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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC

    MBB: Duke @ Georgia Tech (Tues Mar 2, 8:00pm ACCN) Pregame and Ingame Thread

    Big week this week. It starts tomorrow with a must-win (for at-large purposes) against Georgia Tech. Discuss.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC

    Scouting Report

    Taken from my post from our home game Tech is not deep, but they are VERY experienced. They play 7, of which 6 are juniors or seniors and the other is a sophomore. They have virtually no size, and really they ride their starters as long as possible. Of note, they could be a fantastic team next year if their seniors decide to return.

    Defensively, Pastner uses a lot of junk defense. Most notably he goes 1-3-1 a decent amount. That leads to turnovers (they force a lot of them), but it also leads to a high shooting percentage. Basically, aside from forcing TOs, they do nothing well defensively other than not foul. Unfortunately, that plays to two of our big weaknesses offensively. In aggregate, they are a decent but not great defensive team.

    On offense, they are fairly perimeter-oriented, albeit with one post scorer. They handle the ball extremely well, and shoot it really well. They play a pretty slow pace, and work to get good shots. It is a VERY good offensive team.

    Centers: Moses Wright (6’9”, 235lb senior from Raleigh) is the center. Wright has really improved in his 4 years. He now has shooting range legitimately to 3pt range. He doesn’t create his own shot much. In the post, his go-to is a jump hook. Everything else is a catch-and-shoot/finish. Defensively, he is rangy and athletic. They ask him to play 35+ mpg, so he works hard to stay out of foul trouble. If he is out, Rodney Howard (6’10”, 240lb soph) or Saba Gigiberia (7’1”, 250lb frosh from Georgia - the country) are emergency options. But neither is good.

    Forwards: Jordan Usher (6’7”, 215lb senior) is the starting forward. He is a high-energy player with good strength and athleticism who has expanded his range to the 3pt line. In a pinch, he can even play a de facto center. Like Wright, Usher is a rangy and athletic defender who picks up steals and some blocks. He is sort of the player we want Wendell Moore to be. ln a pinch, Khalid Moore (6’7”, 200lb junior) will slide up from the wing to forward. Moore is built like Cam Reddish, and he is a versatile defender. Offensively, he is limited by poor shooting touch and limited handle. So he tends to be more of an energy guy than anything else. Nobody else is relevant at forward.

    Wings: Moore is the starter, but if Tech goes to its bench they go pretty small. Bubba Parham (5’10”, 160lb senior transfer from VMI) is the first wing off the bench. Parham is super quick but really small. He is a bit like a smaller, quicker version of DJ Steward. More of a volume scorer than a shooter, but he is quite capable of making 3s and is not shy about taking them. He also rebounds surprisingly decent for his size. Parham was a starter for much of the year before ceding his spot to Moore the last few weeks. Now, he plays about 15 mpg. Next is Kyle Sturdivant (6’2”, 195lb soph transfer from USC). Sturdivant is a combo guard with decent FT touch who hasn’t quite found his sea legs at the major college level. He plays 8-12 mpg as minutes filler for the starters.

    Guards: The engine of the team is their two-headed PG combo. Jose Alvarado (6’0”, 180lb senior) is the captain and team leader. He is a bit of a cross between Carlik Jones and sophomore Tre Jones. An NYC PG, he has an incredible feel for the game and undying confidence. He is also extremely tough, and can get under opponents’ skin. But along with a high bball IQ, he has developed into a great shooter with an outside shot at the 50/40/90 club. He is a steals machine on defense. The dude can ball. Not to be totally outdone is Michael DeVoe (6’5”, 195lb junior). DeVoe is kind of like Tech’s version of David Johnson from Louisville. A terrific ballhandler and passer with size who can also rebound and score from inside or out. These two guys are really really good and will give any team fits.

    We played a fantastic defensive game against them in Cameron. Hopefully the team comes back from the Saturday loss focused and ready to give it their all for a win.

  3. #3
    Of all the must-win games Duke has had to play over the past month or so, this is the most must-win to date.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Skinker-DeBaliviere, Saint Louis
    I expect Tech to be motivated as hell.

    https://www.ajc.com/sports/georgia-t...outputType=amp
       

  5. #5
    Must win for Duke. Can they bounce back from the loss against Louisville? Any extra motivation after the comments from Moses Wright?

    Game preview:

    https://bluedevilstop.com/duke-at-ge...-game-preview/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    One thing I left out is that this Tech team is probably in reasonably good shape tourney wise. They have beaten FSU, UNC, and Clemson at home, and they just beat Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. That is a nice resume of scalps against tourney teams. They almost took down UVa in Charlottesville and Clemson in Clemson. At 13-8 and 9-6, they are where we'd hoped to be heading into this game had we won against Louisville.

    That said, this is their last regular season opportunity to hammer home their resume. Their finale is at Wake Forest, which is hardly a game of value. Then, there is the ACC tournament. But on senior night for a team of seniors and against Duke, this is a big game for them.

    It's going to be a tough matchup. I'm excited about Mark Williams' emergence as this seems a good fit for him given that Moses Wright isn't a dynamic big (he's good at set shots and jump hooks, but isn't going to punish you in space off the dribble. So hopefully Williams has a good day and can contest shots from their littles.

    And hopefully the 3 ball is falling and we DO NOT turn it over excessively. If we can avoid turnovers and avoid a brutal shooting night, we should score well against Tech.

    It's a very winnable game, but it certainly won't be easy. The pressure is now fully on though, as we can't afford any more slipups from here.

  7. #7
    Get ready. This is the one that will probably mean more in deciding if we have a decent shot at the dance. I don’t know if they have heard that bragging comment from Wright or if it will make a difference. But I do believe and expect our Bluedevils will bring the fight to the jackets. If we are shooting the ball well and can keep Matt out of foul trouble, I lIke our chances. GO DUKE!
       

  8. #8
    Surprised how quiet the board is on this one considering its game day and this game has massive importance.
    ESPN has Tech as 2pt favorites. Feels about right. The first game was super close and Johnson had 18 points and 6 boards that need to be replaced. Duke out RB them last time by 15 and made 14 more FTs, that has not been the norm for this Duke team. Hope its due to the matchups and can be replicated not an outlier that comes crashing back.

    A hallmark of any young team is inconstancy and road struggles. Added to that, sounds like some GT fans will be in house, leads me to be very nervous.
    Hopefully Hurt has fresh legs and keeps his hands to himself. Williams and the guards have to play big in this one.
    Could Duke win this with a strong start, some early buckets giving confidence and improved rebounding? Yep, could guards shrink from contact and get sped up by the older home team? Yep

    K has been tinkering with lineups all year and they’ve worked often but hindsight says they missed some too as he searched for mid season answers. Hope we find the lineup with hot hands who can play strong D and protect the ball. Sounds like a game for the “good” Wendell. Fingers crossed. With this being the return trip against an older team, feels less an x and o game and more an execution and play within the team structure game. Strong start and build confidence.
    The ceiling is the roof

  9. #9
    Keys to the game based on CDu's scouting report: 1) take care of the ball!, 2) stay out of foul trouble, 3) stay in front of their guards (Alvarado). I hope/expect Mark to have a strong game, which will allow our other guys to limit open perimeter shots. This game is winnable, but we've got to play strong and smart, which we have been the last 5 games; hoping we revert to mean shooting-wise from the UL game.

  10. #10
    Expectations for this game very low:

    Our young team, coming off a tough, physical overtime loss in their last home game of the season; possibly looking ahead to our light blue rival on Saturday; playing an experienced, physical Tech team in their senior's last home game and knowing our next loss is the 10th loss and probably ends thoughts of post ACC Tournament play. Not a good look.

    Prove me wrong, guys.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by MrPoon View Post
    K has been tinkering with lineups all year and they’ve worked often but hindsight says they missed some too as he searched for mid season answers. Hope we find the lineup with hot hands who can play strong D and protect the ball. Sounds like a game for the “good” Wendell. Fingers crossed. With this being the return trip against an older team, feels less an x and o game and more an execution and play within the team structure game. Strong start and build confidence.
    Wendell's play of late has indeed been good, though i do take issue withe front page's use "great" to describe his play. Wendell has cut down on the truly atrocious type of turnovers, but he still has a head-scratcher or 2 per game, ones fans can tell will happen before they do because they are so telegraphed. He is still an over-eager and poor 3pt shooter. I would be willing to move Wendell into the "better than good but not great" category if the team simply abandoned the Wendell-as-playmaker role. He is simply not good withe ball in his hands if he's doing anything other than in transition, receiving the ball moving to the basket, or getting an offensive rebound for a put back or kick-out. He is a below-average catch-and-shoot guy, but that is a tolerable outcome if he's wide open. If he gets it out on the 3pt line 1 of 4 things will happen: 1) he'll drive and turn the ball over or take a horribly ill-advised shot that has no hope of going in 2) he'll make a degree-of-difficulty pass that is simply beyond his skill level for a turnover, 3) he'll dribble a hole into the hardwood without going anywhere and then make the simplest pass possible which avoids the turnover but wastes time off the shot clock and completely stalls the offense or 4) jack up a 3 for a miss after dribbling a hole in the ground. Wendell does make positive contributions to the team on defense, and opportunistically on offense. His positive contributions go up in direct proportion to how much he limits the 4 aforementioned outcomes. I hope that we see the "good Wendell" tonight, and if he commits none of those 4 gaffes then that would probably be "peak Wendell", which would be a huge benefit to the team.

    Aside from Wendell, i really hope that our 3 guards learned something actionable from their atrocious performance vs Carlik Jones and his merry band of Blue Devil Befuddlers. Jones and Alvarado are somewhat different players but their toughness, experience, and ability to get it done despite limitations are very similar. Our guards have shown very little competence against such players, but if they can combine for a mediocre game (rather than gawd awful heinous) then that will reduce the pressure on Matt, Mark, and/or Wendell to provide stellar games. This is a real chance for MMW + Jaemyn and/or HC3 to take advantage of GT's lack of quality bigs beyond Wright. Hopefully K comes up with a defensive scheme that limits Alvarado's penetration and limits Hurt's exposure to foul trouble.

  12. #12
    GT is playing very good basketball right now and will be seeking revenge at home. We need to play one of our best games of the year to walk out with a W.
       

  13. #13
    I expect the guards and Duke in general to play well tonight. Sometimes that isn't enough though, when playing a good team on fire at home. Gonna be a tight one, methinks.
       

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by DukieInBrasil View Post
    Wendell has cut down on the truly atrocious type of turnovers, but he still has a head-scratcher or 2 per game, ones fans can tell will happen before they do because they are so telegraphed. * * * He is simply not good withe ball in his hands if he's doing anything other than in transition, receiving the ball moving to the basket, or getting an offensive rebound for a put back or kick-out. * * * If he gets it out on the 3pt line 1 of 4 things will happen: 1) he'll drive and turn the ball over or take a horribly ill-advised shot that has no hope of going in 2) he'll make a degree-of-difficulty pass that is simply beyond his skill level for a turnover * * *
    After our first two games, Wendell Moore has committed two or fewer turnovers in 15 of 18 games. On a per possession basis, he turns the ball over much less than Jordan Goldwire or Jeremy Roach.

    Even if he does commit a "head-scratcher or 2 per game," since he averages fewer than 2 topg, that means he basically doesn't turn it over at all beyond those one or two mistakes. And yet a lot of people on this board talk a great deal about how Wendell turns the ball over "every time" he does x or y. It simply isn't true.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cabbagetown, Atlanta, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by robed deity View Post
    I expect the guards and Duke in general to play well tonight. Sometimes that isn't enough though, when playing a good team on fire at home. Gonna be a tight one, methinks.
    Nah, I think we come out like gangbusters and buzz these guys.

    Seriously, our guards have got to be fired up for this one. If they take care of this air guitar playing fool, it puts Jones in the rearview mirror a bit.
    Hard at work making beautiful things.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    North of Durham
    Rece Davis and Jon Crispin are the announcers, so we've got that going for us - no Corey Alexander.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    near the Thrillerdome in ATL

    Tech

    Moses Wright was ACC player of the week last week averaging 28.5 points and 13 rebounds against "Cuse (home) and Va Tech(away) both wins for Tech

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mount Kisco, NY
    This season reminds me so much of 2006-7, the post JJ/Shelden year when the eventual 2010 champs were freshmen. We took more lumps that year than we were used to, and the second half of the year was a series of winning and losing streaks. After our recent 4 game winning streak, I hope we can break this losing streak at 1.

    I remember being happy we won the first match-up to snap our losing streak, but I remember being a bit sobered by Coach Pastner's post game comments:

    “It was our worst first half of basketball since we played versus Georgia State and Mercer early in the year. I don’t know why we played like that. I don’t have an explanation. We had bad shots and bad shot selection. I thought we played selfish. Our cutting was very slow. We didn’t play with our go-to man as our open man and our open man wasn’t our go-to man. We just played selfishly in that first half unfortunately and had too many turnovers."

    It's amazing how every year at Duke, it feels like every game is a must win. But, this year, especially lately, they are all must wins. The interesting part is that every team we've been playing are also on the bubble and fighting for their postseason lives. It adds a ton of juice.

    -The guards need to bounce back with a good showing. We can't let Alvarado carve us up the way he did last time, and the way Carlik Jones did last game.
    -Per the above, we need a bounce back game from 3, especially from our guards assuming Hurt has his usual good game from out there
    -Let's improve on the rebounding, FT rate and turnover rate, weaknesses of last game per Kedsy's stats

    Finally, for those who don't get the ACC Network...can't you just stream the game on the ACC website, or is that blacked out? I ask because that's how I watch them.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    After our first two games, Wendell Moore has committed two or fewer turnovers in 15 of 18 games. On a per possession basis, he turns the ball over much less than Jordan Goldwire or Jeremy Roach.

    Even if he does commit a "head-scratcher or 2 per game," since he averages fewer than 2 topg, that means he basically doesn't turn it over at all beyond those one or two mistakes. And yet a lot of people on this board talk a great deal about how Wendell turns the ball over "every time" he does x or y. It simply isn't true.
    you also conveniently left out the other 2 options i brought up, which don't lead to turnovers, but still warrant him not being used as a ballhandler on offense. The most common outcome is #3, where he dribbles the paint off the floor and stalls the offense. He has cut down on #4 quite a bit as well. Perhaps i put them in the wrong order if the order implies prevalence. In my view, 2 turns per game from Wendell is too many, because he simply shouldn't have the ball in his hands outside of certain situations. If your view is that Wendell should be used to dribble time off the clock to prevent someone else from turning it over then i guess that's something.
    Despite his limitations as a ball-handler his play has improved quite a bit over the course of the season, and even more so in recent games. I would even venture to say that our recent 4-game winning streak was in some part due to Wendell's improved play. Even in the loss to L'ville, his FTs down the stretch were clutch, and he was a key factor to Duke not losing in regulation.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by DukieInBrasil View Post
    you also conveniently left out the other 2 options i brought up, which don't lead to turnovers, but still warrant him not being used as a ballhandler on offense. The most common outcome is #3, where he dribbles the paint off the floor and stalls the offense. He has cut down on #4 quite a bit as well. Perhaps i put them in the wrong order if the order implies prevalence. In my view, 2 turns per game from Wendell is too many, because he simply shouldn't have the ball in his hands outside of certain situations. If your view is that Wendell should be used to dribble time off the clock to prevent someone else from turning it over then i guess that's something.
    My post wasn't necessarily aimed at you in particular. There are a lot of people on this board who talk incessantly about Wendell turning the ball over too much and say he should never handle the ball. My view is that, yes, he is better when he receives the ball while he's moving toward the basket, or in a catch-and-shoot scenario, than when he initiates a play off the dribble, but when it comes to handling the ball generally he isn't really much different from our other guards.

    All four of our guards either immediately make a move toward the basket or dribble too much then pass around the perimeter. It's not just Wendell. All four of them turn the ball over on passes that were probably too difficult to attempt or on passes that should have been safe and easy but for some reason weren't. That's not just Wendell, either, and based on their respective turnover percentages, Wendell does all those things less than both Jordan and Jeremy, and about the same as DJ. But nobody picks on the other three guys for doing the same things Wendell does, that's all I'm saying.

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