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Date: 4/6/2010

Duke Basketball  
Posted By: Matt (speechless)

Please discuss Duke's fourth national championship and the 2009-2010 champions here.  Thanks for reading this site. 


View more articles from this category


Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 8/2/2010 2:38:04 AM  
Thanks Andrew, as always, great analysis!

Posted by: Andrew Hicks Date: 7/28/2010 11:57:21 AM  
Two more thoughts on this year's NBA draft

I am very glad that Da'Sean Butler got drafted. He would have doubtless been a lottery pick before the knee injury, but 42nd pick is not bad, and Miami should be a good team for him. From what I can find on the Net, it appears that his rehab is going smoothly, and the Heat management thinks that he will be ready to play by next season. He is a fine young man by all accounts, and I am happy that (so far, at least) this is turning out all right.

And here is a look at some of the "NBA-loaded" teams:

Kentucky - 5 players drafted (3 lottery picks)
Kansas - 2 drafted, both lottery picks
Syracuse - 2 drafted
West Virginia - 2 drafted
Georgia Tech (!!) - 2 drafted, with Favors the number 3 pick.

Posted by: Andrew Hicks Date: 7/27/2010 2:42:19 PM  
I am surprised that Scheyer did not get drafted; I thought someone would pick him up in the second round.

It is not unheard of for a team to win the national championship without a starting lineup full of "NBA talent." But it is uncommon.

It is considerably more uncommon to win the title without ANY players showing up in that year's draft. Counting this year, it has been done five times in the last twenty years, twice by Duke:

- Florida, 2006
- Arizona, 1997
- Arkansas, 1994
- Duke, 1991

There were five championship teams since 1990 who had only one player drafted:
- Syracuse, 2003
- Duke, 2001 (Shane Battier)
- U.Conn, 1999
- Kentucky, 1998
- UNC, 1993

But if one doesn't count the 2006 Florida squad, which was (I think) a bit of a special case since they were all hanging around for 2007 to try for the repeat, every championship team since 2005 had at least four players drafted, at least one of them a lottery pick. This seems to be the Way Championships Are Won nowadays.

Or it seemed that way until March and April of this year, when things didn't quite work out for the likes of Kentucky and Kansas.

I hope that Duke in '91 and Florida in '06 are good omens for 2011.

Congratulations to the Duke Blue Devils for a championship season that continues to leave me in amazement. I am so proud of this team. Go Duke!!!!

Posted by: Serious G Date: 6/8/2010 9:03:14 PM  
Can't wait till next fall...don't want to count chickens before they hatch, but the Devils will have a great shot at #5. Also - they should be really fun to watch.

Hope everyone is having a great spring/summer!

Go Duke!

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 6/3/2010 11:10:28 AM  
Yep, it's working.

Posted by: flbluedevil Date: 6/2/2010 2:04:27 PM  

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 5/20/2010 11:20:11 AM  
Very interesting article referring to UMD-CP's G.V. -

Given this, and JJ's strong play in the playoffs, is it time to start that summer discussion regarding ACC polarizing players, Matt?

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 5/13/2010 11:47:41 AM  
And Butler in the Meadowlands, Dec 4. What a week. How soon can we get this season started?

Posted by: Steve!! Date: 5/12/2010 3:29:07 PM  
News from next season: Duke will host Michigan State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on December 1st.

Posted by: Karl Beem Date: 5/7/2010 5:27:56 PM  
Now this is my definition of fair:
. the Wear Bears leaving
. Nolan and Nails coming back.

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 5/6/2010 4:03:42 PM  
And the Wear Twins announce they are leaving NCCH to return home to California. Apparently lots of tweets from teammates indicating some really bad chemistry over there (chicken or egg question - bad chemistry or lousy season - which comes first?).

We of course, have been dealing with Singler coming back because "I really like it here," plus that stressful one-month anniversary of the 2010 National Championship(!!), as well as pics in the news of various combinations of players out and about together (Smith and Singler at NBA playoff game, Duke Idol, Scheyer's May Madness, etc.). Hmmm, which came first - great chemistry or an incredible season?

Thank you players, thank you Coach K and staff. If Butler's miracle heave manages to drop, I am still so proud of this team and how they represent their university. But instead... welcome to the gravy train! What a team, what a group of guys.

Posted by: Serious G Date: 5/3/2010 10:48:58 PM  
Still amazed. And happy!

Some great articles have been written about the team after the big win...Matt & D, you are on deck ;)

Brian Zoubek had a great banquet speech - check it when you can.


Posted by: Matt Date: 4/29/2010 11:20:04 AM  
No prob, SFSF - - easing into a lot of stuff, actually. I reserve the continuing right to be exhausted after the season. :)

I love that the destruction of WVU option is winning the poll. :) Please vote, everyone!

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 4/28/2010 4:21:55 PM  
Thanks for the poll Matt!

Easing into that Recap? Good strategy...

Posted by: Karl Beem Date: 4/20/2010 8:52:05 PM  
I'm *really* going to enjoy next year.

Posted by: KD Date: 4/20/2010 8:38:22 AM  
Awesome news about Kyle. There is going to be a serious competition for minutes next year. I was back in Durham for a reunion this past weekend and man was it a sweet time to be on campus. Rumor has it that Seth Curry is better than advertised. Like Andrew, I am a huge Andre fan and look forward to him taking a big step next year. However, he better lace 'em up tight as Curry sounds like he will firmly be in the mix. Can't wait for another great year.

K addressed the reunion crowd briefly followed by an edited version of One Shining Moment that appropriately featured only Duke highlights. Mesmerizing. He stepped up on the podium in a blazer and then quickly removed it to reveal what he called "My National Championship T-shirt." Sweet. Very proud to be a Blue Devil right now.

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 4/20/2010 1:09:59 AM  
CDG - I know what you mean - this has been the "hope but don't plan" wish that if it came through would mean the final piece of the perfect season. And it did! And it is! So yes CDG, we can cheer now! And forever! It was the perfect season, in every respect (thanks for doing your part, Roy)! I cannot even imagine what things are looking like right now over at Inside Cryolina (emphasis on "Cry"). Wowza. Must not peek – would be up all night.

lriwKSwirl meant so much to this team - let's hope he has the same affect on the next one. There's no way anyone should declare a team the favorites, or talk about repeats, etc. - we all know every season is its own journey and this one more than any other has taught us to enjoy it now, and not worry about past or future seasons. I would have been so happy with Elite Eight this season, so the joy of the 'Ship is almost indescribable. If I have a “hope but don’t plan” wish for next season, it is that Mr. Singler finishes his Duke career in a white jersey, on the last day of the season.

Now, as importantly, I believe I have figured out the dukies.com strategy! Could it be that Matt and duhomme have been patiently waiting, pencils poised, for the Singler announcement, officially heralding the end of this season, and ringing in the Recap, with Win of the Game (Singler decides to stay!?) and Fail of the Game, a final poll, and all the great stuff we're holding our breaths waiting to hear. Right? Maybe?

What so you think? Guys? Please? Is this thing working (tap, tap, tap)... "hello, hello hello?"

Posted by: CDG Date: 4/19/2010 10:12:33 PM  
It's confirmed!


Can I cheer now?!

Posted by: Josh Date: 4/19/2010 9:57:24 PM  
Singler staying for his senior year! Per his Twitter...


Posted by: CDG Date: 4/17/2010 12:57:08 AM  
First - SFSF, I have been on DBP since the Fall and the team-up with Duke Improve for the season opener, yet somehow didn't go back to see the One Shining Moment until today. First: Outstanding!!! Second: As much as I like Jennifer Hudson (even if an Idol -- a show I have never watched) the new version sucks. So great to see them using the older (but not even original) version.

Second, Andrew -- totally right on all counts. One can argue that making players play for so many minutes is wrong but it seems to be the Duke system (and a winning one at that). Ultimately we need to recruit the kind of players that can do that. And despite 12 minutes, Dre is on his way in my books. Plus, his relationship with Nolan makes be think he is even more on the right track. Nolan's a jokester but a serious player and someone like Dre is in good hands if, as it seems, they are teacher and student.

I echo SFSF though (and know I am spoiled) - RECAP PLEASE!!!

