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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Spring Lake, NC (acutally Harnett County)

    Just a bad game from my favorite (but inconsistent) team

    Painful to watch. The terribly officiated game (on both sides) had phantom offensive fouls and moving picks early - then no calls later in the game. After the first couple of minutes, I had the feeling that Duke was playing not to lose. I never shook that feeling and I think the team did not, either.

    What was wrong on defense? Lack of aggressive, in my opinion. In the second half, we seemed to sit back and let them do what they wanted to. Costnor is a fine player. I don't see NBA teams flocking to him over McRoberts, though. When he got the ball, we did not attack. We seemed to be worried about ... well, I don't know what we were worried about. Maybe we were "cutting" off something on defense - but they sure had no trouble scoring at will with what we were not cutting off.

    I guess it is just one of those lessons that teams (and fans) learn from time to time. You work harder. You prepare harder. You adapt to game circumstances. We did not. Oh well, a week to prepare for someone who isn't going to want to play us.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Goldsboro, NC

    Youth???

    I don't see the whole youth argument either....there are plenty of teams that are young and play well...it's talent. We need to take our heads out of the sand and just acknowledge that we aren't as good as we normally are. With guys bolting to the NBA left and right you are always going to have "young" teams bc there won't be many guys that stay 4 years. And I'm not sure if really helps to have senior leadership if the seniors aren't really good. We have been lucky to have that in the past with Battier, etc. but that is not going to happen often. So we need to get over the whole youth thing and learn to win, no matter what their age is.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Allawah, NSW Australia (near Sydney)

    tm, I really hope you are right

    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    I'll definitely take my chances in 2009 and 2010 with the roster we're expected to have. Let's take a look at what we should have in 09:

    Sr Paulus.......So Smith
    Jr Scheyer.....Sr Pocius
    Jr Henderson...Sr McClure
    So Singler....So King
    Jr Zoubek(So Patterson?)....Jr Thomas

    Add in a freshman Greg Monroe and I'd have to think that roster is top 3 if not top 1 in 2009. It's going to take some seasoning to reach that point, but hey, we have all the time in the world. We're fans of a great college basketball program so let's enjoy the ride.

    A few thoughts:

    I just don't think it's quite that simple. Suppose any of this year's freshman has a real breakout season next year, Henderson perhaps. Let's say he averages 18pts and 7 boards. And then let's also suppose that Singler lives up to his billing and averages 14 and 7 and 5 as a freshman and shoots 45 percent from long range. And let's say because of that we win the ACC and the tournament and then reach the elite 8 -- a 28-win season, something like that.

    Well, then they both become sure-fire 1st-round NBA draft choices and they're outta here. And we're left trying to replace 2 huge holes in the lineup again.

    My point here is not that we should hope for guys not to be good. What I'm saying is that you really do have to be extremely lucky these days to land a player who will give you one great year and then return to give you another. There is just too much money in it for them if they leave.

    For that reason, I think that recruiting is more inexact than it has ever been and I believe that K is playing a very dangerous game if he starts regularly limiting the number of top-flight talents he pursues. Why? Because he is sacrificing superstar talent in the hopes that those next-tier players will all stay and progress at a nice steady pace, giving him depth and experience. That is, IMO, as much of a gamble as bringing in the future NBA superstar for one season.

    Now, there is no proof that K has gone down this path just yet. It seems that he is still going after some blue-chippers. He is, however, largely avoiding the guys who are likely to bolt right away, maybe going after one each year. Again, that's tough, because if you miss on that one you are stuck.

    Recruiting is harder than ever and I don't have the answers. All I know is we can't count on our freshmen being here as juniors if they have great soph years any more than Texas can count on having Durant next year (ok, that may be a slight exaggeration.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Allawah, NSW Australia (near Sydney)

    they were also, mostly, sophomores

    Quote Originally Posted by mapei View Post
    >The 2001 team had two seniors- and their leadership AND play was invaluable to their winning. Duke would not have won it all without them.

    Well, Shane was incredible - I'll certainly give you that. He's my all-time favorite player. And Nate was a terrific sixth man, who hit two game-winning shots that year, including one in the game I just re-watched. But we also had JWill (soph), Boozer (soph), Dunleavy (soph, I think?), and Duhon (freshman) - four out of five starters were young. My real point isn't just that they were young, but that they were better players at each position than the ones we have now, *even though they were young*. Experience matters, but so does talent.

    That one year of experience for jwill, boozer and dunleavy (yes, he was in that awesome class, too) makes a HUGE difference. And after watching the difference between that team and next year's group, without nate and especially shane, I will never again question the critical importance of senior leadership. This team has a ton of deficiencies but if there is one thing i would grant them, forsaking anything else, it would be a senior starter who came by his playing time honestly.

  5. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by CMS2478 View Post
    With guys bolting to the NBA left and right you are always going to have "young" teams bc there won't be many guys that stay 4 years.
    Duke will be a very veteran team in '09 and '10 and we'll be great both years. And we'll be pretty darn good next year as well.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Allawah, NSW Australia (near Sydney)

    doom and gloom?

    Quote Originally Posted by SharkD View Post
    It may not live up to some people's expectations, but 20+ wins, a 14-1 non-conf record, not folding under the 4L "streak" spotlight and some moments of brilliance at the end of the season, despite the MD/UNC losses is a very solid foundation for what I believe will be a spectacular year next year (assuming McRoberts sticks around).

    Not to cast aspersions, but I wonder if the people now predicting doom and gloom would have joined in the chorus calling for Krzyzewski's head after the 1982/83 season. I'm glad that Tom Butters had more faith than some current Duke "fans" do.
    What kind of season constitutes "doom and gloom" and who do you see predicting it? I see a bunch of people saying things like "we're not as good as we usually are," which is, unquestionably, true.

  7. #47
    DDU, K isn't avoiding the 1-and-dones since he recruited Brandan Wright and is recruiting Greg Monroe, so you don't have to worry about that. I'm not even sure he's really changed recruiting philosophy much at all, and it may just be coincidence that the roster is where it's at in terms of number of 3 to 4 year types. So what I'm doing is pointing out he benefits of that.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Allawah, NSW Australia (near Sydney)
    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    DDU, K isn't avoiding the 1-and-dones since he recruited Brandan Wright and is recruiting Greg Monroe, so you don't have to worry about that. I'm not even sure he's really changed recruiting philosophy much at all, and it may just be coincidence that the roster is where it's at in terms of number of 3 to 4 year types. So what I'm doing is pointing out he benefits of that.

    Right TM, I know he's all over Monroe and that we just lost to the evil smurfs on Wright. I was just sort of thinking about the pitfalls of recruiting these days and realizing how hard it is to have one sure-fire method. Just speculating a bit on what might be happening, that's all.

    Your plan is best-case for the players we have. I've dreamed about it working out that way, too. I just wish I were optimistic enough to think it would actually happen. Seriously.

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Goldsboro, NC

    Hope So

    Hey, I'm not going to argue with you on that TroubleMaker I hope we are a verteran team and I hope we are good. I'm just saying that in many of the cases there are very talented players that are young. (Ohio State) So just bc they are young doesn't mean they can't be good. But I agree with you that if all our guys stay around and don't go NBA or transfer we could be really special. And senior leadership definetly woudln't hurt.

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Chesapeake, VA.
    I wish everybody would stop talking as though this season were already over.

    We still have the NCAA tournament coming up, remember?

    And while we have seen some pretty poor play over the last few games, I, for one, can remember the team that beat Boston College twice. I can remember the team that played the first half against Clemson at their place, and the team that held St. John's to 10 points in the first half. Granted that that team has seemed to show up only one half at a time, I think that team can compete with anybody in the country. I don't know when (or if) they'll reappear, but it COULD happen.

    And if ever a Duke team could get overlooked, this is the one. I can see how an opposing coach would talk us down, "This is not the Duke team of past years. These guys can't even beat NC State in the ACC tournament. We can TAKE these guys," etc., etc.

    Honestly it wouldn't surprise me at all to see this team make the Elite Eight and surprise the heck out everybody in the nation but me.

    So, can we please can the "this season's over" talk? Thanks.

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mount Kisco, NY
    Sidney Lowe didn't watch tape of any ACC game, he watched tape of USA vs Greece from last summer's World Championships.

  12. #52

    Optimistic for NCAAs...

    The last time Duke was in anything close to this kind of situation entering the NCAAs was 1996. This was the year after the dreadful '95 season. We entered the NCAAs in '96 as a #8 seed and were defeated in the first round by Eastern Michigan. I cannot recall how we did that year in the ACCs but if I'm not mistaken, we also lost that year in the first round and I believe it was also to NC State.

    I'm not suggesting that this portends a similar end to our season. In fact, I'd argue that even entering as a #8 seed (the seed I think we'll end up with), and even if sent to the West or Midwest (which I expect), we would stand a very, very good chance of both winning that initial 8-9 game and upsetting a #1 seed in the second game. How much can this team learn from the past couple of losses and in what I'm sure will be intense practices this week get back to playing great defense for a full 40 minutes of a game -- which Duke has NOT been doing these last couple of weeks.

    Don't give up on these guys yet...we could be in for a few surprises next week!

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mount Kisco, NY

    Recent Duke teams haven't improved (comparatively) after January

    A disturbing recent trend is that our recent teams do not get better in comparison to the elite across the country as the season goes on. It's not as obvious with this year's team because we never were really good in the first place, but it was striking with the JJ era squads, and even the late Williams/Dunleavy/Boozer squads. Those teams would jump out to gaudy November/December/January starts and then lose steam in February/March just as other teams, who stumbled early, started to hit their stride. Without analyzing the "whys" too much, I can only think that it is a factor of K getting his players to play consistently harder earlier in the season. Our effort is always there from Day 1, and maybe it takes other teams a few months to gell. But, by the time February/March comes along and everyone's got 20+ games under their belts, other squads seem to surge and we seem to go flat. The ACC Tourny aside, our habit of ending our ACC regular seasons with several losses is becoming a habit, as is our early exits from the NCAAs. Does anyone else see this as a trend, or am I seeing something that's not there? Is it because K is great at coaching effort but not great at growing a team over the course of the season? I think he did a much better job of the latter in the late 80s and ealy 90s. Those teams would often have 6-7 regular season losses, lose the ACC tourny, but would crest for the NCAAs. I'd rather reach Final Fours then compile 32-4 seasons that end in the Sweet 16. Again, we've all been spoiled by the greastest run since UCLA so maybe I'm just another entitled Duke fan.

  14. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by DU Band Prez 88 View Post
    The last time Duke was in anything close to this kind of situation entering the NCAAs was 1996. This was the year after the dreadful '95 season. We entered the NCAAs in '96 as a #8 seed and were defeated in the first round by Eastern Michigan. I cannot recall how we did that year in the ACCs but if I'm not mistaken, we also lost that year in the first round and I believe it was also to NC State.
    Maryland, actually. Different situation, though - the 1996 team was playing extremely well at season's end before being crippled by injuries to Collins and Wojo in March.

    The good news is that this year's team appears relatively healthy, and still has one more shot to turn things around.

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Allawah, NSW Australia (near Sydney)

    Ouch

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Dat View Post
    Sidney Lowe didn't watch tape of any ACC game, he watched tape of USA vs Greece from last summer's World Championships.
    Very true. Well, at least I'm a bit relieved to hear I'm not the only one who had that thought.

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Allawah, NSW Australia (near Sydney)
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Dat View Post
    A disturbing recent trend is that our recent teams do not get better in comparison to the elite across the country as the season goes on. It's not as obvious with this year's team because we never were really good in the first place, but it was striking with the JJ era squads, and even the late Williams/Dunleavy/Boozer squads. Those teams would jump out to gaudy November/December/January starts and then lose steam in February/March just as other teams, who stumbled early, started to hit their stride. Without analyzing the "whys" too much, I can only think that it is a factor of K getting his players to play consistently harder earlier in the season. Our effort is always there from Day 1, and maybe it takes other teams a few months to gell. But, by the time February/March comes along and everyone's got 20+ games under their belts, other squads seem to surge and we seem to go flat. The ACC Tourny aside, our habit of ending our ACC regular seasons with several losses is becoming a habit, as is our early exits from the NCAAs. Does anyone else see this as a trend, or am I seeing something that's not there? Is it because K is great at coaching effort but not great at growing a team over the course of the season? I think he did a much better job of the latter in the late 80s and ealy 90s. Those teams would often have 6-7 regular season losses, lose the ACC tourny, but would crest for the NCAAs. I'd rather reach Final Fours then compile 32-4 seasons that end in the Sweet 16. Again, we've all been spoiled by the greastest run since UCLA so maybe I'm just another entitled Duke fan.

    Not so sure about your premise.

    The 2000 team lost its first two games of the year.

    The 2001 NC team finished the season on a 10-game winning streak.

    The 2002 squad beat UNC at the end of the year, won the ACC tourney and was rolling through the NCAAs until everything fell apart in the last 5 minutes against the Hoosiers.

    The 2003 team was very young and didn't come around to being consistent until late in the season (when casey sanders improved, for one thing). I remember that group getting blown out by maryland on the road early in the season (uh-oh, i feel another schedulilng rant coming on) and then beating the terps at cameron later in the year. And, of course, they won the ACC.

    The 2004 does follow your pattern somewhat, though I would argue that in their case the timing of the losses was coincidental. I think the key factor was the quality of the opposition. The team actually stumbled just a bit out of the blocks, losing to Purdue in the finals of the Great Alaska Shootout. But then they went to the Breslin Center and absolutely stuffed the Spartans right in front of the IZZOne. After that they ran off 18 straight wins before suffering back-to-back ACC losses and falling to GT down the stretch at home (awesome game) and maryland in the acc finals (infuriating game). But that squad also "recovered" to make the Final Four and almost defeat the best team in the country.

    In 2005 and 2006 I think we have, in fact, followed your pattern and for the reasons you suggest. But I would argue that it's not about effort so much as it is K's ability to compensate for weaknesses and get the most out of what he has. The 2005 and 2006 teams featured some very good players but there was also a heavy reliance on the superstars. I think that in both of those seasons, especially 2006, Duke made hay early in the year because it took a while for opposing coaches to figure out which deficiencies K was masking and then adjust to attack them. And once that happened, our effectiveness just went down because there was no counter left to be made. The ideal example was the increasing focus on JJ's offense last year. Teams were reluctant to commit so much to stopping him early in the season, once they adjusted and started hounding JJ with hedging worthy of "the jordan rules" Duke's effectiveness went way down.

    Finally, this year's group really doesn't fit into this pattern at all, unless you choose to view the OOC success as proof of how strong we were at the beginning of the season. Sorry, but I just can't do that. There are only so many points I am willing to give us for welcoming every mid-major with a name into our building and out-athleting them without ever playing any true road games.

    Now, if next year we are 25-1 and then flame out in the last few conference games, the ACC tourney and the NCAAs then maybe we should consider it a concern. Not yet though.

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