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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Richmond, VA

    Status check (besides GTHC)...

    Now that the "preseason" is complete. I wanted to post a few brief comments about what I see as the current state of Duke BBall.

    I know that Jumbo will post about what to expect in the next phase but this is more of a status check.

    There are comments here that other people have mentioned so if you see your ideas thank you.

    1. Recruiting
    We have three guards coming in next year (two pgs and one scorer) and a power forward. Coach K can recruit and is filling the needs of the team. If we can get an athletic wing it will be hard to see any gaps in Duke's personnel. Furthermore, Duke is in the running for the athletic wings that are needed.

    2. Team defense:
    After the Gonzaga game Coach K mentioned that this team understands team defense better than any recent team. My view is that Duke is playing to its strengths. Duke can still pressure the ball, but when the guards lose their man, Duke is letting other teams drive the ball to our big guys who really understand and execute the double team and recover defense.

    3. Guard play:
    For an "alarmingly unathletic" team our guards are "alarmingly athletic". Jon's assist to turnover ratio is astounding. He is doing this while also attacking the basket not just sitting outside and tossing up jump shots. Nolan is also attacking the basket and scoring. Finally, Andre is not playing like a freshman. He knows when to take the three, when to drive to the basket and most importantly when to pull up for the mid-range jumper.

    4. Zoubek and Thomas:
    As seniors these guys know exactly what the team needs out of them and they are delivering. They know their role is to play D and grab rebounds and they are doing that beautifully. Will they both get fouls? Yes, because the defense is designed to guide the ball to them and sometimes refs will call fouls when someone misses a shot up close. The fouls that do not exist for these guys are the silly 30 foot from the basket fouls. This is a good thing.

    5. Singler:
    I know he looks like he is struggling right now, but don't confuse not scoring with not playing well. (The media really does not understand this at all.) He shut down Gonzaga's best player and he will be a defensive nightmare for most "guards" that he covers from here on out. Coach K appears to have given him the "Battier" position on this team; Just go out and do what you do best. The scoring will come around.

    6. Team unity and understanding players roles:
    For so early in the year what excites me the most about this team is that everyone understands their roles on the team. There does not seem to be any discord on the team (except for Olek transfering). What that means is that everyone can concentrate on their piece of the puzzle and they each need to only get incremently better with each game for this team to be great in March. Last year for instance Duke moved Jon to point guard late in the year and the incremental improvements had to start late in the season not in December.

    7. and finally, media misconceptions.
    I keep reading that this team is not deep yet Duke plays 8/9 players and have had big men foul out without missing a beat.

    I keep reading that this team will have trouble with athletic wings yet when other teams drive to the basket they are meeting a stonewall.

    I keep reading that Duke rely's too much on our guards yet the bigs continue to outreboound other teams and play great defense.

    I am glad Duke is misunderstood by the media because when other teams read the media playbook on how to beat Duke, they will find out that the media is wrong.

    So, going forward enjoy the team defense, enjoy our "unathletic team" and hit the mute button.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA/Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkD83 View Post
    5. Singler:
    I know he looks like he is struggling right now, but don't confuse not scoring with not playing well. (The media really does not understand this at all.) He shut down Gonzaga's best player and he will be a defensive nightmare for most "guards" that he covers from here on out. Coach K appears to have given him the "Battier" position on this team; Just go out and do what you do best. The scoring will come around.
    Excellent observation as we have seen Singler push the ball up the floor repeatedly this year.

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