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TD: Sweatsperado

Date: 2/2/2011

Two Dukies  
Posted By: Matt (dry)

Volume XIV, Episode 18
February 2, 2011

Matt's comments in blue.
Dwon Jixonís comments in white.

#5 DUKE (19-2, 6-1) @ MARYLAND, COLLEGE PARK (14-7, 4-3)

Letís Get This Out of the Way Right Now Department:
Under no circumstances should you, or anyone around you, expect Duke to win this game.  And it turns out that itís all moot anyway.  Jay Bias just called a few minutes ago and advised that the national championship game will be played between North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Michigan State, possibly on an aircraft carrier (docked in downtown Houston, one assumes), with UNC-CH winning by 30-40 points.  So this is all just sound and fury. 

Look, when NCCH takes its semi-annual trip up to Chestnut Hill, well-sheltered and rested for the trip as always courtesy of Swoffieís Scheduling Minions (this time: an eight-day rest with no game before a trip to Coral Gables, followed by a nice six days at home interrupted only by a flyswatting visit from the artists soon to be known as Sid Lowe Used To Coach This Team, then the trip up - - contrast this with Dukeís usual sked before heading to the Boston area) and blows out BC by 50, or whatever the final result was, Iím ready to be convinced.  And Jay took care of that for me.  In an unrelated story, Dukies.com observers throughout Wilmington (NC), Charlotte, Fayetteville (NC), and other areas with large Wal-Marts are reporting a sharp uptick in the visibility of fresh, shiny Tar Heel apparel that does not seem to have been worn or exposed to sunlight in well over a year.     

I Actually Forgot Your Formula for These Previews:
So did I.  You know how comic book series and episodic television shows sometimes ďhit the reset button?Ē  You know, like Captain America isnít really dead, or Bones and Booth come back from their respective trips to Asia and promptly rediscover their lives back at the Jeffersonian and the Bureau - - that sort of thing.  Honestly, over the past 48-60 hours Iíve done much the same thing with Duke basketball.  I ordered a full memory wipe of recent Sunday ball from my DVR, pretended that I had no idea who or what this team stands for, and just pretty much decided to start over.  No one else connected to Duke or in the media has any better suggestions for that clusterfrig up at the Garden, so itís really best left forgotten.  No further analysis needed. 

Is Kyrie Irving Coming Back?
Well, I canít say, but letís just say that certain people who ought to know things are very happy about certain things they ought to know.

Ohhhhhh.  So Weíre Sort of Just Marking Time Here. 
Indeed.  Without Kyrie, this team isnít going anywhere beyond the Sweet Sixteen (outside shot at the Elite Eight), but . . . I donít know if that is going to be relevant.  Weíll see.

Maryland, College Park and Mattís Usual Rant About How Swoffie Ruined the League:
Al White and I were sitting in the stands at the Galen Center on the campus of the University of Southern California recently, and Mr. White asked a very cogent question.  Who, exactly, was the guy/gal/monkeyman who decided that a conference had to have twelve teams before it could get one of those FANTASTIC CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES in Division I-A (I refuse to use the stupid new term; sorry) college football?  There must be something about sitting so close to a crackerjack mind like Kevin OíNeill that brings out the best analytics in Al, because this is a fantastic point.  Indeed, who is this asshole?  Whoever he, she, or it is, s/he/it singlehandedly ruined college basketball, or at least made it vastly inferior to what it could be and what it once was.  Well played.  And if anyone understands why, say, ten teams werenít enough, and twelve were in fact necessary, then please let me know, because I honestly did not follow the assuredly titanic, Plato/Socrates-level debate that accompanied this decisionmaking process, and would appreciate the enlightenment. 

Meanwhile, here we are.  With fools like Swoffhard on hand to embrace, greedily and rapaciously, the new structure of college athletics, thereís no turning back.  With a hack like him at the helm, you can expect the following: the ACC will fall laughably, hysterically short of its goal of rivaling the SEC in football, and will meantime see a noticeable corresponding downturn in its basketball fortunes.  Iíd look for this by 2013 or so - - and if youíll excuse me, Iíve just been handed a note.  Oh!  That last sentence should have read ďAnd son of a gun, this has already happened.Ē  Sorry.

