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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    A Little Bit of Perspective, Folks

    Iíve tried to read as much as possible on the board since the Wisconsin game. Due to those pesky things like ďworkĒ and ďhaving a life,Ē I havenít been able to read everything. But Iíve seen enough to be really disappointed and frustrated with much of whatís going on. Itís also enough to make me concerned about what will happen the next time Duke loses, because I think we can all agree that Duke Ė and everyone else in the country Ė will probably lose again this season.

    Whatís missing from some Ė not all, but some Ė of the posts is perspective. But itís not just one kind of perspective. Itís historical perspective. Itís mathematical perspective. Itís plain old basketball perspective. I realize thereís always a healthy influx of new posters with each new season, and I know that losses tend to both bring some of those people out of the woodwork, in addition to bringing out the worst in other people. But this isnít just an issue with new posters. Itís a mix. And while Iíve read a lot of stuff I respect, I really think this board is in trouble if we canít dial down the tone and pump up the knowledge a bit.


    Iíd like to help, if youíll indulge me for a longish post.

    The biggest issue, among many, is the number of people who are drawing broad, sweeping conclusions based on one loss to a solid team in a really tough environment during the month of December. I hope, as the initial sting wears off, you can recognize things that are overreactions. If not, letís start this way:

    Historical Perspective
    Two years ago, in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Duke destroyed Wisconsin in Cameron by 24 points in a game that wasnít even that close. It came on the heels of the Maui Invitational title, made Duke 7-0 and left everyone here thinking big. And Wisconsin? Well, after watching them play that game, it was hard to imagine their even finishing in the top half of the Big Ten.

    Wisconsin ended up reaching the Sweet 16 that season. Duke lost in the second round.

    Clearly, it was wrong to jump to major conclusions after that game. So it should make even less sense to make declarative statements after a close loss at Wisconsin, right? Right?

    If thatís not enough, look back to some of Dukeís best teams from this decade, like the 2003-04 team that lost to Purdue in Alaska, or the 2001-02 squad, which began January with a loss at a weak Florida State team. You can only tell so much from early-season games, and you really can tell very little from one early-season game. Why?

    Mathematical Perspective
    One game in basketball isnít close to a representative sample size. I don't even think it's representative in football, so it certainly is not in hoops. I think weíd all know that if Derek Jeter were to go 0-for-4 in a game in May, including three strikeouts on sliders down and away, that we couldnít conclude that Jeter canít hit a slider. Those of you who are NBA fans would know implicitly that the Sunsí losing to the Knicks two nights ago doesnít mean much, or that Shane Battier can still guard athletic wings even after Al Thornton went for 19 on him last night or that Amare Stoudemire can score against elite teams, despite his 5-for-14 shooting against the Cavs. Nor, for that matter, would anyone judge Blake Griffinís NBA future based on 10 minutes of playing time in his first game back from injury.

    Yet, when it comes to Duke, thatís exactly whatís going on. I know the college season is significantly shorter than that of the NBA, and I know it concludes with a one-and-done tournament. But that still doesnít make one game a representative sample size. Just as Lance Thomas wasnít a nightly double-double because he played great UConn, he shouldnít/wonít fall out of the rotation based on how he looked against Wisconsin. Just because Jon Scheyer looked out of sync against Wisconsin doesnít mean he struggles against small, quick guards; not with mountains of evidence to the contrary, including the most recent game against UConn, last yearís matchups against Ty Lawson and Toney Douglas, etc. And judging Mason Plumlee, a freshman, in his first game back from a month-long injury? Come on. And if the concept of sample size doesnít work for you, just consider this avenue instead:

    Basketball Perspective
    Most of you have played the game, right? Even if you didnít play in high school, youíve probably played pickup ball. You know that sometimes you have it, and sometimes you donít. Sometimes that friend of yours who is slow and small and not even worth guarding hits everything he chucks at the rim. Sometimes you canít get your go-to move to drop. Well guess what? Elite-level players arenít immune to the vagaries of a game based on a lot of randomness, either.

    I went through a bit of the post-game threads from both the Wisconsin and UConn games. And in addition to being struck by the different crowds the two games drew in terms of posters who only replied to one or the other, I was even more interested to find the contradictory comments from a variety of posters, reacting totally differently after games that were separated by less than a week.

