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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Richmond, Va

    Hitting "a wall"

    Since the other thread has been locked I wanted to visit this thought separately. I do think there's merit in freshmen in college or rookies in the NBA with regards to hitting "a wall." I also think alot depends upon conditioning, both physically and mentally. In the specific case of Nolan Smith, please consider how many games he played last year at Oak Hill and the type of schedule Oak Hill plays regularly. My point being, I think a player coming from a public HS, playing a "normal" schedule, is much more susceptible to hitting "a wall." Oak Hill played over 40 games last year, traveling all over the place, playing in tournaments and constantly on the road. To me, the transition into college hoops should be fairly easy compared to a public HS player who rarely travels and plays less hoops. Just a thought.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Orange County, NC
    Thats a very good point.

    How many games do state champ public schools play? I don't think its close but just curious. Also, the case could be made that most good high schoolers play AAU -but then again the there is probably less will to win those games. Plus, Oak Hill is exposed to the media a lot more than public schools.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    You make a great point about Nolan's high school pedigree. I would also add that our markedly higher degree of depth this year as compared to seasons past should help. This cuts people's minutes a bit (if need be), and our remarkable offensive balance relieves pressure on any one player to perform in whatever minutes he does get. That has/will help us avoid further unnecessary fatigue that comes with both the physical and mental exhaustion that can result from "pressing" (that is to say trying too hard, not playing full-court defense).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    New York City
    I have noticed that in many games this year we have looked like the fresher team as the second half wears on. With the running style we play, our conditioning and depth will be a major advantage as the season moves into March and hopefully April.

    Whereas in years past we have seemed to get more tired as the season wore on (compared to our opponents) I see very positive signs that suggest we will not have that problem this year. There have been reports about Singler's conditioning (something having to do with his mile run time or something like that). Nelson, who is playing the most minutes, seems to get stronger as the games go on. And our other key players are playing 25 minutes a game or less as opposed to 32-35 minutes a game. I think that's a huge difference. I thought the difference in the second half of the Maryland game was in part due to who was the fresher team.

    I believe this is why we have won some "close" games late in the second half such as Marquette, Clemson, Maryland, etc. which many people have cited as the type of games we lose last year. IMO conditioning and depth are playing a big role in that.
    Singler is IRON

    I STILL GOT IT! -- Ryan Kelly, March 2, 2013

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. synellinden View Post
    ...I thought the difference in the second half of the Maryland game was in part due to who was the fresher team.

    I believe this is why we have won some "close" games late in the second half such as Marquette, Clemson, Maryland, etc. which many people have cited as the type of games we lose last year. IMO conditioning and depth are playing a big role in that.
    I totally agree. I recall reading an in-depth analysis (though sadly, I can't remember where) of the Maryland game that essentially said the twerps ran out of gas. I'd argue that we also executed better than they did throughout the second half, though I suppose that's in part attributable to not running out of gas.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Richmond, Va

    Fwiw

    last year Nolan played in 41 HS games, Taylor King in 36 and Kyle in 30. That's more than your average HS team, which is closer to 20. Your better HS teams will play in a few tourneys, plus their play-offs.
    No reason to expect any of the 3 frosh to hit "a wall," IMO.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Southern California

    mental

    I believe the issue of "hitting the wall" is more mental than physical. Sure, it can be both. Or mental leading to physical. But, playing in X number of games from HS to college doesn't necessarily mean that player is not going to run into mental fatigue. The mental pressure over a long season has its toll on freshmen who are adjusting to the speed of the game, the competition etc..not to mention the adjustment to college life. I just don't think there is nearly the same amount of mental preparation and constant pressure and pushing that comes from the college level compared to high school. Obviously each indivudual handles it differently. I think this is how K has really made this team better by letting them have fun with their game and not have too much added pressure. Having a spread offense, running and pushing the ball, and depth has helped accomplish this.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, D.C.

    the Maryland radio announcers

    Quote Originally Posted by wilson View Post
    I totally agree. I recall reading an in-depth analysis (though sadly, I can't remember where) of the Maryland game that essentially said the twerps ran out of gas. I'd argue that we also executed better than they did throughout the second half, though I suppose that's in part attributable to not running out of gas.
    were saying early in the second half how the Maryland players were grabbing their shorts. I definitely think our depth played a big part in the comeback.
    How nice it is to say that!

