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  1. #1
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    MBB: Duke v Michigan St (Tue, 12/3, 9:30pm, ESPN) Pre-Game and In-Game Thread

    The Blue Devils draw Sparty in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge this year. The game will be at 9:30 pm EST on ESPN.
    JBDuke

    Andre Dawkins: “People ask me if I can still shoot, and I ask them if they can still breathe. That’s kind of the same thing.”

  2. #2
    scottdude8's Avatar
    scottdude8 is online now Contributor, Zoubek disciple, and resident Wolverine
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    Biggest key to the game (that will likely go under the radar), IMHO: who does Xavier Tillman guard? Michigan State is young and unproven in the paint after him, and even Tillman is a bit undersized to guard a guy of Vernon’s stature. Whomever Tillman doesn’t guard will have an exploitable matchup all game (especially if that’s Vernon). Whoever Tillman does guard has the chance to attack him and possibly get him in foul trouble, and Izzo has already shown this year that he will stick to the 2 fouls and you’re out policy in the first half (see Cassius Winston vs. Va Tech).

    Tillman leads MSU with 10 boards a game. No one else averages more than 4. Taking Tillman away from the glass by getting him in foul trouble (Carey) or drawing him away from the basket (Hurt) could open up a ton of opportunities on the offensive glass. I hope this is a BIG part of the game plan.

    People are going to be down on this team after this week, and rightfully so. But MSU isn’t looking so hot themselves: Maui showed that this team is lost without Winston, and even with him there isn’t anyone who can consistently create their own offense besides Winston (which is why the Langford injury was so debilitating). I think we’re the more talented team, but we’ll have to come out firing from the start to prevent them from feeding off of home court. The matchups exist, especially down low, to do that though.
       

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Winston Salem, NC
    If Joey Baker can shoot well in a hostile environment like Michigan State, it should do wonders for his confidence going forward. This is a big game and I think our guys will step up. I hope to see Wendell get back on track because he was almost invisible tonight. His lack of a consistent outside shot hurts him. Teams can play off him to try and stop his drives to the basket. He then becomes a black hole along with White, Goldwire, and Javin. Speaking of Javin, I thought he played better tonight and I hope he can build off that effort. However he did make me laugh on one play where he fumbled the ball then ran into another Duke player and knocked him backward causing a turnover.

    GoDuke!
    Last edited by jv001; 11-29-2019 at 11:28 PM. Reason: remembered a funny play by Javin.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by jv001 View Post
    If Joey Baker can shoot well in a hostile environment like Michigan State, it should do wonders for his confidence going forward. This is a big game and I think our guys will step up. I hope to see Wendell get back on track because he was almost invisible tonight. His lack of a consistent outside shot hurts him. Teams can play off him to try and stop his drives to the basket. He then becomes a black hole along with White, Goldwire, and Javin. Speaking of Javin, I thought he played better tonight and I hope he can build off that effort. However he did make me laugh on one play where he fumbled the ball then ran into another Duke player and knocked him backward causing a turnover.

    GoDuke!
    Well, Javin, Jack, Jordan, Tre and AOC have all played against MSU but not perhaps in such a hostile place. maybe they can provide some stability.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    NC

    Scouting report

    This is not - at the moment at least - last year’s MSU team. They are not as experienced or as talented, at least not without Josh Langford. They still have a stud PG and some nice role players, but the floor is a good bit lower right now. Which is good, because we need all the help we can get at the moment.

    They are a terrific offensive team thanks to their PG, to a low TO rate, and to a tenacious offensive rebounding group. They hit their free throws but have not their threes yet. They play a middling tempo and don’t force TOs, which in theory should play to our benefit relative to recent matchups. They are stout at challenging shots inside, with one of the highest block rates and one of the lowest 2pt fg% allowed in the country. It is another team built in Izzo’s image, so expect this to be an ugly game.

