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  1. #81
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    Brings up a fair question - who is "good" in the conference? Really tough to tell this year. I suppose things will shake out in the next month or so.
    Guess it depends on what one defines as "good." Good relative to the country? There are probably about 10 of those, if defined as top-50 teams. Good in conference? That is hard to say, due to the previous sentence.

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    Brings up a fair question - who is "good" in the conference? Really tough to tell this year. I suppose things will shake out in the next month or so.
    This is the COVID year. Who knows what's going to happen next?
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Another point to keep in mind in all of this is that our schedule, as it relates to tourney chances, is actually pretty favorable for us this year.

    Unless the Pitt game gets rescheduled, we face only one or two potential "bad loss" opportunities the rest of the way: Q3 home games against Notre Dame (a team we match up extremely well against and who we've already beaten by double-digits) and Georgia Tech. And for what little home/road matters this year, we get our matchups with UVa, Syracuse, and Clemson (in theory 3 of the better teams in the conference) at home. Our remaining games against the weaker teams are mostly on the road (Miami, Pitt, Wake). The majority of our remaining schedule are Q1 and Q2 games, which should allow us lots of opportunities to improve our resume in a mid-major style way.
    conversely, we have no opportunities for statement wins. UVA is borderline, sitting at KP 15.

    Also, I don't think Q is considered anymore in the revamped thing.
    basketball is back, baby!

  4. #84
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC

    Taking a look at player performance so far

    Obviously this season hasn't gotten off to the happy start we'd have liked thus far. We've lost to both of the good teams we've faced, and our first loss to MSU is now looking shaky. But let's look at where our players are.

    We have, I think all would agree, a top-5 ACC player in Matthew Hurt. First in scoring and third in rebounding and 3pt %, and 10th in FG%. Interestingly, Roach and Steward are both top-12 in scoring in conference play. That's 3 of the top 12 scorers in ACC play. Roach and Hurt are in the top-10 in FG%, so we have two of the most efficient and effective scorers in the conference.

    Bart Torvik has a player rating stat, and since conference play began we have 3 of the top 25 players (two of the top 10) in conference. Hurt has been #4, Roach #8, and Steward #22. Goldwire, on the back of terrific defense and tolerable offense, has been a top 50 player as well. The issue is that nobody else has been even an ACC level starter (top-75). Moore has been #76 and Brakefield #90, and everyone else outside the top-100.

    The good news? A team with 3 of the top 25 players in the conference should be able to do well. The better news? We have been doing it without one of our two most talented players. If we can get Johnson back and playing at or near his talent level, we could well have four top-25 ACC players. The only other team that can say that right now? UVa.

    So I think that we're starting to find our identity. The question is whether we can get the ancillary pieces to perform at the level we want. If Brakefield and Moore can up their play to a little below Goldwire status and we add another top-25 player in Johnson, that would appear to be a really good squad. So I don't think we're as far from where we want to be as some think.

    Now, to be clear, there are still some big ifs there. Is Johnson going to be that top-25 player? And will he mold well with the trio of stars we seem to be developing? Is the emergence of Roach and Steward for real, or a mirage? And can Moore and Brakefield find that consistency to be solid role players?

    Obviously a lot remains to be seen. I'm bullish on Roach and Steward and Johnson, so of course I'm optimistic about the direction we're headed assuming Johnson comes back to full strength. If one is less confident in Roach and Steward and/or Johnson, then the outlook may be a bit less positive. But I do think there are legitimate reasons for hope in spite of what has certainly been a lackluster first third of the year.

  5. #85
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    conversely, we have no opportunities for statement wins. UVA is borderline, sitting at KP 15.

    Also, I don't think Q is considered anymore in the revamped thing.
    I am not it's reasonable to talk about "statement" wins if we ignore "quality" wins. Whether or not the committee looks specifically at quadrant stuff, there will be lots of opportunities for quality wins by virtue of so many teams being decent.

    Ultimately, though, I think it will come down to finishing above .500 (probably 3-4 games above .500, so like 10-7 or 11-8) to get in. Do that, and win a game or two in the ACC tournament, and we are probably in. And I think our schedule is favorable to do so, especially once we get Johnson fully back in play.

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    I am not it's reasonable to talk about "statement" wins if we ignore "quality" wins. Whether or not the committee looks specifically at quadrant stuff, there will be lots of opportunities for quality wins by virtue of so many teams being decent.

    Ultimately, though, I think it will come down to finishing above .500 (probably 3-4 games above .500, so like 10-7 or 11-8) to get in. Do that, and win a game or two in the ACC tournament, and we are probably in. And I think our schedule is favorable to do so, especially once we get Johnson fully back in play.
    I'm happy to have Jalen back, but I'm skeptical he is the missing piece for this team. He's played 4 games, and after the good game against coppin state, had 3 relatively poor games. Based on that alone, assuming he's a silver bullet seems folly. But I'm also skeptical he's going to be the fix for a spate of guards that can't really shoot and turn the ball over far too often.

    We should be better WITH him, but I'm skpetical that his return is going to be what makes this team.
    basketball is back, baby!

  7. #87
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Richmond, Va

    Thoughts on this game

    I couldn't watch the game due to Comcast/ACCN issues. So, as I'm reading this thread today at lunch at the sports bar, they have the game on. I watched the first half as I'm finishing page 4 or 5. At this stage of the season VT is a better team than Duke (at least a short-handed Duke). I kept looking for glaring issues; I saw more subtle issues. Duke's been, on the defensive side, giving up lay-ups on a regular basis. This is on-going for several years, not just this one. I see nobody stepping into the lane to prevent penetration hardly ever. Help defense doesn't exist. Where's Billy King or a Shane?

    This team doesn't have any offensive post player. No Elton or Shelden or Zion or Marvin. So we're screwed there and have to rely on trying to dribble-drive, drive -and-kick, or just shoot or try to create off the dribble (and we're not good at that). Plus this team doesn't shoot well from outside. So, we're just not very good. Yet. It sucks we have very limited time to improve in the current environ. This team has potential, but I fear the ceiling is not very high.

    One of my fellow Virginians said we can beat anybody. I totally beg to differ. I've seen Gonzaga this year. They crushed UVA. Baylor's very good also. This team has a long way to go in a short time. Would love to see it happen. K has a huge challenge in front of him!! I do have faith in the GOAT!! GTHC!!! GO DUKE!!!

  8. #88
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    I'm happy to have Jalen back, but I'm skeptical he is the missing piece for this team. He's played 4 games, and after the good game against coppin state, had 3 relatively poor games. Based on that alone, assuming he's a silver bullet seems folly. But I'm also skeptical he's going to be the fix for a spate of guards that can't really shoot and turn the ball over far too often.

    We should be better WITH him, but I'm skpetical that his return is going to be what makes this team.
    That's fine, you're obviously free to feel however you want. I'm not ready to write him off as the impact player that his high school reputation suggests simply because he had a few bad games (largely due to foul trouble driven absence rather than truly poor play) to start his college career.

    And to be clear, I'm not saying Johnson's some sort of magic bullet. I'm saying that him playing to his abilities combined with Roach and Steward now playing to their abilities would be a big step up in quality. Just how big remains to be seen. But the idea is more than the combination of them along with Hurt has impacts beyond simply the quality of each individual player.

    I'm obviously more bullish on those 3 than you, and that's fine. Hopefully I'm right on this one.

  9. #89
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    That's fine, you're obviously free to feel however you want. I'm not ready to write him off as the impact player that his high school reputation suggests simply because he had a few bad games (largely due to foul trouble driven absence rather than truly poor play) to start his college career.

    And to be clear, I'm not saying Johnson's some sort of magic bullet. I'm saying that him playing to his abilities combined with Roach and Steward now playing to their abilities would be a big step up in quality. Just how big remains to be seen. But the idea is more than the combination of them along with Hurt has impacts beyond simply the quality of each individual player.

    I'm obviously more bullish on those 3 than you, and that's fine. Hopefully I'm right on this one.
    To expand a bit on this, in the two games against ACC-level opponents, Johnson missed most of the first half in both contests due to foul trouble. But his per-30 minute averages in those games were 12 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.7 blocks, and 2 steals per 30 minutes (along with 3.3 fouls). He shot poorly (7-21), and he did commit those cheap early fouls. But those rebound, block, and steal stats are REALLY good. So I don't think "played poorly" is a fair assessment. And I feel pretty comfortable that, based on his high school track record and those peripheral stats, he'll be a really good player for us once he's fully healthy and settles in.

    Johnson's skill set also allows us to do things that right now we can't do. Namely, his rebounding and ability to create blocks and steals introduces the potential for a few more easy buckets in transition. For an offense that is at times shaky, that's a big plus. I think he also adds a potentially more consistent scoring threat to foil with Hurt in the frontcourt, and is a more talented option in a pick and roll game than either Moore or Brakefield.

    Obviously no guarantee this comes to reality, but I think Johnson's presence (now that Roach and Steward appear to be emerging) will add a new dynamic to the offense and defense that we've been lacking. When he was playing earlier in the season, we still hadn't seen Roach get comfortable, nor had Steward really found his game. Moreover, he should give us 4 impact players to work with, and should allow us to not be reliant on Brakefield as much or Williams/Tape at all.

    Is there a chance he never figures out the foul trouble thing? Sure. But much like Tatum experienced some growing pains before it clicked for him, I think Johnson will figure it out. And I think a guy who can give us 12 points, 7-8 rebounds, and 1-2 blocks and 1-2 steals per game is a really nice piece of the puzzle.

  10. #90
    Quote Originally Posted by duketaylor View Post
    I couldn't watch the game due to Comcast/ACCN issues. So, as I'm reading this thread today at lunch at the sports bar, they have the game on. I watched the first half as I'm finishing page 4 or 5. At this stage of the season VT is a better team than Duke (at least a short-handed Duke). I kept looking for glaring issues; I saw more subtle issues. Duke's been, on the defensive side, giving up lay-ups on a regular basis. This is on-going for several years, not just this one. I see nobody stepping into the lane to prevent penetration hardly ever. Help defense doesn't exist. Where's Billy King or a Shane?

    This team doesn't have any offensive post player. No Elton or Shelden or Zion or Marvin. So we're screwed there and have to rely on trying to dribble-drive, drive -and-kick, or just shoot or try to create off the dribble (and we're not good at that). Plus this team doesn't shoot well from outside. So, we're just not very good. Yet. It sucks we have very limited time to improve in the current environ. This team has potential, but I fear the ceiling is not very high.

    One of my fellow Virginians said we can beat anybody. I totally beg to differ. I've seen Gonzaga this year. They crushed UVA. Baylor's very good also. This team has a long way to go in a short time. Would love to see it happen. K has a huge challenge in front of him!! I do have faith in the GOAT!! GTHC!!! GO DUKE!!!
    Can't speak for this year, but the matador D interior (of late) suggests a tradeoff. We have no one else that can play inside other than Brakefield who was in foul trouble late. Without Coleman, Tape, and Johnson available (well, I guess JJ was available but we were cautious with his injury and perhaps conditioning). I think Hurt and Brake could only offer passive resistance inside. It's the lesser of two evils--it's why the perimeter is putting up such aggressive denial with the press and in the halfcourt.

  11. #91
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Thomasville, NC
    This game was one we could have won. The team went cold near crunch time and Hurt didn't get a sniff near the end..

  12. #92
    Quote Originally Posted by Devilwin View Post
    This game was one we could have won. The team went cold near crunch time and Hurt didn't get a sniff near the end..
    I yelled at the TV- no one but Hurt should be shooting. He was getting into a rhythm. They will learn.

  13. #93
    Iím still thinking anything above .500 in ACC play this year will be a positive. This team has some solid young players, but they arenít anywhere close to a Top 20 team. I expect many more humbling defeats before the season is over.

  14. #94

    A few observations

    When we played at Notre Dame, we actually looked as if we had on offensive scheme...a rarity for K teams. I saw no evidence of that in the next two games. In those games we seemed overly dependent on the 1-4 (horns) set with everyone starting at or above the foul line. This allowed defenses to cut off any attempts at penetration and we settled for jump shots. However, in each of those games, there came a point in the second half (after much screaming at the TV) when we ran the 1-4 with everyone even with the blocks. This seemed to open things up, resulting in better shots. Unfortunately, we didn't stay with that set longer. The slow starts are concerning, too. I found myself wondering (as always) if some zone defense (my personal favorite is a 1-3-1) while Coach is tinkering with the line up would be good with this group.

  15. #95
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    To expand a bit on this, in the two games against ACC-level opponents, Johnson missed most of the first half in both contests due to foul trouble. But his per-30 minute averages in those games were 12 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.7 blocks, and 2 steals per 30 minutes (along with 3.3 fouls). He shot poorly (7-21), and he did commit those cheap early fouls. But those rebound, block, and steal stats are REALLY good. So I don't think "played poorly" is a fair assessment. And I feel pretty comfortable that, based on his high school track record and those peripheral stats, he'll be a really good player for us once he's fully healthy and settles in.

    Johnson's skill set also allows us to do things that right now we can't do. Namely, his rebounding and ability to create blocks and steals introduces the potential for a few more easy buckets in transition. For an offense that is at times shaky, that's a big plus. I think he also adds a potentially more consistent scoring threat to foil with Hurt in the frontcourt, and is a more talented option in a pick and roll game than either Moore or Brakefield.

    Obviously no guarantee this comes to reality, but I think Johnson's presence (now that Roach and Steward appear to be emerging) will add a new dynamic to the offense and defense that we've been lacking. When he was playing earlier in the season, we still hadn't seen Roach get comfortable, nor had Steward really found his game. Moreover, he should give us 4 impact players to work with, and should allow us to not be reliant on Brakefield as much or Williams/Tape at all.

    Is there a chance he never figures out the foul trouble thing? Sure. But much like Tatum experienced some growing pains before it clicked for him, I think Johnson will figure it out. And I think a guy who can give us 12 points, 7-8 rebounds, and 1-2 blocks and 1-2 steals per game is a really nice piece of the puzzle.
    Did Johnson get to play his senior year? I know he changed schools but I can't remember if he actually had a senior year of high school basketball. If he didn't and you consider Duke didn't have much of a preseason practice schedule, Johnson hasn't had much of a chance to get ready for ACC play. There was a reason he was highly rated early. Just wondering about his senior year.

    GoDuke!

  16. #96
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by jv001 View Post
    Did Johnson get to play his senior year? I know he changed schools but I can't remember if he actually had a senior year of high school basketball. If he didn't and you consider Duke didn't have much of a preseason practice schedule, Johnson hasn't had much of a chance to get ready for ACC play. There was a reason he was highly rated early. Just wondering about his senior year.

    GoDuke!
    He played about half of his senior year at IMG before transferring back home. He was great at IMG, but did miss the last couple of months of his senior year.

  17. #97
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Thank you for that information. I couldn't remember how much he played his senior year. I feel like some Duke fans are not taking into consideration JJ didn't get in a full senior year of playing time and then very little pre season work. On top of that he got into foul trouble and had to sit out most of the first half in two games. Hopefully he plays well once back into the rotation. We need him to be a tournament team.

    GoDuke!

  18. #98
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by jv001 View Post
    Thank you for that information. I couldn't remember how much he played his senior year. I feel like some Duke fans are not taking into consideration JJ didn't get in a full senior year of playing time and then very little pre season work. On top of that he got into foul trouble and had to sit out most of the first half in two games. Hopefully he plays well once back into the rotation. We need him to be a tournament team.

    GoDuke!
    I agree. It's completely understandable that there was some rust. And I expect there to be some rust out of the gates in his return. But I think the talent is there, and his per-minute stats seem to confirm it. I think it's a matter of getting in those game reps over the next couple of weeks.

    But yes, we need him to be the impact player most expected for this squad to approach its potential.

  19. #99
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    He played about half of his senior year at IMG before transferring back home. He was great at IMG, but did miss the last couple of months of his senior year.
    Johnson did not play any games at IMG. He played nine games at Nicolet.

    Mark Williams did play last season at IMG. Perhaps you are confusing the two.

  20. #100
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Quote Originally Posted by Devilwin View Post
    This game was one we could have won. The team went cold near crunch time and Hurt didn't get a sniff near the end..
    My fear about the team is that they didn't really go cold, they just aren't very good shooters outside of Hurt...maybe they'll prove me wrong, and I hope so.

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