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The1Bluedevil
01-14-2008, 02:24 PM
Don't know how many people heard Brando last night say he thought Duke was at the head of the 2nd tier teams. Personally I don't think they match up well with a big team such as G-Town and A@M. Tennessee is very similar to Duke but more athletic. I think we match up well with Wash State and Mich State.

Any thoughts?

SMO
01-14-2008, 03:39 PM
Don't know how many people heard Brando last night say he thought Duke was at the head of the 2nd tier teams. Personally I don't think they match up well with a big team such as G-Town and A@M. Tennessee is very similar to Duke but more athletic. I think we match up well with Wash State and Mich State.

Any thoughts?

It really depends what he means by 2nd tier. When I hear 2nd tier I think good teams outside the top 25. I would say we're appropriately ranked right now in the 6-9 range in most polls.

Classof06
01-14-2008, 03:56 PM
Don't know how many people heard Brando last night say he thought Duke was at the head of the 2nd tier teams. Personally I don't think they match up well with a big team such as G-Town and A@M. Tennessee is very similar to Duke but more athletic. I think we match up well with Wash State and Mich State.

Any thoughts?

I think the Spartans would give Duke trouble. Between Raymar Morgan, Goran Suton, Marquis Gray and Naymick, they have four frontcourt players that can do damage as 3 of the 4 are bigger than anyone on our team except Zoubek. And their guards ain't too shabby either. We can certainly beat them, but like Duke with almost any team in America, we'd have to shoot the ball well to win. That's what we're up against this year.

I don't know what people mean by "2nd tier team", and I think if you asked 5 people what they meant by that term, you'd get 5 different answers. I think we're a 2 or 3 seed-caliber team and I think we're on the list of about 8-10 teams that are capable of winning the national title. Obviously some teams on that list have better chances than others and right now I'd put Duke toward the bottom of that list. But they're definitely one of the better 10 teams in America.

Olympic Fan
01-14-2008, 03:57 PM
Don't know how many people heard Brando last night say he thought Duke was at the head of the 2nd tier teams. Personally I don't think they match up well with a big team such as G-Town and A@M. Tennessee is very similar to Duke but more athletic. I think we match up well with Wash State and Mich State.

Any thoughts?

Funny that you think Duke doesn't match up to Georgetown. A much inferior Duke team beat a superior Georgetown team a year ago (even if it was in Cameron). I've seen Georgetown three times this year and I think Duke -- trading McRoberts for Singler, King, Smith, a healthy Paulus and a much-improved Henderson -- has made much more progress in the last year than a Georgetown team that has traded Jeff Green for Austin Freeman and Chris Wright.

Yeah, they're big up front -- but they are also vulnerable to pressure.

Right now, the number ones are pretty set (barring injuries or some kind of major disaster) -- UNC, Kansas, Memphis and UCLA. Obviously, there's a long time to go, but I can't remember a time when four teams seemed such clearcut favorites.

Duke is very much in competition for a No. 2 seed ... along with Georgetown and Washington State. I would have added Michigan State to that list, but I'm a little shaken by their horrible performance at Iowa.

Right now, I think Indiana might be the fourth No. 2 seed ... but the No. 2s seem much more in flux to me than the No. 1 seeds.

yancem
01-14-2008, 04:01 PM
It really depends what he means by 2nd tier. When I hear 2nd tier I think good teams outside the top 25. I would say we're appropriately ranked right now in the 6-9 range in most polls.

When the announcer was making his statement about Duke leading the second tier, he was talking about the group just behind the front runners (UNC, Memphis, Kansas and UCLA). Not how I would characterize 2nd tier but if you go by that definition I think that Duke fits in that tier. Just not sure if they lead it or simply are in it.

JasonEvans
01-14-2008, 04:02 PM
Texas A&M?? Wake me when they play a game on the road.

Oh wait-- they did play one road game... and they lost.

Sagarin rates their schedule #304 in the land. They are nothing special.

--Jason "Tenn and Wash State are for real though-- those 2 along with Duke and Georgetown are the #2 seeds right now" Evans

Wander
01-14-2008, 04:05 PM
Off the top of my head, I see the 2nd tier in no particular order as:

Butler, Duke, Michigan State, Dayton, Georgetown, Xavier, Indiana, Washington State, Marquette

I don't know where we lie in that group, but I feel pretty comfortable saying that we are in the 2nd tier, not the 1st or 3rd, i.e. a Sweet 16 level team capable of being a Final Four threat.

