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



JBDuke
03-15-2008, 05:09 PM
Post your post-game thoughts here.

freedevil
03-15-2008, 05:10 PM
All I ask is that Clemson hit its free throws tomorrow against UNC. I won't mind if they lose, but if they lose because of their performance at the line, I might pass a kidney stone.

grossbus
03-15-2008, 05:11 PM
my thought is that if we can't shoot, we aren't going very far.

YmoBeThere
03-15-2008, 05:11 PM
Well, that was a bit disappointing...but not entirely shocking. We fought back well in the second half but didn't get enough down the stretch. We seemed reluctant to go inside...

YmoBeThere
03-15-2008, 05:11 PM
my thought is that if we can't shoot, we aren't going very far.
Are you saying we live and die by the three?

soccerstud2210
03-15-2008, 05:12 PM
in 4 out of our 5 losses we shot under 35% from three point land... wanna beat duke? don't let us make threes... its as simple as that...

_Gary
03-15-2008, 05:13 PM
It's all about the 3's. And when they aren't falling, we aren't winning. Just that simple at this point. Of course, it didn't help that Clemson seemed to be very hot from beyond the arc themselves.

If Gerald is hurt in any significant way, we are toast in the tourney. Probably no better than a Sweet 16 game. No way do we get to the Elite Eight. Heck, even if he's not hurt we are playing poorly down the stretch and might not get to the Elite Eight.

I see us as falling to a 3 seed now. No doubt we are reeling at this juncture. Anything is possible, but it would be a real shock to see this team reach the Final Four. A month ago I would have told you we were definitely FF material.

KandG
03-15-2008, 05:13 PM
If we only get one (or half) a good half of play next weekend from Kyle Singler, like we did this weekend...it's fair to say we'll see the last of this team next week.

Can't say enough about what Kyle's done to help us overachieve this year, but even K seemed exasperated with his play the last two games. Just sorry we wasted incredible efforts from Zoub and McClure off the bench.

91devil
03-15-2008, 05:15 PM
Wow, Kyle Singler looks REALLY tired.

deuce_rawlin
03-15-2008, 05:15 PM
Wow that was terrible. Again, Singler totally disappeared and was a non-factor.

Trinity84
03-15-2008, 05:15 PM
We will be a 3 - seed.

grossbus
03-15-2008, 05:15 PM
"Are you saying we live and die by the three?"

6-25?

seems like we missed a few inside, too.

phaedrus
03-15-2008, 05:16 PM
in 4 out of our 5 losses we shot under 35% from three point land... wanna beat duke? don't let us make threes... its as simple as that...

clemson didn't guard the three that well. we just missed wide open shots.

if we'd made a third of our threes, we'd have won that game going away.

Edit: maybe "going away" is an exaggeration. but no doubt we would have won.

KyDevilinIL
03-15-2008, 05:16 PM
There's more to it than just threes. The defense just isn't working once the ball gets inside the 3-point line. And we have no flow or rhythm on offense whatsoever. We make our living on big runs – in a slower, basket-for-basket type game, we just haven't been consistent enough on either end to get it done.

grossbus
03-15-2008, 05:16 PM
"it didn't help that Clemson seemed to be very hot from beyond the arc themselves."

and from the line!

_Gary
03-15-2008, 05:16 PM
Wow, Kyle Singler looks REALLY tired.

I've been trying hard to convince myself that that wasn't the case. But it's hard not to come to that conclusion at this point. Almost all of his three's came up short and that's generally a good indicator.

soccerstud2210
03-15-2008, 05:16 PM
shooting the way we are... playing as dumb as we are... singler playing as bad as he is... and henderson hurt... it might be a VCU repeat of last year... we need to pick it up real quick!!

dukeforester
03-15-2008, 05:17 PM
Yes, we live and die by threes.

soccerstud2210
03-15-2008, 05:17 PM
clemson didn't guard the three that well. we just missed wide open shots.

if we'd made a third of our threes, we'd have won that game going away.

we didnt though... that is my point exactly... doesnt matter if they guard the 3 well of not, but we didnt shoot the ball well..perdiod...

Coballs
03-15-2008, 05:18 PM
At this point, as a Duke fan it's tough to start getting excited for the tournament. My expectations for a deep run in the NCAAs are the lowest they have been all season. It looks like they peaked on the road Feb 5 at UNC and have not looked the same since. Let's just hope Henderson is OK and that we can make some noise in the next few weeks.

YmoBeThere
03-15-2008, 05:18 PM
"Are you saying we live and die by the three?"

6-25?

seems like we missed a few inside, too.

I was being facetious!:) Yes we do live and die by the three. Greg is great but can't create going to the basket. We had the same issue with Wojo.

Saratoga2
03-15-2008, 05:18 PM
I think any analysis will show that with Zoubek in the game we were far more effective. Makes you wonder why we didn't see him in the game for a large portion of the second half. Would Clemson have built the lead they did?

It is hard to win with Singler really struggling offensively. He had a lot of open looks and 2 points with no free throws. Thomas was essentially a non factor and the defense of Singler and Thomas together was much worse than the defense of Zoubek and Singler together or I would assume Zoubek and Thomas would have been.

Nelson had a poor first half but stepped it up in the second and until the very end was more secure with the ball. Henderson was told to be more aggressive in the second half and at least he became a threat. Smith looked okay out there.

Scheyer, Paulus, Zoubek and McClure had good games. It looks like to win against big aggressive and athletic teams, Zoubek will need to be utilized and perhaps Singlers 3 point shooting will need to be curtailed.

We may become a 3 seed after today.

KyDevilinIL
03-15-2008, 05:18 PM
Kyle looks tired, and so does the rest of the team, IMO. We looked like we were dragging trailers out there sometimes.

grossbus
03-15-2008, 05:19 PM
i did not look at the in-game thread (as i was watching the game), so this may have been mentioned there...

i was very surprised at how difficult it was for us to (a) get the ball in against their press and (b) get the ball down court aggressively against it.

dukefanSD
03-15-2008, 05:19 PM
It's the Ides of March. Got us last year too, IIRC.

soccerstud2210
03-15-2008, 05:19 PM
yes we live and die by the 3

mapei
03-15-2008, 05:19 PM
Seemed like our defense was pretty bad, too. How many uncontested or barely contested layups did we give? Somebody draws a double team, clearing the path for his teammate, layup/dunk. Help D either late (and a foul) or nonexistent.

Singler played like a spectator.

Hats off to Paulus, Zoubek, and McClure, who showed up.

rsvman
03-15-2008, 05:19 PM
Does anybody know what happened to Singler? His defense is not very good, his offense is non-existent, and his rebounding is fair. He was REALLY key for us doing as well as we've done. He at one time had a pretty reliable 3-ball, too, especially from near the top of the key. He really had a knack of making that shot when we really needed it. I thought he would do it again today, but he missed it.

We will need him back to make a run.

On the plus side, both Zoubek and McClure are playing really well. McClure has had 2 of his 4 best games of the season in this tournament. Without Zoubs, we wouldn't even have been close in this game. He was great. I almost wish we could have seen him back in there near the end a little more.

OZ
03-15-2008, 05:20 PM
With Scheyer (3-11) and Singler (1-9) both missing rather badly, why not at least give King a try?

soccerstud2210
03-15-2008, 05:21 PM
With Scheyer (3-11) and Singler (1-9) both missing rather badly, why not at least give King a try?

it coudln't have hurt... the way we were playing...

_Gary
03-15-2008, 05:22 PM
Kyle looks tired, and so does the rest of the team, IMO. We looked like we were dragging trailers out there sometimes.

I don't think we are gassed to the same degree we have been in the recent past, but it's clear we are not getting out and running like we were earlier in the year. There were very few times we had anything close to numbers on a break. Not that we even had many breaks (almost no turnovers on the wing), but when we did they were always back. And Kyle definitely looks tired to me.

dukelifer
03-15-2008, 05:22 PM
Duke cannot win if Henderson and Singler are not playing well. When that happens, they are just an average team. The fact that Duke was even in the game with a prayer to tie speaks to the heart of the team. But Singler has been struggling for a while lately. And, unfortunately, it looks like Henderson reinjured his wrist and that does not bode well. The game result was not a big surprise- Clemson played well and made plays down the stretch. But Duke is not going to have much of a post season if two of their best players are not contributing offensively. The good news from the game is that the Bench played very well. But for postseason hopes- a lot depends on how bad Henderson is hurt. Singler's recent play must have a good reason- just not sure what it might be.

mapei
03-15-2008, 05:22 PM
Beware the Ides of March.

KyDevilinIL
03-15-2008, 05:23 PM
We may become a 3 seed after today.

Quite possible. We might have an outside shot at losing Raleigh, as well, should we drop to a 3.

dukeforester
03-15-2008, 05:24 PM
We won't lose Raleigh with the pod system.

CAT Blue Devil
03-15-2008, 05:25 PM
This is not the end of the world.

Is Duke vulnerable when they shoot poorly from the three? Yes.

Are they unbalanced offensively and lacking in front court strength? Yes.

Is Singler tired of playing a position out of his size? Yes.

Do you want to face Duke in the tourney? NO.

Relax. Whether #2, #3 or whatever seed. I think this group is going to surprise in the tourney. Give Clemson some credit for poise down the stretch.

Go Devils!

YmoBeThere
03-15-2008, 05:25 PM
Quite possible. We might have an outside shot at losing Raleigh, as well, should we drop to a 3.

That's fine, I don't think we've earned it(playing in Raleigh) over the last month.

devildownunder
03-15-2008, 05:25 PM
Well, that was a bit disappointing...but not entirely shocking. We fought back well in the second half but didn't get enough down the stretch. We seemed reluctant to go inside...

I didn't see the first half. In the second half, the only time we had any offensive rhythm was the stretch right after Clemson's spurt out of the locker room. Zoubek was in for Thomas at the time, and we had a sustained stretch of good looks at the basket every time down the floor. I can't figure out why we didn't see more of him down the stretch.

I'll probably start getting a rep for being a myopic Zoubek booster on the board at this rate but it really did seem that the offense was much better with him out there. It was the only time of the entire half during which we got good shots.

Other stuff: Clemson did a fine job of pressuring us up the floor to delay and disrupt our half-court offense. We had to spend a lot of time just getting into position to start our offense and then they were really good and aggressive at crowding the ballhandler and even hedging out from the lane to force the ball even further out. This congested our spacing and made the kickouts much harder to find. Then when we did get them we didn't knock them down.

At Clemson's end of the court, they did a fine job of passing out of the post to cutters and even sometimes across the lane to the other big man. Oglesby, Hammonds and Rivers knocked down their open looks from beyond the arc and even made a couple of contested 3s. Oglesby had one particularly huge shot late and also drew a charge. He made a huge contribution. Finally, when it was close at the end, the Tigers stepped to the line and hit almost every free throw. They played very well and they earned this win. Congratulations to Oliver Purnell and his team.

The bottom line for Duke is, we have to shoot 3s well to win. And we have to get double-figures scoring from Singler to win. We simply do not have the answers to survive this kind of poor shooting night against good competition. And with Henderson appearing to be injured again, we'll have even fewer options outside of the three. So I guess we all better hope the guys recharge, come back Thursday or Friday with fresh legs and knock some shots down.


In the meantime, I'm going to get ready to be an honorary Clemson fan tomorrow.

Duke84Blue
03-15-2008, 05:25 PM
7 for 36 - 19.4%

_Gary
03-15-2008, 05:26 PM
With Scheyer (3-11) and Singler (1-9) both missing rather badly, why not at least give King a try?

Well, the standard answer you are going to get from folks here is that it's a big downgrade defensively and not worth it. But to be honest, I thought Coach should have given him another small stint somewhere in the second half (other than when we made the run to get back in the game - you don't mess with that). He certainly couldn't have been worse than Kyle was today. There was a point after Kyle missed his next to last open three where I was thinking it would have been nice to pull him and put King in just to see what he could give us.

mapei
03-15-2008, 05:26 PM
Nobody is saying that it's the end of the world. We're saying that we played like crap today.

RockyMtDevil
03-15-2008, 05:27 PM
Hi Kyle, I'm the wall, you just hit me....

That was a pathetic game by just about every devil except Paulus. If nobody can shot, let me think, I think we have some guy that can actually put the ball in the hole, but of course he is on the bench. I don't know how anyone can take anything positive out of that performance, we did nothing well and looked scared. How can a D-1 team not know how to attack the press? Say what you will, but this is the first time all year where I feel we just have digressed drastically. It's not as if Clemson played that great.

What about the help-side defense, everytime we double-teamed they got a dunk. Just pathetic on several fronts.

I don't expect us to win each time, but I expect someone to play their ^$%^$%^$% off to beat us, and that didn't happen today.

KandG
03-15-2008, 05:27 PM
Does anybody know what happened to Singler? His defense is not very good, his offense is non-existent, and his rebounding is fair.


Don't forget the generally awful decision making on offense -- those two passes he tried to force to Zoubek in the first half after the team had beaten the press just looked bad. Nothing worked for him -- taking hasty threes, forcing passes, being slow to rotate on defense, and just missing open shots.

Some people say he's tired, but my god, he sat out the entire first half against GT with two fouls in the first 30 seconds, and K sat him for a lot of the first half today because of his play as well. Fatigue should not have been a factor.

With all this said, I really commend Clemson. This loss hurts more than I thought it would, but Clemson played a great game and I really like Oliver Purnell. I hope they can do it one more time tomorrow.

dukestheheat
03-15-2008, 05:27 PM
i did not look at the in-game thread (as i was watching the game), so this may have been mentioned there...

i was very surprised at how difficult it was for us to (a) get the ball in against their press and (b) get the ball down court aggressively against it.

1) We turned that ball over a lot tonight, and
2) Singler got 2 points only in this game!, and
3) Clemson's paint play was huge for them, and in the end

we only lost this game by four points. You'd think it'd be 14 points or even more with our shooting woes and turnovers! It's disappointing to lose any game, but with the reality of what went down today I just don't feel too bad about it. I never thought we were a realistic shot to win the NC this year anyway, and I still feel that Duke will make a strong run in the NCAAs. We may end up a 3 seed but it doesn't matter!

GO DUKE!

dukestheheat.

feldspar
03-15-2008, 05:28 PM
I can handle us losing because of a bounce of the ball or something like that. What I can't handle is us losing because we failed to execute on defense time after time after time, or because we insisted on chucking up 3 after 3 after 3 when it was clear almost everyone (except Greg and maybe Jon) was cold from the outside.

I get frustrated when we don't adjust. I don't feel like we adjusted today, and that is frustrating. I get frustrated when we don't show passion on defense, and I feel like Greg and Markie, and Dave at times, were the only ones to show real passion on defense.

Tomorrow I'll be less negative, but today I'm pretty upset, and not necessarily looking forward to the NCAA Tournament.

That is all.

Coballs
03-15-2008, 05:28 PM
I guess losing to Oliver Purnell/Clemson is better than losing to carolina tomorrow.

captmojo
03-15-2008, 05:30 PM
As long as Clemson maintains this and last night's level of play, I don't expect the holes to take them down. Their floor play has always been good enough. They simply must stay on target at the line.

I tip my hat.

soccerstud2210
03-15-2008, 05:30 PM
I guess losing to Oliver Purnell/Clemson is better than losing to carolina tomorrow.

definitely better than going in tomorrow and getting our @&%$ beat by unc playing the way we did today... and hans hitting the trash he threw up today...

