Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC

    Phase VII: NCAAs Opening Weekend

    Tourney time! Letís go.

    1. Health: Here we are again. Mostly healthy at this point, with the only question mark being the availability and effectiveness of Marques Bolden. Early reports suggest he should become available either Friday or (if we win) Sunday. Letís get fully healthy this weekend, and stay that way. No more injuries, please!

    2. The ďotherĒ stars: News flash: Zion Williamson has returned. And heís looked like he never missed a step. Zionís play was phenomenal in the ACC tournament. Thereís really not much one can say other than that. He is amazing. Unfortunately, Barrett (.508 TS%, 10 assists to 13 turnovers) and even moreso Reddish (.448 TS%, 1 assist to 9 turnovers) werenít been as efficient or effective as hoped. Now, Barrett provides a ton of value as a second ballhandler and as a defensive rebounder (he had 21 of those in the tournament), and Reddish provides a ton of value as a versatile perimeter defender. But it would be nice to see these two improve their efficiency a bit moving forward. If we can get one of two scoring efficiently on a given night, we become REALLY hard to beat. We shouldnít need it in this weekend, but it would be nice to start building towards that for the coming weeks if weíre lucky enough to get there. For Barrett, I think it's mostly just a matter of controlled aggression: don't settle for 3s quite as much, but show a little more patience/subtlety in his attacks off the dribble to avoid charges. He's at his best when he gets into the lane under control. For Reddish, it's a matter of taking what is given him and not being so wild with the ball in his hands. He played a much more patient game against FSU (0 turnovers), so hopefully that is a good sign moving forward.

    3. Maintain the defensive dominance: In each of the three tourney games, our defense was incredibly stout. We held both UNC and Syracuse to about a point per possession (unadjusted) and held FSU to about 0.9 points per possession (unadjusted). Thatís phenomenal defense. And for the season, weíre a top-5ish squad on defense even accounting for Zionís absence. We are absolutely overwhelming at times. One of the very best shotblocking teams in the country, and fantastic at defending both 3s (top-10) and 2s (top-20). That is a big plus for this teamís chances of getting through the opening weekend, as it will be hard for an opponent to score enough to beat us in the first two rounds. We want to give them a little shock and awe. The teams we'll face this weekend won't have seen anything like our combination of size, athleticism, and defensive intensity. Let's make them feel our presence out there.

    4. Avoiding complacency: Talent-wise, we should not be threatened this week. We are the MUCH more talented squad on Friday, and still substantially more talented if we get to Sunday. The key will be avoiding complacency. Our guys need to avoid assuming the win, and competing hard in every game. Because the opponent will certainly be competing hard. If we treat each game with respect, we should be okay. These guys havenít seemed to have an issue with complacency, so I donít expect it to happen now. But itís important that they donít start a bad habit.

    5. Valuing each possession: Relatedly, another concern is turnovers. If we can keep our opponent to playing half-court offense, we should be fine, because our defense is amazing. But we were somewhat sloppy with the ball at times. As noted above, Reddish and Barrett combined for 22 turnovers in the ACC tournament. And Jones has been a bit more turnover prone of late as well (he had 6 in the three games). As a team, we averaged 14 per game in the ACC tournament and 13 per game on the season. Thatís not awful, but many if not most of those of our turnovers are fairly unforced. One way for a team to pull an unexpected upset is to force turnovers and score in transition. So letís not open that door if possible.

    6. Shooters: Another news flash Ė this team stinks at 3pt shooting. There are like 15 teams in all of D-1 who shoot the three worse than us. And weíre getting worse as the season goes on. Now, I am on record as saying that I think we could win the tournament without even hitting another 3 this season. But weíre going to take some 3s every game, so obviously making more of them would be a nice way to give ourselves cushion. We hit just 14 of 57 3s (24.6%) in the ACC tournament. Of course, we won those three games, beating an 8 seed by 12, a 1 seed by 1, and a 4 seed by 10. So, again, itís not like we need to shoot well. But life would be a lot easier if we shot around 33% from 3. Itíd be nice to see our shooters improve. Jones (3-15), Reddish (3-13) and Barrett (4-20) in particular struggled. Interestingly, Zion (3-6) has been hitting them reasonably well. After starting 3-18 in his career, Williamson has hit 14-36 since (38.9%). Now, Iím not saying I want him shooting a ton, but he seems to have found the right volume of 3s to take. I donít expect much from White and OíConnell due to limited minutes and/or confidence, but a 3 here or there from them would be nice too. But really, if those first three guys hit slightly better than they have been of late, that would go a long way towards adding our cushion. If we can get from 3.3-16 to 5 for 16, thatís a ~4-5 point variance in scoring (fudge factor included for offensive rebounds), which would be nice.

