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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Cambridge, MA
    Quote Originally Posted by UrinalCake View Post
    I thought about this some more, and being 8-3 might actually make me feel WORSE about this team. Because right now I can at least blame some of our poor play on lack of game experience. Had we actually had three more games against easy opponents to develop and then still had the same losses, then I don't think I would see as much room for improvement as I currently do.

    EDIT: basically what DukieTiger said
    Good point. According to T-Rank, Duke has played like a borderline Top 100 team so far in it's 4 ACC games. If Duke had done that with 7 games under its belt instead of 4, I would be more concerned. The most encouraging things Duke has going for it right now are a) Coach K's track record and b) the number of games Duke has played is probably too small to draw a conclusion. This is especially true if you dismiss the Illinois and Michigan State games as a young team trying to play a style (five out) for which they are poorly suited.

    On the other hand, if Duke's games vs FSU and Pitt hadn't been postponed/cancelled -and Duke played like it has, on average, so far this season- it is entirely possible that Duke could be 8-5 right now with an 0-5 record vs KenPom Top 75 teams . That would definitely make me feel worse about Duke's prospects.

    If Duke is a Top 25 or Top 40 caliber team, they are going to have to start playing like it at some point (beyond the ND game). Tonight would be an excellent time to start.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by House P View Post
    Good point. According to T-Rank, Duke has played like a borderline Top 100 team so far in it's 4 ACC games. If Duke had done that with 7 games under its belt instead of 4, I would be more concerned. The most encouraging things Duke has going for it right now are a) Coach K's track record and b) the number of games Duke has played is probably too small to draw a conclusion. This is especially true if you dismiss the Illinois and Michigan State games as a young team trying to play a style (five out) for which they are poorly suited.

    On the other hand, if Duke's games vs FSU and Pitt hadn't been postponed/cancelled -and Duke played like it has, on average, so far this season- it is entirely possible that Duke could be 8-5 right now with an 0-5 record vs KenPom Top 75 teams . That would definitely make me feel worse about Duke's prospects.

    If Duke is a Top 25 or Top 40 caliber team, they are going to have to start playing like it at some point (beyond the ND game). Tonight would be an excellent time to start.
    I agree. The key is going to be Jalen. If he's one of the top rated players like most projected him to be, the team might get on a roll. I mentioned above that we don't have an Ingram, Tatum, etc. type player this season. I might be wrong, Jalen might be that type player. Had he not been injured, we would have a pretty good idea of how good he's going to be. Let's hope he plays well tonight and leads Duke to a win.

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by kshepinthehouse View Post
    Iíd feel the same as they arenít passing the eye test for me.
    Agree 100 percent.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    It's possible Duke's "struggles" are due to a lack of pre-season work (summer, practices, exhibition games). But when it comes to missing regular season games, I don't buy it. For example, for the first three games, every year we have the same number of "tune up games." This season, however, we've performed decidedly worse in those games than in recent previous years.

    Below is a table of the last 10 seasons. The first column is our "unadjusted" average margin of victory in our first three games (adjusted only for home/away/neutral). The second column is our average "adjusted" margin, using Pomeroy's end-of-season ratings (latest ratings in the case of 2021). For both unadjusted and adjusted, I assumed a 4.5 point home advantage in previous seasons and a 1.5 home advantage this season (0 point advantage at neutral sites). Each sample includes two home games against "lesser" non-conference competition, and one game on a neutral court* against a "top shelf" opponent.

    * (except this season against Michigan State, which was at home)

    Code:
    Year	unadj	adj 
    2015	42.00	37.58
    2019	30.33	35.38
    2020	28.00	35.27
    2017	25.00	27.93
    2018	21.00	27.52
    2012	14.67	25.07
    2014	17.67	23.13
    2013	14.67	18.73
    2016	14.00	14.37
    2021	7.17	5.49
    As you can see, this year's team was significantly worse than any of the previous year's teams (in fact, it's significantly worse than any Duke team since Pomeroy's ratings were invented). As I said, some of that difference may be due to a lack of pre-season work, but I expect a lot (most?) of the difference is due to this year's model simply not being as good a team as previous Duke teams.
    Minor quibble, but don't we also usually have some more matchups against teams that don't even qualify for the schedule? Like a couple of games against D-2 or D-3 competition? We didn't even have those this year.

    To be clear, I definitely think this team is not as good as many of our previous teams. But I think you might also be underselling the degree to which the pandemic has affected the team's development to this point.

    As to the original question, I'd feel no better about the team if they were 8-3 with 3 more wins over patsies than I am with 5-3 start. As others have noted, we have no real quality wins and we have looked really bad in two of the 3 losses, both of which were at home. Once/if we start beating decent teams, then I'll feel better about the team. Until/unless that happens, I'd feel the same regardless of those 3 somewhat meaningless wins that we are missing.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by TywinBlue View Post
    Agree 100 percent.
    This team does not yet look polished. Outside of a few minutes here or there, we don't have anything that we seem to excel at.

    I agree that the inconsistency of this season has likely been tough on our young team. Practice is a different animal than game reps, especially for a squad that skews younger.

    I don't think we're doomed this season per se, but we definitely have a big hill to climb in the next six weeks to look like we can compete.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Minor quibble, but don't we also usually have some more matchups against teams that don't even qualify for the schedule? Like a couple of games against D-2 or D-3 competition? We didn't even have those this year.

    To be clear, I definitely think this team is not as good as many of our previous teams. But I think you might also be underselling the degree to which the pandemic has affected the team's development to this point.

    As to the original question, I'd feel no better about the team if they were 8-3 with 3 more wins over patsies than I am with 5-3 start. As others have noted, we have no real quality wins and we have looked really bad in two of the 3 losses, both of which were at home. Once/if we start beating decent teams, then I'll feel better about the team. Until/unless that happens, I'd feel the same regardless of those 3 somewhat meaningless wins that we are missing.
    This isn't solely directed at CDu, but CDu has touched on points made by others, and I know this defies the rules laid out by the OP, but: i also believe those preseason games would have helped a lot in terms of team identity and for the coaches to figure out what is/isn't working. With those games, it is possible that K would have abandoned the 5-out offense sooner, which may have either altered the outcome or at least reduced the margin of our 3 losses. I'm not trying to say that those 2 exhibition games would have put this team on the path to being 8-0 right now (or 11-0 per the OP's design), but extra games to figure out how this team actually functions as a unit could only help its performance, which would probably change how we as fans perceive the team.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Minor quibble, but don't we also usually have some more matchups against teams that don't even qualify for the schedule? Like a couple of games against D-2 or D-3 competition? We didn't even have those this year.

    To be clear, I definitely think this team is not as good as many of our previous teams. But I think you might also be underselling the degree to which the pandemic has affected the team's development to this point.
    Yeah, I mentioned the exhibitions in my earlier post and lumped them in as part of the pre-season, and I agreed it's possible the lack of a robust pre-season hindered the team's early development. I doubt an additional three cupcake games in December would have fixed that possible issue significantly.

    Put another way, the other teams in my table were able to play at a much higher level than this year's team after two exhibitions. This team has already played eight games and I think the time for excuses might be over.

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