    I donít want to single people out, because there were tons of examples that fit what I said above. But, for instance, hereís what one person wrote after the Wisconsin game:

    ďI can't agree with the generally upbeat reaction here. We played horrible defense, and it seemed clearly to be poor play by us more than great play by them. The Badgers were patient (and many teams we'll play couldn't match them in this respect in a million years) however, we always delivered a path to the basket. We had a whole game to fix it, and did not. Both Plumlees and Dawkins appeared tonight to be not ready for big time defense. Very discouraging.Ē

    Hereís what the same person wrote after the UConn game:
    ďWe made UCONN look like a not very good team. We literally imposed our will on them, and did it without much offense, without scoring from Singler, and with no help from the Zebras (the third foul on Plumlee was the worst call I have every seen, anywhere, anytime). This is exactly the kind of poor shooting that has led to a Duke loss in non-conference games recently, particularly in the NCAAs. Not so tonight, and likely not so this season. This is really something to build on.Ē

    Itís so easy to fly high after a big win and sink low after a tough loss. But, again, it doesnít mean we should be jumping to conclusions in either situation. The above examples are tame compared to what was written after both games, which is actually why I picked them Ė no need to highlight some of the more extreme stuff written after last night.

    Many people were pumped about Zoubek and Thomas after the showing against UConn. Now, many people (including some of the same people), donít think theyíre rotation-worthy. The truth, as always is probably somewhere in between.

    Whatís worse is the people making declarations that Duke ďcanít win a championshipĒ because of X, Y and Z that were on display last night.
    Fact: This team is not close to fully developed.
    Fact: Two freshmen are among Dukeís top seven players.
    Fact: The team is still installing a new offense.
    Fact: Weíve seen enough of Jon Scheyer over four seasons Ė including against teams much better than Wisconsin Ė to know that his performance last night was a complete aberration.
    Fact: Weíve seen enough of Nolan Smith to know heís better than he played against Wisconsin, too.

    So those are just a few reasons, from a basketball perspective, to avoid viewing last nightís game as a proxy for March. But whatís even worse are statements like (and Iím paraphrasing a bit):
    ďOnce again, Duke is a jump-shooting team, and we wonít win that way. In fact, that means another early-round flameout.Ē
    ďCoach K wonít play his bench enough and that will cost us in big games down the stretch.Ē
    And, of course, ďWe canít win with [Insert big man].Ē

    Those are result-oriented fallacies, driven purely by the most recent thing we saw. Because, clearly Duke CAN beat a good team with its bigs, which we saw against UConn. Duke CAN win with a short bench late in the season, which we saw in the ACC Tourney last year, during three championship seasons, etc. Duke ISNíT just a jump-shooting team, which we also saw against UConn.

    And thatís to say nothing of all the people who said ďAndre Dawkins should have played more in the second half,Ē without realizing that he was on the floor for the final 16-plus minutes (and responsible for several of the defensive breakdowns, I might add). Or the people who ranted about Duke going away form the zone, without recognizing that we had trouble rebounding out of it and that the man-to-man D was actually better late in the game, and that Wisconsin just hit some tough shots. Or many of the other details people missed under a cloud of emotion.

    Look, there are plenty of things to criticize after the loss. Duke didnít execute its end-game scenarios well. The bigs didnít play well in that game. Nolan needs to do a better job of kicking when he drives; thatís been evident in multiple games. Duke needs to integrate Mason Plumlee and have him reach his own potential for the team to reach its full potential. But any weakness that Duke displayed last night can be corrected. It just takes a bit of vision and a dose of faith.

    And, finally, there is no clear recipe for a championship team. March involves a lot of things Ė including luck. If anyone tries to tell you that a team has to have a go-to scorer in the post to win it all, he/she is wrong. Just luck at the UConn team that beat us in 1999 Ė Jake Voskuhl wasnít exactly the type of guy you run stuff through in the post. If anyone tries to tell you that a team needs an NBA-caliber, break-you-down point guard to win it all, he/she is wrong, too. Look at Syracuse in 2003. Or UConn in 2004 (Taliek Brown? Really?) Or even Taurean Green on Floridaís back-to-back champs. And if anyone tries to tell that this Duke team definitively canít win a championship, he/she is wrong, too. Weíre not the favorite, but as DBR has been fond of saying for more than a decade, the odds are against everyone. We have weaknesses, but we also have legit strengths that will enable us to beat anyone on the right day.

    We can't keep doing this around here. We can't keep coming down so hard after every single loss. We can't become so emotionally invested that we lose sight of why we enjoy Duke basketball so much and only focus on what's wrong. We can't feel compelled to voice every frustration that pops into our head.