The1Bluedevil
01-14-2008, 04:11 PM
Really tough to judge where Duke ranks right now. A road victory @ FSU and a home win vs Clemson would change my thinking drastically.

jimsumner
01-14-2008, 04:15 PM
All those skilled bigs and talented wings really helped Michigan State against Iowa.

Highlander
01-14-2008, 04:16 PM
--Jason "Tenn and Wash State are for real though-- those 2 along with Duke and Georgetown are the #2 seeds right now" Evans

Interesting. I hadn't given Wash State a whole lot of thought. When last I looked at them, they were one of the "how is this team ranked ahead of us" clubs I saw. Granted that was in December. Since then they've played two ranked teams and gone 1-1. Their SOS is the worst in the Sagarin top 10 (although they are in the Sagarin top 10). They look a little offensively challenged, rarely getting out of the 70s in points. That's not a recipe for success when conf play starts and scoring averages drop.

Admittedly, I have never seen them play and know nothing about them other than stats. That being said, what I see doesn't scare me. Should it?

Classof06
01-14-2008, 04:16 PM
Really tough to judge where Duke ranks right now. A road victory @ FSU and a home win vs Clemson would change my thinking drastically.

Co-sign this. We win these next two (which will be harder than you think), that will alter the way I feel about our team. With that 17-day break, this is almost like a new season for Duke. And last night was their only impressive showing of the new season.

FWIW, on an ESPN chat today, Joe Lunardi said that while he personally isn't sure we're good enough to do it, that Duke is still very capable of capturing a #1 seed.

My guess is that we'd have to beat Carolina at least once, finish 1 (maybe 2) in the ACC regular season and then take the ACC tourney. Certainly not impossible for this year's Duke squad but obviously not easy. Time will tell...

Ben63
01-14-2008, 04:51 PM
Funny that you think Duke doesn't match up to Georgetown. A much inferior Duke team beat a superior Georgetown team a year ago (even if it was in Cameron). I've seen Georgetown three times this year and I think Duke -- trading McRoberts for Singler, King, Smith, a healthy Paulus and a much-improved Henderson -- has made much more progress in the last year than a Georgetown team that has traded Jeff Green for Austin Freeman and Chris Wright.

Yeah, they're big up front -- but they are also vulnerable to pressure.



Remember what DaJaun Blair did to us. Hibbert is a better player and he is a senior. He would out rebound our whole team by himself.

The1Bluedevil
01-14-2008, 05:03 PM
Texas A&M?? Wake me when they play a game on the road.

Oh wait-- they did play one road game... and they lost.

Sagarin rates their schedule #304 in the land. They are nothing special.

--Jason "Tenn and Wash State are for real though-- those 2 along with Duke and Georgetown are the #2 seeds right now" Evans



Who has Duke beat on the road?

throatybeard
01-14-2008, 05:08 PM
Who has Duke beat on the road?

Silly wabbit--Duke doesn't play road games.

Olympic Fan
01-14-2008, 05:37 PM
Remember what DaJaun Blair did to us. Hibbert is a better player and he is a senior. He would out rebound our whole team by himself.

Last year as a junior, Hibbert managed 11 points and six rebounds against Duke in 33 minutes. The year before, when Georgetown beat Duke in the MCI Center, Thompson benched Hibbert and he barely played.

Pardon me if the prospect of playing Hibbert doesn't fill me with dread. He's a nice big man, but I'd be more worried by Summers and Ewing. They are much more mobile (Summers is a lot closer to Blair than Hibbert is). And I'll take Duke's guards/wings over Wallace, Sapp, Freeman and company.

Look, I'm not dissing the Hoyas. They are a very good team. Maybe even a better team than Duke. But to suggest that Duke couldn't match up with them or even beat them ... jeez, sometimes I think I'm on the Carolina board.

