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TD: Maryland, College Park Preview/Blog

Date: 1/25/2012

Two Dukies  
Posted By: Matt

Volume XV, Episode 5
January 25, 2012

#8 DUKE (16-3, 4-1) @ MARYLAND, COLLEGE PARK (12-6, 2-2)

Matt's comments in blue. 
Bonny Laxter's comments in white.

TRAVELING MATT DEPARTMENT:  So I was in Philadelphia on business - - no, it wasn't related to a crime syndicate - - from Friday to Tuesday.  Everyone may be interested to know that when I arrived at the federal courthouse on both Friday and Monday, I found the U.S. Marshals serving as court security officers engaged in a mock firefight with the Temple basketball team, continuing its season-long effort to establish street cred.  And get this - - I was there for portions of five days and didn't ONCE take the "subway."  Wow! 

DON'T GET SO DEFENSIVE DEPARTMENT:  I'm trying to remember a Duke team this bad defensively.  I can't go to the default of 2006-2007 for all things terrible related to Duke men's basketball, since that team actually could defend, and for all his other shortcomings, the one thing that Josh McRoberts could do was establish a defensive presence in the post.  It was placing the ball inside the basket that Duke - - and McRoberts - - absolutely could not do that season.  Of course, maybe I should be looking even more recently, as any Duke team featuring Gerald Henderson automatically has to be considered when you consider historically weak defensive efforts.  Honestly, I don't know the immediate answer, and that is reason enough for concern. 

ADD DEFENSE (PLEASE!):  I just checked Pomeroy's efficiency ratings, which he has archived back to 2003.  Duke has been a top ten team in defensive efficiency in every season since 2004, save 2009 (when we were 20th - - there's Henderson at work, as I suspected) and 2006 (#13).  We were the fifth-best defensive team in the country in 2007 according to this metric.  This season?  90th.  90th.  That's just totally and completely unacceptable.  Why won't Krzyzewski give Gbinije a chance to play 10-15 minutes a game? 

GRAY AREA DEPARTMENT:  Thanks to longtime friend and Dukies.com elite commenter TRT for asking me if Nike is forcing Duke to wear some bizarre new gray uniforms for this game.  Apparently, we are wearing these quite ugly and unimpressive unis, but only once, and it's at home against Maryland, not tonight.  The weirdest thing about the stunt clothing is that it says "Blue Devils" on the front and not "Duke."  Sorry, but I don't have the heart to link you to an image.  They're around, I'm sure. 

SWEATY COURT DEPARTMENT:  So of course we’ve all heard that the court at Maryland's Unnecessary New Arena will be renamed "Sweaty Court" in a pregame ceremony, which makes me want to win by 25 so bad that I can taste it.  Now, will they coat the court in a filmy patina from this point forward (MDCP ballers to be provided with special compensatory shoes, of course)?  And does this guy really deserve this honor for having Juan Dixon play and coach his way to the 2002 natty title while Sweaty just got out of the way?  Not to mention his almost countless instances of being an irascible jerk over the years?  Hm.  Does this smack of a stunt to liven up the battery-tossing crowd for a Duke game?  Well, when you're Maryland and have zero real basketball tradition, you take what you can get, I guess.   


James Padgett, 6-8 JR - - Good scorer on sanitation stuff and very solid rebounder (6.2 rpg) - - can't shoot and is abysmal at handling the ball.  However, can Ryan Kelly/Miles Plumlee actually body this guy?  Because if not, mark him down for 20 points easy.

Alex Len, 7-1 FR - - this Dniepopetrovskostiff emerged out of nowhere, like MDCP players usually do, and is just behind Padgett for the team lead in rebounds at 6.0 rpg, while scoring 7.8 ppg and blocking a couple of shots an outing.  He rolled an ankle in the Twerps' last game (against those hardcore cagers from Temple), but he'll play in this one if they have him out there on crutches. 

Pe'Shon Howard, 6-3 SO - - Los Angeles product is a head case and has no outside shot, but he scored 15 against Temple and has to be taken seriously, particularly given Duke's total inability to guard anyone in his size and skill range. 

Terrell Stoglin, 6-1 SO - - for some reason, this doosh is the leading scorer in the ACC.  Oh; I just found the reason.  He takes 37% of Maryland's shots from the floor.  There you go!  He's shooting just under 80% from the line and 41% from range (48-117), so guarding him would be a nice idea.  Can Curry handle this?  By the way, Stoglin is not really a point guard, but he plays one on TV for this team.   

Sean Mosley, 6-4 SR - - Seriously, this is getting ridiculous.  This guy, who played with Len Smellmore as a freshman, must have some sort of lifetime pass from the NCAA.  As a bonus, he never gets any better.  He plays about 5-11, has no discernible defensive skills despite a rep, and he isn't a talented shooter.  Other than that, he's great. 

BENCH?  Not really, but here we go. 

Mychal Parker, 6-5 SO - - Strictly an around-the-rim guy who's the team enforcer, dealing out 3.4 fouls per 40 minutes of action.