    7. Survive and advance: This is what it comes down to. Every game can be a season/career ending game. That's some serious game pressure. Let's survive and advance on Friday. Then do the same on Sunday. Let the rest of the tourney play out around us. Focus on the job at hand each game, and hopefully the rest falls into place!

    8. Who are they (aka, scouting reports)?: Iíll split the scouting reports up into 3 additional posts, with one each for each of the three potential opponents (Iíll save myself some effort by waiting until after the play-in game tonight) we may face this weekend.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Tourney time! Letís go.


    2. The ďotherĒ stars: News flash: Zion Williamson has returned. And heís looked like he never missed a step. Zionís play was phenomenal in the ACC tournament. Thereís really not much one can say other than that. He is amazing. Unfortunately, Barrett (.508 TS%, 10 assists to 13 turnovers) and even moreso Reddish (.448 TS%, 1 assist to 9 turnovers) werenít been as efficient or effective as hoped. Now, Barrett provides a ton of value as a second ballhandler and as a defensive rebounder (he had 21 of those in the tournament), and Reddish provides a ton of value as a versatile perimeter defender. But it would be nice to see these two improve their efficiency a bit moving forward. If we can get one of two scoring efficiently on a given night, we become REALLY hard to beat. We shouldnít need it in this weekend, but it would be nice to start building towards that for the coming weeks if weíre lucky enough to get there. For Barrett, I think it's mostly just a matter of controlled aggression: don't settle for 3s quite as much, but show a little more patience/subtlety in his attacks off the dribble to avoid charges. He's at his best when he gets into the lane under control. For Reddish, it's a matter of taking what is given him and not being so wild with the ball in his hands. He played a much more patient game against FSU (0 turnovers), so hopefully that is a good sign moving forward.

    3. Maintain the defensive dominance: In each of the three tourney games, our defense was incredibly stout. We held both UNC and Syracuse to about a point per possession (unadjusted) and held FSU to about 0.9 points per possession (unadjusted). Thatís phenomenal defense. And for the season, weíre a top-5ish squad on defense even accounting for Zionís absence. We are absolutely overwhelming at times. One of the very best shotblocking teams in the country, and fantastic at defending both 3s (top-10) and 2s (top-20). That is a big plus for this teamís chances of getting through the opening weekend, as it will be hard for an opponent to score enough to beat us in the first two rounds. We want to give them a little shock and awe. The teams we'll face this weekend won't have seen anything like our combination of size, athleticism, and defensive intensity. Let's make them feel our presence out there.

    5. Valuing each possession: Relatedly, another concern is turnovers. If we can keep our opponent to playing half-court offense, we should be fine, because our defense is amazing. But we were somewhat sloppy with the ball at times. As noted above, Reddish and Barrett combined for 22 turnovers in the ACC tournament. And Jones has been a bit more turnover prone of late as well (he had 6 in the three games). As a team, we averaged 14 per game in the ACC tournament and 13 per game on the season. Thatís not awful, but many if not most of those of our turnovers are fairly unforced. One way for a team to pull an unexpected upset is to force turnovers and score in transition. So letís not open that door if possible.

