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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Washington, D.C.

    MBB: Clemson @ Duke (Jan.5th, 8:00 pm ESPN) Pre-Game and In-Game Thread

    Finally we can return to discussing this wonderful Duke basketball season! Clemson comes to Cameron Saturday. Clemson is #34 in KenPom and #47 in T-Rank, but probably is a bit underrated, with two of its better players, Reed and Thomas, having missed time with injuries earlier this season. Both are back and starting now, so Duke will get the Tigers' best shot.

    Statistically, this seems like a typical Brad Brownell team, with decent offense and defense and a slow tempo. Interestingly, the one weakness that stands out in T-Rank is opposition 3%, where Clemson is #319, with opponents making 38% of their long distance shots. This may not be the best Duke team to take advantage of this weakness, but maybe Clemson's defense is an opportunity for Duke to practice against a packed-in defense.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Undisclosed
    Clemson has a beautiful campus.

    They recruited Zion pretty heavily so that will be an interesting dynamic. He is from the Upstate.
    "We're only tourists in this life
    Only tourists but the view is nice"

    -- David Byrne

  3. #3
    It will seem odd that Blossingame is finally gone. Seemed he was there forever.
       

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Richmond, Va
    Is this not the longest winter break for Duke hoops in, like, forever? I cannot remember a 16 day break.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Pghdukie View Post
    It will seem odd that Blossingame is finally gone. Seemed he was there forever.
    Jarron Blossomgame was already gone last season :-) He was drafted by the Spurs and played with their D-league affiliate last season

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Cary, NC
    We have a habit of starting off cold, and against this level of opponent we canít afford to go 5 minutes before hitting a shot or to start off 0-10 from three. So Iíll be looking for whether we can knock down a couple shots right out of the gate. Conference season is here and we cannot take any game for granted, even at home.
       

  7. #7
    Pomeroy has Duke as 16 point favorites to start ACC season, with a projected score of 84-68. Clemson is ranked #34 in Pomeroy, so pretty good, but they're pretty good without being particularly dominant in any particular facet of the game: They're #41 in Offense, #34 in Defense, with their only top ten notable statistical ranking being defensive rebounding (which they come in at #10).

    So this will be unlike the TTU or Gonzaga games, in which Duke struggled against an opponent with an elite unit. Clemson also is incredibly 2 point focused, with them being worse than Duke at shooting the 3, and are turnover prone on offense, which Duke should thrive off of. Like Duke they're a team full of wings - their most common recent lineup is 5 guys from 6'4" to 6'9" - so again, unlike TTU there aren't any size discrepancies which should prove matchup difficulties - they're basically a lesser version of...us.
    <devildeac> anyone playing drinking games by now?
    7:49:36<Wander> drink every qb run?
    7:49:38<loran16> umm, drink every time asack rushes?
    7:49:38<wolfybeard> @devildeac: drink when Asack runs a keeper
    7:49:39 PM<CB&B> any time zack runs, drink

    Carolina Delenda Est

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    boston, ma
    Quote Originally Posted by loran16 View Post
    Pomeroy has Duke as 16 point favorites to start ACC season, with a projected score of 84-68. Clemson is ranked #34 in Pomeroy, so pretty good, but they're pretty good without being particularly dominant in any particular facet of the game: They're #41 in Offense, #34 in Defense, with their only top ten notable statistical ranking being defensive rebounding (which they come in at #10).

    So this will be unlike the TTU or Gonzaga games, in which Duke struggled against an opponent with an elite unit. Clemson also is incredibly 2 point focused, with them being worse than Duke at shooting the 3, and are turnover prone on offense, which Duke should thrive off of. Like Duke they're a team full of wings - their most common recent lineup is 5 guys from 6'4" to 6'9" - so again, unlike TTU there aren't any size discrepancies which should prove matchup difficulties - they're basically a lesser version of...us.
    That probably means they start off 5-5 from 3 in the first few minutes ...
    Duke 5 - UNC 4*

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by duke09hms View Post
    That probably means they start off 5-5 from 3 in the first few minutes ...
    They are capable. Started season ranked #17. Just beat Lipscomb... Lipscomb who beat #18 TCU at TCU. Duke should win but Clemson is good. Marquise Reed #2 can get hot. It's basically the same Clemson team that destroyed Auburn and made the sweet sixteen last year only to lose to Kansas. Minus Gabe Devoe who was a great shooter

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Nashville
    It's early in the season, but Duke has seemingly reinvented itself as a defense-first team. Looking at Duke's T-Rank page, Duke has the 17th best adjusted offense paired with the 2nd best adjusted defense over the past ten games . . . which is most of the season. Personally, I'm ok with this change. Our defense has been otherworldly, recently, and the turnovers we force plays into our strength in transition. Clemson isn't that great at valuing the ball, so I hope our defense is able to grab lots of steals. Better yet, one of our best defenders, Cam Reddish, has been fouling at a pretty high rate to this point in the season. If he's able to adjust to the game a little more and cut down on his fouls, then Duke will be able to keep him and his long arms in the game for even more minutes.

