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  1. #1

    MBB: Duke vs Virginia (Sat, 2/13/16, 4:30pm ET, ESPN) PreGame and In-Game Thread

    Thanks to some success in the DBR Hoops Wagering contest, I have reason to believe Lady Luck is on my side right now.

    So I'm taking a chance and starting a game thread. If Duke loses on Saturday, I will never start another one this season. (Also, it's possible I have no power over these things.)

    Put your thoughts about the game in this thread.

  2. #2
    Importing some analysis from the ACC thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wahoo2000 View Post
    I expect Duke to be the favorite. The advanced metrics make them slightly better than a pick-em, but what gives me nightmares is the fact that Kennard, Allen, and Ingram are all shooting close to 45% from 3 in ACC home games. And they all can connect from well behind the line. The packline is built to force teams to shoot contested 3s, or VERY DEEP 3s, and this is kind of right in Duke's wheelhouse.

    I think our best chance is to pound it in to Gill early and hope he's drawing fouls like it's the 2014 ACC championship game. If Plumlee and (more importantly) Ingram have real foul issues, that's a massive blow to Duke.

    I also have some hope that our grinding style on offense, making Allen and Kennard chase our wings off screens nonstop will leave them with a little less lift under their shots by the time we get to the last 10 minutes.

    Should be a great game either way!
    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    I would say Ingram is a bit of a line hugger, actually. Where he combats UVA's packline closeouts is with his launchpoint (6'9" height) and impossibly quick release, not his deep range. You're right about Allen and Kennard being able to go a step or two farther out, though, particularly Kennard.
    Quote Originally Posted by akg4y View Post
    Surging UVA you mean
    4 teams in a row held to 50 points or less... looks like the UVA D is back to normal.

  3. #3
    The Cavaliers are on a 7 game winning streak and have been playing excellent defense. Tony Bennett should be recognized as one of the best coaches in the ACC and maybe the country. He has his team playing the pack line defense masterfully. He hasn't been able to recruit as well as some of the big time programs, but his kids are good athletes and stay around long enough to understand Bennett's defensive principles. They also are aggressive offensive players and are willing to spend the whole shot clock if necessary finding a good opportunity.

    With both Duke and UVa playing well right now it looks to me as a nail biter. It may be decided on the basis of which team can keep their front court players on the floor. Too bad Amile is not yet ready as we could really use him for this one.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Saratoga2 View Post
    The Cavaliers are on a 7 game winning streak and have been playing excellent defense. Tony Bennett should be recognized as one of the best coaches in the ACC and maybe the country. He has his team playing the pack line defense masterfully. He hasn't been able to recruit as well as some of the big time programs, but his kids are good athletes and stay around long enough to understand Bennett's defensive principles. They also are aggressive offensive players and are willing to spend the whole shot clock if necessary finding a good opportunity.

    With both Duke and UVa playing well right now it looks to me as a nail biter. It may be decided on the basis of which team can keep their front court players on the floor. Too bad Amile is not yet ready as we could really use him for this one.
    And you know this how?

  5. #5
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    If we can play good defense of our own, I think UVA's slower pace helps us more than in past years where we relied more on transition points. Of course, that said, we still have to be able to score against them in a grind-fest, which is easier said than done. But we are probably the ACC team that's most equipped to do that.

    Need a very good, consistent game on both end of the court, and to limit TOs. It's a winnable game for sure, but we can't give the ball away too much. Go Duke!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    And you know this how?
    yeah, there's definitely been some chatter that Amile might be able to play Saturday. How reliable that chatter is and whether he experiences any setbacks in the days leading up to the game remain to be seen.
       

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mo.st.dukie View Post
    yeah, there's definitely been some chatter that Amile might be able to play Saturday. How reliable that chatter is and whether he experiences any setbacks in the days leading up to the game remain to be seen.
    Re Amile, I'm thinking we will know when we know, and not a second before. That being said, given the "still feeling pain" statement Monday, I'm planning to avoid disappointment by assuming Amile will not play Saturday. That way, if he does play, I can be pleasantly surprised.

  8. #8
    If Amile plays on Saturday, I wouldn't be surprised if it's "only" for 10-15 minutes off the bench. (Duke, of course, could've surely used a big man sub like that in Amile's absence, so nothing to scoff at.)

    His biggest impact arguably would be emotional, charging up Cameron and lifting up the spirit of the team to see him back out there and playing.

    At the same time, the emotion would be need to be managed so that the team doesn't wear itself out early in the game and not have something in reserve down the stretch.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Norfolk, VA
    This is Game #2 in a challenging four game stretch against Top 25 opponents. A win is needed to improve to 2-0 as games three and four are on the road. I am optimistic Duke will win because I like the way we match up against the Cavaliers. Matt Jones on Malcolm Brogdon will be key and Derryck Thornton will need a strong defensive performance against London Perrantes. Inside, Brandon Ingram and Marshall Plumlee have the edge over Anthony Gill and whoever (Mike Tobey/Isaiah Wilkins/Jack Salt*). I like Grayson Allen against Devon Hall/Marial Shayok. Of course we constantly switch on defense and will play some zone as well.

    On offense, we will need good ball movement including the extra pass to achieve good looks against Virginia's formidable defense. Playing inside out and/or executing the drive and dish is essential. As long as we do not settle on passing the ball around the perimeter and jacking up 3 PT FG attempts deep in the shot clock we will be okay. Virginia is not deep inside so I'd like to see us take the ball at Gill and Tobey looking to create some foul trouble for the Cavaliers.

    This is going to be a tough game against a talented opponent. I'm looking forward to watching it and like Duke to extend the winning streak to four games with a six point victory.

    * Jack Salt has not played recently so he might be injured or unavailable. Perhaps one of our Wahoo visitors will step in and enlighten me.
    Bob Green
    DBR Survivor Football Champion
    2010 & 2016

  10. #10
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    Big test for Duke this weekend. Even bigger, in fact, than the one we just passed against Louisville. UVa is probably the creme de la creme of the ACC right now. They are deep, they are talented, they are well-coached, they are experienced, and they are well-balanced.

    Frontcourt: The Wahoos like to play a "traditional" lineup - a center, a PF, and a true SF. They don't like to deviate from this approach. The starting C is Anthony Gill, although he's more of a "traditional" PF. Gill is a terrific player on both ends of the floor. He's a good athlete: strong and physical but also quick and bouncy. He is a pretty decent shooter out to 15-18 feet, and is effective around the basket too. And of course he's tough defensively. He's the only guy who consistently plays starter's minutes. After him, there is a quartet of guys who see some time. Wilkins usually starts alongside Gill. He is a smaller PF with good athleticism. He's not a great scorer, but he's a good defender and can finish around the rim. The third man in the frontcourt rotation is Mike Tobey. He's a big dude: a 7-footer with talent. He can shoot out to 15-18 feet, can finish inside, and can be a presence at times defensively. For whatever reason, though, he's never found his groove consistently as a player. He's all ups and downs, being a monster some games and nonexistent in others. After Tobey, UVa has a few more options. Jack Salt is a 6'11" redshirt freshman from Australia. Salt is big and athletic, but not yet very good at basketball. He, along with Jarred Reuter, plays the minutes-filler role behind the three primary guys. They'll combine for 10-15 mpg depending upon the game flow. And if need be, Evan Nolte will swing up from SF to play a few minutes as a stretch 4.

    Wings: UVa has a quartet of guys in the 6'4"-6'5" range that play major minutes. The leader of the group is Malcolm Brogdon. Brogdon is a terrific player. He can shoot from anywhere and is one of the best scorers in the conference. Very efficient player. He's not the greatest ballhandler in the world (he is somewhat robotic in his dribble), but it's certainly not a weakness either. He is unselfish too. He's a player of the year candidate again in the ACC. He's the only guy who consistently plays starter's minutes on the wing. Alongside him are a trio of guys. In the starting lineup is Devon Hall. Hall is not much of a scorer, but is solid defensively. He's an okay shooter from 3pt range and a terrific FT shooter who rarely gets fouled. Nearly half his shots are 3s. Off the bench is Shayok. Shayok is a weird player. He's very athletic and has great size. He's also a terrific shooter from 3pt range, so leaving him open is a bad idea. But he draws no fouls despite his athleticism (9 FT attempts all year). The last of the main wing players is Darius Thompson. Thompson is sort of like Hall, but gets to the line a little more. None of Hall, Thompson, or Shayok are very significant individually, though the trio combines for about 13 ppg in about 55 mpg played. Just solid role players. In the "filling minutes" role is Evan Nolte, who is a stationary shooter and not much more.

    PG: The primary PG is London Perrantes. Perrantes has generally been a very good shooter who has historically been reluctant to shoot. That has changed this year. He's shooting over 50% from 3pt range, and he's taking 4 attempts per game this year. He has been a very good player all three years, but this year he's really emerged as a playmaker for the Hoos. He's averaging 11 ppg and over 4 assists per game shooting 46% from the field, 53% from 3, and 80% from the line. And, of course, he's a tough defender. When he is out of the game (which isn't too often), Brogdon and the other wings handle the ball. There is a steep dropoff in PG play without Perrantes, but it's not often noticeable because (a) he plays a lot and (b) UVa's defense is so good.

    The Wahoos play the famed pack-line defense, which makes them very tough on dribble penetration. The Cavaliers are extremely physical with drivers. In theory, that should have been legislated out of the game to some degree, but as expected the officials have reverted to old form in 2016. So I'd expect Ingram and Allen and Kennard to have trouble getting to the hoop. The Cavs are a gang rebounding team (due to their pack-line approach), so nobody in particular has a high average but the team as a whole is solid on the defensive boards. If we're hitting 3s (and the Cavs can give up 3s), we can win, but we aren't likely to beat them for offensive rebounds.

    On the other end, the Cavs play a very deliberate pace. They aren't going to make a lot of mistakes, and they aren't going to score a ton of points. They limit possessions, are efficient with the ball, and shoot well. And then they tend to forego offensive rebounding to keep defenders back to make you play half-court offense as well. Don't expect an 80-75 score in this one. I'd expect both teams to be in the 60s. UVa has only scored 70+ three times in ACC play, and they've only allowed 70+ twice.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Saratoga2 View Post
    ...Tony Bennett...hasn't been able to recruit as well as some of the big time programs, but his kids are good athletes and stay around long enough to understand Bennett's defensive principles...

    Yes, why is his recruiting so difficult? Beautiful arena, good school, plenty of DelMarVaDC exposure, close to Hampton Roads cradles of talent?

    Maybe our Wahoo pal who checks in here sometimes can give us an opinion?
    Nothing incites bodily violence quicker than a Duke fan turning in your direction and saying 'scoreboard.'

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by weezie View Post
    Yes, why is his recruiting so difficult? Beautiful arena, good school, plenty of DelMarVaDC exposure, close to Hampton Roads cradles of talent?

    Maybe our Wahoo pal who checks in here sometimes can give us an opinion?
    Not a Wahoo fan, but it might have something to do with his style of play. Not a lot of Big Mac All-Americans want to play slow-tempo, defensive basketball.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    Thanks to some success in the DBR Hoops Wagering contest, I have reason to believe Lady Luck is on my side right now.

    So I'm taking a chance and starting a game thread. If Duke loses on Saturday, I will never start another one this season. (Also, it's possible I have no power over these things.)

    Put your thoughts about the game in this thread.
    I believe in you Troublemaker!!

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by weezie View Post
    Yes, why is his recruiting so difficult? Beautiful arena, good school, plenty of DelMarVaDC exposure, close to Hampton Roads cradles of talent?

    Maybe our Wahoo pal who checks in here sometimes can give us an opinion?
    I would say their recruiting is going well. When a program goes from 1996 to 2011 without being much of a factor (spanning the end of Jeff Jones' reign, then Pete Gillen, then Dave Leitao, and the early years of Bennett), it takes awhile to ramp up recruiting. Bennett is competing for 4 stars now whereas before he had to make do with 2 and 3 stars, and he nabbed a highly-coveted transfer in Austin Nichols last offseason. His 2016 class is his best class yet (especially if you include Nichols), and I suppose the next step is to compete for 5 stars and we'll see if he can do that. But they're on a nice track...

  15. #15
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    Washington, D.C.

    Slow?

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    Not a Wahoo fan, but it might have something to do with his style of play. Not a lot of Big Mac All-Americans want to play slow-tempo, defensive basketball.
    "Slow" isn't really the word for it. 350 of 351 schools in tempo. Part of it is defense, of course, but still.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    Not a Wahoo fan, but it might have something to do with his style of play. Not a lot of Big Mac All-Americans want to play slow-tempo, defensive basketball.
    Yeah, I'd agree with this. I think that Bennett is also very much a "system" coach. The top-tier guys are usually (not always) looking to get to the NBA as quickly as possible, and that usually doesn't involve taking time to adapt to his system (especially when said system is an incredibly slow and grinding style, not an up-tempo style like UNC). If a star recruit happens to come from a school that has a similar approach to Bennett's, maybe he'll get that guy. But I do wonder if Bennett is better off not getting the top-tier guys.

    He's done really well with the second/third-tier recruits (guys more in the Marshall Plumlee ranking range than the Grayson Allen range) in getting them to stay 4-5 years (he redshirts a decent number of guys and gets transfers), and those guys by their 3rd/4th years have really found their strides in the system. Perrantes, Anderson, Gill, Atkins, Harris, and others are examples of this. Brogdon is one of those rare cases of a guy who came in and in his 2nd year (1st active year) was an immediate impact guy.

    Given that his success is very much system based, I almost wonder if his model is better suited to NOT look at the one-and-done level talents, but rather focus on middle-tier talent that is will to settle in and learn the system over a few years and then be a true impact player down the line.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Yeah, I'd agree with this. I think that Bennett is also very much a "system" coach. The top-tier guys are usually (not always) looking to get to the NBA as quickly as possible, and that usually doesn't involve taking time to adapt to his system (especially when said system is an incredibly slow and grinding style, not an up-tempo style like UNC). If a star recruit happens to come from a school that has a similar approach to Bennett's, maybe he'll get that guy. But I do wonder if Bennett is better off not getting the top-tier guys.

    He's done really well with the second/third-tier recruits (guys more in the Marshall Plumlee ranking range than the Grayson Allen range) in getting them to stay 4-5 years (he redshirts a decent number of guys and gets transfers), and those guys by their 3rd/4th years have really found their strides in the system. Perrantes, Anderson, Gill, Atkins, Harris, and others are examples of this. Brogdon is one of those rare cases of a guy who came in and in his 2nd year (1st active year) was an immediate impact guy.

    Given that his success is very much system based, I almost wonder if his model is better suited to NOT look at the one-and-done level talents, but rather focus on middle-tier talent that is will to settle in and learn the system over a few years and then be a true impact player down the line.
    It would very much surprise me if that wasn't a part or most of Bennett's recruiting pitch to the mid- to low-Top 100 crowd--look at how successful I've made these players who were right around or below your recruiting ranks. Imagine how great you can be coming out of UVa, and how great the UVa team can be with you in a marquee role within the system.

    I'd absolutely agree, though, it'd be tough to convince a top-tier recruit who has his sights set on early-entry to join the UVa system and cut his scoring/assists/FGAs per game in half. I'd equally agree that the early-entry recruiting model wouldn't fit the Bennett system, either.
    Haters gonna hate.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    But I do wonder if Bennett is better off not getting the top-tier guys.
    Indeed. The recent one and dones at Duke have forced Coach K to do something I never thought I would see: play a deep rotation.

    Okay, in all seriousness, we have all seen how adapting to the new pace of departures has forced Coach K to change his most basic signature: his defense. If Duke's man-to-man D is too hard for the one and dones of the world to become proficient in (or at least, those not named Justise), I imagine that Bennett would face a similar challenge with very young teams and high turnover.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cato View Post
    Indeed. The recent one and dones at Duke have forced Coach K to do something I never thought I would see: play a deep rotation.

    Okay, in all seriousness, we have all seen how adapting to the new pace of departures has forced Coach K to change his most basic signature: his defense. If Duke's man-to-man D is too hard for the one and dones of the world to become proficient in (or at least, those not named Justise), I imagine that Bennett would face a similar challenge with very young teams and high turnover.
    Bennett runs kind of the opposite model of the current Duke model. He basically runs a mid-major style of program but has access to more resources and somewhat better recruits. His teams are always heavy on juniors and seniors (often fourth-year juniors and fifth-year seniors). We've seen how mid-majors can compete to a degree with less talent but more experience and continuity. Well, Bennett's UVa teams are basically mid-majors on steroids (for lack of a better analogy - not implying they are using PEDs). He gets good-but-not-quite-elite recruits who are willing to buy into the long play. So he has a stable of guys who were 50-150ish ranked recruits who - by the time they become starters - are 21-23 years old, more mature bodies with 2-3 or more years in the system. It gets all the benefits of the mid-major program with a definite dropoff in top-tier talent but not such a dropoff that they are mid-major level.

    I don't know that Bennett would really want to tackle the challenges of dealing with the one-and-dones of the world. He's perfected his system. I can't see him wanting to risk his system at the chance of adding a few more one-and-dones.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    I don't know that Bennett would really want to tackle the challenges of dealing with the one-and-dones of the world. He's perfected his system. I can't see him wanting to risk his system at the chance of adding a few more one-and-dones.
    If he can't get out of the second weekend of the NCAAs in the next 3-4 years, maybe a risk he would be willing to take.

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