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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    What Is The Realistic Expectations For This Year's and Next Year's Team

    There are those of us who were spoiled by the past Duke success in winning 3 National Championships and anything less than a Final Four appearance was considered an unsuccessful season. I admit that I was one of those.Each year I envisioned that Duke was capable of winning the National Championship.

    That has changed in the last few years.

    What is the realistic hope for this year's team ? Obviously, we are not a national championship caliber team. If we made it into the Elite 8, would it be a successful season...I think so. What about into the Sweet 16..probably so.

    What about next year's team assuming that John Wall will not matriculate at Duke ? Do you think that it is capable of winning a National Championship ? Obviously it all depends on what happens to Singler and Henderson. If they both leave then the answer is obviously NO. What if they both stay? What would be your realistic expectations for next year?

    Would Kelly and Plumlee make up for the deficiencies that we see this year ? I cannot answer that question because I have never seen either play.Is Nolan Smith the PG who could lead the team to high expectations...from what I have seen this year..not so sure, although players do get better as they mature. ?

    Had Kenny Boynton decided to come to Duke would that have made Duke a National Contender ...possibly but it is only speculation ?

  2. #2
    My expectation for this year's team is round of eight before losing to a tough Big East team. Next year's team is without question a title team if Henderson and Singler return and everyone stays healthy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Manhattan
    Please, God...just not another VCU or West Virginia. Please.

    If we make it to the Sweet 16, I will consider this a successful season.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, North Carolina

    Don't lose hope!

    It's all about matchups and getting on a hot streak in the NCAAs. Two eight seeds - Wisconsin and UNC - made it to the Final Four in 2000, and #11 seeded George Mason made the FF in 2006.

    Teams can get on a roll. Don't lose hope.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Summit County, Colo.
    Quote Originally Posted by Native View Post
    Please, God...just not another VCU or West Virginia. Please.
    or florida or lsu or michigan state or indiana or kansas with nick collison going off or kentucky coming back from 17 down or ok i'll shut up

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by NYC Duke Fan View Post
    Obviously, we are not a national championship caliber team.

    * * *

    Obviously it all depends on what happens to Singler and Henderson. If they both leave then the answer is obviously NO.
    I don't think anything is obvious in this regard. At the time, was the 1991 Duke team considered to be a "national championship caliber team"? They'd been to the NCAA finals the year before but they got beat by 30. They had 7 losses and before the NCAAs were only 7-5 against ranked teams (1-2 against out-of-conference ranked teams). They got clobbered in the ACC tournament.

    It sounds like it was before your time, but NC State in 1983 and Villanova in 1985 were not considered to be national championship contenders, nor was Arizona in 1997. This year's Duke team is as good as any of those teams.

    Personally, I think you should keep your internal expectations low enough so that you'll be disappointed but not devastated if/when they lose. At the same time, you shouldn't be overly critical of your team or give off negative vibes. Beyond that, I see no value in laying on the pressure of high expectations or of placing the restrictions of low ones. Let the team shoot for the stars and then be happy wherever it takes them.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    roxboro nc
    i hate to say this, but i think we will be pretty lucky to get out of the first weekend of the tournament. just like the two previous years, there has been no improvement from december to february, and i dare to say that there has been a bit of regression. i dont understand why there has been no improvement in team play, and the way i see it only one player has improved during the course of the season, that being g.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Summit County, Colo.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    I don't think anything is obvious in this regard. At the time, was the 1991 Duke team considered to be a "national championship caliber team"? They'd been to the NCAA finals the year before but they got beat by 30. They had 7 losses and before the NCAAs were only 7-5 against ranked teams (1-2 against out-of-conference ranked teams). They got clobbered in the ACC tournament.
    Couple things about the 1991 team: First, it took care of business during the ACC regular season -- the meat of the schedule. This is especially true if you throw out the season-opening "rude awakening game" at Virginia. And our out-of-conference schedule that year was brutal.

    Secondly, I don't recall a "bad stretch" in 1991 that was populated with a series of losses and tough wins (a la Miami) akin to what this team is going through now. Again, the 1991 team took time growing into its skin, but it was pretty darned consistent.

    In any event, in 1991 there wasn't the usual conversation of "which handful of teams can win it". It was more like "i wonder if arkansas can beat unlv, because it's not like anyone else has a shot".

  9. #9
    I hope for a couple of things.

    1. If we do not get John Wall, hopefully we have another backup PG to recruit, a TRUE PG. I think Nolan will be better served if he isn't saddled with primary ball handling duty, same with EW. If G leaves, we're going to need their athleticism big time.

    2. I hope that neither Miles or EW are discouraged with the their current contributions to this team. I really think both have the chance to contribute big next year, they have the talent, just need the development. I hope they do not look elsewhere.

    3. Duke has had a strong trend of seniors stepping up their play big time for their last go around. I'm hoping LT, Zoubs and Marty follow suit, whether its points, rebounds, effort, anything. If not, I'd rather they just stay out of the way. I think they'll do the former.

  10. To get the obligatory out of the way:

    The NCAA is one-and-done. Any team can get hot blah blah Cardiac Pack blah K is a genius blah.

    That said, in terms of reasonable (better than 50%) chances, I'd peg this team as Sweet 16, subject to our seeding. Assuming we end up as a top 4 seed but not a #1 our first game will be a tune up. Given recent years I think we will bring everything we have to make sure we make it past the first weekend.

    Once we're in the SS, however, we're almost certain to see a team with at least one of a) a creating/break-down PG or b) a formidable post presence. We may get a good matchup or just be really hot from outside, but we can't reliably handle top-20 teams with either or both of these on a neutral (i.e. hostile) court. If either Nolan can find a groove or our post guys put things together we're more like an EE team with an outside shot at the FF.

    Next year's team is still very much up in the air. With Wall we're a title contender. Without him we still have all of the issues that this team does (Kelly and MP2 will be good wings, but neither has the body or game to be a real post presence). There's also the issue of who leaves. We know we're losing Greg and Dave (which will be a major loss) and I've got to think that at least one of G and Kyle will shine in the NCAAs and then jump to the NBA. I'm assuming Marty will go back to Europe as well.

    As such, we have this team minus PG depth and plus frosh that don't address any needs (and may not play much anyway). As such, we're going to have to hope that guys develop. Ideally the light will go on for MP1 and Nolan will grow into his role as a PG. If so, I think we're a clear FF team. Working backward, if only one grows up we're EE, if none, another SS season.

  11. #11

    I beg to differ...

    Quote Originally Posted by kinghoops View Post
    i hate to say this, but i think we will be pretty lucky to get out of the first weekend of the tournament. just like the two previous years, there has been no improvement from december to february, and i dare to say that there has been a bit of regression. i dont understand why there has been no improvement in team play, and the way i see it only one player has improved during the course of the season, that being g.
    Hi,

    I know I have been a bit flippant in some of my posts recently, but I am serious about this one.

    You don't think that Lance is starting to play much better and be more assertive? You don't feel that Greg is starting to add more than he has in quite a while? You don't think Kyle might have been a little tired for a couple of games and is now playing really well? You don't feel that Coach K is using his bench more than in recent years and giving lots of players a chance to contribute? You don't feel that Coach K is looking more and more "into it" as the season progresses?

    Are you accounting for the level of competition? We haven't lost to bad teams that are unranked in this recent skid. However, we did lose to Michigan and then the ship was righted.

    I feel people are being harsh, way too harsh, on this team. I think one must take into account the level of the competition and where games are played. The Devils were one play from winning at Wake. I feel that at Clemson the whole thing could have gone south, but it didn't! The ship was righted against Miami. Do you really feel that the team played poorly last night? Do you not give any credit to the Tar Heels playing well? Is every Duke loss because Duke is playing badly?

    Let's see what happens on the road on Sunday. I think that is more of a litmus test than losing to a team that was supposed to go undefeated and their point guard plays like an NBA lottery pick. I don't think many if any teams would have been able to withstand the Tar Heels defensive pressure and offensive prowess demonstrated last night. Who knows maybe the Heels peaked last night and the Devils are just starting their ascent?

    GO DUKE!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    roxboro nc
    Quote Originally Posted by Kewlswim View Post
    Hi,

    I know I have been a bit flippant in some of my posts recently, but I am serious about this one.

    You don't think that Lance is starting to play much better and be more assertive? You don't feel that Greg is starting to add more than he has in quite a while? You don't think Kyle might have been a little tired for a couple of games and is now playing really well? You don't feel that Coach K is using his bench more than in recent years and giving lots of players a chance to contribute? You don't feel that Coach K is looking more and more "into it" as the season progresses?

    Are you accounting for the level of competition? We haven't lost to bad teams that are unranked in this recent skid. However, we did lose to Michigan and then the ship was righted.

    I feel people are being harsh, way too harsh, on this team. I think one must take into account the level of the competition and where games are played. The Devils were one play from winning at Wake. I feel that at Clemson the whole thing could have gone south, but it didn't! The ship was righted against Miami. Do you really feel that the team played poorly last night? Do you not give any credit to the Tar Heels playing well? Is every Duke loss because Duke is playing badly?

    Let's see what happens on the road on Sunday. I think that is more of a litmus test than losing to a team that was supposed to go undefeated and their point guard plays like an NBA lottery pick. I don't think many if any teams would have been able to withstand the Tar Heels defensive pressure and offensive prowess demonstrated last night. Who knows maybe the Heels peaked last night and the Devils are just starting their ascent?

    GO DUKE!
    just my opinion on a couple of points that you stated. first of all, yes i think duke played poorly in the second half, thats not saying they didnt play hard, but i cant recall that many layups given up in a half. do i give credit to unc playing well? yes, but i think them playing well was dictated by duke playing poor defense. several of the turnovers in the second half were just plain unforced errors that led to fast break points.

    do you really think lance has improved??? if you think so, you are seeing something different than i am. greg playing better is true, but it is offset by the terrible play of nolan smith. i understand that he is not a true point guard, but if i recall correctly, his last three 3pt attempts have been 2 from straight on that didnt hit the rim, they were so off they hit the backboard and the third was a wide open shot from the corner that he overshot by three feet.

    and as far as k using his bench?? i think ole roy outcoached him on bench play, therefore unc was much fresher the last 10 mins of the game

  13. #13
    I'd say we are slightly better than last year. We couldnt stop Ty Law.. He wouldnt have tossed that stuff in over the Landlord. More muscle. Its what we need

  14. #14

    This is for Kinghoops, but is a general post as well

    Hi,

    Kinghoops, I've enjoyed reading your posts and your responses to mine. I feel we are both on the same side. You are just looking at things a bit differently than I, that's great. As Coach Wooden once said, "If everyone is thinking the same, then nobody is really thinking." I feel that Nolan Smith has shown flashes of brilliance. I agree he was steadier earlier in the season, but once one gets into conference play the pressure is different. We can go back and forth on one player or another or on the general level of play.

    I would prefer to have a team with upside on the 12th of February than a team that can no longer get better because it has none. The players, and that includes G and Kyle, still have upside. I don't think they have peaked this season. Might I be wrong? Sure, let's see what transpires.

    GO DUKE!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    A lot of good points here. As for me, I'm not going to lower my expectations (which I feel a lot of people here are doing) too much. There's no doubt that, at this point, we can't realistically expect a Final Four. Could happen, but I'd never expect it. But at the same time I just can't say that a Sweet 16 loss is good enough. For me to consider this a successful season I say we need to get to the Elite Eight. Anything beyond that is gravy.

    Realistically I think we should make it to the second weekend of the tourney. What we do in that first game of the 2nd round will be the key. If we can at least win the first game in that second weekend then this will be a successful season in my eyes. Less than that... an "average" season by Duke standards, but not a truly successful one. Just my two cents.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO

    Smile I like our FF chances

    This is a very good Duke team.

