing we have close to that this season. Also, somebody said something about Paulus making the same mistakes. Last time I checked he had zero turnovers and 4 assists. His shooting is off tonight, but I think we can let it slide since he is the most consistent three point shooter in the conference.

You must be stepping out of a time machine from early in the second half, because in the middle of our regular nightmare drought, Paulus drove foolishly into a 7-footer and passed directly to a Temple guard when we desperately needed a score to stop the bleeding. It might have only been one turnover, but it was a textbook Paulus turnover.

jipops
01-09-2008, 10:08 PM
The only thing posotive about tonight was that Clemson lost to UNCC, just goes to show you that UNC is not that great.

On a more depressing note, we looked awful tonight, and the last 3 games. I am really starting to wonder if Greg Paulus has some kind of attention problems, he seems to make the same mistakes over and over again. Singler is urning out not to be a great as we all thought. Dont get me wrong there were other problems tonight but these are the ones I have noticed the most over the last few games. Right now this team would not do so well on the tourney. I wished none of this were true. It seems like they are just intimidated by other teams, or they are just scared of messing up. Unfortunately with the way our recruiting is going it could be like this for the next several years. I just really feel like the Basketball program is going nowhere right now. I just do not understand how we can have so much talent, and continually play so bad.

You're kidding me right? We were without half of our frontcourt contributors tonight, did you actually forget that? We won on the road, we're whatever and 1, and somehow we're going nowhere?


Singler is urning out not to be a great as we all thought.
Oh lord, here we go. HELLO!! ? The kid is a freshman being asked to now anchor an entire frontcourt for which he is playing completely out of position
for. Also, a common problem for many freshman are foul issues which kept Singler out for crucial stretches tonight. Are you disappointed this kid isn't Kevin Durant? Kyle is the real deal, you haven't been watching if you don't recognize it.



Unfortunately with the way our recruiting is going it could be like this for the next several years. I just really feel like the Basketball program is going nowhere right now. I just do not understand how we can have so much talent, and continually play so bad.

Here you somehow contradict yourself with two statements that are false. If our recruiting is so poor, how do we have so much talent to play so bad? Again, did you forget we were without half our frontcourt tonight? We're forced to play guys as post players who weren't even post players in high school - and we still managed to win. You also may want to refresh yourself concerning the recruits we have picked up and the ones we're on the radar for.

Bob Green
01-09-2008, 10:20 PM
While reading this thread, I had to check the URL at the top of my computer screen as I thought I had mistakenly gone to a Clemson site and posters were discussing the Charlotte game.

dukie8
01-09-2008, 10:24 PM
While reading this thread, I had to check the URL at the top of my computer screen as I thought I had mistakenly gone to a Clemson site and posters were discussing the Charlotte game.

rofl! i think the grammar went out the window too...

DBFAN
01-09-2008, 10:27 PM
I know it must make you feel good to point out my flaw, but you are wrong. I never said we had bad recruiting, I thought maybe that everyone would infer that I was talking about the big men recruiting. I guess next time I will explain every one of my thoughts more thoroughly. The fact is that we know good and well that even with Z, and Thomas in tonight, it would have been the same result. The problem tonight was that the WHOLE team, looked like they were in their first practice. Temple is not a good team, we made them look a lot better than they are. I guess if you want to live in la la land, you can pretend that this team did ok tonight, but the reality is that they have been on a noticeable slide.

I imagine some of you defending the team tonight with the "Zoubek and Thomas being out scenario" were probably the same ones on here yesterday saying that the loss of Zoubek was not that big of a deal.

Zeb
01-09-2008, 10:34 PM
The team did not look sharp tonight. Period.

That doesn't mean its the end of the world. It also doesn't mean anyone who points that out hates Duke/Coach K/America.

phaedrus
01-09-2008, 10:38 PM
The fact is that we know good and well that even with Z, and Thomas in tonight, it would have been the same result.

I agree 100%. With Z and Thomas in, we still would have won. :)

Troublemaker
01-09-2008, 10:42 PM
Duke actually played well tonight, folks. Some of you need to learn the difference between playing well and shooting well. Duke played well, i.e. executed offense to get lots of shots in the paint, defensively harassed Temple all over the court, forcing 20 turnovers, rebounded solidly, and hustled like madmen, including dives on the floor and blocking shots from behind and the like. The only difference between Maui and tonight is that in Maui, Duke was finishing those paint shots that they were missing tonight. We really attacked Temple offensively, using drives, high-screens, side-screens, and post entries, including to guards posting up (an interesting wrinkle), in order to get lots of shots in the paint. It's not a good thing to not finish shots, of course, but the fact is, they executed well, played very good defense, and hustled their butts off. Let's just hope the shots start to go in again.

dukepsy1963
01-09-2008, 10:43 PM
Let's hang tough!! Let's have a little faith in these guys. They may not be National Champions when all is said and done; but jeez...they are OUR team.

And this. Do any of you remember what was going on in your head when you were in college and their age? Jeez, I was worried half to death about school/passing courses/papers/girls...and all kinds of stuff. Combine that with playing basketball!!! I don't know how they do it frankly!!!

These guys deserve our respect, support, etc. regardless of whether they win or lose. They are working guys!!! They'll win some and lose some. But they are all winners....every one of them.

End of Sermon from an oldster...

Go Duke!!!!

DBFAN
01-09-2008, 10:48 PM
Thanks, I love this team as much as anyone. Unfrotunately we have not played well as of late. For some reason there seams to be excuses as to why we did not play well. Maybe we are asking a lot of Singler, oh well. We asked a lot of Brand, Deng, Reddick, and countless others when they were freshman. What are we going to do when we play on the road in the ACC, just not rely on them? It is halfway through the season now, the whole freshman mentality has to go. It seems that Coach has dropped the whole Phoenix Suns thing, and is trying to play the style of the other teams. That really does not help us when Z, and Thomas are out. Why do we not constanly push the ball, we still had 9 players tonight, and we keep walking the ball up the court. Why Why Why Why?

On another note, does anyone notice that they always play the replays of questionable calls that go Duke's way, but never the other team when it goes their way. That gets on my nerves so much. Anyone who is not a Duke fan never notices that, they just assume we cheat, they do not realize that is how espn gets its viewers.

Also has anyone noticed that they could not mention Coach K tonight, without mentioning old Roy. They are just slobbering over them right now.

dukeisawesome
01-09-2008, 10:49 PM
As others have previously mentioned, its important to keep in mind we were without LT or Zoubek. Now of course those guys aren't our offensive powerhouses, but somebody still has to guard them and it helps our spacing to have a man or 2 in the paint posting up! It's not all that hard to guard a team when all you have is shooters and penetrate and kick\finish guys which is what we were left with.

Devil in the Blue Dress
01-09-2008, 10:49 PM
When I watch our guys plsy, I am reminded how lucky we are to have a great coach, to have players that don't get in trouble, who do well in school, who don't steal computers, who don't cheat on tests, and who are, all in all, young men of fine character. And to top it off, they can play basketball like nobodys business! I know we won tonight, and nobody is happier about that than I am. And I am ready to rell anybody what we should have done to win by even more.
But there is no way that I would trade, even for a millisecond, a win for a failure in one of the character issues mentioned above. We are blessed with the best of the best -- great young men who can win basketball games.
It is all a question of perspective.
End of sermon.

I agree with what you had to say! So many comments pick the game apart, finding fault and expressing so much despair that I wonder what would it take to be good enough? Imperfect as they are, learning in every game, this team continues to succeed where the vast majority of teams could not even compete.

I, for one, am happy that we won and that we won despite playing a game that wasn't so great to watch. I'm already looking forward to Virginia on Sunday!

Bob Green
01-09-2008, 11:38 PM
Through 13 games, Duke has five players averaging double digit points per game:

Nelson - 13.7
Singler - 13
Henderson - 12.6
Scheyer - 10.6
King - 10.1

Our sixth leading scorer, Paulus, is averaging 9.1 points per game. One side effect of a balanced scoring attack is that no one player stands out as the go to guy. However, the balanced scoring attack is a good team characteristic and should not go unnoticed by fans.

