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  1. #1

    MBB: Duke @ Clemson (Sun 2/18, 1:00 p.m. on ACCN) Pre-Game and In-Game Thread

    Duke hits the road on Sunday for a faceoff with Clemson for sole possession of #2 in the ACC standings. Clemson is coming off of a painful overtime loss at Florida State. After losing senior forward Donte Grantham earlier in ACC play, starting guard Shelton Mitchell was hospitalized after being knocked unconscious in the waning minutes of overtime against FSU. It appears the Mitchell suffered a concussion. His status for Sunday is up in the air. With his status in doubt, the Tigers have a painfully thin rotation. In conference play, only 8 Tigers have played 12 of the 13 games. The team could be down to 7 regulars.

    Clemson features a dynamic trio of guards in the aforementioned Mitchell, junior Marcquise Reed, and senior Gabe DeVoe. The senior DeVoe is the gunner of the group, knocking down 43.4% of his 3's from long range on 5.8 attempts per game. Reed is a decent and frequent shooter from range as well, hitting 37.3% on 5 attempts per game. Both Reed and DeVoe are pretty good rebounders, too, pulling in 4.6 per game. Mitchell is more or less the point guard, although Reed has nearly as many assists. If Mitchell is out, expect Reed to take on the bulk of the ball-handling responsibilities. Expect to see some of 6'4" freshman guard Clyde Trapp to play a larger role on Sunday. He is averaging a mere 1.3 pts per game in conference play.

    Inside, Clemson features a trio of transfers, headlined by rugged 6'9" Elijah Thomas. The Texas A&M transfer holds down the middle for the Tigers and leads the team in blocked shots. He has a few good post moves and scores a little, too. Michigan grad transfer and senior Mark Donnal is not a prolific scorer, but he averages a few points (3.8) and rebounds (1.9) while hitting a 3 pointer or two per game. While he is listed at 6'9" 240, he appears more slight of frame. Croatian David Skara, a junior transfer by way of Valparaiso University, is the other forward. He has a reputation as a stretch 4 but has been having trouble stretching defenses with his 26.7% 3-point shooting on the season. He is even more slight of frame than Donnal at 6'8" and 215 pounds. Rounding out the forwards is 6'7" freshman forward Aamir Simms. He has nearly interchangeable stats with Skara if slightly worse from outside (25.9%) and terrible from the free throw line (44.4%).

    Without Mitchell, the Tigers might employ a few of their deep reserve guards and forwards, none of whom have made much of an impact this season. Behind Thomas, Clemson is also going to miss leading rebounder Donte Grantham. There isn't another body on their team that can physically match up with Wendell Carter, Jr. or Marques Bolden. On defense, Duke will have to key in on the Clemson shooters and force turnovers. The Tigers coughed the ball up 21 times against FSU. As K has decided that zone is the way to go, communication in a hostile environment will also be key to prevent open looks. Even without Marvin Bagley III, Duke should have a size and depth advantage against Clemson. With Bagley III, that advantage should be enormous. As is usually the case, playing well on defense will be the key for this Duke team.

  2. #2

    Littlejohn will be rocking...

    As this game tips, Clemson will be ranked ahead of Duke....I can't remember the last time that happened (and I can remember when it happened regularly, back when Duke beat Clemson in football regularly...)

    This is going to be one of those " can we perform on this stage" games as K likes to say. The stage will be rocking! This arena has been a house of horrors for Duke over the years.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC

    Scouting report

    Big game coming up this weekend, as we face a talented Clemson team in Littlejohn. We may have caught a break though, as one of their best players was hospitalized with a concussion during their loss last night in Tallahassee. I suspect he's at best questionable, and most likely out this weekend. But we'll see. If so, it would be a tough loss for Clemson, who is already playing without one of their best and most experienced players (Grantham, ACL).

    Clemson is a very stout defensive team. They don't force many turnovers, but they rebound the hell out of the ball on defense, and really challenge you on 2pt shots. And despite being a very physical defense, they don't foul much. It's a really well-coached, VERY experienced group. On offense, Clemson's best attribute is their shooting. They are essentially a top-50 team from 3 and the line. They are smallish, so they don't score quite as well inside the line (largely because they shoot a lot of jumpers. But they are quite capable there too. They play a pretty slow pace (not UVa slow, but 276th in the country in pace), which will play nicely for our short rotation.

    Centers: Elijah Thomas (6'9", 240lb junior transfer from Texas A&M) is the man in the middle. Thomas is a very athletic, and very skilled big man who is a bit underutilized by Clemson in my opinion. He's a handful on the blocks and gave us trouble in the first meeting last year. We'll need to keep track of him if we stay in zone. Thomas is also an elite rebounder (on both ends) and shotblocker. He's a real force inside. The issue for him is foul trouble. He's lost a lot of minutes this year due to foul trouble. Hopefully that continues this weekend. Mark Donnal (6'9", 230lb grad transfer from Michigan) is technically the backup center, although he is more of a stretch-big than a true center. He's a very capable 3pt shooter if left alone out there, but not much of a presence inside. Doesn't rebound well or block shots. Still, he's not a bad pairing with Thomas.

    Forwards: Aamir Simms (6'7", 235lb freshman) is the usual starting PF. Simms is a rugged, athletic, blue-collar forward who is sort of a poor-man's Elijah Thomas. Not a very consistent offensive presence away from the basket, but he brings a lot of energy, athleticism, and physicality/toughness to the team. A very nice role player for the Tigers. Donnal will also play some at PF next to Thomas. David Skara (6'8", 210lb junior transfer from Croatia via Valpo) is a combo forward who plays heavy minutes typically off the bench. Skara is a tough kid, with decent athleticism and a decent perimeter shot. He's also a terrific positional defensive player; not a wow-you type athletic defender, but just a really good on-ball defender. Skara gives you max effort out there, and really knows his role. If Mitchell is out, Skara might wind up starting at SF.

    Wings: The loss of Grantham really changed the dynamics of the Tigers, as he was playing the best ball on the team this year. The senior was a do-it-all wing/forward who created mismatches all over the floor. Without him, the team looks a lot more traditional, and with less talent (obviously). Still, they are very good in the starting wing department. Marquise Reed (6'3", 190lb junior transfer from Robert Morris) is the star. Reed is a dynamite all-around combo-guard scorer blessed with tremendous strength and athleticism, capable of playing PG or SG. He is also a fantastic shooter with supreme confidence. With even a little space, he can light you up. Reed has been one of the best players in the ACC this year. Beside him is Gabe DeVoe (6'3", 205lb senior). DeVoe deserves a LOT of credit for dramatically improving his game this year. Prior to this season, DeVoe was a blue-collar, glue guy type who did the little things well but wasn't much of a scorer. He is a very strong, very athletic wing capable of defending 3-4 spots on the floor. But this year, he's added a really good shot to his arsenal, hitting 43% of 3s on nearly 6 attempts per game. And it's not a fluke: he is also shooting a career-best 77% from the line. DeVoe plays almost exclusively off-ball, allowing the Tigers' playmaking guards to set him up for open jumpers. But he's quite dangerous in that role. Clyde Trapp (6'4", 190lb freshman) is the third wing. Trapp is a terrific shooter who does just a little of everything else but nothing specific of note. He'll have to play heavier minutes in this one if Mitchell is out. And they may have to bring Scott Spencer (6'6", 190lb sophomore) off the bench for a few minutes as well. Spencer is just overmatched at this level.

    Guards: Shelton Mitchell (6'3", 195lb junor transfer from Vanderbilt) is the starting PG, although as noted earlier he may miss this one. Mitchell is almost a carbon copy of Reed, but just a bit more PG-oriented. Great athlete, strong, very good with the ball, terrific shooter, uber-confident. If he doesn't play, that REALLY hurts Clemson, as they don't have another guard at the level of Reed and Mitchell. If he does, Clemson will be a handful. If he doesn't, it's hard to see them having the depth to get it done, and they'll have to rely heavily on the crowd to give them a chance.

    Mitchell's availability changes everything. Without him, they really only have one truly capable ballhandler. Reed moves to the point and will be asked to play 40 minutes. DeVoe moves to SG and will also be asked to go 40. Skara or Trapp (probably Skara) will move from the bench to the starting lineup, with the other being asked to be the fourth guard/wing player. And they'll have to hope that the trio of Thomas, Donnal, and Simms stays out of foul trouble enough to stick to that frontcourt rotation. With Mitchell, they have a very strong top-7 and a solid 8th man in Trapp.

    I would expect to see the zone again this weekend to mitigate Reed's dribble penetration. Perhaps with some 3/4 court trapping to make Reed expend some energy and get the ball into the hands of guys who aren't comfortable dribbling.
    Last edited by CDu; 02-15-2018 at 09:36 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Undisclosed
    Littlejohn is a great atmosphere. This will be a war.
    "We're only tourists in this life
    Only tourists but the view is nice"

    -- David Byrne

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Fayetteville, NC
    I've never seen a player taken off the court the way Mitchell was taken off last night. They had a two guys, one under each elbow and they basically dragged the kid off the court, as Mitchell's feet were just dragging along the court no movement at all. You'd think they would have had a wheelchair handy to help the young man off.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Atlanta 'burbs
    Quote Originally Posted by ncexnyc View Post
    I've never seen a player taken off the court the way Mitchell was taken off last night. They had a two guys, one under each elbow and they basically dragged the kid off the court, as Mitchell's feet were just dragging along the court no movement at all. You'd think they would have had a wheelchair handy to help the young man off.
    I agree. The way he was dragging his feet, my initial thought was that he was maybe paralyzed. Hope the young man is ok and itís nothing serious.

    Also, props to the two FSU players who saw him struggling to partially stand up and about to collapse. They immediately assisted him and began motioning for the Clemson folks to attend to him. They stayed with him until they arrived. All this while the outcome of the game was very much in doubt. Goes to show that even in the heat of the moment, these young men understand that there are more important things in life than the outcome of a ballgame.
       

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    Littlejohn is a great atmosphere. This will be a war.
    It will be a war...and Littlejohn is a great atmosphere - about once a year most years....and this will be it...like it is for Miami, Florida State, NC State and some others where many empty seats are visible for most games...but where they rock for Duke.

    The price of being Duke. Annoying sometimes, but well worth it!!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ncexnyc View Post
    I've never seen a player taken off the court the way Mitchell was taken off last night. They had a two guys, one under each elbow and they basically dragged the kid off the court, as Mitchell's feet were just dragging along the court no movement at all. You'd think they would have had a wheelchair handy to help the young man off.
    Completely agree. I actually thought they should have taken him off the court on a stretcher. It was very uncomfortable to watch them just drag him off the court. And also surprising, given the attention to concussions these days.

    Also agree about the FSU players. They immediately signaled the Clemson bench for help. And he was down for quite a while. Hope he's ok.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    NC Raised, DC Resident
    Not a lot of news, but Mitchell remained hospitalized overnight in Tallahassee as a precaution, and is officially questionable for Sunday's game.

    I hope for a speedy and full recovery for the guy. I also hope that the team-rallies-around-an-injured-player phenomenon doesn't show up for the game. It should be a battle.
    Haters gonna hate.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Santa Clara, CA
    I expect a very tough game. Littlejohn is often a rough place, and Clemson hasn't lost at home this year. Bagley or not - whether Duke can handle the road pressure or not is a key factor in my mind, perhaps the main one.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Greenville, SC
    Quote Originally Posted by ncexnyc View Post
    I've never seen a player taken off the court the way Mitchell was taken off last night. They had a two guys, one under each elbow and they basically dragged the kid off the court, as Mitchell's feet were just dragging along the court no movement at all. You'd think they would have had a wheelchair handy to help the young man off.
    The announcers were saying that Mitchell banged his head on the floor, but I didn't see any contact of head with floor. It looked to me like he got whacked on the top of the head by one of the defenders. It didn't look like a dirty play to me, just one of those unfortunate things that happen with contact sometimes. My medically ignorant and uninformed diagnosis was that he hit the funny bone in his neck.

    In any event Mitchell was immediately out of it, wobbly/woozy and unable to stand. I wish him the best and a speedy recovery.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by TruBlu View Post
    I agree. The way he was dragging his feet, my initial thought was that he was maybe paralyzed. Hope the young man is ok and itís nothing serious.

    Also, props to the two FSU players who saw him struggling to partially stand up and about to collapse. They immediately assisted him and began motioning for the Clemson folks to attend to him. They stayed with him until they arrived. All this while the outcome of the game was very much in doubt. Goes to show that even in the heat of the moment, these young men understand that there are more important things in life than the outcome of a ballgame.
    he was clearly moving around, but wanting for balance and weak. first thought when someone loses balance after a head shot is concussion.
    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.

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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    NC Raised, DC Resident
    Quote Originally Posted by camion View Post
    The announcers were saying that Mitchell banged his head on the floor, but I didn't see any contact of head with floor. It looked to me like he got whacked on the top of the head by one of the defenders. It didn't look like a dirty play to me, just one of those unfortunate things that happen with contact sometimes. My medically ignorant and uninformed diagnosis was that he hit the funny bone in his neck.

    In any event Mitchell was immediately out of it, wobbly/woozy and unable to stand. I wish him the best and a speedy recovery.
    He very clearly got a wack on the top of the head from one of the defender's elbows--not a malicious hit, but the slo-mo replay left no doubt. Equally clearly, he never hit his head on the floor.
    Haters gonna hate.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Per ESPN, Mitchell is out of the hospital and in concussion protocol. Hopefully he has a speedy and full recovery.
    Bob Green
    DBR Survivor Football Champion
    2010 & 2016

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Green View Post
    Per ESPN, Mitchell is out of the hospital and in concussion protocol. Hopefully he has a speedy and full recovery.
    The ESPN article has little to add beyond what Bob reported except to say that Brownell will update Mitchell's condition on Friday. I just can't imagine a kid with a concussion like that could play this weekend. Pity for him and his team, though it gives them a convenient excuse should they lose to Duke
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by English View Post
    He very clearly got a wack on the top of the head from one of the defender's elbows--not a malicious hit, but the slo-mo replay left no doubt. Equally clearly, he never hit his head on the floor.
    True - and the elbow kind of looked like a glancing blow. I was sure it was the floor that caused it on the first angle, but then it's pretty clear it was not the floor from other angles.

    Kind of like the wreck that killed Dale Earnhardt at Daytona...obviously it was bad, but it didn't look that bad....(can you use a NASCAR analogy on a Duke forum???)

    And yes, profs to the Seminole players who steadied him and called to the Clemson bench.

  17. #17
    Hopeful for another season progress statement win.
       

  18. #18
    Here is the link for the list of stations carrying the game as well the free, unrestricted viewing option online:
    http://theacc.com/sports/2017/12/9/a...bb-180218.aspx

    Blackout Map:


    Here are your options based on location:

    Black:
    -On TV on station listed in link above
    -Online via link above

    Green:
    -On TV on station listed in link above
    -On TV via ESPN College Extra if your provider carries it (DirecTV 789, AT&T U-Verse 615, Verizon FIOS 822, Spectrum cable subscribers should check local lineup)
    -Online via link above
    -Online via WatchESPN

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by HereBeforeCoachK View Post
    True - and the elbow kind of looked like a glancing blow. I was sure it was the floor that caused it on the first angle, but then it's pretty clear it was not the floor from other angles.

    Kind of like the wreck that killed Dale Earnhardt at Daytona...obviously it was bad, but it didn't look that bad...(can you use a NASCAR analogy on a Duke forum???)

    And yes, profs to the Seminole players who steadied him and called to the Clemson bench.
    Yes... I watched the replay. The 2 FSU players were definitely concerned about Mitchell. And 1 FSU player continued to help even after the Clemson staff got to Mitchell. Major props to the FSU players.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by gep View Post
    Yes... I watched the replay. The 2 FSU players were definitely concerned about Mitchell. And 1 FSU player continued to help even after the Clemson staff got to Mitchell. Major props to the FSU players.
    The kids life

    I wouldn't play him that soon with a concussion that required hospitalization for observation. The kids life going forward is much more important than one college basketball game.

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