Coballs
03-15-2008, 05:31 PM
Clemson is not going to win tomorrow.

_Gary
03-15-2008, 05:33 PM
I guess losing to Oliver Purnell/Clemson is better than losing to carolina tomorrow.

True, and after today's game - even if we had miraculously pulled it out at the end - we would have probably been toast tomorrow against Carolina. Sorry, but we were tired in this game. Don't know why. Coach had even taken precautions this week by scaling back to one practice a day and we still looked tired. Dang, I don't know what the answer is at this point.

YmoBeThere
03-15-2008, 05:33 PM
we only lost this game by four points

Excellent point but we tend to be fatalistic here on this board. I agree with Feldspar, we didn't adjust during this game very well and that is my greatest frustration. I mean I thought Kyle would have noticed that the one shot he hit was a 2 several feet in from the 3 point line, IIRC. Instead he kept on setting up to try and hit the three.

rsvman
03-15-2008, 05:34 PM
Clemson is not going to win tomorrow.

Says here they are.

Duvall
03-15-2008, 05:34 PM
If nobody can shot, let me think, I think we have some guy that can actually put the ball in the hole, but of course he is on the bench. .

Who are you talking about? I hope it's not someone who has hit one perimeter shot in the last two months.

dukestheheat
03-15-2008, 05:35 PM
I can handle us losing because of a bounce of the ball or something like that. What I can't handle is us losing because we failed to execute on defense time after time after time, or because we insisted on chucking up 3 after 3 after 3 when it was clear almost everyone (except Greg and maybe Jon) was cold from the outside.

I get frustrated when we don't adjust. I don't feel like we adjusted today, and that is frustrating. I get frustrated when we don't show passion on defense, and I feel like Greg and Markie, and Dave at times, were the only ones to show real passion on defense.

Tomorrow I'll be less negative, but today I'm pretty upset, and not necessarily looking forward to the NCAA Tournament.

That is all.

I feel frustrated too but not too much, as again we only lost by 4 and it should have been 14 or more what with our poor shooting and all those turnovers! Somehow, we kept it close and competitive and I think this speaks to some strength that Duke has. We are going to make some noise in the NCAAs and most teams out there don't want to play Duke.

dth.

devildownunder
03-15-2008, 05:40 PM
I feel frustrated too but not too much, as again we only lost by 4 and it should have been 14 or more what with our poor shooting and all those turnovers! Somehow, we kept it close and competitive and I think this speaks to some strength that Duke has. We are going to make some noise in the NCAAs and most teams out there don't want to play Duke.

dth.


Do you really believe that most teams don't want to play us right now? Why not? We're a one-dimensional offensive team whose one dimension is dead in the water right now and we're not playing good defense either. In addition to all of that, we have an injury to one of the few guys on the team who does give us some offensive versatility and we just demonstrated today that we are incapable of effectively attacking a press. I'd say most NCAA-worthy teams would be licking their chops at the prospect of playing us right now.

PatZorro
03-15-2008, 05:40 PM
I think that other teams have figured out our Defense. It may not have much to do with the other team having a stud big. As long as the big is smart, and patient, Duke's D has a massive, gaping, flaw. It is a flaw that is NOT easy to exploit, but with preparation it can be done.

Our D is based on switching on screens, picks, or crosses. Given that most of our players can guard the 1-4, or at least 1-3, this has worked this year. But there is a downside when employing this defense when there is no shot blocker in the low post.

In half court sets, other teams seem to be engineering the switches. Knowing that we will switch, I see a lot of the opposing team spreading out, and then crossing specific players.

Eventually, we end up with a major mismatch. Most switches result in some type of mismatch, such as Singler guarding a point or Scheyer guarding a PF. They aren't major mismatches, and most of the time our players can overcome minor mismatches. When I say major mismatch, I mean Zoubs or Lance, or McClure (to a lesser extent) guarding a PG, or one of the Guards, usually Scheyer or Paulus or Smith, guarding their low post.

When the major mismatch occurs, the PG will drive on our big. Given our help D, we have a reasonable shot of recovering. Sometimes it results in an open shot, but it doesn't kill us.

UNC figured out how to make the switches kill us, and Clemson followed the blueprint. When we get our Guard on their big, the big heads to the low post and awaits an entry pass as the rest of the offense drifts to the opposite side of the court, drawing our D with them. When the big gets the entry pass, we double up, out of necessity. This leaves either an open cutter or an open 3. If the post will be patient, and not panic at the double, there is a wide open shot available. Given our personnell, this may be a fatal flaw, in that we cannot correct it this year. We kind of have to hope the big panics and makes a poor decision, or that they simply do not hit open jumpers.

PatZorro

The1Bluedevil
03-15-2008, 05:41 PM
Don't understand how Duke can be so tired? Why does this issue continue to come up? Every other team deals with the same thing. I refuse to believe that as a reason for Duke losing.

How many teams can beat high caliber opponents when you miss 20 3's?

Why does Duke come double in the post when Z is guarding someone? He's 7 freaking 1 if he needs help then don't play him.

No regrets for this season if Duke loses to a better team in the tourney. Will be disgusted if Duke loses to a lesser opponent 4 years in a row.

dbd4ever
03-15-2008, 05:42 PM
It looks as if Kyle knows he has hit the wall and is desperately trying to shoot himself out of a slump and it's just not working right now. It looks like someone would tell him to try driving the basketball and get some easy ones or at least draw a foul and go to the line. It looks as though sometimes he's forgotten how to play with some of the decisions he makes on the floor these last few games.

I still think we are a two seed for now as long as these other conference tourneys turn out ok. Out of the potential three seeds (Wisconsin, Xavier, Stanford, Louisville) I don't see one of them overtaking us as a two except maybe Stanford and that would have to come from a very impressive performance against UCLA in the PAC-10 final. I think you just hope for a few losses from Carolina, Wisconsin, Georgetown, and Tennessee. We already know that one of the teams from the Big 12 will lose tomorrow. In all honesty I was hoping more for a two seed in the East bracket more than a one seed in the midwest or one of the other brackets. Maybe I'm wrong. You guys thoughts????

dukelifer
03-15-2008, 05:43 PM
I feel frustrated too but not too much, as again we only lost by 4 and it should have been 14 or more what with our poor shooting and all those turnovers! Somehow, we kept it close and competitive and I think this speaks to some strength that Duke has. We are going to make some noise in the NCAAs and most teams out there don't want to play Duke.

dth.

Well, if there is any good news in all this is that Duke will not be even mentioned as a team that has a shot to win the NCAA. Duke might be better with a bit of a chip on their shoulders. They certainly will hear it for the next few days about their play of late. The key is Singler and Henderson, though. If Henderson is hurt, Duke might get to the sweet 16 but they will need someone to play out of their head in the second game.

91devil
03-15-2008, 05:44 PM
I'll be anxious to see the plus / (minus) on this game. Guessing that Dave and Brian will be at or near the top of the good list.

Re: Post defense. Weak-side rotation help was very late in coming throughout this game; you could see Brian's frustration at the poor rotation (e.g 'Guys, WTF...where is the help?'). Aside from being short on jump shots, slow recognition and adjustments on defense are other signs of fatigue.

jjasper0729
03-15-2008, 05:45 PM
I know Kyle can drive to the basket. I've seen it this year. This shooting slump, if he'd try to drive some like D-Mark, that might wake him up out of the funk. Get something easy and get the confidence up. He's doing okay on the boards, but the offense needs to get back and I think he acn do that driving and getting foule dor getting layups.

as for our defense. I just don't know how to describe it. Maybe wehave been figured out. But the help sometimes comes too soon and then someone is open for a dish and lay up on the drives and we seem to lose the perimeter shooters way too often on the switches or fighting through screens.

feldspar
03-15-2008, 05:47 PM
the two seeds will be:
G'town
Texas
Tenn
Wisconsin/Stanford

There's NO way Stanford is a 2-seed, and Wisconsin only if they win tomorrow.

dukestheheat
03-15-2008, 05:48 PM
Do you really believe that most teams don't want to play us right now? Why not? We're a one-dimensional offensive team whose one dimension is dead in the water right now and we're not playing good defense either. In addition to all of that, we have an injury to one of the few guys on the team who does give us some offensive versatility and we just demonstrated today that we are incapable of effectively attacking a press. I'd say most NCAA-worthy teams would be licking their chops at the prospect of playing us right now.

and here's why:

1) We have a great number of outside shooters who can (IF they're 'on') shoot any team in the country out of the gym, and
2) We have the best coach in the game in K (who is Superman), and

Also, most teams we'll potentially play in the NCAAs haven't played us yet, so they only have the tape and the ESPN highlights to study with. This makes them inherently less familiar with our style and our capabilities. This has to matter!

If Duke can spread teams out and hit the shots and turn that ball over waaaay less than it did tonight, while hitting a high number of free throws, we can beat any team in the country. I really do feel confident that Duke can make a deep run in the NCAAs and a Final Eight position would not surprise me at all.

dukestheheat

rsvman
03-15-2008, 05:48 PM
I think we're a better team when Zoubek is on the court. Certainly that was the case today.

Singler versus Zoubek a few weeks ago was a no-brainer. Today, on the other hand, I found myself wishing that K would take Singler out and put Z-man back in!

Troublemaker
03-15-2008, 05:48 PM
I agree with Gary. It's pretty simple, folks. The reason Duke isn't as good as it was earlier in the season is because of Kyle's fatigue preventing him from hitting shots and G's wrist injury making his mid-range game disappear. Without Kyle spreading the defense with his outside shooting, the lane becomes clogged and all his teammates become worse on offense because of it. Losing G's mid-range game exacerbates the offensive problems. You're basically taking 2 of our top 4 players and making them ineffective. That's tough to overcome. Root for some good matchups when the brackets come out.

CAT Blue Devil
03-15-2008, 05:49 PM
Anyone know anything about Henderson's injury?

Trinity84
03-15-2008, 05:49 PM
Don't forget the generally awful decision making on offense -- those two passes he tried to force to Zoubek in the first half after the team had beaten the press just looked bad. Nothing worked for him -- taking hasty threes, forcing passes, being slow to rotate on defense, and just missing open shots.

Some people say he's tired, but my god, he sat out the entire first half against GT with two fouls in the first 30 seconds, and K sat him for a lot of the first half today because of his play as well. Fatigue should not have been a factor.

With all this said, I really commend Clemson. This loss hurts more than I thought it would, but Clemson played a great game and I really like Oliver Purnell. I hope they can do it one more time tomorrow.


I am sure, after our season ends, we will read about heretofore unpublicized injuries to every player on the team; including the walk-ons. We will take the position that had so-and-so been 100% our season would have been different. We will recite our mantra that we don't use injuries as an excuse. Then when previews are written for our 2008 - 2009 season, we will read how our '07-'08 season could have been (should have been) different but injuries impacted our fortunes; thereby using the excuse in the fall that we would not dream of using in March.

Today's game is not an isolated incident. It is becoming a disturbing pattern.

mapei
03-15-2008, 05:50 PM
I disagree about Zoub. I think we lose by 10 today without him. It's not like we have that many guys who are playing better than he is, at least not today. I've been down on him last year and early this year, but he's gotten better while some of his teammates have gotten worse.

_Gary
03-15-2008, 05:51 PM
Well, I'll be shocked if we are a 2 seed after the last several weeks of play. I think we are firmly set as a 3.

rsvman
03-15-2008, 05:51 PM
I agree with Gary. It's pretty simple, folks. The reason Duke isn't as good as it was earlier in the season is because of Kyle's fatigue preventing him from hitting shots and G's wrist injury making his mid-range disappear. Without Kyle spreading the defense with his outside shooting, the lane becomes clogged and all his teammates become worse on offense because of it. Losing G's mid-range exacerbates offensive problems. You're basically taking 2 of our top 4 players and making them ineffective. That's tough to overcome. Root for some good matchups when the brackets come out.

Yes, but Henderson was just getting his midrange game BACK, remember? The last few games of the regular season? It wasn't that long ago. I don't know why you're saying we're losing his mid-range when we just got it back.

Now if he's really seriously injured (which I don't think he is), then you have a good argument.

But I keep expecting Singler to just show up again, and maybe he will. I don't know why he went away, so maybe he'll just come back....(?)

Duvall
03-15-2008, 05:51 PM
There's NO way Stanford is a 2-seed, and Wisconsin only if they win tomorrow.

Wisconsin isn't going to lose tomorrow.

DevilCastDownfromDurham
03-15-2008, 05:51 PM
So, like everyone here I'm pretty bummed out by the ongoing faceplant that has been our March. I've yelled, cursed, despaired, crafted a host of clever excuses/reasons we'll turn it around, etc and nothing has worked. This is probably because I have no control over the team. :)

But those that do clearly need to make a change. I'm no expert so I can't say what would right the ship, but I remember 2001 after things fell apart vs. Maryland K reconfigured the team around Duhon and Casey and things ended pretty well. Unlike 2001, short of some blistering shooting from outside, there's no way we're going to the Final Four, much less hoisting a banner. But I think shaking things up could really help our mindset and make us harder to prepare for. I have one idea, but I'd love to hear others.

I think we should bench Singler and go really small with Jon. Kyle has been great for a lot of the season but he's simply a liability right now. Bad passes, no shooting, getting burned on D, etc. Jon, by contrast, has been our most consistent player. This switch will take some pressure off Kyle, give some confidence to Jon, and give our offense some new wrinkles that will make us less predictable. Whether we go "mad bomber" a la Pitino @ Kentucky with Lance at C and 4 out or start Z and use him to hit cutters, relocate to shooters, etc is for smarter minds than mine to decide. But I think this would shake things up for the team in some positive ways.

If you think this is a neat idea, let's discuss how it would work. If you think it's a dumb idea, what other changes should be made to get us out of our funk. We look B-A-D right now, and we're trending down, not up. We were supposed to be rested and prepped by our HoF coach but we just didn't come to play this weekend. What changes can be made to our O, our D, our lineups, etc. that can turn this season around and give DeMarcus an ending that isn't as bitter as things feel right now? I'm interested to hear any ideas.

Dukefan4Life
03-15-2008, 05:52 PM
I could sit here and use an excuse, i could say clemson played better and they did! but the bottom line is we played BAD! we did not adjust our defense at all! instead of doubling down low, we should have put more pressure on the ball! we got no good looks inside and our jumpers were not falling at all! I hope this will light a fire under us for the NCAA!

CDu
03-15-2008, 05:52 PM
We've looked really ordinary the past seven games. We're 3-4 in that stretch. None of the losses are bad losses, but that's a lot of losses for any team who fancies themselves a title contender.

It's a troubling trend that we're not shooting as well from deep down the stretch. Hopefully, we figure it out soon. But at this point, I'd not be surprised to see us slip to a 3 seed.

PatZorro
03-15-2008, 05:53 PM
I agree that the lack of adjustments is frustrating, but I don't see what K could have done. He has done a good job of setting up an Offensive scheme that maximizes this team's capabilities.

Unfortunately, it may be the ONLY possible scheme that can give us a chance to win.

What can K do? The cupboard is bare. This is not like when Boozer went down and we started running. We have to drive and kick, because we don't have a plethora of strong finishers down low. Henderson is good. Nelson is pretty good, but he sometimes gets too deep. Scheyer is good for a few pull ups and some acrobatic finishers, but he won't win any games by driving. Same with Paulus, who is a poor man's Scheyer when it comes to driving.