  9. Quote Originally Posted by socaldukie View Post
    I believe the issue of "hitting the wall" is more mental than physical. Sure, it can be both. Or mental leading to physical. But, playing in X number of games from HS to college doesn't necessarily mean that player is not going to run into mental fatigue. The mental pressure over a long season has its toll on freshmen who are adjusting to the speed of the game, the competition etc..not to mention the adjustment to college life. I just don't think there is nearly the same amount of mental preparation and constant pressure and pushing that comes from the college level compared to high school. Obviously each indivudual handles it differently. I think this is how K has really made this team better by letting them have fun with their game and not have too much added pressure. Having a spread offense, running and pushing the ball, and depth has helped accomplish this.
    Great point, Socal. I wonder also if some freshmen are worn down by the unique hostility that the Duke uniform evokes. For a lot of freshmen, even highly-regarded ones, they only have 2-3 high profile games, and the stands are usually filled with fans who either don't know them especially well or are there to see the "star" in action. I wonder how many are used to being reviled and screamed at three times a week by thousands of people? Add in the fact that other teams get up for Duke in a way they might not otherwise, and that's a pretty imposing baptism by fire. Maybe contributes to the "wall" in the short term, but I think it builds really strong and self-assured (generally in a good way) people in the long-term.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Quote Originally Posted by socaldukie View Post
    The mental pressure over a long season has its toll on freshmen who are adjusting to the speed of the game, the competition etc..not to mention the adjustment to college life. I just don't think there is nearly the same amount of mental preparation and constant pressure and pushing that comes from the college level compared to high school.
    I was thinking the same thing. Just as a student, I remember how much more intense and exhausting the last two weeks of a college semester were, as compared to a high school semester. Of course, the average student gets a couple weeks off between Fall and Spring semesters to recover. The basketball players normally do not get this luxury, but this year was a bit different. It will be interesting to see if the team has more energy down the stretch this year... especially the freshmen.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham

    Depth is the key

    Personally, I think the depth we have on this team will greatly mitigate the chances of any of our freshman hitting a wall. These kids haven't been asked to carry anywhere near the amount that Scheyer was asked to carry last year. King and Smith don't start and Singler's foul trouble has prevented him from playing too many minutes in certain games; Singler averages 6 minutes less per game than Scheyer did last year. I think this team is a lot fresher at this point than they were last year.

    I think it's also worth noting that Duke had a 17-day layoff between the Pitt and Cornell games; the longest break in one season under Krzyzewski. I can't think of any other major D-1 team that had that long of a break. These kids shouldn't be hitting a wall anytime soon.

  12. #12

    Question Nolan

    Perhaps this has been discussed before (if so I missed it and apologize), but in reference to Nolan's playing time, Coach K, in his Maryland post-game interview mentioned "Nolan's knee giving out." I think the exact quote was "his (Nolan) knee gave out... he has had a problem with that knee."

    Maybe, when we question as to whether Nolan ought to be the point guard (as in one thread), or that he should be getting more minutes and/or whether he might "hit the wall," we might need to consider there may be factors about which we have no knowledge. Prior to this interview, I had not previously heard of Nolan having a knee problem.

    If his knee has been discuss before or someone has an update on this, I would appreciate the information.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham
    Based on what I know, Nolan hyper-extended his knee in the Clemson game and then reaggravated it when he slipped on Maryland's court in the 2nd half. As far as I know, Smith had no knee problems before the Clemson game.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Richmond, Va
    I also agree that, with more quality depth, Duke is a much stronger team, especially at crunch time. We do, indeed, seem stronger as the game goes on and I think it bodes well for March. I don't see K (I hope) cutting back to a 7-man rotation.

  15. #15

    Hitting the wall

    I agree with posters on this topic that Duke seems to weathering the "hitting the wall" syndrome very well so far. In fact, I also agree that Duke seems to be wearing out other teams, and one of the reasons is the depth Duke uses, which is much improved over last year.

    However, we are 1/2 of the way through this year, if you consider 2 or 3 ACC tourney games, and 3-4 NCAA games. Last year, I don't think Duke had yet hit the wall, or in K's words, "run out of gas". Duke lost in the first round of the ACC and the NCAA, and ended up losing its last four games of the season.
    K has stated that the coaching staff should have done a better job of keeping them fresher last year. I think the long layoff over the Holidays is an indication that the coaches are watching this closely. I have seen no indication, yet, that the players are beginning to tire, although I wonder a little bit about Scheyer the last couple of games. He has played below his abilities, and it could be, of course, due to many other factors beyond being tired. He seems to pushing his shots like a shot putter, versus shooting his shots.

    Last year, Duke won five straight ACC games in January, then lost four straight, I believe. I think they then won four in a row before tanking with the season ending four game losses.

    I am thoroughly enjoying Duke's success so far in this season, and I certainly want to see the Devils not only continue their successes but improve upon them. If they're capable of improving, I think the post season will be very enjoyable for Duke.

    GMR

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles

    Thumbs up a few random thoughts

    I agree with previous posts that "the Wall" (especially in this case with a deep team) is more mental than physical. That being said, it's up to the coaches and more experienced players to 'teach the young guys the ropes.'

    ACC BB, and the ACC Tournament, and then the NCAAs doesn't rival ANYTHING these guys experienced in HS, no matter where they played, or how many games.

    Conditioning, Focus, Conditioning, Focus. Physically prep. Mental prep.

    And MAKE THOSE FREE THROWS!!!!! Extra time at the line after practice. Throws and throws -- even with eyes shut. MAKE US PROUD!! This team with a plethora of shooters, should ace the FT line every time. GO DUKE!

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by duketaylor View Post
    Since the other thread has been locked I wanted to visit this thought separately. I do think there's merit in freshmen in college or rookies in the NBA with regards to hitting "a wall." I also think alot depends upon conditioning, both physically and mentally. In the specific case of Nolan Smith, please consider how many games he played last year at Oak Hill and the type of schedule Oak Hill plays regularly. My point being, I think a player coming from a public HS, playing a "normal" schedule, is much more susceptible to hitting "a wall." Oak Hill played over 40 games last year, traveling all over the place, playing in tournaments and constantly on the road. To me, the transition into college hoops should be fairly easy compared to a public HS player who rarely travels and plays less hoops. Just a thought.
    I saw Nolan Smith play last year when Oak Hill swung out West for a tournament in Orange County (with the Love v. King game following Oak Hills' game). Those teams may have been good for high school, but the intensity and level of competition were nowhere near the realm of ACC hoops. I really don't know if a few extra games against high school competition -- even the best high school competition -- makes that much of a difference when a freshmen has to face an ACC opponent for the return game on the road down the stretch.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Freshmen and the wall

    It seems that Singler has recently hit a wall and hopefully the 4 days will rejuvinate him.

    The other talented freshmen to wit : Beasley, Mayo, Gordon, Bayliss, Hummell and Love seemed to escape it. Are there any other, talented freshmen who like Singler have had the same experience ?

  19. #19

    Hummell?

    Quote Originally Posted by NYC Duke Fan View Post
    It seems that Singler has recently hit a wall and hopefully the 4 days will rejuvinate him.

    The other talented freshmen to wit : Beasley, Mayo, Gordon, Bayliss, Hummell and Love seemed to escape it. Are there any other, talented freshmen who like Singler have had the same experience ?
    Who in the world is Hummell?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Van Nuys, CA
    Rob Hummel plays at Purdue. Derrick Rose also hasn't hit a wall. None of those freshman has had to guard every game players that out weigh Kyle by 20 to 40 pounds. That physical play may have taken its toll.Our recruiting decisions in the last few years have lead to this situation.Maybe Cysz can help the power forward position next year with Taylor King.

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