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 4/16/2010 2:14:44 PM  
Andrew - thank you so much for this brilliant analysis (and all the rest this season). I was going to do a Trip-S mins recap - agreed, just don't want this season to end - but this is SO much better! Add so much instructional and fun stuff from and all the commentators to Matt & duhomme's work and you've got the perfect fan site. Thanks all and yes, let's keep checking till we get our stinkin' recap. I needs my "Win of the Game"!!

Posted by: Andrew Hicks Date: 4/16/2010 12:18:42 PM  
A couple of thoughts for anyone who is still looking in here every couple of days (like I am), because we don't want to leave this season behind:

Andre Dawkins ended up with 477 minutes, or about 12 min. per game. He didn't score a lot of points: 4.4 ppg. But think where we would have been if he had not decided to skip out of high school and show up in Durham a year early. He was basically the only backcourt reserve, and his 12 min. per game were extremely valuable in this regard. There were some jaw-dropping moments that showed what kind of player he is going to be next year. By the end of the season, he was doing excellent work on the floor even when he wasn't taking any shots. Thank you, Andre!!!!

Back in mid-season, Matt threw out the hypothesis that Coach K. has been looking for players who could go close to forty minutes every game and not fade in March, ever since Shane Battier did that during his career, and had not found any for the simple reason that Shane was one of a kind. One could certainly argue that J.J.'s notorious NCAA fadeouts were the result of cumulative fatigue. Many of us were concerned about this, and SanFranSoxFan tracked the Triple-S minutes until it became clear that for this team, it didn't really matter as much as we thought. So Duke got most of its points from three players, and they spent a lot of time on the court? One cannot argue with the results.

Still, I think that Matt and SanFranSoxFan were right. Not every player is going to play at their best, week after week. But for some guys, it seems to work. Again, one cannot argue with this year's results. One of the fascinating things for me was what Matt called the "reverse fade" that we saw repeatedly in the two tournaments.

Anyway, some stats for comparison:

In Battier's senior year, he started all 39 games, and averaged 35 min./game. He logged 29.7 min./game for his career.

Jon Scheyer: all 40 games, 36.7 min/game (33 min/game for his career)
Kyle Singler: all 40 games, 35.9 min/game (32.4 min/game for three years, and here's hoping he has one more on the way)
Nolan Smith: 38 games played, 35.5 min./game (24.4. min/game for his three years, less than
Kyle's and Jon's because Nolan did not play that much as a freshman, only 500 minutes with one start)

Looking back at some other guys from the last few decades who played serious minutes over their Duke careers:

Johnny Dawkins: 35.7 min/game (I haven't found anyone who tops this. His sophomore year, he averaged 38.4 min/game. This was bumped up by four overtime games, including a double-overtime loss at UNC-CH, wherein Dawkins and Amaker each played 49 minutes. Nonetheless, 38.4 min/game is a lot.)

Gene Banks: 34.6 min/game
Bobby Hurley: 34.3 min/game
Mike Gminski: 34.1 min/game
J.J. Redick: 34.0 min/game (and as often noted, this might have been more than he should have played)
Tommy Amaker: 33.8 min/game

Again, congratulations to the players, coaches, and staff of this year's team.

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 4/14/2010 10:05:09 PM  
Ooops, sorry, thats dukeblueplanet.com

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 4/14/2010 10:04:26 PM  
While we await Matt and duhomme's recap (please, please, please guys, your audience so like a recap), the vids on dukeplanet.com are excellent. I particularly like dbp's version of "One Shining Moment."

Posted by: CDG Date: 4/13/2010 2:09:51 PM  
One more alum in the coaching ranks:


How long until the blogs go nuts about nepotism?

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 4/13/2010 1:30:50 AM  
And Easy Ed Davis declares for the draft after his sophomore year at UNC-CH/NCCH. Thanks for the memories, Ed.

But good news in that L Drew XXIV intends to stay. Rumor has it the DES Center renovations during the NIT were actually reinforcements to courtside seats in rows 5 through 20 so LD eleventy-seven can practice passing during the one summer session he won't be hangin' in S. Cal over the break (apologies if someone else already broke this rumor).

Guess all's well that ends well?