How to fix?  Well, booting VPI and BC out of the conference would be a nice start, but thatís never going to happen, so letís focus on the following idea - - an eighteen-game basketball schedule.                 

!!!!!!!!!!!!  SRSLY???? 

Yeah.  No, really, stay with me here for a minute - - I think this could work.  First, itís important to understand that MDCP will first need to be informed that Duke is not, never has been, and never will be its rival.  As you are well aware, the real, and only reason why Duke and Maryland, College Park are ďhunting group partnersĒ in the current asinine schedule scheme is because the Staff of Swofford knew it would be more challenging for Duke to have four games against the at-least-competently-administered Twerps and the Tools every season, while the Tools instead get away with two matchups against Duke plus two byes against a school that hires dolts with no previous coaching experience and routinely hands in two laydown jobs against the Soiled Pedestrians year in and year out.

Now, with Duke relieved of the goofy obligation to play a nonrival twice each season, and with eighteen games to work with, we can have the following:

ACC Member                                                     Schools Always Played Twice
Duke                                                                   NCCH, NCSU, Wake
North Carolina-Chapel Hill                                  Duke, NCSU, Wake
North Carolina State                                            Duke, NCCH, Wake
Wake Forest                                                       Duke, NCCH, NCSU
Maryland, College Park                                       Clemson, GIT, BC
Clemson                                                              MDCP, GIT, BC
Georgia Institute of Technology                            MDCP, Clemson, BC
Boston College                                                    MDCP, Clemson, GIT
Virginia                                                                You
Virginia Polytechnic                                              Get     
Florida State                                                        The
Miami (Florida)                                                    Idea

Thatís just six conference games, and look what weíve done!  Why, weíve preserved the historical backbone of the conference, the Big Four, the members of which will always play each other twice.  With the remaining twelve games, you can actually play four other conference members twice as well, and then there will be just four teams that you only see once each season.  In fact, without using higher math, you can even legislate the identity of two of those additional round-robin opponents on a permanent basis, and still keep Duke playing Maryland, making Swoffie happier than certain Pittsburgh-based criminal defense firms if Dongthisberger wins the Super Bowl again:

ACC Member                                            Schools Always Played Twice
Duke                                                          NCCH, NCSU, Wake, MDCP, Virginia
North Carolina-Chapel Hill                         Duke, NCSU, Wake, Clemson (hehe!), VPI
North Carolina State                                   Duke, NCCH, Wake, GIT, FSU
Wake Forest                                              Duke, NCCH, NCSU, BC, MIFL
Maryland, College Park                              Clemson, GIT, BC, Duke, Virginia
Clemson                                                     MDCP, GIT, BC, NCCH, VPI
Georgia Institute of Technology                   MDCP, Clemson, BC, NCSU, FSU
Boston College                                           MDCP, Clemson, GIT, Wake, MIFL
Virginia                                                       VPI, FSU, MIFL, Duke, MDCP  
Virginia Polytechnic                                     Virginia, FSU, MIFL, NCCH, Clemson       
Florida State                                               Virginia, VPI, MIFL, NCSU, GIT  
Miami (Florida)                                           Virginia, VPI, FSU, Wake, BC

Wow.  Now there would be only two mystery round robin opponents each season, which could rotate according to some system every five seasons, and four teams that each team would play singly, also rotating.  Iím sure thereís a flaw in this somewhere, and if I had 30 more seconds to devote to it, Iíd find it, but Iím trying to simulate the intellectual capacity and resources of the ACC office here. 