    6. Shooters: Another news flash Ė this team stinks at 3pt shooting. There are like 15 teams in all of D-1 who shoot the three worse than us. And weíre getting worse as the season goes on. Now, I am on record as saying that I think we could win the tournament without even hitting another 3 this season. But weíre going to take some 3s every game, so obviously making more of them would be a nice way to give ourselves cushion. We hit just 14 of 57 3s (24.6%) in the ACC tournament. Of course, we won those three games, beating an 8 seed by 12, a 1 seed by 1, and a 4 seed by 10. So, again, itís not like we need to shoot well. But life would be a lot easier if we shot around 33% from 3. Itíd be nice to see our shooters improve. Jones (3-15), Reddish (3-13) and Barrett (4-20) in particular struggled. Interestingly, Zion (3-6) has been hitting them reasonably well. After starting 3-18 in his career, Williamson has hit 14-36 since (38.9%). Now, Iím not saying I want him shooting a ton, but he seems to have found the right volume of 3s to take. I donít expect much from White and OíConnell due to limited minutes and/or confidence, but a 3 here or there from them would be nice too. But really, if those first three guys hit slightly better than they have been of late, that would go a long way towards adding our cushion. If we can get from 3.3-16 to 5 for 16, thatís a ~4-5 point variance in scoring (fudge factor included for offensive rebounds), which would be nice.
    Nice report! I agree that those insisiting that we must hit X% from 3 to win are working off an old script and not really looking at THIS team, and that this team could win the whole thing w/o hitting another 3 (although that would be somewhat predicated on not taking m/any 3s if we don't make any).
    I also agree that valuing the ball is important, and is probably the single most important area of concern for me. Tre's return to simply "good" a/to from "absurdly good" in combination with Reddish's horrid a/to lately has really reduced Duke's offensive efficiency. I've noticed that Cam performs much better when he receives the ball moving towards the basket as opposed to when he begins by driving. He turns the ball over less, partly b/c he doesn't charge as much and partly b/c he doesn't have to dribble as much (which is key since he's really sloppy withe ball), and also tends to make those shots at a much higher clip partly b/c the defenders tend to not be set up waiting to defend his shot.
    The return of Zion improved our defense instantly compared to the 6 game stretch prior, although the absence of Big 'Ques meant it wasn't quite as good as it can be. Hopefully (whenever) Marques does come back, his presence in the lane can give us the flexibility to defend a variety of offenses better. Big 'Ques can also add an efficient interior scorer that gives our offense more flexibility too.
    I'm stoked about this team! Can it be Friday already?!?!?!?!?!?!

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Tourney time! Letís go.
    Nice job, CDu. Thanks for doing this again. This team has fewer questions than most, but it looks like you hit them all.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Great job, CDu!

    I've got several comments on your comments:

    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post

    3. Maintain the defensive dominance: In each of the three tourney games, our defense was incredibly stout...We want to give them a little shock and awe. The teams we'll face this weekend won't have seen anything like our combination of size, athleticism, and defensive intensity. Let's make them feel our presence out there.
    Defense will be the key to winning six straight and another championship. Our defensive performance in the ACC Tournament was impressive, especially against FSU. Maintaining that level of defensive dominance (nice word selection) in the NCAA Tournament will make us a very hard out.

    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post

    5. Valuing each possession: Relatedly, another concern is turnovers...we were somewhat sloppy with the ball at times.
    I agree turnovers are a concern. A little bit better ball security will go a long way toward putting teams away. When we get a team down, a couple of turnovers can let them right back in the game so we need to eliminate those mental errors.

    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post

    6. Shooters: Another news flash Ė this team stinks at 3pt shooting.
    These team isn't going to develop into a good 3 PT FG shooting team all of a sudden. If that was going to happen, it would have already happened. My desires are to see the team make some timely 3 PT FG. Quality over quantity is a good objective at this point. There is no need to bomb away from deep but playing inside out will result in open opportunities so we need to knock some of them down.

    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post

    7. Survive and advance: This is what it comes down to.
    That is the bottom line!!!

    Again, allow me to reiterate, great job on the phase post. Is it Friday night yet?
    Bob Green
    DBR Survivor Football Champion
    2010 & 2016

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Didn't know where else to put this So I dropped it here.

    Dan Patrick has an annual celebrity bracket challenge on his radio show and there's some pretty impressive A-listers that participate.

    Anyway, this year Zlatan Ibrahimovic agreed to be in the bracket challenge. If you know who he is and his personality, you'll probably find this funny, if not just Google him. He has quite the personality.

    Anyway, Dan and his producers were discussing the brackets and who they thought had a good bracket, when they got word that Zlatan had sent his bracket in.

    Zlatan filled nothing out except for the championship game in which wrote in as the national championship winner simply, "Zion". That's it. One word.

    I thought it was hilarious.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    ^ quite fitting actually, Zlatan is a moose of a player, 6-5, 210 lbs, he shares some traits with Zion (highly skilled and nimble for an unusually large futbol player).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Great Falls Va
    Love it - I saw something similar in Twitter yesterday. Divided the bracket into Zion and not Zion.

    F756EB6E-49B9-4805-85E0-808EE860AA9E.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by left_hook_lacey View Post
    Didn't know where else to put this So I dropped it here.

    Dan Patrick has an annual celebrity bracket challenge on his radio show and there's some pretty impressive A-listers that participate.

    Anyway, this year Zlatan Ibrahimovic agreed to be in the bracket challenge. If you know who he is and his personality, you'll probably find this funny, if not just Google him. He has quite the personality.

    Anyway, Dan and his producers were discussing the brackets and who they thought had a good bracket, when they got word that Zlatan had sent his bracket in.

    Zlatan filled nothing out except for the championship game in which wrote in as the national championship winner simply, "Zion". That's it. One word.

    I thought it was hilarious.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Utley View Post
    Love it - I saw something similar in Twitter yesterday. Divided the bracket into Zion and not Zion.

    F756EB6E-49B9-4805-85E0-808EE860AA9E.jpg
    That's good stuff. Thanks.for sharing.

  9. #9
    Very good synopsis of what we are and how we should approach the upcoming games. One additional thing I would mention is our FT efficiency. If we are in a tight game, I have little confidence that we can hit FTs primarily due to inconsistency. Last night, North Dakota State took over last when the Carolina Central guy missed the front end of a 1 on 1. ND State is a very good FT shooting team and it kept them in the drivers seat.

    On our team Bolden has been very good and i would trust Tre. Cam hit his in the last game, but Zion can be sub par as can RJ and both of them are likely to get fouled a lot. FT shooting could become meaningful against our better opponents.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    6. Shooters: Another news flash Ė this team stinks at 3pt shooting. There are like 15 teams in all of D-1 who shoot the three worse than us. And weíre getting worse as the season goes on. Now, I am on record as saying that I think we could win the tournament without even hitting another 3 this season. But weíre going to take some 3s every game, so obviously making more of them would be a nice way to give ourselves cushion. We hit just 14 of 57 3s (24.6%) in the ACC tournament. Of course, we won those three games, beating an 8 seed by 12, a 1 seed by 1, and a 4 seed by 10. So, again, itís not like we need to shoot well. But life would be a lot easier if we shot around 33% from 3. Itíd be nice to see our shooters improve. Jones (3-15), Reddish (3-13) and Barrett (4-20) in particular struggled. Interestingly, Zion (3-6) has been hitting them reasonably well. After starting 3-18 in his career, Williamson has hit 14-36 since (38.9%). Now, Iím not saying I want him shooting a ton, but he seems to have found the right volume of 3s to take. I donít expect much from White and OíConnell due to limited minutes and/or confidence, but a 3 here or there from them would be nice too. But really, if those first three guys hit slightly better than they have been of late, that would go a long way towards adding our cushion. If we can get from 3.3-16 to 5 for 16, thatís a ~4-5 point variance in scoring (fudge factor included for offensive rebounds), which would be nice.
    Excellent write up, CDu! I was excited to see you wrote this Phase Post and see that you did a great job of it.

    While I agree that Duke doesn't need to be a great 3-point shooting team to go far in this tournament, one of two things should happen each game, especially as the tournament progresses:

    1: Defend the 3
    2: Get hot

    Looking at the season stats, there are only 2 games where Duke allowed an opponent to shoot around 45% or better from 3: Gonzaga (L) and Syracuse - at home (L). Syracuse in the ACC Tournament was the only other team to shoot better than 40% against Duke from 3 and they lost by 12 while FSU shot 40% from 3 and lost by 10, so it is possible for a team to do well from downtown but still lose against Duke. It is when a team is absurdly good from downtown that is the real concern. Duke was able to get by in the ACC Tournament thanks in large part to its 3-point defense, limiting UNC to just 4-27 shooting from 3.

    Against the very best teams, from the Sweet 16 or Elite 8 and on, Duke is going to need to do either or both of 1 or 2 to advance.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC

    ND State Scouting Report

    Copied over from the game thread. Scouting reports for VCU and UCF coming soon.

    The Bison are not a great team: 19-15, KenPom #202. They lost to Gonzaga by 42 and to Iowa State by 22. They play really slowly (#313 in pace) and aren't terribly good on either end of the floor (#117 offense, #294 defense). They are certainly better at offense than defense though. On offense, they slow down the tempo. This allows them to avoid turnovers (#22 nationally) and in theory get good shots. They are a pretty good shooting team (#53 in 3pt shooting, #80 in 2pt shooting) for a low major. But they are an atrocious offensive rebounding team (#345) and don't draw a lot of fouls (#199). They take more 3s per possession than just about anyone (#12). Defensively, they are really bad at everything except fouling (#25) and defensive rebounding (#75). Everywhere else they are worse than #270. So we should be able to score on them. And I'm not convinced that they'll be able to keep us off the glass, either.

    Centers: Rocky Kreuser (6'10", 245lb sophomore) is about the only legitimate size the Bison have. Kreuser is a little bit reminiscent of Ryan Kelly in style. He's a stretch 5 who doesn't rebound a ton (not awful but not great). Kreuser can block shots, but his value is really as a floor spreader on offense. He's not overly athletic, and not overly strong. But he's positionally aware and can shoot it if left open (36.1% on 3s). The only other size the Bison play is Deng Geu (6'8", 215lb redshirt junior). Geu is a terrific rebounder, especially on the defensive end. He's long and lean and a very capable jumpshooter, taking about 45% of his shots on jumpers from 2 or 3. He shoots 35.7% from 3 and 74.7% from the line. So, like Kreuser, he's a decent floor spacer for a big. North Dakota State essentially rotates these two guys at the 5 spot and plays a really small team otherwise.

    Forwards: Tyson Ward (6'6", 190lb junior) is the team's primary PF option. He's an undersized 4 man, who can step out and hit the occasional 3 (32.9%) but is much happy playing in the paint. He's not overly explosive, but he's tough and crafty in getting to the rim. Still, he's also not used to facing someone like Zion. So it will be interesting to see how well he can create his own shot against a bigger and better athlete. Barrett, Reddish, and White all also have the size to handle Ward on switches, and DeLaurier should be quick enough to stay in front of him. So we should have the players to make his life tough. Aside from Ward, the Bison don't really play any other forwards or bigs.

    Wings: Jared Samuelson (6'3", 185lb junior) and Sam Griesel (6'6", 210lb freshman) are the starters. Samuelson is a shooter, plain and simple. He was a former walkon who has become one of the team's stars thanks to hard work. Samuelson basically lives on the 3pt line, with over 85% of his FG attempts being from 3. He's a 46.5% 3pt shooter, so he absolutely cannot be left open. He's not very athletic, and he won't do much off the dribble. But if you leave him, he'll make you pay. I'd expect Reddish and Goldwire to be assigned to him like a shadow. Griesel is a bit bigger and more dynamic, capable of getting to the rim and finishing. He's fairly athletic, but he's not a great shooter (25% from 3; 56% from FT line). Off the bench, the sixth man is Tyree Eady (6'5", 215lb freshman). Eady is a strong kid with not overwhelming athleticism. He's not a great ballhandler, doing most of his work offensively as a catch and shoot 3pt threat. He's a terrific 3pt shooter (41.9%) who can finish in traffic off assists but isn't great at getting there on his own. Chris Quayle (6'5", 200lb redshirt junior JuCo transfer) is the next option there, although his playing time comes and goes. Quayle is just a decent shooter (~35% career 3pt shooter) and energy role player when he's in there. He does a little of everything, but nothing particularly well. Lastly is Jordan Horn (6'2", 195lb sophomore transfer from Siena). Horn is a combo guard with good ballhandling skills for a SG but not really the passing game of a PG. He's not a great shooter (a bit over 30% for his career), but not awful either. Horn will play sparingly unless foul trouble sets in.

    Guards: Vinnie Shahid (5'11", 190lb junior JuCo transfer) runs the offense and his the team's leader and captain despite being a first-year player. Shahid was a 2nd Team All-American in JuCo last year, and he's their best player. Shahid's game is somewhat reminiscent of Quinn Cook's. He's a terrific ballhandler, fearless off the dribble, and a capable 3pt shooter (36.3%). Less of a pure PG than a scoring lead guard, he's not overly explosive/athletic but crafty and very strong. And he's a highly confident kid who hits his free throws (84.6%). Cameron Hunter (6'3", 185lb sophomore) is the other primary ballhandler on the team. Hunter was a starter last year, but moved to the bench this year. He's pretty athletic and has good size for a PG, but plays as much off the ball as on it this year with Shahid in town. Hunter is not afraid to attack the basket and is capable of getting and-1 dunks/layups. But his game is predominantly from 3 point range, where he shoots 41.2%. So, like Samuelson and Eady above, leaving Hunter open is a really bad idea. He's not great off the dribble, but is somewhat capable.

    This is a game we should win, and should win comfortably. North Dakota State doesn't have the size or the athleticism to compete with us. They can certainly shoot, but really only have one guy who is capable of creating offense. If we are focused, we should be able to limit them offensively, and we should have no trouble scoring on the other end. Here's hoping the team comes out focused and gets early separation to take the game pressure off.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC

    VCU Scouting Report

    VCU is the 8 seed in the 8/9 game on Friday. The Rams are the slightly better team in this matchup, but it's close (they are expected to win by 1). Per KenPom, they are a bit overseeded (they are #46 in KenPom), though TRank thinks they are a bit underseeded (#24).

    The Rams are an elite defensive team (#7 nationally), doing almost everything well on that end. They play a frenetic style, pressing on made baskets, trapping where possible. They force a ton of turnovers (#7 nationally), block shots (#37), and contest both 2s (#10) and 3s (#3) extremely well. The only thing they don't do well defensively is rebound, and they are terrible at that (#270). Offensively, it is a different story. They are decidedly mediocre. They rival us for being among the worst 3pt shooting teams in the country. They are also really sloppy with the ball, turning it over a bunch. They are effective inside the arc though. It's an athletic team that doesn't hav ethe most polish or discipline, and it shows on offense. Their frenetic style of play necessitates a deep bench, and they will play 10 or 11 guys.

    Centers: Marcus Santos-Silva (6'7", 250lb sophomore) is the primary center. He is a big, rugged, physical lefty who doesn't wow you athletically, but is just a hard, hard worker. He rebounds at an elite level on both ends and really knows how to use his size inside. He also is a decent shotblocker. Offensively, largely bully ball inside. He's not a threat outside of 10 feet except for setting screens. He's a handful in the paint though. Behind Santos-Silva is Corey Douglas (6'8", 215lb sophomore transfer from Rice). Douglas is a pogo stick off the bench, blocking shots at a very high rate. He's an energy athlete with very little offensive polish and no range. The third member of the Rams' bigs rotation is Michael Gilmore (6'10", 210lb grad transfer from FGCU and VCU). Gilmore is one of those rare players who transferred away from VCU to FGCU as a junior, but then decided to come back after graduating at VCU. Gilmore is a solid rebounder and a capable perimeter shooter (33% from 3), but plays fairly sparingly.

    Forwards: Sean Mobley (6'8", 225lb sophomore) is the starter at PF. Mobley isn't terribly athletic, but he's a decent option as a stretch 4 hitting over 35% from 3 for his career. He plays about half the game as the Rams are very heavy in rotating their bigs. Vince Williams (6'6", 210lb freshman) is the other forward on the roster. Williams is a rugged, physical, and athletic player who makes the hustle plays and does the dirty work. He's not a great shooter and doesn't take a lot of shots away from the rim.

    Wings: De'Riante Jenkins (6'5", 195lb sophomore) and Isaac Vann (6'6", 210lb senior transfer from Maine) are the starters on the wings. Jenkins is a long, lean, and athletic wing player with a good perimeter stroke (39% career 3pt shooter). He does a little of everything else, but nothing particularly high level. Stylistically, he's similar to Reddish as a silky, long, talented player who doesn't necessarily play through contact. Vann is a rangy, sneaky-athletic wing who plays a herky-jerky style on offense. He's another jack of many trades, master of none type. But he and Jenkins are good fits for VCU on the wings with their length and athleticism. Off the bench, Mike'L Simms (6'5", 210lb junior JuCo transfer) is sort of a thicker/stronger, less skilled version of Vann. Lastly, Malik Crowfield (6'4", 195lb junior) fills out the wing rotation. Crowfield is a good athlete and physically strong, and is a solid 3pt threat (36%). He shoots almost exclusively from 3.

    Guards: Marcus Evans (6'2", 190lb junior transfer from Rice) runs the show for the Rams. Evans is strong and athletic, but more of a combo guard than a pure point guard. He's a dynamite defender on the ball, though, and gets a lot of steals. On offense, he's a good slasher and not so much a great shooter but a shotmaker. Evans is typically the only superlative ballhandler when he's on the floor. He's a good player, who if he was a couple inches taller would be a dynamite SG even without a great 3pt stroke. He's one of those players who is just a better basketball player than any individual skill would indicate. Off the bench, PJ Byrd (6'1", 185lb freshman) is the backup PG. Byrd is a solid ballhandler/passer and reasonably athletic, but he's a bit of a liability as a shooter. He's mainly just in the game to give Evans a break and serve as a caretaker.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC

    UCF Scouting Report

    Last but not least, here's the scouting report for the other potential second round opponent if we make it there. UCF is coached by our old friend and Duke legend Johnny Dawkins. They are a solid defensive team (#35 nationally) and a solid offensive team (#58), although their profile is somewhat interesting. They are really big inside, which is what differentiates them.

    Defensively, UCF is extremely good at defending both 3s and 2s, and also fantastic at defending free throws (#4 nationally) . They block a lot of shots (#36) and alter a lot of others (#12 in eFG%). What they don't do well defensively is force turnovers (#184) or rebound (#237). Offensively, they are largely a two-man show with balance thereafter. They don't shoot great away from the rim, but excel at drawing fouls (#2). They try to make the game as slow as feasible (#312 in tempo) as their primary big man is glacially slow.

    Centers: Tacko Fall (7'6", 310lb senior from Senegal) is the man in the middle. Fall is incredibly tall and long, as evidenced by his 7'6" height. He's a terrific rebounder and an elite shotblocker, and UCF's defense is substantially better with him on the floor. Fall is very limited offensively, basically only scoring at the rim (83% of his shots are at the rim, hitting 80% of them). The problem for Fall is that he is EXTREMELY slow. To be fair, he's very nimble for a man his size. But it's just really hard to get a body that big moving and changing directions. So he tries to camp out in the lane as much as he can. If you are in his area, he will affect the shot. But he isn't going to track anyone very well other than straight-line drives. He also fatigues somewhat, and as such plays just 25 mpg. Fall's backup is Chad Brown (6'9", 245lb senior). Brown is a rugged, athletic role player. He rebounds really well, blocks shots, and can score around the rim, but his skill set is mainly as a screen and roll player and dirty-work guy. Like Fall, he has absolutely no range.

    Forwards: Collin Smith (6'11", 240lb sophomore transfer from George Washington) is the starter at forward. Smith is a baseline lurker on offense who isn't afraid to shoot a 3 if left open. He's not as physical as Brown, not as tall as Fall. And he just isn't as impactful as either guy on the boards or blocking shots. But he's a much more capable offensive player, and as such provides a nice pairing with either of those two bigs. The Knights don't really play another big.

    Wings: Aubrey Dawkins (6'6", 205lb fifth-year junior transfer from Michigan) is one of the stars on the wing for the Knights, the son of Johnny, and a Durham native. Aubrey is nothing like his dad as a player, but he's still a solid college player. Aubrey can shoot (42% from 3, 81% form the line for his career). But he's pure wing, and more of a wing forward than a wing guard. Occasionally, Dawkins plays a de facto PF when two of their three bigs are out. He's largely a catch and shoot guy, and doesn't do a lot of ballhandling for the Knights. He's not nearly the athlete or playmaker that his dad was. Alongside Dawkins on the perimeter is . The first backup on the wing is Dayon Griffin (6'4", 210lb senior transfer from La Tech). Griffin is a springy, strong kid who doesn't mind shooting. But he's not a great shooter (34%). He's streaky and can get hot from 3, but mainly After Griffin is Frank Bertz (6'5", 180lb junior JuCo transfer). Bertz is a long, athletic, role player for the Knights. He's a solid shooter and pretty much only shoots as a catch-and-shoot guy. Defensively, he's disruptive and gets some steals. But otherwise, he's very much a role player. The last option is Ceasar DeJesus (6'2", 190lb sophomore). DeJesus is more of a slasher offensively, but he's fairly turnover prone. He's a defensive fill-in more than anything, and just minutes-eater as needed.

    Guards: The Knights run a two-guard offense most of the game, with BJ Taylor (6'2", 195lb fifth-year senior) and Terrell Allen (6'3", 185lb junior transfer from Drexel). At least one of them is on the floor at all times, and frequently they share the floor. Taylor is probably better described as a combo guard, a score-first PG type. But he does a lot of the ballhandling for the Knights. He's not explosive or athletic, but he's really strong and smart. He knows how to score, and is a big-time shotmaker for the Knights. He doesn't shoot at a high percentage, but he hits the big shots for them. A tough, tough kid who knows how to get and make his shot, and has some playmaking skills for others too. And he's very solid with the ball. Allen is more of a caretaker on offense, serving primarily as a distributor/facilitator for the Knights. He's athletic and a willing defender, and not a liability as a shooter if left alone. But he's a bit like Tyler Thornton in that regard in that he won't put it up unless he's wide open.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    Excellent write up, CDu! I was excited to see you wrote this Phase Post and see that you did a great job of it.

    While I agree that Duke doesn't need to be a great 3-point shooting team to go far in this tournament, one of two things should happen each game, especially as the tournament progresses:

    1: Defend the 3
    2: Get hot

    Looking at the season stats, there are only 2 games where Duke allowed an opponent to shoot around 45% or better from 3: Gonzaga (L) and Syracuse - at home (L). Syracuse in the ACC Tournament was the only other team to shoot better than 40% against Duke from 3 and they lost by 12 while FSU shot 40% from 3 and lost by 10, so it is possible for a team to do well from downtown but still lose against Duke. It is when a team is absurdly good from downtown that is the real concern. Duke was able to get by in the ACC Tournament thanks in large part to its 3-point defense, limiting UNC to just 4-27 shooting from 3.

    Against the very best teams, from the Sweet 16 or Elite 8 and on, Duke is going to need to do either or both of 1 or 2 to advance.
    Thanks DBA! Yes, the key to winning without making 3s relies on continuing to play smothering defense and/or continuing to be ridiculous from 2pt range or offensive rebounding. We are 4th in the country in 2pt FG% and 12th in offensive rebound %. We are 9th in the country in defending the 3 and 16th in the country in defending the 2.

    Now, obviously if we fall off on defense or in terms of our 2pt efficiency or offensive rebounding, we might need to shoot better from 3pt range. My point was that we do SO much other stuff at an elite level that our 3pt shooting isn't necessarily a critical piece of our puzzle. If anything, that should be reassuring, as we aren't reliant on hitting a high percentage of 3s to win games.

    [not that you aren't aware of this; just clarifying for the boards for the purposes of discussion]

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post

    While I agree that Duke doesn't need to be a great 3-point shooting team to go far in this tournament, one of two things should happen each game, especially as the tournament progresses:

    1: Defend the 3
    2: Get hot

    Looking at the season stats, there are only 2 games where Duke allowed an opponent to shoot around 45% or better from 3: Gonzaga (L) and Syracuse - at home (L).
    In Round 1:

    1. Duke held NDSU to 27.6% on 3 PT FG.
    2. Duke shot 42.1% on 3 PT FG.

    Moreover, Duke forced more than twice as many turnovers (13) as they committed (6).
    Bob Green
    DBR Survivor Football Champion
    2010 & 2016

Similar Threads

  1. Game Day! Opening Weekend Celebration
    By Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 in forum Elizabeth King Forum
    Replies: 33
    Last Post: 03-21-2016, 03:55 PM
  2. This Week in the ACC - Opening Weekend Edition
    By pfrduke in forum Elizabeth King Forum
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 11-09-2013, 10:29 PM
  3. Phase VI Ė First weekend of the NCAA Tournament
    By CDu in forum Elizabeth King Forum
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: 03-27-2013, 05:49 AM
  4. This Week in the ACC - Opening Weekend Edition
    By pfrduke in forum Elizabeth King Forum
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-09-2012, 10:21 PM
  5. Harry Potter 7.2 opening weekend boxoffice guess
    By JasonEvans in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 07-18-2011, 02:59 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •