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  1. #41

    I think Duke will have struggles again this year

    I think Duke will have struggles again this year because the bench is thin and the team is inexperienced. I was hoping Scheyer might look to add some lower ranked players who might stay a few years i. his first class. Championship teams (like Baylor last year) are almost always led by upperclassmen. Duke's last title team had talented freshmen, but also a senior guard in Cook who was a big factor.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by arnie View Post
    Might want to add Trevon Duval to the recent list of highly recruited OADs that didnít perform to expectations. My point was expectations for OADs are extraordinarily high (IMO) and often the fit within the team and overall D is not so great. The JJ comparison to Grant Hill in the Chronicle article didnt age well either on several fronts.
    Duval wasn't in the same tier as Banchero. Banchero is a top-2 guy. Duval was in the next tier (he was 5th in his class). And Duval was still pretty darn good. But that next tier offers a bit more risk, at least as freshmen. Guys like Tre Jones (for example) wasn't uber-elite as a freshman either. It's the top-3 where we've not really missed in the era of the one-and-dones. The only miss was Reddish, and some of that was perhaps a function of being pushed out of his preferred role by Barrett and Williamson. But other than that, it's Irving, Rivers, Parker, Okafor, Tatum, Bagley, and Barrett. That's a phenomenal hit rate. If you expand to the next tier (#4-8ish), you add Carey, Williamson, Tatum, Ingram, Carter, and Tyus Jones, with just the one additional sort-of miss with Duval.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxAMillion View Post
    [Duke] is inexperienced. Championship teams (like Baylor last year) are almost always led by upperclassmen. Duke's last title team had talented freshmen, but also a senior guard in Cook who was a big factor.
    So you don't think Wendell Moore, a guy who figures to be perhaps the 2nd best player on this year's team, is experienced? Between Moore, Baker, John, Roach, and Williams Duke has 5 guys who have played extensively against top tier competition. I didn't even include 5th year senior Bates Jones because he was not at a major program, but he certainly played against the big boys while at Davidson. This is one of the most experienced Duke teams we have seen in a long time.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxAMillion View Post
    I was hoping Scheyer might look to add some lower ranked players who might stay a few years in his first class.
    Scheyer's first class will include some guys who figure to stay a few years. Jayden Schutt is almost certainly a multi-year player. When he was being recruited, Kyle Filipowski appeared to be a multi-year player (he has blown up since we offered him). We went pretty hard after JJ Starling. And we have no idea what Scheyer may do in the transfer portal.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxAMillion View Post
    I think Duke will have struggles again this year because the bench is thin .
    Lastly, while there are complaints and concerns that one can have about the Duke roster, depth sure doesn't appear to be one of them. Granted, the depth looks a little thinner with AJ Griffin out for the first few weeks of the season, but when he comes back Duke would seem to have a very strong 8 man rotation that has enough versatility to allow us to cover any position on the floor... and that's not even counting Blakes or Jones. After about 40 years of watching Coach K, I feel pretty good saying he ain't gonna play 9 or 10 guys on a consistent basis so if we have good depth to 8 then that is about as good as it gets at Duke.
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxAMillion View Post
    I think Duke will have struggles again this year because the bench is thin and the team is inexperienced. I was hoping Scheyer might look to add some lower ranked players who might stay a few years i. his first class. Championship teams (like Baylor last year) are almost always led by upperclassmen. Duke's last title team had talented freshmen, but also a senior guard in Cook who was a big factor.
    I don't think the bench is at all thin. We'll have a 5-star freshman wing, a 4-star senior wing, a grad student big man with 3 years of Power-6 starting experience, and a 4-star freshman guard. That's terrific depth.

    We also won't be that inexperienced. We will have one of our most experienced teams in the one-and-done era: a senior wing, a junior guard/wing, a grad student big man, and two sophomores. That's over 5000 career minutes from the five non-freshmen expected to play significant minutes. And we'll have a junior, a senior, and a grad student in the main rotation, with at least the junior having a major role.

    No, we aren't going to field a team of 7 juniors and seniors like (for example) Notre Dame will. But we'll have a lot more talent than Notre Dame.