NOW I KNOW that Coach K isnít interested in an eighteen-game schedule, but Iíve never quite understood why.  Has anyone asked him about this?  I mean, what is the issue?  Do we really need to play Elon and Colgate instead of our own conference members?  In fact, donít let this get around, but throw out all the stuff above, because the ACC could actually STILL play a full round-robin every season!!!!  This year, the six Duke opponents that would have required handy elimination in order to raise the number of conference games from 16 to 22 would have been Colgate, Elon, North Carolina-Greensboro, Bradley, St. Louis, and Alabama-Birmingham.  Look!!  I even kept the precious St. Johnís series, which as we all know is so valuable to Duke, completely intact, and darned if I didnít also maintain that vital Temple showdown too.    

Sigh.  Oh, well - - hereís one of the two schools we play twice every season.

Hey, What Six 2010-11 Foes Would Maryland Have Had To Can to Play 22 ACC Games?
Some of these names may be familiar to you: Elon, Colgate, and North Carolina-Greensboro, for starters.  Look, Swofford - - if everyone in the conference is going to play the exact same bunny schools (remember: UNC-G has no fewer than seven games against ACC members this season), then shouldnít we all just play against each other instead?  Do you make any room for the possibility that this might be healthy and interesting for the conference and its not insignificant number of basketball fans? 

Also getting the axe from the Twerpsí slate: NJIT, North Florida, and Longwood (ouch!!).  I mean, seriously.  How stupid is this situation? 

Now, You Were Off Throwing Some Tantrum or Other the First Time Around, So How Good Is Maryland?
Well, theyíre only 10-4 outside the ACC, and 4-3 within it, raising the likelihood of a PSBAD in this tilt to approximately 140%.  Sweaty needs that RPI boost, folks - - assuming that defeating Duke, the OOC schedule of which was rather clearly not very rigorous, actually provides one.  So letís say rather that Sweaty needs a quality win. 

Sweatyís Squadron has lost to then-#5 Pitt, then-#13 Illanoy, Temple, and then-#7 Villanova without the confines of the league, and to us, BC, and VPI (by 17, at home) within it.  Their best win OOC was probably Penn State, before Penn State got hot, and their best win in the ACC was, uh . . . beating Clemson by two at home?  Pounding Virginia in Charlottesville?  Dropping the Deacs in Winston?  Smacking the Jerkets in Atlanta?  You make the call.

However, none of this matters, as Sweaty invests most of his personal manhood into beating Duke, and he already came close once this season, with a pretty good gameplan that nearly carried the day in Cameron before Duke figured things out late.  Real late.  

Their Last Game    
A 74-63 win over the Bees, as noted ante, last Sunday.  Jordan Williams had 21 and 15 and Hewitt ran out
one of the most ridiculous starting lineups and roster of backups that you will ever see.  Iím just really glad that there were six minutes available for associate dean of the graduate school Nick Forehead, and 19 for future Association All-Star Lance Storrs.  The Terrapins did not avail themselves of the three-point field goal in the contest, as playing under pre-1982 ACC scoring rules was more than sufficient to dispatch the Institutional Insects.   

Projected Starters and Pithy Comments
Dino Gregory, 6-7 SR PF - - this joker scored eight in Cameron.  No wing ability whatsoever; just hangs around the bucket and looks for sanitation

Jordan Williams, 6-10 SO C - - Sweaty rarely recruits people who arenít four-year guys anymore, to his credit, but this cat is gone after the seasonís conclusion; about as certain to collect a double-double in this game as the sun is to rise in the east

Sean Moseley, 6-4 JR SF/SG - - hereís where the defensive problems start to become apparent for Maryland, because Sugar Seanís not really a very good defender to begin with, and as you can see, he needs to guard Singler or Kelly

Adrian Bowie, 6-2 JR SG - - awful player who has proved decisively that he canít play the point at the collegiate level, but heís out there for his overrated defense

Terrell Stoglin, 6-1 FR PG - - rushed into the starting lineup when Bowie proved unable to make plays; had his clock cleaned on several plays by Shumpert on Sunday, but also defended the dirty tool fairly well.  MDCPís gameplan will, naturally, rest largely on stopping Nolan Smith, and this guy is the alpha and the omega of that effort

If you say so - -  

Cliff Tucker, 6-6 SR SF/SG - - the ďI hate DukeĒ guy from that hotbed of anti-Blue Devil hostility: El Paso, Texas

PeíShon Howard, 6-3 FR SG - - I really just want this guyís last name to be Johnson - - youíve got to wonder if anyone doing the play-by-play for the forthcoming package deal with Longwood could contain themselves

Haukur Palsson, 6-6 FR WF - - Icelandostiff who is almost a lock to hit a Tahj Holden Three (or two) here

Most Likely to Bootsy:
Palsson (nine points required, a number which just happens to be neatly divisible by three).

