Posted at 11:00 pm by dukeblog
Congrats to Michigan State and UNC and the rest of the Final Four
I have to hand it to Tom Izzo he stuck to his game plan and it really wore out the Devils..it was an obvious weakness that not many other teams exploited this year. MSU just plain came to play, the Devils were beaten by a better team that night. Nothing else could be said. I made a comment that Duke had more heart than talent and that it would take them only so far. MSU had the bodies and the will to win, they wanted it and they took it, it wasn't handed to them.
Also congrats to Roy Williams and the Tarheels on making it to the Final Four, and by playing good basketball. They have a team that most would envy, good bigs and guard play..great role players, and defenders. They have a legit shot of coming home with a title..there is no easy road though. They have earned it by accepting the style and plan of Roy Williams. I look forward to next year and some great games as well.
I truly can't say this season yielded too much surprise for me. I was surprised, however, that this team did as well as they did on heart alone. Winning the ACC tournament and gaining a number one seed in the NCAA tourney was something that very few thought possible for this team--me included. Without the services of Luol Deng, Shaun Livingston, Chris Duhon--and don't forget the transer of Michael Thompson, and Chris Humphries. This could have easily spelled disaster for this or any other teams..but they never let others define their success, they ran their own race with one thing in mind, get better each practice...and that they did.
This team provided Coach K and his staff plenty of examples of heart. J.J. Redick had an outstanding year, was 2nd in voting for college player of the year and was ACC player of the year..no one can take that away from him.
Shelden Williams often had to carry this team on his back on the nights that J.J. couldn't, he has steadily improved his game and his skill set each year in this system. If SheWIll should decide that 3 years is enough for him and he wants to test those NBA waters, who could blame him. I certainly wouldn't think any less of him. Although I would be tempted to stay on a team that is battle tested and will definitely have the talent and depth to make a deep run next year. For one thing a true point guard is heading to Durham, something that has been missing for a while now.
Daniel Ewing, the Silent Assassin, while not having his best year has definitely showed the country his versatility..sure his shooting suffered this year, but he assist numbers went up and he showed that he could make the transition to point guard from just a shooter. He did this selflessly and I hope he is rewarded for this in the league. He was the anchor to this team and was always ok with deferring to J.J. when I know he wanted to take that big shot. These are qualities that make a good basketball player and a good team player. He is one of those 4 year guys you never forget. Congrats on an outstanding year.
I as a fanatic have my own ideas for success for the team I pull for, this years team definitely surpassed that...and I am proud to be a Duke Fan.
Some exciting things on the horizon for the DukeBlog is that I am moving this blog to a private server where I will have much more control over the design and content, I plan to focus hard between now and next year on recruiting and the new players coming in next year. So hopefully those of you who actually come to this blog will come to the next step in its evolution at:
. I am hoping to have it up and running sometime this week. Thanks for all the posts and comments.
Posted at 12:20 pm by dukeblog
Well that first game was a bit scary for Duke I am sure..I mean this isn't the first team to use that strategy on them..but it is the first time this year. I remember in the ACC tournament I believe Matt D'oh used similar strategies on Duke and it worked for quite a bit of the game. So I credit Coach Jackson with really doing his homework. He really exploited Dukes defense in that game. I wonder if anyone else will employ that tactic.
Game 2. Mississsipi..Clark Kellog called it when he said they would give Duke all it could handle and then some, this team was some foul shots away from running away with this, they missed quite a few. Loren Roberts is a beast, and I think he matched up well with Shelden. He and Ewing really carried the load. I think Dock being back is helping Ewings offense quite a bit, without Dock they may have lost the first game. The timing of his return could not have been better. Lets see how they fair against Michigan State, the first meeting this year was a close one..but both teams were still finding themselves. Should be a good game.
I predict Duke wins by 10, and that Shelden has a great game maybe he goes for 17...I think Shav, if he can finish can have some good minutes in this game on offense.
Posted at 01:02 pm by dukeblog
Sean Dockery has been cleared to play in Fridays game, this is excellent news--and just in the nick of time.
Posted at 05:59 pm by dukeblog
I am curious to hear from people on their picks for the final four and also their biggest upsets in the tourney. I will be posting mine hopefully today sometime.
Posted at 12:53 pm by dukeblog
THE ACC TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS
What can I say, I honestly say I did not expect the Devils to hold out as well as they did in the tournament. The first game I knew they would be ok for, and they took out UVA..who did put up a good fight, much better than I expected to be honest, I think they were chasing that automatic bid with much ferocity. The game with NC State is when I started to really worry JJ has an off night shooting but he hit shots when he needed to, the contributions from David McClure, DeMarcus Nelson, Reggie Love and Shavlick Randolph were invaluable.
I started to really worry that JJ had lost his legs, and honestly if he had who could blame him. Looks like the Georgia Tech game proved me completely wrong, he was on and made some great plays. I venture to say that is the bench continues to perform as they have and the starters can keep their legs about them, Duke can make a decent run at this thing. The announcers and bracketologist is already predicting Syracuse over Duke..I think that is the motivation that this team needs. They have been underestimated the entire year..in fact Digger Phelps, Jay Bilas, and I believe Dickie V all chose Georgia Tech to beat Duke on Sunday.
I love that not much is expected of this team, you can count my among those that underestimated them, I won't make that mistake again.
Congratulations to the Duke Blue Devils on winning the ACC Tournament!!
Posted at 10:52 am by dukeblog
Why am I just tickled that Maryland lost to Clemson...it doesn't mean they won't make the NCAA's but it is definitely not a good sign for them, losing to Clemson thrice is a bad omen. If they were to not make the tourney I would be even happier, they should not get in just because they swept Duke.. that isn't right.
Posted at 10:17 am by dukeblog
Congratulations to UNC for winning the ACC regular season title outright, they have had a terrific season in the ACC capped off by beating my beloved Bluedevils. It was a great game and hard fought on both sides. They have come a long way since May and Felton and the like were freshmen. I hope we get another shot at them in the ACC tourney.
Posted at 03:40 pm by dukeblog
I guess there is talk in certain UVA circles that Tubby Smith is the number one candidate to replace Pete Gillen as UVA's head coach. Although I don't see this happening, my buddy Bones an alum insists it will happen. So if it does, you heard it from him first.
Posted at 11:38 am by dukeblog
JJ Redick single handedly took Duke to the victory over Wake Forest last night. The man just played like it was all on the line, I can only hope that this continues into the post season.
I would have liked to see more from D. Ewing (in the way of points and assists) and Shelden, but I guess it was just JJ's night. 38 points is a new career high, obviously, Duke players just don't score that much..it isn't normal...but it was necessary. The bench did a great job of putting points on the board and D.Ewing not starting hopefully put a fire in him that playing time has to be earned. There is no reason he shouldn't be scoring 16 or 17 a night..he is a tremendous athlete with great bball knowledge.
I guess the point was that they got the "W"
Posted at 03:17 pm by dukeblog