Thursday, February 07, 2008

How good is Duke?

There's a lot that could be discussed, such as the Shaq trade and Obama raising $7 million in a day, but to stay closer to home ... I'm a little unsure what to think about Duke after last night's win.
We're now in pole position for the Raleigh-Charlotte path to the Final Four, and suddenly the experts say we're title contenders. But you kind of wonder if that's really possible. You see Carolina beat up on us for the first 10 minutes last night and wonder if a team can do that to us for 40 minutes, especially if our shots aren't falling.
At the same time, I'm surprised how tough guys like Singler, Henderson, and Thomas are. After UNC's initial burst, rebounding was a wash the rest of the night. Teams like Maryland and State seem to be able to surge for up to half the game, and then our depth and athleticism takes over.
Given how weak the ACC is, outside of our game with Maryland next week and the game at State, are there any others that pose big problems prior to the rematch? And if we're 15-0 headed into that game, a 1-seed in the NCAAs will be all but locked up. I was startled to see K describe the team after the game as "pretty special". Usually he only uses the S-word for teams he thinks may win the title. So is this now a real possibility?


The Dude said...

i'm excited at how good Gerald Henderson can be if he stays another year, and you have to be a bit giddy about Lance Thomas's development from last season. Of course, I think this can be all attributed to the karma arising from Johnny Dawkins's donation to the Obama campaign.

Thad is Rad said...

I didn't think much of their chances at the start of the year, but I must admit that they've looked pretty good lately. It's also nice to see this team reverse a recent trend of blowing leads in second halves. And if we shoot like we did against Carolina, we can beat anybody.

That said, it's hard to see this team going through the tournament without a cold night, and it's hard to see us not facing a tough interior team that simply dominates us in the paint. To be honest, I was stunned that Hansbrough didn't score 40. And if Lawson has played and got past Paulus with quick moves, he probably would have.

In conclusion, good things could happen, but if I were the dude, I wouldn't buy head dude's Final Four tix just yet.

The Dude said...

I hope K learned from his Wayne Turner v. Wojo experience and would not be as reluctant to turn to Nolan Smith should be overmatched defensively. On the bright side, Paulus is a huge upgrade over Wojo offensively, especially with the way he has been shooting the rock this year.

To sum it up, can we get to the Final Four?

Yes We Can!

Yes We Can!

Anonymous said...

Well even after the nice bounce-back win against BC after a really humiliating defeat at home against UNC, I still worry about the team's ability to score...managing only 51 pts against BC...

Oh wait... you guys were talking about the Men's team?!?!! My bad...ummm yeah I guess I ditto what everyone has said.

Duke's championship teams always had that "big man" they could go to when the outside stuff wasn't working. Yeah Laettner could hit the 3 and wasn't your prototypical big man but he could also bang inside and play with his back to the basket as well. Can Thomas continue his development and maybe morph into a "Brand" like figure for some stretches in games?

Though I suppose one key difference from the recent past (post-J Williams) is Duke's ability to drive to the hole which might make up for that inside presence on the offensive end and some really good "athletes" that can at least compete on the defensive end.

So to wrap it up...I still have no idea how good Duke is. :)

Big Daddy

HD said...

I guess one reality that works to our benefit is that the college game just isn't as good as it was 10 years ago with players leaving so early. Florida last year was a rare exception of a team that had several years to build chemistry. As a result, we might be able to overcome the lack of post presence more than we could've before.
Undude's right though, you figure we'll have at least one cold shooting night in the first four rounds of the tournament, so the question is whether we can overcome it.
Otherwise, Dude, just remember, the Final Four is in San Antonio, so at least we won't have to travel far.

Anonymous said...

Well after the past couple of games I'm wondering if we have our answer.