Most of the time I’m dead wrong about most things, but every once in a while, I’m right on.
Just two weeks ago I had this to say about Olek Czyz;
Random question of the Day: Why did we give a scholarship to Olek Czyz? While he started in place of Nolan Smith for the first two games, he hasn’t sniffed the court in Duke’s last four and it appears he won’t again this season, unless it’s mop up duty in blowouts. It’s a question I asked back when he first received the offer and I still haven’t figured out the answer.
It’s one thing to have a player not work out, but this is Duke. When did Duke starts wasting scholarships on a kid who will never start and will be lucky to ever be in the regular rotation? That’s what walk-ons are for. I don’t want to tear the kid down, if anything, I’m questioning the coaching staff? Again, we’re Duke, coached by Coach K, three-time National Champion. I just don’t see the reasoning. Sorry.
Well, it appears Czyz agreed. Word is Olek is going to transfer ASAP.
In all honest, it’s best for both Olek and for Duke basketball. I’m sorry, but he was never going to be a productive member of the Blue Devils.
Word is, Coack K will release Czyz outright from his scholarship. This will allow him to play for whatever school he goes to without sitting out a full year.
This is a cool move by Duke. It was the same decision they made with Elliot Williams and that worked out well for him.
We wish Olek the best.
Having said that, Czyz will be the fifth player to transfer from the Devils over the last five years and this leaves Miles Plumlee as the only member of the 2008 class to still be on Duke. Of all this transfers, except for Williams, who tranferred for personal reasons (his desire to be near his sick mother), the rest were all ‘big men’ who transferred because they were not satisfied with their playing time.
Transfers happen, but this is becoming a trend and the coaching staff needs to improve on this.
Why are wasting so much time and energy recruiting guys who don’t fit into our program? Are the coaches promising something and not delivering?
If you got an answer, I’d love to hear it.
With final exams behind them, the Duke Blue Devils demolished Gardner-Webb, 113-68. The 113 points was the most points scored by a Devils team since scoring 115 in a win against Clemson in 2001.
Now granted, this was a home game, against a much weaker opponent (Gardner-Webb has now dropped four-straight), but it could have been so easy for Duke to come out flat, especially after a 10-game break.
So what did I see?
I saw that Jon Scheyer is the man. Mr. Scheyer has taken plenty of shit over the years, some of it fair, some of it not, but if his biggest detractors have to be somewhat impressed. While the headlines will be his 36 points (on 11-13 shooting), we’re not ready to jump on that bandwagon just yet. Coach told him to shoot more (something he’s been saying for four years now) and it was great to see Scheyer finally hit some shots (this is was his first game hitting above 50%), what we remain impressed about is his lack of turnovers.
Scheyer dished out nine more assists today, turning it over three times (once he bounced a ball off an opponent’s foot, while a second one was Singler’s fault). For the season, he’s at 51 assists to only eight turnovers. That gives him a 6.38/1 assist-to-turnover rate.
This is so key for this team. Duke is not going to force a lot of turnovers this season, or at least they’re not going to get a lot of steals. To win in the ACC, we have to win the turnover battle.
I saw Andre Dawkins do something I could do. I don’t have a sister, not even a half-sister, but I would have a hard time doing my job just 10 days after my sister died. Dawkins not only played, he had his best game of his young career, hitting 6-9 from the floor for 16 points. Better yet, three of his shots were from inside the three-line. It is so critical that he develops an ability to not just sit on the three-point line.
I saw Coach’s new strategy for the inside. With so many big men to use, some old, some young, with so many different skill sets, it was only a matter of time before a Hall of Fame coach figured out the best way to use them. Now again, this was just Gardner-Webb, but I have a feeling Coach K has figured it out.
For the entire game (at least until it got out of control in the end), Coack K always had one senior big man (Zoubek or Thomas) on the floor with one of the young pups (Kelly and the Plumlee brothers) and for once, everyone of them had solid games.
Miles and Thomas started, but all five big men played at least 15 minutes and none played more than 20 minutes. They combined to shot an impressive 15-25 from the floor. Of course, they only grabbed 20 combined boards, so that could improve.
Overall though, everyone seem to find a place in the offense. The guards (and Singler) were dumping the ball inside and the big’s were playing some high-low (although it still needs some work). Miles created his own shots, while Mason showed off his athletic ability. Zoubek continued to work the offensive glass, while Thomas & Kelly showed some range.