Oriole Way
01-09-2008, 11:57 PM
As several other posters mentioned, it was definitely nice to see many of the guys hit their free throws, especially DeMarcus.

If we'd had our usual problems at the line, it would have certainly compounded our mistakes and made the game much closer.

tweeze
01-10-2008, 12:02 AM
I think if given 25 minutes per game Thomas could contribute some decent numbers but it is really hard to do it with 10-15mins, we need to help Thomas grow and let him get more minutes when healthy.

dukemomLA
01-10-2008, 12:16 AM
As stated before, I love this team! Are they rusty after a long break -- absolutely! (...and so are we as fans).

But I'm getting a little weary of so much negativity of late on the DBR posts. Yes, I watched the Cornell game & the Temple game. (and all others). Is there room for improvement and possible concerns down the road? Of course.

However, this team has GREAT potential, love playing together, usually communicate well, will get better and better as the season progresses. Will they have a hiccup or two during ACC play? -- true. But this team has grit.

Give these guys their due. I'm all for honest debate here on DBR, but there's been a little too much 'bashing' lately IMHO. Pump them up! They deserve it.

Each player has worked to improve the weak spots: Markie on FTs, Paulus on TOs, GH on defense, etc. etc. There's a loooong season to come -- in my mind, the start of the REAL season. Let's revel!

delfrio
01-10-2008, 12:27 AM
Sports fans sure can be crazy. Someone should write a book about it.

duke86
01-10-2008, 02:09 AM
I actually was able to go to the game tonight in Philadelphia with a few of some old friends. I will not go over much of the game aspect because it seems everyone is a bit disappointed. I believe K is disappointed as well because at times there seemed to be a complete blowout in the making (up 16-18 points and pushing the ball). I will want to comment on the arena. It was not a friendly environment and I understand that is what is like every away game, but Philly fans are a bit more vocal to others.

I was in the Temple student section behind the basket closest to their bench (long story about those tickets), and I have never felt more unsafe in my entire life. I had coins thrown at me and I was cursed at throughout the entire game. Everyone stood up around me, so I thought I should stand up to enjoy the action as well. When I did that, I was verbally and almost physically attacked by many Temple fans. There were plenty of Dukies there tonight, but we were quiet, maybe a bit too quiet, but it was for our safety (it was in my case).

I thought the guys held it together especially when it seemed that the foul shots of Christmas were never going to end. The fans came alive at that point and the place was fairly loud (nothing like the Dean Dome when I attended a few Duke/UNC games, but it was loud nonetheless). I feel it is a big step for these guys since this was basically our first TRUE road game, and many Temple students were there tonight even though they still have off for another week and a half.

I believe there were a lot of strategic miscues, especially in the half-court department. Overall, though, I am really proud of this team and Coach K (being 6th all-time is pretty amazing). I feel as though these next few days K will work them really well for UVA. I expect a much better team on Sunday.

By the way, I'll be making my way out east again for the VaTech/DUKE game @ VT in about month or so. Hopefully, we'll be undefeated in ACC play by then (I'm a "cup-half-full" kind of guy).


LGD, LGD!

gw67
01-10-2008, 07:15 AM
Last nightís game was not pretty to watch. Temple is a mediocre team who couldnít shoot, pass or handle the ball for much of the game; however, they worked hard on defense and were very physical which led to disjointed offensive play by the Devils and a very ugly game. I never felt that the Devils were in danger even when they went without a basket for nearly eight minutes, and Iím surprised by the negativity and despair shown by many posters in this thread. The Devils didnít play well but they won an away game and at last count they have only lost one game.

Positives included the news about Zoubek, the play of King and McClure, the good all around games by Nelson and Singler, and foul shooting. The negatives were poor shooting from the field by nearly everyone, less than stellar ballhandling, and a poor offensive performance by Henderson.

gw67

dukestheheat
01-10-2008, 07:22 AM
One big take-away from this game is that Duke needs to learn to 'keep playing' when we get the big leads, and to go ahead and put people away. We went up by 19 points last night and then we seemed to lose concentration, got sloppy for awhile, and we lost our momentum! And momentum is a 'mental thing' and like the wind, it comes and goes. Everyone who will read this thread realizes that when you get a big lead in a game, it is very hard to play continuously with the same level of intensity as you did when the opponent was within five points. Mentally, you simply don't face the same challenge when you're up by 20 points as you do when the game is tied up, period.

This is a leadership issue for the team and for the on-the-floor captain for sure, and we all know and understand that.

Bottom-line: Duke needs to push through boredom/ennui when we get the big leads and go ahead and bring out the boys with the daggers and kill the beast. We have the ammo, the firepower, Superman as Coach, and the warriors on the floor to do this.

some worthy stats from last night, compared to the season (13 games total):

free throws!!!!!! 83% last night versus only 69% for the year. WHOOP!

overall field goals: 38% last night versus 48% for the year. Keep shooting!

3 point field goals: 38% last night vs. 41% for the year. Keep shooting!

game score: 74 points versus averaging 85 points/game. Duke is much more competitive when we are UP TEMPO. Keeping the score down makes the other teams look better than they are and doesn't tell the true story of this Duke team.

dth.

mgtr
01-10-2008, 07:27 AM
gw67-
Nice summary. I also do not understand the negativity by many posters. Certainly Coach K was not negative in his remarks.
In a way, the timing was right for Zoubek and Thomas to be out (fortunately only temporarily). The team was forced to adapt, and some other players got more time and stepped up (King and McClure particularly). Everybody no doubt learned some things last evening.

Fish80
01-10-2008, 08:03 AM
In a hostile environment, really the first true road game, without our two bigs, playing through a shooting slump, this was a huge win for us. I too don't understand the amount of negativity in this post. Some of the posters must be trolls or smoking crack, maybe both.

Don't forget Lance sprained his ankle in December and was probably feeling sick versus Cornell. As soon as he's healthy, you'll see the real Lance.

DeMarcus played a great game. But he did slip a few times, and I wonder if something is wrong with his shoes. I don't recall others slipping like that.

dukegirlinsc
01-10-2008, 08:03 AM
I never said UNC was not good, just not as good as everyone thinks.

I agree 100% on UNC not being as good as the praise they receive. It's pretty annoying, actually. From what I've seen by watching a few UNC games, Memphis and Kansas would destroy them. Easily. Don't get me wrong, they're good...but they easily aren't the best team in the nation. Watching the highlights of the UNC/UNCA game last night, there were some times where Kenny George made Tyler look like a child. (Although he did score 23 points.) They'll be exposed sooner than later. Hopefully when Sidney puts his red jacket on this week. :D

And congrats to Coach K on #787.

(Long time lurker, first time poster. Hello loves!) :)

mayrer
01-10-2008, 08:04 AM
I am not a naysayer, but I am a student of basketball and a Duke fan. This year's Duke team has some real limitations. As one without the blinders that say "we were missing our frontcourt contributors", we don't have any post scoring presence, even with Zoubek and Thomas. Greg Paulus is a very good shooter, but is not quick enough to beat even ordinary guards (like Temple's) off the dribble. Scheyer obviously isn't either, although he also shoots well. The inability for our guards to penetrate, or at least their difficulty in doing it, leads to turnovers and other bad things (e.g. scoring droughts). Lack of a post scoring threat means teams can defense us more aggressively on the perimeter (we could burn them if we had a penetrating guard, but Nolan Smith is our hope there, and he's still working his way in and, if history is a guide, won't get the predominant amount of p-t at the point position).

Temple is an ordinary to poor team, going through a transition from John Cheney to Fran Dunphy at coach, and is generally picked near the bottom of its conference. Between that and the large Duke crowd at the Wachovia Center, let's not get too excited about our "road" win.

What is unacceptable is when Temple makes a steal, has a 3 0n 1, misses the layup but gets the rebound because no other Duke players made it back on defense. There were plenty of instances of hustle (especially remember a diving Singler deflection - he really knows how to play, but he's not a post guy), but lapses like the above won't cut it for this team or Coach K.

