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View Full Version : Duke has become “Guard U”



astoria26
03-06-2008, 01:27 PM
If Arizona prides itself on being “Point Guard U”, then Duke has made itself simply “Guard U”. Watching last night’s Virginia game, and how our guards got 3 after open 3 after rebound after incredible put-back (Scheyer!) – basically whatever it wanted – while milking the clock to boot! It was just breathless to watch. I know all year tons of pundits have bemoaned Duke’s lack of size, and that’s why we can’t get to the Final Four. And then to see this team consistently overcome that, and turn that around, so that it becomes our weapon – is just incredible.

Duke this year has truly become the place where guards rule. If you add Singler, that’s 6 that can handle the ball, 6 that can drive and/or kick, 6 that are waiting to hit 3s. It doesn’t matter if you’re a point-guard or a 2-guard or a 3-guard/SF. There are no set positions at Duke, and now you can see the brilliance of Coach K’s strategy. Combined with motion offense, it gives guards the freedom to do a whole slew of things, and that can be seen in the stats, where G and Scheyer and Nelson stuff them at will with assists, rebounds, blocks, and steals.

This also means you can’t shut down one person and then hope that it’ll cripple our system. It won’t. Two of the most heartbreaking NCAA defeats we’d seen in the last 2 years, I truly hope we never see again, at least not with this group.

2006, LSU, they shut down JJ Redick and dared everyone else to beat them. We couldn’t.
2007, VCU, they hounded Greg Paulus for 40 minutes of hell and dared everyone else to handle the ball against their suffocating traps. We couldn’t.

2008? However it will go down . . I can guarantee you that it won’t be due to our lack of scoring balance . . or fatigue from one man handling all the pressure. Our backcourt is as strong, as deep, and as versatile as any in the nation. And thanks to the strength of the ACC, extremely battle-tested.

We’ve proven we can come back from being 13 down. We’ve proven we can hit late 3s when the game’s on the line. We’ve proven we can nearly come back from being 20 down – and have Nelson hit a 30 footer! – almost single-handedly jumpstarted and kept alive by one man’s will, Scheyer. Most of all, we’ve proven that we know how to hold onto a lead with 5 minutes left on the game clock, and, no matter what the opposition tries, we can shut down their will and their hope. This is a cold-blooded, well-conditioned, well-coached machine. No wonder ESPN Mag rated our backcourt #4 in the nation – though I’ll love to have a showdown vs Memphis, which they’ve rated #1.

Kenny Boynton and Leslie McDonald, no matter how many upperclassmen are ahead of you your first year, should be salivating at the chance to join such a backcourt, and learn from the pros. I believe Nelson will make it as a 2nd rounder in the NBA draft this summer. I believe G and Nolan are destined for the first round, and that Scheyer might make it too if he keeps working and improving and getting stronger. I believe Greg will make a terrific college coach someday – even take over the reins at Duke. Great win yesterday, and let’s pour it on against Carolina!

sagegrouse
03-06-2008, 01:36 PM
sagegrouse

weezie
03-06-2008, 09:47 PM
I believe Greg will make a terrific college coach someday – even take over the reins at Duke.

I believe you are spot on. Bravo.

Ignatius07
03-07-2008, 08:32 AM
Most of all, we’ve proven that we know how to hold onto a lead with 5 minutes left on the game clock, and, no matter what the opposition tries, we can shut down their will and their hope.

I was thinking about this yesterday, and how vastly Duke has improved in this aspect over last year. In fact, this was one of our biggest Achilles' heels last year. Now it is possibly our biggest strength. If there is 10 minutes left and we are up by at least 8, I am confident we can sustain the lead - Duke might be more adept at this than any team out there. Now, the problem will be getting that lead in the first place if our 3 point shooting is cold and we can't get offensive rebounds, or if our defense doesn't pick up...

By the way, what were the other top backcourts in the ESPN story?