    I'm also ok with the offense slipping a little from the ridiculous high of the Kentucky game if only because we've already seen the guys get it all working on offense. Cam is capable from range and will improve his shooting percentage. He's also gotta cut down on his turnovers, but I think that will come with a bit more experience, too. Even if he never puts it all together on offense the way we've seen so many other top 3 Frosh "get it" over the past few seasons, small improvements on O from Cam will take him from being a good complementary offensive player to a dangerous third option that is capable of single-handedly winning a few games. RJ has already shown signs of improving his decision-making. Like with Cam, even marginal improvement from RJ can make a big difference in his overall efficiency. Clemson is solid on D, but not spectacular, so it will be a nice way to see if RJ and Cam can show improvement now before Duke takes on a defense comparable to Texas Tech's again.
    Who needs a moral victory when you can have a real one?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by MChambers View Post
    Finally we can return to discussing this wonderful Duke basketball season! Clemson comes to Cameron Saturday. Clemson is #34 in KenPom and #47 in T-Rank, but probably is a bit underrated, with two of its better players, Reed and Thomas, having missed time with injuries earlier this season. Both are back and starting now, so Duke will get the Tigers' best shot.

    Statistically, this seems like a typical Brad Brownell team, with decent offense and defense and a slow tempo. Interestingly, the one weakness that stands out in T-Rank is opposition 3%, where Clemson is #319, with opponents making 38% of their long distance shots. This may not be the best Duke team to take advantage of this weakness, but maybe Clemson's defense is an opportunity for Duke to practice against a packed-in defense.
    This seems as good a place as any to express a frustration I've had with the national media in the wake of the Texas Tech game... There's been a narrative that TTU was able to "slow the tempo" and take Duke out of its game. Duke certainly struggled on offense against TTU, credit to Texas Tech, but it was not due to a slow tempo - that game was played at Duke's fastest pace (82 possessions) of the season, almost 20% above the average pace for TTU on the year. No team this year has slowed Duke to a 70 possession game or slower. I don't know that we've seen Duke play in a true "half-court" game yet.

    So, pace is one thing I'll be watching as we get into ACC play - particularly against teams like Clemson who do like to slow the pace and muck the game up a bit (Duke-Clemson has only hit 70 possessions in 2 games in the past 10 years). It's surely inevitable that teams will be able to dictate the pace against Duke, but it hasn't happened yet. We'll see if Duke can keep forcing turnovers and getting out in transition in ACC play. When that doesn't happen, it will be interesting to see how Duke responds in a more slowly-paced game.

  12. #12
    I don't expect Clemson to provide a serious threat to Duke. Our defense is exceptional and we tend to forced turnovers and convert those into transition buckets. We also are excellent offensively getting to the basket and score well with RJ, Zion, Javin and even Tre going inside when required.

    If we have a weakness, it might be exploited by a veteran team which has a low turnover rate, defends inside well and can themselves shoot the three. Perhaps Virginia can do that. We have not shown much capability shooting from outside and particularly from three point distance. Jack can hit if left open, Cam hasn't shown much from three compared to expectations of him and Alex, while with nice shooting form, is hesitant to release his shot.

    So Clemson should be another win and maybe Fla State on the road will be the next major test. It will be great to see them playing again after such a long layoff.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Saratoga2 View Post
    So Clemson should be another win and maybe Fla State on the road will be the next major test. It will be great to see them playing again after such a long layoff.
    Well yes, Clemson is still a FB school while FSU is now apparently a basketball school

    Seriously though, Leon County Civic Arena, or whatever it's called, has been a house of horrors for Duke on more than one occasion.
    Don't waste your time on House of Cards S6!
    -We found out Frank was critical to making anyone else in the show interesting...not a surprise...

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Athens, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by HereBeforeCoachK View Post
    Well yes, Clemson is still a FB school while FSU is now apparently a basketball school

    Seriously though, Leon County Civic Arena, or whatever it's called, has been a house of horrors for Duke on more than one occasion.
    Any thoughts on Duke's and Clemson's motivations coming into this game? If I were Clemson, I wouldn't be too happy about being a 16 point road dog, esp. since it's had significant injuries issues earlier this season.
    "Play and practice like you are trying to make the team." --Coach K

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Spanarkel View Post
    Any thoughts on Duke's and Clemson's motivations coming into this game? If I were Clemson, I wouldn't be too happy about being a 16 point road dog, esp. since it's had significant injuries issues earlier this season.
    Hah, I'll give it a shot. Being an ACC opener, I think both teams will be engaged and intense. After the break, both will be ready to go at it. No advantage there either way.

    Clemson thought they were getting Zion, so there's that, and I've no idea how that will play out, for Zion or Clemson. Then there's the normal Duke game in Cameron, where some opponents thrive in their Cameron experience, and others wilt. I hope enough students are back to be a normal Cameron ACC game atmosphere. And of course, there's the typical underdog thing.

    But no, I don't see any disparity of motivation or emotion that will overcome the fact that Duke is more talented. Duke will win unless they are particularly cold and Clemson is particularly hot.
    Don't waste your time on House of Cards S6!
    -We found out Frank was critical to making anyone else in the show interesting...not a surprise...

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Atlanta 'burbs
    1) Duke will be rusty after a long break. (Why is it that we expect to be rusty after a long break, but we expect our opponents, who have a long break, to be well rested and fresh*? Did Throatybeard cover this?)

    2) We will be called for a minimum of 5 charges during warmups and player introductions.

    3) Clemson will hit their first 7 three pointers, most of them on errant passes while falling out of bounds.

    4) We win by 8-10 points in spite of the above. Because, you know, we get all the calls.

    *Just an observation. I realize that Clemson hasnít had a long layoff.
       

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    NC

    Clemson roster breakdown

    This year's Clemson team is a very veteran squad, returning almost all of the players from last year's Sweet-16 team. It is not, however, all that similar to the team we faced in Clemson last year. The differences: that team didn't have their PG (Shelton Mitchell) available, and this team doesn't have their glue guy and #3 player (Gabe DeVoe). So I'm not sure how useful last year's data point will be. That being said, a lot of what Clemson does is similar to what they did when healthy last year. They play slow, they own the defensive glass, they score in the paint and defend around the rim well. They are also pretty good at forcing turnovers.

    Despite this profile, the Tigers are 0-3 in Q1 games so far this year. So it has been an unquestionably disappointing start to the season. Their best wins to date are a neutral-site win over Georgia, a road win over South Carolina, and a home win over Lipscomb. So, they'll obviously be looking to improve their resume. The results so far simply haven't matched the talent. It's a good team, but one that just isn't performing up to par yet.

    Centers: Elijah Thomas (6'9", 245lb fifth-year senior) is the man in the middle. Thomas is an extremely talented player who has never quite figured out how to stay out of foul trouble. He does pretty much everything you can ask for in a post player. Scores incredibly efficiently in the post, rebounds extraordinarily well on both ends, and (which is unusual) blocks shots and defensive rebounds at a fantastic rate. He is a bear inside, with great quickness/agility and explosive leaping ability along with strength and tenacity. The bugaboo for him is that he just can't avoid the fouls. He averages 3.2 per 24.2 mpg this year, and that's before getting to the tougher opponents on the schedule. Clemson NEEDS Thomas to stay on the floor, but he just hasn't been able to do so consistently enough in his career. If he can avoid foul trouble, he's a game changer. But odds are that he will not be able to avoid foul trouble. Javan White (6'10" 227lb grad transfer from Oral Roberts) is the backup center. He's a serviceable backup, but he's a HUGE step down from Thomas. The "break in case of emergency" center is Trey Jemison (7'0", 255lb freshman), a project at this point who is just minutes filler as needed.

    Forwards: Aamir Simms (6'7", 250lb sophomore) is the starting PF for the Tigers. He's a really good athlete who also has tremendous strength as you might expect given his size. He does a lot of dirty work for the Tigers and fits in nicely on a blue-collar, defense-first type of team like Clemson. Interestingly, he appears to have improved as a perimeter shooter too, hitting 37% of his 3s on 4 attempts per game and 80% from the line albeit in few attempts. Simms will get the unenviable task of guarding Williamson, and in terms of size and athleticism it's not nearly the mismatch we typically see. Williamson is bigger, stronger, quicker, and more explosive, but Simms is one of few that checks in within shouting distance across all those areas. Should be fun, although it is a matchup I expect Williamson to win. Alongside Simms is David Skara (6'8", 215lb fifth-year senior). Skara is kind of like a very poor man's Kyle Singler. He's a rugged defender who can guard multiple spots adequately, and does a little of everything. He's not nearly as strong with the ball as Singler, which is where the comp really falls off and why he's a very poor man's Singler. But he's a nice role player who is versatile defensively, and has improved his outside shooting this year to stretch the floor a bit. These two guys will both start, with Skara able to swing between SF and PF when the team goes with three guards. Hunter Tyson (6'8", 205lb freshman) is the backup. He's used sparingly and is still a year or two away from ACC readiness.

    Wings: Marcquise Reed (6'3", 190lb fifth-year senior) is the star of the team. He leads the Tigers in minutes, scoring, steals, and (currently, at least) assists. He's an All-ACC talent, and a real star. Oddly, he hasn't shot the ball very well from 3 this year, but historically he is a good 3pt shooter. I wouldn't consider his current 3pt% (29%) to be reflective of his threat as a shooter. Reed is also a good ballhandler, and serves as the backup PG as well. The other primary wing is Clyde Trapp (6'4, 195lb sophomore), who serves as the sixth man. Trapp is an athletic and pesky defender, who has a knack for getting steals. But offensively he's still fairly raw. John Newman III (6'5", 200lb freshman) is the backup, and he is sort of a freshman version of Trapp.

    Guards: The point guard is Shelton Mitchell (6'4" 200lb fifth-year senior). Mitchell was, as noted above, absent from the matchup last year. He's a terrific, All-ACC caliber talent as well, although oddly he hasn't played as well so far this season. Like Reed, Mitchell hasn't shot as well as he has historically. So again, I'm not sure that his current percentage (29.5%) is reflective of his skill set. He's a bulldog of a PG, with tremendous size, strength, and savvy for the position. More of a scoring PG than a distributor, he's a defensive bulldog and with Reed is the heart and soul of the team. When Mitchell sits (which is rare against good teams), Reed will handle the PG duties.

    Depth is a huge question for Clemson. They really have only 4 or 5 ACC-level players at this point. Trapp, White, Tyson, and Newman are only borderline ACC caliber at this point in their careers, and Skara is purely a role player at this level as well. And with Thomas struggling to stay on the floor, that puts real pressure on the team to stay competitive against good teams. Clemson will be well-organized and tenacious, and as such it should be a nice test of our team's development. Thankfully we kick off the season at home, because I think if this was in Clemson I'd be sweating a lot more. Still, it's a game that poses some threat due to the talent at the top for Clemson, but a game we should win at home.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by TruBlu View Post
    1) Duke will be rusty after a long break. (Why is it that we expect to be rusty after a long break, but we expect our opponents, who have a long break, to be well rested and fresh*? Did Throatybeard cover this?)

    2) We will be called for a minimum of 5 charges during warmups and player introductions.

    3) Clemson will hit their first 7 three pointers, most of them on errant passes while falling out of bounds.

    4) We win by 8-10 points in spite of the above. Because, you know, we get all the calls.

    *Just an observation. I realize that Clemson hasn’t had a long layoff.
    AACK I just saw that Clemson will not be coming off a long layoff...5 days. I think this will be factor early. Duke will win, but 16 as a point spread is a bit thick with this in mind. Also, due to CDu's excellent report, I see Clemson does have the closest thing to a physical match for Zion that we've seen this season. That will be something to follow.
    Don't waste your time on House of Cards S6!
    -We found out Frank was critical to making anyone else in the show interesting...not a surprise...

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Washington, D.C.

    No one matches up with Zion

    Quote Originally Posted by HereBeforeCoachK View Post
    AACK I just saw that Clemson will not be coming off a long layoff...5 days. I think this will be factor early. Duke will win, but 16 as a point spread is a bit thick with this in mind. Also, due to CDu's excellent report, I see Clemson does have the closest thing to a physical match for Zion that we've seen this season. That will be something to follow.
    Actually, San Diego State had a player who was 6í6Ē 240 and was supposed to be matched up with Zion. Didnít seem to bother Zion.

    In all seriousness, guys Zionís size just donít have his quickness, explosiveness, and leaping ability. As Jay Bilas said, it doesnít matter who you put on Zion, itís a mismatch.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by MChambers View Post
    In all seriousness, guys Zionís size just donít have his quickness, explosiveness, and leaping ability. As Jay Bilas said, it doesnít matter who you put on Zion, itís a mismatch.
    I agree with that....he's a unicorn in that regard...explosiveness, leaping, balance....but I was merely talking about height/weight similarities. Perhaps having someone large on him will put a halt to the fake charging calls, which I bet are easier to get from smaller guys playing D.
    Don't waste your time on House of Cards S6!
    -We found out Frank was critical to making anyone else in the show interesting...not a surprise...

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