    I know itís tougher to see the good stuff and the potential of this team, or any team, after a loss. But sometimes you just need to take a step back to regain a sense of perspective.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Skinker-DeBaliviere, Saint Louis
    Most of the Wisconsin thread could be boiled down to one-sentence repetitive arguments in the Handy Pocket Reference. I originally wrote that as a light-hearted parody, but I eventually came to realize I had told the truth about us, and it wasn't parody at all. Jumbo's post is very very good. We need to move away from this lack of critical thinking.

    A movie is not about what it's about; it's about how it's about it.
    ---Roger Ebert


    Some questions cannot be answered
    Whoís gonna bury who
    We need a love like Johnny, Johnny and June
    ---Over the Rhine

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Texas/NC
    I agree with most of what Jumbo said about silly statements extrapolating from one game. I am guilty of this from time to time.

    However, I believe there are a few systematic or strategic concerns that can bubble beneath the surface in wins, only to loom large when there is a loss. This may make it seem like people are focusing on one game, when in reality, the loss simply provides a seemingly appropriate time to finally stress the perceived problem. In fairness, the culture of the board discourages negative commentary during wins and Duke wins a lot. This pushes these concerns to the side until an unexpected loss (as most losses are under K) making the eruption of negative commentary seem misguided and specific to one game when it simply is not.

    I will provide an example:

    In the offseason Duke fans expressed great concern at the lack of post presence and K conceded that more balance was needed. In a post game conference early this season K spoke of a "go-to team" rather than a "go-to player". Meanwhile, buzz from the players and coaches grew regarding the play of both plumlees and a new style that might more heavily involve the post players. Duke has very seldom looked to feed the post early this season (for a variety of reasons that could fill a thread itself). In the wins this was noted but certainly not emphasized because... well, we won, so why dwell on negatives? However, against Wisconsin Plumlee, Plumlee, Zoubek, and Thomas took a total of 8 shots in a game where Duke took over 50 shots. Duke lost. Finally, concerns regarding the lack of post feeds and touches for the big men in the offensive flow could surface without a chorus of voices shouting the poster down. Is that the reason why Duke lost the game? Doubtful. But, the loss finally gave an opportunity for these concerns to be voiced, thusly making the post-game thread look like a post-apocalyptic eulogy.

    Sometimes people aren't extrapolating from one loss, the loss just gives them the opportunity to extrapolate from the entire season, using the one loss as a means to voice a concern that has been pushed aside for awhile.

  4. #4
    Thanks, Jumbo. I've been trying to figure out how to phrase this concept for more than a year. But now I don't have to, because you hit the nail on the head. I don't know how much it's going to help, but it's a great post.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by BlueintheFace View Post
    I agree with most of what Jumbo said about silly statements extrapolating from one game. I am guilty of this from time to time.

    However, I believe there are a few systematic or strategic concerns that can bubble beneath the surface in wins, only to loom large when there is a loss. This may make it seem like people are focusing on one game, when in reality, the loss simply provides a seemingly appropriate time to finally stress the perceived problem. In fairness, the culture of the board discourages negative commentary during wins and Duke wins a lot. This pushes these concerns to the side until an unexpected loss (as most losses are under K) making the eruption of negative commentary seem misguided and specific to one game when it simply is not.

    I will provide an example:

    In the offseason Duke fans expressed great concern at the lack of post presence and K conceded that more balance was needed. In a post game conference early this season K spoke of a "go-to team" rather than a "go-to player". Meanwhile, buzz from the players and coaches grew regarding the play of both plumlees and a new style that might more heavily involve the post players. Duke has very seldom looked to feed the post early this season (for a variety of reasons that could fill a thread itself). In the wins this was noted but certainly not emphasized because... well, we won, so why dwell on negatives? However, against Wisconsin Plumlee, Plumlee, Zoubek, and Thomas took a total of 8 shots in a game where Duke took over 50 shots. Duke lost. Finally, concerns regarding the lack of post feeds and touches for the big men in the offensive flow could surface without a chorus of voices shouting the poster down. Is that the reason why Duke lost the game? Doubtful. But, the loss finally gave an opportunity for these concerns to be voiced, thusly making the post-game thread look like a post-apocalyptic eulogy.

    Sometimes people aren't extrapolating from one loss, the loss just gives them the opportunity to extrapolate from the entire season, using the one loss as a means to voice a concern that has been pushed aside for awhile.
    Right, but I never said there was a problem with writing "Duke needs to feed the post more."
    What is problematic is the next leap -- "Duke didn't feed the post and never will. And since we're not going to get any production out of our big men, we have no chance to win big in March." That's the key distinction.