I know that it is easy to get frustrated at K for not making any adjustments, but there are no more tricks in the bag. Like it or not, we run a gimmicky Offense. When the threes don't fall, there are simply no more options.

One adjustment that could, and probably should, have been made was zone D. It worked so well vs UVA, and it is MIA since. Why?

PatZorro

mapei
03-15-2008, 05:53 PM
If Duke can spread teams out and hit the shots and turn that ball over waaaay less than it did tonight, while hitting a high number of free throws, we can beat any team in the country.dukestheheat

Yes, and if I were younger and a little better looking, I could date Angelina Jolie.

imagepro
03-15-2008, 05:55 PM
We all hoped I was wrong. Now it's a safe bet that we all hope I'm RIGHT!

One thing is certain about tomorrows game however. I will NOT be watching. That's a promise. NEVER EVER watch Tarhells play again. NEVER.... Even if we play em' for the NCAA title someday. I will not compromise my honor and integrity. They win because of me, and have for 52 years. It won't happen again, at least not that I see. I watched them for the LAST time, TODAY!

I'm still proud of this team, and if G is ok, we'll be hard to beat.

Philadukie
03-15-2008, 05:55 PM
I'm less upset over the loss than I am in realizing that this team is not as good as earlier in the season. Peaking in late Jan/early Feb seems about right.

The better team - right now - won today. We're 5-4 over our last nine. Gerald's wrist, Singler's fatigue, poor 3-point shooting, etc.... Reasons, but also excuses. These are the types of challenges that elite teams overcome late in the season. See UNC with Lawson's injury. Great teams find ways to win.

I picked VCU in my bracket last year, and I will likely be picking a round of 32 loss this year. I know that sounds harsh, but I haven't seen anything that would indicate otherwise over these last several weeks. Some of that is reverse psychology on myself, so I feel less emotionally invested, but it's also realism I think, as last year's results demonstrate.

Wish I could say something more positive as only my third post, and I'm certainly open to people arguing that I should feel otherwise (not that anyone should bother to argue about how I should feel :)).

BobbyFan
03-15-2008, 05:55 PM
You guys can say what you want and Zoubek played pretty well today, but we DO NOT play well when he plays significant minutes for us! We were playing great until he came back from his injury. I don't have anything against the "Nomad", but can he stop walking EVERYTIME he gets the ball? Oh, and did Kyle Singler miss the bus to Charlotte because he was nowhere to be found Friday night or today! I'm not very encouraged about out performances here lately!

I haven't been thrilled with Zoubek's overall development, but today is not a good day to bring this up. He didn't didn't stop us from making open 3s.

devildownunder
03-15-2008, 05:57 PM
and here's why:

1) We have a great number of outside shooters who can (IF they're 'on') shoot any team in the country out of the gym, and
2) We have the best coach in the game in K (who is Superman), and

Also, most teams we'll potentially play in the NCAAs haven't played us yet, so they only have the tape and the ESPN highlights to study with. This makes them inherently less familiar with our style and our capabilities. This has to matter!

If Duke can spread teams out and hit the shots and turn that ball over waaaay less than it did tonight, while hitting a high number of free throws, we can beat any team in the country. I really do feel confident that Duke can make a deep run in the NCAAs and a Final Eight position would not surprise me at all.

dukestheheat



I agree that if we make our 3s we can cause major problems for anybody. I agree that K is a great coach. But when you are describing the teams that will be feared by the field, you don't begin your assessments of their chances with the word "if", you mention their strengths, not their X-factors.

We have a puncher's chance, to be sure. But that by itself won't scare most, I don't think.

Troublemaker
03-15-2008, 05:57 PM
Yes, but Henderson was just getting his midrange game BACK, remember? The last few games of the regular season? It wasn't that long ago. I don't know why you're saying we're losing his mid-range when we just got it back.

Now if he's really seriously injured (which I don't think he is), then you have a good argument.

But I keep expecting Singler to just show up again, and maybe he will. I don't know why he went away, so maybe he'll just come back....(?)

He was grabbing his wrist in pain at the end of today's game and sat out because of it. He's having surgery on it at the end of the season. Dude's injured. How many games since the injury occurred has he demonstrated his mid-range game? 1? Out of 10? It was a consistent part of his game before that. We don't win that game in Chapel Hill, for example, if he didn't keep dropping 15-footers in the bucket.

willywoody
03-15-2008, 05:57 PM
One adjustment that could, and probably should, have been made was zone D. It worked so well vs UVA, and it is MIA since. Why?

PatZorro

i thought we zoned once today and were immediately burned for a three.

soccerstud2210
03-15-2008, 05:58 PM
i thought we zoned once today and were immediately burned for a three.

true

rsvman
03-15-2008, 05:59 PM
I think the injury was to his LEG, not his wrist, but (as always) I could be wrong.

beltwayBD
03-15-2008, 06:01 PM
Man, definitely a weird game. And disappointing in many ways. Don't get me wrong, Clemson is a great team, and they play much better than us.

Weirdest thing was the rotation Coach K played. Twice, yesterday's game and today, K switched out the starting five for the full bench. Not a bad tactic, mind you, just not something he has done at all this season. I mean, since ACC play started Coach K has relied much more on his starters (barring Scheyer).

Singler has been ice cold! It's killing me to watch him. It's a brick every time. At least Taylor King hit a 3 yesterday (1-2, I think), but he's just north of Singler on the Kelvin scale.

Zoubek rocks! Still not quick enough under the basket, but he is really making a contribution. Nice effort from David McClure today too -- not sure why we haven't seen more of him all season.

Maybe a few days off will give Kyle the opportunity to ditch whatever is psyching him out. And let Gerald nurse his wrist a bit. Man, he looked like he was hurting.

Channing
03-15-2008, 06:01 PM
Duke has been very pedestrian over the past few weeks. We run our "offense" for a few possessions at a time and then we stop. We always here about the importance of senior leadership, and I thought Demarcus gave that to us earlier in the year. However, lately, Demarcus has mental lapses that a senior shouldn't. He usually puts together a good stat line and solid numbers, but he bull rushes and gets called for charges (which he wasnt doing earlier in the year) and he gets over-amped on the court leading to turnovers in key situations. He is a great player, and his defense is fantastic - I just wish he would play under control more.

I think teams are looking forward to playing Duke in the tournament. We havent really put together a full solid game in the last month or so (not counting St. John, where despite the score, I didnt think we played all that great anyway). Our defense has been porous at best, and our offense has stalled.

Just my doomsday .02

RockyMtDevil
03-15-2008, 06:02 PM
If we drop to a 3 seed, we will likely see someone like Xavier, Miss St. or Michigan St which would spell doom. we look like we have no confidence whatsoever.

I hate playing great all year just to stink in March...What have we become?

jdscrilla
03-15-2008, 06:05 PM
Well I think the main problem we've had is a lack of talent. The 2001 team was totally different talent wise. I don't know what changes you could make to change the eventual outcome of this season. I love this team and they've been fun to watch but unless the match ups really break our way, I don't see us past the sweet 16.

I think the other reason for our bad Marches in the past few years is the fact that everyone plays hard in March. We usually play harder than other teams during the regular season but come March everyone usually matches our intensity which will lead to an early exit unless we've got a ton of talent like 2001.

BAMDSALL
03-15-2008, 06:05 PM
I am surprised at the negativity apparent in this thread. This team has exceeded it's preseason expectations by a wide margin and largely avoided major injuries that have plagued other teams. Singler and Henderson have had a major impact in the 27-5 record that many teams would be thrilled to have. Singler is still a freshman and Henderson is hurt.

Clemson was the better team today but I love our Devil's hearts. Shame on us for doubting them!

LOVE THE DUKE BLUE but GO TIGERS TOMORROW

91devil
03-15-2008, 06:07 PM
Not a bad idea, although I would counter by suggesting Dave McClure instead of Jon Scheyer. I would say that Dave's two best games this year were on 14-15 March, and would still give us some post defense.

Kyle is averaging 'only' 29 minutes per game, which doesn't sound like a huge number, but is has been a 'heavy' 29 minutes...he consistently has to guard players bigger (stronger) than him, and that does take a toll.

jimbonelson
03-15-2008, 06:07 PM
huh what does doomed mean? we will not win the national championship. i like this team, i don't think there the best in the country but the future of this team is promising
What he said. Gotta do SOMETHING. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work, but we're doomed if we DON'T change something.

heyman25
03-15-2008, 06:07 PM
I hope our coaching staff will work on the things we need to fix. If the VCU performance last year is not enough motivation for this team then we are doomed.Its too bad Kyle had a terrible tournament,but I think he will snap out of it.We blow too many golden opportunities to score with bad passes,bad judgement. 4 for 22 is pathetic.In hindsight its surprising we lost by only 4 today.UNC might have blown us out of the building tomorrow if we had won today. Scheyer forced a lot of shots today. Yesterday he was amazing today average. Passing to Zoubek is not that difficult just throw it where he can catch it.

Troublemaker
03-15-2008, 06:07 PM
Gerald's wrist, Singler's fatigue, poor 3-point shooting, etc.... Reasons, but also excuses. These are the types of challenges that elite teams overcome late in the season. See UNC with Lawson's injury. Great teams find ways to win.

UNC lost at home to Duke when Lawson was out. Did they cope well with Lawson out? Sure, but they were still a different team, and they would not be a title favorite if he were still out. Believe me, they need Lawson.

BobbyFan
03-15-2008, 06:09 PM
I think the injury was to his LEG, not his wrist, but (as always) I could be wrong.

That's what I thought at first but then he seemed to be holding the wrist. And as I understand it, Coach K said that Gerald felt he hyperextended his wrist and will be getting x-rays.

Can anyone confirm?

dbd4ever
03-15-2008, 06:09 PM
I am surprised at the negativity apparent in this thread. This team has exceeded it's preseason expectations by a wide margin and largely avoided major injuries that have plagued other teams. Singler and Henderson have had a major impact in the 27-5 record that many teams would be thrilled to have. Singler is still a freshman and Henderson is hurt.

Clemson was the better team today but I love our Devil's hearts. Shame on us for doubting them!

LOVE THE DUKE BLUE but GO TIGERS TOMORROW

I agree!!! Everyone in the country is hoping we fail and let's us all hear about it when we do. SO the last thing we need is to hear it from each other. This team now has a full week to rest, heal and prepare for the tourney. And why worry about seeds? We can't do anything about it!! Let's just get behind these guys and our great coaches and enjoy the ride and hope for the best!!! GO DEVILS!!!!

RockyMtDevil
03-15-2008, 06:09 PM
Dude, we're not whining just putting some perspective on the season. Strangely enough I believed we'd be right at this point at 27-5 to end the season but really believed we would be playing better at this point.

If anyone is dumb enough to believe that we will suddenly "snap out" of a 3-4 week period of play which has defined us then you are smoking something I'd like to have.

The fact is, we have played pathetic ball over the last 4 weeks and there is not one reason why I expect us to not continue that trend next week. It's the facts.

Singler has hit the wall, our offense is slow and stalled since Zoubs return, Smith is scared, G is injured, Demarcus' decision making has been questionable.

devildownunder
03-15-2008, 06:10 PM
I am surprised at the negativity apparent in this thread. This team has exceeded it's preseason expectations by a wide margin and largely avoided major injuries that have plagued other teams. Singler and Henderson have had a major impact in the 27-5 record that many teams would be thrilled to have. Singler is still a freshman and Henderson is hurt.

Clemson was the better team today but I love our Devil's hearts. Shame on us for doubting them!

LOVE THE DUKE BLUE but GO TIGERS TOMORROW

What do you mean by doubting them? I don't doubt the desire to win of anyone in the program but only blind faith could make you not doubt this team's NCAA chances right now. That's not pessimism and negativity, it is realism and objectivity.

soccerstud2210
03-15-2008, 06:10 PM
UNC lost at home to Duke when Lawson was out. Did they cope well with Lawson out? Sure, but they were still a different team, and they would not be a title favorite if he were still out. Believe me, they need Lawson.

their loss to us was the only game they lost when lawson was out... they dont need him... he is a great player, but they dont need him...

devildownunder
03-15-2008, 06:12 PM
I agree!!! Everyone in the country is hoping we fail and let's us all hear about it when we do. SO the last thing we need is to hear it from each other. This team now has a full week to rest, heal and prepare for the tourney. And why worry about seeds? We can't do anything about it!! Let's just get behind these guys and our great coaches and enjoy the ride and hope for the best!!! GO DEVILS!!!!

I agree that we shouldn't be worrying about seedings. Especially since the NCAA's stupid pod system means we'll probably play at raleigh no matter what our seeding is.

wumhenry
03-15-2008, 06:13 PM
Does anybody here have a clue about what happened to Singler's game? Is there a Rookie of the Year jinx?

heyman25
03-15-2008, 06:13 PM
Our recruiting definitely needs improving.Guys like Plumlee might be the answer. Getting to play in McDonald's all star games is not the answer. We need rebounding speedy athletic players. More guys like Scheyer that can anticipate where the ball is going.He is after the ball at all times. Some of the other guys are too slow in reaction time.

DevilCastDownfromDurham
03-15-2008, 06:15 PM
huh what does doomed mean? we will not win the national championship. i like this team, i don't think there the best in the country but the future of this team is promising

I guess that's an underlying question I have about this team. We just don't have a legit "creating" PG or defensive/easy basket C. I think K has done a great job of disguising the fact that we lack the two most crucial weapons in basketball, but I'm not sure the future is much brighter than this season since we're not bringing anyone in to fill either of these needs. With health/experience maybe we go from 32/S16 to E8 or even, with the right matchups FF next season. But we still have no go-to offense, nobody that sets up our scorers, and nobody that provides a real shotblocking/bodying up presence.

I like the idea of going really small because it essentially says "we give up the post" and focuses entirely on denial, generating steals (remember how great that was earlier this season?), and live-or-die from outside. We're already pretty useless unless we're hot from outside, so why not go "double or nothing" as it were. I was intrigued by the way we let Z set up our offense a bit today and would love to hear someone chime in on how/if that could be a more long-term alternative to our current feast or famine.

Uncle Drew
03-15-2008, 06:17 PM
So, like everyone here I'm pretty bummed out by the ongoing faceplant that has been our March. I've yelled, cursed, despaired, crafted a host of clever excuses/reasons we'll turn it around, etc and nothing has worked. This is probably because I have no control over the team. :)

But those that do clearly need to make a change. I'm no expert so I can't say what would right the ship, but I remember 2001 after things fell apart vs. Maryland K reconfigured the team around Duhon and Casey and things ended pretty well. Unlike 2001, short of some blistering shooting from outside, there's no way we're going to the Final Four, much less hoisting a banner. But I think shaking things up could really help our mindset and make us harder to prepare for. I have one idea, but I'd love to hear others.

I think we should bench Singler and go really small with Jon. Kyle has been great for a lot of the season but he's simply a liability right now. Bad passes, no shooting, getting burned on D, etc. Jon, by contrast, has been our most consistent player. This switch will take some pressure off Kyle, give some confidence to Jon, and give our offense some new wrinkles that will make us less predictable. Whether we go "mad bomber" a la Pitino @ Kentucky with Lance at C and 4 out or start Z and use him to hit cutters, relocate to shooters, etc is for smarter minds than mine to decide. But I think this would shake things up for the team in some positive ways.

