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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    The reality is, in my opinion, that this team doesn't scare anyone, and the reason is because we don't do anything particularly well.

    We're not a good shooting team, either from 2 point or 3 point range (and taking Hurt's numbers out, we're at 30% from 3.) Are we a force on the boards at either end? No. The only guy who can operate effectively inside is Hurt, but that's not really his game and like I said if he's not shooting 3's, we have no 3 point game to speak of. Our assist numbers are not good, as --- while I like Jeremy Roach and have seen some good things from him -- we don't have him or anyone else showing the ability to drive and set other guys up for easy shots. We're not a shotblocking team. We don't contain penetration or rotate well defensively. Yes, Goldwire is pesky and aggressive and gets steals, and that's great, but just in last night's game there were several instances where he kinda invited his man to get past him, then tried for the poke/steal from behind and missed, leading to easy shots for VT. That's schoolyard stuff. Our depth is of no consequence. Not when Wendell Moore can barely stay on the floor, when Mark Williams clearly isn't ready to contribute, when Joey Baker can't get shots and is more effectively defensively than offensively, when Patrick Tape and Henry Coleman can't get on the floor at all, and when Jalen Johnson has been hurt. But let's be honest -- even before he got hurt he had one good game against an overmatched opponent. The jury is very much out on him. Let's hope he's as good as his press clippings and recruiting ranking would have us think.

    We just have a lot of guys who are basically no factor out there, and only one guy who has played consistently well, that being Matt Hurt. And he has played consistently well at the offensive end only, and has shown that he can't guard in space. Problem.

    I am confident that the team will improve. In K I trust, and the kids I'm sure are working and will continue to work hard to improve individually and as a team. But man, we have lots of issues, and a long way to go with not much time to get there. Low ceiling, indeed. Just that kinda year.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Some observations on last nights game.

    1) Our defense in the first half was terrible. It was somewhat better in the 2nd half. This has been a trend the last few games and it puts the team in a catch up mode.
    2) I think it was toward the end of the first half where we got caught with Moore and Goldwire in the game with Roach and DJ on the bench. It was not a pretty sight.
    3) I wish Goldwire would use his left hand on shots in the paint. He put up some awful looking shots last night.
    4) Outside of Hurt, we are not a consistent 3 point shooting team right now. I think Baker could help in that regard. Especially if Roach and DJ look for him on a dish pass. I know we are going to keep shooting the 3 because it's part of Coach K's offense. Let Baker take some of those shots and don't jerk him out if he misses a couple.
    5) I think in one of the first games, Coach K told Brakefield not to dribble or drive the ball, but that looks like the best part of his game right now.
    6) I don't know if our defense was just good in the 2nd half or VT played poorly. They sure let Duke back in a game I thought was over a couple of times. The two missed shots by Moore and Goldwire were ugly and really hurt our comeback effort.
    7) Thank God for Matthew Hurt.

    GoDuke!

  3. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    I mean, in terms of ceiling? I think this team is fine. In terms of floor? It's a bubble team. In terms of what they'll actually accomplish? Who knows.

    The full-season results are not going to be great. But hopefully they are good enough to get us into the tournament (if one happens), and then hopefully we're playing well enough at the end of the year to be a second-weekend team. I think that's entirely possible.

    It's also possible that we miss the tournament altogether, although I hope that the team has enough improvement to avoid that possibility.

    If we keep playing the way we currently are playing, there's a good chance we miss the tournament. I'm optimistic that we won't keep playing the way we are currently playing, though.
    I agree. A lot depends on Johnsonís play. Roach and Steward are figuring it out and Hurt has been a rock. The team rebounds well. I was hoping for a marked growth in Baker in his confidence shooting the ball. He had a beautiful shot. It is a mystery as to why he is struggling. Strangely his D has improved. But Moore is still an enigma. He has a strange hitch or spin in his shooting that makes the ball rim out- and he is just not good from deep. He can play D and muscle around the rim getting junk baskets and making free throws. I just get the feeling he is auditioning for the NBA and it is not going well. This team has potential but is not able to compete with the upper half of teams yet. That will come with experience and some better D.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    I donít view the lack of a 5 as a big problem once Johnson returns. At that point, we will have two guys capable of defending most college 5s and exploiting those same 5s defensively. Put another way, I donít think anyone has beaten us due to their play at center.

    Where we lost early in the season was largely in turnovers and inability to create good shots, which are areas we seem to be improving upon. Where we have struggled more recently is in allowing teams to get too many open looks. None of those seem to be an issue of not having a 3 or a 5. They are an issue of inexperience and lack of cohesion. Both of those should improve some with more games. How much is an open question of course.
    I just don't think this team has the chops to be consistently good defensively, and we clearly don't have the offensive firepower to make up for it. Maybe K can spin up some kind of scheme/personnel grouping to help mask these flaws, I guess time will tell. I don't think cohesion or experience alone solves this problem.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    I mean, in terms of ceiling? I think this team is fine. In terms of floor? It's a bubble team.
    The floor is a bit lower than that, IMO. It is quite possible that this team will not have a realistic shot at the tournament by mid-February or so. Certainly, if we leave the Virginia game without a quality win, it's pretty certain we will not be in the mix at all. We just performed poorly in one of only a few shots we are going to get at a good win in what looks like a pretty weak conference, nationally (or at least, weaker than usual), and if we continue to do that, even the Virginia game may not truly matter.

    Like you, I remain optimistic that K can right the ship. I don't think hitting that floor is particularly likely. But at this point, that floor we don't want to hit is pretty far down there.

  6. #66

    Similar but...

    Quote Originally Posted by jv001 View Post
    This Duke team is a much different team than the last several Duke teams. By that I mean to me it looks like a Duke team of the past, where players are not OND. We have players that if they don't leave until at least their junior year, could be very good. DJ, Roach, Brakefield and Williams could be great players by their 3rd year in the program. Without regular preseason work, I'm not too surprised to see the team playing like this. There's no Zion, Ingram, Tatum, RJ type players on the roster. We do have some guys that can be very good if they stick around. Time will tell. At least we have some games we can watch them grow in.

    GoDuke!
    I agree that this team is similar to past teams in not having ONDs. But would you agree that our good teams in the past also had quality veteran leadership. This team doesn't have enough of that [only Goldwire would qualify], and it shows. This year our talent level seems closer to our opponents while we are younger, less experienced.

    And, secondly, I don't understand how Duke teams can come out flat so often. My eyeballs showed me that and Roach confirmed it. I mean, guys, haven't you been desperately itching to play basketball? How can you possibly come out flat?
    ďI love it. Coach, when we came here, we had a three-hour meeting about the core values. If you really represent the core values, it means diving on the floor, sacrificing your body for your teammates, no matter how much youíre up by or how much youíre down by, always playing hard.Ē -- Zion

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Acymetric View Post
    I just don't think this team has the chops to be consistently good defensively, and we clearly don't have the offensive firepower to make up for it. Maybe K can spin up some kind of scheme/personnel grouping to help mask these flaws, I guess time will tell. I don't think cohesion or experience alone solves this problem.
    I think we can be good enough defensively, and I think we have the ability offensively. But unlike in previous years of recent vintage, this group will require more cohesion as we don't have enough one-on-one playmaking to just roll it out there and go. So I don't agree with you on the last sentence.

    A lot will depend on the recovery and development of Jalen Johnson. I'm optimistic that when we get him fully reintegrated it will result in big things. Of course, I'm bullish on the backcourt's progression too, which plays into my thinking. Neither Steward nor (especially so) Roach were playing this well when Johnson was playing, and Johnson was struggling with foul trouble anyway. But I think that Johnson paired with Hurt and the now-effective backcourt of Roach and Steward has the potential to unlock some things that we haven't been able to see yet.

    Don't get me wrong: there is a very real chance that this group misses the tournament altogether. And I don't expect us to be a top-10 team in terms of quality by the end of the season. I just appear to think that there is much more room for growth with this team than you do. I think there is top-10 potential, it's just a question of whether or not we can get there.

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Phredd3 View Post
    The floor is a bit lower than that, IMO. It is quite possible that this team will not have a realistic shot at the tournament by mid-February or so. Certainly, if we leave the Virginia game without a quality win, it's pretty certain we will not be in the mix at all. We just performed poorly in one of only a few shots we are going to get at a good win in what looks like a pretty weak conference, nationally (or at least, weaker than usual), and if we continue to do that, even the Virginia game may not truly matter.

    Like you, I remain optimistic that K can right the ship. I don't think hitting that floor is particularly likely. But at this point, that floor we don't want to hit is pretty far down there.
    While I agree that the conference is weaker than usual, I'm not sure that I agree that it is weak. We lack top-end teams, but we have a bunch of solid teams. Clemson, Louisville, FSU (a game we'll likely miss on the schedule), UVa, UNC, NC State, and Syracuse are all in the top-50 in KenPom to go along with Duke and Va Tech. Georgia Tech, Pitt, and Miami are lurking in the top-75. Heck, only Wake Forest is outside of the top-90. So while there are not many marquee games on the schedule, there are lots of opportunities to position ourselves high enough in the ACC pecking order to get into the tournament.

    Yes, this was certainly an opportunity missed. And it's absolutely conceivable that we miss the tournament. But when I say "floor", I am referring to level of play and not outcome. So I mean "baseline level of play as of right now" rather than "worst possible outcome of the season." And our level of play right now is at bubble team level (~40 or 50).

  9. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by Acymetric View Post
    I just don't think this team has the chops to be consistently good defensively, and we clearly don't have the offensive firepower to make up for it. Maybe K can spin up some kind of scheme/personnel grouping to help mask these flaws, I guess time will tell. I don't think cohesion or experience alone solves this problem.
    I agree about the offense but Duke seems to have the players to be a good defensive team. Not a great defensive team but possibly a good one. Of the regular rotation players, only Matt and Joey are subpar. I think JGold, Wendell, Roach and Steward have the potential to be plus defenders. Brakefield and Jalen are at least adequate to above average. If K decided to go with a zone, I'd imagine Mark would be a beast in the middle.

    The half court offense will always be unsightly since we don't have the shooters to keep opposing teams from packing the paint. Duke has guys that can potentially drive the ball but unless you are lightning fast, it's tough to get past a guy that can observe social distancing guidelines while covering you.

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Yes, this was certainly an opportunity missed. And it's absolutely conceivable that we miss the tournament. But when I say "floor", I am referring to level of play and not outcome. So I mean "baseline level of play as of right now" rather than "worst possible outcome of the season." And our level of play right now is at bubble team level (~40 or 50).
    OK, that's fair. Thanks for clarifying. I think our level of play right now is a bit lower than "bubble team", but ~40-50 isn't that different from ~50-75.

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by hustleplays View Post
    I agree that this team is similar to past teams in not having ONDs. But would you agree that our good teams in the past also had quality veteran leadership. This team doesn't have enough of that [only Goldwire would qualify], and it shows. This year our talent level seems closer to our opponents while we are younger, less experienced.

    And, secondly, I don't understand how Duke teams can come out flat so often. My eyeballs showed me that and Roach confirmed it. I mean, guys, haven't you been desperately itching to play basketball? How can you possibly come out flat?
    I'm not even sure Goldwire is a good leader. He's good on defense but over all he's not that great on offense. His forte should be spot up shooting and occasional drives to the basket(if he can shoot the ball lefthanded when it's needed). Most of our good leadership has come from players that wasn't afraid to kick butt and take names.

    GoDuke1

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by Phredd3 View Post
    The floor is a bit lower than that, IMO. It is quite possible that this team will not have a realistic shot at the tournament by mid-February or so. Certainly, if we leave the Virginia game without a quality win, it's pretty certain we will not be in the mix at all. We just performed poorly in one of only a few shots we are going to get at a good win in what looks like a pretty weak conference, nationally (or at least, weaker than usual), and if we continue to do that, even the Virginia game may not truly matter.

    Like you, I remain optimistic that K can right the ship. I don't think hitting that floor is particularly likely. But at this point, that floor we don't want to hit is pretty far down there.
    Yeah. The floor is we continue our current trend play, lose a couple of those close games against teams in the 70-80 range (pitt, GT, ND), and come away like 6-12 in conference, WAY outside the bubble. In a bit, I'll whip up projected conference final records based on current KP game-by-game averages. I bet there's a good 25% chance we finish under 500 right now, and that's given KP is generous to us right now given how much preseason rankings are still factoring.
    basketball is back, baby!

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Quote Originally Posted by jv001 View Post
    I'm not even sure Goldwire is a good leader. He's good on defense but over all he's not that great on offense. His forte should be spot up shooting and occasional drives to the basket(if he can shoot the ball lefthanded when it's needed). Most of our good leadership has come from players that wasn't afraid to kick butt and take names.

    GoDuke1
    I'd prefer that Jordan Goldwire never shoot the ball other than :

    a) when it is either the last 3 seconds of the shot clock and we have to get something, anything, up
    b) when he has a truly wide open and uncontested 3 when he has the time to make sure his elbow is in proper shooting position which it often isn't, or
    c) when he has an uncontested fast break layup.

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    Yeah. The floor is we continue our current trend play, lose a couple of those close games against teams in the 70-80 range (pitt, GT, ND), and come away like 6-12 in conference, WAY outside the bubble. In a bit, I'll whip up projected conference final records based on current KP game-by-game averages. I bet there's a good 25% chance we finish under 500 right now, and that's given KP is generous to us right now given how much preseason rankings are still factoring.
    I will save you the time, since Torvik has this done already (and is MUCH less generous to Duke than KenPom is). He has us projected to finish 11-9 in conference, and that's including a likely loss to FSU which might not get played at all. So, a bubble team, whose status would depend upon how that 11-9 is distributed and how we do in the ACCT.

    I'd expect KenPom to have us a few games better than that given where his program currently has us rated relative to the conference (again, due to the preseason/historical weights).

    Torvik has us projected as a 10/11 seed, for what it is worth. KenPom (with the asterisk) has us as about a 6 seed.

    To be clear, there are quite a few toss-ups in there, so it is certainly possible that we end up below .500 in conference and outside the tournament. But that's assuming we maintain our current level of play. Which for this particular team seems pessimistic.
    Last edited by CDu; 01-13-2021 at 03:38 PM.

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Cary, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    I'd prefer that Jordan Goldwire never shoot the ball other than :

    a) when it is either the last 3 seconds of the shot clock and we have to get something, anything, up
    b) when he has a truly wide open and uncontested 3 when he has the time to make sure his elbow is in proper shooting position which it often isn't, or
    c) when he has an uncontested fast break layup.
    Strike item c

  16. #76
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    I will save you the time, since Torvik has this done already (and is MUCH less generous to Duke than KenPom is). He has us projected to finish 11-9 in conference, and that's including a likely loss to FSU which might not get played at all. So, a bubble team, whose status would depend upon how that 11-9 is distributed and how we do in the ACCT.
    That last bit is actually an interesting factor this year. There is no true powerhouse team in the ACC (at least as of now), so even if it looks like we can't win an at-large bid, well, anything can happen if you can put together a run at exactly the right time. I'd sure rather not HAVE to do that, but it makes the tourney interesting, for sure.

  17. #77
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Phredd3 View Post
    That last bit is actually an interesting factor this year. There is no true powerhouse team in the ACC (at least as of now), so even if it looks like we can't win an at-large bid, well, anything can happen if you can put together a run at exactly the right time. I'd sure rather not HAVE to do that, but it makes the tourney interesting, for sure.
    Yeah, this year is very likely to be noisier than usual for the ACC. There are a lot of teams that are comparable in level (at least based on what we've seen so far). No juggernauts, no real patsies (only one team outside the top-100 in both KenPom and Torvik). The down side is that there are few chances for signature wins. The upside is that there are potentially lots of chances for "quality" wins.

    I don't think we'll be getting 9 or 10 teams in the tournament, but I'd be a bit surprised with less than 7. So if we can wind up in the top-7 of the conference, I think we stand a good chance of making the field.

    Obviously, finishing top-5 in the conference would be preferable in terms of comfort making the tournament. But I feel like this is a year in which there will wind up being 4 or 5 ACC teams comfortably in and 6 or 7 teams fighting for 2-4 spots.

  18. #78
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    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.

  19. #79
    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.
    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.

  20. #80
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Lewisville, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by hustleplays View Post
    I agree that this team is similar to past teams in not having ONDs. But would you agree that our good teams in the past also had quality veteran leadership. This team doesn't have enough of that [only Goldwire would qualify], and it shows. This year our talent level seems closer to our opponents while we are younger, less experienced.

    And, secondly, I don't understand how Duke teams can come out flat so often. My eyeballs showed me that and Roach confirmed it. I mean, guys, haven't you been desperately itching to play basketball? How can you possibly come out flat?
    Well, there has been nothing normal about the season or their college experience for these guys. They were back before Christmas but the semester doesn't begin until January 20. No fans at the game, and no fellow students around at all for a long period. Constant virus concerns, etc. Maybe they really aren't gung ho about playing basketball? At the minimum, they don't seem to have developed leadership within the team.

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