    1. It plays strong defense.
    2. It even rebounds -- (This is a get-me-the-smelling-salts episode!)
    3. It has three scoring weapons -- Singler, G., and Scheyer.
    4. Singler, who is a bit of a prodigy, and Nolan are the only underclassmen we rely on.
    5. The team is totally healthy -- knock on wood.

    Because of the stifling defense and the gutty rebounding, I like our chances against any team not intimately familiar with our play. I think we have a good chance of making the FF.

    Our scrappiness and center-by-committee will serve us OK in the NCAAT. We need defense, rebounds, and passing (outlet variety) from the bigs, and a few putbacks every game. I think we will get that.

    I am not worried about PG, now that Greg has shown he can be productive, and I predict Nolan will come back to his earlier form. Now if Ty Lawson goes off on us again, we will have trouble (as will anyone else). Yesterday was his best game ever, IMHO. Anyway, we won't face UNC until the FF. And Lawson has been up-and-down all year, so I'll take my chances for the NC.

    I am also not worried about the late season "mon-swoon." That was then; this is now. This is a deep team not likely to wear down.

    sagegrouse

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    I think Nolan will step it up next year. If we keep everyone and lose Paulus we will have a strong team. Add in Ryan Kelly and Younger Brother and I think we have a title team. I mean we have Zoubek, LT, Olek, Big Bro, Lil Bro, and Ryan Kelly so I can't see how we can't improve. Plus with Kyle and Hendo on board and I think the depth there is just too much to ignore.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    How susceptable are we to a Penetrating PG? Really?

    Everyone here is down on Ty Lawson, cause of his attitude. The truth is, he is the best penetrating PG that College hoops has seen for several years. Paul was good, but he was a better shooter and lacked the body strength to operate like Lawson.

    Lawson is SPECIAL.

    If Teague, who I consider to be the best overall PG in the nation, doesn't go off on us, we will be OK. WFU has a couple of All star level forwards, which is what beat us there.

    Will we have trouble with the Lawsons of the world? Yes. But he is the only Lawson we will face. Other PGs will do OK against us, but they won't, can't, kill us like TY did. Ty doesn't bring it every game. When he does, he is unstoppable at this level. Maybe Thabeet can alter his shots. Maybe not. But he's the only one in college.

    Now, several teams have quality pgs to go along with athletic bigs. That is a recipe for disaster for this Duke team.

    If we fail to get out of the first weekend again, it will be panic button time. It just will be. But I think a solid showing in the elite 8 would be sufficient for this year. I won't be happy about it, but I can live with it after a few days to calm down.

    Here is a real head scratcher.

    Last year, Nelson became a member of only the 2nd group of Srs at Duke not to get to the FF. No one on this years team has ever been out of the Sweet 16. We talk about how our team is experienced. But they aren't come March Madness.

    We need a run to quiet the talk arround the program.

  19. #19
    This team reminds me somewhat of the 2002-2003 team what Dahntay Jones and company, minus the bigs we had with Shelden and Shav. We have good shooters, an athletic wing, an up and coming PG, and a versatile four man. I think a sweet sixteen or elite eight would be about right for this squad, but as someone pointed out, this is a one and done deal...anything can happen. I can say this team is for sure a top ten team in the NCAA right now, just not final four material.

    As for next year, I have a few concerns here. Nolan Smith adds a great defensive mindset to the PG spot, but if Wall does not come in, we are going to be seriously thin in this department. Scheyer is capable of bringing the ball up the floor, but I am not sure how well that will work out. I can only speculate as of now, but from what I read, Henderson is a lottery pick if he comes out after this year. With Plumlee and Kelly coming in, we will get some much needed height down low, but still no traditional big man like we had with Brand and Boozer. Bottom line is it is so hard to speculate on recruits, and how they will mesh with the current team. I think next year could be really special if Henderson stays...having a couple of big men coming in who can shoot the J will pose some major match up problems too.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilCastDownfromDurham View Post
    We may get a good matchup or just be really hot from outside, but we can't reliably handle top-20 teams with either or both of these on a neutral (i.e. hostile) court.
    You don't think Purdue and Xavier are top 20 teams?

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