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Ohio State Game Post/Blog

Date: 11/29/2011

Duke Basketball  
Posted By: Matt

WHAT:   Duke at Ohio State. 

WHERE:   Schottenstein Center, Corporate Shillname Deleted, Columbus, Ohio.

WHEN:    Tuesday, November 29, 2011, 9:30 P.M. Eastern Standard Time. 


PF Deshaun Thomas, 6-6 SO - - last season's seventh man shoots and shoots and shoots, which is kind of weird for a dude with enough bulk to play down low.  Weak rebounder and never passes.

C Jared Sullinger, 6-9 SO - - Of course we all know this guy.  Leads the Nuts in scoring and rebounding and shoots 85.4% from the line.  I don't advocate doubleteaming him or anything - - just play him like we did Thomas Robinson, a less-heralded, but physically similar player, and lock down the perimeter.  Sullinger can do redirect passes but it's not his preferred move.  Also doesn't really block shots and can be lured into silly fouls.

SF/SG William Buford, 6-5 SR - - This is the key guy.  Duke can win this one if Sullinger has 30, but needs to hold Buford to about 10-12, below his average of 17.7 per game.  A 50% three-point shooter thus far, and even allowing for the fact that tOSU hasn't played anyone, that's still impressive. 

SG Lenzelle Smith Jr., 6-3 SO - - Who the hell is Lenzelle Smith Senior??  Doesn't have the height or the scoring abillity of the guys he's ostensibly replacing, Diebler and Lighty.  A butcher at the line (27.8%).  

PG Aaron Craft, 6-2 SO - - last season's sixth man, a nifty passer, and the top defensive player in the Big Ten.  It'll be interesting to see whom he guards.  Curry?  


Evan Ravenel, 6-8 JR - - you remember this jerk, who gooned his way around Chestnut Hill for two seasons under The Nutcracker (can you believe no one scooped HIM up, by the way??  Shocker!!).  Just a bulky goon with no finesse.  Doesn't pass, can't hit free throws.  

Jordan Sibert, 6-4 SO - - the designated soulless gunner from range.  Hasn't hit jack all year so far.
Sam Thompson, 6-7 FR - - reed-thin jumping jack-type guy who can't shoot and sees the floor for short stretches. 

Shannon Scott, 6-2 FR - - Charlie Scott's kid.    

DID YOU REMEMBER:  That we played these guys in 2002-2003?  I sort of did, but had to look it up to make sure.  Interestingly, that makes the second high-profile opponent that we are meeting during this season for the first time in nine campaigns, after Kansas.   

UPSHOT:  Enh, I imagine the road-vironment will be a shock to Duke as it always is, but the difference is that this season, we get that out of the way before the first ACC game the Blue Devils play away from Cameron.  The pressure's on Ohio State, an annoying program under Thad Matta, an overrated coach who relies on a steady stream of one-and-dones and appears to care little about graduation or classes or any of those gnat-like concerns.  In other words, he's perfect in Columbus!  Still, no one really thinks of THEEEEEEEEEEEE Ohio State University (is there another one?  And how has UNC-CH not adopted this clever tactic?) as a college basketball power, so this is their chance to shine against Duke, which more than a few people do think of as said sort of power. 

As several commenters mentioned, Duke doesn't usually win big OOC showdowns with teams like Kansas, so that was awesome, and it was particularly cool that we kept that never-lost-in-Maui thing going for another several seasons.  So does Duke respond with another big effort here?  

I don't know; certainly I'm a lot more on board with this team than I was on November 11, and I think they can accomplish a few things more than I did before play began.  We've even had our "Tools are unjustified media darlings" wakeup call already.  However, beating the Big Twenty-Nine's best team on its home floor (a good, solid college basketball atmosphere; I enjoyed my visit there in 2004) is a lot to ask, particularly given the presence of a fearsome inside-outside game.  I imagine Duke will lose this one by about five points, 72-67 or so, but there's absolutely no shame in that.  Now, if Duke wins, then this season is going to start taking on some serious potential.  Do bear in mind that Ohio State's six-win sked consists of victories over a mostly crappy Florida team and five puffs.  We'll see.      

BY THE WAY:  Sports cliches I'm really, really tired of hearing include (a) "under his own power"; (b) "dialing up a blitz" and (c) Jon Gruden/Brian Billick.  

As for the first, it's just so de rigueur for the announcer to say it now that it's totally frigging tiresome.  Just say that the guy walked off unassisted.  No need for weirdly misplaced engineering/transportation metaphors, thanks.  

As for the second, nothing else ever gets dialed up, right?  Only a blitz, which *always* gets dialed up.  No one ever calls a blitz or deploys a blitz or just blitzes.  Always with that dial.  Enough.  

Meanwhile, I can't decide if it's surprising or unsurprising that NFL coaches can win Super Bowls and yet be so alarmingly stupid.  In any case, now that the Jagwads caught up with their inbox from 2008 and fired Jackoff of the River today, and took things a step further by selling the team to Pakistan, or maybe I misheard Mortensen on that, PLEASE hire Billick or Gruden.  Just throw any amount of money needed.  Any fan of how the game is broadcast would be glad to take up a collection, I'm sure.  Thanks.      

HILARIOUS DEPARTMENT:  NCCH's loss to UNLV.  Nuff said.  Well, a little more can be said.  Refusal to guard the three-point line, no speed on defense, weakness in the post, as goes Zeller, so goes the team - - etc.  Oh, Rrhoy - - don't ever change.  As a bonus, Bias stopped in Las Vegas on his way back from Maui to call the game.  Tee hee!  That didn't work out the way he wanted it to, I bet.  By the way, Nevada-Las Vegas is an average team at best; they are not some scary, subradar monster that everyone (including the Tools) somehow overlooked until now.   


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Posted by: T. Randall Taylor Date: 12/5/2011 2:16:15 PM  
In the spirit of Two Dukies past, a little holiday fun for your linking pleasure.


Posted by: Matt Date: 12/4/2011 1:02:21 AM  
Fully appreciate the Dawkins disagreement. I have been in this kid's corner for a long time now and just don't get him anymore. It has to be an attitude thing; he just doesn't seem to want to step outside of his very narrow box and learn to defend, handle, etc. In any case, Krzyzewski has yanked him from the starting lineup for Cook. Will Andre respond and be a valuable bench player, as he was in 2012? I certainly hope so.

Posted by: Serious G Date: 12/3/2011 9:51:50 PM  
I disagree (respectfully) with the comments on Andre Dawkins. Yes, he had a horrible game; yes, his game has serious deficiencies - however, in his career he has come up big for Duke in significant moments (example: aforementioned Baylor game, 2010 ACC tourney against GT, win #903) and I am sure he will do so again.

There are some pretty extreme comments on this guy on the devils den (only 1 week after numerous comments praising his defense, clutch shooting, etc.).

Anyway, the OSU game was obviously a huge letdown, but hopefully they get off the mat and return to strong play. I will be attending next Saturday's game against Washington, which should be good (Ross and Abdul Gaddy are tough matches for us).

Posted by: Al White Date: 11/30/2011 10:57:38 PM  
Strong showing by the ACC! Swoffie just washed down a third helping of huckleberry cobbler with a bottle of gin and called UConn with an invite.

Posted by: bluedevilruss Date: 11/30/2011 9:30:47 PM  

I like Andre as well, but threw in the towel on him when he "ole'd" around a pick nonchalantly, giving whichever one of those OSU wings that didn't miss a wide open jumper...then just turned around and trotted down the court. Let's just say that wouldn't have happened if Kyle Singler was on the court.

Posted by: Matt Date: 11/30/2011 4:45:07 PM  
I'm actually pretty much done with Dawkins. Glad he came to school early, obviously appreciate beyond words his winning the Baylor game for us - - but he can't shoot consistently, his defense has improved not a whit in two-plus seasons, he can't handle the ball whatsoever, and right now, we can't afford his defensive liabilities on the court. Time for Gbinije, with Andre given 10-15 minutes as a spot shooter.

Posted by: blueflame Date: 11/30/2011 9:32:55 AM  
Reality... outplayed, out-hustled, and dare I say it... out-coached. Any illusions of being a top tier team were certainly shattered. No point guard emerged the whole night. Maybe Paulus gave the Buckeyes an advantage from the bench. But Curry, Cook, and Thornton just stunk it up. With no apparent heir to Irving/Smith at point, it looks like a mediocre season or worse... Was Andre even on the court?

Posted by: Matt Date: 11/30/2011 12:42:53 AM  
That's one per season, not "pre season." Although we were certainly in preseason form tonight.

Posted by: Matt Date: 11/30/2011 12:42:09 AM  
It's probably a fair question to ask why we have to post one of these inexplicable laydown blowouts pre season. Georgetown, St. John's, now this debacle. At least this was actually a good team.

Posted by: tom Date: 11/30/2011 12:09:18 AM  
I'm like Matt. Had the game circled for a loss but nothing like this. Okay, where to start. I'm a single man. I was emailing a women yesterday and we talked tonight and it turned out she's an OSU fan. So that should have been a clue right there. Should have just decided not to talk tonight. Kelly had 0 points. And he had no defense. Just a very bad game for him overall. OSU defended him well but I thought he would eventually get some touches and do something. K was obviously pissed at his defense, he could not guard Thomas. Mason and Austin showed up. Nobody else. I also knew as soon as Ted Valentine showed his face it was going to be a long night. OSU is the number 2 team in the nation. They are predicted to be a final four team. Think about the loss last year to St Johns or to Georgetown the year before. Those team wern't even predicted so anything is possible. It seems Duke has these non conference sort of road games where they just do not show up. Championships are not decided in November. Austin looked nice and actually passed some after he penetrated. Glad to see Hairston and Gbinije play some. Cook just didn't play well. Need Curry and Andre to lead. I felt that when Duke got within one a couple of times in the first half and couldn't take the lead that it would just happen that way. The first half reffing was awful but it didn't matter. OSU could do no wrong and they were just sinking everything. Championships aren't decided in November guys. The only good thing about the loss for me was I could spend the second half learning the bass line to "La Freak" by Chic without having to pay attention to the game.

Posted by: Matt Date: 11/30/2011 12:06:30 AM  
I give Greg Paulus major credit for this win. They had Duke's defense completely broken down and analyzed to a T.

Posted by: Matt Date: 11/29/2011 11:35:27 PM  
One of Duke's most embarrassing regular season games in decades. Some of the players should use their twit accounts to apologize to the fans. Jesus.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 11/29/2011 11:35:26 PM  
Hopefully not a portent. Hopefully not a preview of the sweet 16.

Posted by: Matt Date: 11/29/2011 11:33:01 PM  
He's also a "black cat"

Posted by: Matt Date: 11/29/2011 11:32:01 PM  
Yeah. Just a ludicrous comment from Vitale. He and bullethead are just unbearable. Bullethead is a total black hat for Duke - - he's very good at jinxing them with his unbridled hatred for the program.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 11/29/2011 11:31:15 PM  
Silver lining? Freshmen getting minutes?

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 11/29/2011 11:29:33 PM  
Jesus. Fucking. Christ. Yes, Dick Vitale, Duke has no athletes. I'm sorry, ath-uh-letes.

Posted by: Paul Snyder Date: 11/29/2011 11:28:58 PM  
Anyone who can hit at least the rim and not just the backboard to start the next game, please.

Posted by: Paul Snyder Date: 11/29/2011 11:25:20 PM  
I was going to compare Linda Cohn to Duke's porous defense, but opted out.

Posted by: Matt Date: 11/29/2011 11:24:55 PM  
Hairston and Gbinije to start the next game, please

Posted by: Matt Date: 11/29/2011 11:23:45 PM  

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 11/29/2011 11:22:01 PM  
I figure the plan is to give OSU overconfidence! From now on, no one will defend them this poorly.

Posted by: Matt Date: 11/29/2011 11:19:39 PM  
Duke's interior defense is so easy to break down, it's amazing. Just pass the ball three times and you get a guaranteed bunny.

Posted by: Matt Date: 11/29/2011 11:18:26 PM  
Mason, bricking free throws like a champ.

Posted by: Matt Date: 11/29/2011 11:17:31 PM  
Great showing by the ACC.

Posted by: Paul Snyder Date: 11/29/2011 11:16:37 PM  
Do you think Greg Paulus is tweeting that his 11 ppg, 3 apg average makes Duke point guards' averages look pretty weak?

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 11/29/2011 11:16:15 PM  
Really, it required more than CAPS, but I couldn't make more emphasis in this software.

Posted by: Matt Date: 11/29/2011 11:16:04 PM  
I like how Hairston and Gbinijie are showing why they really shouldn't be ignored, game after game after game.

God, what a mortal embarrassment this blowout is. I mean, I had this circled as a loss on my schedule ever since the game was announced, but . . . wow.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 11/29/2011 11:15:35 PM  

Posted by: Matt Date: 11/29/2011 11:08:12 PM  
Coach K defenders will use this one as Exhibit A as to why Duke shouldn't play true OOC road games. I mean, what do they accomplish really? Right??

Posted by: Matt Date: 11/29/2011 11:07:26 PM  
ROTFL at this complete and total fiasco.

Posted by: Paul Snyder Date: 11/29/2011 11:06:14 PM  
My expectations were low, but this is bad.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 11/29/2011 10:46:42 PM  
I seriously don't understand, how raking an opposing player across the arms is not a foul, then is a foul two seconds later. Not that it would make a difference...

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 11/29/2011 10:26:19 PM  
OSU is only shooting 59%? I would've thought it was 88%...

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 11/29/2011 10:14:34 PM  
I, for one, would like to see a missed J from OSU, and a hit 3 or 5 from D.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 11/29/2011 10:13:03 PM  
I see that the undercut is a legal move?

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 11/29/2011 9:44:24 PM  
I shoulda known that early time out didn't bode well.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 11/29/2011 9:38:12 PM  
Does anyone else say "Dwai-anne Wade" when they see his name?

Posted by: Al White Date: 11/29/2011 9:20:39 PM  
Great preview, Matt. I agree that William Boo-ford is indeed the key. As the most experienced player on the floor by far, he is surely planning on a very big game. Reportedly, in a reversal of how things have been done in that other major sport at tOSU, Boo-ford had to bribe Matta with a car and tatoos to be allowed to stay in school so long. Wonder what he'll have to pay to be permitted to graduate.

LOL at Jackoff of the River. Apparently the owner called his bluff and asked to see the photos. When Jack couldn't produce them, he was gone. The new guy may have promised not to move the team to LA, but Karachi or Islamabad would be cool. If they play under home rules, the penalties will be very severe.

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