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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mo.st.dukie View Post
    We were downright bad in the early part of the season when we didn't even look like a real basketball team. Once ACC play got going in earnest we started to look a lot better and were in every game but made big mistakes in the clutch which can be improved with experience.
    Unfortunately, a season has a finite amount of time. Gotta make the most out of the whole season.
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    This is where I disagree. We were preseason #9 with a very good recruiting class. A lot of things didn't "bounce" our way last year, including the ball (the Johnson experiment, Moore's awful start and lack of a sophomore leap, cancellation of non-conference games, Coach K quarantining for a bit, very poor team defense, etc etc etc).

    My issue with the 20-21 season isn't that we weren't good; it's that we were downright bad compared to expectations.
    I also think you're underestimating how much of an effect COVID had on Duke this year (and other young teams). It was kind of a cliche the media threw around, but I really do think it was an awful year to be young, especially in the backcourt. Kentucky was horrendous this year, but even they started playing better as the year went on.

    I expect next year to be more "normal" and I realize you never know until you see them in college games, but I'm way more optimistic about Banchero than I ever was about Johnson.

  3. #23
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    Feb 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    Unfortunately, a season has a finite amount of time. Gotta make the most out of the whole season.
    Sure, but as it relates to next season, our performance back in November/December doesn't mean much.

    Guys like Moore and Williams were totally different players in February/March than November/December. That's a big part (especially Williams) of the general view of next year's team, along with the expectations for Banchero and Griffin.

    Not to mention that we should have a bit more of a normal offseason, which is critical for a young team. We lacked that this year, and compounded it with the Johnson injury and return, which further impeded development. Those two things are not likely to be hindering next year's group. I'd expect a more normal freshman season for our freshman next year than we saw this year.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Sure, but as it relates to next season, our performance back in November/December doesn't mean much.

    Guys like Moore and Williams were totally different players in February/March than November/December. That's a big part (especially Williams) of the general view of next year's team, along with the expectations for Banchero and Griffin.

    Not to mention that we should have a bit more of a normal offseason, which is critical for a young team. We lacked that this year, and compounded it with the Johnson injury and return, which further impeded development. Those two things are not likely to be hindering next year's group. I'd expect a more normal freshman season for our freshman next year than we saw this year.
    You and I are arguing different things right now
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  5. #25
    Cant be overstated how big of an impact Mark Williams' decision will have on the preseason ranking, and more importantly, the season-long performance of the team. With Williams' the ceiling is elevated tremendously. Without him, Duke could be in real trouble at Center.

  6. #26
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    Where does Lunardi have us seeded?

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    Where does Lunardi have us seeded?
    provocateur!

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by mo.st.dukie View Post
    We were downright bad in the early part of the season when we didn't even look like a real basketball team. Once ACC play got going in earnest we started to look a lot better and were in every game but made big mistakes in the clutch which can be improved with experience.
    We were in every game once ACC play got going?
    The last regular season game at Cheat U?? Not sure Id really count VaT game either. Also losing at Miami with their best player out a horrible game.

    Anyway, Ill feel great if we manage to finish Top 20 next year.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    First, that isn't a "way too early". That's the opening of the season. The "way too early" were back in March/April 2020.

    That said, #16 was their top end (ESPN). Others had them outside the top-20 (SI for example, had them at 21). Nobody had them top-15, and most certainly not top-10.
    Calm down...I was just merely pointing out the preseason AP polls. (Which is the poll most unanimously recognized.) They also had us obviously ranked way wrong, way too early or not.
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by arnie View Post
    We were in every game once ACC play got going?
    The last regular season game at Cheat U?? Not sure Id really count VaT game either. Also losing at Miami with their best player out a horrible game.

    Anyway, Ill feel great if we manage to finish Top 20 next year.
    I'd like to think that next year's team will bear little resemblance, overall, to this year's team, maybe that's just wishful thinking. We were a much better team once Mark Williams found himself...a year experience for some young guys and a major influx of talent has me a bit more optimistic than top 20, though more defections would not be helpful.

  11. #31
    scottdude8's Avatar
    scottdude8 is offline Contributor, Zoubek disciple, and resident Wolverine
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    I'm surprised that so many think a pre-season Top 10 ranking is unreasonable for next year's squad. I know that we're still down/disappointed about how this season ended. But let's put that aside: Duke will likely have a Top 2 or 3 recruiting class when all is said and done, with more 5* (i.e. immediate impact) players than any other class. Traditionally, that level of incoming talent to an established program is indicative of a Top 25 team at minimum. Add to that that Duke will likely return more to the program than it typically has in the OAD era, including a junior leader/glue-guy in Wendell and a potential sophomore breakout in Mark, and that's the resume of a preseason Top 10 team. Yes PG and depth are currently question marks, but every team has question marks right now, that's why it's "way too early".

    I think that the nerves many on this board are feeling about one position, PG, are coloring the entirety of their projection for next season. That is a question mark. But it is also a luxury to have an experienced sophomore at that position, who lest we forget does have a 5* pedigree. Personally, I think we're a pre-season Top 10 team unless something unexpected happens, and potentially a pre-season Top 5 team if we get a boost from the portal or if Hurt returns. There is reason for optimism next year, and it's OK to embrace it!!!
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  12. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    We were two or three buckets over the course of the season from a 15-9 record and a comfortable tourney appearance. Like I said, I think folks are way overweighting a few bad bounces this year.
    Sure, that's true. We were also two or three buckets away from losing to BC and UVA and having a 9-13 regular season, 7-11 ACC record.

    We sucked this year. That's fine, it happens. We probably have one of the best "worst years" of any program in the country. And I do think the meme about young teams being more impacted by COVID is real, which unfairly hurt us. But we don't need to spin it into thinking we were good.

  13. #33
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    FWIW, 247 Sports has, at this point, Duke #3 for next year. Seems a bit optimistic, but hardly wildly so, as long as Williams returns.

  14. #34
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    Lots of Williams talk...

    I have a question: would you rather have Williams or Hurt come back next year? I am making the assumption that neither Williams, Hurt, nor Banchero wants to come off the bench and none of the three can play the 3.

    Frontcourt of Hurt/Banchero would have some serious firepower and allow Coach K to play his preferred stretch 4. Frontcourt of Banchero/Williams would arguably be one of the bench rebounding teams in the country and a great balance between offense/defense.

    Not sure which one I'd pick, but Hurt's defense (or lack thereof) scares me.
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  15. #35
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    ^ I'd like to think that Hurt will/would be more replaceable than Williams...

  16. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    I have a question: would you rather have Williams or Hurt come back next year? I am making the assumption that neither Williams, Hurt, nor Banchero wants to come off the bench and none of the three can play the 3.

    Frontcourt of Hurt/Banchero would have some serious firepower and allow Coach K to play his preferred stretch 4. Frontcourt of Banchero/Williams would arguably be one of the bench rebounding teams in the country and a great balance between offense/defense.

    Not sure which one I'd pick, but Hurt's defense (or lack thereof) scares me.
    I'd choose Williams over Hurt, and I don't think it's close. Personally, if I had all three of Banchero, Williams, and Hurt on my roster, Hurt would be coming off the bench. His lack of defense (without a lot of prospects for improvement) is too much of a liability.

  17. #37
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    Feb 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wander View Post
    Sure, that's true. We were also two or three buckets away from losing to BC and UVA and having a 9-13 regular season, 7-11 ACC record.
    We were 2-6 in close games this year. That's why I said what I said. If we're 4-4 in those games as "should" be expected on average, people have a very different impression of this team.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wander View Post
    We sucked this year. That's fine, it happens. We probably have one of the best "worst years" of any program in the country.
    We didn't suck this year. Yes, we were clearly not a top-10 team like we usually are, but I think it's an incredibly entitled viewpoint to say that we "sucked" this year. I'm sure you are just being loose with the terminology here, but plenty of others have said this so I couldn't let it slide. We weren't a bad team this year. We were not as good as Duke typically is, but we weren't that bad. And had we had average luck in close games, we're comfortably a tourney team.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wander View Post
    And I do think the meme about young teams being more impacted by COVID is real, which unfairly hurt us.
    Totally agree here.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    I'm by no means saying we'll definitely finish top-3. But I think the general average of around 8-10 feels about right for a starting point. It could end up worse, and it could end up better. And I most certainly don't think that top-3 is out of the question. If Banchero and Griffin are as good as advertised, I think that's very much in the realm of possibility.
    4 of the 5 numbers were on the optimistic side of the average you think is reasonable. Why do you think that is?
    basketball is back, baby!

  19. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by arnie View Post
    We were in every game once ACC play got going?
    The last regular season game at Cheat U?? Not sure I’d really count VaT game either. Also losing at Miami with their best player out a horrible game.

    Anyway, I’ll feel great if we manage to finish Top 20 next year.
    We all know what happened the last game. The 2nd half against VA Tech was pretty much entirely played within a 1-7 point margin and same against Miami. I don't care who they were missing, road games in the ACC are brutal and we've had some great teams get beat badly at both Miami and Virginia Tech. The fact is, that we were in every game once ACC play got going, that is true other than the very last game.

    It's amazing how people's perspective of the team and the potential of the players if we had won a few more games by 2 or 3 points instead of losing those games by 2 or 3 points.
    Last edited by mo.st.dukie; 04-06-2021 at 01:10 PM.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    I have a question: would you rather have Williams or Hurt come back next year? I am making the assumption that neither Williams, Hurt, nor Banchero wants to come off the bench and none of the three can play the 3.

    Frontcourt of Hurt/Banchero would have some serious firepower and allow Coach K to play his preferred stretch 4. Frontcourt of Banchero/Williams would arguably be one of the bench rebounding teams in the country and a great balance between offense/defense.

    Not sure which one I'd pick, but Hurt's defense (or lack thereof) scares me.
    Williams. In part because if both were back next year, I wouldn't 100% rule out Williams being the better player. Yes, I realize that this sounds crazy given that Hurt was a 1st Team All-ACC player. But Williams' development over the course of the season was amazing. Over the last 10 games of the season, he averaged 13.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks, shooting 70% from the field. Over the last 6 (following the UVa game) it was 16.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.7 blocks. Comparatively, I wonder if Hurt has approached his ceiling. He isn't going to suddenly get longer or quicker defensively, and he isn't going to get more explosive offensively. And I'm not sure how much better he can get as a pure shooter. Sure, he'd obviously get better just by getting a year older and stronger. Conversely, I think there's still more room for Williams to grow physically and as a player, and he'll have a more normal offseason to do it.

    Don't get me wrong; I'd absolutely say that Hurt would be much more likely to be more talented than Williams next year. I just don't think it's 100% certain to be the case.

    But while Williams might or might not actually threaten Hurt in terms of realized talent next year, I think he's a better fit for what we need. Hurt and Banchero both are more perimeter oriented, offense-first players. While they aren't an exact match (Banchero is more skilled with the ball and more athletic while Hurt is a better shooter), they overlap a lot more than Banchero and Williams. And Williams adds a level of defensive potential that we just don't have with Hurt.

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