CDu
01-14-2008, 08:38 PM
I agree with whomever said we are a #2 or #3 seed, and I pretty much agree with whomever said we are a Sweet 16 team with a chance at the Final Four. I think we're one of the best 8-10 teams around. I think we're definitely not one of the top 4 teams though. I'd say UNC, Kansas, Memphis, and UCLA are the cream of the crop this year. They're beatable, but in a best-of-nine series, I'd take any of those four over any team not in that top four.

I think we'll end up a #2 seed, and I think we'll be an Elite-8/Sweet-16 level team. If we struggle in the second round, we could realistically lose in that round. Conversely, if we play/shoot really well in the second weekend, we could be a Final Four team. I think it would take a significant amount of good fortune for us to win the title this year. We can get away without size against lesser teams, but at the elite-8 level and beyond we'd be likely to face teams who are strong both in the frontcourt and backcourt. I think it will be very difficult for us to win 3 straight games against teams like that, and that's what separates the "first tier" (teams 1-4) from the "second tier" (teams 5-12ish).

The1Bluedevil
01-14-2008, 09:03 PM
Last year as a junior, Hibbert managed 11 points and six rebounds against Duke in 33 minutes. The year before, when Georgetown beat Duke in the MCI Center, Thompson benched Hibbert and he barely played.

Pardon me if the prospect of playing Hibbert doesn't fill me with dread. He's a nice big man, but I'd be more worried by Summers and Ewing. They are much more mobile (Summers is a lot closer to Blair than Hibbert is). And I'll take Duke's guards/wings over Wallace, Sapp, Freeman and company.

Look, I'm not dissing the Hoyas. They are a very good team. Maybe even a better team than Duke. But to suggest that Duke couldn't match up with them or even beat them ... jeez, sometimes I think I'm on the Carolina board.

Over half of Summers shots are 3's so saying he is closer to Blair then Hibbert is a head scratcher. Have a hard time believing Duke would force G-Town to play at Duke's pace. Duke can beat G-town but looking at all the teams other then the big 4 they are a team I wouldn't be thrilled Duke playing.

phaedrus
01-14-2008, 09:04 PM
I think we have a slightly better shot at a good tournament run than the 2003 team (which lost to KU in the Sweet 16) and a slightly worse shot than the 2005 team (which lost to MSU in the Sweet 16 but was a #1 seed).

DevilCastDownfromDurham
01-14-2008, 10:06 PM
That sounds about right. Single senior leader (DJ, Dan) with a young team that has some holes and some great potential. Older than '03, younger than'05. Deeper than both. We still rely on the 3-ball, but this time we have an amazing number of guys who can get hot on a given night (Greg, Jon, and King are elite shooters, Demarcus, Sing, and arguably Hendo are good on a given night). To me this team feels more like the late-1980s squads (deep, versatile, hungry) than more recent vintage (overpowering, built to play one way, confident) which may be good news for our post-season success.

Ignatius07
01-14-2008, 10:31 PM
At the risk of sounding like I am really just a DevilCastDown alternate user ID, I think you are right again, though I think we could develop to have better chances than both 03 and 05. I think we forecast to have a much better shot than 03, especially because we have a solid shot at getting a 2 seed, and we probably won't run into the national runner-up.

The key to this year is developing multiple options. I think it's fair to at least compare (take it easy guys) freshman King to freshman Redick in terms of the potential threats they posed to defenses. As for other top scoring threats: in 03 we had Jones, Ewing, Duhon in a rather disappointing year, and freshman Shelden. Now we've got a much improved Henderson (who shows signs of breaking out), a much improved (or maybe just healthy) DeMarcus, an elite shooting threat in Paulus, Scheyer and Singler. I didn't touch on Smith, who looks like he will be a very good offensive player one day (hopefully soon). I am pretty excited about our chances in the tournament - not to win, but maybe for a Final Four.

The1Bluedevil
01-15-2008, 12:08 AM
This team reminds me more of the 96-97 team. That team played 8 guys on a regular basis, shot the ball well from 3 and played relatively small. McLeod and Singler are both undersized 4ís that caused match up problems and Wojo and Paulus are asked to do the same things. This team is more athletic on the wings but Langdon and Capel were both very good players. That team was consistently around the top ten all year but drew a Providence team that had quality sized and punished Duke in the paint. Say what you will about Greg Newtonís career but that season he did average 10 and 6 in the middle. If Duke had that nightly they would be a legit title contender. 96-97 team hovered around the top 10 all season (which this team will do as well) but had a bad match up early in the tourney. Letís hope thatís not the case this year.

NYC Duke Fan
01-15-2008, 03:22 AM
I agree with whomever said we are a #2 or #3 seed, and I pretty much agree with whomever said we are a Sweet 16 team with a chance at the Final Four. I think we're one of the best 8-10 teams around. I think we're definitely not one of the top 4 teams though. I'd say UNC, Kansas, Memphis, and UCLA are the cream of the crop this year. They're beatable, but in a best-of-nine series, I'd take any of those four over any team not in that top four.

I think we'll end up a #2 seed, and I think we'll be an Elite-8/Sweet-16 level team. If we struggle in the second round, we could realistically lose in that round. Conversely, if we play/shoot really well in the second weekend, we could be a Final Four team. I think it would take a significant amount of good fortune for us to win the title this year. We can get away without size against lesser teams, but at the elite-8 level and beyond we'd be likely to face teams who are strong both in the frontcourt and backcourt. I think it will be very difficult for us to win 3 straight games against teams like that, and that's what separates the "first tier" (teams 1-4) from the "second tier" (teams 5-12ish).

I remember similar posts last year around the same time and look what happened in the tournament....This year's team is capable of losing in the first round,( could happen) going to a Sweet 16,( could happen), Elite 8 ( could happen), A Final 4 (probably not), Winning the Tournament ( very unlikely).

CDu
01-15-2008, 06:52 AM
I remember similar posts last year around the same time and look what happened in the tournament....This year's team is capable of losing in the first round,( could happen) going to a Sweet 16,( could happen), Elite 8 ( could happen), A Final 4 (probably not), Winning the Tournament ( very unlikely).

Well, you shouldn't remember similar posts from me around this time last year, because I was pretty concerned about our team last year. But discussions of last year's prognostications aside, this year is a different team than last year's team.

The big difference between this year and last year is that this year's team isn't likely to struggle as mightily in the ACC as last year's team did, because the ACC isn't nearly as deep or as strong as it was last year. We're likely to be the #2 or #3 team in the conference. Therefore, we aren't likely to be a #6 seed. Therefore, we aren't likely to match up against a very tough #11 seed like last year.

If we're a #6 seed come tournament time, I'll agree: we have an outside shot at losing in the first round. But I honestly believe we'll be a #2 or #3 seed. That takes a lot of the edge off of our first round matchup. I certainly agree that we could lose in the second round, but if we're a #2 or #3 as we should be, I'd be shocked if we lost in the first round this year.

dukeENG2003
01-15-2008, 07:56 AM
To the poster who said "look what Blair did to us", remember, we almost won that game. It wasn't Blair that beat us. He fouled out 3 seperate times (and twice the foul was mysteriously shifted to another player to keep him in the game). He DID have a great game, but that wasn't our undoing. It was free throw shooting. If we shot 60% from the line, we won that game. Pitt (ESPECIALLY the team that we faced, before they lost two players to season ending injuries) is a superior team to Georgetown, as the game last night showed.

I'm frankly not all that impressed with Hibbert, he's easy to take out of the ball game with good ball pressure, he doesn't really assert himself like he should. He has nice moves when he gets the ball, but rarely demands it like he should.

Olympic Fan
01-15-2008, 10:25 AM
Over half of Summers shots are 3's so saying he is closer to Blair then Hibbert is a head scratcher. Have a hard time believing Duke would force G-Town to play at Duke's pace. Duke can beat G-town but looking at all the teams other then the big 4 they are a team I wouldn't be thrilled Duke playing.

Sorry your head itches ;-)

Slight exaggeration to suggest that "over half" of Summers shots are 3s -- he's attempted 262 shots and 127 are 3s.

But the point of the comment was a response to the suggestion that because Blair killed us on the boards, Hibbert would outrebound us all by himself.

Physically, Summers IS much more like Blair (a 6-7, 250-pound wide body) than Hibbert ... Summers is listed at 6-8, 240 and has the same explosive athleticism around the basket. He's only averaging 5.5 rebounds a game ... but then again, the fearsome Hibbert is only averaging 6.9 a game -- just a fraction more than DeMarcus Nelson.

My point was -- and remains -- that an active, mobile big man such as Summers (and Blair) is the type of player that gives Duke trouble on the boards ... not a tall, immobile stiff such as Hibbert.

Of course, the main point of the debate is the contention that Duke can't match up to a team such as Georgetown. That's silly -- Georgetown would certainly be a tough game and could very well beat Duke, but a matchup would hardly be a forgone conclusion.

Does it say anything that a Pitt team Duke should have beaten (losing on a last second shot in OT) fairly easily handled the Hoyas Monday night -- even without the PG who hit the game-winner against Duke?

Does it say anything that the coaches voted 13-1 Duke ahead of 13-1 Georgetown (their record before losing to Pitt) in the Coaches Poll?

Frankly, I'm not sure which is the better team -- but I think its silly to suggest they are not comparable teams at this point.

Wander
01-15-2008, 10:36 AM
He's only averaging 5.5 rebounds a game ... but then again, the fearsome Hibbert is only averaging 6.9 a game -- just a fraction more than DeMarcus Nelson.

That's a little misleading - Georgetown plays at one of the slowest tempos in the country, and Duke one of the fastest.

Actually though, Hibbert and Nelson get defensive rebounds pretty much at the same rate. Hibbert gets offensive rebounds MUCH more than Nelson though, and that's the difference.

Anyway, I'm just arguing for the sake of it - you're right, there's no reason to believe Georgetown is so far ahead of us right now. I think we're pretty comparable at this point.

Highlander
01-15-2008, 11:50 AM
This team reminds me more of the 96-97 team. That team played 8 guys on a regular basis, shot the ball well from 3 and played relatively small. McLeod and Singler are both undersized 4ís that caused match up problems and Wojo and Paulus are asked to do the same things. This team is more athletic on the wings but Langdon and Capel were both very good players. That team was consistently around the top ten all year but drew a Providence team that had quality sized and punished Duke in the paint. Say what you will about Greg Newtonís career but that season he did average 10 and 6 in the middle. If Duke had that nightly they would be a legit title contender. 96-97 team hovered around the top 10 all season (which this team will do as well) but had a bad match up early in the tourney. Letís hope thatís not the case this year.

I was at Duke this season. The '96-97 team overachieved IMO, winning a lot of very close games, and just ran out of gas at the end of the year. K made the decision to bench Greg before the UNC game midseason. From that point on, Duke went 8-1 through the second half of the ACC regular season. I doubt seriously Greg averaged 10/6 over the second half of the year. I agree the Providence matchup was a bad one, but Newton wouldn't have helped.

All this is detailed in Feinstein's "A March to Madness," which is a good read. At one point, K literally emotionally destroyed Newton in practice one day, and it was probably deserved.

To your point, I'm all for having a post guy who gives us 10/6 nightly, but just wanted to clarify that when it mattered most that year, Newton wasn't giving Duke that.

Dar95
01-15-2008, 12:53 PM
Ken Pomeroy takes a look (http://www.basketballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=92) at who might be the #4 team in the country - you may be surprised at the two teams who are fighting it out (in both respects)!

dw0827
01-15-2008, 01:37 PM
Ken Pomeroy takes a look (http://www.basketballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=92) at who might be the #4 team in the country - you may be surprised at the two teams who are fighting it out (in both respects)!

But he also says " . . . they're playing a style that is completely new to the program."

One wonders what he means by that. It is certainly different from last year's style but I think we've more or less agreed that last year was somewhat abberant . . .

The style being played this year isn't all that different from what I've been watching for two decades . . .

Karl Beem
01-15-2008, 01:39 PM
But he also says " . . . they're playing a style that is completely new to the program."

One wonders what he means by that. It is certainly different from last year's style but I think we've more or less agreed that last year what abberant . . .

The style being played this year isn't all that different from what I've been watching for two decades . . .

Indeed.

The1Bluedevil
01-15-2008, 01:44 PM
If Duke beats Clemson and UNC, then in my mind I would careless who Duke draws in the tourny.

Dukefan4Life
01-15-2008, 04:12 PM
I think right now we are a very good but not great team. I know its a long way off but come march, a big physcial team is going to give us alot of trouble. we dont have that defender down low and nobody really to score inside consistently