  6. #6
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    Texas/NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Jumbo View Post
    Right, but I never said there was a problem with writing "Duke needs to feed the post more."
    What is problematic is the next leap -- "Duke didn't feed the post and never will. And since we're not going to get any production out of our big men, we have no chance to win big in March." That's the key distinction.
    So, what I am saying is that people might see 6 games, 10 games, 15... and believe that "Duke doesn't feed the post" has become a trend for the season. They won't say anything through those games as the trend develops because the culture of the board doesn't support pointing out negatives too much after wins. Then, when Duke loses they will say:

    "We looked awful and we just don't ever feed the post and probably won't this season since we haven't thus far. This is bad news for when March rolls around."

    Well, that looks an awful lot like a poster over-reacting to one game, right? Well, in reality, that poster might have been witnessing the negative trend (that they may rightly, or at least rationally, feel is bad news for March) throughout the season, but only feel comfortable or justified in expressing that opinion after a loss because that is when it seems like the appropriate time.

    I'm with you however on the people who say, "we can't win with X"... just stupid

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Texas/NC
    I also think this trend of overreaction is more or less a function of numbers. Think about how big this board was years ago vs now. Think about how many posts we get on some of the recruiting threads.

    It used to be that contributors here were known quantities with a bit more accountability. Now we get a much bigger class of posters that only come around after losses or huge wins to celebrate or take out their frustration.

    Just an observation...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by BlueintheFace View Post
    I also think this trend of overreaction is more or less a function of numbers. Think about how big this board was years ago vs now. Think about how many posts we get on some of the recruiting threads.

    It used to be that contributors here were known quantities with a bit more accountability. Now we get a much bigger class of posters that only come around after losses or huge wins to celebrate or take out their frustration.

    Just an observation...
    And with that comes another issue. Too many people are talking past each other, not with each other. That's why the post counts in threads climb so high, so fast. Lots of people are interested in being heard; not nearly as many care about discussing, debating and learning. If we all actually took the time to read a thread before posting, we'd all benefit.
    Last edited by JBDuke; 12-04-2009 at 08:29 AM. Reason: typo

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Wilmington, DE

    Another way to look at the issue...

    I agree with Jumbo's comments. Another way to look at the Wisconsin game to put things in perspective is to suppose that on our next to the last play Singler had made his running layup and been fouled in the act, making the foul shot to put us up by 1 with about 5 seconds left. Although this didn't happen, it certainly isn't an unreasonable outcome of the play. We would then very likely have won the game. How would that 1 slightly altered outcome of 1 shot have altered the response to the game. Would the sky still be falling on the season? Or would we be celebrating a great comeback and win over a tough team and declaring our team ready for the final 4? The success of that one shot certainly doesn't change how we played the previous 39:55 minutes of the game, but I believe it certainly would have changed many of our responses to it. As Jumbo points out, based on 1 game and certainly based on 1 shot from the end of the game it isn't fair to conclude either the best or the worst about this year's team.

  10. #10
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    Texas/NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Jumbo View Post
    And with that comes another issue. Too many people are talking past each other, not with each other. That's why the post counts in threads climb so high, so fast. Lots of people are interested in being heard; not nearly as many care about discussing, debating and learning. If we all actually took the time to read a thread before posting, we'd all benefit.
    .. and that is a cycle that feeds itself. The more posts with people just giving their impressions, the less you want to read through all of the tons of similar ones and the more likely you are to just give your own thoughts and move on. I have certainly been guilty of that in post-game threads. Often times I show up just looking for inconsistencies and overreactions to debate about, but sometimes I see all of the similar posts of proclamations about the game and think... "do I really want to invest my time in reading ALL of these repetitive posts?" It's a tough spiral.
    Last edited by JBDuke; 12-04-2009 at 08:29 AM. Reason: fixed typo in quote

  11. #11

    Single out one play?

    Quote Originally Posted by southgater View Post
    I agree with Jumbo's comments. Another way to look at the Wisconsin game to put things in perspective is to suppose that on our next to the last play Singler had made his running layup and been fouled in the act, making the foul shot to put us up by 1 with about 5 seconds left. Although this didn't happen, it certainly isn't an unreasonable outcome of the play. We would then very likely have won the game. How would that 1 slightly altered outcome of 1 shot have altered the response to the game. Would the sky still be falling on the season? Or would we be celebrating a great comeback and win over a tough team and declaring our team ready for the final 4? The success of that one shot certainly doesn't change how we played the previous 39:55 minutes of the game, but I believe it certainly would have changed many of our responses to it. As Jumbo points out, based on 1 game and certainly based on 1 shot from the end of the game it isn't fair to conclude either the best or the worst about this year's team.