Maryland, College Park's Likely Gameplan:
Same as before - - refuse to allow Nolan to beat them, leave Singler alone because there isnít really anything they can do about him anyway, hope that Dawkins and Curry remain mired in slumps, and feed the ball to Williams down low on about 75% of their possessions.

Two or Three Sabermetric Stats about Maryland, College Park:
-Only 42 teams in Div I shoot it worse from the free throw line; the Twerps stand at 64.1%.
-Currently second in the country in defensive points allowed per possession, as measured by Ken Pomeroy, behind only Texas.  Hm. 
-The team doesn't give up many threes, ranking 25th-best in D-I at denying the arcball (30.3%).  So maybe donít shoot it from there, or something.      

Two Weird or (Un)Cool Tidbits:
-Williams is actually much better on the defensive glass than the o-boards, but he still hauls down a huge number of scoreside bounds (3.9 ppg), mostly because no one else on his team other than Gregory has any rebounding ability.
-Singlerís only double double this season came in the first meeting.  Wake up already, Kyle. 

Duke Appraisal:
Who knows?  They were extremely impressive against Boston College at home, and then just utterly came apart at the seams on what is reputedly their second home court.  As I mentioned at the outset, everyone except Nolan is really just marking time trying to figure out if Kyrie is coming back, and Singler customarily has no motivation at this time of the season, which is a bad recipe.  One thing that K can do here is request nicely that his team STOP SHOOTING SO MANY DARN THREES.  This club holds opponents to a ridiculously low shooting percentage from all angles anyway, so utilize the benefit of a significant size advantage and crash the glass hard.  Make them shut down drives, which isnít their strength against larger teams - - that's the biggest reason why they havenít really beaten anyone of note.  Naturally, this will be the worst, most hostile environment that Duke will face all season, and having played only one difficult road game in such surroundings all season as we hit Groundhog Day (sigh, and sigh again, and sigh again . . . ), the Blue Devils could wilt under the pressure very easily.  Iím telling you, if that Reykjastiff hits a three to put or keep Maryland in the lead, this oneís over and you can change the channel.        

Who Is Blathering Over The Sound of the Game?
Well, youíd think it would be Elmore, but itís important that ESPN maintain the appearance of neutrality, so they found two guys who hate Duke even more, and thankfully have lesser ties to Maryland and none to the Blue Devils: Shulman and Bilas. 

Maryland, College Parkís roster.
Maryland, College Parkís stats.
Maryland, College Parkís riotous state-run propaganda. 
Since I just linked you to the worldís most garish website, try this to soothe yourself. 

Score Prediction:
Sorry, everybody.  Not feeling this one at all.  I am not trying to be right.   
Maryland, College Park 78, Duke 72.

Other ACC Action
Virginia Polytechnic 60, @ North Carolina State 58.
@ Virginia 67, Clemson 66.
@ Miami (Florida) 75, Georgia Institute of Technology 71.    

Last Edition
Matt 2-1

This Season:
Matt 30-4
Guests 1-0 



View more articles from this category


Posted by: KD Date: 2/3/2011 9:01:42 AM  
Great game - always nice to see the whole cast get involved. I have tried to stay away from the Bilas bashing as every rabid sports fan thinks the commentator is out to get their team. It is just a fact. However, last night was truly an abomination. The Neal "legal" screen joking was indeed repulsive, and once again Bilas had to remind the Duke community that there is no way Kyrie is coming back. However, I think what got me the most was the inability to recognize that the reason Duke handled the Twerps last night was primarily the result of some damn good basketball by Duke. If you were listening to Shulman and Bilas on the radio, you would have thought that MD was simply unable to convert uncontested layups all night. "Too many missed opportunities" "Another miss up close" Wow, that was as pathetic an effort by Bilas as I have ever heard. He needs to get it together.