Now we don’t expect this kind of shooting every night. The seniors just don’t have the talent and the underclassmen don’t have the experience, but if on any given night, a couple of these guys can perform at a high level, creating their own points, then Duke be the top team in the ACC this year.
Of course, knowing Coack K, he’ll make me look like a fool and completely drop the “one senior big man on the floor at all times” strategy against Gonzaga this weekend.
I saw the Big Three take less shots. Just last week I was ranting about how Duke was becoming a three-man team again and that the big three were taking too many shots (roughly 60%). Today Singler, Scheyer and Smith did take the most shots (that’s expected), but they took only 48% of the team’s shots. If they can stay around the 50-53% range, then that means others are involved and Duke is going to win many, many games.
Question of the day…what doesn’t Duke schedule more road games at this time when students are away? Because Duke is a private school, so few of their student body is actually from the area. Last night’s crowd was fine, but it was not the typical atmosphere. Why not take advantage of the same situation at other schools and travel, get some experience in a hostile territory? I would love to see Duke face teams like Florida, Kentucky, Oklahoma, etc…and not in a early season tournament, not in a one-off at MSG, but a true home-and-home series.
Awful news today. Andre Dawkins’ sister, Lacey Dawkins (21) was killed in a car accident over the weekend.
Reports are sketchy at best (nothing on the big news sites as of yet), but it appears she was riding in a car with four other people, including Dawkins’ mother, who was hurt in the crash. We do not know how badly at this point.
As someone who has never lost a sibling, I can’t fanthom what this kid is going through. My heart goes out to him.
Filed under: Recruiting | Tags: 2010 Class, Recruiting, Roscoe Smith, Twitter
…maybe we should show him some.
Just checked out Roscoe Smith’s Twitter page and it appears he’s not satisfied with the amout of followers.
only got 268 follwers trying catch up wit kendall, tobias, will, and josh
Now if you don’t know who Roscoe Smith is, then stop right now, close out this window and never, ever visit this site again. Seriously, you call yourself a fan?
Roscoe is the best available SF left in the class of 2010. He’s a slasher/scorer with great hop and he would fit perfectly as the next great Duke small forward. If Smith became a Blue Devil, it would land Duke’s 2010 class into the top-five range (not even including Curry).
His twitter name is: Scoe2Tuff
Speaking of Roscoe…he just got done playing in the County Hoopfest.
This is what Evan Daniels at Scout had to say about the small forward.
(Roscoe) Smith certainly got his fair share of looks. The long range jumper wasn’t working, so Smith did as much work as possible in the paint and around the basket. What stood out to us was his effort on the glass, as he grabbed a game high 13 rebounds to go with his 18 points.
Filed under: ACC Basketball, Duke Recap | Tags: Duke vs. St. Johns, John Wall, North Carolina vs. Kentucky
Okay. That one word really can sum up what I saw and what I’m feeling after watching Duke beat St. John’s Saturday afternoon. The Devils were pretty much in control for most of the game (up 16 at halftime), letting the Red Storm get back within four with about five and a half to play, but eventually pulled away to win by nine.
Again, I’m okay with this outcome because I felt like Duke played…okay.
Let me explain and tell you what I saw:
I saw that the big three again took most of the shots. It’s time for me just to accept the simple fact that Duke will primarily be a three-man team again this year. For the record, Duke has taken 503 shots this season. The big three (Scheyer, Smith, Singler) have taken a stunning 297 of those shots (and that’s with Nolan missing two games this season). Three players are accounting for 59% of Duke’s attempts.I’m not a math wizard, but that’s a lot and that’s not a good thing.
Last year, the big three (Singler, Scheyer and Henderson) took 60% of the team’s shot. While the lack of diversity in the offense did end up costing Duke in the NCAA Tournament, it was good enough to lead Duke to another 30+ win season and the ACC tournament crown. That’s because while those three took 60% of the shots, they did manage to contribute to 58% of the scoring.
This year’s version of the big three are taking 59% of the shots, but they’re responsible for only 52% of the scoring. A lot of shots, but not enough are finding its way into the hole.
Against St. John’s, the big three accounted for a stunning 66% (43 of 65 shots). For the record, the other seven players tonight, were 13-22 from the floor. Just saying.
