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Thread: Phase V

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Steamboat Springs, CO

    Phase V

    So I volunteered to write Phase V, leading into the ACCs. Duke was in a good place; the D was improving; the team had won seven straight, although not without some adventures. Then, there was the UNC game tonight…. Anyway, I am going to write it straight. And I reserve the right to revise and extend my remarks tomorrow.

    General Questions

    1. Short Memory? Can the team and coaches right the ship in the next six days? (Or, if there is structural damage, can they “wright” the ship?) This is a strength-of-character-and-leadership question. But, for most teams, taking the court next Friday under these circumstances would be a tremendous challenge. This is question #1 and indeed the question foremost in my mind.

    2. Inside Game? The question from the beginning of the season is whether Duke can develop the inside game to match the outside shooters, both in scoring inside and in opening up opportunities outside the circle? Last night Los Plumlees tallied 33 with 15 rebounds.. Now if everyone else will be as productive….

    3. D and More D? The defense has improved immensely over the course of the season. On-ball defense has stepped up nicely. Will it continue to improve? Will tonight’s lapses on defense and rebounding prove to be an aberration?

    4. Ensemble Cast? Duke this season is an “ensemble cast,” not a team with a couple of stars and supporting players. Any one of six or more players can carry the team. It would be great to have an A-A like Nolan or JJ, but it is comforting that so many players can be productive, and it gives the opponents a serious problem in planning their defenses. Can Duke win the ACC or go to the Final Four with an ensemble cast, or does someone have to be a consistently high scorer and go-to guy for the rest of the season?

    5. Our ACCs? Duke has had a magical run in the ACC the past 13 years, winning 10 of 13 championships, showing both a focus and a determination other teams have not had. Can K’s witchcraft continue at Philips Arena in Atlanta? It’s too early to tell the match-ups, in that there are three ACC games tomorrow, but Duke will play the winner of the 7-10 game.

    6. Health? It has not been a problem this year, but should always be in any summary here. Will Duke stay healthy?

    Specific Questions

    7. Whither Dre? Will Andre make a major contribution (or, even play significant minutes) in the ACCs? He unofficially played only 11 minutes tonight (it seemed like fewer) and took only one shot. I believe Duke needs an explosive scorer, and Andre, when he’s on, is as good as it gets. C’mon Andre! We’re all pulling for you!

    8. Mason? Mason has been another concern, although to some extent the slack has been taken up by Miles. Will he be a major force from here on out? I thought he had a pretty good game against UNC, everything considered, although the team’s blocking out and rebounding was uniformly awful.

    9. Our Man Miles? Will Miles’s surge continue into the tournament? He was the best player tonight against UNC, and if he continues to show heart and hustle, he can make a major difference in the two tournaments that lie ahead.

    10. No More Walkabouts? We have had periods in a few games where the team really wasn’t with it for considerable periods. Let’s give credit to a hot-shooting opposition and recognize that outside shooting teams will have slumps. But still, there have been too many times when I sensed the tenacity and focus was not there. That happened tonight and in periods against other teams, even Wake on Tuesday. “One walkabout equals one tournament exit.”

    Anyway, guys and gals have at it. We are counting on a resurgent Devils’ Team and would love to have another ACC Championship.

    Sagegrouse

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    So I volunteered to write Phase V, leading into the ACCs. Duke was in a good place; the D was improving; the team had won seven straight, although not without some adventures. Then, there was the UNC game tonight…. Anyway, I am going to write it straight. And I reserve the right to revise and extend my remarks tomorrow.

    General Questions

    1. Short Memory? Can the team and coaches right the ship in the next six days? (Or, if there is structural damage, can they “wright” the ship?) This is a strength-of-character-and-leadership question. But, for most teams, taking the court next Friday under these circumstances would be a tremendous challenge. This is question #1 and indeed the question foremost in my mind.
    I don't see why not. We did it last year, and we know how great coach is at preparing them. They fought back in the second half tonight, i see no reason why they won't fight back in the post season.
    2. Inside Game? The question from the beginning of the season is whether Duke can develop the inside game to match the outside shooters, both in scoring inside and in opening up opportunities outside the circle? Last night Los Plumlees tallied 33 with 15 rebounds.. Now if everyone else will be as productive….
    I think the bigger question is, can we see this production consistently. The plumlees have had good games...but they also have no show games. They're really good players, they just don't show it every night. Which plumlees are going to show up in the tournaments? We're going to need the tonight plumlees every night.
    3. D and More D? The defense has improved immensely over the course of the season. On-ball defense has stepped up nicely. Will it continue to improve? Will tonight’s lapses on defense and rebounding prove to be an aberration?
    One can only hope, but I think there are only a handful of teams in the nation that can test the defense/rebounding to the level UNC did tonight. We may see UNC again in the ACC, but we likely won't see a team in the tournament that will challenge us defensively and on the boards as much as UNC did tonight until the Elite 8
    It's being reported that due to coronavirus fears, Harvard has asked students not to return from spring break, and for classes to be held online.

    Not to be outdone, UNC told students to stop coming to class 27 years ago under Dean Smith.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    So I volunteered to write Phase V, leading into the ACCs. Duke was in a good place; the D was improving; the team had won seven straight, although not without some adventures. Then, there was the UNC game tonight…. Anyway, I am going to write it straight. And I reserve the right to revise and extend my remarks tomorrow.

    General Questions

    1. Short Memory? Can the team and coaches right the ship in the next six days? (Or, if there is structural damage, can they “wright” the ship?) This is a strength-of-character-and-leadership question. But, for most teams, taking the court next Friday under these circumstances would be a tremendous challenge. This is question #1 and indeed the question foremost in my mind.

    2. Inside Game? The question from the beginning of the season is whether Duke can develop the inside game to match the outside shooters, both in scoring inside and in opening up opportunities outside the circle? Last night Los Plumlees tallied 33 with 15 rebounds.. Now if everyone else will be as productive….WE need the inside-outside game that we displayed earlier in the season. Both Plumlee's are ready

    3. D and More D? The defense has improved immensely over the course of the season. On-ball defense has stepped up nicely. Will it continue to improve? Will tonight’s lapses on defense and rebounding prove to be an aberration?Our guards must help out on the boards or we'll get bounced early

    4. Ensemble Cast? Duke this season is an “ensemble cast,” not a team with a couple of stars and supporting players. Any one of six or more players can carry the team. It would be great to have an A-A like Nolan or JJ, but it is comforting that so many players can be productive, and it gives the opponents a serious problem in planning their defenses. Can Duke win the ACC or go to the Final Four with an ensemble cast, or does someone have to be a consistently high scorer and go-to guy for the rest of the season?Coach K has made Austin our go-to-guy and he needs to recognize when to pass the ball. Too many missed opportunities to pass to an open big on the pick and roll.

    5. Our ACCs? Duke has had a magical run in the ACC the past 13 years, winning 10 of 13 championships, showing both a focus and a determination other teams have not had. Can K’s witchcraft continue at Philips Arena in Atlanta? It’s too early to tell the match-ups, in that there are three ACC games tomorrow, but Duke will play the winner of the 7-10 game. We have the best coach, so we can win the ACCT.

    6. Health? It has not been a problem this year, but should always be in any summary here. Will Duke stay healthy?I sure hope we do.

    Specific Questions

    7. Whither Dre? Will Andre make a major contribution (or, even play significant minutes) in the ACCs? He unofficially played only 11 minutes tonight (it seemed like fewer) and took only one shot. I believe Duke needs an explosive scorer, and Andre, when he’s on, is as good as it gets. C’mon Andre! We’re all pulling for you!I don't know why he doesn't get more minutes and more set plays. We need him to be a top team.

    8. Mason? Mason has been another concern, although to some extent the slack has been taken up by Miles. Will he be a major force from here on out? I thought he had a pretty good game against UNC, everything considered, although the team’s blocking out and rebounding was uniformly awful.Same as Andre. We need him to play like he did tonight to be successful.

    9. Our Man Miles? Will Miles’s surge continue into the tournament? He was the best player tonight against UNC, and if he continues to show heart and hustle, he can make a major difference in the two tournaments that lie ahead.Miles has really been great the last two weeks. I think he keeps it up.

    10. No More Walkabouts? We have had periods in a few games where the team really wasn’t with it for considerable periods. Let’s give credit to a hot-shooting opposition and recognize that outside shooting teams will have slumps. But still, there have been too many times when I sensed the tenacity and focus was not there. That happened tonight and in periods against other teams, even Wake on Tuesday. “One walkabout equals one tournament exit.”You nailed it here. LACK OF FOCUS has hurt this team all year.

    Anyway, guys and gals have at it. We are counting on a resurgent Devils’ Team and would love to have another ACC Championship.

    Sagegrouse
    Great Phase V. Please see bolded comments after Sage's post.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Nashville
    I think that defensive rebounding continues to be a huge issue for us against teams with size and athleticism, specifically with our guards.