    To ignore the entire previous 39+ minutes because a shot is made in the last 5 seconds seems to be sweeping the issues under the rug. It is reasonable to talk about both the better and worse plays of the game and to suggest ways to improve. Isn't that what a fan site is about? If there is no learning from mistakes and if the fans are criticized for talking about the game in less than glowing terms, what value would this site provide?

  12. #12
    If I may, I think some of the reactions are not just to trends over a season that come up most glaringly during losses... I know for me, and I think for a number of people, some of the issues feel like they have been around for a number of years (say, five or so?) and have cropped up at the worst possible time in the last few years... namely, the first and second round (haven't gotten much further) of the NCAAs. I think a lot of fans, who still in their heart of hearts believe that Duke should make it further each and every year, are still extremely wary of the late-season flame-out on the biggest, most important stage of all, and are especially sensitive about seeing "trends" that have "doomed" us in the past (and had not been "fixed" then) seem to re-appear in losses even now, even this early in the season, because they are worried that this recent history will repeat itself.

  13. #13
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    Thanks, Jumbo. I said much the same thing to a prominent poster in a private email yesterday. I'm surprised there wasn't a thread that was titled
    It's Over
    Losses in December, January and February can (and will) be learned from. Losses in mid March (and April) are fatal. It's freakin' early December!
    Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!

    Go To Hell carolina, Go To Hell!
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  14. #14
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    raleigh
    You provide the food, I'll provide the perspective !! thanks jumbo...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15
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    Towson, MD
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Ash View Post
    If I may, I think some of the reactions are not just to trends over a season that come up most glaringly during losses... I know for me, and I think for a number of people, some of the issues feel like they have been around for a number of years (say, five or so?) and have cropped up at the worst possible time in the last few years... namely, the first and second round (haven't gotten much further) of the NCAAs. I think a lot of fans, who still in their heart of hearts believe that Duke should make it further each and every year, are still extremely wary of the late-season flame-out on the biggest, most important stage of all, and are especially sensitive about seeing "trends" that have "doomed" us in the past (and had not been "fixed" then) seem to re-appear in losses even now, even this early in the season, because they are worried that this recent history will repeat itself.
    I completely agree with this.

    I see some trends in all of Duke's losses since Greg Paulus' sophomore season, coinciding with a drop-off in the talent of Duke's teams. I am worried that Coach K isn't making proper adjustments to help offset the lack of talent and depth the team has dealt with compared to the Final Four teams of the past 20+ seasons.

    I'm not simply worried that we lost against Wisconsin (after all, they shot well and always play extremely well at home), I'm worried more about why we lost. I saw some problems which are similar to the problems that the team has had in other seasons, both early and in season-ending losses in the NCAA tournament, so that's why I think some fans are concerned. I just hope Mason and the team get acclimated with each other successfully, and that coaching adjustments are made. I am hopeful that both will occur.

  16. #16

    thanks, Jumbo

    Some of this goes to the issue of what any fan site is, and that there are lots of answers. For me, I simply enjoy watching this beautiful game, from seats in CIS now held for over 30 years, and seeing the kids grow up and develop and learn and succeed. Since only one good team ends the final season with a win, I try to take joy in the process, not the final outcome. As I am not on the floor playing, my contribution is my delight in it all. Pollyannish? Chacun a son gout.

  17. #17
    I've never been around this board for a Duke loss before but I've come to a realization from just one.

    A Duke loss is like castor oil, only the stuff comes out the other end.

    I don't generally participate in the In-Game Threads, I'd rather watch the game intently than be concentrating on the computer, but for the one that I did it seems like a lot of the overreaction and hyperbole present in the Post-Game Threads carries itself over from the In-Game ones. Because of the frantic nature of a game, and the snap judgments that come from it, it seems like a lot of people are trying to "Keep up with the Joneses" so to speak.

