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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Tennessee

    How's Zoubek doing?

    You people in Durham who have inside knowledge of these things, please tell me how Bryan is doing. He's going to be very important to Duke BB for the next few years.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia
    Zeke - Thanks for posting this question, I simply couldn't agree more and I, too, will eagerly await information.

  3. #3
    It is hard to say. I watched pickup games the last two nights. BZ is so much bigger than anyone else, that he gets great position a lot (Lance has guarded him every game). That said, he still doesn't go Josh on the rim at all. I think he had one dunk in two nights, and it was with nobody within 5 feet of him. He definitely needs to go up stronger. That said, whenever he got the ball one-on-one down low, he was fouled about 70% of the time... not like him calling 'I got fouled,' but like Lance or Demarcus (usually the latter) just grabbing his arm or body or fouling him hard to restart play. His footwork seemed much better (though I am no expert on footwork for big men... I mainly watched to see whether he would walk and whether he pivoted smoothly and to the appropriate side), but he fouled more than blocked shots on Defense, and he doesn't show much power in his game. Lots of tip-put-backs, etc. He also had his shot blocked about 4 times by Demarcus coming over to help behind Lance. The guy had to be frustrated both nights by the constant fouling. If it was me, I would drop a hard foul or two back on someone by the end of the night. Though BZ was obviously frustrated by the fouling, he didn't. If the season started today, he wouldn't be in the starting lineup. It doesn't, though, so there is a lot of time. That said, Lance has improved his shot a lot (though it still seems to have a bit of side spin), and I cannot really see any other bigs than Kyle and Lance starting. Hopefully BZ will prove me wrong.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!
    Quote Originally Posted by bhd28 View Post
    I watched pickup games the last two nights.
    DUDE!!! We need more info! Tell us about the freshmen and tell us more about what you saw from the vets.

    --Jason "actual basketball news in July... stunning!!" Evans

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Quote Originally Posted by bhd28 View Post
    It is hard to say. I watched pickup games the last two nights. BZ is so much bigger than anyone else, that he gets great position a lot (Lance has guarded him every game). That said, he still doesn't go Josh on the rim at all. I think he had one dunk in two nights, and it was with nobody within 5 feet of him. He definitely needs to go up stronger. That said, whenever he got the ball one-on-one down low, he was fouled about 70% of the time... not like him calling 'I got fouled,' but like Lance or Demarcus (usually the latter) just grabbing his arm or body or fouling him hard to restart play. His footwork seemed much better (though I am no expert on footwork for big men... I mainly watched to see whether he would walk and whether he pivoted smoothly and to the appropriate side), but he fouled more than blocked shots on Defense, and he doesn't show much power in his game. Lots of tip-put-backs, etc. He also had his shot blocked about 4 times by Demarcus coming over to help behind Lance. The guy had to be frustrated both nights by the constant fouling. If it was me, I would drop a hard foul or two back on someone by the end of the night. Though BZ was obviously frustrated by the fouling, he didn't. If the season started today, he wouldn't be in the starting lineup. It doesn't, though, so there is a lot of time. That said, Lance has improved his shot a lot (though it still seems to have a bit of side spin), and I cannot really see any other bigs than Kyle and Lance starting. Hopefully BZ will prove me wrong.
    Are pickup games open to the public to watch?

  6. #6

    Taylor King

    I will post more in a couple days as I'm about to head out of town, but wanted to chime in briefly as I've also seen the guys play pickup the past several nights.

    Taylor King's shooting is ridiculous. He was able to take over several of the pickup games nailing 3 after 3. And he is a gunner... he will shoot from ANYWHERE with defenders all over him. And no one can block his shot because a) he's tall, and more importantly b) his release is lightning quick. Last night he hit a fade-away three from a step behind NBA range that had my jaw on the floor.

    I was not expecting King to play much this season, but with shooting like that, he will absolutely find some minutes.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by VaDukie View Post
    Are pickup games open to the public to watch?
    Yep, open. I think they play tonight as well (9pm or just after), but I won't be able to go. I also posted in the 'starters' poll thread on pg. 4

    http://dukebasketballreport.com/foru...?t=2315&page=4

    with a few comments on the freshmen. To sum it up, as mentioned by pratt04, Taylor King is a scary shooter. He has been the best shooter on the floor both nights... better than Greg last night and JJ on Sunday (that said, it is scary in a bad way when he puts the ball on the floor). Nolan Smith is crazy skinny, but he is very quick and was driving on Nelson basically at will. Singler didn't play as well last night, but he was great Sunday, has a very heady game, is fundamentally sound, has great post moves (spins, fakes, etc...), and plays hard all the time. Hopefully he can improve his explosiveness some while here (leg strength), but he is pretty quick and will be a great player. Should start day 1 IMHO, as he will add so much in so many areas. He seems to be in the right place at the right time a lot.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    We all love to read the pick-up reports but many of us approach them with a certain level of skepticism, having read breathless accounts of how this was the year that Taymon Domzalski, Casey Sanders, Nick Horvath, Shavik Randolph, Sean Dockery or your favorite player to be named later was just dominating and was poised to rocket the top of the charts.