What I saw wasn’t pretty. The Badgers never trailed, always finding a way to pull ahead every time Duke got close. Using an extremely patient offense, Wisconsin always seem to take the perfect shot, often with less than 10 seconds on the shot clock.
So what did I see?
I saw that Duke’s big men were pretty worthless tonight. I’m talking mainly about Zoubek and Thomas. After four years, neither has shown that they belong at this level. These are nice kids, so I hate to be so harsh, but tonight, they had no business being on the floor. Their sole purpose tonight was to take up space on the floor and commit fouls.
For the record, the pair scored zero points, shooting 0-4 from the floor. They grabbed six rebounds, committing six fouls. In reality, it was just sad watching how much they struggled to put the ball in the basket, despite standing directly under it, while Wisconsin’s big men nailed the long-range shots and slammed home the close ones.When people talk about Duke being nonathletic, this is what they are talking about (big men wit no agility).
In the end, this was Duke’s downfall. With the game on the line, Duke became a one-dimensional team, with our ball handlers rolling through screens around the three-point line. If it wasn’t for Dawkins, this could have gotten real ugly at the end.
I saw Jon Scheyer too busy trying to get fouled, he forgot how to take a shot. I get it. He’s trying to get to the line. He’s money from the charity stripe (6-6 tonight), but against Wisconsin, Scheyer kept passing up a cleaner shot in hopes of getting fouled and more often than not, the ref didn’t feel like there was one. My advice going forward…Jon, take your shot. Let the foul calls come to you. Enough with the double pumps. Enough with slamming yourself into the big man. Take the shot. We needed your shot tonight.
With six games down, the ACC vs. Big 10 classic is all tied up at three a piece. Of course, the Big 10 has been the Susan Lucci of this “tournament” losing year after year after year. In fact, the ACC is a cool 10-0 against the boys from the north.
However, this year things were suppose to be different, with most “experts” predicting a better second decade for the Big 10, starting with a win this season in the ACC/Big 10 Challenge.
So what did I see?
PENN STATE 69 VIRGINIA 66
I saw a Cavaliers team unable to stop Talor Battle (32 for the game), while struggling to get to the line. Virginia got only 13 freebies at the stripe and only once in the games first 26 minutes.
PURDUE 69 WAKE FOREST 58
Wake actually led at halftime, but the Boilermakers went on a 27-9 second-half run to take control. Strangley, Purdue only shot 34% from the floor, including 1-15 from three, yet still won easily. Wake’s Aminu was okay at best. He scored 12 (with 10 boards), but shot only 3-11 from the floor as he battled foul trouble throughout the night (playing only 27 total minutes).
NORTHWESTERN 65 NORTH CAROLINA STATE 53
The Wolfpack fell behind early and every time they got too close, the Wildcats had an answer. For the game, NC State’s Javier Gonzlazez was 2-6 from three, but the rest of the team was shutout, going 0-12 from downtown, helping to lead NC State to their first defeat of the season.
MARYLAND 80 INDIANA 68
Greivis Vasquez continued to struggle from the floor (4-13, shooting 32% for the season), but he went 13-14 from the charity stripe, helping the Terps pull away from the Hoosiers in the second half. Good thing too…a third non-conference loss and the screams to fire Coach Williams would have returned.
VIRGINIA TECH 70 IOWA 64
With six minutes left, the Hokies finally pulled away from a pesky Iowa team, finishing the game on a 16-10 run. Still the Hokies let a bad (2-5) Hawkeyes team hit 12 three pointers. Tech’s strength was in the paint, as they hit 23 of 43 two-pointers, so why shoot 15 three-pointers (when you’re only hitting about 30% of them)?
NORTH CAROLINA 89 MICHIGAN STATE 82
The final score says UNC got a seven-point win, but in reality this game was never close. The Tar Heels led by as much as 19 points, while the Spartans struggled with UNC’s length. Can I go ahead and throw a thought out there? There is no question it is a down year for guards in the ACC. Having said that, is Larry Drew II the best point guard in the ACC?
Yeah, it’s early…but his last two game against solid foes (Nevada/Michigan St) have been impressive. He has 30 points (10-14 shooting, 3-5 from three) and an impressive 16 assists, improving on what was a less-than-impressive assist-to-turnover rate (after six games he was at 1.85/1, but in his last two games, he’s had a 4/1 assist-to-turnover ratio).
Just wanted to put that out there.