View Full Version : Rankings:Preseason-midseason-tourney

03-31-2008, 12:09 PM
In general, rankings on this board tend to be optimistic. Rankings made by the so called experts are a little more realistic, since there isn't that stong fan bias.

I believe at the beginning of the year Duke was in the low teens in ranking. With the strong beginning and only the one loss to Pitt in overtime, our ranking moved way up, so we might have been considered as a top NCAA seed. Then came losses in the ACC, the ACC tourney and then an early out in the NCAAs. If we were ranked now, it would be somewhere in the mid 20's, since we made the field of 32.

What caused us to fall this year, after a more complete collapse last year?

Players: Tired physically, depressed, up tight, sick, injuries (known and unknown), players not as talented as our opponents?

It appeared to me that quite a few players held their form, while a few others looked tired. Looking at a Davidson team, with limited athletic ability and one great scorer, they played aggressive team oriented defense and got to the ball. We had more weapons, but the weapons were unbalanced at the end of the year and our defense was not as solid.


Offense: Perimeter based?

We tried to win the game from the perimeter, since there was no inside game and little slashing going on. Too bad we missed many open threes when our shooting efficiency went south.

Defense: Aggressive man to man?

We chased and over played. We looked tired in the second half. We also were exposed in several games by the backdoor cut and we lost our rebounding aggressiveness. Why didn't a team like Davidson look tired after chasing Kansas all game?


What did we do to compensate for shortcomings?

During the year, we started to put more playmaking responsibity on Scheyer. We also effectively tried zone defense at times and we tried using Zoubek more frequently. We also went more and more to using Singler as an outside shooter.

During the tourney, we kept using Scheyer as a playmaker and it was effective. That moved Paulus to bring the ball up and then switch to a shooting guard dury, which was also pretty effective.

I didn't see a lot of zone in the tourney and we were backdoored on defense and didn't do well with rebounding. Zoubek had happy feet and only played a couple of minutes in the last game, but I noticed that teams that did well had an effective big man presence. Sasha Kahn at 6'11" did a great job for Kansas, Kevin Love did the same for UCLA and Tyler did great for UNC. Memphis didn't get as much inside, but they didn't need it. Thomas was ineffective inside as was Singler, so perhaps trying Zoubek for more than 2 minutes would have seemed like a reasonable adjustment.

Finally, when we had players obviously not in form, it would seem giving another player a greater portion of the PT would have made sense.

In any case, the final 4 teams were all more complete than we were but we certainly could have gotten to the great 8, had we been playing in mid season form.

With Kansas turnover prone, UNC will likely advance. Much more difficult call with Memphis and UCLA both playing very well. Memphis seems like it has it's act together, so I am looking for a UNC/Memphis final this year.

03-31-2008, 01:02 PM
Zoubek needs to be working on foot work for many hours every day!!!!

03-31-2008, 02:09 PM
Defense: Aggressive man to man?

We chased and over played. We looked tired in the second half. We also were exposed in several games by the backdoor cut and we lost our rebounding aggressiveness.

I certainly agree with this assessment. I'm certainly no expert, but when I watched our two games in the tournament, it seemed like we were out of position on defense many times. Off the ball, we had guys overplay the perimeter and then get backdoor'd. On the ball, it seemed like our guys put a lot of pressure on the person with the ball, but would end up out of position and then get beat off the dribble. This type of defense led to more offensive rebounding opportunities because our guys seemed out of position. It just seemed like we weren't in the right spot on defense, but maybe we were and the other guys just made better plays...sometimes that's how it goes.