Posted by: blueflame Date: 4/12/2010 9:15:29 AM  
I just wanted to offer a simple thanks to Matt and duhomme for their sacrificial labors over the season to give us True Blue fans our weekly basketball 'fix.' Your pre-game & post game insights were always funny and insightful. Thanks to all who posted comments throughout the season. I always came away with fresh perspectives on the Dukies and their opponents (thugs, bugs, & horse-face mugs). It will be an unforgettable year that was made all the more memorable by this sublime website. Thanks.

Posted by: KD Date: 4/10/2010 9:00:48 AM  
Great comments, all. What a season. This one wipes away the pain of losing to Uconn in '99 (well almost). There have so many great teams over the years, but I think we all have to admit that this team has been perhaps the best representation of what makes Duke such a great program. It is hard to say goodbye to the seniors, but what a great send off. I hope somebody gives Jon a chance at the next level - he just is a great kid. I know it is doubtful, but he is a player you just want on your basketball team.

Delighted to see that Gaudio was dispatched to eliminate one of the thugs. Bizarre move by Purnell. Given the current state of the ACC coaching ranks, this is a loss for the league. He wasn't great, but he was good, and there isn't much of that going around these days. I am concerned about the near-term prospects for the ACC. The number of programs in turmoil/in decline now far outnumber those on the rise. Scary when Sweaty is the second best coach in the league (yes, Ol' Roy is a distant third). Although all of this transition may not hurt Duke that much, I can argue that it is not good for us long term. Let's get rid of Swofford and find somebody who can get the ACC out of its tailspin and back into national prominence.

Congratulations, boys, for an incredible run! Can't wait for next year.

Posted by: dan Date: 4/9/2010 11:33:58 PM  
University of Colorado coach to Wake?


Definitely a step up for Bzdelik. Had some good seasons at Air Force, but watching CU for the last couple of years, it has been a struggle for him. Not a great recruiter at CU, so that may not bode well for Wake.

Posted by: tom Date: 4/9/2010 9:37:26 PM  
Okay, I've calmed down some since my last post but there is a smile on my face that will not go away. Having Jon on the cover of SI with "The Face" is just freakin great? I know you guys won't post much now that the season is over but was wondering if you thought about doing some sore of season in review or some type of wrap up? In the three days alone, we've seen two ACC coaches fired, and another do what I think is a lateral transfer, a possible game against Butler next year. Just to name a few things.
Really appreciate all that you guys do. I've supplied links of your website to my sister who is also a huge Duke fan so maybe she can become a member as well. Thanks again guys!

Posted by: Serious G Date: 4/9/2010 9:04:04 PM  
The scheduling possiblilty (Butler) is exciting. Next year's Duke team could be very fun to watch. Lots of fast guards, athletic bigs...but I cannot get ahead of myself. Gotta enjoy Monday's big win!

Good weekend, all.

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 4/9/2010 6:42:09 PM  
Let's hope for a home-and-home series. With Stevens signing a 12 year contract he's in it for the long haul and intends to build a Duke. Good on him, and K giving him the opportunity to take a couple in CIS (and he will) would be good for both programs.

It's a pity K certainly doesn't coach 12 more years, as I was beginning to hope Stevens would be his successor. This guy comes across a lot like a young K from a basketball IQ standpoint. He put together a stellar game plan against the Devils Monday night.

Can't wait to hear Matt and duhomme weigh in on this, as well as recap Monday evening (hint... hint). :-)

Posted by: dan Date: 4/9/2010 3:23:19 PM  
A possible rematch with Butler?


Posted by: Thomas Rutledge Date: 4/9/2010 1:24:35 PM  
Thanks to 2 Dukies for their efforts this year and to the Duke U. men's basketball team. It has been a great year!

Let's do it again next year!!!

Posted by: duhomme Date: 4/7/2010 6:29:41 PM  
Dave Clark:

Thanks for the news about Dino. Can you post that over at Two Wolfies so maybe the N.C. administration will get a clue and boot Lowe?

Posted by: Karl Beem Date: 4/7/2010 6:01:30 PM  
"Oh cripes, we are coming up as everyone's preseason #1. Is that something we want? "

No problema, as long as I can hold Kyle's warmup for him.