    I mean, a shot goes up and we've got a Plumlee or Kelly fighting against both his man and a 6'7-6'8 wing for the rebound, while our 6'2 wing is cast off to the side. You'd like to see our guards box out better, but there's really only so much you can do when you have a 4-6" height disadvantage, ~30 pound weight disadvantage and are guarding a perimeter player that's cutting all over the place.

    32-15 is not an acceptable halftime rebounding margin, no matter who you're playing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    10. No More Walkabouts? We have had periods in a few games where the team really wasn’t with it for considerable periods. Let’s give credit to a hot-shooting opposition and recognize that outside shooting teams will have slumps. But still, there have been too many times when I sensed the tenacity and focus was not there. That happened tonight and in periods against other teams, even Wake on Tuesday. “One walkabout equals one tournament exit.”
    This has been the key question to me - and everything else flow from it. If we could be focused and intense for 40 minutes, we could (and have) overcome many of the physical deficiencies of this team. But we dig big holes when we go to sleep for 5-10 minutes in every game.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2009
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    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_Newton View Post
    I think that defensive rebounding continues to be a huge issue for us against teams with size and athleticism, specifically with our guards.

    I mean, a shot goes up and we've got a Plumlee or Kelly fighting against both his man and a 6'7-6'8 wing for the rebound, while our 6'2 wing is cast off to the side. You'd like to see our guards box out better, but there's really only so much you can do when you have a 4-6" height disadvantage, ~30 pound weight disadvantage and are guarding a perimeter player that's cutting all over the place.

    32-15 is not an acceptable halftime rebounding margin, no matter who you're playing.
    on the positive side, it was only 10-7 in the second half...
    It's being reported that due to coronavirus fears, Harvard has asked students not to return from spring break, and for classes to be held online.

    Not to be outdone, UNC told students to stop coming to class 27 years ago under Dean Smith.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_Newton View Post
    I think that defensive rebounding continues to be a huge issue for us against teams with size and athleticism, specifically with our guards.

    I mean, a shot goes up and we've got a Plumlee or Kelly fighting against both his man and a 6'7-6'8 wing for the rebound, while our 6'2 wing is cast off to the side. You'd like to see our guards box out better, but there's really only so much you can do when you have a 4-6" height disadvantage, ~30 pound weight disadvantage and are guarding a perimeter player that's cutting all over the place.
    32-15 is not an acceptable halftime rebounding margin, no matter who you're playing.
    I agree that our guards are under sized but they do too much ball watching instead of boxing out. They can certainly do better. Matter of fact they had improved going into this game. Next play! GoDuke!

  8. #8
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    Sep 2009
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    boston, ma
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_Newton View Post
    32-15 is not an acceptable halftime rebounding margin, no matter who you're playing.
    Wasn't it K who said rebounding is a matter of heart and desire? Are our guys going to want it more?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Quote Originally Posted by duke09hms View Post
    Wasn't it K who said rebounding is a matter of heart and desire? Are our guys going to want it more?
    Heart and desire to a point. But strength and staying out of foul trouble are pretty major factors as well.
    Quel est si drole de la paix, de l'amour, et de la comprehension?

  10. #10
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    Feb 2009
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    Nashville
    Quote Originally Posted by jv001 View Post
    I agree that our guards are under sized but they do too much ball watching instead of boxing out. They can certainly do better. Matter of fact they had improved going into this game. Next play! GoDuke!
    I'm not sure if I'd agree with this; rather, I'd say that 1) they've looked better against terrible ACC teams (although I remember they even got beat out 22-7 by lowly GT), and 2) Austin Rivers has really improved.

    In our previous 4 games against top-100 teams, our guards have been out-rebounded by:

    16-10
    10-10
    18-14
    14-11

    For a total of 58-45... and 20 of those 45 were Austin Rivers alone, who, really could be our PG. Throw in the 18-6 massacre tonight, and it's a total of 76-51 against the last five possible tournament teams we've played. Not ideal.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    I think the bigger question is, can we see this production consistently. The plumlees have had good games...but they also have no show games. They're really good players, they just don't show it every night. Which plumlees are going to show up in the tournaments? We're going to need the tonight plumlees every night.
    Well, if you count the Plumlees as one entity, they have been reasonably consistent. Here are their combined totals for each game in the 2nd half of the ACC season:

    Code:
    Opp     mins     pts     rebs
    ----    ----     ---     ----
    UNC     50       11      17
    Md      61       29      32
    NCSU    52       13      16
    BC      41       12      13
    FSU     45       11      13
    VPI     58       12      24
    Wake    48       15      18
    UNC     50       33      15
    So, we had a couple huge games and the rest were pretty much the same. And all combined double-doubles. Seems fairly consistent to me.

  12. #12
    I don't know what to make of this, but Duke has ended everyone of these phases with a loss.

    Phase I ended with loss to Ohio State.
    Phase II ended with loss to Temple
    Phase III ended with loss to Miami (with FSU also a loss in there)
    Phase IV ended with loss tonight.

    And unless something unforeseen happens V will end with a loss as well.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    And unless something unforeseen happens V will end with a loss as well.
    And you base this on... what?

  14. #14
    I give us no better than a 1/20 chance to win our last game of the season, and I think that's being an optimist, most would give us less.

  15. #15
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    Apr 2010
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    Arlington, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    And you base this on... what?
    Maybe on the fact that the NCAA tournament ends with a loss for 64 out of 65 teams? Even the top seed, winning the championship is somewhat "unforeseen."

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by MCFinARL View Post
    Maybe on the fact that the NCAA tournament ends with a loss for 64 out of 65 teams? Even the top seed, winning the championship is somewhat "unforeseen."
    Except Phase V is only the ACC tournament, not the NCAA tournament, so our odds are somewhat better.

  17. #17
    I continue to really like this team despite the loss to UNC, who I've conceded since preseason was better than Duke.

    Biggest thing to watch for IMO is Austin's shooting percentage. This is 3 games in a row now that he's shot poorly. Has he hit a freshman wall? If so, then Duke is probably finished doing special things this season. If not, I'll take my chances with this team to do some damage in both tourneys.

  18. #18
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    Norfolk, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post

    7. Whither Dre? Will Andre make a major contribution (or, even play significant minutes) in the ACCs? He unofficially played only 11 minutes tonight (it seemed like fewer) and took only one shot. I believe Duke needs an explosive scorer, and Andre, when he’s on, is as good as it gets. C’mon Andre! We’re all pulling for you!
    Against Carolina, Dawkins only attempted one shot. He is second in the ACC in 3 PT FG Percentage at .410 and fourth in 3 PT FGs Made. We cannot expect to win ball games with Dawkins only attempting one shot. He must be an integral part of our offense going forward.
    Bob Green
    DBR Survivor Football Champion
    2010 & 2016

  19. #19
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    Apr 2008
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    Fayetteville, NC
    Here are ten answers to the ten questions:

    1. Short Memory: No problem unless someone decides they need to do more than they are capable of, but I really don’t foresee that problem with this team.

    2. Inside Game: Mason and Miles will hold their own defensively and on the boards. If Mason just plays and doesn’t think about every shot he’ll do fine on the offensive end as well. The key is Ryan. We’ve all talked about Dre, but I heard an interesting stat the other day. It seems when Ryan scores over 10 points we do really, really well. We need him to score, since he doesn’t provide much in the way your normal 4 does.

    3. D and more D: Short guards and no SF to speak of have been factors we’ve dealt with all year. The team D has shown improvements, but I’m not sure what more this team can do to get better in this key area. This team will go as far as it’s OFFENSE will take them.

    4. Ensemble Cast: Hey folks, I was definitely one of those who in the past called for a third scorer. Well this year we have that in spades. Nice to have that luxury and it’s really hard to slow this team down offensively.

    5. Our ACC’s: Not sure past history means much here. The only factor is Coach K, who might be able to work his magic with the bench to get much needed minutes out of them in a possible 3 games in 3 days scenario.

    6. Health: So far so good (knock on wood)

    7. Whither Dre: Well here’s one streak Dre has managed to have. That’s having his own question in every Phase thread this season. The consistency just isn’t there and I’m beginning to wonder if it will ever be there. Let’s just go out on a limb and say if we make a deep run the rest of the way, he’ll have at least one awesome game.

    8. Mason: This kid needs to realize he has all the physical tools and that he needs to just do it. Don’t think, let your talent takeover. Loved his second half last night. Aggressive, power moves right to the rim with strong finishes.

    9. Our Man Miles: I’ll take solid and steady for the rest of the season. Play your game, which is being the anchor for this team.

    10. No More Walkabouts: We’ve talked and talked about this all year. Not sure why it happens, but it does. The best we can hope for is that we continue to fight and fight some more as this has managed to be our recipe for success this season.

  20. #20
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    Arlington, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    Except Phase V is only the ACC tournament, not the NCAA tournament, so our odds are somewhat better.
    Point taken--I didn't understand that the post season included 2 separate phases. Clearly the odds are a lot better, even if you assume that each team has an equal chance to win (which I don't).

    Clearly I should stop posting late at night, and maybe especially after tough losses.

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