Posted by: blueflame Date: 2/3/2011 8:51:00 AM  
Several things went right for the Devils in this one. First was Mason playing well from the start with a double-double for the game. When he plays well (or we have some inside offense) it looks like a different team. There was some timely support for Singler and Smith via Curry and Dawkins. It was great to see Andre hitting key 3's at key times. Kyle was an offensive beast early in the second half And Nolan just took over the closing minutes with some sick drives with lay-ups or dishes. Oh yeah, having solid defense and rebounding didn't hurt , either. Who knows, we might look back at the St. John's loss & this Turtle-killer as the season's maturing point for this team.

Posted by: steve Date: 2/3/2011 8:25:23 AM  
{takes bow for Tyler prediction}

Very nice to see the team rebound. BTW has anyone else noticed that we have actually played reasonably well when either Nolan or Kyle (or both) has to sit for a little while? It happened against NCSU, Wake, and now UMd, and each time the team responded pretty well. Obviously K&N are our two best players and we want them on the floor a lot - I'm also not one who feels like there's a big difference physically between 35 mpg and 39-40 mpg - but I wonder if it would help with the other players' development to have to play without the two stars for a 3-4 minute stretch each game.

Posted by: Jake Date: 2/3/2011 7:23:22 AM  
Go to bed, Matt! And thanks again.

I'm refining my 3-point shot rant to include only hurried shots. When our guys take the extra half second to get their feet planted and their bodies oriented to the basket they hit them regularly and should keep taking those shots.

In the first half of every game it seems we're rushing those shots all the time. Kyle or Nolan comes off a screen and immediately goes up in the air to shoot the three without even looking at the basket until they're in the air. And usually there's still 20 or more seconds on the shot clock. Two or three more passes or a drive to the middle for a kickout would get a MUCH better 3 look. I know our offense is built partially on having many possessions but we gotta make them count. We usually settle down by the second half for some reason -- guess we're just too amped up at the start of the game.

As for Tyler, good for him. But I'm sad that Seth couldn't come through. He's quick and a good ball handler. I guess he's just not good with assists? Ideally we'd want as a point guard someone with his speed and shooting ability. Tyler is quick and a good defender but he's not a scoring threat, which we also need. Well, my guess is K is not finished with his experimenting on offense. It's just weird to be 4 months into the season and still not have a settled starting lineup.

What an interesting year it's been!

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/3/2011 5:08:47 AM  
Found it - - the Ty Thornton prediction was made by steve, in the comments section following the Virginia recap, on January 17. Quoth he:

[begin steve]

"My prediction is that Thornton will be starting at PG by mid-February. He provides little offensively but he is steady and values the ball. Plus he can defend which of course goes a long way with K."

[end steve]

What a call! Amazing job. More on this in the recap of this game, which, in a scheduling note, will probably appear on Friday, followed by the NCSU preview appearing on Saturday. I'm taking the rest of tonight off.

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 2/3/2011 2:25:02 AM  
Thanks for the comments Matt, and cannot wait to see the recap. "Dagger" is coming up so often wrt Andre that let's just make it official and incorporate it - "D'Agger Beast Dre"

I like a name that describes what the guy does. Young Dre has had many games like this tonight, often involving back to back daggers when most needed.

Not sure who called for Tyler to start (good call!) but it's been clear for a while now that Nolan needed some goodly number of mins per game not at the point, even if still in the game. Got a lot more than I hoped for tonight, and loved all 28 mins of it (coincidentally, the same number of mins as Nolan).

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/3/2011 12:45:49 AM  
Other quick hits:

Had to check the Duke PBP to confirm, but as I thought I recognized contemporaneously, Jordan Williams hit his last field goal with 9:20 remaining in the game. **Nice defense, Duke**, even if I also thought that Stoglin and those other two clowns in the backcourt for MDCP just stopped trying to feed Williams the ball for some reason.