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 4/7/2010 4:18:56 PM  
OK, did I just miss the obvious (wouldn't be first time), and did Matt/duhomme or a commenter already note this? To me, it's almost surreal. In remarks from the Cameron homecoming yesterday (http://www.wralsportsfan.com/rs/video/7368114/), Zoubs mentions not losing in their white (i.e., home) jerseys all season. Then K gets up and talks about "winning Senior night, to secure a share of Regular Season conference title" (i.e., white jerseys in ACC Tourney), then winning the ACC Tourney and securing a #1 seed in the NCAA Tourney (i.e., white jerseys throughout the South regional tournament), then winning the regional as a #1 and securing a spot in the FF (and thus, as the highest seed, securing white jerseys in the last two games!). So, while every pundit and mediot is wondering why K risks injury and exhaustion by gearing up for and playing so hard to win the ACC Tourney, this guy has been on a "home court advantage plan" since the ACC regular season! Did he really get his guys to believe that they would play every post-season game as the Home Team if they worked hard and followed his plan?

Seriously, how good is this coach, and how much better does he understand what it takes to win then... anybody? Wow.

Posted by: Dave Clark Date: 4/7/2010 3:48:25 PM  
Gaudio's out at Wake Forest, apparently.

Posted by: Stephen Frazier Date: 4/7/2010 10:08:34 AM  
Sweep Carolina in the regular season...check.

Win the ACC tourney...check.

Win the NCAA tourney...check.

Helluva season, helluva coach, helluva team. Well done all.

Much thanks to Matt and Duhomme for this site. Great job guys...looking forward to next year!

Posted by: Hill Bullock Date: 4/7/2010 8:14:03 AM  
Oh cripes, we are coming up as everyone's preseason #1. Is that something we want?

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 4/7/2010 1:51:14 AM  
Thanks CDG - very well said. Please provide some cheers for next year when you get the chance - the fields are so fertile!

I found this link with 27 minutes of the homecoming at Cameron. As Treebeard (TM duhomme) would say... "we're undefeated this year in our White Jerseys, and that's a big part of you guys"


Posted by: CDG Date: 4/6/2010 8:22:14 PM  
So awful... but I am starting to get depressed now because the reality that this very special season is in fact over! How awful is that. Don't get me wrong -- I am still thrilled at the win -- but as I read the comments below, I am getting sad that this too will come to an end and my favorite piece of real estate on the internet will go silent for long stretches...

Matt, duhomme -- it's your fault! You guys have spoiled me/us this season with your quality work! Now how am I going to waste time at work???

Like many below, I will continue to cherish this win, this team... this entire journey. But I am also starting to look forward to next year. I have no expectations for next year results-wise, but I do think that the reason why next year holds so much promise is that we seem to be putting together teams that work, and work hard. I see that being the trademark of the next few editions and no matter where the team ends up, I will be so happy if that is in fact the case. Because a team that works for it, even if they come up short, is the team that I want to be a fan of.

Posted by: Hill Bullock Date: 4/6/2010 5:41:21 PM  
First, congratulations to the Devils for an awesome run this year, doing what no one thought you could. Simply outstanding.

And second, thanks to Matt and duhomme for all the hard work they do, and the much appreciated humor they inject into the basketball season. It will be a sad day when you hang it up.

Posted by: David MacMillan Date: 4/6/2010 5:18:06 PM  
Simply wow. This team blew up all the negativity and criticism leveled at the Duke program for the past few years.

Matt and duhomme--as Ric Flair would say, you're jet-flyin', limo-ridin', kiss-stealin' sons of guns. Thanks for TCOB.

Posted by: ClemsonGuest Date: 4/6/2010 4:52:00 PM  
Pardon me for not being jovial. Depression happens when you lose your coach to a team that should be relegated from the Big East to the Summit League.

Congrats to the Devils, and the Bulldogs, and the Two Dukies for sticking it out for us.

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 4/6/2010 4:13:43 PM  
So many to thank!

Matt and duhomme (and Guests!), thanks for the great posts and analysis all season, with extra kudo's for the Crazy Eights and onwards work you did (due to long absence through no fault of your own, you were in vaguely charted territory but guided us through in spades). One of the most endearing stats for this season will be your pick rates. Wow.

duhomme, your comments regarding your stable-mate in the Finals post was touching. Don't think your readers haven't noticed the chemistry as well (and not in a Huggins-like way), which is one of the reasons this site continues to be such a great read. Can't wait for "Win of the Game" and "Fail of the Game"!

Andrew - great recap of Matt's pre-cap below, and boy did Matt nail this one!

All commentators - thanks, thanks, thanks! This site is just the way I like my cake - almost as much icing as the cake itself. If we were still kids, there'd have been a lot of milk through the nose moments due to comments on this site.

Roy, UNC-CH, and fans - You've been the gift that just kept on giving. To paraphrase Matt... "That Defense of your Natty didn't turn out like you planned" (CDG - would fans get that as a sign next year?). Thanks UNC-CH, your suckitude was exemplary.

ESPN - Thanks for helping put this site on the map, you putzes.

CBS - Thanks for nothing. You've probably driven a perfect tourney to a 96-team format through greed and incompetence (with kudos to the NCAA for complicity).

To the Duke players and Coaches. Thanks for acknowledging the fans, and including them where you can (I love that K always talks to whoever is there to meet the bus when it returns), but thanks even more for doing this for yourselves. Incredibly hard work, long odds, bought into the system completely, team first, no jersey tugs, etc., etc. You play the game the right way, regardless of outcome. The Natty is reward for your work and effort, and your fans will hopefully continue to appreciate that.

Posted by: dan Date: 4/6/2010 3:16:25 PM  
Thanks to Matt and Duhomme for all of the insightful analysis and one of a kind parodies. You've set the bar pretty high with this seasons write-ups.

I don't remember a more intense championship game. It was a well coached game and K did a great job keeping the team focused and rested with the timeout calls.

Congratulations to Duke for being as resilient as they were despite what Butler was allowed to get away with. I had to laugh when Hahn grabbed Jon around the waist and then was calling for traveling when the foul was called.

It was a great win for the program and for the seniors (and possibly Kyle) who played their last game.

Barring a championship letdown next year should be fun with Kyrie and Seth being part of the mix.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 4/6/2010 1:59:54 PM  
Serious G - If you haven't read Feinstein's *March to Madness* (about the 93 season in the ACC), you should. And apropos of nothing but the subject of nostalgia--Glenn Kenny's *A Galaxy Not So Far Away* if you're older than 35.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 4/6/2010 1:54:11 PM  
Nice call, vine, though Kellogg--for the first time in ages--didn't get under my skin. I recall him saying the jump ball was a make-up for (either) the Hayward rebound foul, or a foul on Hayward's putback (not the second foul meant anything at all). Then again, the six or so Natty Lights might have made him easier on the ears.

The game-play reminded me a lot of the sweet sixteen games a couple of Redick's teams went out on, LSU and MSU. Uglied way up. In this case though, Live By the Three-Live by Whatever Works.

Posted by: the naked vine Date: 4/6/2010 1:26:32 PM  
Predictable, many of the postmortems are about how, once again, Duke got all the calls to get the win. The "Lance Thomas flagrant," the "Zoubek takedown," and the "Scheyer charge" all loom large.

No mention, of course, of how Butler not only proved that a team with a solid quantity of white guys from a mid-major conference not only can reach the Final Four, but they can engage in the kind of thuggery that one usually finds in your average Virginia Tech or Wake Forest game.

Stevens had a great gameplan. Knowing the officials didn't want to be involved in a "Duke conspiracy" -- he knew that he would likely be able to make the game into a hip and hand checking morass. If the officials weren't going to call all the fouls, then they had a chance. It worked. I especially liked the sequence where Lance had secured the rebound and Hayward used his Sylar-esque powers of telekinesis to cause Lance's body to make a 90 degree turn in mid air and drop the ball -- which he then picked up to draw the foul. Not a peep from Kellogg, who was too busy losing the last of his dignity.

But you know what they call a team who everyone hates, who is allegedly buoyed by a massive conspiracy of NCAA officials and ESPN/CBS execs?

They call then 2010 National Champs.

To steal from the utterly inappropriate words of Thomas Friedman: "Suck. On. This."