If you think this is a neat idea, let's discuss how it would work. If you think it's a dumb idea, what other changes should be made to get us out of our funk. We look B-A-D right now, and we're trending down, not up. We were supposed to be rested and prepped by our HoF coach but we just didn't come to play this weekend. What changes can be made to our O, our D, our lineups, etc. that can turn this season around and give DeMarcus an ending that isn't as bitter as things feel right now? I'm interested to hear any ideas.

While I agree a lot with what you are saying, and Singler clearly has hit a wall right now I'm not giving up on the guy totally and neither is anyone else on here. I think removing the splinters from Scheyers glutimus maximus and letting him start is a really good idea. I also think the way Lance and Zoubek have improved mandates more playing time. While we all are dissappointed with the loss to the tigers today there are several things to look at.

1. We hadn't lost to Clemson in 10 years, we were due for a loss to them and they posed matchup problems for us.

2. While the loss guarantees Duke won't get a number one seed in the NCAA, the teams Duke faces whomever they may be won't be as familiar with Duke as all our ACC foes. If I saw a VCU in Duke's bracket Sunday I'm a LOT more confident in this teams ability to win than I was last year.

3. As stated in the Duke vs. Clemson thread, I knew the tigers were going to come out fired up with something to prove. They hadn't beaten Duke in 10 years and quite frankly I think they are peaking at the right time and they have a chip on their shoulder. They match up much better with UNC, should have beaten the heels twice this season and I think are licking their chops to see UNC one more time. The way VT handled the heels today makes me honestly think Clemson will get their first ACC title tomorrow. IF that happens it makes UNC look not quite as good and Duke look not quite as bad to the selection committee.

4. Finally all year Duke has been getting penetration, then dishing it out for open three point shots all year. I honestly think it was so unconventional that it threw teams off for much of the season. But after viewing enough game tape coaches have figured out a few things to at least get a hand in the face of some of those shots and they aren't dropping like they were. IMO Duke's guards need to penetrate and take it strong to the hole more, just to throw a wrench in the dfensive plans of opposing teams now. Aditionally that tends to draw fouls on the big men inside and the lesser quality big men Duke faces the better. Oh, and after the zone worked so well (and I couldn't explain to you why it did work so well.) against UVA I don't know why Duke isn't using it at least for several minute stretches to keep teams off ballance. Regardless I'm more than proud of what this years team has done and anything can happen in the NCAA's. Go Duke and MOST of all Go To Hell Carolina!!!!!!!!

Troublemaker
03-15-2008, 06:18 PM
their loss to us was the only game they lost when lawson was out... they dont need him... he is a great player, but they dont need him...

They don't need him to be a good team. They need him to be a great team.

Quick aside: Duke played 9 players at least 14 minutes today.

http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaab/boxscore;_ylt=AsHZoWqMrXIUvk6arc0W57TevbYF?gid=200 803150173

Depth is nice but we overrate it.

Highlander
03-15-2008, 06:24 PM
This game reminded me a lot of the UNC game. We allowed Clemson/UNC to build a sizeable lead, then came roaring back to tie. For the next 3-4 minutes, we got stop after stop on the defensive end but did nothing on offense but turn the ball over. Then Clemson/UNC makes a little run and we start to panic. Ballgame. Again.

Had Clemson hit their normal %age from the FT line down the stretch, we could have squeaked one out a la UNC. But Clemson saved their best clutch FT shooting performance for us. The sarcastic part of me knows that Mays will go 2-8 from the line tomorrow against UNC after being nearly perfect against us.

Anyway, we are definitely a 3 in my mind. Clemson is probably a 5 or 6 seed, and could move up depending on how they do tomorrow. Therefore, they are EXACTLY the kind of team we can expect to play in the second round (if we win our first game). A #2 seed is supposed to win against a team like Clemson, and we did not play like a #2 seed. If we get a #2, it is a gift. I see Kansas, Gtown, and Texas clearly ahead of us, and Wisconsin or Stanford could easily pass us if they win their tourneys. Yes we did beat Wisconsin early in the year. We beat Clemson then too. Not so much today. I can see the argument of us getting a #2 based on the season as a whole, but based on how we're playing right now I don't think we deserve it.

I'll be happy with playing to our seed at this point and making a S16.

BAMDSALL
03-15-2008, 06:24 PM
First of all, I am a DUDETTE, not a DUDE and have probably been a Duke fan longer than you have been alive! I never miss a game.

I read this board to gather insights on game subtlies that I may have missed during games. I usually find it highly informative. I take exception when the support for our team is apparent only when we are winning!

If you're a Duke supporter ONLY for purposes of NCAA bragging rights then I question the depth of your support of a college program that is the standard for all other teams. Even when hated (often) it is envied and modeled by other coaches. I bristle at the thought that PLAYERS might read some of what is posted here after a loss. They just might live up to your expectations!

grossbus
03-15-2008, 06:26 PM
"In the meantime, I'm going to get ready to be an honorary Clemson fan tomorrow."

won't matter. i think they get crushed tomorrow...the two prior OT games notwithstanding.

Saratoga2
03-15-2008, 06:27 PM
Hi Kyle, I'm the wall, you just hit me....

That was a pathetic game by just about every devil except Paulus. If nobody can shot, let me think, I think we have some guy that can actually put the ball in the hole, but of course he is on the bench. I don't know how anyone can take anything positive out of that performance, we did nothing well and looked scared. How can a D-1 team not know how to attack the press? Say what you will, but this is the first time all year where I feel we just have digressed drastically. It's not as if Clemson played that great.

What about the help-side defense, everytime we double-teamed they got a dunk. Just pathetic on several fronts.

I don't expect us to win each time, but I expect someone to play their ^$%^$%^$% off to beat us, and that didn't happen today.

Actually, Zoubek played very well and I can't understand why coach K didn't utilize him more in the second half. When he was in we more than held our own, when he left, we seemed far less effective.

Scheyer missed his many of his threes and shots, but he did score 2 threes and a 2 and hit on his free throws, he also made a number of nice assists and was a steadying force out there on both sides of the ball.

McClure looked energized and played very well.

Nelson had problems in the first half. He isn't really an effective ball handler and he shouldn't be put into that role since it isn't his strength. He should realize that himself and refrain from trying to do too much that way. That said, Nelson stepped it up and had an effective second half. Just think, the next game Nelson plays may be his last for Duke. He has been an excellent player for Duke and the team will miss his determination and skill next year.

Henderson didn't do much in the first half. Coach K must have told him to become more aggressive in the second half and he was until being injured. Hope his wrist will be okay.

I agree that neither Thomas nor Singler had good games. Against bigger and stronger athletic guys they have trouble competing. Yes, we need a big strong presence inside. Zoubek is the best we have in that regard. He may not fit as well against smaller and quicker teams but he did today.

All in all, I think at least 4 guys played quite well today and a couple of others had okay games. Our big problem was inside with Singler and Thomas.

Channing
03-15-2008, 06:27 PM
First of all, I am a DUDETTE, not a DUDE and have probably been a Duke fan longer than you have been alive! I never miss a game.

I read this board to gather insights on game subtlies that I may have missed during games. I usually find it highly informative. I take exception when the support for our team is apparent only when we are winning!

If you're a Duke supporter ONLY for purposes of NCAA bragging rights then I question the depth of your support of a college program that is the standard for all other teams. Even when hated (often) it is envied and modeled by other coaches. I bristle at the thought that PLAYERS might read some of what is posted here after a loss. They just might live up to your expectations!

Please show me where anyone is not supporting this team? People are frustrated. The reason everyone is showing so much emotion is because of how important Duke Basketball is to most if not all of us.

So fans here arent all purely positive - the insights (or whinings as you call them) are informed and legitimate points. People want to discuss Duke basketball - and Duke basketball has not been good lately. That doesnt mean we dont support the team.

DevilCastDownfromDurham
03-15-2008, 06:28 PM
While I agree a lot with what you are saying, and Singler clearly has hit a wall right now I'm not giving up on the guy totally and neither is anyone else on here.

Oh, I agree completely that Kyle will be one of our 2-3 best players sooner rather than later. It seems to me that right now the pressure or starting as a frosh (and out of position) is in his head a lot. He's taking bad shots, forcing passes, and doing a lot of other stupid stuff that is totally at odds with the very, very smart player we saw earlier this season. My hope is that a move to the bench will help him ease into games, and take some pressure off his shoulders. Not sure if it would work, but it's, IMO worth a shot.



1. We hadn't lost to Clemson in 10 years, we were due for a loss to them and they posed matchup problems for us.

2. While the loss guarantees Duke won't get a number one seed in the NCAA, the teams Duke faces whomever they may be won't be as familiar with Duke as all our ACC foes. If I saw a VCU in Duke's bracket Sunday I'm a LOT more confident in this teams ability to win than I was last year.

3. As stated in the Duke vs. Clemson thread, I knew the tigers were going to come out fired up with something to prove. They hadn't beaten Duke in 10 years and quite frankly I think they are peaking at the right tie and they have a chip on their shoulder. They match up much better with UNC, should have beaten the heels twice this season and I think are licking their chops to see UNC one more time. The way VT handled the heels today makes me honestly think Clemson will get their first ACC title tomorrow. IF that happens it makes UNC look not quite as good and Duke look not quite as bad to the selection committee.

Clemson is a great team and I'd LOVE to see them beat Carolina tomorrow, but I think they have a century-sized mental block when playing UNC and I hold little hope for UNC not adding another banner tomorrow. Clemson should make some serious noise in the NCAAs, and I wouldn't be shocked to see them go farther than us. As a 3 seed we can expect a REALLY tough second-round game and, as you say, Clemson is peaking/getting healthy at the right time.



4. Finally all year Duke has been getting penetration, then dishing it out for open three point shots all year. I honestly think it was so unconventional that it threw teams off for much of the season. But after viewing enough game tape coaches have figured out a few things to at least get a hand in the face of some of those shots and they aren't dropping like they were. IMO Duke's guards need to penetrate and take it strong to the hole more, just to throw a wrench in the dfensive plans of opposing teams now.

I think you've correctly diagnosed the problem, but so far we've only succeeded in generating charges when we drive. G is hurt, Singler is just too big, and Greg was too slow even before he tweaked his ankle today. Jon and DeMarcus have had some success and I hope they can do this more.


Regardless I'm more than proud of what this years team has done and anything can happen in the NCAA's. Go Duke and MOST of all Go To Hell Carolina!!!!!!!!

Agree, this team has really maximized it's talent and Carolina can always go to Hell.

devildeac
03-15-2008, 06:30 PM
All I ask is that Clemson hit its free throws tomorrow against UNC. I won't mind if they lose, but if they lose because of their performance at the line, I might pass a kidney stone.

They still did not shoot FT that well @68%. But, certainly better than their usual 61% or so. Watch them shoot about 5/10 tomorrow, if unc gets called for even that many fouls...

BAMDSALL
03-15-2008, 06:36 PM
I think teams are looking forward to playing Duke in the tournament. We havent really put together a full solid game in the last month or so (not counting St. John, where despite the score, I didnt think we played all that great anyway). Our defense has been porous at best, and our offense has stalled.

Just my doomsday .02

Sound pretty negative to me. Yesterday against Georgia Tech the stats looked pretty good to me.

Waynne
03-15-2008, 06:36 PM
Give Clemson some credit. They played great defense in the first half, exploited our lack of size underneath, and hit their free throws the last 3 minutes. They were able to seriously disrupt our offense, and to break us down defensively at times.

We have had a great year, but I too cannot figure out why we seem to be running out of gas at the end. DeMarkus and Greg look all right, so maybe it's because we have so many sophomores and freshmen who are not used to the rigors of a 30 game season? I hope Coach gives the team 3 days off. We'll have to play much better to make it to the Sweet 16.

Dukefan4Life
03-15-2008, 06:40 PM
I know ill catch some flack for this, but id like to see more zone from us in the future! i know or bread and butter have been the man2man, but it seems if you go all out all season, you would have to get worn out by the end of the season when it counts the most! I would love to see us recruit guys who can score and rebound in the post! we need other options when our outside shot is not falling!

6th Man
03-15-2008, 06:49 PM
Unless you have Jason Williams or Bobby Hurley running the point to make weak inside players look great by driving, drawing, and dishing, we will struggle until we get a legit athletic post presence. The bad news is we are in the same boat next year. So here's to great Novembers and Decembers, pretty decent January's, mediocre February's, and depressing March's. Actually my hat is off to this team for winning as many as they did this year. I realize now it was amazing they came as close as they did to the regular season title. This team does not comprise a legit contender for anything. No half court offense at all.

dukelifer
03-15-2008, 06:52 PM
the two seeds will be:
G'town
Texas
Tenn
Wisconsin/Stanford

We just lost our two seed and probably very well deserve it. with that, in the last 3 1/2 weeks we've lost to Wake, Miami, UNC and Clemson and should have lost to State.

Clearly, we're playing crap ball yet once again at the end of the year. Too bad the Maui Classic doesn't count, we're much better in November than March over the last 4 years.

I'm sick of tanking at the end of the year, can we move the tournament up to middle January?

Well that history is pretty short. Duke won the ACC tourney 2 years ago- unless folks don't count that. And if you start counting close games as losses- then do you think UNC has tanked as they certainly did not run away today and had many, many close games this year- even of late. Duke's problem is that K found a style that worked with this team- but just for a while. It requires that everybody contributes on O. When Duke has struggled of late- it is because Henderson has struggled. His wrist is a big part of the problem. Duke's margin for error is much, much smaller when he is giving only a few points and rebounds per game. You throw in a 1-9 performance by Singler and Duke has zero margin. That is what happened tonight. If Singler buries the many open looks he had- Duke probably wins this one. The other problem is that teams are getting a second look at the Duke team. Wake is the one exception. So, the big question are can Singler get out of his slump and is Henderson okay to play at a high level? If the answers are both no, I am not sure you expect this team to play like they did in December/January because they will not be the same team- despite having Duke across the front of their jersey. But if Singler can step it up, Duke has a shot to make noise- but their margin for error will be small.

Bob Green
03-15-2008, 06:54 PM
I think we should bench Singler and go really small with Jon.

I disagree with this idea. Kyle Singler needs to play through this slump. I would like to see him be a little more selective with his 3-point shooting, but "benching" him would hurt the team. We are thin inside so benching our most productive forward isn't the answer. I expect to see Zoubek play more minutes because he has played better every game since he returned from his injury. Coach K will continue to mix it up and our small line-up will see lots of action as will the Zoubek, Singler, Henderson, Nelson, & Scheyer line-up. I like Scheyer at the point and Zoubek in the post.

houstondukie
03-15-2008, 06:54 PM
stop...shooting...threes

(except Greg)

man, that was ugly.

Constantstrain 81
03-15-2008, 06:57 PM
So Clemson, who has been playing very well and is very motivated, comes in and plays a great game. They hit key free throws, they hit some threes, they play tough defense. Even so, we shake free for layups and jump shots and ... we don't shoot well. We make some poor decisions on offense and on defense that leads to some easy baskets for Clemson. That is just the way the game bounces sometimes. Not the end of the world. Not - we are a terrible team that can't shoot, can't play defense, and won't win another game and K can't coach or recruit, etc. etc. It was a good, hard-fought game. We lost. We get other team's best shots - the guys have to learn to play with that. Three freshmen, three sophomores, only one senior. It is all part of the game.

UNC is awesome and will wipe Clemson (or would have wiped us) out? Did anyone watch them stumble through their game today? Against a VT team much less talented than Clemson?