Jake, presumably your TV is still with us, as Duke "only" took 23 threes, not the 25 that signaled explosive doom for your tube.

Clemson Guest, of course the "hehe" was for you, you betcha! However, as you well know, I like Clemson, virtually alone among non-Duke ACC schools these days (well, I also like Miami and Virginia, and want to like NCSU, but can't until they get rid of Lowe), and I didn't mean it as a slight against Clemson - - I meant that Swoffie would be forced to suffer Clemson coming in every season, trying to break That Frigging Streak. He'd love it because he'd think it would be guaranteed win; we'd love it because when the Tools are in a down cycle, as they were last year, they wouldn't be able to duck the Tigers. So no dig implied at all.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/3/2011 12:19:24 AM  
Great comments, folks. Keep 'em coming. You guys and gals are fantastic.

Haven't been so happy to be wrong about a pick in a long while. Great effort, and the game unfolded exactly like a reasonable analyst examining these two teams in a vacuum would have expected it to. Beautiful. It's now resoundingly confirmed that the players just wanted a rest and didn't care about playing ridiculous St. John's in the middle of the ACC sked. I can't really say I blame them.

I have no problems with those "redirect threes" where Curry or Nolan (here, Curry once, then Nolan to Curry the second time) drives, draws, and then finds Andre minding his own business, unperturbed by any accompaniment, on the wing (this time, the left wing, no less) for a huge dagger shot. Two huge dagger shots. Awesome.

Yeah, SFSF, I'm very happy to have Singler prove me wrong as well. He actually did very little down the stretch in terms of scoring, but that's because he doesn't usually benefit from Stallball, and he had done QUITE ENOUGH by that point anyway. he had some key caroms at the end and played terrific defense throughout. Thanks, Kyle.

Jake, 1,000 echoes and attaboys for your comments about Bilas and Bullethead's mirth and amusement over Nolan's very serious 2009 concussion. WTF were they thinking????? I actually had to stop the DVR for 60-90 seconds and annoy steadfast game-watching buddy The Short Fuse for a soliloquy on that outrage. I'm sure she would have rather been watching the game. Well, at least Bias wrote a large part of the "Denouncing the Announcing" section for me right there.

Someone here in the comments section, and I'm going to have to look up who it was (raise your hand if you see this before I research it and identify you) said about 2-3 weeks ago that Tyler should start, and would be starting within a couple of weeks. I didn't respond and didn't really agree, which is why I'm sitting here in my home office and you guys are . . . well, sitting wherever you are. But seriously, mad props to The Oracle of Delphi on that call.

Great game. Anyone else making broom motions at the end? Probably just me.

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 2/3/2011 12:04:29 AM  
I broke down and watched anyway. The 13-year old made me, and by the end of the first half I was regretting it. Damn fine game though, on many levels.
1. Not overly 3-happy. All but 2 or 3 were shots you take because you have them. Dre and Seth go 5 for 9. I take that all day long, baby! Nolan has to take some to pull out the defense so he can penetrate on other possessions (maybe 5, not 7 though). I'll take 10-23, but would probably prefer 8 for 20.
2. A while back I mentioned how nice it would be to see Tyler play 10-15 mins, with a bunch of them out there with Nolan, still "resting" him. Tonight we get 28 beastly minutes! Maybe the best 2 fouls in the first 6 minutes Nolan ever picked up. Day-umn that Freshman brings some spark. How much? Did you see Nolan grinning as he back-pedaled down slapping his wrist after canning the contested jumper? Happy guy not having to do it all by himself.
3. Kyle Singler decided to show Matt he doesn't have to wait till the 15th of February to start playing the game of basketball. Or maybe in response to Matt's respectful request that he wake up? Anyway, thank you Rip Van Singler, and please be Kyle the rest of the season.
4. Can you say PlumBeard? Can you say it like you mean it? This was MdCP after a big blowout, wasn't it? And a Duke big stepped up with a double-double, right? Is this '11, or '10? Can we please have this PlumBeard the rest of the way?

Posted by: ClemsonGuest Date: 2/2/2011 11:31:33 PM  
You stuck that (hehe!) thing in under your 18-game schedule idea just for me, didn't you?

I didn't see this game because of that torture on ESPNU (the one that lasted two hours, not the 10 hours of Swoffing Day), but it looked like Duke had it together. Still a little too THREE!-happy, but when you're making 40%+ it's certainly not so bad.

I honestly had never heard of Tyler Thornton until the game at Wake Forest two weeks ago. Surely there will be some analysis on his increase in PT in Matt's next excellent recap, mixed in with the pithy comments.

Posted by: Jake Date: 2/2/2011 11:26:02 PM  
All round good game. Strong, strong defense, especially at the beginning of the second half after Md. had crawled back into the game at the end of the first half.

If Williams hadn't hit so many free throws, way beyond his average, the game never would have been close. An 18-point victory on their home court is by any definition a blow out. Wonder if the press will describe it that way. Md. got shellacked.

Singler came up huge, like we needed him too. Great job.

And I take back all the nice things I said about Bilas last week. I was really unhappy they showed that thug-like pick by Neal on Nolan. Bilas and partner actually were chortling about it, with Bilas making jokes about Nolan needing dental work. Guys, Nolan suffered a serious concussion and had to sit out several games. That's a serious injury as we all know now. What the hell is so funny about that? Jay, you owe Nolan and the entire Duke community a sincere apology. If you really think that was funny you need to find a different line of work. Enough of the rant, but if I ever meet you I'm calling you out on that.

Lots of our guys came up big tonight. And since this was one game that many people felt could go either way (Matt, we need to talk!), this is going to be seen as a big win by season's end. It may spell the end of Maryland's NCAA hopes, and it should give us the momentum we need going into the second half of the conference schedule. I could see us blowing through the rest of the schedule and winning the ACC by two or three games. If tonight's game had gone the other way I wouldn't say that at all. And what a nice relief after Sunday's game.

Onward and upward, Duke.

Posted by: El Guapito Date: 2/2/2011 11:22:53 PM  
K must have read the Chronicle article from 2 weeks ago that advocated for Thorton to play more. Simply said, when you are a team that feeds off the run, if you have the personnel to run.....run!

Also, I am so thankful that we all got introduced to the new Maryland Football coach during the most critical exchange in the game. That is like breaking into the Oscars broadcast to talk about the shows favored for a Dramatic Emmy Award 8 months later.
Note to ESPN, it is bad enough that you bring in Vitale who describes games that he is not watching but rather he is anticipating. Pay attention to the game you are broadcasting and allow those of us who want to actually watch the game to watch it and not on a split screen!

Mason clearly has to attempt more shots. He is going to be key come March if this team is going to do anything.

Posted by: CDG Date: 2/2/2011 11:06:45 PM  
Now THAT was an effective end-game possession! Nice use of clock, excellent feed to Singler. More!!!!

Posted by: CDG Date: 2/2/2011 11:00:17 PM  
I really do not understand why they keep taking them! More are falling tonight but that is a percentage game I would not like to play. So far Merry-land is losing more than we're winning. I'll take it but we need to readjust our offense to get more points down low. That baseline in bounds play to Plumlee? That's what we need to do more of! Screens for Kyle? More!!!

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/2/2011 10:45:23 PM  
Nope, right back to overreliance on the three. Twerps back in the game. Crap.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/2/2011 10:38:33 PM  
It's irrelevant anyway, he wouldn't suck our dicks or not-dicks unless we were wearing Maryland jerseys, and I'm pretty sure none of us are.

Posted by: CDG Date: 2/2/2011 10:18:05 PM  
Fats, I couldn't agree more, except I lack the necessary equipment.

Not a bad 6 minutes with S & S sitting down. No matter the outcome, I was happy to see people them go out with a lead and hold on while the seniors sat.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/2/2011 10:12:44 PM  
Looks like K figured out to avoid the three as the primary weapon and just PLAY BASKETBALL with these guys. Not too bad so far; too bad Duke couldn't hold the double-digit lead going into the locker room, but good first half all in all. Mason has got to solve this Hack-a-Shaq thing he's got going on there. Kelly's a little lost, which is too bad. They've got nothing for Singler, but he needs to be more assertive. Very good shot selection for Duke thus far.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/2/2011 9:43:54 PM  
I don't know if there could be more nasality on an announcing team.

And Jay Bias can fucking suck my dick. "Hard to tell from that angle." "Excellent defensive play."

Posted by: CDG Date: 2/2/2011 9:19:02 PM  
Hmmmm... Luckie's on this one.

Already some thuggery. I second the view that things might get nasty - hopefully off the court. Apparently the student leaders at UMCP have asked fans to be polite... I'd like to see that.

Matt - awesome job. I just hope you've gotten the score wrong (but I'm not confident either).

Posted by: Jake Date: 2/2/2011 5:56:13 PM  
Great preview. One more time: thanks for staying with us, Matt.

Tonight, if we take another 25-30 three-point shots I may have to blow up my TV. if it were up to me I'd have Coach K order his guys not to take any within the first 5 minutes of the game. Settle down, move the ball, and work the inside. Too many games we find ourselves hitting no more than one or two baskets in the first 5 minutes. But I repeat myself.

I'm going into the game with positive thoughts, though. Because I'm a big fan. I think we'll came back from our Sunday funk and play a great game and win.

Go Duke.

Posted by: Al White Date: 2/2/2011 5:50:32 PM  
Awesome preview, Matt. Sweaty was so upset by your compelling logic to dump the Twerps as official "rivals" that he blew the botox out of his sweat glands. His back-up suits are on their way to New Cole as we speak.

I'll call this one for the Devils by 8 to 12. Our guys should muster an enormous effort for this game given that they have everything to prove after that nightmare in the Garden.

BTW, one has to believe that Consultant Keady was the author of the game plan on Sunday. The old combover goon finally got a measure of revenge for that 1994 Elite Eight game where Grant and Tony shut down the Big Dog.

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 2/2/2011 11:50:50 AM  
This preview is what keeps you relevant on the basketball boards, Matt. You absolutely crushed it.

I'm pulling for the 22 game conference season. The hell with the patsies, go out and try to win the regular season with a 16-6 record! Earn it, dammit!

As to tonight. For the first time ever, I will record, but not watch, this game. In the unlikely event it turns out well, I will watch with glee. Otherwise, I will erase and move on with my life. Don't get me wrong - I love what this team can be, even w/o Kyrie, but there is something about that venue that has left a bad taste in my mouth since the JJ days. Last year they earned a close win in the last minute - no chance for prolonged douchebagitude, just honest excitement at a close win. This year? Agree with Matt.

Posted by: blueflame Date: 2/2/2011 11:17:25 AM  
Off the hook preview! I feel this game looks shaky after last Sunday's... whatever last Sunday was. Perfect opportunity for Miles, Mason, or Ryan to man up inside. Kyle & Nolan + somebody... please show up.

Posted by: Phil Markell Date: 2/2/2011 10:26:16 AM  

Got to be one of the best previews ever on this site. Which is saying a lot. Trying not to sound like a fanboy here, but thanks Matt! I do hope you're off on the score, tho.

Posted by: tom Date: 2/2/2011 10:16:26 AM  
As an App State grad, I can go on and on about how much of a joke the BCS is and to even a greater extent, the ACC. Matt, you've done some serious research on your scheduling idea and I agree that pretty much the only way to be fair is under your idea. The Duke boards are shaking after UNCs win last night. It's one game at a time. Would love to see the guys get it together and play well but I tend to agree with Matt concerning the score. The crowd will be in it shouting, "F U (insert Duke players name here) in unison. And for some reason, I think this could be one of those games where some on or off the court physical stuff can happen. Let's hope not. Be ready to see the police around Coach K whenever he approaches the scorer's table.

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