Posted by: Serious G Date: 4/6/2010 1:13:45 PM  
One more thing - I have read that Bob Hurley Sr. will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer. Well earned.

The Miracle of St. Anthony is the best book on basketball I have every read. Anyone else have any suggestions for a good read?

Posted by: Serious G Date: 4/6/2010 1:10:36 PM  
I think K will arrange a tougher schedule for next season than what we have seen in the past few years. I'm hoping for that, anyways. Duke should be loaded next year - knock on wood.

Aside from some road struggles, really this team did everything this year. Individually, Nolan took a huge step forward, Jon surpassed 2000 points, Zoubs had a huge 6-8 week run to close out, brothers Plum showed flashes of brilliance, LT guarded anybody & everybody, Singler was good all-around during the year, great at the end. I look forward to what Dawk and Kelly can do with more PT.

ACC tourney & (shared) season champs, an incredible senior night (82-50!) and now this. Wow.

The only think that could've topped this would be a sweep of the Terps.

Posted by: Andrew Hicks Date: 4/6/2010 10:03:34 AM  
It isn't going to happen, but I would love for Butler to get on the Duke schedule, alternating between Cameron and their arena. It would be great for both teams to battle it out every year, and I think it would be great for college basketball. It would sure beat playing St. John's.

*** review's Matt's (paraphrased) pre-game points ***
- limit Heyward. 2-11 from the floor; check. Duke (mostly Singler and Thomas) were magnificent. He is a great player and he still managed 8-8 from the line and 8 rebounds, but for him, this was not a highly productive game.
- work the ball inside to get Howard in foul trouble; check. It took a while (first foul at the 13 min. mark), but he ended only playing 19 minutes. He is a very mobile player and was a tough matchup for Zoubek; early on he was getting some excellent close-in shots that didn't drop. Had he played closer to 40 minutes, he could have been a big factor.
- Jukes can hit from three, and can fill in ably for Howard; he can, and did. But he can't win it on his own? I was wondering for a while, but Matt was right about this.
- "The most critical item is for both Duke guards to control the ball well and prevent Butler from forcing turnovers that lead to easy shots." Check and double-check. Duke ended up with an uncharacteristic twelve turnovers, but that was not because of sloppy guard play. Not at all. Butler is just really, really good at this -- but they didn't get a lot of easy shots out of them.
- Don't give Hahn uncontested threes; check. They were all over him, and he only took (and made) one shot, and I think it was from about thirty feet.
- "Butler's most serious problems in this game will be offensive rebounding and depth." I think one of the keys to the game was the adjustments Duke made at halftime on this. They came out in the second half absolutely determined to own the glass, after Butler got a lot of offensive boards and second-chance points in the first half.
- And I must quote most of a paragraph from Matt's preview, because it proved to be absolutely right: "... as long as Butler continues to lead or even stay in the game, the more the crowd energy will feed their already considerable belief that they can get things done, and that is an enormous element of this game that transcends all statistics. Luckily for Duke - - yet again - - they've been eagerly written off all season too, and the desire of Jon, Lance, and Brian for a national title to cap their amazing journey from the disappointments of their freshman (and, to a lesser extent, sophomore) seasons cannot be overstated or underestimated. Coach K, of course, has a similar drive, and this season, he seems to have found the recipe for translating that into results."

I think it was Zoubek that commented recently about all those practices where it was just him, Lance, and Wojo down at one end of the court. All three of them have taken a lot of criticism over these past few years; I can't think of how many times I have read that Wojo is ineffective as a big-man coach. And people made fun of Zoubek for how awkward and foul-prone he was. Was, not is; Z's blossoming into a first-rate post player this season has been an absolute joy to watch. And there are not many people out there who can play defense like LT.

This one has to rank with the UNLV game in '91, and the Kentucky game in '92. Being the championship game, this one might have to go first on that list. This team doesn't really have a Laettner, Hurley, or G. Hill, a Jason Williams or Shane Battier. But they have played with discipline and focus and a will-to-win that is every bit the equal of the Duke teams of '91-'92 and 2001. And that is saying a lot.

Posted by: Matt Jervey Date: 4/6/2010 3:14:40 AM  
Thank you, DUKE, and thank you, Matt and duhomme! What an amazing year!