    Centers: Xavier Tillman (6’8”, 245lb junior) is the starting center. Tillman is the quintessential Izzo big. He grinds and grinds. He isn’t superlatively athletic, but gets everything out of what he has. On offense, he is great at setting screens and making timely rolls/cuts to the rim. That makes him a great partner with their superstar PG. The majority of his FGs are assisted buckets at the rim. While he can shoot a little bit, it really isn’t a major part of his game. He also is absolutely tenacious on the glass. Defensively, he is more disruptive than game-changing. He is positionally alert, and very physical. He doesn’t get a lot of blocks or steals, but does a lot of pesky things that make post players uncomfortable. I would expect him to guard Carey a lot, and he will make things tough for Carey. Behind Tillman is Marcus Bingham (6’11”, 215lb sophomore). Bingham is long, lean, and a shot blocking machine. Like Tillman, Bingham can shoot it a little. But that isn’t what he does best. Bingham is an elite rebounder and shotblocker. He has the potential to be a game-changing interior threat on defense. Offensively, he relies on the PG to get him shots and complements that with putbacks. Bingham is still a bit green though, and has played sparingly mostly as a backup to Tillman.

    Forwards: Thomas Kithier (6’8”, 225lb sophomore) is the starting PF. Like Tillman, Kithier appears to be yet another in the long line of Izzo grinders inside. Though he can shoot a bit, he does almost all of his work at the rim, and usually via an assist. Aside from that, it is a heavy dose of the little things. Just a classic dirty-work role player. Alongside Kithier is Aaron Henry (6’6”, 210lb sophomore). Henry is a physical specimen on the wing. Long arms and terrific athleticism to go along with a strong frame should have him on NBA radars. But he isn’t just an athlete; Henry is a very good shooter from 3 and FTs. Henry is a straight-line driver who finishes well at the rim. About the only knock I can see is that he takes to many 2pt jumpers. But overall he is a highly efficient scorer and one of few Spartans who can create for himself. Malik Hall (6’7”, 215lb freshman) is the first forward off the bench. Hall is a bit of a do-everything shooter, who hits shots at a high percentage all over the floor. He doesn’t create his own shot too much, but man does he hit shots when fed open looks.

    Wings: I guess Henry qualifies here, though he is kind of a hybrid wing forward like Winslow was. The first wing off the bench is sixth man Gabe Brown (6’7”, 210lb sophomore). Brown is a lefty who can really shoot. He is also a sneaky offensive rebounder. But the majority of his work is as a catch-and-shoot wing. Can’t lose track of him. The other main wing off the bench is Kyle Ahrens (6’6”, 210lb redshirt senior). Ahrens is basically a poor man’s Joey Baker: a catch-and-shoot guy who brings little else to the table.

    Guards: The Spartan world revolves around Cassius Winston (6’1”, 185lb senior). There aren’t enough superlatives about his game. He makes everything work for MSU. Winston is not athletic, but incredibly crafty. He just knows how to play. A terrific shooter from anywhere on the court, he also has an uncanny ability to create shots out of nothing either for himself or for others. He is especially devastating in the screen and roll game, which is one of the ways Tillman absolutely feasts. The ball is on a string and he is just a magician. Tre Jones and the entire defense will have their hands full. Alongside Winston is the other playmaker for the Spartans is Rocket Watts (6’2”, 185lb freshman). Watts, as his nickname suggests, I’d a terrific run/jump athlete. The kid can fly. Unfortunately for them, he doesn’t have nearly the feel for the game that Winston does. Where Winston gets the most out of his physical tools, Watts leaves a lot on the table. Despite being the second-worst shooter (min 1 attempt per game) he has taken comfortably the second most 3s. If you are gonna leave someone open from 3, he is the guy. Still, athletically he is a dangerous weapon.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Saratoga2 View Post
    Well, Javin, Jack, Jordan, Tre and AOC have all played against MSU but not perhaps in such a hostile place. maybe they can provide some stability.
    In the end- these guys will need to be better for this Duke team to have success. By the eye test- Goldwire seems a much more confident and effective player this year. He is capable of giving Tre a breather- I think more than he has. He is not a 3 point shooter but he can apply pressure, get steals and layups, and get guys the ball. There is more and more evidence that Baker has the best shooting form from deep on the team. He is a tall kid and gets the shot off quickly. He clearly is not a defensive stopper but he can be a weapon. Always nice to have a zone buster. The player that needs to get going is a AOC. I hope it is just a slump- but he has not had a good stretch of games. Duke needs him to be much better. Maybe with Stanley out he will find his mojo. He is a key.
       

