Sorry for the delay in posting. Mamma always said, don’t write when angry and I listened. Now that I’ve had a few days to relax and gain some perspective, I can finally talk about Duke’s awful 81-73 ass-whoppin’ by Michigan. And yes, I can call a 8-point defeat an ass-whoppin’. While the score was tied throughout and the lead change often, this was an ass-whopping because UM had no business winning this game.
No one player blew this one. This was a complete team effort, including the coaching staff. This felt so much like a March game. They didn’t look tired, but they were missing everything and anything from the outside. These types of games happen. Just like my sex life, sometimes you just have an off-night. The solution though is suppose to be an inside game. When the deep ball isn’t working for good teams, that’s when they’re suppose to go inside; either with a Big or driving to the basket…this was the problem last year, and this was the problem we thought was resolved this year.
The 3′s Disappear. Duke shot an awful 7-33 from behind the three line, but let’s not kid ourselves, that 21% is being too kind. Duke was 2-27 from behind the arch at one point. I understand why they kept shooting it. Michigan’s 1-3-1 zone is just begging you to shoot it and so many of those misses were wide open misses. However, when you’re 2 of 20+, it’s time to get inside. Why?
- Because it works. Duke shot 24-32 from inside the three. That’s right, 75% from within close range. No excuse.
- Another consequence of becoming a jump shooting team is you don’t drive to the basket, so you don’t get fouled, thus you don’t get free throws. Duke only shot a stunning six free throws.
- Another reason to go inside? Because the Big’s were hitting. Thomas and Zoubek were a combined 7-9 from inside.
- Hey Martynas, when you only play four minutes in a game, do you really think you should be taking three shots?
- So far, I have mixed feelings about the switch at point. Nolan has played well, especially defensively, but 19 assists to 19 turnovers? That’s not going to work in ACC play. What about Paulus coming off the bench? While he does a decent job running the offense and his D hasn’t been too bad, he’s only hitting under 30% from behind the three line. He was 0-4 against Michigan.
Anyhow, it’s ony one defeat, on the road. It happens to the best. In the end, like we’ve said so much in the past, none of this really matters. Everything comes down to March. They could not lose another game for two months, beat UNC and it still won’t matter.
Henderson needs to find his role, Scheyer and Paulus need to rediscover their shots, Smith needs to eliminate the turnovers, and one of the freshmen (Williams or Plumee) needs to become a legitimite bench player and not just a minutes filler.
I find ‘em, you read ‘em. What are people saying today?
- Duke sends big-picture message (ESPN)
- The Blue Devils have no talent, but can win it all. Man, Gregg Doyel sucks (CBS SPORTS)
- A home away from home (FOX SPORTS)
- Duke loves the road, just not often (AOL FANHOUSE)
A solid win. I know it’s only the second day in December and I know I’m not suppose to care until March, but this wasn’t just a road win against a top-10 team, this was an ass-kicking against a top-10 team.
Now don’t get me wrong, was this Purdue’s best effort? Nope. They struggled with their shots tonight, missing a handful of open shots. You have to believe they were a little fatigued mentally coming off a tough loss against Oklahoma at MSG. However, even a hater has to give the Blue Devil’s some credit. Come on kids, give us some love.
Overall, Duke’s D was suffocating for most of the night, keeping Purdue out of sync. Purdue looked panicked tonight, hurrying through their traditionally smooth motion offense, often rushing bad shots. To say it politely, they looked intimidated.
- Is Singler better than Hansborough? We’ve asked this question once already this season and we laughed it off. We’re asking again after the Purdue game and we’re not laughing anymore. Instead of addressing it here, we’ll do a full post later in the week. At least for tonight though, he was a stud. He finished with 20 points and 12 boards, half of which were offensive. The offensive rebounds were the most impressive because often he seemed to fly out of nowhere to steal it from three perfectly positioned Boilermakers. Now does that remind you of a certain someone who likes to wear Baby Blue?