Posted by: Al White Date: 4/6/2010 2:50:14 AM  
To this veteran fan, the first title will always be the best because it showed Duke could actually succeed in a world where unsavory coaches procured formidable players who had no business being anywhere near a college campus and we beat one of the toughest of those teams ever in the national semifinal. After that golden moment, this one will be right there for all the reasons you other loyal devotees of this great site have mentioned and because this team got better when it needed to. Thanks to the coaching staff and to all the guys for lifting the effort to the level where even the ultimate team of destiny could not triumph.

Matt and duhomme, thank you so much for providing the insightful analysis and coffee-spewing humor biweekly after biweekly!!

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 4/6/2010 2:37:04 AM  
Matt, I suspect part of leaving the ACC Finals poll up all through the tourney was mojo-driven. Laudatory (given that you pull for the Sox means you have a keen grasp of mojo). Is it time for a "highlight of the Final Four" poll as mojo is no longer in play (when you've rested of course... we have All off-season now!)? One suggested choice: "Lance's glass-melting glare after securing a rebound in 2nd half against Butler"

-dan e
"That game at Charlston College didn't turn out like you planned."

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 4/6/2010 1:55:21 AM  
CDG - we came dangerously close after WVU, with all our hinting about cheers for upcoming UNC-CH games. We literally stepped ourselves back from the brink, wondering still if we'd gone too far! Clearly the guys took care of business in spite of our high-jinks, so it is now time for the first cheer I have been forcing back into my sub-conscious for about three weeks. It seems only fitting, given the lack of "stars" and "athleticism" on this team, that we keep things simple, sign-worthy, and if possible, one word. My suggestion?

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 4/6/2010 1:42:24 AM  
After sweating that one out, I think I shall have a nice bath composed of Roy Williams' tears.

Posted by: blueflame Date: 4/6/2010 1:25:31 AM  
I am stunned. Coach K's best coaching - ever! This team has epitomized the word resilient. We have probably seen the last of Kyle. But if he comes back and maybe if he doesn't... with what is coming in and coming back, a repeat is real possibility for next year. This year with this team was an unexpected treasure, and one we will all savor for a long, long time. Congrats Devils!

Posted by: duhomme Date: 4/6/2010 1:17:30 AM  
This one needs another viewing. Until then, thank you Duke. Thank you Scheyer, Thomas and Zoubek. And the rest of the team who are (hopefully?) not playing your last game. Thank you to Coach K and the rest of the staff.

AND, more importantly around these parts, THANK YOU to the readers/posters. It's been a fun season to hang around together, huh? With a most enjoyable ending most of us probably didn't see coming. Amazing. Couldn't happen to a nicer senior class.

Posted by: tom Date: 4/6/2010 12:48:28 AM  
I'm at a loss for words. In my opinion, this is the biggest championship for Duke. As a fan, I saw the other teams with "better NBA talent" win it all and others that didn't. Today at work, everyone was telling me to "be cool" it won't even be close and I knew it would be. I didn't feel good until the buzzard sounded and even then I wasn't sure. In the past, the Duke teams where players have left early the year before don't make it far in the tournament. After seeing Elliot Williams have to transfer it was very deflating. I really felt as a Duke fan, that there was just no hope. It's funny how things change sometimes and the "things happen for a reason" actually is true. The year 2010 has started out really bad for me personally. I won't go into details but when I was feeling my lowest ever, I watched Duke lose to G Tech and I just felt that I couldn't get a break with anything. As the weather got warmer and Duke got better it was my relief and it just seems like a destiny to me that they won this championship. Because, honestly, if things stayed where they were, it would not have happened. That's how I feel. Congratulations to this team, congratulations to this school, congratulations to the "Dukies.com" and Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Posted by: Dave Clark Date: 4/6/2010 12:39:17 AM  
Holy moly. Just holy moly.

Should be noted that Duke had to win this playing Butler's game...a slog with all sorts of guys flying around the floor. Didn't necessarily like the call to miss the last FT, until it was missed, and OHHHHHH then I didn't like it, but then I did. Sheesh. Dumptruck of credit to Butler, but ten of 'em to Duke. Man oh man.

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