  18. #18

    etc.de novo

    It seems like i have read shortened versions of Jumbo's post after a loss in each of the last few seasons.

    i thought of this but didn't post it prior to the Wisconsin game that i thought it was a dangerous game because a) Duke's 1st true road game b) UW is good at home c) emotional "hang-over" from a big win over UConn. Pretty much all of Jumbo's comments also apply, so I was pretty surprised to see so much "sky is falling" whining. We lost to a good team on their court, it happens.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by airowe View Post
    I've never been around this board for a Duke loss before but I've come to a realization from just one.

    A Duke loss is like castor oil, only the stuff comes out the other end.

    I don't generally participate in the In-Game Threads, I'd rather watch the game intently than be concentrating on the computer, but for the one that I did it seems like a lot of the overreaction and hyperbole present in the Post-Game Threads carries itself over from the In-Game ones. Because of the frantic nature of a game, and the snap judgments that come from it, it seems like a lot of people are trying to "Keep up with the Joneses" so to speak.
    Good thoughts. I have stopped looking at In-Game threads and stopped looking at the Chat during games. I find the commentary to be mostly childish, inane and almost cruel. There is no perspective, only diarrhea of the mouth. I agree that the same thoughtless approach seems to carry over into post-game commentary.

    Sometimes I long for the old board when thought was required before submitting a post. If the post did not have a reasonable level of considered presentation, it did not appear on the board. When this issue of thoughtful posting is raised now the young set replies that this is the nature of the Internet. I guess there are two practical choices available: accept the ongoing noise or stay away. The latter is becoming more and more attractive.

    Jumbo, in his usual clear, reasoned manner, points out the fallacy in much of the thinking or non-thinking attendant to many of these noisy posts. I am just afraid that the only result will be more of the same because the noisy posters seem only interested in throwing bombs and voicing their rampant, absolutist statements of negativity. I always hope for better and try to search out the reasoned posts for presentations with analysis with perspective.

    Maybe another day the sun will shine brighter...

  20. #20
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    No idea which "side" of this argument I fall into, but

    I'll just offer my perspective. I am one of the posters who felt strongly that Wednesday's game was more of an indication of a trend than just one event.

    I, for instance, even wrote a post that said that Wisconsin played a great game and I was not so much worried that we lost this game. I was more concerned that we didn't use it as an opportunity to grow toward the goal of a great team at the end of this year.

    Instead of using a motion offense and getting the ball inside, we resorted to a dribble/drive offense with a bunch of one-on-one garbage when the game got close. My point, and the point I think many others agree with, is that if we resort to that type of play in a game in December when there is very little meaning for the overall outcome of the season, it is unlikely we will have the ability to stick to our game plan later when we are in a close game.

    I also pointed out that we need to make a conscious effort to feed the post and give Miles (and Mason when the time comes) chances to succeed (and fail) so they learn what can and will work in the future. My posts happen to have come after a loss, but I (and I am sure many others) have been thinking these things even in the wins this year. I agree with the point that it might be better to discuss these things when people are less fired up over a loss.

    I wouldn't changed out (in?) Dawkins as a starter because we have our 1-3 spots being filled by our best players. It might be interesting to separate Nolan and Scheyer at times (while Dawkins is in) just to give the opposition a different look, but I still think our 1-3 is the best we have, even if they didn't play well on Wednesday. That different look would be the threat of a (JJ-esque) shooter coming off screens all over the court and making his man trail him on defense. Making a guy work that hard on defense to trail a shooter of screens is great for the other four guys even if he never gets a shot off. However, the fact that Dawkins was in for the last 16 minutes of the game and people can say, "He should have played more," only indicates the issue with his current level of play. He didn't make his present felt for 12 of the 16 minutes he was in. We didn't even know he was on the court. Part of that is the fault of our dribble/drive one-on-one garbage and poor ball movement. The other part is that he wasn't making any plays of note (rebounding, defensive, etc). If he can go unnoticed that long, he probably doesn't need more playing time. He just needs to be used effectively when he is in the game (maybe like the senario I offered, maybe another way).

    Lastly, I did not agree that our defense was "horrible." I though Hughes made a bunch of shots he never makes. I thought their big guys made a lot of threes that we could not have expected. When a team shoots like that, it is almost impossible to guard them. The only issue I had with our defense was our perimeter guys letting their guys get into the lane so easily. Again, though, that might have been a reaction to Wisconsin's incredible outside shooting. I thought Nolan, who is a leader for us on defense, was particularly suspect. I know everyone says Dawkins has defensive lapses, but his do not stand out to me nearly as much as Nolan's did on Wednesday. To clarify, I am not saying Nolan isn't a good defender, just that he had a bad game.

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  3. Any DBR folks in/near
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