    I suspect that whatever Brian Zoubek has or has not been doing won't become manifest during pick-up games. Not to say that summer isn't important. On the contrary, many players have come out of a summer a lot more talented than they were when they went into the summer. But much of that work is grunt and grind work, behind closed doors, with the benefits becoming apparent over a long period of time.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by pratt '04 View Post
    Taylor King's shooting is ridiculous. He was able to take over several of the pickup games nailing 3 after 3. And he is a gunner... he will shoot from ANYWHERE with defenders all over him. And no one can block his shot because a) he's tall, and more importantly b) his release is lightning quick. Last night he hit a fade-away three from a step behind NBA range that had my jaw on the floor.

    I was not expecting King to play much this season, but with shooting like that, he will absolutely find some minutes.
    I realize one needs to take this pick up game optimism with a grain of salt, but the more I hear about the evenness of the players, the more I think K may do what he did on Team USA and alternate Blue and White teams, not necessarily with equal PT.

    Even here, having trouble figuring out who the 11th guy would be unless coach K gets totally impatient with Zoubek.

    If it were not for his experience and knack for getting things done, I might think McClure who could fill in on either team whose player was unavailable due to injury of fouls.

    Initially I was thinking King but if his shot is that quick and good, and if his defense is not horrendous, he may get the pass JJ got his freshman year.

    Whichever team Zoubek is on needs good entry passers. Marty seems to have the look to the post attitude and maybe Nolan and King will. No one on last year's team who played, except Josh, seemed to know how and when to throw an entry pass.

    As much as K likes to have Paulus and/or Scheyer on the floor, and for reasons others have cited, it might make sense to start Henderson with Paulus and pair Scheyer with Smith,

    Paulus-Henderson-Nelson-Singler-Lance

    Smith-Scheyer-Pocius-[2 of McClure-Zoubek-King, might vary depending on the opponent]

    Toward the end of the season, when he shortens his rotation, the nucleus would be Paulus-Scheyer-Henderson-Nelson-Singler, plus whichever other person for 6-man rotation (or 2 or 3 persons for 7-8) has played best over the course of the season to date.
    Last edited by ACCBBallFan; 07-03-2007 at 01:27 PM. Reason: Typos

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    New York, NY
    I don't think he's ever platooned Duke teams. I think he'd say that his 1-3 players are substantially better than players 8-10, that they're 21 years old, and the starters should be able to play hard for 30 minutes. Just because it's hard to predict who is going to be 1-3 or 8-10 doesn't mean things won't shake out after a month of practice. That's a bit different from taking players from the top 10% of the NBA; most of them are similar in terms of skillset.

  11. #11
    It's a tradition: Every summer we Duke fans get all excited about how unbelievably deep we are, based on pickup reports, high school reps and the projected imprvement of returning players, only to have those hopes dashed by K come fall.

    In part, it's because our three bases (pickups, HS reps, and projected improvement) are inaccurate. In part, it's because K apparently doesn't believe in developing depth over the course of the season, and would prefer a militant live and die by the starters ethos.

    I'm not saying he doesn't substitute; he's a basketball coach after all. But over the last ten years or so he seems more and more reluctant to cultivate and improve players in game situations.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Quote Originally Posted by Mcluhan View Post
    It's a tradition: Every summer we Duke fans get all excited about how unbelievably deep we are, based on pickup reports, high school reps and the projected imprvement of returning players, only to have those hopes dashed by K come fall.

    In part, it's because our three bases (pickups, HS reps, and projected improvement) are inaccurate. In part, it's because K apparently doesn't believe in developing depth over the course of the season, and would prefer a militant live and die by the starters ethos.

    I'm not saying he doesn't substitute; he's a basketball coach after all. But over the last ten years or so he seems more and more reluctant to cultivate and improve players in game situations.
    I think 1998 and 2003 showed that when we've had depth we've used it. We went through several years where we had 1 man recruiting classes (Maggette, Duhon, Deng, Ewing) and that coupled with early defections meant we've often had teams that were only 6-7 deep.

    I know criticizing K about depth is one of the pillars of this board, but at least for this year I'm optimistic we'll have it and use it.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by VaDukie View Post
    I think 1998 and 2003 showed that when we've had depth we've used it. We went through several years where we had 1 man recruiting classes (Maggette, Duhon, Deng, Ewing) and that coupled with early defections meant we've often had teams that were only 6-7 deep.

    I know criticizing K about depth is one of the pillars of this board, but at least for this year I'm optimistic we'll have it and use it.
    Let's hope so. There always seems to be a guy who, whatever his current deficiencies, would improve with more game experience, and when the chess matches really begin in the tournament, with foul trouble, injuries, etc., we'll be saved by a Thomas Hill type frosh (because he got Thomas Hill type frosh minutes).

