Monday, November 25, 2013

Know Your Enemy- Duke Blue Devils

EDIT- 11/26/13 (adding more to original post)

Link to Duke's official website of Blue Devils basketball.
Game preview (short).
AL.com article about the game tomorrow.

I've said this to others and I'm going to post it... this is the biggest non-conference/non-NCAAT game we have had in forever. Beating Duke would put our program on the map. A close loss will have folks talking about us for at least a week, but a blowout loss put us back on the irrelevant bus as a program. This is a statement game in the making and I hope we can make a statement.

How I think this game plays out:
- We come out strong and take an early 7 point lead with the hundreds of Bama fans in MSG going wild. Duke storms back and takes the lead at halftime (5 points)
- 2nd half is back and forth with us matching Duke bucket for bucket with the game close for the first 15 minutes.
- Last 5 minutes Duke pulls away as we get into foul trouble and panic throwing up ill-advised 3s and Duke wins by 11.

Obviously, I hope against the 3rd bullet and if we can keep Releford out of foul trouble I think we are in it to the end and in a position to win the game.

Here are the big problems I see from a stats standpoint:
- .550 FG
- .452 3pt FG
- 92.7 PPG
- Forcing 14 turnovers a game

We can't get into a scoring war with them as they'll blow us out. Realistically we need to keep this game in the 60s/low 70s.

I really believe we need a big game from Nick Jacobs. Getting some points from him and Jimmie Taylor inside could offset Parker and Hood somewhat. If we keep the front-court battle somewhat close I think we win.

Game is on ESPN2 at 9:30PM EST (or 30 minutes after the Arizona walkover).

End EDIT  11/26/13

I'm going to compile this over a couple of days so bear with me. Today is stats heavy.

First off, season stats. Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood (you remember him from M$U) are both dropping 20+ per game.

Next, Duke comes into the game at 5-1, but have struggled mightily vs powerhouses East Carolina (83-74) and Vermont (91-90). Still, this is Duke we are talking about and I suspect they played to the level of their competition.

In their loss to Kansas, they led at halftime (42-40) and were tied 77 all with 3:50 to go in the game. I suspect we will see Kansas in the Final Four this year.

Link to their roster. From looking at it on paper and from the 2 games I've seen of them we actually matchup quite nicely with them. Obviously the issues of matching up with Parker and Hood are going to be tough, but I think Cooper, Hale, Jacobs, and Taylor can split fouls guarding them. At least I hope they can somewhat slow them down. I actually think we have the advantage in the backcourt as I don't think Releford will be stopped and if Obasohan continues to sky that will put pressure on the Duke frontcourt at the rim.

Link to a Duke blog (SBNation).

10 comments:

cunningham said...

win is a win! roll tide roll.

crimsontider said...

I don't expect us to win, but man if we did…...

finebammer said...

wasn't it beating Duke that put Grant on everybody's radar when he was at VCU? intellesting, velly intellesting!

crimsontider said...

Yep, probably the reason he is here right now. A win against Duke could open the floodgates for his current program. We've been so close for 3 years now, time to break through.

DJC said...

On my way to NY now and thought I would add my thoughts.



Reasons why we can beat Duke:


-Retin and Releford getting to the rim and finishing. Duke has had trouble stopping the dribble drive.


-Duke is very good, but inexperienced in some spots.


-We've seen Rodney Hood before, and pretty much shut him down his freshman year (granted, he has a lot more talent around him now).


-We may catch them looking ahead to the much hyped game with Arizona.


-ECU and Vermont gave them tough games at home, and we are better than both of those teams.


Reasons why Duke should win:


-Jabari Parker is a beast, Cooper must contain him and we need to basically shut down everyone else.


-MSG will be like a home game for them


-They probably have more raw talent at every position on the floor and more depth


-Coach K is a hall of fame coach.


Keys to the win:


-Avoid foul trouble
-Levi and Cooper's defense. Levi must shut down Hood and Cooper needs to contain Parker.
-Defensive rebounding. These guys are too good to give them multiple shots at the basket.


If Duke plays to their ability, this will be a very difficult game, even if we play well. If they are still struggling to find their identity and don't put forth their best effort, and we bring our A game, we will beat them. I don't think I've been this excited about a basketball game since our last NCAA tournament appearance. Let's hope this one turns out a little better.


On a side note, Dakota Slaughter is on my flight. I'm not sure why he didn't come up Monday with the rest of the team.

crimsontider said...

We're going to have to beat the refs to tonight apparently.

crimsontider said...

Could not have imagined a worst first half.

crimsontider said...

So frustrating, can never get over the hump. Just terrible.

crimsontider said...

Things just did not go our way tonight. Every time we cut it to within 6, we fell apart. Tonight was very predictable, and I am sick of how predictable our program has become in big games. I can't really pinpoint the problem, the refs sucked, some of the players (especially Levi) looked anxious, and we turned the ball over way to many times. Hopefully it will happen eventually, but as of right now this program can just not get over the hump. I guess I should be proud of this team, for not mailing it in, and to an extent I am, but moral victories are just really hard to get pumped up for at this point. Oh well.

Msmilie said...

Tough loss tonight. Alabama probably played, at best, their C game, and still had their chances down the stretch. If you're going to beat Duke, even a Duke team that still appears to be finding their way, you can't have your two best players struggle from the field and you can't turn the ball over the way Bama did. The foul trouble in the 1st half also didn't help, but the team looked tight even before Trevor got into foul trouble. I thought Algie and Nick were the only two guys who didn't seem affected by who they were playing. Granted, Algie also had two crucial turnovers in the 2nd half.



Trevor in particular just never looked comfortable. Some of that was due to Quinn Cook who did a great job in defending Trevor. He kept the ball out of his hands and didn't give him many clean looks. The foul trouble was just a cherry on top.



Jabari Parker was a difference maker. Not sure he won't be the 1st pick of the draft in June. Great player. Coop defended him about as well as he could, but Parker was a match-up Bama had no answer for.


I wasn't happy with the way the team played, but the effort to come back from an 18 point deficit as poorly as they played at times is a credit to the players. There are positives you can take from this game moving forward.



The key is to now get past this game and get ready for Drexel on Friday. I've seen Drexel play twice this season (tonight and a close loss to UCLA) and I've been really impressed with them as a team. I believe they will be ready to play on Friday. Alabama has to be focused and play better if they want to leave New York 1-1.