We lost two games on the road against very motivated, talented squads playing over their heads. We won against NCSU on the road when they played their best game of the season. We lost two hard-fought games against UNC and Clemson, when we shot poorly and still fought back to challenge in both. The boys are learning about March. It was a hard lesson, but a good lesson today. But it is not the end of the world.

Plus, Zoubek could be an All-American next year. He might be a lottery pick.

Anyway, I'll root for Clemson and look forward to a fun NCAA tourney run.

DevilCastDownfromDurham
03-15-2008, 06:58 PM
I disagree with this idea. Kyle Singler needs to play through this slump. I would like to see him be a little more selective with his 3-point shooting, but "benching" him would hurt the team. We are thin inside so benching our most productive forward isn't the answer. I expect to see Zoubek play more minutes because he has played better every game since he returned from his injury. Coach K will continue to mix it up and our small line-up will see lots of action as will the Zoubek, Singler, Henderson, Nelson, & Scheyer line-up. I like Scheyer at the point and Zoubek in the post.

You may be right, and I'm definitely cheering for Kyle to find his way out of this slump and be the player we have loved watching all season. FWIW, even "benched" I'd still expect to see Kyle play about the same number of minutes. I was just suggesting that starting from the bench might give him a chance to watch the flow of the game, the way things are being officiated, etc and then come in with a less anxious frame of mind. It might also make us harder to prepare for and permit some new wrinkles that would add some variety to the offense. Just my .02.

BAMDSALL
03-15-2008, 07:02 PM
Anyway, I'll root for Clemson and look forward to a fun NCAA tourney run.


AMEN!

grossbus
03-15-2008, 07:05 PM
"stop...shooting...threes

it is what the offense is designed to produce...either a shot at the rim or the kickout off the drive for the three.

DevilCastDownfromDurham
03-15-2008, 07:07 PM
Plus, Zoubek could be an All-American next year. He might be a lottery pick.

I love your optimism and I love Z's recent play. I think the chances of Z being one of the 5 best players in the nation next season are small.



UNC is awesome and will wipe Clemson (or would have wiped us) out? Did anyone watch them stumble through their game today? Against a VT team much less talented than Clemson?

I think the conventional wisdom is that UNC plays up/down to the level of their competition at times and often gives less than maximum effort. When motivated (as they will be tomorrow) they can take it to a different level. We'll see how tomorrow's game goes, but I suspect they'll be heavily favored.


Anyway, I'll root for Clemson and look forward to a fun NCAA tourney run.

Ditto. I'm adopting Billy's very wise MO, adjusting my expectations waaaay down, and enjoying the ride regardless of the outcome. Let's go Tigers and let's go Duke!

Uncle Drew
03-15-2008, 07:18 PM
I disagree with this idea. Kyle Singler needs to play through this slump. I would like to see him be a little more selective with his 3-point shooting, but "benching" him would hurt the team. We are thin inside so benching our most productive forward isn't the answer. I expect to see Zoubek play more minutes because he has played better every game since he returned from his injury. Coach K will continue to mix it up and our small line-up will see lots of action as will the Zoubek, Singler, Henderson, Nelson, & Scheyer line-up. I like Scheyer at the point and Zoubek in the post.

Bob I rarely disagree with anything you post and I may not be disagreeing with this one. The question is has Singler hit a "slump" where the basket looks like he's trying to throw it in a golf hole with a lid on it. Or has he hit the freshman wall so many rookies hit late in the season. We have to all remember he has played a TON more minutes than Smith or King and high school conditioning and college conditioning are two different things. Now all that being said I think this team is MUCH fresher than last years team was for many reasons. An injury or two (Paulus and Henderson) are probably hurting us. But being much deeper than last year we are much fresher. So I ask Mr. Green (my middle name is Green BTW) do you think he's in a slump or hit the wall, because I don't truly know and it's hard to tell.

devildeac
03-15-2008, 07:21 PM
They don't need him to be a good team. They need him to be a great team.

Quick aside: Duke played 9 players at least 14 minutes today.

http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaab/boxscore;_ylt=AsHZoWqMrXIUvk6arc0W57TevbYF?gid=200 803150173

Depth is nice but we overrate it.

Then why did we play/appear so tired to most observers/posters today? Depth vs no depth? Fatigue/tired legs vs fresh? K said we were "fresh" early in the week. What changed? We had no one play more than 33 minutes on Friday and no one greater than 30 today(IIRC). Think how much more 'tired' we'd be if we had 3-4 guys log 35+ minutes today. Puzzling to me.

grossbus
03-15-2008, 07:24 PM
in defense of singler.

the guy has been playing out of position on D most of the year. he has been getting the crap beaten out of him most games. he is a freshman. i am not surprised he is tired. his shooting is probably the result of tired legs. drives he was making earlier in the year, he is not even trying (he had hanstravel on the foul line extended twice at cameron and didn't even put the ball on the floor).

i don't think this will be remedied any time soon. it is what it is.

devildeac
03-15-2008, 07:34 PM
Too many TO-16
Not enough clemson TO-16
Too many open looks by clemson-51% FG
BAD 3 point shooting by us-6/26
3 guys barely showing up today-GH, KS and LT

I'm not at the ledge yet, but that is the direction I am heading. We have just not played well for a complete game for a while now and a 2nd round exit vs a tough 6/7 seed is not out of the realm of real possibility next weekend. Some body cheer me up:( .

GMR
03-15-2008, 07:34 PM
Once again, Duke is fading down the stretch. We know Duke was mentally and physically worn out last year. K and Scheyer have both openly admitted it. Scheyer contends that MOST of the Duke players are "motivated, excited, and ready to go. Do you think that MOST does not include Singler, and perhaps Smith? I have no way of knowing the answer, but I do question if that was his intent in making that statement.

I think it's apparent that Singler, more than anyone else, is empty for this year. To continue playing him as much as K does when his contribution has quite pitiful for the past 5-7 games is a bad strategy, in my opinion. I believe that it's much more the mental weardown than the physical for the freshmen.

These are young men not under nearly the pressure and limelight coming out of high school that they are at Duke, which is on TV more than any other basketball team, NCAA or NBA. The expectation is to win, the intensity of practices and games, given K's philosophy of 100% intensity all of the time, practice and games, takes it's toll. The season is longer than in HS, the exposure is much greater. They hit the wall, mentally and physically. The legs begin to give out, and the gray matter begins to portray confusion and fatigue.

I believe Duke will be a three seed. If you take the top 9 teams contending for a 1 or 2 seed, Duke is the first out of their conference tournament. Duke has the worst W-L record of the nine. Supposedly, one of the factors for the selection committee is "what have you done for me lately". If you were one of those members, how would you answer that question?

If Duke ends up a 3 seed, the expectation, based on the selection committee's criteria of selecting them a #3, is that they would be favorites to win the first two rounds in the NCAA, and lose in the regional semis assuming they meet the #2 seed in the semis. Right now, I would be pleased if Duke would make it to the Sweet 16 based on the way they have played in the last month.

Duke's philosophy of doubling up on defense anytime a player in the post gets an inside pass. It's simple to solve that defense...if a perimeter player is the one open man, pass it out for the three. If it's an interior player, a quick pass for an easy lay-up is the answer. How many times did Clemson do that today?
In my opinion, that type of defense is not the answer.

20% shooting from three-land, for a team that relies on the three as much or more than any other top team in the land, doesn't cut it. Duke is 5-4 over it's last 9 games, and could have very easily lost to NC State. That's against teams that, other than the one loss to UNC, and a marginal top 25 team in Clemson, are very mediocre.

You would think, after this very telling history over the past 7 years, that K would change up a little on his philosophy of trying to get Duke to play great basketball 100% of the time against 100% of the schedule, and adopt a strategy of bringing his teams along at a pace that's not so intense and mentally tough early in the year, and to try to get his teams to be playing their best ball in March.

Bob Green
03-15-2008, 07:34 PM
So I ask Mr. Green (my middle name is Green BTW) do you think he's in a slump or hit the wall, because I don't truly know and it's hard to tell.

Maybe I'm just hardheaded, but I don't believe in the freshman wall. As evidence, well it really isn't evidence, when a freshman is playing really good at the end of the year, all the TV "talking heads" will be going on and on about how so and so isn't really a freshman anymore due to the number of minutes they've played.

Singler will be fine, or he will continue to struggle, but neither result will have anything to do with the "freshman wall."

BCGroup
03-15-2008, 07:42 PM
"Does anybody here have a clue about what happened to Singler's game? Is there a Rookie of the Year jinx?"

On the post-game media conference, Coach K talked about how tired Kyle is and that he (Coach K) needs to figure out how to get him (Singler) some rest.

dukelifer
03-15-2008, 07:43 PM
You would think, after this very telling history over the past 7 years, that K would change up a little on his philosophy of trying to get Duke to play great basketball 100% of the time against 100% of the schedule, and adopt a strategy of bringing his teams along at a pace that's not so intense and mentally tough early in the year, and to try to get his teams to be playing their best ball in March.

I don't understand this? If the bar is a national championship- well that is pretty high. Duke has won 4-5 ACC championships in that seven year stretch. Is that being worn out? How did Duke manage to do this if they are drained or does the ACC tourney not count? If it does not count- they how can you relate it to NCAA success. Duke went to the final four in 2004 even though they lost the ACC tourney. Don't forget the last ACC team to win it all lost in the ACC semis. So what exactly are you talking about not playing their best ball in March?

GMR
03-15-2008, 07:45 PM
I disagree, Bob Green, with you thoughts that Kyle needs to play through his struggles. We're out of time, the NCAA is our next game. And I do believe in hitting the wall, especially for freshmen. And I think it's more of a mental wall than physical, although it can be a little of both. I think, for this next game, that playing other(s) more than Kyle has been playing is the thing we should try, and if Kyle shows signs of the Kyle Singler we loved so much from November through mid February, then keep him in the game. We can't afford in the NCAA to have a starter play as much as Kyle plays and make so little contribution.

GMR

cbarry
03-15-2008, 07:47 PM
huh what does doomed mean? we will not win the national championship. i like this team, i don't think there the best in the country but the future of this team is promising
Well, it looks like my original post got lost somehow (or ?deleted?- guess the mods are not too big on freedom of expression). Look- I am HUGE Duke fan, but I have high expectations. What are the goals of a team any year?
a. To just "play well" and get a lot of wins?
b. To win the conference championship?
c. To win the NCAA championship?

Yes, we have achieved goal "a". However, I think K sets his goals high, as do I. Along with most of you, I am disappointed that today's loss eliminated goal "b". I know it is extremely unlikely that we win the NCAA (as it is for every other team except UNC), but I would like to see us "shake things up". Other teams have scouted us very well, and know "our game". I agree with the poster who recommended going more zone. Let's do anything to throw off our opponents. If we so small sometimes by taking Singler out, and putting Scheyer in, let's give it a shot. I think Kyle can play through it, and I hope that our first round game will help him get his confidence back!

Go Duke!!

PatZorro
03-15-2008, 07:55 PM
I am surprised at the negativity apparent in this thread. This team has exceeded it's preseason expectations by a wide margin and largely avoided major injuries that have plagued other teams. Singler and Henderson have had a major impact in the 27-5 record that many teams would be thrilled to have. Singler is still a freshman and Henderson is hurt.

Clemson was the better team today but I love our Devil's hearts. Shame on us for doubting them!

LOVE THE DUKE BLUE but GO TIGERS TOMORROW

I am sorry, but what expectations were exceeded? In the preseason, we were widely predicted to be the second team in the conference. Some weirdos may have picked us as worse, but nearly every credible prognosticator picked us right where we ended up. The team IS heavily reliant on strong perimeter shooting, mistake free defense, and lacks a true post presence.

Everybody knew this going in. We lost 3 conf games, about what most expected. I didn't think we'd beat UNC, so that exceeded expectations. We beat some conf teams I thought we'd lose to, but we lost to some squads we shouldn't have, so it balances out.

In non conf play, we lost to the best team we played (injuries caused Pitt's season to nosedive). We beat all the teams we should have out of conference. Marquette was a maybe, but we should have beaten those guys, and we did.

We didn't dissappoint in the regular season. I fail to see how that is exceeding expectations.

IMO, we are playing exactly to our expectations, and are veering dangerously close to where some people feared (predicited) in the pre season.

We are a good team. Not great. We are very suseptable to teams with super quick points and powerful bigs.

Right now, we are at status quo.

PatZorro

dukelifer
03-15-2008, 08:01 PM
I am sorry, but what expectations were exceeded? In the preseason, we were widely predicted to be the second team in the conference. Some weirdos may have picked us as worse, but nearly every credible prognosticator picked us right where we ended up. The team IS heavily reliant on strong perimeter shooting, mistake free defense, and lacks a true post presence.

Everybody knew this going in. We lost 3 conf games, about what most expected. I didn't think we'd beat UNC, so that exceeded expectations. We beat some conf teams I thought we'd lose to, but we lost to some squads we shouldn't have, so it balances out.

In non conf play, we lost to the best team we played (injuries caused Pitt's season to nosedive). We beat all the teams we should have out of conference. Marquette was a maybe, but we should have beaten those guys, and we did.

We didn't dissappoint in the regular season. I fail to see how that is exceeding expectations.

IMO, we are playing exactly to our expectations, and are veering dangerously close to where some people feared (predicited) in the pre season.

We are a good team. Not great. We are very suseptable to teams with super quick points and powerful bigs.

Right now, we are at status quo.

PatZorro

I think people also expected that Clemson would be one of the ACC teams to give Duke a lot of trouble. I agree Duke is where they should be. Meeting expectations that are high is still impressive. 27-5 is a pretty decent season.

BCGroup
03-15-2008, 08:05 PM
Weirdest thing was the rotation Coach K played. Twice, yesterday's game and today, K switched out the starting five for the full bench. Not a bad tactic, mind you, just not something he has done at all this season. I mean, since ACC play started Coach K has relied much more on his starters (barring Scheyer).


I think it was yesterday's post game conference, Coach K said they had been practicing Blue/White, and since they were playing together well, he decided to let them play together that way in the tourney.

GMR
03-15-2008, 08:05 PM
It's been seven years since Duke won it's last NCAA title. If you ask basketball fans that aren't so overwhelmed with Duke blue glasses what defines Duke's success, what teams had the most success for Duke in this 7 year time frame, they will say the 2004 Final Four team. That's the one that made the best run in the NCAA tournament.

They NCAA tournament is college basketball. Not the regular season, not the ACC tournament, it's the NCAA tournament. They may not be the way to look at college basketball, but that's the way the media and basketball fans define success. How did they do in the Big Dance?

Yes, the bar is the national championship. That's what all of the better teams in the country aspire to, but only one team gets there each year. Duke basketball teams, over the past 7 years including 2008, have played better in the regular season/ACC tourney, than in the NCAA tourney. Look at their seeding, which is a process as thorough as has been developed to analyze a team's regular season and conference tournament success. Duke has underperformed versus their seeding in 4 of the 6 years (2002-2007) in the NCAA tournament. The other two years they performed to their seeding (2003) they were a 3 seed and lost to Kansas in the regional semis...Kansas was a 1 or 2 seed that year. In 2004, Duke was a one seed, and lost in the Final Four to UConn, which according to the seedings, Duke should have made the Final 4. They have not performed better than their seeding would indicate in any of these years since 2001.This year, if they get a 3 seed, which is where I think they will land, they should advance to the Sweet 16 and lose in the semis, assuming they play a 2 seed, according to the seedings.

You ask if the ACC tournament counts? Relative to the NCAA tournament, no in my opinion (and in Roy Williams thoughts). I don't think the ACC tournament is any more important than the regular season. Again, the success or failure of a team's success hinges on the NCAA tournament. I don't necessarily like that, but I think that's the way it is.

GMR

PatZorro
03-15-2008, 08:13 PM
I think people also expected that Clemson would be one of the ACC teams to give Duke a lot of trouble. I agree Duke is where they should be. Meeting expectations that are high is still impressive. 27-5 is a pretty decent season.

I totally agree with you. 27-5 is a good season. But I don't want anyone trying to martyr themselves by pretending that they alone are "true" fans or that this Duke team has overcome herculean odds to get to where they are today. I don't like that sort of revisionist thinking, given how people were talking in the preseason, and into January, that Duke was legitimate NC contender.

We are right at expectations. Not exceeding them. The elite 8 would be exceeding expectations.

PatZorro

BCGroup
03-15-2008, 08:14 PM
"Coach K was pleased with his bench play but is concerned with Singler who he deemed as being tired and having temporary lost his legs."

Follow up to post game:
http://myblogdevils.eponym.com/blog

kinghoops
03-15-2008, 08:15 PM
well im very disappointed, but not shocked at all.its not like we lost to a also ran tonite, if clemson plays with passion, takes care of the ball and shoots free throws, they can play with anyone. with that being said and as bad as i hate to admit this, they will get their clocks cleaned tomorrow afternoon.
and in my opinon, as bad as i thought duke played, they had a singler wide open three from the corner to cut it to one with a lil less than a min left, so i dont blame the effort. for some reason, this team hasnt been the same since they beat unc. but i havent given up on the ncaa tourney, will have to wait and see who we match up with, and im sure you are looking at a three seed now

dukelifer
03-15-2008, 08:22 PM
It's been seven years since Duke won it's last NCAA title. If you ask basketball fans that aren't so overwhelmed with Duke blue glasses what defines Duke's success, what teams had the most success for Duke in this 7 year time frame, they will say the 2004 Final Four team. That's the one that made the best run in the NCAA tournament.

They NCAA tournament is college basketball. Not the regular season, not the ACC tournament, it's the NCAA tournament. They may not be the way to look at college basketball, but that's the way the media and basketball fans define success. How did they do in the Big Dance?

Yes, the bar is the national championship. That's what all of the better teams in the country aspire to, but only one team gets there each year. Duke basketball teams, over the past 7 years including 2008, have played better in the regular season/ACC tourney, than in the NCAA tourney. Look at their seeding, which is a process as thorough as has been developed to analyze a team's regular season and conference tournament success. Duke has underperformed versus their seeding in 4 of the 6 years (2002-2007) in the NCAA tournament. The other two years they performed to their seeding (2003) they were a 3 seed and lost to Kansas in the regional semis...Kansas was a 1 or 2 seed that year. In 2004, Duke was a one seed, and lost in the Final Four to UConn, which according to the seedings, Duke should have made the Final 4. They have not performed better than their seeding would indicate in any of these years since 2001.This year, if they get a 3 seed, which is where I think they will land, they should advance to the Sweet 16 and lose in the semis, assuming they play a 2 seed, according to the seedings.

You ask if the ACC tournament counts? Relative to the NCAA tournament, no in my opinion (and in Roy Williams thoughts). I don't think the ACC tournament is any more important than the regular season. Again, the success or failure of a team's success hinges on the NCAA tournament. I don't necessarily like that, but I think that's the way it is.

GMR

I asked about this in a another thread. Interesting perspective. In some of the recent years- Duke's winning the ACC tourney or doing well may have actually given them the 1 seed. So perhaps if they had lost like this year- would they have performed to expectations? So by this reasoning- Duke did they right thing today. They lost- they will be seeded lower and if they make the elite 8 or final four - they will exceed expectations. Or are they really a 1 seed who failed to get there and now unless they get to the final four or better they are still a failure. I am so confused.

dukestheheat
03-15-2008, 08:23 PM
I totally agree with you. 27-5 is a good season. But I don't want anyone trying to martyr themselves by pretending that they alone are "true" fans or that this Duke team has overcome herculean odds to get to where they are today. I don't like that sort of revisionist thinking, given how people were talking in the preseason, and into January, that Duke was legitimate NC contender.

We are right at expectations. Not exceeding them. The elite 8 would be exceeding expectations.

PatZorro

Hey, also remember Carolina won today by 2 points! We lost by 4 points to a team that could very probably beat Carolina tomorrow. Many are considering Carolina to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tourney and some concede that they are also the NCAA tourney's overall No. 1 seed.

We lost to Carolina last weekend by a couple points like we did to Clemson today, and either game could have gone either way. I am encouraged to only lose by 4 today whilst playing so poorly!!

We are not talking about 20+ point drubbings at the hands of these teams, folks.

Again, Duke has the offensive firepower to go deep in this tourney and I am behind this team! They need all of us right now so it's time to line up dangit.

dukestheheat.

dukelifer
03-15-2008, 08:26 PM
well im very disappointed, but not shocked at all.its not like we lost to a also ran tonite, if clemson plays with passion, takes care of the ball and shoots free throws, they can play with anyone. with that being said and as bad as i hate to admit this, they will get their clocks cleaned tomorrow afternoon.
and in my opinon, as bad as i thought duke played, they had a singler wide open three from the corner to cut it to one with a lil less than a min left, so i dont blame the effort. for some reason, this team hasnt been the same since they beat unc. but i havent given up on the ncaa tourney, will have to wait and see who we match up with, and im sure you are looking at a three seed now
I agree, Clemson will lose- probably in the last minute- but I doubt they will get their clocks cleaned. What did you see from UNC today or this year against Clemson that suggests that UNC can beat them easily?

As for Duke not being the same since the UNC win- that is the game that Henderson hurt his wrist. That explains a whole lot.

Bob Green
03-15-2008, 08:26 PM
I disagree, Bob Green, with you thoughts that Kyle needs to play through his struggles. We're out of time, the NCAA is our next game. And I do believe in hitting the wall, especially for freshmen. And I think it's more of a mental wall than physical, although it can be a little of both.

GMR

Okay, we will have to agree to disagree. However, next weekend will bring the first two rounds of the NCAAT, so we will see which Kyle Singler shows up. I believe Kyle will start and find his game. Our signature this year has been a balanced scoring attack so I expect four or five players to score double digit points as Duke wins on Thursday/Saturday or Friday/Sunday.

I'm anxiously awaiting those brackets.

coastal1
03-15-2008, 08:31 PM
Well I think the main problem we've had is a lack of talent.

I agree in the sense that in watching Duke, they don't seem extremely talented. Certainly not athletic.

But Duke has 7 (8?) Burger Boys, including a legitimate Senior leader. The talent should not be the problem. For whatever reason its not manifesting on the court.

DukeDevilDeb
03-15-2008, 08:40 PM
First of all, I am a DUDETTE, not a DUDE and have probably been a Duke fan longer than you have been alive! I never miss a game.

I read this board to gather insights on game subtlies that I may have missed during games. I usually find it highly informative. I take exception when the support for our team is apparent only when we are winning!

If you're a Duke supporter ONLY for purposes of NCAA bragging rights then I question the depth of your support of a college program that is the standard for all other teams. Even when hated (often) it is envied and modeled by other coaches. I bristle at the thought that PLAYERS might read some of what is posted here after a loss. They just might live up to your expectations!

I get sooooooooooo tired of reading the negative comments after a Duke loss. Come on, guys, this Duke team is not Laettner, Hurley, and Hill... and I think they've done well. Does it make me angry to lose? Only when we play badly like today. If we play our hearts out and someone beats us, we should just go on.

I can't believe people are still knocking Zoub's development. The guy has done great in our last several games. I sat watching him today and couldn't believe that this guy who rebounded, who received the ball in the paint and then put it up (at least once) without dribbling, was the same guy who got called for traveling every single time he had the ball!

We are not an elite team, and anyone who thinks we are going to be an elite team every year needs a dose of reality juice. Look at the team from last year and the improvement this year. Kyle is not having a good tournament, and that's hurting us. Is that K's bad coaching? Is it Kyle not working hard? Lots of players hit walls, and he's being asked to work through this at a time when every miss hurts. But I can't fault him for trying, and I will not fault Coach K for giving him at least some opportunities.

I though that Zoubek, McClure and Paulus did well. Yesterday against Georgia Tech, we had 5 players in double figures. Today, we had three: Paulus (17), DeMarcus (14) and Scheyer (13). Next best scorer? Zoubek, with 8. It wasn't those 4 who were the problems. It was Henderson's 7, Lance's 0, Singler's 2, and Smith's 7 that did that.

So, what should we as loyal Blue Devil fans do? We can curse and kick and holler tonight, and we should cheer for Clemson tomorrow. But after they announce where we'll be playing next weekend and against whom, we need to start being the 6th (or maybe with Jon the 7th) team player again.

Some people here sure don't sound like the 6th man that Coach K says is so important.

Go Duke!

GMR
03-15-2008, 08:45 PM
In today's press conference, K talked about how tired Kyle was, how he had lost his legs. Also, he stated that he has to find some time to get him rest.

Yet, just three days ago, in an article in the Winston-Salem Journal, K stated it was clear to him that the Blue Devils were fresher and healthier for this year's tournament. Did Kyle just tire out in the last 3 or 4 days? K put Duke through hard practices this past Monday and Tueday, according to the article. Now, he's looking for rest, at least for Singler. Something doesn't add up??

GMR

Uncle Drew
03-15-2008, 08:47 PM
Okay, we will have to agree to disagree. However, next weekend will bring the first two rounds of the NCAAT, so we will see which Kyle Singler shows up. I believe Kyle will start and find his game. Our signature this year has been a balanced scoring attack so I expect four or five players to score double digit points as Duke wins on Thursday/Saturday or Friday/Sunday.

I'm anxiously awaiting those brackets.

I'm not disagreeing, and truth be told I don't know if anyone but Kyle could honestly say whether it's a slump or the proverbial wall. (And probably not until next season after he's had time to sit an annylize it.) Yes you can point to a player like Carmello Anthony as evidence for their being no freshman "wall". But you could point to JJ's freshman year when he couldn't hit the broad side of a barn against Roy Williams Kansas team and say the slump exists. Then again JJ was a horse that Duke rode every year, but the wear and tear seemed to get to him come March.

All I know is against GT his two early fouls were silly, "what the %$#$ were you thinking" fouls that took him out of the game. Against Clemson his outside shots looked flat (usually a sign of fatigue) but his decission making and passes he attempts look like he is forcing it a bit. Early in the year he let the game come to him and little by little Duke started relying on his play more and more. I don't know if he knows now he is an important key for Duke on offense and defense and it's messing with his head. (I can't see that being the case since he was THE man for his team in high school, but that IS different than college.) But I'm not sure if a player, ANY player is making bad decissions and forcing things if I want them playing through their slump or wall. That's not to say not play him, for the love of God Duke needs him big time to do anything in the coming weeks. But let him come off the bench after viewing how the game is being played. I'm not saying Zoubek is Shaquille O'Neal yet, but starting he and Lance together may throw teams off a bit on offense and defense.


I think one of the things that has made Scheyer so successful coming off the bench is players get that first burst out of the gate and get their legs under them. Duke has sent in Scheyer who has pushed things into a higher gear and it's helped Duke and hurt their opponent. I honestly think that same idea could be a good thing for Kyle. But then again that's just my opinion, and it isn't like anyone on the coaching staff is reading any of what any of us are posting.


"Yet, just three days ago, in an article in the Winston-Salem Journal, K stated it was clear to him that the Blue Devils were fresher and healthier for this year's tournament. Did Kyle just tire out in the last 3 or 4 days? K put Duke through hard practices this past Monday and Tueday, according to the article. Now, he's looking for rest, at least for Singler. Something doesn't add up??"

GMR


OVER ALL the team is fresher than last year, due to depth conditioning and other factors. When the team came off the court last year I actually saw some players walking to the bench after time outs like they had mono or something. That's my whole point about Kyle is that he has played so much compared to the other freshmen. And when the guys got to school they were all bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to go. I still think Smith and King have plenty in the gas tank and maybe even Singler thinks he does. But freshmen tend to treat playing time like a 50 yard dash instead of a marathon. And he may be running on fumes right now.

DukeDevilDeb
03-15-2008, 08:48 PM
It's been seven years since Duke won it's last NCAA title. If you ask basketball fans that aren't so overwhelmed with Duke blue glasses what defines Duke's success, what teams had the most success for Duke in this 7 year time frame, they will say the 2004 Final Four team. That's the one that made the best run in the NCAA tournament.

They NCAA tournament is college basketball. Not the regular season, not the ACC tournament, it's the NCAA tournament. They may not be the way to look at college basketball, but that's the way the media and basketball fans define success. How did they do in the Big Dance?

Yes, the bar is the national championship. That's what all of the better teams in the country aspire to, but only one team gets there each year. Duke basketball teams, over the past 7 years including 2008, have played better in the regular season/ACC tourney, than in the NCAA tourney. Look at their seeding, which is a process as thorough as has been developed to analyze a team's regular season and conference tournament success. Duke has underperformed versus their seeding in 4 of the 6 years (2002-2007) in the NCAA tournament. The other two years they performed to their seeding (2003) they were a 3 seed and lost to Kansas in the regional semis...Kansas was a 1 or 2 seed that year. In 2004, Duke was a one seed, and lost in the Final Four to UConn, which according to the seedings, Duke should have made the Final 4. They have not performed better than their seeding would indicate in any of these years since 2001.This year, if they get a 3 seed, which is where I think they will land, they should advance to the Sweet 16 and lose in the semis, assuming they play a 2 seed, according to the seedings.

You ask if the ACC tournament counts? Relative to the NCAA tournament, no in my opinion (and in Roy Williams thoughts). I don't think the ACC tournament is any more important than the regular season. Again, the success or failure of a team's success hinges on the NCAA tournament. I don't necessarily like that, but I think that's the way it is.

GMR

... agree with Roy Williams about the relative importance of the ACC and NCAA tournaments. Why don't you go cheer him on? What Coach and the team have done in the ACC tournament over the last decade is phenomenal! And yes, our last national championship was in 2001, our last Final Four appearance in 2004... but how many teams have since 1986 (1) played in as many national title games as we have, (2) gone to as many Final Fours, (3) have as many National Championships?

UrinalCake
03-15-2008, 09:30 PM
I agree that Clemson has a real shot at winning tomorrow. Carolina was taken down to the wire today, and they don't have a lot of depth at guard so I would expect fatigue to be a factor. Clemson has the disadvantage of having played the later game, but I expect they will have a ton more heart and energy. Carolina has much less to play for; they have a #1 seed locked up and even if they lose they'll probably still have the East region (depending of course on what else happens with other teams).

Here's an interesting question (and a way to change the subject away from the loss 8-))... what kind of seed should Clemson get if they win?

YmoBeThere
03-15-2008, 09:39 PM
Here's an interesting question (and a way to change the subject away from the loss 8-))... what kind of seed should Clemson get if they win?

They will be a 4 win or lose tomorrow. And FWIW, hours later it still stinks that we lost.