    I've also wondered why K doesn't seem to realize we're blowing out the other team until maybe the 39th minute. Then, maybe, he puts in a few bench guys.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    We all love to read the pick-up reports but many of us approach them with a certain level of skepticism, having read breathless accounts of how this was the year that Taymon Domzalski, Casey Sanders, Nick Horvath, Shavik Randolph, Sean Dockery or your favorite player to be named later was just dominating and was poised to rocket the top of the charts.

    I suspect that whatever Brian Zoubek has or has not been doing won't become manifest during pick-up games. Not to say that summer isn't important. On the contrary, many players have come out of a summer a lot more talented than they were when they went into the summer. But much of that work is grunt and grind work, behind closed doors, with the benefits becoming apparent over a long period of time.
    Jim,

    Shame on you! Introducing reality in July is uncalled for.

    Bob Green
    Yokosuka, Japan

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Miami, Fl
    Zou has put on size. I'm not sure about strength..its pick-up so i'm not sure if he's getting as physical as he needs to be.

  16. #16

    what he said

    "We all love to read the pick-up reports but many of us approach them with a certain level of skepticism"

    AMEN!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    The Triangle
    Some reports are better than others ... refined over time

    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    We all love to read the pick-up reports but many of us approach them with a certain level of skepticism, having read breathless accounts of how this was the year that Taymon Domzalski, Casey Sanders, Nick Horvath, Shavik Randolph, Sean Dockery or your favorite player to be named later was just dominating and was poised to rocket the top of the charts.

    I suspect that whatever Brian Zoubek has or has not been doing won't become manifest during pick-up games. Not to say that summer isn't important. On the contrary, many players have come out of a summer a lot more talented than they were when they went into the summer. But much of that work is grunt and grind work, behind closed doors, with the benefits becoming apparent over a long period of time.

  18. #18
    "Some reports are better than others ... refined over time"

    perhaps true, but the overall abundance of enthusiasm leads to unfortunate, overly positive commentary. it has come to this: the more enthusiastic the pickup report praise, the more i lower my expectations.

  19. #19

    pickup report

    I got to see Monday night's pickup games, so keep in mind that the following is based on one night's viewing:

    -- Zoubek has reshaped his body a great deal. He's much more muscular LOOKING, although playing against so many swarming little guys, it's hard to tell how much stronger he is. There must have been a dictate from the coaches about getting him the ball down low, because in the games I saw, he was fed the ball over and over. He was very aggressive, but because of the hacking and grabbing, had a hard time finishing. He seemed to be in very good shape -- he got up and down the court at full speed with little effort.

    -- The fastest fullcourt player was Singler, who consistently beat everybody else down the court. Almost all his scoring came from running the break. He was also a very solid defender and a good rebounder, but I was disappointed that he never looked for his shot in the halfcourt. Again, except for the break, he was the most unaggressive offensive player on the floor. It may have had something to do with a foot injury -- he cut his foot running on a beach -- that had him sidelined for a while. Still, the injury didn't seem to hurt him in transition.

    -- Nolan Smith was the best player on the floor -- for the first 10 minutes, then his effectiveness dropped off rapidly. It's funny -- he's built a lot like Johnny Dawkins and Dawkins could run forever, but of all the players on the court, Smith seemed the struggle the most with fatigue. That early show was spectacular -- on the first possession of the game, he hit a contested 3 ... on the second, he took the ball 90 feet in transition, exploding past a couple of defenders at the basket to finish with a thunderous slam dunk ... then he sliced through the defense in halfcourt to finish with another slam. He also had a nice mid-range jumper -- the ability to start a drive and go up in traffic and make the 15-footer. Since he jumps so high, he can get it off against anybody. It will be interesting to see his game when Johnny D gets him in shape.

    -- Taylor King is indeed a ridiculous shooter, but that overshadows the rest of his game. He's tough inside, who uses his long arms to rebound well. He also displayed an mid-range jumper although he seemed to drive, initiate contact with his defender, then bounce off and into his quick pullup shot. It will be interesting to see how that's called. BTW, I counted King as 6-for-15 on 3s Monday night -- he's a streaky shooter ... he was 6-of-11 and missed his last four. I did notice that right after he hit a fallaway 3 from the corner, he filled a wing on the break and, like JJ used to do, he ran for his favorite 3-point spot and was begging for the ball. He looked POed when he didn't get it.

    As for the other returnees -- I didn't see any physical change in Lance, he's as slender as ever. He did look a lot more aggressive offensively -- even making a 3-pointer and a couple of mid-range jumpers; Paulus was superb, totally under control and continuing his deadly shooting (I had him at 8-of-12 3-pointers); Nelson looked much the same as he always does; McClure also looked much the same; Marty looked very aggressive offensively, but wasn't particularly effective; Henderson didn't play.

    That's what I saw ... just keep in mind it's based on one night's viewing. Jim's right -- it's easy to read too much into pickup games. But it's something to fill a July night.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Nice report. Thanks!

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