  7. #7
    Rob Dauster of NBC Sports has an interesting YouTube channel this year and did a breakdown of what is ailing Michigan State so far this season. It's worth a watch. Duaster makes the point that the bigs for MSU aren't shooting the ball well enough for the team to play up to its potential. Kenny Goins was a good shooter that made enough shots and passed the ball enough to make it all work for the Spartans last year. They haven't found that guy this season.

    Malik Hall is probably the best option in the long run, but he's a year away at best. Hall has hit 4 of 8 3's on the season, 3 of which he sank in one half against Seton Hall. Thomas Kithier, Xavier Tillman, and Marcus Bingham have not shot well or taken many shots.

    In the frontcourt, Rocket Watts has been abysmal on offense. If he is on the court for long stretches with 2 bigs, the Spartans are essentially playing with 2 shooters at most.

    The team relies heavily on Winston, getting the ball to the hoop with Tillman or the other bigs, and the wings, sophomores Aaron Henry and Gabe Brown. Henry has been pretty good and will probably be the best player on their team next season. Brown has been a bit up and down. Containing them if Duke elects to double Winston will be one of the key challenges for the game. I would have felt better about that if Cassius Stanley was available. Alas, he will not play for the next few weeks.

    Hopefully, Duke can get good minutes from Alex O'Connell and Joey Baker in this one. I expect to see a lot of Jordan Goldwire as he and Tre Jones can disrupt the offense of MSU, especially when Rocket Watts is on the court. Duke lost the effectiveness of its press the last week. Regaining it will go a long way, as will knocking down shots.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Raleigh, NC
    9:30pm start times are just gross (yes I realize that is a more palatable 8:30 time for the Central folks). I’ll be watching the replay the next day.
       

  9. #9
    I'll be driving during the game. Anybody know a good way to listen to the audio/radio? I checked ESPN radio's schedule and it doesn't list the game. I'll be in the Midwest (mostly Indiana) so hoping I can find it playing somewhere or else stream the audio.

    If I stream 99.9 the fan, do they actually broadcast the Duke game via internet?
       

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    North Dakota
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedog View Post
    I'll be driving during the game. Anybody know a good way to listen to the audio/radio? I checked ESPN radio's schedule and it doesn't list the game. I'll be in the Midwest (mostly Indiana) so hoping I can find it playing somewhere or else stream the audio.

    If I stream 99.9 the fan, do they actually broadcast the Duke game via internet?
    If you don’t find a radio station, you could stream the game from ESPN or YouTube and just listen to the audio and keep your eyes on the road.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by jipops View Post
    9:30pm start times are just gross (yes I realize that is a more palatable 8:30 time for the Central folks). I’ll be watching the replay the next day.
    Yup. Me too.
    "We're only tourists in this life
    Only tourists but the view is nice"

    -- David Byrne

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedog View Post
    I'll be driving during the game. Anybody know a good way to listen to the audio/radio? I checked ESPN radio's schedule and it doesn't list the game. I'll be in the Midwest (mostly Indiana) so hoping I can find it playing somewhere or else stream the audio.

    If I stream 99.9 the fan, do they actually broadcast the Duke game via internet?
    You can get the broadcasts via WDNC on the radio.net app.

  13. #13
    I wouldn't be surprised to see J-Bake get the start vs MSU, and to see J-Gold back in the starting lineup. Losing Cassius changes things for Duke, and one of the things that really took a dive with Wendell in the starting lineup was the defense. It's hard to say how much, if any, of that is on him individually or if other teams just figured out how to attack the Duke defense. J-Gold really gives Duke the chance to pester the opponent's backcourt, which Duke did so well vs. Kansas and in the second half vs Winthrop. It's hard to quantify how much J-Gold helps Tre by giving him some time away from the ball, but that also seems to be a big benefit.
    Joey's shooting is a weapon that Duke needs, particularly if J-Gold plays more now that Cassius is out. It'd be great if he can also use his size to get some rebounds and/or continue to do sneaky things on the weak side defense. He hasn't really shown much knack for the former, but has picked up some charges and steals in the latter.

  14. #14
    I’d advocate the biggest key for the game is for our returning players (particularly Tre) to focus on playing this game instead of trying to overcome memories or mistakes from last season.
       