Nick Faust, 6-6 FR - - Uh-oh.  Yes, a 6-6 guard.  Sweaty recruited three guys to be freshmen this season, but two of them bailed on Turgeon.  Faust struck a bargain to stay. 

Ashton Pankey, 6-9 FR - - He shirted last year due to injury.  Just another talent-light sanitation engineer who will be out there throwing elbows and other fun stuff. 

BOTTOM LINE THIS FOR ME, PLEASE:  I'd love to.  Maryland, College Park is terrible this season.  They don't have a point guard, they don't steal the ball, and they shoot free throws even worse than we do.  Supposedly, Duke is amping up the defense for this game; I'd really like to see that.  Make these jerks work for their points. 

PREDICTION:  Duke on the road?  And apparently without Quinn Cook again?  Who knows? 

Duke 75, Maryland, College Park 72.    

Last Edition
Matt 1-0

This Season
Matt  3-1 

Last Edition's Score Prediction Margin Variance

Last Season:
Matt 52-18
Guests 3-3



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Posted by: T. Randall Taylor Date: 1/27/2012 1:54:52 PM  
So anyway, I was watching the Villanova/Louisville game that preceded the Duke game when I hard this gem from Elmore's partner ( I didn't catch his name. ) After Villanova came back and got within three with ten minutes left in the first half he exclaimed "It's down to a one possession game, Len!"


Posted by: CDG Date: 1/26/2012 6:38:33 PM  
Ugh. It still pains me that Greg was from this side of the border. For shame! That experience probably scarred K from recruiting up here. Too bad since a good number of the players from Canada that I know who played down south would have been excellent fits with the school and program.

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/26/2012 3:43:07 PM  
Matt - I was not aware that you were not a fan of G. Henderson. I kinda liked his contributions.

Any other least fave dukies? What about Greg Newton?

Don't blame Canada for Newton...he was an exception, not the rule. There are a number of good young Canadian kids in NCAA right now.

Posted by: KD Date: 1/26/2012 3:04:55 PM  
Fun to quiet the Maryland rednecks last night. More fun to see Mason dominate a basketball game like that. Wouldn't it be nice if he really started demanding the ball more often? Thanks, Matt for checking the defensive efficiency stats - truly has to be the most miserable defensive edition we have ever had. It seems like certain of our guards are trying to bring some intensity and effort, but they just lack the quickness or motor to stop anybody. I like Tyler and his intensity, but I think I counted 5 matador moves where he tries to swing around after getting beat off the dribble to knock the ball loose (all unsuccessful). I know this is sacrilege in these parts, but K needs to think about mixing in some zone or playing a step or two off of quick guards. Watching Marshall from the Holes shred our guards is not going to be fun. Anyway, nice win and look forward to avenging the St. John's debacle on Sat. Go Duke!

Posted by: tom Date: 1/25/2012 11:25:14 PM  
Man. 19% 3 point shooter get's a bounce. 7 ft 1 on the fadeaway. 59% freethrow shooter makes 5 of 6 from the line. And then there's Duke. Yep, that 90 ranking on the defense showed tonight. That is some great research Matt. And I'm amazed that it's that low comparative to previous seasons. Mason..you are the man. Guy literally kept Duke in the game. And did you notice that he isn't trying those fadeaway shots? He switched to the hook. When there was ever a run. He showed up and hustled. I think the worst three point shooting I've seen and I believe it got to a point that Coach K just said to stop shooting beyond the arc. Ryan Kelly was great on offense but I can count 6 times he was trying to get a charge instead of just jumping up for a block. It's get's rediculous after a while and I wish he would stop it. Seth was just terrible. Tyler was okay but he was beat constantly. Josh with the 19ft brick (I clenched as soon as he shot it) but at least his lay up was pretty good. Austin played better the second half and Andre fell back to earth. Oh and Miles played well also. I enjoy the Plumhooks.

Posted by: Matt Date: 1/25/2012 11:23:59 PM  
Great live blogging tonight, commenters!

Posted by: Matt Date: 1/25/2012 11:23:29 PM  
Enh. The court shouldn't really be named for either one of them. of course it was harder to win titles when Lefty was coaching at MDCP, but winning one national title? Just doesn't scream "name the court after this man" to me. Also, if memory serves, MDCP fired Lefty, and he was involved in some scumminess with Veal and Len Bias. Didn't graduate a soul, either, just like Sweaty.

But like I said - - this is a school with no real tradition, so, whatever they feel they need to do, I suppose.

Posted by: ClemsonGuest Date: 1/25/2012 11:09:52 PM  
One ESPNowitall had a piece on Lefty Driesell disagreeing with the choice to name the court after Eat, Sweat and Be Gary. Thoughts?

Posted by: CDG Date: 1/25/2012 11:05:40 PM  
W. Color me happy. Seeya Sweaty!

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 1/25/2012 11:04:56 PM  
Live by the three, live by the two.

Posted by: ClemsonGuest Date: 1/25/2012 11:02:41 PM  
You guys should not be complaining about much of anything, winning on an emotional and sweaty night without Cook and Gbinije. Think of how good the defensive efficiency whatever figures would be without the too-quick THREE! attempts resulting in Turtle transition scores in the first half.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 1/25/2012 11:02:20 PM  
That was satisfying.