I support Duke, but think it's important for the folks wearing rose-colored glasses to realize that this season, while it may be better than last, is unlikely to be a very good one, by Duke standards. Let's hope the team shows great effort and continues to develop.


You're kidding me right? We were without half of our frontcourt contributors tonight, did you actually forget that? We won on the road, we're whatever and 1, and somehow we're going nowhere?


Oh lord, here we go. HELLO!! ? The kid is a freshman being asked to now anchor an entire frontcourt for which he is playing completely out of position
for. Also, a common problem for many freshman are foul issues which kept Singler out for crucial stretches tonight. Are you disappointed this kid isn't Kevin Durant? Kyle is the real deal, you haven't been watching if you don't recognize it.



Here you somehow contradict yourself with two statements that are false. If our recruiting is so poor, how do we have so much talent to play so bad? Again, did you forget we were without half our frontcourt tonight? We're forced to play guys as post players who weren't even post players in high school - and we still managed to win. You also may want to refresh yourself concerning the recruits we have picked up and the ones we're on the radar for.

Fish80
01-10-2008, 08:09 AM
I am not a naysayer, but I am a student of basketball and a Duke fan. This year's Duke team has some real limitations. As one without the blinders that say "we were missing our frontcourt contributors", we don't have any post scoring presence, even with Zoubek and Thomas. Greg Paulus is a very good shooter, but is not quick enough to beat even ordinary guards (like Temple's) off the dribble. Scheyer obviously isn't either, although he also shoots well. The inability for our guards to penetrate, or at least their difficulty in doing it, leads to turnovers and other bad things (e.g. scoring droughts). Lack of a post scoring threat means teams can defense us more aggressively on the perimeter (we could burn them if we had a penetrating guard, but Nolan Smith is our hope there, and he's still working his way in and, if history is a guide, won't get the predominant amount of p-t at the point position).

Temple is an ordinary to poor team, going through a transition from John Cheney to Fran Dunphy at coach, and is generally picked near the bottom of its conference. Between that and the large Duke crowd at the Wachovia Center, let's not get too excited about our "road" win.

What is unacceptable is when Temple makes a steal, has a 3 0n 1, misses the layup but gets the rebound because no other Duke players made it back on defense. There were plenty of instances of hustle (especially remember a diving Singler deflection - he really knows how to play, but he's not a post guy), but lapses like the above won't cut it for this team or Coach K.

I support Duke, but think it's important for the folks wearing rose-colored glasses to realize that this season, while it may be better than last, is unlikely to be a very good one, by Duke standards. Let's hope the team shows great effort and continues to develop.

Smells like a troll.

mayrer
01-10-2008, 08:11 AM
Smells like a troll.

Keep dreaming. I sure hope we play well this year, but it's going to be a challenging season.

gw67
01-10-2008, 08:13 AM
Earlier in this thread, a poster singled out Paulus for a turnover. Not sure why Paulus was singled out but the turnover was not picked up by the official scorer as Paulus was credited with 4 assists and 0 turnovers.

Last night was not a stellar ballhandling performance by the Devils (14 turnovers to 13 assists) but this is one area where the team has improved over last year. This year's team is averaging 16.2 apg versus 14.3 topg (1.13 a/to) while last year's team averaged 13.1 apg versus 15.4 topg (0.85 a/to). This year's team is beginning to approach the years when JWill and Duhon led the team. The players who have made the biggest improvement in their a/to are Nelson, Scheyer and Paulus. Nelson, in particular has improved as a passer.

gw67

Jeffrey
01-10-2008, 08:53 AM
I support Duke, but think it's important for the folks wearing rose-colored glasses to realize that this season, while it may be better than last, is unlikely to be a very good one, by Duke standards.


Hi,

I disagree. We're obviously playing relatively poorly right now BUT we're still finding a way to win. We're without a strong force in the paint and getting hit with many injuries/illnesses with the few bigs we have BUT we're still not getting killed on the boards. I think we'll finish second in the ACC (and UNC may be the best team in the country) and make it to the Elite Eight. Even by lofty Duke standards, that is not that bad.

Best regards,
Jeffrey

dukelifer
01-10-2008, 09:02 AM
Smells like a troll.

What mayrer said seems pretty objective to me. Paulus and Scheyer are good not great shooters and cannot penetrate as well as many of the elite guards in the country. This is true and limits what Duke can do at times. Although many of the shots Duke missed last night during their drought were wide open threes- in the rhythm of the offense. Temple is also not that good- this is true- but they are also not bad and Duke is still rusty and this was a road game. Duke has what it has- a lot of very versatile players but none that are yet great. Singler will get there in time. King has a special talent but has Freshman moments. Henderson has immense talent and hops but still needs to learn the game by getting others involved. Scheyer will only get better and stronger. Smith is learning a position that is not natural for him and could be a force in a few months. Nelson is unique and as strong as anyone at his size. This is a good team- that will improve. But they may take their lumps. Losing is not always a step backward. I do see a better upside for this team than last years and certainly capable of surprising people. But we have to be patient and enjoy the process- even as we throw things at the TV. In the late eighties, Duke had many teams like this that went far in the tourney- albeit Danny Ferry emerged as a special player. But Singler can be like Ferry and there is talent to make noise- but this is certainly not a Duke team of the early 90's - but then again who is.

bird
01-10-2008, 09:24 AM
In the late eighties, Duke had many teams like this that went far in the tourney- albeit Danny Ferry emerged as a special player. But Singler can be like Ferry and there is talent to make noise- but this is certainly not a Duke team of the early 90's - but then again who is.

Funny thing, last night I was commenting to my wife the McClure = John Smith and Singler = Ferry, and team on the floor looked like the overacheiving late 1980s teams.

Fish80
01-10-2008, 09:26 AM
I took a look at your posts, and maybe you're not a troll. But everything you ever posted about Duke Basketball is negative.

I'm very positive about this team. They're fun to watch, they have great chemistry, and have a lot of talent. I disagree with you about the win last night - it was a huge win for us. And I disagree with you about the potential for this season. This team has tremendous upside.

6th Man
01-10-2008, 09:34 AM
It seems to me Duke has gone down hill since the start of the season. They were an exciting bunch to begin the year. They seem to be resorting back to the same team from last year. Struggling to score, not stopping quicker guards, no inside presence. I was so spoiled with our run of Brand, Boozer, and Williams in the post. We need another beast down low and I think Nolan needs to be our PG. Let Paulus spell him and play some off guard since he has become a reliable shooter. Singler is great but he needs to get a little stronger. It is unfortunate for him to have to play down low. He reminds me a lot of Battier, but not quite as athletic.

mayrer
01-10-2008, 09:55 AM
Smells like a troll.


Hi,

I disagree. We're obviously playing relatively poorly right now BUT we're still finding a way to win. We're without a strong force in the paint and getting hit with many injuries/illnesses with the few bigs we have BUT we're still not getting killed on the boards. I think we'll finish second in the ACC

POSSIBLY, HOPE SO.

(and UNC may be the best team in the country) and make it to the Elite Eight.
THAT WOULD BE AN EXCEPTIONAL, EXTRAORDINARY OUTSTANDING OUTCOME, BUT DON'T BE DISAPPOINTED AS, THOUGH I HOPE FOR IT, I THINK'S IT'S VERY UNLIKELY.


Even by lofty Duke standards, that is not that bad.

Best regards,
Jeffrey

See reply above.

mayrer
01-10-2008, 09:59 AM
I took a look at your posts, and maybe you're not a troll. But everything you ever posted about Duke Basketball is negative.

I'm very positive about this team. They're fun to watch, they have great chemistry, and have a lot of talent. I disagree with you about the win last night - it was a huge win for us. And I disagree with you about the potential for this season. This team has tremendous upside.

Sorry you confuse a realistic look at the team and the season, with a hopeful attitude, as negative. I was at last night's game, and it was anything but fun to watch. The team is fun when it is pressing, running and scoring, but last night was painful. Temple will lose 15-18 games this year, maybe more. I hope that last night's win does not qualify as a "huge win" by the end of the season. If it does, then the season is a disaster.

Exiled_Devil
01-10-2008, 10:13 AM
Thanks, I love this team as much as anyone. Unfrotunately we have not played well as of late. For some reason there seams to be excuses as to why we did not play well. Maybe we are asking a lot of Singler, oh well. We asked a lot of Brand, Deng, Reddick, and countless others when they were freshman. What are we going to do when we play on the road in the ACC, just not rely on them? It is halfway through the season now, the whole freshman mentality has to go. It seems that Coach has dropped the whole Phoenix Suns thing, and is trying to play the style of the other teams. That really does not help us when Z, and Thomas are out. Why do we not constanly push the ball, we still had 9 players tonight, and we keep walking the ball up the court. Why Why Why Why?




This may be terse - I don't have a lot of time to respond, but I feel a strong need.
re: Singler
Can you cite a freshman in the last 5 years that has been relied upon to be the the leader? Redick (one D) scored a lot, but he was playing on a team that just won the NC and returned Duhon, who was clear leader of that team. Deng was one of 5 guys who scored double figures in his freshamn year, and again, Duhon lead. The next two years were the JJ and Shelden show. Last year, we wanted McRoberts of Paulus to lead, but got little from either. Demarcus was our leading scorer.

I only went that far back or times sake, but I will argue that rarely has Duke ever expected a freshman to lead them to greatness. Even this year, Demarcus is the team leader, not Singler. Ask a lot, sure - is he averaging double figures? Leading - not now. Not in Coach K's system.

Re: Pheonix suns
the Suns system is partly about running alot,, but mainly about HOW we run, and the spacing on the court. We still space that way when we run. We did not run much in the end of the game, which I understood as trying to hold off time in order to save legs. In the early game, I would have to check, but I recall most of the time we were coming back from either a dead ball turn over (first 10 minutes) or missed shot (last 10), niether of which provides a great opportunity to get to the basket before the opponents defense.

Last night was not great. It was barely good, if I am generous. But it was not bad and not indicative of a decline. We had 3 scholarship players out last night. We had two out for the last two games. The team personnel has changed since the beginning of the season - not due to recruiting or skill or Coach K assigning playing time, but due to injury. there is very little we can do about that, and it is not a systemic issue.

In other words, the sky is not falling and our team is not awful. Cheer up.

Exiled

Dukefan1989
01-10-2008, 10:28 AM
The team is fun when it is pressing, running and scoring, but last night was painful.

Duh.

It won't qualify as a "huge" win, but it will qualify as a win. Last time I checked, if you look at the standings, there not a stat line for "HW" just W.

Have we forgot that this is still a very young team?

Have we forgot that Singler is still a freshman?

Have we already forgot wins like Illinois, Marquette, Wisconsin, and Davidson?

Have we forgot that apart from a stunning 3-pointer from Pitt, we would be undefeated?

Did we forget that the sloppy Cornell game was the first game in almost 3 weeks?

Did we forget that we were playing Temple without Lance, Brian?


It seems like many of you have forgot those things. Just 4 weeks ago, we were talking about how good this team was. For the love of Sheldon Williams' 3rd cousin once removed, PLEASE! Yes, we probably would of lost to NC if we played them last night, but we weren't! We still got a W. Looking forward to Virginia.

mayrer
01-10-2008, 10:51 AM
Duh.

It won't qualify as a "huge" win, but it will qualify as a win. Last time I checked, if you look at the standings, there not a stat line for "HW" just W.

Thanks for taking a tiny segment of my message out of context. The excerpt came as part of a reply to a post that called last night's game a "huge win." I stick with my comment, if Temple is a huge win, then the season is a disaster. Of course, it's a win, but I don't think we read these posts for that sort of insightful information.

Have we forgot that this is still a very young team?

Have we forgot that Singler is still a freshman?

Have we already forgot wins like Illinois, Marquette, Wisconsin, and Davidson?

Have we forgot that apart from a stunning 3-pointer from Pitt, we would be undefeated?

Did we forget that the sloppy Cornell game was the first game in almost 3 weeks?

Did we forget that we were playing Temple without Lance, Brian?

DID YOU FORGET TO WATCH THE GAME? WE STILL HAVE, AND WILL NOT HAVE POST SCORING, AND WE HAVE ISSUES WITH QUICKNESS OR WITH EXPERIENCE AT POINT GUARD. IT DOESN'T HURT TO BE REALISTIC.


It seems like many of you have forgot those things. Just 4 weeks ago, we were talking about how good this team was. For the love of Sheldon Williams' 3rd cousin once removed, PLEASE! Yes, we probably would of lost to NC if we played them last night, but we weren't! We still got a W. Looking forward to Virginia.

See above.

Troublemaker
01-10-2008, 10:57 AM
The previous games against the scrub teams like NC Central and Albany have misled some of you into thinking Duke can run at will against anyone. When you're playing a really bad team at home and dropping 15 made threes on them and forcing turnovers in the open court that lead to breakaways, it can mislead you into thinking that, I guess. Well, you're wrong. The level of the opponent matters. We saw that even in Maui when Illinois and Marquette forced Duke to play more half-court. Temple is a bad team but even they're a notch or three above an NC Central and can get back on defense.

I asked this over the summer, but what makes anyone think this team has the personnel to just force the issue running? We're not UNC and we can't be UNC because UNC has Ty Lawson and we don't. Think of any great fastbreak team of the past, and you'll likely have a team with a very good PG spearheading the attack. Look at the NBA as well. The 3 fastest teams are arguably Phoenix(Nash), Golden State (Davis), and Denver (Iverson). Paulus isn't a bad player but he's not a guy with a great handle and speed. When he receives the outlet pass and the defender jumps in front and he hesitates before dribbling, guess what? The fastbreak's over. We also don't have multiple big men that can perform the combo of run, catch, and finish in traffic. We do have some good athletic wings but that's not enough. We're not the Suns and we can't be the the Suns, not even the college version, at least not with regard to the fastbreak. We do spread the court well, though.

Duke is still an uptempo team, currently ranking 13th out of 341 teams in pace. But when Duke plays a team that doesn't want to run and aren't completely bottom of the barrel and have enough athletes to get back on defense, then yes, they can force us into more of a halfcourt tempo.

Saratoga2
01-10-2008, 10:58 AM
In retrospect, the 8 minute dry spell had quite a number of facets. Clearly we were trying to get the ball inside but the results were not good. Singler is mobile and can finish very well. In that period though he was blocked by bigger players who were right on him. There were no one on ones for him. He was unable to draw a foul against that pressure. Then we had DeMarcus trying to get inside, also agaainst some big players. He doesn't handle the ball well enough to get inside through a defense and they were waiting to block his shot also. Henderson tried the same thing and also tried some mid range attempts but was confronted with big aggressive players and was unable to get his shot off or was blocked. Our outside shooting went cold and we had a couple of turnovers with ill advised passes. During all of those attempts during the 8 minute dry spell, we were allowing Temple to get fast break opportunities and they at least had better shots than going against our prepared defense.

Would have Zoubek changed things inside? Hard to know. When Paulus took the ball inside and dished to Scheyer we were cooking again.

Maybe, as someone else noted, Nolan can be our guy to penetrate and dish, giving us better opportunities. He is showing me a lot.

Jeffrey
01-10-2008, 11:02 AM
and make it to the Elite Eight.

THAT WOULD BE AN EXCEPTIONAL, EXTRAORDINARY OUTSTANDING OUTCOME, BUT DON'T BE DISAPPOINTED AS, THOUGH I HOPE FOR IT, I THINK'S IT'S VERY UNLIKELY.

Hi,

What kind of odds do you give it at this time? Right now, I'd say 50/50.

Best regards,
Jeffrey

wilko
01-10-2008, 11:32 AM
Man, I hate to show up on the boards and read after a loss.

Its usually a bunch of piss and vinegar about we should be doing this or that or whats wrong with so and so, or the coaching staff needs to change or we should do something different in recruiting.

Those are all fine topics but after a Win. Good golly ..

Admittedly not our finest game, but still. This team does have some weak areas. but how about the resolve not to wilt on tired legs and a short bench. Foul shooting we did some good things. We just havent put it all together for a game in a while.

I am still hopeful.



But all things being equal, I'd love to have either Taymon, Casey or Erik avail on the baseline for this years edition. Just one of those guys would change the mix considerably. None of those guys were hyper productive in their Duke careers and we dont need the next sure thing... but I think they would make an impact this year.

Still tho. we gotta keep working and get better.

Dukefan1989
01-10-2008, 11:43 AM
Thanks for taking a tiny segment of my message out of context. The excerpt came as part of a reply to a post that called last night's game a "huge win." I stick with my comment, if Temple is a huge win, then the season is a disaster. Of course, it's a win, but I don't think we read these posts for that sort of insightful information.


I didn't take anything out of context. You said it wasn't a huge win, but thats pointless. We don't need huge wins, we need wins. And we won. It's not insightful at all, it's obvious. And furthermore, we were coming off a game from Cornell where we looked outright silly, and I recognize that. But we looked a lot better against Temple than we did against Cornell. If the games score was 84-64, none of us would be talking about how "bad" Duke played. Sorry. It's just silly to get upset over 10 points. I agree, they weren't playing great basketball, but they were improved from Sunday.


DID YOU FORGET TO WATCH THE GAME? WE STILL HAVE, AND WILL NOT HAVE POST SCORING, AND WE HAVE ISSUES WITH QUICKNESS OR WITH EXPERIENCE AT POINT GUARD. IT DOESN'T HURT TO BE REALISTIC.


Everybody knows we have issues with post scoring. What is insightful about that? Paulus did not shoot well last night, but he put up solid PG numbers. And as for quickness, no one said we had a Tywon Lawson on the team. What is insightful about the statment "we have issues with quickness?"

Your absolutely right, it doesn't hurt to be realistic. Realistically, we won by 10 points, when we had no quickness, had no post presence, had 2 of our big guys out, 3's were not falling in great numbers, and as you say, without any experience at point guard. I'll take that.

You know, I'm starting to see your insightfulness now.

jipops
01-10-2008, 11:45 AM
I know it must make you feel good to point out my flaw, but you are wrong. I never said we had bad recruiting, I thought maybe that everyone would infer that I was talking about the big men recruiting. I guess next time I will explain every one of my thoughts more thoroughly. The fact is that we know good and well that even with Z, and Thomas in tonight, it would have been the same result. The problem tonight was that the WHOLE team, looked like they were in their first practice. Temple is not a good team, we made them look a lot better than they are. I guess if you want to live in la la land, you can pretend that this team did ok tonight, but the reality is that they have been on a noticeable slide.

I imagine some of you defending the team tonight with the "Zoubek and Thomas being out scenario" were probably the same ones on here yesterday saying that the loss of Zoubek was not that big of a deal.

Shockingly, you're wrong again. I stated quite clearly in the Zoubek thread that his injury would be a huge hit.

Interesting the injuries have coincided with this so-called "slide"

Classof06
01-10-2008, 12:22 PM
A win is a win is a win, but this was not a pretty game. I didn't see the Cornell game but I'm guessing last night wasn't too different. I'm still willing to chalk it up to rust from a 17-day layoff but I wasn't very impressed with the way we played against a 6-7 (now 6-8) team.

For me, there were two bright spots: Nolan Smith and Taylor King. These two guys are really beginning to impress me and with Lance and Zoubek hurt, I really really really think Taylor King should be playing A LOT more than he currently is. Our offense looked a little stagnant last night, and with the 8 minute drought, this team (at certain points) didn't look very different than last year.

Again, a win is a win and it's not the end of the world. But if we play like that against an ACC team (home or away), we lose last night.

It's ACC time and these guys need to pick up...quick.

-jk
01-10-2008, 12:28 PM
My thoughts about the game. (I was there, so I don't have the benefit of replays.)

Obviously, we played this game with our two biggest guys - our center-by-committee - sidelined, disrupting our preparations.

While Temple may not be top 20, they are about a top 100 team (Pomeroy and Sagarin); they aren't pre-season fodder. We played aggressively in an ugly, physical game in a hostile arena. We did not back down, even when our shots didn't fall for those 8 minutes.

We beat them in every statistical category except blocked shots and offensive rebounds - the size issue. We held all but one of their players to below 40% from the floor and all but two below 33%, including their best shooter, Christmas.

There were almost 60 fouls whistled. That's about one every 90 seconds! And yet we didn't foul any of our guys out and we hit over 80% of our free throws.

Could we have played better? For 8 minutes in the second half, I'm certain we could have. But I sure don't see this game as a negative.

-jk

Patrick Yates
01-10-2008, 12:40 PM
Several posters are expressing dismay or anger at the negativity being expressed on this board after a win. Being negative after a game like the one we played last night is a normal reaction. I was not happy, and I will try to express why some people are not happy, despite the win.

It is hard not to watch last night's game and wonder about the future. If it were a one off bad performance, there would be no negativity. But it wasn't. Last night saw a continuation a 5 straight bald halves of play. Yes, we built a huge first half lead, but we played OK at best in the first half. Our run was based on numerous turnovers where their players passed it directly to some of our players. And they were cold. Keep in mind that that was NOT Temple's home arena, so they were not used to shooting on those rims. They couldn't buy a basket in the first half, and we were marginally better. Last night was a continuation of bad play.

Yes, we did win the game. But would an effort like last night suffice against ACC competition? On most nights, yes, because the league is historically bad this year. But against UNC, Clemson, and probably State or UVA, last night gets us a loss. Against UNC, last night gets us beat by 30 or so. That is why we are upset.

Some counter by saying that we will get up for ACC games. Based on what? Many people said that we would look better in the past two games, both of which came against opponents that would finish Dead Last, by a wide margin, in the ACC.

Problems that some predicted, and others poo-poo'd, have come to fruition. In the last two games, 7 footers who were bench staples prior to them playing Duke, looked at least capable. We had a tough time stopping bigs who weren't that great. UNC, Clemson, and State have great bigs. Great ones.

We talk about being the second best team in the ACC. Well, isn't that a great thing to aspire too. 4-5 years ago we had the league wrapped up by mid Feb. Now, we are confident of being second. And if Clemson plays hard, we might not get that.

The team looks worse than in november, and that is very disheartening. For those of us who hope for March success, we are seeing an ominous sign of stepping back at a time when we should be wratcheting up our performance. Given our roster, and the injuries, we are not hopeful going forward, and that is justifiable. We want Duke to succeed, not merely win games. Success is defined in March, and effort's like last night will lead to a first weekend exit.

Patrick Yates

rsvman
01-10-2008, 01:45 PM
Well, count me as among the people who don't see the sky falling just yet.

In fact, compared with the Cornell game, I thought we looked considerably better. I was impressed with the defensive tenacity. Take away the 8-minute dry spell and we would all be much happier with the game. I realize that's like saying "take away the serial murders and we'd all be much happier with John Wayne Gacy," but I, for one, was impressed by the fact that despite not scoring in 8 minutes playing time, we were able to maintain a lead.

To my eye, the main problem that has reared its ugly head again is the stagnation of the half-court offense. I would just love to see the offfensive team that we put on the floor against Wisconsin show up for one of our next few games, or maybe for all of them.

Acymetric
01-10-2008, 01:51 PM
Well, count me as among the people who don't see the sky falling just yet.

In fact, compared with the Cornell game, I thought we looked considerably better. I was impressed with the defensive tenacity. Take away the 8-minute dry spell and we would all be much happier with the game. I realize that's like saying "take away the serial murders and we'd all be much happier with John Wayne Gacy," but I, for one, was impressed by the fact that despite not scoring in 8 minutes playing time, we were able to maintain a lead.

To my eye, the main problem that has reared its ugly head again is the stagnation of the half-court offense. I would just love to see the offensive team that we put on the floor against Wisconsin show up for one of our next few games, or maybe for all of them.

