Page 1 of 20 12311 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 397
  1. #1

    MBB: Duke v. Gonzaga (Fri, Nov 26, 10:30 PM, ESPN) Pre-Game and In-Game Thread

    Duke's extended homestand against low major teams ends as the undefeated Blue Devils take a road trip to face its toughest tests of the young season. The first opponent is the marquee matchup of the non-conference season, the Gonzaga Bulldogs. In The Zags have emerged as one of the premier programs in the country, appearing in 6 straight Sweet 16s, including two National Title games. The best thing you could say about this Gonzaga team is that they are no longer playing for a marquee matchup. Like Duke, the Zags are playing for a National Title. This is a big matchup for both teams, but it is merely a test on the path towards New Orleans and the Caesars Superdome. The November test takes place in the home of Caesars, Las Vegas.

    This version of the Bulldogs is a mix of youth and experience. They are led by their dynamic frontcourt, headlines by 1st Team All-American Drew Timme. The 6'10" JR F/C from Richardson, Texas, put on a career-best showing against the Longhorns earlier this season, scoring 37 points against the overmatched Texas frontline. Timme has picked up right where he's left off last season, scoring efficiently off of sublime footwork and ball movement. He's very much a below-the-rim post player but uses his high IQ, body control, and understanding of angles to generate a ton of clean looks at the rim. He will step out and take the occasional jumper, but that aspect of his game has not a weapon. He's comfortable taking mid-range jumpers but the 3 ball is not there. It is one of the reasons he is still in college and not the pros. He is extremely comfortable rolling to the rim off the dribble or off the ball and flip the ball off the backcourt from some extreme angles or going over either shoulder. He's a load down there. On defense, it is another story. Timme is ground-bound and even with long arms is not much of a rim protector. In the National Title Game against Baylor, he was repeatedly exposed when Scott Drew made Timme defend guards after switching on ball screens. He's too slow to keep up with the guards when the floor is spaced out. That game alone might have cost Timme a draft guarantee. NBA teams do not trust him to defend in space.

    His frontcourt running mate this season is the highly touted freshman Chet Holmgren. The 7 footer is a hybrid guard/forward/center "unicorn" from Minnesota that covers up some of Timme's issues while causing serious matchup problems for most teams. Where Timme is ground-bound, Holmgren is long and lean and able to protect the rim at a high level. Holmgren can also handle and pass the ball extremely well from all over the court and seems content so far to allow Timme to carve up opponents rather than force his own action. Right now, Holmgren is more of a defensive dynamo that will make the occasional spectacular play on offense. He is capable of blocking a shot, grabbing the board to initiate the offense, and finding the open man in transition. He can also score all over and has a reliable jumper out to the 3-point line. Neither Holmgren or Timme are stretching the floor on offense yet, hitting a combined 4-15 (26.7%) from deep on just 3 attempts per game. Holmgren has a more advanced shot, although he won't go to it unless left open for a set shot. While Holmgren appears to be physically weak, weighing close to or even below 200 pounds, he is not shy about contact. He can't bang down low, but he is physical on defense and plays with a chip on his shoulder. Don't let the baggy jersey fool anyone. He plays much tougher than he looks. Still, teams are finding it relatively easy to bump him off his spots or shove him out of the lane for a rebound. It is going to take time and a lot of calories for him to reach his immense potential. Holmgren is sort of like Anthony Davis was in college. His impact is mostly felt on the defensive end and will occasionally pop on offense from time to time. Davis, after all, only average 14 points per game on that Kentucky team.

    In addition to the two-headed monster in the frontcourt, head coach Mark Few will play 6'8" JR F Anton Watson as a backup big man with occasional appearances from a pair of talented freshman, 6'10" Ben Gregg and 6'9" Kaden Perry. Watson is the primary backup and is a good and versatile defender. He's athletic and can do a little bit of everything without standing out in any particular area. Watson would be an ideal stretch-4 if he were capable of making a jumper, but he's not, so he isn't. Gregg and Perry are both talented players but haven't seen the floor that much even against the low-majors that have made up the majority of the Zags' competition to date (this is written prior to the UCLA game Tuesday night). Neither played against Texas. Like Duke, it is a talented but short rotation of big men. Holmgren is the NBA draft prospect while Timme may carve out a backup role for himself if he can develop his shot or fix his defensive issues.