UrinalCake
03-15-2008, 09:54 PM
They will be a 4 win or lose tomorrow. And FWIW, hours later it still stinks that we lost.

Are you saying "win or lose" because you think the selection committee will have already decided before the game is played? Or do you think what they've done over the entire season outweighs the results of tomorrow's game? I would think that there would be a lot of emphasis on the game from the committee's standpoint, especially given Clemson's injuries earlier in the season.

Bob Green
03-15-2008, 10:14 PM
But Duke has 7 (8?) Burger Boys, including a legitimate Senior leader. The talent should not be the problem. For whatever reason its not manifesting on the court.

Our current roster includes eight players who were McDonald's All Americans: Nelson, Paulus, Scheyer, Henderson, Thomas, Singler, Smith, & King.

I'm not really sure what point you are attempting to make with your post, but I agree that talent is not an issue. We are a talented squad. Our primary strength is at the 2 and the 3 (Nelson, Scheyer, Henderson, King, & Smith).

devildownunder
03-15-2008, 10:18 PM
Are you saying "win or lose" because you think the selection committee will have already decided before the game is played? Or do you think what they've done over the entire season outweighs the results of tomorrow's game? I would think that there would be a lot of emphasis on the game from the committee's standpoint, especially given Clemson's injuries earlier in the season.

and the fact that the title would give them a win over a sure #1 seed.

Johnny B
03-15-2008, 10:34 PM
... agree with Roy Williams about the relative importance of the ACC and NCAA tournaments. Why don't you go cheer him on? What Coach and the team have done in the ACC tournament over the last decade is phenomenal! And yes, our last national championship was in 2001, our last Final Four appearance in 2004... but how many teams have since 1986 (1) played in as many national title games as we have, (2) gone to as many Final Fours, (3) have as many National Championships?

We are one of the perennial powerhouse teams in college basketball. Period. Our record, even over the last 5 years has been very good, including in the NCAA and stands up well against the usual suspects. Obviously we always want to win the National Championship but I don't define success solely by a national championship. Competing (and beating Carolina), competing for the ACC regular season and championship, beating Carolina, and.....beating Carolina are important to me. I also just simply enjoy watching Duke play. I'll stop now as I don't want to launch into a post-mortem on this season. The season is not over; indeed it may have multiple weeks to run.

:D

rsvman
03-15-2008, 10:39 PM
UNC should have lost today. They don't look invincible at all, to me. Deron Washington essentially gave UNC the game by fouling Ellington on a three that was missed. The foul resulted a clock stoppage, two points from the line, and expulsion of Washington, as it was his last foul. In the end, they couldn't rebound a missed shot (Washington's presence might have been helpful) and lost by the two points they gave to Ellington at the line. Clemson has played Carolina tough twice this year and have more to gain. No way are they blown out tomorrow.

I wonder if Singler has been sick. There have been a number of tough respiratory viruses going around this year, several of which have made people I know sick for several weeks. They take the energy out of you. Everybody's postulating "the wall," but it well may be "a virus." Singler is certainly an outstanding freshman player and has been a joy to watch this year. I hope he feels physically and mentally better by next week.

If I were K I would go really easy in practices this week, if at all.

devildownunder
03-15-2008, 10:59 PM
... agree with Roy Williams about the relative importance of the ACC and NCAA tournaments. Why don't you go cheer him on? What Coach and the team have done in the ACC tournament over the last decade is phenomenal! And yes, our last national championship was in 2001, our last Final Four appearance in 2004... but how many teams have since 1986 (1) played in as many national title games as we have, (2) gone to as many Final Fours, (3) have as many National Championships?


DukeDevilDeb, let me understand this correctly, you take this person to task for putting too much emphasis on ncaa tournament performance, then suggest that he is being overly critical of this year's team/coaching staff because of a history of strong ncaa performance?

BAMDSALL
03-15-2008, 11:08 PM
Obviously there were some nerves struck about negativism regarding this loss. Coach K in post game interviews stated that he was proud of this teams play today and that they played a "bleep" game against a "bleep" team. Now, I'm no expert so I will defer to the expertise and wisdom of those that are more knowing than a hall of fame coach with 800+ wins, three national championships and record NCAA appearances.

Duke will play in the NCAA tournament and I plan to be wearing my Duke Blue and and enjoy my blind ignorance of their hopeless chance of "exceeding expectations" and going beyond the Sweet Sixteen.

beltwayBD
03-15-2008, 11:27 PM
I get sooooooooooo tired of reading the negative comments after a Duke loss. Come on, guys, this Duke team is not Laettner, Hurley, and Hill... and I think they've done well. Does it make me angry to lose? Only when we play badly like today. If we play our hearts out and someone beats us, we should just go on.

I can't believe people are still knocking Zoub's development. The guy has done great in our last several games. I sat watching him today and couldn't believe that this guy who rebounded, who received the ball in the paint and then put it up (at least once) without dribbling, was the same guy who got called for traveling every single time he had the ball!

We are not an elite team, and anyone who thinks we are going to be an elite team every year needs a dose of reality juice. Look at the team from last year and the improvement this year. Kyle is not having a good tournament, and that's hurting us. Is that K's bad coaching? Is it Kyle not working hard? Lots of players hit walls, and he's being asked to work through this at a time when every miss hurts. But I can't fault him for trying, and I will not fault Coach K for giving him at least some opportunities.

I though that Zoubek, McClure and Paulus did well. Yesterday against Georgia Tech, we had 5 players in double figures. Today, we had three: Paulus (17), DeMarcus (14) and Scheyer (13). Next best scorer? Zoubek, with 8. It wasn't those 4 who were the problems. It was Henderson's 7, Lance's 0, Singler's 2, and Smith's 7 that did that.

So, what should we as loyal Blue Devil fans do? We can curse and kick and holler tonight, and we should cheer for Clemson tomorrow. But after they announce where we'll be playing next weekend and against whom, we need to start being the 6th (or maybe with Jon the 7th) team player again.

Some people here sure don't sound like the 6th man that Coach K says is so important.

Go Duke!

Thanks DevilDeb -- good reality check. We should be happy just to get to watch these guys play.

Sandman
03-15-2008, 11:32 PM
Folks, let's not lose perspective. Yes we lost, but only by 4 points to a very good team with LOTS of motivation! Posters have said we:
a) looked exhausted
b) could not handle the press
c) played horrible defense
d) made bad decisions on offense
e) couldn't hit 3s
f) had poor coaching decisions on subsitiutions
g) are now just a motly collection of walking wounded

WE ONLY LOST BY 4 POINTS!!

And seeding isn't that vital. Last I heard, you still had to win 6 games regardless of seeding.

Give the players and coaches a little love - they'll show up for the next game.

BAMDSALL
03-15-2008, 11:44 PM
http://www.wral.com/sports/video/2584084/

I respectfully disagree. Coach K is very candid in his post game interviews and is not hesitant to say how and where the team fails to perform. LISTEN to the interview and watch the expressions of Greg and DeMarcus . They left their hearts out on the floor and they lost to a very good team. No substantive reason to rub their noses in it and talk trash about how hopeless their NCAA chances are.

These are kids (young ones) that have a relentless schedule in a challenging academic environment along with the expectations of an elite basketball program. They are not video characters that we can turn on and manipulate at will.

BAMDSALL
03-15-2008, 11:46 PM
Tried to quote Devil down under but his post disappeared?????

devildownunder
03-16-2008, 12:02 AM
http://www.wral.com/sports/video/2584084/

I respectfully disagree. Coach K is very candid in his post game interviews and is not hesitant to say how and where the team fails to perform. LISTEN to the interview and watch the expressions of Greg and DeMarcus . They left their hearts out on the floor and they lost to a very good team. No substantive reason to rub their noses in it and talk trash about how hopeless their NCAA chances are.

These are kids (young ones) that have a relentless schedule in a challenging academic environment along with the expectations of an elite basketball program. They are not video characters that we can turn on and manipulate at will.


With what do you respectfully disagree? I never posted the things you seem to think I wrote. The point of my post was that coaches understand the psychology of their teams and players and act/speak accordingly. The post isn't here anymore, unfortunately, but I also said that he, and we, have every right to be proud of them. I made no suggestion or implication that K wanted to, or should have ripped anyone's performance/heart/integrity etc. I simply stressed, let me be extra careful here, FOR MOST HUMAN BEINGS there is a difference between pride and optimism so one cannot, WITH CERTAINTY, IN MOST SITUATIONS, infer one from the other. In fact, part of my point was that a coach needs to be very careful to avoid tearing down his players in public like that because it is destructive to the players.

I don't know how that could have gotten twisted into what you seem to think I meant but, obviously, somehow it has, so take a look at this post and see what I am saying in it. I hope it will make things more clear to you?

Sir Stealth
03-16-2008, 02:17 AM
The negative posts make me sick to read - I don't mind anything saying the team played terribly today, because they did. I absolutely mind anything that says: 1) I told you we wouldn't get far this season (congratulations, seems like you were hoping you'd be right the whole time) 2) we have no chance going forward (there's plenty of teams, including Duke teams, that have had late season setbacks and done very well in the tournament - if you jump off the bandwagon now I'd just as soon you not cheer for Duke the rest of this season or any other)

This team still has the chance to be great. They can play badly, but if they figure it out, and they still very well can, then they can beat anybody in the country, over and over again. It makes a lot of people feel better, especially on a message board, to say that they don't see it, but I think Duke has as good a chance as anybody (not that great, but enough to cheer for - cause no one cares if you're the first to say that we sucked all along).

We'll ave to see what happens in the NCAA tournament. I expect the team to perform well and will be disappointed if they don't. The team should actually set it's feet before taking threes and not force them because they have stopped attacking on offense. They shouldn't stop attacking on defense either and they should value the basketball. We should expect this of them, because they have it in them to be a great team. We'll see how they respond.

Sir Stealth
03-16-2008, 02:49 AM
I agree that talent should not be an issue. We have a TON of talent. I don't think that we should use some imaginary freshman wall as excuse either. Others have pointed out that there are many teams out there who rely on young players these days in college basketball. College games simply aren't that long, nor is the college season. It's a stupid excuse. No one should give up on this team, period. No one should lower expectations for this team either. I don't think that they would for a second. I don't think that Singler, as good of an athlete as he is, would ever think that he has hit a wall. I can't know that for sure, but that's what I'd think. This team can be great. It's not time to bail on them. The final word on this team is not out. We shouldn't be overly disappointed in them now, but they expect great things from themselves when it's all said and so should we.

The1Bluedevil
03-16-2008, 03:48 AM
The being tired excuse sure gets me fired up. Hate it simply hate it.

Someone please explain to me when Z is in the game why Duke goes and doubles to help him?
I hope Duke is a 3 because I believe their is a very strong chance Wisconsin would be the 2. Couldn't ask for anything better then that.

The1Bluedevil
03-16-2008, 04:21 AM
This may sound crazy to alot of people but what is wrong with going big? This team will not be a final four team this year or next year relying on the 3 ball and playing small. Why not go big? If it doesn't work then so what, relying on the 3 ball may be fun to watch but doesn't translate to titles. This idea is based more on next year because changing this late in the year is highly doubtful.

Play Z, Lance, Kyle, and Gerald together. Let Kyle play his natural wing spot and have Lance just continue to roam the floor setting screens while Z posts in the paint. Yes Duke would be alot slower but rebounding would improve and I don't think Duke would not have to manufacture as much offense. Getting beat off the dribble would only be a problem if Kyle can't guard a wing player or a team uses Z in high ball screens. Duke could still run and then back out and wait for Z to post. Look the only way Duke gets to a final four is if Z becomes a player, so why not just play him 20/25 minutes per game? Wisconsin is doing it and Duke has better players.

Readers may think I'm dead wrong but going big should be atleast in the conversation.

Matches
03-16-2008, 07:15 AM
I learned seven years ago never to count out a Coach K team, but it's pretty hard not to be pessimistic at this point. Facts are facts - we simply have not been the same team for the last four weeks or so that we were previously. Whether that's because teams have "solved" our defense, our offense has become one-dimensional, something else, or a combination of things - I don't know. I wish I did. I'll leave that to heads wiser than mine to figure out.

Yes, we can beat anyone - when we shoot really well from distance. If we're hitting 12-13 threes in a game, we can play with anyone. The odds of that happening six times in a row, though, are next to zero - and we have looked VERY ordinary lately when the threes aren't falling.

Clemson is a good team. Clemson is not, despite Booker's trash-talking, a great team. In order to advance in the tournament, we will need to beat at least 4-5 teams, in a row, that are at least as good if not better than Clemson. I really don't draw much consolation from the notion that we *almost* beat Clemson, or that we only lost by a few points. In order to win titles, we have to beat the Clemsons of the world.

heavy g
03-16-2008, 07:52 AM
It has been a disappointing pattern for us to regress towards the end of the season every year. It used to be that coach K talked about and executed a plan to have us playing our best basketball at this time of year. I think he's lost sight of that goal. We need to play "true road games" early in the year, we need to suffer a number of gut-check losses early on, and most importantly, our bench players need to see significant time in ALL contests, not just some of them. It used to be that we were under-rated much of the time. Now we're perenially and consistently over-rated.

We looked like garbage last night. Amateurs on the press break, standing around watching Scheyer try to do it all himself in half court, defensive breakdowns galore, etc. And where did the zone go?

I hate to say it, but I lay the lion's share of the blame on the in-game and season-long coaching. We had a lot of potential this year, but I don't think we can pull it together for a real run. We play like an undisciplined high school team far too often.

Constantstrain 81
03-16-2008, 08:53 AM
College basketball is a minefield of possible disasters - for everyone. There is the early season, the January season, the end of the regular season, the conference tournament, and the Dance. I believe that Coach K plans carefully for each of these seasons and tries to learn from them. The players that you have, their physical and mental condition, the teams that you draw and their situations - all of this plays a part. While it would be great to have a 37-2 or 37-3 team (both of whom lost in the national finals) every year, that is the exception. Coach K's magic is in pulling together a team consistently over the years - having a team that overachieves - having a team that goes beyond what they are capable of. It has been even harder to do that with early departures and with the reputation that Duke has gained (we get everyone's best shot).

We had a tough year last year. This year has been an exciting and pleasant surprise. Another young team, another team without all the requisite pieces, another team with a chance to win it all. Will they? Only three weekends can tell.

I realize that we haven't won a national championship for seven years. It had been 8-9 years since the first two K had won. Think back to that team that won in 2001 - Battier, Boozer, Williams, Dunleavy, and Duhon. That's five NBA players on the roster. The Reddick/Williams years (which "fell" short) had only two NBA caliber players and even they don't get much play (which is a travesty, but that's another thread). Maybe they really overachieved to get to that point.

This is a good, solid, young team. It has overachieved all year. It has reclaimed the Duke "birthright" and will earn a high seed in the NCAA tournament (2 or 3). It will contend for the national championship, although who they play and how they play and what the conditions are will have an impact - as they always do.

Let's celebrate that. (You could be a State fan)

Udaman
03-16-2008, 09:28 AM
This team had been so much fun to watch. They really overachieved...they caught people off guard. They developed and used their bench. And then came Feb 6th, 2008. When this season is over in a few weeks, that might be the date of our tombstone - the day our season really began to end.

