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  1. #1

    Defense, Defense, Defense

    I know its been said elsewhere and often. How good is our team's defense?
    I've been following Duke Basketball for 52 years.
    I believe that this might be the school's, if not the ACC's greatest defensive team ever.
    That's all the more significant when one considers that we start four freshmen and especially so, that objectively the teams of the previous two seasons might have been lacking in defensive skills, so much so that Coach K, to his credit often used the dreaded zone to make up for the deficiencies.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Cary, NC
    2010 is the only recent team I can think of for comparison. That team used a totally different style - slow it down, pack-line D like Virginia uses. They were fundamentally sound, hedged and recovered on screens while rotating beautifully to also limit threes. This year's D attacks the ball, they're so aggressive and go after the other team. It's almost like they're on offense while they're playing defense. So much fun to watch. I've also been really surprised at how proficiently they block shots, as I thought that would be a weakness.

    After the past few years a lot of fans thought that K had forgotten how to coach defense. It turns out that having the right players makes a big difference.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Vermont
    Absolutely impressive. Having said that, Wake deserves some credit for that last night. I look forward to the FSU matchup, hopefully the defense continues to be superb.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!
    Quote Originally Posted by porkpa View Post
    I know its been said elsewhere and often. How good is our team's defense?
    I've been following Duke Basketball for 52 years.
    I believe that this might be the school's, if not the ACC's greatest defensive team ever.
    Whoa... slow your roll a bit there, my friend. Virginia has been off the charts good in recent years. Let's see a bit more-- I especially want to see how they do against a good offense, which they have not faced in a loooong time, before I anoint them with any "all time" label.

    -Jason "that said, the early returns look quite promising" Evans
    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    Whoa... slow your roll a bit there, my friend. Virginia has been off the charts good in recent years. Let's see a bit more-- I especially want to see how they do against a good offense, which they have not faced in a loooong time, before I anoint them with any "all time" label.

    -Jason "that said, the early returns look quite promising" Evans
    I guess you're referring the looooong time back to the Zags game. I don't know the numbers for that game, but it seems we underperformed. GoDuke!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!
    Quote Originally Posted by jv001 View Post
    I guess you're referring the looooong time back to the Zags game. I don't know the numbers for that game, but it seems we underperformed. GoDuke!
    Yup, since Gonzaga, we have played the following offenses (Pom rank):

    Indiana - 35
    Stetson - 352
    Hartford - 168
    Yale - 96
    Princeton - 206
    TTech - 93
    Clemson - 48
    Wake - 125

    Not exactly a murderer's row of offensive firepower.
    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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Nashville
    Quote Originally Posted by UrinalCake View Post
    It's almost like they're on offense while they're playing defense.
    That is an absolutely beautiful comment. It's Coach K-like in how elegantly it illustrates how a mental approach can affect execution.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    Yup, since Gonzaga, we have played the following offenses (Pom rank):

    Indiana - 35
    Stetson - 352
    Hartford - 168
    Yale - 96
    Princeton - 206
    TTech - 93
    Clemson - 48
    Wake - 125

    Not exactly a murderer's row of offensive firepower.
    But Wake was on the road, so that means everything?
    “Those two kids, they’re champions,” Krzyzewski said of his senior leaders. “They’re trying to teach the other kids how to become that, and it’s a long road to become that.”

  9. #9
    Jason Evans, I would suggest that UK has a pretty decent offense, perhaps not Duke like, but pretty good nonetheless.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by porkpa View Post
    Jason Evans, I would suggest that UK has a pretty decent offense, perhaps not Duke like, but pretty good nonetheless.
    Perhaps, but against Kentucky we gave up 1.02 points per possession, so not the mighty defense we've been seeing lately.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Wilmington, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by porkpa View Post
    I know its been said elsewhere and often. How good is our team's defense?
    I've been following Duke Basketball for 52 years.
    I believe that this might be the school's, if not the ACC's greatest defensive team ever.
    That's all the more significant when one considers that we start four freshmen and especially so, that objectively the teams of the previous two seasons might have been lacking in defensive skills, so much so that Coach K, to his credit often used the dreaded zone to make up for the deficiencies.
    Whoa, pump your brakes brotha. We've played two good teams all year. Let's not jinx ourselves with the greatest defense in acc history before we even get into the meat of conference play.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by left_hook_lacey View Post
    We've played two good teams all year.
    We've played three of KenPom's top 15 teams (#9 Tex Tech, #11 UK, and #15 Auburn) and five of KenPom's top 40 (#28 Indiana and #38 Clemson). Surely any team in the top 40 is a good team?

  13. #13
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    Feb 2007
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    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    We've played three of KenPom's top 15 teams (#9 Tex Tech, #11 UK, and #15 Auburn) and five of KenPom's top 40 (#28 Indiana and #38 Clemson). Surely any team in the top 40 is a good team?
    Well, since we are talking about Duke’s defense, I think Lacey was meaning good offensive teams. I would say we have played three good offensive teams (Gonzaga, UK, Auburn) and two decent offensive teams (Indiana) and the rest pretty bad (relative to Power-5 schools). So I don’t think he or she is far out of line with that comment.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Wilmington, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Well, since we are talking about Duke’s defense, I think Lacey was meaning good offensive teams. I would say we have played three good offensive teams (Gonzaga, UK, Auburn) and two decent offensive teams (Indiana) and the rest pretty bad (relative to Power-5 schools). So I don’t think he or she is far out of line with that comment.
    Yeah, maybe I should've said great offensive teams.

    At any rate, we will get plenty of chances in the coming weeks to gather more data points to see how great this defense really is.

    I just have a hard time throwing my hat in the "best defense in acc history" after one ACC road game.

  15. #15
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    Nov 2007
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    Vermont
    Indeed, all the data will mean more once we incorporate the January games...ultra promising at this point, but the real work now begins, much in hostile territory (e.g. vicious Native Americans with tomahawks, for example).

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!
    Quote Originally Posted by porkpa View Post
    Jason Evans, I would suggest that UK has a pretty decent offense, perhaps not Duke like, but pretty good nonetheless.
    Ummm, what does Kentucky have to do with any of this? We were talking about Duke's defense in recent games since the Gonzaga loss. I specifically noted the quality of opponents we have played since Gonzaga. What made you bring up Kentucky? Seems like a non-sequitur.
    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.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    Yup, since Gonzaga, we have played the following offenses (Pom rank):

    Indiana - 35
    Stetson - 352
    Hartford - 168
    Yale - 96
    Princeton - 206
    TTech - 93
    Clemson - 48
    Wake - 125

    Not exactly a murderer's row of offensive firepower.
    /also a kenpom fan

    Yet... Duke's OppO SOS is ranked 24th, and Uva's vaunted defense's OppO SOS is ranked 249th. Only 4 other OppO SOS's are lower than Duke's in the top 20, making Duke's in the 75%ile of top 20 teams. Duke's D (86.4, 2nd) is legit AND better than its offense (119.9, 3rd). And that gives me goosebumps! This is old school Coach K - teams that out-willed the other side. Check out the historical ranking of Duke's D:

    Year Defensive Rank
    2019 2
    2018 9
    2017 47
    2016 86
    2015 11
    2014 86
    2013 26
    2012 79
    2011 9
    2010 5
    2009 28
    2008 7
    2007 6
    2006 16
    2005 2
    2004 3
    2003 15
    2002 1



    *Yes, 2019 is before conference play has begun in earnest (similar-point data from other seasons is not available), but even maintaining a top 5-10 defense confirms the high expectations placed on this team.


    I apologize for my inability to create a proper table.

  18. #18
    The front-page article made me wonder: has this team had to play any -real- zone this year? I think we went zone a couple of times when we wanted to call the dogs off in blow-outs, but I don't think we've had to play zone to stanch any bleeding (though maybe I've forgotten).

    If so, seems like a good sign that this team of 4 freshman starters (plus Javin, Marques and Jack the Knife off the bench) has so quickly become such a good M2M defensive team.

  19. #19
    Jason Evans, Please go back to your original post. In it you mentioned nothing about "since Gonzaga".

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by porkpa View Post
    Jason Evans, Please go back to your original post. In it you mentioned nothing about "since Gonzaga".
    Not Jason but his post(#6) said back to the Zags game. We played the Mild Cats before the Zags. But our defense has been great, hasn't it. Good thread. GoDuke!

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