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/25/2012 11:02:09 PM  
As Matt noted, this is not a great UM team - however, this is an impressive win 4 Duke, very happy

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/25/2012 10:58:56 PM  
"And the crowd is filing out.."

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/25/2012 10:57:46 PM  
Good FT shooting by Tyler

Posted by: CDG Date: 1/25/2012 10:56:46 PM  
Ugh. The Merry-land warm-up jacket is not attractive. And why were there no Plumlees on the court?????

Posted by: ClemsonGuest Date: 1/25/2012 10:56:00 PM  
Plumlee to Kelly will be on a lot of highlight packages between now and the tipoff of the Goats' game tomorrow.

Posted by: Dave Date: 1/25/2012 10:55:46 PM  
Great play on the dunk to Kelly. More of that, please.

Posted by: CDG Date: 1/25/2012 10:53:12 PM  

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 1/25/2012 10:50:06 PM  
Stall ball stall.

Posted by: CDG Date: 1/25/2012 10:47:27 PM  
Okay, even I didn't see the trip.

Man, are the refs trying to rile up the crowd on purpose???

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/25/2012 10:47:04 PM  
Mason in the post all night!

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/25/2012 10:45:48 PM  
Mason has been just awesome

Posted by: CDG Date: 1/25/2012 10:43:24 PM  
Plumlee's I & II are so much fun to watch. Show me more!!!!

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 1/25/2012 10:41:57 PM  
Again, the blurriness. But I hear a CLONK, and then the MD shot drops through.

Posted by: Dave Date: 1/25/2012 10:40:35 PM  
Rivers messed the rotations on that Faust three. Looked like he forgot to blitz it, and Curry had to slide to pick up the easy roll guy.

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/25/2012 10:40:15 PM  
Good TO by Coach K

LOL @ Clemson Guest with the upcoming matchup hype - not exactly Ewing-Olajuwon!

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 1/25/2012 10:40:00 PM  
**Anyone else looking forward to the Alex Len/Bobo Baciu showdown in three weeks? OK, just my own gluttony for punishment. **


Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/25/2012 10:37:48 PM  
Thonton is really working on D...gotta respect that

Posted by: Dave Date: 1/25/2012 10:36:18 PM  
Kelly is so efficient.

Posted by: ClemsonGuest Date: 1/25/2012 10:35:48 PM  
Duke must be 9 of 10 on Plumhook attempts. Fun to watch tonight.

Anyone else looking forward to the Alex Len/Bobo Baciu showdown in three weeks? OK, just my own gluttony for punishment.

Posted by: CDG Date: 1/25/2012 10:32:47 PM  
I better not see stall ball... Phew. Rivers moved quickly.

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/25/2012 10:32:16 PM  
Lucky break on the sloppy sequence by UM

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/25/2012 10:30:19 PM  
Blame it on the alcohol, Fats

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/25/2012 10:29:31 PM  
C'mon Mason, keep it up

Posted by: Dave Date: 1/25/2012 10:27:30 PM  
Box out already!

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 1/25/2012 10:26:17 PM  
The feed has gone blurry. Or maybe it's my vision.

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/25/2012 10:24:59 PM  
Great rebound by Seth

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/25/2012 10:17:11 PM  
Brutal sequence - 2 TOs and a triple by UM

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 1/25/2012 10:17:02 PM  

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/25/2012 10:01:15 PM  
Yeah Fats, that is a big concern. Sets the tone for half #2

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 1/25/2012 9:53:38 PM  
Wow. Three half-ends in a row that blew.

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/25/2012 9:53:21 PM  
That call on Mason was bunk

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/25/2012 9:50:06 PM  
Huge shot by Tyler

Posted by: Dave Date: 1/25/2012 9:49:54 PM  
That was laziest double by Curry and Rivers...

Posted by: CDG Date: 1/25/2012 9:47:42 PM  
Lovely. Rile up the despicable crowd...

Posted by: Dave Date: 1/25/2012 9:47:31 PM  
There should be a macro to insert the inevitable complaint about giving up penetration on extended D, and K's refusal to do anything about it.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 1/25/2012 9:47:04 PM  
Got away with one there...

Posted by: CDG Date: 1/25/2012 9:40:54 PM  

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/25/2012 9:39:51 PM  
RK, great Defence!

Posted by: Dave Date: 1/25/2012 9:38:02 PM  
Nevermind that last comment about jacking up three's. Back to back forces from Dawk and Rivers.

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/25/2012 9:36:11 PM  
Keep feeding the post, boys

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 1/25/2012 9:35:39 PM  
Enjoying the Duke focus on the inside. Not enjoying the MD focus on the same.

Posted by: Dave Date: 1/25/2012 9:35:31 PM  
Nice to see we're not jacking up shots tonight, at least. But that defense on the PandP(penetrate to Pankey)? Eesh.

I'm on tape delay, btw

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 1/25/2012 9:34:51 PM  
Admittedly, there's a scotch... or two in me at this point, but the Len joke was an ell-oh-ell.

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