  5. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Indoor66 View Post
    FIFY
    Somewhere Iíve got a picture of the TV screen showing a score of 82-50 with zero time remaining. I agree that UNC is never as bad a we want them to be, which is one reason that was such a monumental day. I remember being confident Duke would win the game and ruin whichever Heels had a senior night that night, but in my wildest dreams I didnít think Duke would just demolish UNC and Roy to such one-off levels.
    Carolina delenda est

  6. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Duval wasn't in the same tier as Banchero. Banchero is a top-2 guy. Duval was in the next tier (he was 5th in his class). And Duval was still pretty darn good. But that next tier offers a bit more risk, at least as freshmen. Guys like Tre Jones (for example) wasn't uber-elite as a freshman either. It's the top-3 where we've not really missed in the era of the one-and-dones. The only miss was Reddish, and some of that was perhaps a function of being pushed out of his preferred role by Barrett and Williamson. But other than that, it's Irving, Rivers, Parker, Okafor, Tatum, Bagley, and Barrett. That's a phenomenal hit rate. If you expand to the next tier (#4-8ish), you add Carey, Williamson, Tatum, Ingram, Carter, and Tyus Jones, with just the one additional sort-of miss with Duval.
    Ok, we differ a bit regarding expectations. The premise by the writers is that Duke will finish 1st in the ACC regular season (by default I guess). Interesting that not a single player you listed helped his team achieve that goal.

    Obviously, I wouldn’t trade the 2015 Championship for 1st place ACC finishes and the other runs in the ACC tourney and NCAAs were great. However, I maintain expectations for this year’s team are too high. Time will tell.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by arnie View Post
    Ok, we differ a bit regarding expectations. The premise by the writers is that Duke will finish 1st in the ACC regular season (by default I guess). Interesting that not a single player you listed helped his team achieve that goal.

    Obviously, I wouldnít trade the 2015 Championship for 1st place ACC finishes and the other runs in the ACC tourney and NCAAs were great. However, I maintain expectations for this yearís team are too high. Time will tell.
    We will see. Certainly injury luck had an impact on our ACC regular seasons, as did the fact that UVa was at the height of its powers at the time. In Okaforís season we were a 1 seed. Ditto Zionís season (in which injuries cost us the ACC regular season). In 2018 UVa was the top team in the nation, which kept us from the ACC title. We were right there in 2011-2013, but for another elite team in the conference ending up just barely ahead.

    Basically, when there has been another top-10 team in conference, we have come up short even with an elite freshman and good health. That was true even when we had superb experience like 2011, 2012, and 2013. But this year we donít have that other top-10 team to deal with. So while it is true that we havenít topped the ACC regular season since 2010, I donít see that as a reason why we wonít this year.

  8. #48
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    I beg to differ

    Quote Originally Posted by Indoor66 View Post
    FIFY
    Never forget 82-50. I felt at harmony with the universe during and immediately after that game, especially, when LD II fell on his keister when Nolan drove along the baseline.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    So you don't think Wendell Moore, a guy who figures to be perhaps the 2nd best player on this year's team, is experienced? Between Moore, Baker, John, Roach, and Williams Duke has 5 guys who have played extensively against top tier competition. I didn't even include 5th year senior Bates Jones because he was not at a major program, but he certainly played against the big boys while at Davidson. This is one of the most experienced Duke teams we have seen in a long time.





    Lastly, while there are complaints and concerns that one can have about the Duke roster, depth sure doesn't appear to be one of them. Granted, the depth looks a little thinner with AJ Griffin out for the first few weeks of the season, but when he comes back Duke would seem to have a very strong 8 man rotation that has enough versatility to allow us to cover any position on the floor... and that's not even counting Blakes or Jones. After about 40 years of watching Coach K, I feel pretty good saying he ain't gonna play 9 or 10 guys on a consistent basis so if we have good depth to 8 then that is about as good as it gets at Duke.
    I remember a really good season where the rally call was, "eight is enough". Yeh, I think we will have the depth needed to win this season. Of course baring injuries to said 8 players.

    GoDuke!

  10. #50

    Comparing ACC in-conference schedules

    I’m always interested in comparing the in-conference schedules of all the ACC teams. Generally this is an effort to get a rough sense of which teams with legit aspirations to make the NCAAT got lucky/unlucky with the unbalanced luck-of-the-draw in any particular season.

    So, here’s a first take, starting with this criterion: how many games do each of the preseason consensus top 8 teams play against the bottom 7? The consensus top 8 (not necessarily in this exact order) are: Duke, UNC, FSU, VT, ND, UVa, UL, Cuse. Thus, the consensus bottom 7 are: NCSt, Clemson, GT, Miami, Wake, BC, Pitt.

    The possible caveats are many, as all preseason takes are speculative. Things get mushy when trying to differentiate between, say, the 8th, 9th, and 10th teams. On this last point, for example, NCSt’s prospects are the “mushiest” for me, and I considered shifting the single criterion to “top 9 playing bottom 6,” with Pack as a legit NCAAT contender. So I did both, using the Pack as #9.

    First, “top 8/bottom 7,” here are the results. The more times a top 8 team plays the bottom 7, the “easier” its in-conference schedule, so a higher number is good here. Using this single criterion and “8/7” definition, Duke’s conference schedule is slightly toughest, ND’s is softest. The gap between Duke’s and ND’s stands out.

    Duke — 9
    UNC — 10
    FSU — 11
    VT — 11
    ND — 12
    UVa —10
    UL — 10
    Cuse — 11

    Then, “top 9/bottom 6” results. Again, higher number means easier slate. Here, Pack’s is toughest, ND’s and Cuse’s are softest.

    Duke — 8
    UNC — 8
    FSU — 9
    VT — 9
    ND — 10
    UVa — 9
    UL — 8
    Cuse — 10
    NCSt — 7

    An additional point, using a “home only” criterion, by which a top-8 team gets a break, an easier schedule, if it plays 3 (or more) opposing top-8 teams only at home. By this additional criterion, the Irish yet again seem to have clearly the easiest schedule, as they are the sole top-8 team that plays 4 other top-8 teams only at home (Duke, UNC, UVa, and Cuse). Other teams who get a home-only break, playing 3 top-8 teams only at home, are UNC, FSU, and VT.

    Yet another criterion: how many total games does a team play versus the top 8? A higher number here means a tougher schedule.

    Duke — 11
    UNC — 10
    FSU — 9
    VT — 9
    ND — 8
    UVa — 10
    UL — 10
    Cuse — 9
    NCSt - 13 (ugh)

    Conclusions: The unknowable — injuries, Covid issues, suspensions, whatever — aside, it looks as if Duke has a tough ACC slate. (Though, as several of you wags have wagged in seasons past, Duke doesn’t have to play Duke, so we’re gold.) Pack’s looks really daunting. Cuse gets some breaks. Most notably, by every criterion here discussed, ND has the most favorable conference schedule.

    I’m inclined to think ND, with veteran team and very favorable schedule, should be a not-surprising “surprise” team in the conference this season.

    I’ve probably missed other useful criteria. I’d be interested in others’ conference-schedule analyses, refuting or confirming my sense of the relative ease/difficulty of the schedules of Duke, NCSt, ND, Cuse, and 9F-em.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by gumbomoop View Post
    Iíve probably missed other useful criteria. Iíd be interested in othersí conference-schedule analyses, refuting or confirming my sense of the relative ease/difficulty of the schedules of Duke, NCSt, ND, Cuse, and 9F-em.
    I would include H/R split as an important factor.

    Also, it would be helpful to define how we decide "top-8" and "top-9". Bart Torvik, for example, has Clemson in the top-8 and neither State or UVa in the top-8 (UVa #9, State #10). KenPom has UVa #8, and then has Clemson #11 (behind State and Georgia Tech). So I'm not sure there is really consensus, other than perhaps the top-6 (Duke, FSU, UNC, Notre Dame, Louisville, Va Tech).

    I probably wouldn't look at it as top-X/bottom-Y, either, but rather in tiers. There is a clear bottom group (Wake, Pitt, BC). Miami might fall in that bottom group too, but it's hard to say at this point. There might be a middle tier (State and Clemson are in it). Then teams like Syracuse and UVa could be in that group or the upper group (remains to be seen), and Georgia Tech and Miami are either in that middle group or the bottom group.

    Just really hard to say at this point. But it's a combination of who you play and where you play them that matters, not just who you play.

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    So I'm not sure there is really consensus, other than perhaps the top-6 (Duke, FSU, UNC, Notre Dame, Louisville, Va Tech).
    This is where I would like to see the breakdown, top 6 vs bottom 9. And 3 tiers would be even better but as stated, differentiating between the middle tier and bottom tier is hard to do at this point.

  13. #53
    That's an excellent look at trying to quantify the expected schedule imbalance, thank you gumbomoop

    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    I would include H/R split as an important factor.
    Quote Originally Posted by nocilla View Post
    This is where I would like to see the breakdown, top 6 vs bottom 9. And 3 tiers would be even better but as stated, differentiating between the middle tier and bottom tier is hard to do at this point.
    Just saying, you all are free to do the analysis like gumbomoop did and incorporate those points.

  14. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    [1] I would include H/R split as an important factor.

    [2] I'm not sure there is really consensus, other than perhaps the top-6 (Duke, FSU, UNC, Notre Dame, Louisville, Va Tech).

    I probably wouldn't look at it as top-X/bottom-Y, either, but rather in tiers. [3] There is a clear bottom group (Wake, Pitt, BC).

    Just really hard to say at this point. [4] But it's a combination of who you play and where you play them that matters, not just who you play.
    I agree with your corrections or cautions, though itís probably hard to say at this point every year. Itís speculation, but not totally random, wild speculation.

    On [2], itís not quite a top-8 consensus, but pretty close. Beyond the consensus top-6, there is, as usual, a muddy middle. But as you note, Clemson and State are in the middle tier, whereas UVa and Cuse might be there, or they might be in the upper tier. Surely that suggests ó making good-faith, educated guesses ó that UVa and Cuse are close to joining a hypothetical top-8 consensus. Yes, tiers of top 6, middle 5-6, and bottom 3-4 probably make more sense, but that would require a complicated point-sysrem to suss out tough/easier schedules, which Iím not prepared to try.

    Except ... [1] The H/R is important, which is why I found significant NDís good fortune in playing 4 of my top-8 at home only. But, instead, we could consider only consensus top-6, and then look at their home-only opponents among their fellow top-6 plus muddy middle opponents (UVa, Cuse, Clemson, NCSt, GT). The result? Yet again, ND gets a break, as among top-6, theyíre the only team all 4 of whose home-only opponents come from top-6 plus muddy middle (and, Iíd argue, the top half of the muddy middle).

    Taking into account all 4 of your points that Iíve tag-quoted, we could look at the schedules of the consensus top-6 and apply these 2 criteria: (a) How many games does each top-6 team play against the other 5 top-6 teams, including H/R factor; and (b) How many games does each top-6 team play against the consensus bottom-3 teams, including H/R factor?

    Results for (a), for which the lower the total number, and the lower R number, the better ó

    Duke ó 7 (3H, 4R)
    UNC ó 8 (4H, 4R)
    FSU ó 6 (4H, 2R)
    VT ó 6 (3H, 3R)
    ND ó 6 (3H, 3R)
    UL ó 7 (3H, 4R)

    Here, then, FSU gets significant advantage, ND and VT do ok, Duke and UL a little disadvantage, UNC has it toughest.


    Results for (b), for which the higher the total number, and the lower the R number, the better ó

    Duke ó 4 (1H, 3R)
    UNC ó 4 (2H, 2R)
    FSU ó 4 (2H, 2R)
    VT ó 4 (2H, 2R)
    ND ó 5 (2H, 3R)
    UL ó 5 (3H, 2R)

    Here, UL gets break, ND a little break, too, Duke gets least help in playing the bottom-3.


    In sum, CDuís cautions and corrections lead to some further (though, I readily concede, hardly exhaustive) examination, some new criteria and results, some modified, educated-guess conclusions.

    Iíll revise to say that in addition to ND, FSU has a favorable conference schedule. Duke still doesnít get many favorable numbers.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truth&Justise View Post
    That's an excellent look at trying to quantify the expected schedule imbalance, thank you gumbomoop

    Just saying, you all are free to do the analysis like gumbomoop did and incorporate those points.
    Oh I have no interest in doing so. Gumbomoop specifically asked for suggestions, so I gave them.

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by gumbomoop View Post
    Iím inclined to think ND, with veteran team and very favorable schedule, should be a not-surprising ďsurpriseĒ team in the conference this season.
    I'm going on the record right now... Notre Dame and Va Tech will both finish in the top 4 in the ACC this season.
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by gumbomoop View Post
    I’ll revise to say that in addition to ND, FSU has a favorable conference schedule. Duke still doesn’t get many favorable numbers.
    In general, this is going to be true. Because Duke always plays UNC twice (as UNC plays Duke twice), while FSU's primary partners are Miami and Clemson, who are rarely if ever clearly in the top group. Notre Dame gets Syracuse and Pitt, so again they have an inherent edge.

    From there, it's mostly a rotation and luck of the draw, as the ACC cycles through groups of 4 home-and-homes over a 3-year period. And in the two years when a team twice, you rotate home and away. So it's as balanced as it can be given it takes multiple years and given that some teams have been linked with easier/harder "primary partners".

    So we always start with a slightly harder draw than most thanks to UNC. NC State gets similarly hosed. But this year especially due to a confluence of a bad partner (UNC twice every year), and this is their year to get FSU, Louisville, Notre Dame, and Virginia Tech as their partners. Brutal luck with Va Tech and Notre Dame randomly being good this year. But in the 2020 season they got two games against Georgia Tech, Miami, and Clemson; in 2021 they got doormats BC and Pitt twice to go along with UVa and Syracuse. So they were a bit lucky in the prior two years and quite unlucky this year.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    I'm going on the record right now... Notre Dame and Va Tech will both finish in the top 4 in the ACC this season.
    I agree on Notre Dame. They are deeper than usual and extraordinarily experienced, and they do catch a break in their schedule this year.

    I'm skeptical of Va Tech. They had a ridiculously easy schedule last year, missing their game at UNC, at UVa, and vs FSU and both games against Louisville. They very well could/should have lost all of those games, which would have put them at 10-9 (counting their cancelled BC game as a win) with a game at State as the main question.

    This year, they have to come to Duke (and hopefully won't catch a Duke team trying to restructure their rotation on the fly), they play UNC twice (zero times in the regular season last year), they have to play Louisville, they have to go to UVa, and they play at FSU. It's a MUCH tougher schedule than last year for them.

    So it feels like they are due for a letdown after being a huge surprise last year. And that's before we talk about the roster, which is potentially not quite as talented and also has absolutely no depth.

  19. #59
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    Iíve done a similar exercise in the past, but I split the conference into three groups rather than two. Usually thereís a reasonable grouping between top teams, middle teams, and bottom teams. Also the top teams usually have fewer games against other top teams simply because they represent one of the spots and they canít play themselves.

    At this point itís pretty much impossible to evaluate the schedule though. Maybe at the halfway mark of the conference season weíll start to see some separation.

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by UrinalCake View Post
    I’ve done a similar exercise in the past, but I split the conference into three groups rather than two. Usually there’s a reasonable grouping between top teams, middle teams, and bottom teams. Also the top teams usually have fewer games against other top teams simply because they represent one of the spots and they can’t play themselves.

    At this point it’s pretty much impossible to evaluate the schedule though. Maybe at the halfway mark of the conference season we’ll start to see some separation.
    I think we likely do have a tough schedule. We get FSU twice along with our usual UNC twice. Our other partners this year (UVa, Syracuse, and Clemson) are all middling teams, which means our only "easy" 2-game partner is Wake. And we get Louisville and Notre Dame away only. So, yeah, it's likely to end up a pretty tough schedule.

    The only break we caught was Va Tech at home only, but Va Tech might well be the worst of the teams on that list. We were a bit unlucky in that regard.

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