TWO DUKIES PICK THE ACC
Volume XIV, Episode 2
November 16, 2010
NO NO, THE OTHER MIAMI EDITION
Matt’s comments in blue.
duhomme's comments in red.
MIAMI (OHIO) (1-0, 0-0 Mid-American) @ #1 DUKE (1-0, 0-0)
Well, for anyone who wonders why I always insist on calling the Hurryclowns “Miami (FL)” in the Two Dukies matchup header, here we go! Duke plays, for the first time in school history, the OTHER Miami, the one located in Ohio. Now, wouldn’t you be confused if we had just slapped “Miami” up there as Duke’s second opponent of the season? You wouldn’t be surprised, because Swoffie’s ACC scheduleminions are dosing themselves with all manner of recreational drugs as usual (just check out any of the 12 men’s basketball schedules this season if you’re depressed and need a few good laughs - - for the best guffaw, note how much fail the schedulers authored this season in trying to make it look like they weren’t protecting NCCH; it’s not their best camouflage job of that always-required task), but you might be befuddled. As a side note, I’ve mentioned before how much I love it when Duke faces off against a school it’s never played before, in 105-plus seasons. There aren’t too many other major team sports where this interesting phenomenon occurs.
For anyone wondering, Miami (Ohio) is the 10th-oldest public school in the United States, and is located in Oxford, a town founded specifically to host the university waaaaaaaaay back in 1810. Oxford is in the southwest quadrant of Ohio, about 40 miles southwest of Dayton and 40 miles northeast of Cincinnati, and only between four and five miles east of the Ohio-Indiana border. Famous alumni include U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), former HHS Secretary and current Other Miami prez Donna Shalala, and douchebag dong-waver Ben Roethlisberger. The RedHawks are coached by Charlie Coles, a smart coach and an institution at Miami and in the Mid-American Conference. The 68-year old signal-caller played three seasons at Miami, graduating in 1965, and was Dan Majerle’s college coach during a six-year stint as the head man at Central Michigan from 1986 through 1991. After a short time coaching at Central Catholic High School in Toledo, Coles returned to the MAC as Herb Sendek’s top assistant at his alma mater, then claimed the lead coaching position following Nerd’s departure for North Carolina State. Coles has been the head coach of the RedHawks ever since, dating back to 1996-1997, just before the school changed the name of its mascot from something less divisive to the current, much better nick. Coles also recruited and coached Wally Szczerbiak in college. He has shepherded Miami (OH) to six postseason appearances in 14 seasons.
This season, Coles has decided to create as difficult an OOC schedule as possible for his team, which is expected to contend in the MAC’s Eastern Division with Kent State and Ohio University. In addition to this game, Miami visits Ohio State, Dayton, Kansas, and will participate in BracketBusters (something good that ESPN, which is mostly a force for evil these days, manages to pull off) against, one presumes, another challenging opponent. Miami opened its season on Friday night by hosting the Towson Tigers, and survived an opposition three-point attempt with 11 seconds to go to post a 60-57 win.
So, we were handed a real clap-your-hands-with-glee gift with the whole Ian Hummer thing in our opening edition; you can imagine my corresponding dismay when a quick scan of Miami’s roster did not reveal (e.g.) a 6-9 Dutch import named Jan Blajob. This precluded any fifth-grade-level quips centering on the act of fellatio, which kneeslappers probably made Dukies.com websita non grata with the Legislature of the State of Texas, inter alia. Oh, well; they’re not really our target audience - - if one exists.
Coles starts 6-8 Julian Mavunga (14 points and 11 rebounds against Towson; 10.0 ppg and 6.3 rpg a season ago) and 6-7 Nick Winbush (seven points and 11 bounds against Towson; 9.7 ppg and 4.7 rpg last year) in the frontcourt, and boy, if you can’t get a Hummer, you might as well hope to Winbush. (Is this nomenclatural trend among certain, uh, members of Duke’s opponents going to continue? I’m already disappointed that former Hurryclown Denis the Penis Clemente cleared out of Kansas State before we get a likely, but not certain chance to play them in Kansas City in about a week.) These guys are scrappy but undersized - - look, just stop, okay? You’re getting a rise out of the interns who research this stuff. The backcourt features 6-3 sophomore Allen Roberts, who authored a low-key freshman campaign, but is now the go-to guy in the absence of three-year starter Kenny Hayes, who graduated. Although Roberts dropped 20 on Towson on 7-9/3-4/3-3 shooting to lead all scorers, he didn’t record an assist - - point-guard duties have been handed right away to 6-0 freshman Quinten Rollins, a 6-0, 180-pounder from Wilmington, Ohio, just two counties to the east. Rollins had four dimes and one miscue in 29 ticks against the Tigers, but struggled a bit on defense, as did Roberts, who fouled out. The fifth starter is 6-4 sophomore swing Orlando Williams, who scored just 3.0 ppg a season ago, but is a key cog in this year’s RedHawk attack, and scored nine points, all on three-pointers, in 36 minutes Friday. There isn’t a ton of depth; 6-8 freshman wing Jon Harris did not tally a point in 10 minutes, 6-9 sophomore Vince Legarza (last season’s backup center) managed four points and three boards in nine minutes of action but figures to be more needed against Duke’s frontcourt attack, and 6-5 freshmen Josh Sewell, last season’s runner-up for Mr. Basketball honors in Kentucky (not bad) notched one three-pointer, a turnover and two personal fouls in five minutes of toil.
Miami looks very young and inexperienced, with a freshman point guard and no reliable post presence, which likely spells disaster against Duke. Based on the Blue Devils’ showing against Princeton, I expect Kyrie Irving to shred Rollins on both ends of the court, while the RedHawks spend time figuring out how to stop Singler and/or the Plumlees with their relatively smallish frontcourt. Nolan Smith? Yeah, he’s not going to be contained in this one unless he has an off shooting night. And while Miami played strong defense against Towson, collecting seven steals and benefiting from the Tigers’ 18-58 (31.0%) shooting from the floor, which included 2+17 from range, this year’s Duke team showed against Princeton that it has nearly limitless options in the backcourt. While neither of the Plumlees had outstanding games against P-ton, they didn’t have to, as Singler, Smith, and Irving got to the rim at will, and Dawkins and Curry were on fire from outside. Also, no one need bemoan Duke’s lack of inside presence just yet - - Ryan Kelly had one heck of a game, maximizing his minutes off the bench. If Miles Plumlee isn’t ready to contribute as a starter this season, Coach K can go to Singler at the four and three guards by turning to Curry or Dawkins (the taller Dawkins, quite honestly, can even pass for a “small forward” in these perimeter-oriented times), or he can start increasing RKelly’s minutes and see what the Raleigh product can do. All of these things will become more relevant against Marquette and Gonzaga or Kansas State next week; for the moment, expect Duke to coast against the Ohio version of CSI: Miami. Yes, Frank - - the verdict’s in. But the jury . . . [dons sunglasses] is out.
Duke 85, Miami (Ohio) 55.
First off, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! for all the nice comments welcoming us back in our first edition. Despite the fact that the accuracy of our material would lead you to believe this material is generated by some computer script first developed in the 1960s, we actually put a good deal of work into it (more on that in the next edition – FILLER ALERT). So it’s nice to know we’re missed. And, frankly, we miss you all as well. Hopefully, we’ll spend as much time together as we did last season.
Speaking of missing Duke basketball, the team and coaching staff sure did, and after spending seven months away from it, took the whole “Start of the Regular Season” to heart and will be suiting up this evening for the second game in three days. A quick look at the short-term upcoming schedule reveals that, after taking on the OTHER Miami, the Devils will then take two days off before hosting Colgate in one of those What-Calendar-Were-They-Looking-At? games, which will tip off at 8:30 on a Friday. Next will be the weekend, which is a fine time to travel to Kansas City, Missouri, to face off against Marquette and then Team To Be Determined on Monday and Tuesday. After a trip like that, heck, everyone is hungry for some turkey, which will be available on Thursday, leaving time to sleep in on Friday of Death before trekking out to Portland, Oregon, to play the University of Oregon, for the last game of the month, which of course will be played in the Trailblazers’ NBA arena, conveniently located on the University of Oregon’s campus. Or maybe nowhere near. Your guess is as good as mine.
But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Duke nicely sent Princeton on their way home Sunday evening with a 97-60 drubbing that included the most points the Tigers had allowed since the early days of the Roman Empire, or some such nonsense. There will probably be available here (hint, hint) a way to get a more detailed recap, but there’s no reason not to take up some space and give the broad-stroke version right now. Kyrie Irving is what we were told he was, except one thing was kept from us: the dude plays the most in-someone’s-face defense we haven’t seen since … Bobby Hurley, maybe? Seriously, if you asked him what brand of deodorant the players he guarded were wearing, he could tell you and produce samples. Wow.
Next up is Nolan Smith, who seemed to be able to teleport to the rim, going 10-15 for 22 points with a rather quiet 5 misses. Kyle Singler was efficient with 7-10 shooting but with limited time due to picking up four fouls. One thing that is different about this team than last year’s is that the 2010 National Champion Blue Devils had four frontcourt players to cycle though, Thomas, Treebeard and a pair of Plumlees. This year, Jack of Plumlees and the 10 of Plumlees both start. With soooooo many guards on hand, when one of the brothers comes out of the game, Singler moves from the small forward to the power forward position, greatly changing how he plays defense. Most of his fouls on Sunday came when switched from guarding on the perimeter to causing interference down low. This is something to keep an eye on this year, seeing if can make the transition, not from game to game, but often from play to play.
In other news, Princeton’s Ian Hummer, as expected, played hard, came up big, seemed to pop up everywhere and reportedly stayed the night in Aycock Residence Hall on Duke’s East Campus (here’s a link – it exists).
You thought I could resist that line of joking two editions in a row? Please. Which must mean it’s time for …
WIN OF THE GAME: This team, collectively, can pass. On one play, Mason Plumlee, from the outside, fed Nolan Smith for a layup under the basket. No, I did not make a mistake and reverse those two names. In fact, Mason had four assists in 20 minutes of play. By contrast, down the road at UNC – Chapel Hill, presumed starting point guard Larry Drew π will take until at least early January to amass four assists on the season.
FAIL OF THE GAME: Look, I knew we were going to get saddled with Lame Lamemore doing “analysis” of Dukes games for the better part of the season, but could we have at least enjoyed the opener without his particular brand of downerism? Seriously, during the pre-game discussion he looked like if had his choice of being at Cameron or cleaning up behind 200 dysentery-ridden horses he might have to think it over. To make matters worse, he upgraded to Duke-Hating Announcer 4.0 and installed the Billy Packer Expansion Pack. This enables him to pick some goofy, non-existent observation and then bend time, space and on-the-court events to prove himself “right.” In this game, it was the repeated insight that, hey, it doesn’t matter if Seth Curry lead all freshmen in the nation in scoring in his first year of college play, that was done at Liberty, and poor Seth is now going to have to learn how to play at a higher level. Um, Suckmore, I have some news for you. Curry didn’t spend his sit-out season turned into stone because he looked directly at Medusa (????? Yeah, even I don’t know where some of this stuff comes from sometimes). He was participating in every practice against a team that, well, sort of, won some kind tournament last year. Consider him exposed to players in the ACC. But, hey, Listeria, you actually had a point, as Curry totally sucked to the point where he only scored 14 points and nailed three of his five attempted threes. Point made.
Now, at this point, I should be laying out a full course of Miami (Ohio) analysis. But a couple of things happened. First, the Redhawks beat Towson by a measly three points Friday night. And got one-third of their points from Allen Roberts, a guard who is going to face somewhere around 10 Duke defenders today. Second, Miami (Ohio) starts a player named Nick Winbush. If my name was Nick, and I got an email with “Nick Winbush” as the subject line, you can be assured I would open it, click any provided links and hand over all requested personal information. Which has nothing to do with anything, but I just couldn’t let that name go with a decent helping of immaturity provided. Third, I spent the better part of the weekend working with Matt on our RFP for a federal contract with the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. The scope of our work will be that, if you deflect enough using pop-culture references, wee-wee jokes and other unrelated material, you can get people to completely forget about predictions that are way off. Finally, fourth, Full Dukies.com Edition got into a fistfight today with Important Last-Minute Work-Related Project and, well, got his ass kicked pretty hard.
Duke 89, Miami (Ohio) 57.
2009-2010 Duke National Championship!! Season:
Matt 96-47 (.671)
duhomme 94-49 (.657)
Guests 16-4 (.800)