You might recall we pretty much dominated UNC. Yeah, they were without Lawson, but that only mattered a little. Our defense took them out of the game. Singler used his speed on the outside to expose Tyler's lack of speed. We pressured them into turnovers and denied the inside pass. It was awesome. But in that game, Henderson hurt his wrist, and we have been a shadow of that team every since. Here's why I'm worried:

1) The stats speak for themselves. In the four games after the UNC game, Henderson went 5 for 20. Not per game, mind you, but total. Yes, he attempted five shots in four games. His lack of any kind of offensive ability put pressure on everyone else, namely Singler who led the team in minutes played in 6 of the next 7 games. One would argue that Henderson has never really reached the level he was at before the injury (though it looked promising for a while). The pain he was in yesterday was troubling to say the least.

2) The stats speak again about Singler. Up to the UNC game, he went 97 for 198, or nearly 50% and 29 for 81 behind the arc, or 36%. Since then he's 56 for 138 overall (41%) and 21 of 66 from behind the arc (32%). And all this talk about his performance in the ACC being due to being "tired" is again worrysome. I mean the guy had 6 days off before the Ga Tech game, then barely played due to foul trouble, and against Clemson he was "tired?" Yes, a season can catch up to you. But if that's the case, then what will 6 more days of rest give him? Honestly, I think he might be sick. Who knows?

3) With a 75% Singler and Henderson...we are in big, big trouble, especially against anybody with size. Earlier in the season, I said "bring on Georgetown." Our speed will kill them. After watching them last night, even in losing, I think they, Pitt, Kansas - anybody with strength on the inside, pounds it in on us, and we can't stop it. We destroyed Wisconsin earlier in the year with our speed. If we played them in the tourney, they would be favored, and really should be.

4) Due to Singler's and Henderson's struggles, the rest of the team has forced things as well. Again, up to UNC as a team we were shooting 48.4% from the floor and 40% from three point range. Since then as a team we are shooting 43% and 37% respectively. And that is counting three games (against bad teams) where we shot lights out - St. John's, Virginia and Ga Tech in the first round of the ACC. If you take those three games out, then we have an 8 game stretch where we have shot 41% from the floor and 35% from behind the arc. And we've gone 4-4, and should have lost to NC State. That...in a word...is brutal.

5) We now enter the NCAA tourney with very little swagger. We are tired. We are not healthy, and teams realize the way to beat us is to make us take 2 pointers (switch off and not give us good look at three's), hope we miss our shots, and pound it inside. Add to that the fact that Duke is still pretty much hated by anybody who is not a Duke fan, and that other teams can still point to us as a "HUGE" win....and we are in trouble.

It's all going to be about matchups. And maybe it will be fun to enter the tournament with not as much pressure. But given where this team was earlier in the year, it's tough. I think Lunardi is right in that we are the highest seeded #3 seed. That should put us in with either Wisconsin or Georgetown. Also, for some reason, I like the 6-11 matchups better than the 7-10's. With 6 and 11's you are getting 11 seeds that really are the last one's in (teams like Arizona, Temple, Oregon, etc), and the 6 seeds are middle of the packers in various conferences: Purdue, Mich State, etc). If we can get a 2nd round matchup with one of them...I like our chances.

But if we get some solid mid-major in the 2nd round (S. Alabama, Kent State, W. Kentucky, St Mary's)...I'll be sweating big time come this weekend.

rsvman
03-16-2008, 09:49 AM
Preach on, Constant!

The team we saw in the first half of the Georgia Tech game looked like the team we saw in the first half of the season. That team can be ANYONE.

Sure, we could have executed better against Clemson, but this team still has great heart and tremendous potential.

Forget the naysaying and support the team. Go Duke!

Fish80
03-16-2008, 09:50 AM
Coach K said. "I love my team. I like where we’re at."

Ditto.

Bluedog
03-16-2008, 10:08 AM
Reading the boards and then listening to Coach K's post-game interview, you'd think that fans and K saw two completely different games. As Coach K said, he likes where this team is and they played winning basketball. When you lose, sometimes it's because you lost, and others it's because the other team won. We lost this game because Clemson won it, he continued. We didn't just lay down and die. Something that hasn't been talked about much on this board is just how well Zoubek has played the last 3 games. 4-5 for 8 pts, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and a block in 20 min of play. That's just huge! I really think Zoubek is going to be key in the NCAA tournament. If he plays well, and the matchups are decent, I definitely like our chances to make the final four. While some may say this team hasn't played as well as of late, we've still left everything on the floor and it hasn't been because of a lack of effort or heart. Yes, we need our 3s to go down at more than a 23% clip, but if we do that, I think we can definitely do some major damage in the tournament. They weren't bad looks, they just didn't fall yesterday. Even with that poor shooting, we were still in the game at the every end against a very very good Clemson team. In the end, I still love this team and think that many people are being overly pessimistic. GO DUKE!

kinghoops
03-16-2008, 11:14 AM
Reading the boards and then listening to Coach K's post-game interview, you'd think that fans and K saw two completely different games. As Coach K said, he likes where this team is and they played winning basketball. When you lose, sometimes it's because you lost, and others it's because the other team won. We lost this game because Clemson won it, he continued. We didn't just lay down and die. Something that hasn't been talked about much on this board is just how well Zoubek has played the last 3 games. 4-5 for 8 pts, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and a block in 20 min of play. That's just huge! I really think Zoubek is going to be key in the NCAA tournament. If he plays well, and the matchups are decent, I definitely like our chances to make the final four. While some may say this team hasn't played as well as of late, we've still left everything on the floor and it hasn't been because of a lack of effort or heart. Yes, we need our 3s to go down at more than a 23% clip, but if we do that, I think we can definitely do some major damage in the tournament. They weren't bad looks, they just didn't fall yesterday. Even with that poor shooting, we were still in the game at the every end against a very very good Clemson team. In the end, I still love this team and think that many people are being overly pessimistic. GO DUKE!

i was very suprised to hear k say in his post game press conference that duke played a helluva game. i thought they played poor at best. now was the game tied with 5 mins to go? yes, but a average effort down the stretch and duke wins this game, hey clemson played well, and i think they have to play well to even beat duke on a poor nite, but i promise you, they will not beat unc today, mark my words! i hate unc with a passion just like anyone else, but clemson will fold like a cheap suit today, and also all im reading about them being tired?, didnt i read an article in wed hearld-sun talking about how fresh everyone was? doesnt make sense to me, hell georgia won two games in 8 hours, so bah! humbug on being tired! hell pitt won 4 games in 4 days, were they tired?? i think being tired is just an excuse for poor play period!!

Mudge
03-16-2008, 12:35 PM
Coach K says that Kyle Singler has been asked to play a bigger, more important role on this team than any freshman since Johnny Dawkins-- I say, EXACTLY-- I have been contending all season that he is the difference-maker in this team; Singler is the reason this team is 5 games better (and 6 ACC games better, in a better ACC league than last year, measured by NCAA tourney teams) than last year's team-- he's not just worth 5 games-- he's worth 6 games against good-to-great competition, including making us competitive with UNC, where we really weren't last year.

Moreover, Singler's slump right now (which is mostly an outside shooting slump, not an overall playing slump) is the reason we are struggling a little more than people thought we would, after that great patch in the middle of the season... if Singler gets his shooting touch back, we will be in the last 8 (and possibly, with the right matchup, the last 4) of the NCAA tournament. Singler is the reason I fully expect this team to reach the last 16 vs. last year's team, which I did not expect to get past the second round... let's hope Singler mean reverts and finds his shot (he could start by concentrating on taking the top of the key 3-pointer, and not the corner shot-- nobody on our team is consistently making the corner one right now, but Singler most of all.)

Second, Coach K seems to be really adamantly convinced that the team is as good right now as they have been all season, because of the bench contributions-- he "really likes his team right now" and was getting noticeably irritated when people tried to suggest that Duke played anything other than a great game ("winning basketball" K called it) yesterday. K thinks that if Singler gets rested, and Henderson's wrist is OK, he thinks the team is positioned to do really well in the NCAA tourney.

I think K knows/sees something that we're not sensing, that is being camouflaged by the recent poor 3-point shooting. Teams will have temporary shooting highs and lows, but almost inevitably, the law of large numbers prevails, and they revert to form-- Clemson is likely to get beat in the second round of the NCAA by an less-talented team that makes free throws, while Clemson misses them. Our team is full of good 3-point shooters, who are not likely to continue to shoot poorly going forward. Only Singler has been consistently off form for the last couple of weeks, and if he reverts to form, this team is a last 8/last 4 kind of team. Of course it's possible that we could have another bad outside shooting game and be eliminated early, but I think it's unlikely-- just as I think it's unlikely that we'll have 6 straight really good shooting games and win the title-- but I think it's quite likely that we'll shoot close to our season average, and win 2-3 games in the tournament, before playing a regional final against somebody really good, and then we'll either win or lose a close game against an evenly matched team.

CatfiveCane
03-16-2008, 12:50 PM
in a one and done tournament... laws of averages does not apply.

JasonEvans
03-16-2008, 01:02 PM
in a one and done tournament... laws of averages does not apply.

Which is why judging the success of a season on a one-and-done tournament is foolish.

--Jason "that said, another Final Four would be nice ;) " Evans

Chard
03-16-2008, 01:09 PM
I liked what I saw from the team with weekend. Shooting woes can result in what happened yesterday. We all need to remember that Clemson and UNC are very good teams. The ACC is the highest rated in the RPI. Yesterday was on the level of a great 8 game or at least a round of 16 matchup at a minimum. Clemson is playing great and are very good. UNC is great but playing not as well as they had been. We have to remember that about those teams.

Duke will be fine. I saw some great lineups out there this weekend. I saw the bench players really pick up their game. This weekend reminded me of Maui. All Duke needs to do is win the mini tournaments starting next week. I think they are entirely capable of getting to the FF but they would have to win a game just like yesterday to do that.

Duke has lost to Clemson, which I consider a sweet 16 or great 8 level teams. I could see them playing in the FF as well. Clemson has been building toward this level of play for two years now and they're peaking at the right time. Duke went 1-1 against UNC, a favorite to go to the FF. Duke lost by one point to Pitt, the Big East champ. Duke beat Wisconsin, who is playing for the Big Teneleven title. Duke beat Davidson, the Southern Conference champ. Duke lost to Miami which is a tournament team. Duke beat Marquette which will be going to the tourny.

Duke has as great a chance as anyone to reach the FF this years. It's wide open. We'll just have to see after 6 EST to find out who Duke has to go through to get there.

Overall, I'm quite happy with Duke's prospects for this years NCAA.

CLT Devil
03-16-2008, 01:33 PM
I think another big reason that we have lost many games of late, or at least a factor in those games, is Gerald Henderson seems to be really bothered by his wrist. He gives us a great slasher game but also has the best mid-range game on the team. He consistantly hit the pull-up jumper earlier in the year by creating his own shot. He seems to be looking for his shot less and not hitting with the same consistancy that he did earlier.

You could really tell on the TV broadcast that he was in pain yesterday. We are very deep at that position, but he brings an edge that other players on our team don't have in that he is able to elevate over defenders and get his jump shot off. It has been admirable how he has dealt with the pain, and you can tell it bothers him enough that he's not looking to score as much as he did earlier in the year.

Thoughts?

Chard
03-16-2008, 01:42 PM
That is a big reason for Duke not looking as good as they did back in February. Henderson was playing great and could get his shot at will.

DukeDevilDeb
03-16-2008, 02:04 PM
DukeDevilDeb, let me understand this correctly, you take this person to task for putting too much emphasis on ncaa tournament performance, then suggest that he is being overly critical of this year's team/coaching staff because of a history of strong ncaa performance?

I was trying to take that person to task for putting ALL the emphasis on NCAA tournament performance. Obviously, many of our crowning achievements do lie within the tourney. Things like being #1 at the end of the season doesn't. I was also trying to point out (although I obviously did a lousy job of it! :) ) that I was as proud of our string of ACC championships as of any other accomplishments we have.

Sorry, but the folks who say in December that we can't win an NCAA championship make me really sad... it is as if there is nothing else worth living for.

DukeDevilDeb
03-16-2008, 02:05 PM
We are one of the perennial powerhouse teams in college basketball. Period. Our record, even over the last 5 years has been very good, including in the NCAA and stands up well against the usual suspects. Obviously we always want to win the National Championship but I don't define success solely by a national championship. Competing (and beating Carolina), competing for the ACC regular season and championship, beating Carolina, and.....beating Carolina are important to me. I also just simply enjoy watching Duke play. I'll stop now as I don't want to launch into a post-mortem on this season. The season is not over; indeed it may have multiple weeks to run.

:D

Thanks for this post!

DukeDevilDeb
03-16-2008, 02:17 PM
The negative posts make me sick to read - I don't mind anything saying the team played terribly today, because they did. I absolutely mind anything that says: 1) I told you we wouldn't get far this season (congratulations, seems like you were hoping you'd be right the whole time) 2) we have no chance going forward (there's plenty of teams, including Duke teams, that have had late season setbacks and done very well in the tournament - if you jump off the bandwagon now I'd just as soon you not cheer for Duke the rest of this season or any other)

This team still has the chance to be great. They can play badly, but if they figure it out, and they still very well can, then they can beat anybody in the country, over and over again. It makes a lot of people feel better, especially on a message board, to say that they don't see it, but I think Duke has as good a chance as anybody (not that great, but enough to cheer for - cause no one cares if you're the first to say that we sucked all along).

We'll ave to see what happens in the NCAA tournament. I expect the team to perform well and will be disappointed if they don't. The team should actually set it's feet before taking threes and not force them because they have stopped attacking on offense. They shouldn't stop attacking on defense either and they should value the basketball. We should expect this of them, because they have it in them to be a great team. We'll see how they respond.

... and the team need. There are six more games to be played. We would like to play all six and win all six. Let's hope that Kyle finds his legs (and his shot), that Gerald's wrist is OK, that Taylor can keep progressing on defense and find his shot every so often, that Zoubek and McClure continue to march forward, and that everyone keeps looking forward and upward.

Go Devils!

weezie
03-16-2008, 06:16 PM
The main board's link about our Coach K visiting the Clemson team bus after their victory made me teary-eyed.

How lucky are we to have such a wonderful man as our coach?!

God bless Mike. God bless our team and coaching staff. Let's go Duke!

Channing
03-16-2008, 06:27 PM
I shared this link over at the Clemson scout board - it is nice to see fans of another school respect K rather than rip on him which seams to be what fans of other schools do.

Saratoga2
03-16-2008, 07:08 PM
Reading the boards and then listening to Coach K's post-game interview, you'd think that fans and K saw two completely different games. As Coach K said, he likes where this team is and they played winning basketball. When you lose, sometimes it's because you lost, and others it's because the other team won. We lost this game because Clemson won it, he continued. We didn't just lay down and die. Something that hasn't been talked about much on this board is just how well Zoubek has played the last 3 games. 4-5 for 8 pts, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and a block in 20 min of play. That's just huge! I really think Zoubek is going to be key in the NCAA tournament. If he plays well, and the matchups are decent, I definitely like our chances to make the final four. GO DUKE!

The game I saw indicated the Zoubek should have gotten more minutes. Coach K didn't see it that way and I am wondering why.

mgtr
03-16-2008, 08:01 PM
Some have posted that Singler should be benched. I disagree -- I think that Singler, Thomas, and Henderson should be benched. Let them earn their way back into the starting lineup.

weezie
03-16-2008, 10:46 PM
Boy, I sure hope the players aren't reading this. Is this turning into a joke thread? :confused: