TWO DUKIES PICK THE ACC
Volume XV, Episode 2
SWAT TEAM EDITION
January 7, 2012
Unranked DUKE (12-2) @ Rank GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (7-7)
Atlanta, Georgia (Philips Arena)
Matt's comments in blue.
Shuke Lenscher's comments in white.
FAILING THAT CHEM CLASS DEPARTMENT: Remember all those fun stories from 2008-2009 about how there was all this dissension on the team, players didn't like each other, no one knew what to make of Paulus, Williams (remember him? Sokay, neither does Memphis) was unhappy until he hostage-took his way into the starting lineup, Williams was unhappy even after he hostage-took his way into the starting lineup, and . . . the team utterly collapsed at season's end after authoring a few bizarre results along the way and generally looking like total crap on numerous occasions? Yeah, welcome back! This team, apparently, doesn't get along real well either, say the whispers all season long that have now turned into roars. Dukies.com locker room spies report that the freshman class is unhappy because the "leaders" of the team, namely the listless juniors like Curry, Dawkins, and Kelly, don't try to get the freshmen involved. Hairston is peeved because of a lack of PT, and QC doesn't understand why he's playing behind Thornton, which gives him something in common with every person in the universe besides Mike Krzyzewski - - including Thornton. The only thing upon which everyone seems to agree is that the Plumlees are nice kids who are having good seasons - - even if neither is a leader.
LET ME BOTTOM LINE THIS FOR YOU EARLY: Losing to 60% of Temple's starting lineup at their faux home court is one thing. Losing to this execrable Georgia Tech "squad" at THEIR faux home court is quite another. If Duke drops this game, expect an 8-8 ACC season - - at best. With truckloads of weird results along the way. This game will define this team. Yeah, it's hyperbolic, but it's true.
THE TEMPLE OF PELHAM 1-2-3: Like commenter extraordinaire CDG, I loved the Temple Propaganda Department-created story that the Owls had "taken the subway" to the game, somehow making them a lunchpail-packing blue collar unit contrasting nicely with Duke's elite preppies. (And, as often occurs, Duke was only too happy to play right into the meme.) First of all, the "subway" in Philadelphia is extremely limited in its geographic reach, and no one will confuse taking it with sharing the Long Island Railroad at oh-dark-thirty with a squad of heat-packing gangbangers. In 1975. ("Owww-ellssssss . . . come out and play-ay!!!") Second, Temple had their own subway car AND a police escort. I just love phony stories like this. The only thing Duke would have added to it was to have the whole incident translated into Mandarin Chinese.
WE NOW RETURN YOU TO WHO ARE THESE CLOWNS? Georgia Tech was terrible last season at 13-18/5-11, finally putting the exclamation point and coffin nail on and in the utterly fantastic failure of a career in Atlanta authored by the despicable Paul Hewitt. Good guy Brian Gregory takes over, but has nothing to work with. So far, the Jerkets are 7-7. Happily for everyone's groin area, filthy thug Iman Shumpert "graduated" - - nay, knee-poundingly declared for the Neeba draft LOLOLOL - - automatically making the league a better place via his welcome departure. Lord, what a hood. Good riddance, punk.
Daniel Miller, 6-11 SO - - very good shotblocker, plays a lot of minutes, but isn't very mobile and is still developing presence in the paint for rebounding. Still, he will give the Plumlee Brothers a run for their money insides.
Kammeon Holsey, 6-8 SO - - sanitation engineer shooting 68.9% from two-point land and 33.3% (10-30 for you math wizards - - hey, this opponent is an engineering school, right?) from 15 feet out with the clock stopped.
Glen Rice Jr., 6-5 JR - - started shooting just for the sake of shooting last season, without regard to considerations such as accuracy and selectivity, and he's continued that trend right along this young year. He and Gregory evidently hate each other; he was suspended for three games to start the season, didn't score against titanic Fordham, and didn't start the most recent BugThug game, a ridiculous 26-point home loss to Alabama. However, unless Gbinije is out there, he'll run over whomever Duke sends out there to guard him and will probably hit for 20.
Mfon Udofia, 6-2 JR - - I guess he's the point guard, but then, I've never been able to figure out exactly what MooPhon is, other than a drastically overrated recruit who is completely overmatched at the ACC level. His A/TO this season is a hilariously awesome 1/1.29, and he's shooting .383/.689/.277. Heh.
Brandon Reed, 6-3 SO - - as bad as this team is, it would be even worse if this guy, originally from Atlanta, hadn't transferred in from Arkansas State. He's a competent defender, and plays a lot of minutes without too many dumb fouls, but he is not a playmaker and his shooting is even worse than Udofia's - - .372/.538/.291. Oof.
Jason Morris, 6-5 SO - - he should be starting after shooting well in conference play last season. He, at least, is shooting competently (although this is all relative; at 32.5%, his distance strafage is nothing to write home about) and defending well. ALERT, DUKE!!! 6-5 GUARD!! ZOMG!!
Julian Royal, 6-7 FR - - Consensus Top 100 recruit isn't crashing the boards or making much of an impact.
Nick Foreman, 6-3 SR - - Geez, is this doosh a senior already? It only seems like he's been around since the Real George Bush Administration. Now, listen - - you know things are bad when Forehead is leading your team in three-point shooting. At 38.5%. 5-13.
IF DUKE LOSES THIS GAME: I may seriously retire for the season.
WANT: For the team to f$!%&ing show up. I mean Duke.
DO NOT WANT: Rivers out of control. Kelly weak. Curry and Dawkins just playing pathetically - - I sort of gave up on Dawkins ever getting his head on straight for more than one out of every eight or nine games, but didn't Curry play huge against UNC-CH twice last season? And didn't that Tool team go on to win three national titles?
FAKE HOME GAME ALERT: Only Georgia Tech pretends it's building a new arena, when in reality it's just renovating the Leakadome, slapping a new name on it, and . . . reducing its capacity for basketball by a few hundred seats. Huh? Awesome. Meanwhile, the Ambercoats are litigating this season at Philips Arena for "big games" like this one, and "The Arena at Gwinnett" for not-so-big-games. Pay no attention to the fact that the latter sounds like, and probably is, a shopping mall. Meanwhile, Coach K is thrilled because (a) this is where the ACC Tournament will be played, so this is like when we play that stupid "road game" against North Carolina-Greensboro at the Greensboro Coliseum, and (b) no one loves a fake road game like Coach K. And this year, he gets one in conference play! Thanks, Institutional Insects!
PREDICTION: Oh, who knows? Duke 75, Georgia Institute of Technology 68.
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