  15. #15
    Tons of interesting individual matchup issues in this game (as others in the thread have pointed out, the question of how effectively Tillman guards Carey is a big one), but none are bigger than the obvious one: the Jones/Winston showdown. Winston is responsible for SO MUCH of the Spartans offense running smoothly this year that, if Tre can disrupt him to an significant degree one-on-one, I like Duke's chances despite our own obvious difficulties on offense. That said, part of makes Winston so good is how undisruptable he is. His patience is just so impressive.

    More generally, I'm just hoping to see a team that's a bit more poised and organized than what we've seen in the past couple of games. Mich St. is a very tough place to go and steal a win (K's historic success against Izzo generally notwithstanding), but I think we do match up reasonably well with this team. Should be fun regardless!

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by TheOldBattleship View Post
    Tons of interesting individual matchup issues in this game (as others in the thread have pointed out, the question of how effectively Tillman guards Carey is a big one), but none are bigger than the obvious one: the Jones/Winston showdown. Winston is responsible for SO MUCH of the Spartans offense running smoothly this year that, if Tre can disrupt him to an significant degree one-on-one, I like Duke's chances despite our own obvious difficulties on offense. That said, part of makes Winston so good is how undisruptable he is. His patience is just so impressive.

    More generally, I'm just hoping to see a team that's a bit more poised and organized than what we've seen in the past couple of games. Mich St. is a very tough place to go and steal a win (K's historic success against Izzo generally notwithstanding), but I think we do match up reasonably well with this team. Should be fun regardless!
    While I expect to see Tre Jones on Cassius Winston a lot, I really doubt that it will be a one-on-one matchup for the majority of the game. In the game against Kentucky, Calipari threw Ashton Hagans, considered an elite defender, and either Immanuel Quickley or Tyrese Maxey at Winston, forcing the MSU PG to give up the ball to his teammates. That resulted in just 12 FG attempts for Winston to go along with 4 assists and 3 turnovers. In the second half of against Seton Hall, it was the same thing. Winston took a good number of shots, mostly in the 1st half, but finished with just 4 assists and 4 turnovers. In that game, Malik Hall was the savior, taking and making a number of open jumpers to keep MSU in the lead. Against Virginia Tech, Winston shot a season-low 8 field goal attempts and had just 2 assists and 3 turnovers. VA Tech elected to double Winston throughout and it totally disrupted the MSU offense. In all 3 of those games, Winston got into foul trouble.

    Against Duke, I think a lineup of Tre Jones and Jordan Goldwire will be used to double Winston off the screen. This is what Kentucky and VA Tech did to great effect. MSU screens with their bigs a lot, including Thomas Kithier, Xavier Tillman, and either Malik Hall or Marcus Bingham. None of those guys are threats to score from the perimeter. You can leave the screener for a few moments to double Winston, forcing him to pass the ball to the open screener. They like to keep the wings and their guards along the baseline, which is where I hope we'll see Wendell Moore, Joey Baker, and Alex O'Connell. They can use their height and length to run the MSU wings off the line or prevent swing passes from Winston.

    One of the big keys for the game will be seeing if Matthew Hurt and Jack White can help off the screen. If they do that, while not allowing an open lane to the rim, I think Duke can seriously stifle MSU's elite offense. Lesser coaches have already had success slowing down the Spartans. The blueprint is out.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Cary, NC
    I haven’t watched much of MSU this season, but it sounds like they are kind of similar to us. Star point guard with some nice pieces around him. Agree that the Jones/Winston matchup will be great to watch and a key to the game. I was also really looking forward to Cassius Winston and Cassius Stanley squaring off in the battle of who gets to be called just “Cassius” for the remainder of the season, but that won’t happen.

    I expect to see an ugly, physical game with poor shooting percentages and a lot of turnovers. I actually think the turnovers will determine the game, as we’ve been really bad about committing them and not generating them over the last two games. It was also probably the biggest reason for our loss in the E8 last season. So for us to win we’ll have to protect the ball and grind it out in a hostile environment.
       

  18. #18
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    Oct 2013
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    Dallas, TX
    I'm not sure this will happen, but I'd like to see Jones, Carey, Hurt, Moore, and Baker start the game, and see how it plays out. I think Baker has proven enough to earn a start. The only other guy I could see fill in for Cassius in the starting lineup is possibly Goldwire. I think it will be either him or Baker. Even though Wendell has had a couple of bad games in a row, I don't think we can afford to bring him off the bench, as he's pretty much the only thing resembling a two-way wing that we have left on this roster.

    The only downside is that we have almost no offense coming off the bench, with Javin/Jack/Jordan. I have no confidence at all in O'Connell, but he tends to have a blow up game every once in awhile, which is probably why Coach K puts him in for 4-5 minutes a game to see if he has it that night. It would be nice if he could heat up right about now.

  19. #19
    Baker deserves a lot of credit for his hustle and enthusiasm whether on the bench or on the floor. I can remember him last year when Duke was down big against Louisville motivating and cheering the loudest from the bench even before the comeback seemed possible. And in the last game he had no problem diving on the floor and being physical. Whereas I noticed a few freshman watching the ball on the floor rather. Might sound corny, but those are the characteristics Coach wants. Duke might be a little outmatched in a few positions on Tuesday against MSU; and Izzo will bring the intensity; I'm hoping Duke matches that level on the boards and in the paint -- and on diving for loose balls and forcing turnovers like they did against Kansas. Cutting off the passing lanes and forcing turnovers against the bigs is how they beat Kansas and how Duke can gain an advantage against most opponents (despite struggling the last few games). Might seem odd to say but Duke does better against bigger opponents and struggles against a smaller lineup. The difference between Kansas and MSU is how effective Winston is on the high pick and roll. I saw a post earlier talking about not trying to right the wrongs from the game last year. The reality is if there's one thing about MSU is that there is no secret sauce -- Izzo's recipe is as well known and as consistent as In N' Out burger -- nothing changes. Duke struggled against the high pick to open up space with Winston and basically get Tre off of him. Once that happens and he has space to stop and pop, or if Duke switches and the screener gets space -- to throw the oop -- or to kick it out to the open 3. 100% guaranteed nothing changes in terms of offensive strategy for Izzo from last year. That and being tenacious on defense which includes holding jerseys; hooking post players; and banging hard in the post. I think Carey is actually going to really enjoy flexing his muscle in the paint as will Javin who actually played well against Spartans last year.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    While I expect to see Tre Jones on Cassius Winston a lot, I really doubt that it will be a one-on-one matchup for the majority of the game. In the game against Kentucky, Calipari threw Ashton Hagans, considered an elite defender, and either Immanuel Quickley or Tyrese Maxey at Winston, forcing the MSU PG to give up the ball to his teammates. That resulted in just 12 FG attempts for Winston to go along with 4 assists and 3 turnovers. In the second half of against Seton Hall, it was the same thing. Winston took a good number of shots, mostly in the 1st half, but finished with just 4 assists and 4 turnovers. In that game, Malik Hall was the savior, taking and making a number of open jumpers to keep MSU in the lead. Against Virginia Tech, Winston shot a season-low 8 field goal attempts and had just 2 assists and 3 turnovers. VA Tech elected to double Winston throughout and it totally disrupted the MSU offense. In all 3 of those games, Winston got into foul trouble.

    Against Duke, I think a lineup of Tre Jones and Jordan Goldwire will be used to double Winston off the screen. This is what Kentucky and VA Tech did to great effect. MSU screens with their bigs a lot, including Thomas Kithier, Xavier Tillman, and either Malik Hall or Marcus Bingham. None of those guys are threats to score from the perimeter. You can leave the screener for a few moments to double Winston, forcing him to pass the ball to the open screener. They like to keep the wings and their guards along the baseline, which is where I hope we'll see Wendell Moore, Joey Baker, and Alex O'Connell. They can use their height and length to run the MSU wings off the line or prevent swing passes from Winston.

    One of the big keys for the game will be seeing if Matthew Hurt and Jack White can help off the screen. If they do that, while not allowing an open lane to the rim, I think Duke can seriously stifle MSU's elite offense. Lesser coaches have already had success slowing down the Spartans. The blueprint is out.
    Definitely agree that we'll blitz Winston off screens whenever possible to force the ball out of his hands and make others make plays to beat us. That's something that Carey isn't amazingly good at at this point in his career, so it'll be really interesting to see how we handle the Winston/Tillman p&r. I'm also very interested to see if we end up having switching on the perimeter in the scheme at all, or if Tre (or, when he's not got the assignment, Goldwire) get tasked with fighting through contact and staying attached. That latter would be my guess. I think that we'll try to keep Tre on Winston at all times, even if that bends other parts of the defense, again with the goal of making someone else playmake to beat us.

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