I find ‘em, you read ‘em.
- Hate is such a strong word (Hoops Addict)
- Hey, a blog that claims Dick V loves Duke, how original (Sport Feen)
- Being on top (briefly) was so bad. (Journal Inquirer)
Who’s saying what about your Duke Blue Devils.
- First 20 minutes were the deciding factor against Wake (Seattle PI)
- For the Sultan, 18-2 is a sign of weakness (Sultan of Sport)
- Despite the agony of defeat, a good night for the ACC (Star News Online)
Filed under: media
Maybe I’m just a bitter Blue Devil’s fan (actually, I am certainly a bitter fan), but since the ‘Duke lost because they have no size’ bandwagon is starting to fill up pretty quickly after losing on the road, by two, to a final four contender, can I naturally assume if Duke beats Wake Forest in three weeks at home, people will jump onto ‘Size doesn’t matter’ bandwagon? I have a feeling it won’t.
Listen, I get it. I understand it and I probably agree with it. Coach K has failed to land the big man the last three years. Duke went after Patrick Patterson hard, but he choose Kentucky. We went after Greg Monroe and he picked Georgetown. We went after Gregory Echenique this past off-season, but he picked Rutgers (This one I still can’t believe we didn’t get).
Duke does have two big men coming in next year (Mason’s ‘little’ brother and Coach Bill Coward’s daughter’s boyfriend), but the Devil’s #1 target was Erik Murphy, who is headed to UF.
Trust me, any lifelong Duke fan is left scratching their heads. Think back to Ferry, Laettner, Brand, Boozer, Sheldon…that’s a decent tradition that has gone missing the past three years. Maybe McRoberts would have made a suitable ‘Big’ if he stayed for his junior and senior year, but we’ll never know.
However, after watching this team play all year long and watching them play last night, this Duke team is not last year’s Duke team. This Duke team could go a long way and yes, win the title. Of course this seaon, I could argue that there are about 12 teams that have that claim; UNC, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Duke, Louisville and even last year’s darlings, Memphis and UCLA. However, all these teams have flaws that could get them kicked out of tournament prior to that last week in April.
Here, found someone who said it much better than I did.
Seriously, I’m asking.
I’m talking to the one and only Nina Mandell. After watching the amazing Duke/Wake Forest game, the headline she comes up with is “Wake wins shows Duke’s inside game still wanting.”
Okay, where do we start? Does Duke have a big man who can dominate; a Brand, a Boozer? Nope. Do we need one? If we learned anything last night, we’ve proven that Duke can do just fine without one this year.
How frustrating was that? Come back from thirteen down to lose like that, wow. Talk will focus on the #1 team losing again and whether this proves Duke is for real or not. Sorry ‘The Big Leas’, this game means little. In the grand scheme of things, its one defeat, on the road to a solid team. We predicted a long time ago that Duke will more than likely split their season series with both Wake Forest and North Carolina. If anything, this loss proves to me that Duke is a legit team.
I know, tough to write those last words after a defeat, but what I saw was a team who refused to give up in a hostile environment. They rallied from 13-down despite having only two players capable of making a basket (Henderson & Singler). Think about it, if Henderson doesn’t land on a pile of Demon Deacons and get called for traveling with 2-seconds on the clock, we go into overtime with ‘mo on Duke’s side. Having said all that, it still sucks and time to go yell at strangers in the street.
Filed under: Live Blogging
33-28, Wake. Let’s roll.
15:56 – So far, Henderson early. Amazing dunk. Needs to make the free throw. The third foul could be a killer later. Wake though has had no problem answering with their own dunk, followed by a fast break, opening up a eight-point lead. The speed of the game has picked up, but look for both team’s to pick up their D.
Tough foul call on McFarland. It looked clean on TV. I’ll take it though. That’s four fouls and the seven-footer goes to the bench. Down eight, still waiting for Duke to get into a groove on offense. The way Wake is playing, I might be waiting for a long time.
11:46 - Struggling. Wake has opened up a nine-point lead and Duke just looks out of sync. The majority of their points is coming on free throws. Single had a rough stretch where he lost the ball out of balance under Wake’s basket, then got called on a charge on the offensive end and then let a ball bounce off his leg out of balance. I have to hand it to Wake’s defense. Duke looks flustered, unsure of how to answer. The three isn’t working (2-14), so they need to continue to attack the lane.
Nolan Smith is really struggling. He’s 1-6 from the floor and that turnover after the time out was just pathetic. He wanted the starting job, THIS IS TIME to show the world why you deserved it.
7:52 - Duke’s at the 1-1 at the ten minute mark. Of course Smith continues to struggle missing the front end. The team continues to struggle. They look frustrated and have no answer for Wake’s drives. Singler is falling apart. A terrible drive and a awful three attempt right when they needed a smart possession.
Wake is up 11 and playing great. It is hard to see Duke coming back in this one. No shame in losing to Wake on the road. What I want to see is a strong finish though. Will they continue to fight? This is where we find out what kind of heart this team has.
5:42 – Duke gets within seven, but then has four straight terrible poessessions. Thank God Wake can’t hit a free throw. Someone other than Singler and Henderson needs to score! Dickie V said it best, two guys can’t beat five.
3:38 – Bullshit hook call. Duke just can’t over the 5-point hump. Wake has done a great job of taking advantage of when Duke switches on D. James Johnson keeps finding himself under the rim with a smaller guard. It’s three-point basket time, folks.
2:49 – Henderson and Single: 10-21 in the second half. The rest of the team? 0-3. Stunning. How are we down by only four?
Wake, 70-68. F&%k.
Live blogging the game tonight. The crowd looks excited. Nice announcement by the Daemons’ home announcer. It feels like an NBA game. Let’s go Duke!
15:42 - All Henderson in the first minute. Out jumps 7-footer for tip, gets the first steal and gets the first board and put back. Three minutes in, defense, defense and more defense, by both teams. Sweet move by Teague giving Wake a 6-4 lead. So far, the kind of game we expected. Tough D, both teams trying to figure out what they can do. So far, Duke’s 0-2 from three, but they are also getting the calls; 3 fouls on Wake, none on Duke.
Five minutes in and Duke is struggling with Wake’s defense. In fact, their points come from a offensive rebound and two free throws.
Easier said than done, I know. The Blue Devils should have no problem remembering back to last year when they walked into Wake with a 22-1 record and lost. The Deacons are young, but a talented bunch who’s not afraid of the Blue Devils. In fact, I’d say Wake Forest is one of the top five or six teams with a legit title shot (and I’m not the only one who thinks that).
So what needs to happen? What do we need to see to assure that Duke’s stay at #1 isn’t a short one. I’ve thought of five things.
Filed under: Duke basketball | Tags: Duke Blue Devils, Gerald Henderosn, Mid-Season, Wake Forest
Sorry its been a long time between posts. Sadly, this blog isn’t a career, but we’re back – we’ll make up for lost time – no sweat.
#1 in the AP, #1 in the Coaches Poll. What’s it all mean? Absolutely nothing. This is the price of being a Blue Devil fan these days. We’ve been here, we’ve done that all before. Just last year we were 22-1, heading up to Wake to face a young Deacon’s team and you remember what happened, don’t you? We got our ass handed to us. After that 22-1 start, we finished the season 6-5, falling short of the Sweet 16 for the second year in a row.
Now don’t get me wrong, I know this isn’t the same team. In fact, I can guarantee you this team won’t finish 6-5 down the stretch. Their D is too good to let that happen. In fact, I’ll give you five reasons (besides the suffocating defense) why this season’s Blue Devils will not collapse.