But that is something that has been a problem before, and the dry spells never disappeared later in the season against better opponents, but we stopped being able to win once we played teams that would make big runs during that time. We've got to top some kind of list in terms of how many games we go without a basket for 4-5 minutes over the past few years. I'm sure this stat isn't tracked, but if it is, we're up there.

wilko
01-10-2008, 01:54 PM
Several posters are expressing dismay or anger at the negativity being expressed on this board after a win. Being negative after a game like the one we played last night is a normal reaction. I was not happy, and I will try to express why some people are not happy, despite the win.

Patrick,
I enjoy reading your posts.
I get what you are saying and you are right!

No way is this team ready for March level play, not a legitimate contender run, anyway. Not today.

Duke has things to work on for ACC play just to survive and make the cut. All I can say is one game at a time. There will prolly be games down the road where Lance and Zoubek have fouled out or are on the bench for some other reason.

Having this small roster get some game experience and a win cant be all gloom and doom. It seems reasonable to expect at some point, that the lineup on the floor last nite will need to close a game out. And they got it.. I hope it will something to build on.

March doesnt matter if we dont have enuff wins get into the tourney. I'll take ugly wins. I'll take them all the way to the National Championship if need be.

Im a realist. I can see issues with our play. I know this probably isnt our BEST TEAM ever. Im not 100% satisifed, either. But I'll take it.

Was it a downer... A litle bit. Was it pretty.. not by a longshot.
But a win is a win. And its hard for me to put them down for it.

I guess Im a cup is half full person.

Respectfully. Wilko

AKG
01-10-2008, 01:58 PM
The ACC is "historically bad" this year? Do you have any evidence for this?

Exiled_Devil
01-10-2008, 02:02 PM
I do not think that means what you think it means.

Don't unfurl Reality with your subjective opinion. Be negative of you like, but it helps of you bring data, not interpretations of things seen on the court. And even if you do supped with data, don't argue it is "reality" -then it is just well informed opinion.


why is it the pessimists always call themselves realists?


Exiled

P.S. I tried to balance the Snark with legitimate feedback. But man, people claiming a monopoly in reality irk me.

Troublemaker
01-10-2008, 02:17 PM
I mentioned this before, but one thing to watch for in the coming games is to see if Duke continues to run sequences where they enter the ball into the post to a guard. One of the advantages to having bigs that can face up and shoot like Singler and King is that you can clear out the middle and isolate a guard in the post if he has a size mismatch. It's one way to get post points without needing a good true big man. I think Duke did it about 5 times last night and each time the guard either got fouled or scored.

mcdukie
01-10-2008, 02:36 PM
I think that we are better than last year, how much better remains to be seen. We started off the season on fire and I attribute some of that to our style of play catching some people off guard compared to last years team. Now teams have complete scouting reports on us and are cutting off a few things we might have been getting earlier. We are up and down at this point. We were up on a pretty good Pitt team but struggled against the likes of Cornell and Temple (at times). I 'll save my judgement after I see how K makes his adjustments, and I know he will. The Clemson team I saw play UNC scares me but they seemed very average against UNCC. We will see, but I think UVA will be an interesting gauge.

DukeDevilDeb
01-10-2008, 02:55 PM
Duke actually played well tonight, folks. Some of you need to learn the difference between playing well and shooting well. Duke played well, i.e. executed offense to get lots of shots in the paint, defensively harassed Temple all over the court, forcing 20 turnovers, rebounded solidly, and hustled like madmen, including dives on the floor and blocking shots from behind and the like. The only difference between Maui and tonight is that in Maui, Duke was finishing those paint shots that they were missing tonight. We really attacked Temple offensively, using drives, high-screens, side-screens, and post entries, including to guards posting up (an interesting wrinkle), in order to get lots of shots in the paint. It's not a good thing to not finish shots, of course, but the fact is, they executed well, played very good defense, and hustled their butts off. Let's just hope the shots start to go in again.

Thanks for a great post... I think you're right. People get very upset when our shots aren't falling even when we are playing well.

Thanks.

Johnboy
01-10-2008, 03:39 PM
<snip>
DeMarcus played a great game. But he did slip a few times, and I wonder if something is wrong with his shoes. I don't recall others slipping like that.

It had to be the shoes! I really thought he was in danger of hurting himself after the third or fourth time he fell. I destroyed an ACL when I slipped on a wet field, so I was actually somewhat worried about him when he kept going down.

Charles Wicker
01-10-2008, 04:03 PM
We mention our lack of depth only when players either get hurt, or some unfortuante turn of events happens. It seems when they are healthy and ready to play, they are relegated to little playing time. So I don't quite understand when people say we were out two players??????

Bob Green
01-10-2008, 04:21 PM
We mention our lack of depth only when players either get hurt, or some unfortuante turn of events happens. It seems when they are healthy and ready to play, they are relegated to little playing time. So I don't quite understand when people say we were out two players??????

Lance Thomas averages 18.9 mpg and Brian Zoubek averages 11.7 mpg so we were missing 15.3 &#37; of our normal rotation for the Temple game. This percentage is slightly skewed as we have played one overtime game, but I'm too lazy to account for the extra 25 minutes (2625 total minutes vs, 2600 total minutes).

GMR
01-10-2008, 05:45 PM
Did anyone else wince when Jimmy Dykes, the color man for yesterday's Duke/Temple game, made the comment about Tennessee succeeding Duke as the most aggressive/100% effort all of the time team in the last two years?

I have watched Tennessee on TV a couple of times in the past two years, and I haven't seen/noticed that they are particularly more aggressive than Duke. How do you measure that? He made the statement that Duke has been known for the past ten years or so as the game's most aggressive/diving for loose balls/giving 100% all of the time, but that the Vols have now definitely surpassed Duke. Comments?

GMR

mgtr
01-10-2008, 05:51 PM
It is interesting to me that when all players are healthy, we have complaints that some players don't get PT. When a couple are out, we have complaints of insuffiecient depth.
I have absolutely no credentials to second-guess Coach K. I just sit back and try to enjoy. As several posters have said, a win is a win is a win.

MarkD83
01-10-2008, 06:03 PM
Like other posters I attended the game last night. It was a "ragged" game because of the fouls and the defense. Therefore, it appeared that Duke was playing poorly. However, the margin of victory does not show how many open looks that Duke had and missed as well as several sequences where Duke got to the rim and the ball just would not fall.

Recall that in the 2nd half Duke built a 19 point lead. Then the dreaded drought occurred. What I feel prompted the drought was several fouls calls against Temple that, altough they were legitimate, disrupted the flow of the game. In addition, Duke reacted to these fouls by trying to show how tough they were instead of making better basketball plays.

The two sequences that stand out were
1) a series when Paulus was fouled in the back court and then a few seconds later he was fouled about 30 feet from the basket. On the second foul it looked like Paulus had his man beat and should have driven to the basket to create an advantage. Instead he moved over so that a foul was committed. I can' argue with the play but it seemed that Paulus intentionally did this to show that he could "take a foul" rather than pressing the advantage.

2) the second sequence was when either Nelson or Henderson drove in against Temple's 7 foot center and had their shot blocked. Duke got the rebound and several Temple players left their men on the perimeter. Duke then tried several more shots inside only to have them blocked. These were tough plays that I can't argue against but with each block Temple got more and more into the game. Instead of continuing to challenge inside a quick kick out for a three may have been a better play. However, I can't argue with the effort.

Last year when Duke had droughts they were caused by throwing the ball away or having the shot clock run out because no one was being aggressive.

Constantstrain 81
01-10-2008, 07:02 PM
It was a good game. Not having Z or Lance is an impact - they simply offer certain things (little things, but certain things) on offense and defense. Not having even one of them is a disruption. Adding McClure (who played very well) is a disruption of sorts as well (the team hasn't really played as much with him in games). Finally, it was not a poor game for Duke, but it was a poor game for Henderson. He didn't seem to be the force last night that he has been. I think we really need for him to be a bit of a star in the tough games for us to be dominant (yes, I said dominant). Last night he wasn't.

Still, we won. On the road. And we really were not in danger of not winning.

Bring on those Wahoos!

Saratoga2
01-10-2008, 07:25 PM
Last year when Duke had droughts they were caused by throwing the ball away or having the shot clock run out because no one was being aggressive.

During this drought we had 15 possessions which resulted in 4 missed layups, 4 turnovers, 4 missed jumpers and 3 missed 3 point attempts. Scheyer was the only player not to have a shot or a turnover in that interval, although he had some rebounds.

Ultrarunner
01-10-2008, 08:09 PM
Recall that in the 2nd half Duke built a 19 point lead. Then the dreaded drought occurred. What I feel prompted the drought was several fouls calls against Temple that, altough they were legitimate, disrupted the flow of the game. In addition, Duke reacted to these fouls by trying to show how tough they were instead of making better basketball plays.....

...Last year when Duke had droughts they were caused by throwing the ball away or having the shot clock run out because no one was being aggressive.

Thanks for the info. I was rolling through the posts to see if our scoring drought coincided with being fouled. I don't mind not getting any buckets if we continue to hit 80 percent from the FT line and get there almost every trip down the floor.

On the other hand, if we go scoreless for 8 minutes because we're tossing no look passes to the third row (a la last year), that would be depressing.

yancem
01-10-2008, 09:13 PM
I know that i am slow in posting this but haven't had time to sit down and type my thoughts.

A few posters have claimed that not having Thomas or Zoubek could have made much difference last night because they don't produce much anyway. There are a couple of big flaws with this logic.

1) With those guys out Singler has to shift to the center and McClure, Henderson, Nelson or King have to play the 4 and when Singler was out one of them had to play center, which means Duke had at least 2 players playing significantly larger players at all times. Playing a bigger player is more mentally and physically demanding than someone your own size. This not only makes things difficult from a defensive perspective but can also negatively impact ones offensive game.

2) Having an undersized front court meant that Duke had to send more players to the defensive boards in order to not get dominated in rebounds. More people crashing the boards means few people heading down court on potential fast breaks which slows down the offense.

3) As mentions before Thomas is averaging 18.9 mpg and Zoubek is averaging 11.7 mpg. That's 30.6 minutes that had to made up by the rest of the team. Fatigue or at least concerns about fatigue could have also slowed down the pace or otherwise impacted the offense.

4) Loosing 2 key players at least from a playing time perspective significantly impacts the rotation and who is used to playing with who, etc. This can also lead to confusion or uncertainty.

All in all last nights game certainly was not great game for Duke but all things considered, Duke a) won, b) held on to their lead (for the most part) even with the 8 minute drought, and c) showed resolve and composure when the Temple started to make a run. I have my concerns for the post season prospects for this team but I think there is a lot to build upon and to build with. The potential is there for a good to great season (even from Duke's standards) the questions is can we grow and learn form games like last night and can they get/stay healthy?

camion
01-10-2008, 09:29 PM
Just for fun let's compare three Wednesday games of some interest.

Sagarin rankings and scores
Duke (5) - Temple(101) - 74-64 (away) (down two players)
UNC(1) - UNC-A (121) - 93-81 (home)
Clemson(18) - Charlotte(118) - 72-82 (home)

I guess both UNC and Clemson were suffering from post-overtime depression. Nonetheless, if we're unhappy with the Temple win how should UNC and Clemson feel. Life in the dark blue world is actually pretty good.

mapei
01-10-2008, 09:45 PM
Like other posters I attended the game last night. It was a "ragged" game because of the fouls and the defense. Therefore, it appeared that Duke was playing poorly. However, the margin of victory does not show how many open looks that Duke had and missed as well as several sequences where Duke got to the rim and the ball just would not fall.

Was that meant to be a reassuring statement or a worrisome one?

Ignatius07
01-10-2008, 09:59 PM
Finally, it was not a poor game for Duke, but it was a poor game for Henderson.

I think there is a large degree of validity to this, especially when you consider Yancem's thoughtful points on losing LT and Z in the same game. There was a degree of grumbling on these boards with Henderson's so-called "selfish" and "heads-down" play in the Pitt game. To some extent that might be true, but now against Cornell and Temple he has not looked nearly as aggressive. I'm sure the coaches are working with G to establish a happy medium, or let him be very aggressive within the flow of the offense (a la D-Marc this season).

For Duke to recreate the promise of the first 10 games of the season, Henderson simply has to be consistently aggressive with the ball. And I think Singler does as well. To me it seems like when Singler asserts himself offensively, good things happen 90% of the time - whether it be a made basket, free throws, a pass to an open shooter, or at least a good look at the basket. Especially now that he is shifting to the 5 more (but really he can do this against most 4s as well), why do we not seem him try to take people off the dribble more when he's on the perimeter? Or even try a nice fadeaway in the post? Singler, Henderson and D-Marc are the guys that need to be there offensively for us. I think D-Marc has really and finally lived up to his considerable pre-Duke hype, and also typified the Duke senior experience. Now he needs to goad Hendo and Singler into fulfilling their promise.

dukie8
01-10-2008, 10:11 PM
The ACC is "historically bad" this year? Do you have any evidence for this?

how much time do you spend following acc basketball? this year is bad, really bad, so i don't know how you can even question that assertion. did you miss xavier dropping 61 points on uva at HALFTIME? bc losing by 25 to kansas at home? fsu losing at home to cleveland st? nc st losing to both new orleans and e carolina? or maryland losing to american and ohio? these were supposed to be ncaat or at least bubble teams. i have to figure that someone will wake up over the next 2 months but, at this rate, the acc very well could be a 3-bid league come march.

i ask you, assuming the acc teams continue at their less than stellar clip, which years were worse?

MarkD83
01-10-2008, 10:15 PM
maipei,

My comments were meant to be positive. In the drought someone mentioned we missed ~12 shots. Some of them were open looks and others right at the rim. Even if we make 1 layup and 1 3 pointer, Temple's 11 point run is only 11-5 and Temple only gets as close as 13 and Duke wins by 15.

Jumbo
01-10-2008, 10:20 PM
I'm going to take a page from Jumbo and Ozzie's book and see this as a 'glass-half-full' game.

I'd like to think that I'm neither "half-full" nor "half-empty" -- simply analytical with a sense of perspective. If I'm not giving off that impression, I'm disappointed in myself.

That said, I tried to read this entire thread, and I can't. In fact, I had to take a Pepto. Everyone here knows there's nothing that gets to me more than people who know very little about basketball pretending to know a lot about the game. So we've got posters referring to themselves as "students of basketball" and then deciding that Duke's guards can't penetrate (Nelson, Henderson, Scheyer and Smith have all done so throughout this year). We've got people struggling to write complete sentences, yet comfortable enough to tell us that this team has struggled all season (was Maui not this season) and that Duke's in for a long year. We've got all this back-and-forth crap about "being realistic" vs. "rose-colored glasses" and it's just sickening.

Look, here's what I think is happening. Last year shook up a lot of Duke fans. Young Duke fans didn't know what it was like to go through a tough season. Older Duke fans had flashbacks to down years. This season started and it was such a beautiful contrast to last year that expectations rose tremendously. If you can't remember how well Duke played in Maui, how Duke dominated Wisconsin, how Duke executed down the stretch in tight games, you aren't trying.

Then Duke played a terrible half against Pitt. Losses are always tough. We had 17 days to sit on that one. People jumped to huge conclusions and were all secretly hoping that Pitt had been an anomoly and that we'd blow the doors off Cornell and Temple after the break.

That didn't happen. Duke was rusty against Cornell. Duke was short-handed and a bit ragged against Temple. And now everyone remembers last year again. Everyone is clinging to any similarity they see. Yes, Duke's offense has been less fluid of late and, at times, almost as challenged as last year's. Yes, Duke lacks a vintage star of the past (although this has nothing to do with "heart" or "determination" or any other word anyone wants to throw around with no meaning). It's simply a case of inexperience with Singler, skill development with Henderson and physical strength/role with Scheyer.

But this isn't last year. For one, the team is finishing games MUCH better. Just look at the Marquette game for a contrast. The Pitt game is obviously the only loss, and even in that one, Duke executed fairly well in a couple of tight situations. Think about Henderson's kickout to Singler for the game-tying three in regulation, his baseline jumper on the following possession and Nelson's reverse layup in overtime. Last year's team wouldn't have been able to pull off any of those plays.

Yes, there are some issues to fix. The team isn't running as much as it would like, in part because all five guys need to crash the defensive glass. Singler and Scheyer aren't being utilized in optimal roles. The offense gets stagnant at times. Singler is the only post-scoring threat. But every team has issues, and this team is much, much stronger than last year.

Has Duke repeatedly allowed point guards to waltz into the lane this year? No. Has Duke developed way more scoring options than last year? Yes. Does Singler roughly 10 times more efficient than McRoberts, particular as a finisher? Absolutely.

The Temple game wasn't pretty. It wasn't bad. It wasn't great. It was a step up from Cornell. If we see continued improvement against Virginia, we'll be fine. This is a good team that has to play through certain flaws. The good news is tha the guys have already shown they can win in a variety of ways. Try to enjoy the ride.

devildeac
01-10-2008, 10:31 PM
Thanks for the info. I was rolling through the posts to see if our scoring drought coincided with being fouled. I don't mind not getting any buckets if we continue to hit 80 percent from the FT line and get there almost every trip down the floor.

On the other hand, if we go scoreless for 8 minutes because we're tossing no look passes to the third row (a la last year), that would be depressing.

Did you really mean 'a la last year' or 'a la last game(Cornell)?'(or both);)

MChambers
01-11-2008, 12:58 PM
I'd like to think that I'm neither "half-full" nor "half-empty" -- simply analytical with a sense of perspective. If I'm not giving off that impression, I'm disappointed in myself.

That said, I tried to read this entire thread, and I can't. In fact, I had to take a Pepto. Everyone here knows there's nothing that gets to me more than people who know very little about basketball pretending to know a lot about the game. So we've got posters referring to themselves as "students of basketball" and then deciding that Duke's guards can't penetrate (Nelson, Henderson, Scheyer and Smith have all done so throughout this year). We've got people struggling to write complete sentences, yet comfortable enough to tell us that this team has struggled all season (was Maui not this season) and that Duke's in for a long year. We've got all this back-and-forth crap about "being realistic" vs. "rose-colored glasses" and it's just sickening.

Look, here's what I think is happening. Last year shook up a lot of Duke fans. Young Duke fans didn't know what it was like to go through a tough season. Older Duke fans had flashbacks to down years. This season started and it was such a beautiful contrast to last year that expectations rose tremendously. If you can't remember how well Duke played in Maui, how Duke dominated Wisconsin, how Duke executed down the stretch in tight games, you aren't trying.

Then Duke played a terrible half against Pitt. Losses are always tough. We had 17 days to sit on that one. People jumped to huge conclusions and were all secretly hoping that Pitt had been an anomoly and that we'd blow the doors off Cornell and Temple after the break.

That didn't happen. Duke was rusty against Cornell. Duke was short-handed and a bit ragged against Temple. And now everyone remembers last year again. Everyone is clinging to any similarity they see. Yes, Duke's offense has been less fluid of late and, at times, almost as challenged as last year's. Yes, Duke lacks a vintage star of the past (although this has nothing to do with "heart" or "determination" or any other word anyone wants to throw around with no meaning). It's simply a case of inexperience with Singler, skill development with Henderson and physical strength/role with Scheyer.

But this isn't last year. For one, the team is finishing games MUCH better. Just look at the Marquette game for a contrast. The Pitt game is obviously the only loss, and even in that one, Duke executed fairly well in a couple of tight situations. Think about Henderson's kickout to Singler for the game-tying three in regulation, his baseline jumper on the following possession and Nelson's reverse layup in overtime. Last year's team wouldn't have been able to pull off any of those plays.

Yes, there are some issues to fix. The team isn't running as much as it would like, in part because all five guys need to crash the defensive glass. Singler and Scheyer aren't being utilized in optimal roles. The offense gets stagnant at times. Singler is the only post-scoring threat. But every team has issues, and this team is much, much stronger than last year.

Has Duke repeatedly allowed point guards to waltz into the lane this year? No. Has Duke developed way more scoring options than last year? Yes. Does Singler roughly 10 times more efficient than McRoberts, particular as a finisher? Absolutely.

The Temple game wasn't pretty. It wasn't bad. It wasn't great. It was a step up from Cornell. If we see continued improvement against Virginia, we'll be fine. This is a good team that has to play through certain flaws. The good news is tha the guys have already shown they can win in a variety of ways. Try to enjoy the ride.

As my father said to me last night, but for two last second three-pointers, Duke would be undefeated and UNC would have a loss. What would we be saying then.

Let's keep things in perspective, folks.

Clipsfan
01-11-2008, 01:11 PM
As my father said to me last night, but for two last second three-pointers, Duke would be undefeated and UNC would have a loss. What would we be saying then.

Let's keep things in perspective, folks.

A very true statement, and I really don't think that an early season 3 should derail our opinion of this team as much as it has. If we hadn't lost to Pitt, I agree with Jumbo that we wouldn't be AS unhappy with the rusty/ragged performance of the team over the last two games. However, I don't think that the team has given us any reason to doubt their desire to win. Sure, our shooting has been worse the last 3 games than it was the first 10, but hopefully the first 10 games were the true indicator of how well this team can shoot when open. Even if not, they're still a lot of fun to watch. I prefer to see Duke play well, but I also enjoy not knowing for certain that we're going to win the game and as a result enjoyed the Temple game more than I would have if we had kept up the scoring instead of the drought and blown Temple out. As has been mentioned in this thread, there are a lot of young men on the team who are easy to root for because they're men of good character. There are several reasons I like this year's version even better than last year's version, but one I haven't heard mentioned as often: I, for one, am very happy that there are no longer shots of any of our players pouting on the sidelines. It's a good group from start to finish and I plan to enjoy watching them continue to develop (and hopefully stay healthy).

Classof06
01-11-2008, 01:38 PM
I think there is a large degree of validity to this, especially when you consider Yancem's thoughtful points on losing LT and Z in the same game. There was a degree of grumbling on these boards with Henderson's so-called "selfish" and "heads-down" play in the Pitt game. To some extent that might be true, but now against Cornell and Temple he has not looked nearly as aggressive. I'm sure the coaches are working with G to establish a happy medium, or let him be very aggressive within the flow of the offense (a la D-Marc this season).

For Duke to recreate the promise of the first 10 games of the season, Henderson simply has to be consistently aggressive with the ball. And I think Singler does as well. To me it seems like when Singler asserts himself offensively, good things happen 90% of the time - whether it be a made basket, free throws, a pass to an open shooter, or at least a good look at the basket. Especially now that he is shifting to the 5 more (but really he can do this against most 4s as well), why do we not seem him try to take people off the dribble more when he's on the perimeter? Or even try a nice fadeaway in the post? Singler, Henderson and D-Marc are the guys that need to be there offensively for us. I think D-Marc has really and finally lived up to his considerable pre-Duke hype, and also typified the Duke senior experience. Now he needs to goad Hendo and Singler into fulfilling their promise.

I agree that Gerald needs to be aggressive for this team to be at its best, without a doubt. Were there really people that said Gerald played a "selfish" game against Pitt? Wow, I'd have to strongly disagree with that. This team needs Gerald to be a consistent scorer and we needed it more than ever against Pitt, especially in the 2nd half. And wasn't he the one that found Singler for the open 3 to take it into OT? That's not selfish basketball to me.

I think Gerald had played great this year and while the Temple game wasn't the norm for him, I think you can say that about almost anyone on our team since we've come back from that 17-day layoff. Singler still needs to learn to avoid cheap fouls because we really do need him on the court; I'd also like to see Kyle be a little more aggressive as well. He seems to defer a bit too much. I think that would take a lot of the scoring pressure of Gerald and Demarcus.