    The guards for Gonzaga include a ton of experience with some high-level talent and youth. The man that runs the show is 6'5" SR Andrew Nembhard, the former Gator that briefly considered Duke before transferring out west. He was granted a surprise waiver to play last season and made the most of that option, serving as the floor general that made all that passes that make Gonzaga's offense so deadly. He's back this season and captaining this team as the unquestioned floor general. Nembhard is not much of a scorer and is content to feed Timme off the pick-and-roll or through creative entry passes from the top of the key. He has not been much of a shooter throughout his career, hitting just 33% for his career on moderate volume. He has shot the ball effectively this season, although against mostly weak competition and hit just 1 of 3 attempts in 3 of the 5 games so far, including Texas. Nembhard is capable of scoring but is a pass-first point guard that rarely makes mistakes. Keeping him from hitting quick passes to the post from the top of the key will be critical to limiting Gonzaga's offense. Starting alongside Nembhard so far this year has been former Iowa State G Rasir Bolton, a 6'3" SR, and 6'7" SO G/F Julian Stawther. Bolton is a smart player that can score a little. Like Nembhard, he's never been much of a shooter. He had a hot start from beyond the arc to begin the year, even hitting a crazy buzzer-beating half-court 3 as the 1st half ended against Texas. Since then, he's come back down to Earth a bit and has hit just 3-11 from beyond the arc. Bolton understands his role in the offense and does a little bit of this and that to keep the engine going. He keeps the ball moving and will take his shot without hunting it. Strawther is emerging as a star for this Gonzaga team in his sophomore season. He is second on the team in scoring behind Timme and has been shooting the ball lights out from 3, making 12 of 23 attempts so far. The one game he hasn't scored in double figures was the one against the only high-major opponent, Texas. In that one, he was just 1-5 from the floor for 5 points and 3 rebounds. It will be worth watching him against UCLA to see if he's truly reached a new level as a scorer or just feasting on low-major opponents.

    In addition to the starting backcourt, Mark Few is playing highly touted freshmen Hunter Sallis and Nolan Hickman off the bench. Sallis is uber athletic and quick. He profiles as a future pro. Most of Sallis's damage this year has come against Alcorn State, where he scored 16 points. He played just 4 minutes against Texas. The other freshman is former Kentucky commit Nolan Hickman, a true point guard. He has been serving as the primary guard off the bench to begin the season. He's not the fastest or most physical player but has a good-looking jump shot and plays a very smart game.

    This Gonzaga team is built around Drew Timme. The guards, with the possible exception of Strawther, all know and play their roles. If Gonzaga has a fatal flaw, it might be shooting. Strawther is shooting the ball well to begin the year, but it is not clear if he is on the level of Corey Kispert. Rasir Bolton and Andrew Nembhard have not proven to be reliable or high volume shooters, either. They really need Strawther to be a high volume and accurate shooter to stretch the floor. Texas, after getting smoked in the first half of their game, started to pack the lane in the second half to reasonable success. This allowed them to slow down Timme while being effective on the glass even though they only had one player taller than 6'7". I would not be surprised if Coach K threw in a zone defense. That would keep Mark Williams around the rim while preventing a lot of the pick-and-roll and dribble drive action Gonzaga uses with deadly precision.

    The keys for success in this one are about being physically tough, both inside and out. The guards will have to blow up screens while the bigs works to prevent Timme from establishing position to score or seal off his man for cutting guards. This is not a great rebounding team for Gonzaga, so controlling the boards is another key. They can rebound well, but it's not a huge strength. I also see this matchup as one of making shots. Duke is going to have to have a good shooting night to blunt some of the firepower that Gonzaga can deploy. Neither team plays a deep rotation - both are going about 8 men in their rotation so far on the season. Putting pressure on Timme and Holmgren to defend without fouling is another key. I think Mark Williams can be huge in this game. He is quicker and longer than Timme and about as quick laterally as Holmgren while being much stronger. Mark should be able to move Holmgren off the blocks when given the chance to create putback opportunities or tap outs. Williams is also a premier shot blocker in his own right. In fact, his block rate is even higher than Holmgren's so far this season. On the perimeter, Keels and Moore are just bigger and stronger than the Gonzaga guards. They should be able to fight through screens and blow up action to disrupt the Gonzaga offensive attack. If the shots are falling, that might be all it takes for Duke to hold its own. If the shots aren't falling, things might get a little out of hand. This won't be easy, but the matchups are not horrible for Duke.

    This is a chance to secure a signature win on the season and cement Duke as a National Title contender in Coach K's final season. Duke is 3-1 all time against Gonzaga, each coming as both were ranked. The only loss was in the 2018 Maui Invitational Final, a 2-point loss following a big comeback that fell just short. This time, Gonzaga will be favored and will be the hunted team. Will they be able to hold onto the crown of being #1 against UCLA and Duke?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Durham
    I don't have particularly high hopes for this one. I'll be cheering nonetheless.
    basketball is back, baby!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Cary, NC
    It will be a great test for our young team. I think Paolo and Keels will take it up a notch from what we've seen in these home cupcake games once the bright lights are on. Moore needs to have an amazing game all over the court for us to have a chance, and we need to shoot at least decently from deep. If we go 1-15 like we did against Kentucky then forget it. If our bigs can neutralize their bigs then our backcourt could give us enough of an edge to win, but a loss wouldn't be at all surprising to me.

    Big picture-wise I'm feeling like this game is more important than I originally thought, just because the ACC is so bad that we're not going to have many opportunities to get a marquee win. But mostly I want to see how we play against a really good team.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    raleigh
    we gonna see what we gonna see....i imagine that our guys feel pretty good going into this game...

    mark few vs k will be interesting as well..
    "Either they're going down, or we are! Kirk out!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, D.C.

    Gonzaga

    Talk about a mix of experience and youth: Nembhard was on the same Monteverde team as RJ Barrett, and it feels like Timme is back for his 7th season.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    I think we'll show out, I'm optimistic that we'll raise our level of play against a top tier opponent.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    The last few games we have heard reference from K in post game press conferences about the opponent being older and well coached. Well, we are about to play a team that is older and well coached but, importantly, has talent that is equal to, or better than, ours. We beat Campbell, Lafayette and The Citadel because we had superior talent. We will not overwhelm Gonzaga with talent and we better come to play from the opening tip. If we go through a five minute spell where we relax, lose focus or do not communicate, the Zags will eat our lunch.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by MChambers View Post
    Talk about a mix of experience and youth: Nembhard was on the same Monteverde team as RJ Barrett, and it feels like Timme is back for his 7th season.
    It's funny, because Timme is only a junior and only has the one season (last year) as an impact player.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    It's funny, because Timme is only a junior and only has the one season (last year) as an impact player.
    It did not take long for the stache to transition from charming to annoying.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by TKG View Post
    The last few games we have heard reference from K in post game press conferences about the opponent being older and well coached. Well, we are about to play a team that is older and well coached but, importantly, has talent that is equal to, or better than, ours. We beat Campbell, Lafayette and The Citadel because we had superior talent. We will not overwhelm Gonzaga with talent and we better come to play from the opening tip. If we go through a five minute spell where we relax, lose focus or do not communicate, the Zags will eat our lunch.
    From a pure experience standpoint, Gonzaga isn't all that much older than Duke. Their top 8 players look like this in terms of years of experience:

    SR: Bolton, Nembhard
    JR: Timme, Watson
    SO: Strawther
    FR: Hickman, Holmgren, Sallis

    Here's Duke:

    SR: Baker, John
    JR: Moore
    SO: Roach, Williams
    FR: Banchero, Griffin, Keels

    Both teams rank in the bottom 50 in the nation in experience according to KenPom. The difference here is that the two seniors for Gonzaga start while the two seniors for Duke come off the bench.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Duke79UNLV77 View Post
    It did not take long for the stache to transition from charming to annoying.
    Yeah, it takes something extraordinary to get me cheering for Baylor, but Timme succeeded.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    From a pure experience standpoint, Gonzaga isn't all that much older than Duke. Their top 8 players look like this in terms of years of experience:

    SR: Bolton, Nembhard
    JR: Timme, Watson
    SO: Strawther
    FR: Hickman, Holmgren, Sallis

    Here's Duke:

    SR: Baker, John
    JR: Moore
    SO: Roach, Williams
    FR: Banchero, Griffin, Keels

    Both teams rank in the bottom 50 in the nation in experience according to KenPom. The difference here is that the two seniors for Gonzaga start while the two seniors for Duke come off the bench.
    And the Zags upperclassmen have played in more big games than has our rotation. We can attempt to write-off last year as an outlier but while we were watching the NCAAT on TV, Gonzaga was making a deep run in the tournament, again, and gaining valuable experience.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by TKG View Post
    The last few games we have heard reference from K in post game press conferences about the opponent being older and well coached. Well, we are about to play a team that is older and well coached but, importantly, has talent that is equal to, or better than, ours. We beat Campbell, Lafayette and The Citadel because we had superior talent. We will not overwhelm Gonzaga with talent and we better come to play from the opening tip. If we go through a five minute spell where we relax, lose focus or do not communicate, the Zags will eat our lunch.
    You could say that Kentucky was a) older b) well-coached c) had talent on the same level (or better) than Duke's. And Duke did pretty well against them. They didn't overwhelm Kentucky with talent; instead, they played a great game and came out ready to defend and battle (other than allowing 20 boards to Tscheibwe).

    Kentucky this year isn't just a bunch of one and done guys. There's a mix of stud freshmen and older transfers - not unlike Gonzaga. Kentucky has five main players that are juniors or seniors. Gonzaga plays just 4 main guys that are juniors or seniors.

    In fact, it feels like Cal has changed his strategy of recruiting and playing nothing but one and done guys to relying heavily on the transfer portal (not unlike Gonzaga).

    The main differences with Kentucky's roster makeup and Gonzaga's are:

    - Kentucky has no player on the same level as Drew Timme, IMO (though Keion Brooks has potential)
    - Gonzaga has no player on the same level as Tschiebwe for rebounding
    - Kentucky's blue chip freshman (Holmgren) is better overall than Kentucky's (TyTy Washington), but not by much (just very different players)
    - Gonzaga doesn't seem to have a Kellan Grady-type of player (unless Strawther's shooting is legit... he was just 32% last season)

    But I'd say that Savhir Wheeler for KY is on the same level as Nembard for Gonzaga. Strawther and Grady are similar.

    Not saying that Kentucky is anywhere as good as Gonzaga, but the team makeup of talented upperclassmen, transfers and blue chip freshmen are pretty similar.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by TKG View Post
    The last few games we have heard reference from K in post game press conferences about the opponent being older and well coached. Well, we are about to play a team that is older and well coached but, importantly, has talent that is equal to, or better than, ours. We beat Campbell, Lafayette and The Citadel because we had superior talent. We will not overwhelm Gonzaga with talent and we better come to play from the opening tip. If we go through a five minute spell where we relax, lose focus or do not communicate, the Zags will eat our lunch.
    A couple of things:
    1. The Zags are older, but not by a lot. They do have two seniors in their main rotation, compared to our one grad transfer. But they rely on 3 freshmen and a sophomore along with a junior, which is not wildly different than our 3 freshmen, 2 sophomores, and a junior.
    2. In terms of talent, I think we might be still ahead. Our freshman are better than their freshmen (Keels and Griffin > Hickman and Sallis), and Williams is ahead of Gonzaga's Timme in terms of talent (Timme is an opportunistic player rather who feasts off others' lack of attention and doesn't impact the game defensively or on the glass). I'd put Wendell Moore ahead of Nembhard.

    That being said, I agree that we'll have to play at our best. But I think this matchup is a bit more favorable for us than some of our cupcakes in that Gonzaga plays a more traditional big man. That should help keep Williams relevant. And we have the size and depth inside and the perimeter acumen outside to contend with them.

    I don't think it'll be an easy game by any means. They are VERY good. But I think it's a game we can win.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by TKG View Post
    And the Zags upperclassmen have played in more big games than has our rotation. We can attempt to write-off last year as an outlier but while we were watching the NCAAT on TV, Gonzaga was making a deep run in the tournament, again, and gaining valuable experience.
    Actually, most of Gonzaga's roster haven't played in many big games. Timme and Nembhard have, but the rest not so much. Watson and Strawther played sparingly last year, while Bolton wasn't even on the team last year. Sallis, Hickman, and Holmgren are freshmen.

    Most of the squad that made the deep run last year is playing pro ball right now. They have certainly added excellent talent in place of those guys lost, but it's not tourney/big-game-tested talent.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by FerryFor50 View Post
    You could say that Kentucky was a) older b) well-coached c) had talent on the same level (or better) than Duke's. And Duke did pretty well against them. They didn't overwhelm Kentucky with talent; instead, they played a great game and came out ready to defend and battle (other than allowing 20 boards to Tscheibwe).

    Kentucky this year isn't just a bunch of one and done guys. There's a mix of stud freshmen and older transfers - not unlike Gonzaga. Kentucky has five main players that are juniors or seniors. Gonzaga plays just 4 main guys that are juniors or seniors.

    In fact, it feels like Cal has changed his strategy of recruiting and playing nothing but one and done guys to relying heavily on the transfer portal (not unlike Gonzaga).

    The main differences with Kentucky's roster makeup and Gonzaga's are:

    - Kentucky has no player on the same level as Drew Timme, IMO (though Keion Brooks has potential)
    - Gonzaga has no player on the same level as Tschiebwe for rebounding
    - Kentucky's blue chip freshman (Holmgren) is better overall than Kentucky's (TyTy Washington), but not by much (just very different players)
    - Gonzaga doesn't seem to have a Kellan Grady-type of player (unless Strawther's shooting is legit... he was just 32% last season)

    But I'd say that Savhir Wheeler for KY is on the same level as Nembard for Gonzaga. Strawther and Grady are similar.

    Not saying that Kentucky is anywhere as good as Gonzaga, but the team makeup of talented upperclassmen, transfers and blue chip freshmen are pretty similar.
    I might quibble with the notion that Kentucky is well coached.😃

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by TKG View Post
    I might quibble with the notion that Kentucky is well coached.��
    I wouldn't argue too hard. I'm not a Cal fan, either, but he has had his moments. And this year he seems to be doing a good job. Kentucky is going to be a fixture in the top 25 this season, IMO (provided they stay healthy).

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Cary, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    [Mark]Williams is ahead of Gonzaga's Timme in terms of talent
    Timme is the NPOY favorite and scored 37 points on 15-19 shooting against top-10 Texas. I'm not sure why everyone keeps underestimating him just because he looks goofy and isn't a projected lottery pick. There's a not-small chance that Mark gets completely taken out of this game and plays 10 minutes. So I have to strongly disagree with the above statement.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Actually, most of Gonzaga's roster haven't played in many big games. Timme and Nembhard have, but the rest not so much. Watson and Strawther played sparingly last year, while Bolton wasn't even on the team last year. Sallis, Hickman, and Holmgren are freshmen.

    Most of the squad that made the deep run last year is playing pro ball right now. They have certainly added excellent talent in place of those guys lost, but it's not tourney/big-game-tested talent.
    Yea, they don't seem to have anyone on the team this season on the level of Ayayi, Suggs or even Kispert. Suggs and Ayayi added a lot of athleticism and defense for them and if Suggs doesn't hit that half court buzzer beater against UCLA, who knows if they win the game.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by UrinalCake View Post
    Timme is the NPOY favorite and scored 37 points on 15-19 shooting against top-10 Texas. I'm not sure why everyone keeps underestimating him just because he looks goofy and isn't a projected lottery pick. There's a not-small chance that Mark gets completely taken out of this game and plays 10 minutes. So I have to strongly disagree with the above statement.
    There's also a non-zero chance that Timme gets into foul trouble trying to defend both Williams and stopping Keels on drives and Banchero on ISO plays.

    Can't score if you're not on the floor.

Similar Threads

  1. MBB: Gonzaga 89, Duke 87 Post-Game Thread
    By JBDuke in forum Elizabeth King Forum
    Replies: 213
    Last Post: 11-29-2018, 02:15 PM
  2. Replies: 187
    Last Post: 11-21-2018, 08:12 PM
  3. MBB: Duke 76 Gonzaga 41 Post-Game Thread
    By Troublemaker in forum Elizabeth King Forum
    Replies: 92
    Last Post: 12-22-2009, 07:03 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •