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TD: NCSU Game Post/Blog

Date: 2/16/2012

Two Dukies  
Posted By: Matt

Volume XV, Episode 11
February 16, 2012

NORTH CAROLINA STATE (18-7, 7-3) @ #5 DUKE (21-4, 8-2)

Matt's comments in
Fodd Tuller's comments in white. 

JAWS OF LIFE DEPARTMENT:  So Espen management canned Jaworski from the MNF booth, but retained him for all other purposes, like appearing in the studio and hosting that NFL Matchup show, which is pretty fun to watch.  As an inveterate watcher of night professional football - - it's one of my absolutely favorite things on television - - I would have preferred that Gruden go back to coaching and get off my TV set, but I can see how he might be more tolerable without the constant, and constantly tiresome, battle of one-upsmanship that Jaws and Chucky waged against one another while talking over replays.  Besides, that KAlbert/Moose/Goose three-man "booth" (apparently Siragusa can't fit up there or something, so he's always confined to one endzone) in the playoffs soured me on NFL announcing trios for life.  I should note that I once "met" (as in, shook hands with and briefly spoke to) Jaworski at a really nice charity event in Philadelphia organized in part by none other than Official Syracuse Guy, and he was a really nice guy.  So I hope he's happy to be away from Gruden.     

THE UCLA OF THE MIDDLE EAST, OR SOMETHING DEPARTMENT:   Are you enjoying the complete self-destruction of the UCLA program this season as much as I am?  Talk about a fan base that had it coming, and I love it when one of these one-and-done-build-your-whole-team-around-those-guys proprietors (see also Thad Matta, although he finally developed some four-year guys and even got Sullinger to stay) like the Howler suddenly misses on a few big signees, builds the team instead around a mental case like Reeves Nelson, and here we are.  It's even funnier to me that this is all happening while Pauley Pavilion is being renovated and the Brooies are playing at the ancient Sports Arena - - like even Pauley had to sit this season out.    

Anyway, you probably remember that remorseless cheater Harrick and his "famous" group of assistants from the UCLA teams of the mid-90s.  There were three of them, and if you overlook the fact that Lavin didn't make the St. John's game in Durham for health reasons, this is Duke's third game against that group this season, after taking on Romar and Washington in December.  By the way - - over here, Mike!  There **are** Duke alums and fans in California!  Bring the team here sometime, especially since the Blue Devils have looked pretty shellshocked the last two times they came out to Anaheim for what turned out to be season-enders.  We even have a (double) Neeba arena in Los Angeles, downtown and everything.  Don't ennoble UCLA by playing them, but maybe meet Arizona or Berkeley (I realize Stanford is out of the question) out here every so often.  It can happen!  Just don't sign any more Taylor Kings.  Oh, wait - - I just remembered why Krzyzewski never voluntarily crosses the Mississippi River (unless he's in the air on the way to China and Dubai) anymore.            

SHELL GAME DEPARTMENT:  Obviously, sweeping MDCP is great, but doing it like that is even better.  I really think that Turgid (totally hate him already - - the perfect successor to Sweaty and a condom-like fit for that greasy program) thought he could win that game, but once he realized that Stoglin was getting frustrated with TT draped all over him, and was throwing up bricks to express his woes in a verrrry mature and adult fashion, he yanked him and just took his medicine.  Hilarious.  You know, Sweaty had a knack for bringing in four-year kids and convincing them to hang around that Mad Max-style campus until they cohered as a team, but I sort of doubt that Turgeon has that kind of patience.  I bet he leaves Maryland, one way or another, within five seasons without having tasted a whole lot of lasting success.  We'll see.  For now, taste the broom, jerk.  And enjoy your rivals, Pitt.   


Well, first off, let's note that the Woofies were 11-4 before ACC play started.  The four losses came to Vanderbilt, Indiana, Stanford and Syracuse, and other than the Stanford game, none of them were really close.  Their most notable OOC win came in defeating Texas by three during Thanksgiving week, but . . . I just am not sold on the Longhorns this season.  Other than St. Bonaventure (#77), every other NCSU nonleague opponent carries a Ken Pomeroy rating of at least 120.  Of course, Pomeroy is one of the guys drastically overranking Texas (currently #19 in his metrics). 

So that was State's out of-league sked.  How about within the Swoffly Confines?  Well, the SLATE HAS BEEN KIIIIIIND, TIM BRANDO!!  Of course, the Pack are routinely useless against hunting group partner NCCH, and got utterly blown out of the Dump Dome in a game that was not worth the time of anyone who watched more than a few seconds of it, but their other regular x2 partner is Wake Forest, so chalk up two easy wins there - - both of which have already dutifully occurred (76-40 in Winston - - 76-40????  Yes, 76-40 - - and 87-76 in Raleigh as the comically lost Bzzkillick tried to play track meet, or something).  The Woofies' other x2 buddies in the Swoffosystem this season are Georgia Tech, Boston College, and Miami, so there's four more cinch games.  All four of those have already been played too, and while the Pack somehow managed to lose to GIT at the ESA by 11 back in their second ACC game, they won by nine in Atlanta a full week ago, which was their most recent game, by the way (more on that in a moment).  Then we have a cinch win in Raleigh against the Iggles and a more difficult Chestnut Hill win as Donahue deflated the ball, resulting in a thrilling 56-51 Boston (area) triumph for the Pack.  Yeeeeawwwwwwwwn!

There isn't much else to tell.  N.C. State opened by defeating Murrland in Raleigh, lost to Virginia at home by one in what was probably the beginning of UVa's now firmly-entrenched collapse, and recorded its lone impressive ACC win by beating Miami in Coral Gables by five back on January 22. 

So that's how they're 7-3, and it's about the softest-voiced 7-3 you could possibly imagine.  The Peckers play us just this once, Florida State only once, and Clemson (with whom they usually struggle) only once.  It's just an incredibly easy schedule once you take the two losses to the Tools for granted. 

So here are the well-rested Pack, having had a full week off since last taking the court.  If you think I'm a conspiracy nut over the ACC schedule, I respect that - - but what are the odds of the Pack getting a full week off before playing the Femme Blue, do you think?  As in, ever.  100-1?  200-1?  More like 10,000-1.  But against Duke?  Oh, yeah.  They get a nice weeklong break beforehand.  Thankfully, Duke had four full days off too, so I am really not buying this as any sort of excuse if Duke comes out looking bleary-eyed and the Pack are doing jumping jacks all over the court.


C.J. Leslie, 6-8 SO - - Should have jumped after last season and the horrible attitude he displayed, but naturally he stuck around, probably figuring that Gottfried would know how to use him better than Sweet & Lowe did.  Who wouldn't?  He's second on the team in both scoring (13.0 ppg) and rebounding (6.4 rpg), but his defense is highly questionable.  And when I say (type) that, I mean his actual ability to guard people - - he leads the team with 1.7 bpg and is second with 1.3 spg, but he doesn't contain or seal off the block all that well.  If the Miles Plumlee who played against Maryland or even 50% of that guy shows up, this will be an interesting mismatch, possibly on both ends but definitely in Duke's favor. 

Richard Howell, 6-8 JR - - NCSU always seems to have bookend 6-8 (and up) forwards, but Howell is about 60 pebbles heavier than Leslie and is, by far, the Pack's leading boundsman at 9.2 rpg.  So you'd expect him to be the guy who gives Duke trouble, if we have one of these games where the Plumlees get pushed around by a 6-8 guy (which, sadly, are almost too many to count over the years).  HOWEVER!  Did Miles (and hell, Mason) get Krzyzewski's message when K showed the senior the tape of Zoubek cleaning house against Maryland in the exactly analogous game two seasons prior?  I mean, Miles certainly did broadcast a "memo received, copy that" signal against the Twerps, but Zoubek didn't exactly stop there (dude was thenceforth unstoppable), and it would be nice if Miles didn't either.  Of course, Howell and Leslie are more talented than the Turgeonpins' duo of PadgettPankey, but . . . oh, heck.  Don't you just want Mason and Miles to body these guys??  It's not like it can't happen, as Mason more than held his own against both Robinson and Sullinger this season.  By the way, Miles should absolutely get the start in this one, both to reward him for his dominance of MDCP and to put Duke's best possible matchups on the floor from the opening tap. 

Scott Wood, 6-6 JR - - Pomeroy's ratings are great, but they really need some tweaking.  He has Wood as the second-best player in the country at "offensive rating," but then it turns out that Scott doesn't qualify, because he doesn't have enough "possessions used," which has consistently turned out to be a dunderheaded statistic.  I interrupt this stat-heavy metadiscussion to note that Wood is one of those guys who's the inverse of, say, Tanner Smith.  Whereas Smith has obviously been around the ACC since Rrhoid was Deano's very favorite towel boy, Wood seems like he just got here, but he's almost finished with his junior season.  I guess Sid Lowe's abilities include the power to fold time - - although not the capacity to make sound sartorial choices or win any meaningful basketball games.  Anyhoo, Indiana product Scott "Jimmy Chit" Wood virtually never misses free throws - - he bricked three (oddly going 2-5) against GIT last week, but those were his first misses in more than a year, since February 2, 2011.  However, Wood goes to the line fairly rarely, and this is what Pomeroy is getting at with the "possessions used" statistic, as soulless three-point gunners who don't drive the rack are punished heavily thereby; another big victim is Andre Dawkins.  This all means that Ryan Kelly should start and be on Wood from the first defensive possession; Kelly can guard this guy, and also has a handy height advantage.  Wood is a fantastic three-point shooter at 43.7%, good enough for top 100 in the country in most reasonable calculations (meaning, ones that set the qualification bar at a reasonably high number of attempts), but I think Kelly can bother him.  He has before.            

Lorenzo Brown, 6-5 SO - - took over at the point from that three-headed monstrosity that Lowe laughably deployed last season, and he's been pretty good with the ball, racking up 6.7 apg to 3.2 tpg.  He's by far the Pack's best wing defender, pilfering almost two balls a game and playing very good lockdown on opposing shooters.  This is a good place to note how much Austin Rivers' defense has improved lately; he should guard Brown whenever possible.  Brown is not a great outside shooter, so - - attention, Coach K!!  Attention! - - the drastic overplay is not really needed.  On Wood, yes.  On Brown, no - - leave room to recover without the deathless "blowby, then the help rotates, followed by easy pass for thunderous dunk to Leslie/Howell or whoever the help left alone" play.  Kthxbai.      

C.J. Williams, 6-5 SR - - another strong defender who runs his mouth a lot and is very likely to score a large number of points in this game, because 99.99% of his offensive arsenal is isolating his man and driving.  Against the 6-2 Curry (whose defense has also been improving), the 6-1 Thornton, or the 6-0 Cook, this will be a problem for Duke.  By the way, I liked the way that Austin handled the point on that last possession against - - oh, who was it again?  Oh, yes, the Tools.  Last Wednesday.  He never gave up the ball after it was inbounded.  So let's not pretend that we have to have Thornton/Cook on the floor if Williams is just torching them.  Sure, sure, TT did a great job containing Stoglin over the weekend, but Williams is much taller and bulkier.  Put Rivers on this guy if needed - - whatever.  But as much I appreciate TT and really like Quinn Cook, Duke's best lineup in this one is Plumlee/Plumlee/Kelly/Rivers/Curry.

BENCH?  Okay.  Gottfried is down to a seven-man rotation over the last several games, with not a minute to be spared for anyone else, so this won't take long.

DeShawn Painter, 6-9 JR - - more bulk to come in and relieve Leslie and Howell, and that will be necessary if the Plumlees are playing to their potential.  6.6 ppg and 4.6 rpg, but he's really much more important on the defensive end, where he blocks 3.3 shots per possession, thugs it up, and generally makes life difficult for opposing big men for long stretches to keep the more important forwards fresh. 

Alex Johnson, 5-10 SR - - and here's the relief guard, a scrappy little dude from none other than Toronto, Ontario (hey to CDG and Serious G) who transferred over after four seasons (including one shirt) at Cal State Bakersfield to play his senior year for Gottfried in Raleigh.  Not a shooter, but a decent defender (1.0 spg) and another competent A/TO man - - the Pack just don't turn the ball over much in general.  No one else on the team besides Brown has the slightest degree of playmaking skills, hence the role for Johnson and his roughly 17-18 minutes a game.  And that's it - - let it never be said that Mark Gottfried is particularly imaginative or interesting.

BOTTOM LINE THIS FOR ME, PLEASE:  Sure.  Duke is superior in talent, has greater depth, and is more versatile.  Whereas NCSU has one reliable distance shooter, we have four in Kelly (41.3%), Rivers (41.0% - - I did not expect this), Dawkins (40.6% - - needs to get his head on straight after another couple of disappearing acts), and Curry (38.8%), and Thornton is right behind at 38.6% if you leave him open.  Kelly, Rivers, Dawkins and Curry don't shoot as well or as often from distance as Wood (who has 158 triplattempts on the season), but all four of them exceed NCSU's next-most-prolific shooter from range, Williams (36.5% on 74 tries), in both percentage and the number of hoists.  Wood is such a huge part of NCSU's gameplan that this is really significant.  Now add in the fact that the Plumlees *should* own the 6-8 bookends, the fact that only Brown (and Johnson) can handle the ball for the Pack, and Gottfried's less-than-stellar operational coaching, and this should be a Duke win.  But then there's that weird sense of lackadaise that Duke has battled at home this season, NCSU is due to win another one in Cameron someday (the last came during the Gaudet Protectorate, natch), and of course, the Athlete Factor.  No one would be talking about this as a possible upset loss if Williams, Brown and Wood (law firm?) didn't go 6-5/6-5/6-6, and if Williams and Brown weren't known for driving the bucket, and if Duke didn't have problems with that this season. 

I think very little of NCSU's achievements this year, and noted a few editions back how easily and effortlessly Rhoid, no Patton-level tactician himself, coached the Tools to a blowout win over the Pack in the Krzyzewski Dome.  So this is another gut check game for Duke and can serve as a nice statement about where the team is headed over the rest of the season.           

PREDICTION:  Duke 82, North Carolina State 74. 

Last Edition
Matt 1-0
CDG 1-0

This Season
Matt 6-4 
Guests 1-0

Last Edition's Score Prediction Margin Variance
8 (would anyone miss this category?) 

Last Season:
Matt 52-18
Guests 3-3 


View more articles from this category


Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 2/18/2012 8:16:33 PM  
Am I alone finding Hubert Davis' laugh a bit too Tom Cruise, fake and too abrasively loud?

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 2/18/2012 2:01:53 AM  
CDG - this was my first trip to Ottawa in 3 yrs, but it was a really good week and I should be returning at least next Feb and maybe Sep/Oct (so next Feb we WILL watch a game!).

Agree with Mark - site going really well, Matt. This is a very entertaining group your writing talents over the years has attracted (example - you are given full credit each time, but "Heelin' in the Tears" has been widely disseminated by yours truly at pretty much every opportunity I get - please consider updating to remain current - leaving Blue Steel at FSU to face the court-stormin' cries out to be included!).

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 2/17/2012 8:11:56 PM  
Matt, thanks for your efforts.

As a longtime follower, currently, the site is as good as I can remember. It's the only Duke site that when talk strays from basketball, it isn't about poor, persecuted, & wide-eyed innocent rich industry bankers. And their misunderstood politics.

Thank you.

However, it is not without complaint... Can we have an expansion of the game blogs beyond their current state? Not a message board, it would ruin the nuance. But...

Wait. No. This is the only website I've followed over such a long period of time. It's perfect and I love it.

Everyone posting, keep it up.

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 2/17/2012 7:56:19 PM  
Dave? Well said.

Posted by: London Dukie Date: 2/17/2012 6:39:46 PM  
Haven't had a chance to see the game (that 2 am local time tip on a school night not really working for me) but by the sound of it I think I will have to track it down on ESPN 360. I know "a win is a win" and all that, but still - this group isn't half doing things the hard way!

And I'm with SFSF - I simply cannot get into this team. No idea why. The last couple of years I never peeked at the score and watched all the games "as live". This season? Check the interweb for a result, shrug my shoulders and get on with my life. That said, I was lucky enough to be in NYC for the UNC game and I must admit that was a pretty bloody enjoyable outcome!

Posted by: Dave Date: 2/17/2012 6:28:57 PM  
Rashad Mccants was forced out of the NBA for being a terrible person. He is now a terrible actor:


Also, @Mark, evidently being the GOAT means that K doesn't have to adjust his D (or his O, for that matter) to the players he has, they have to conform to his system, limitations be damned. I'm sure that if only Seth tries harder he'll turn into Thomas Hill, and that Kelly will turn into Antonio Lang. Actually, Silent G might turn into Antonio Lang, but only after he transfers. Gah.

Posted by: Josh Date: 2/17/2012 10:34:10 AM  
This was an enjoyable read, after the fact. The game was not on TV by me, and my computer was on the fritz, so I had to rely on bottom-line updates while watching Wisconsin look hapless against Michigan State. Eventually I just said "forget it" and watched Parks and Rec and Archer. It wasn't until a timely Twitter DM from a friend that I found out about the outcome. As we both said, this was the most State game ever. I feel like during the Redick Era (as well as other years, we just seemed to play them more often back then - oh wait, because we did! Thanks, Swoffie...), games with these guys always followed the same script: Duke looks listless, State jumps out to a lead, State player has a jaw-droppingly athletic play/dunk that fires everyone up and makes them think they're actually going to win, Duke shoots its way back into the game and defeats them. I don't know about the jaw-droppingly athletic dunk, but from reading recaps, this sounds like every mid-00s game with them, on steroids.

So, it's fun to win this one, but like others, I'm not encouraged by the general state of this team. This feels very much like a "underachieving-but-athletic-and-therefore-dangerous-to-us team drops to a 7 seed and knocks us out on the first weekend" kind of season. But either way, thanks for the writeup, Matt, and for the comments, everyone. They were fun to read this morning!

Posted by: Jake Date: 2/17/2012 8:34:42 AM  
Guys, a word on seeing the game. I didn't know this but I was following the course of the game on ESPN. You click on the games's running score on the ESPN college basketball section and it takes you to a page that has the score, box score and updated game track (play by play) reports. ' would check the score periodically and go away grumbling, but with about five minutes left in the game I happened to see on the ESPN site a little button that said "watch live." When I clicked it I got the live broadcast on my laptop. Who knew? I didn't see the game listed anywhere on ESPN as scheduled for broadcast. In any case I got to see the big finish.

This morning I see the same site has a button that says "watch replay." So you can watch the whole game or at least the big finish if you can't stand the thought of watching the stinky first half:


The Duke game is one of about four replay items cycling through the main part of the page.

Hope that link works for everyone.

Posted by: CDG Date: 2/17/2012 7:31:43 AM  
Gah! I can't believe I missed this last night!!! I have been battling some supergalatic bug this week and when I realized this game wasn't on my crap-a$$ Canadian cable, I went to bed to try and get better.

Not only did I miss what appears to be the worst effort/strangest win in Duke's (at least recent) past, but I missed an awesome blog!!! Damn it!!!

Matt - you were all over this preview, or at least that's how it seems from the game blog. As usual, I tip my hat. Please tell The Short Fuse she needs to be around more often to cheer us on!!! And please don't stop writing... Please???

SFSF: Of all the gin joints in all the world... I am in Ottawa! Do you make it up here often? It's a pretty quiet little city but it has some charm. Hope work went well. If you ever get stranded up here again in season, let me know. I know all the places that actually broadcast games in this place.

G: Giants win was awesome! My dad was crushed BU my sister & her boyfriend, who are in NY, were thrilled like me. They are hard core fans too: they actually had field passes and box seats to the first playoff game. My jealousy know no bounds. Hope you enjoyed Ottawa with the fam.

Tom & Fats: great stuff as usual.

Epic fail on my part to have missed this. I'll be better next time.

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 2/17/2012 6:52:45 AM  
Thanks Matt for the info about DirectTV ch 724, but my thoughts at the beginning of the season were: "all Duke games are televised..."

Boy, I missed a 'good un' didn't I? Or did I?

I'm assuming Coach K persisted with a defensive gameplan perfectly suited for the 1992 squad? When will he accept reality and adjust to the current talent?

This trip down memory lane brings me to another detestable version of the CRYolina WAL-heels. Dean Smith was there with a smiling George Lynch and 7 feet of Pittsburgh crap, Kevin Salvadori.

But one 'player' deserves his own paragraph: douchebag before it was cool, Scott Cherry. Leader of the token rich kids Caro-WHINE-a deems necessary. Smiling & waving at the popular kids on the court. Laughing whole pointing at Lynch's routines....etc, etc. (But I digress...)

My vote for best SB halftime show is the last marching band whichever year that might be. The modern day halftime show is ridiculous and shallow. The setting cannot provide a true concert experience.

I would accept a Led Zeppelin reunion. However, a friend responded it would be "Led Zeppelin...oh yeah, and the SB."

Posted by: Serious G Date: 2/17/2012 12:34:48 AM  
One more thing - as Matt mentions, the box score from the game is pretty weird. We we outclassed in every category...except the most important one. Mouthbreathers across North America will shout "but you shot 4 more foul shots, therefore the refs were in your back pocket"

Good night all

Posted by: Serious G Date: 2/17/2012 12:30:12 AM  
Ok, I'll give Tom a shout-out for one-upping me on the best SB halftime show

Posted by: Serious G Date: 2/17/2012 12:28:58 AM  
SanFran - great to hear from you as always. I live 3 hours west of Ottawa in sticksville, Ontario. Very happy to hear you like the Capital though...my wife, daughter and I spent the past weekend there with great friends. Great friends who will continue to tolerate my NCAA hoops obsession by accompanying me to see Syracuse/Louisville in 2 weeks.

I'm trying to rope these folks into a road trip to Durham next year. Wish me well

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/17/2012 12:27:28 AM  
tom, the Harrick/Gottfried connection was actually detailed and covered on a website even closer than the one you just researched.

Posted by: tom Date: 2/17/2012 12:24:49 AM  
Okay, I did a quick search and didn't know that Gottfried worked under Harrick at UCLA. So, he's a friend and when Gottfried was hired it was rumored that Harrick would be an assistant. Which I'm assuming he's no longer blackballed. Now, he's not sitting on those sidelines but he's in the back there. Talk about an "I told you so moment" if any violations happen.
BTW. Janet Jackson was the greatest super bowl halftime show ever.

Posted by: Serious G Date: 2/17/2012 12:24:20 AM  
Yeah Matt, I messed up that one...McCants preceeded the other 2 pricks.

Not sure what happened to McCants' NeeBA career...and I'm caring less and less with the passing of time.

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 2/17/2012 12:21:12 AM  
Serious G - love Ottawa, even in February, and got to see a little 'lude, but mostly work. Missed tonight's win and more importantly missed Tues night's League Championship win by my 6th grader back in SF. Other than that, I'm good.

Don't tell me you are here?

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/17/2012 12:19:13 AM  
Hm, tough call. Henson is worth about three Frasor Units, but no one can really beat the Wallstash/Stackhouse/McInnis group. And wait, didn't McCan't play with Felton and May? Handjob played with Flawson and Smellington, right?

Douchebag #5 - - I love it when it becomes apparent that you guys read my drivel.

Posted by: Serious G Date: 2/17/2012 12:16:54 AM  
Yeah, they will lie down for the Toolbags for sure.

This version of UNC more loathesome than Sheed/Stack/McInnis-lead teams? More hated than Hanstravel, Frasor (douchebag #5 on an episode of Entourage) & Mcants? I think so.

Henson, Hairston and Bull-Lick are wildly unlikeable. That is enough for me.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/17/2012 12:16:01 AM  
I might have to write something about this one. The box score is just utterly bizarre in about ten different ways.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/17/2012 12:15:08 AM  
Hm, I'll ask her. She wants to go to see a movie.

However, she's definitely the one you want, because while I was sitting here cursing out Krzyzewski and preparing to shut down the website, she was rah-rahing Duke and spurring them to the win.

Posted by: Serious G Date: 2/17/2012 12:13:01 AM  
Prince was the best SB halftime show ever. No one even close, except maybe the Boss.

Can the Short Fuse give us a recap?

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/17/2012 12:12:11 AM  
NCSU is just an embarrassment. It's sort of sad but I have always detested Mark Gottfried. Bye, Mark. Blowout at the hands of the Tools on the way.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/17/2012 12:08:36 AM  
Oh, that's right - - this game wasn't available to a lot of people. That explains it. Well, you guys, uh, missed an interesting one. If I had any energy left, I'd write a recap.

Serious G, thanks. You're the man. Those two rappers with Madonna are hacks who will be forgotten in less than two years. And I'm not wearing a kilt.

Posted by: ClemsonGuest Date: 2/17/2012 12:07:41 AM  
I was in the car until just after 11 Eastern. Wish I'd made it to the TV a few minutes earlier. It does sound like the result shows more about the Woofers' ineptitude (though I don't want to see State up 16 at any time Feb. 25) than Duke's anything.

Posted by: Serious G Date: 2/17/2012 12:07:00 AM  
Tom - great recap as usual. Great comments on Harrick.

SanFran - hope all is well...hope u did not mind your stay in Ottawa. Winterlude is on!

Posted by: Serious G Date: 2/17/2012 12:04:39 AM  
I watched the game on some random website - atdhe.tv, as I could not get the game thru my cable provider in Can'tada. Infuriating 1st 30 min, I was losing my shit over the 'performance'.

But then the switch went on: Curry/Rivers made big basket after basket, Plums (Part II, Electric Boogaloo) was key on defence. And the Pack broke down.

Those 1st 30min - poor shooting? Poor D? Poor coaching? Poor everything? Just shocking. However, glad we pulled it out. Very difficult to know what to expect from our group, but they have given us some 'moments' to be sure.

Fats - raising a glass of purple drank to ya.

CDG - a shout-out to ya re: the Giants big win. Hope you & your friends/family enjoyed the SB.

Loss or not - please don't stop writing, Matt. No blowing smoke up yer kilt, myself (and clearly many others) enjoy the previews and running commentary. Gotta disagree with you on the 'hack rapper' reference to M.I.A. post superbowl though :)

Go Duke

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 2/16/2012 11:58:19 PM  
Stuck in Ottawa this week so couldn't see game. Had to rely on ESPN updates (gawd) and your comments (you and Fats). Please tell me CDG isn't in Ottawa, as I'm leaving in the morning!

Anyhow, this is a one and done or maybe two and done team. No more. I haven't been able to connect at all (though UNC was a thrill). It's like I'm still suffering from a Kyrie's toe hangover. Sucks.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/16/2012 11:57:04 PM  
tom, good sir, your apologies are of course unnecessary. I'm glad you came to share your thoughts, which were excellent as usual.

When Harrick leaned down with the camera on him, I expected him a barrage of hundreds, test scores, cheat sheets, and other materials to come flying out of his pocket. But don't worry - - he paid a scalper $4,000 for his ticket.

Are you the only one looking forward to road games more than home games?????? No. You're not. As I mentioned, I was planning on taking The Short Fuse (who came in just as the comeback started, so she gets the W) to see the VPI game next weekend, but I'm sort of afraid to.

Posted by: tom Date: 2/16/2012 11:52:35 PM  
Sorry for posting only after the game Matt, I just like doing it this way. The game was so reminiscient (sp) of the Miami game but this was more frustrating just because you think the team would learn from it. It's just how they are this year. I know I'm sounding like this is a loss but try to play a complete game fellas. Great comeback from 20 down in the second half. There was a point in there that I though the team just said "F it" and didnt' care and that was in the second half when they got within 11 and state stretched it out to 20. Mason missed some dunks (that first one was bad) Inside game just going off. But I stood in front of the TV and watched with my arms crossed from the point when Seth made the three free throws to see what would happen. Just wish the team wouldn't start out so slowly but I guess this is just how it is for them this year. Don't know if it's me but am I the only one looking forward to watching the team play on the road more than at home this season? Also, why was Jim Harrick there? Is he associated with the school somehow? He had the State colors on. I'm surprised he's allowed within 300 feet of any college gym in the US. Well, I can smile again at work tomorrow so that all always helps. Thanks guys.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/16/2012 11:39:42 PM  
I love how it was just Fats and me talking to each other all night, BTW. Maybe everyone else turned it off.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/16/2012 11:39:10 PM  
Yeah, but that MDCP team, I must grudgingly admit, had a lot of talent and could rather clearly play with us. There was substantial evidence to support that, in fact - - about 120 minutes' worth.

This NCSU team blows and is coached by a washed-up doofus. And we were down 20 with ten minutes to go and came back and won.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 11:32:53 PM  
Hey, at least only one possession of stall ball (which didn't produce pts, natch).

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 11:27:38 PM  
MD #4 '01? (Ridiculous win, that is)

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/16/2012 11:23:06 PM  
Most ridiculous Duke win ever? As in, ever? Name another one.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 11:21:58 PM  
Okay. Round of 32 loss.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 11:20:03 PM  

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 11:19:58 PM  

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 11:19:51 PM  

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 10:39:11 PM  
Not sure why half-court traps aren't part of the game plan. Since the straight-up D allows penetration at will, why not?

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/16/2012 10:35:04 PM  
Kelly with an airball three. He's really playing at the top of his game, isn't he?

Mason's been clutch, too. And Miles and that whole Zoubek thing? Yeah, that was a coupon redeemable for one gamne only.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 10:33:28 PM  
****** ****. Giving up a near-lay up for an air-ball three.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 10:32:11 PM  
Crap, I forgot OSU this year. I thought that was this year's G'Town '10.

Posted by: blueflame Date: 2/16/2012 10:29:24 PM  
And the free throws just keep clankin' like the rest of the shots for Duke

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 10:25:36 PM  
I'm sorry, I'm not talking about the game. It's just too horrible to contemplate.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 10:25:07 PM  
Gottfried looks like the church deacon, the one who sweats a lot because he cheated on his wife. Lutz looks like the choir director who saves a bundle at Supercuts.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/16/2012 10:24:46 PM  
Well, we had a chance there, to get it to 10 at least, but Quinn Cook bricking two horrible threes and Hairston firing from the elbow were our three possessions. Meanwhile, NCSU gets an easy dunk on the other end.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/16/2012 10:22:23 PM  
Ryan Kelly has actualy regressed this season. It's unreal. He can't do anything in the post.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/16/2012 10:19:49 PM  
Mark Gottfried is such a terrible coach. K should be mortified.

Of course Duke is going to come back in this game - - they'll probably lose by 3 or 4.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 10:09:10 PM  

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/16/2012 10:02:25 PM  
Maybe I'll stop writing for the season. I was always tempted to do that in 2007, but never did because that team was terrible. This team has so much more talent, but K has no idea how to coach them.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 10:01:05 PM  
Not feeling so confident about BC on Sunday.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 10:00:40 PM  

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/16/2012 9:58:33 PM  
I love it when I write for three hours and this sh*t happens.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 9:58:23 PM  
This year's '11 St. John's? '10 G'Town?

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 9:55:07 PM  
Learning curve. Look into it.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 9:54:54 PM  
That back door has been run at least three times now.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/16/2012 9:44:21 PM  
Well, the Short Fuse and I were going to go to the VPI game next weekend.

The hell with that.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/16/2012 9:43:59 PM  
Not unless we play at Cameron.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 9:40:56 PM  
If we're talking numbers.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 9:40:46 PM  
Seeing a round of 64 loss here.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/16/2012 9:38:04 PM  
Scuse me, 724.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/16/2012 9:37:24 PM  
It's on DirecTV 720, Mark, if you have the Full Court package.

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 2/16/2012 9:35:32 PM  
I'm not getting the game on DirectTV, and got cheap on myself refusing to buy a PPV game featuring NCSU.

Maybe I have it backwards?

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/16/2012 9:35:27 PM  
31-14. Game over.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/16/2012 9:34:17 PM  
I love how K is getting his ass handed to him. Gottfried obviously told his guys to play complete jailbreak basketball, knowing Duke's defensive vulnerabilities, and Duke hass no fire, so that's working. Meanwhile, Duke is acting like the matchup zone THAT NSCU ALWAYS PLAYS AGAINST DUKE just got invented last night.

This is about a 98% certain loss. Just unreal. Thank the stars there are only two more home games left.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/16/2012 9:32:33 PM  
I'm suposed to root for a team that puts together efforts like this?

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 9:32:10 PM  
J**** F****** C*****

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 9:30:07 PM  
Hope we crack 20 pts this half.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 9:26:52 PM  
Marge sound.

Posted by: blueflame Date: 2/16/2012 9:25:40 PM  
This game has the same vibe as the Miami one...

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/16/2012 9:25:06 PM  
Duke 3-18 from the floor to open the action.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/16/2012 9:23:54 PM  
Ah, one of these nice crisp home starts that this year's Duke team is known for.

Alex Johnson with five points. Ridiculous.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 9:22:54 PM  
I'm confused. Was there a trade with Fla State (non-Duke-game)?

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 9:14:10 PM  
I must be sitting wrong.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 9:04:12 PM  
Speaking of Fester, it looks like VT is having their very own gone-in-60-seconds...

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 9:03:06 PM  
FOOD LION STARTING LINEUPS! Guess I'm getting the local feed...

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/16/2012 9:01:48 PM  
AHHHH I knew I forgot someone. Well he should have been exempted anyway, as the sure-fire winner. We can have a playoff between the winner of this, Horseface, Goon, and Fester.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 9:00:21 PM  
I don't know if I can vote in that. Droopy Dog/Huckleberry Hound accepts no competitors. Not sure why Fester ain't on there, unless I'm blind.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/16/2012 8:10:23 PM  
BTW, there's a new poll up. I realize that this likely has everyone dumbstruck, but please vote in it.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/16/2012 8:09:59 PM  
"never make a dime from this stuff," I meant.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/16/2012 8:09:16 PM  
Fats, glad you liked that one - - you had to wait for the "Middle East" to hit home until the very end of the overlong paragraph, so it wasn't Ha Hee Writing 101 exactly, but I dug it.

Yeah, I did shell out for Ken's stuff. He's a nice guy and while his statistics do have their limitations, if they're properly tempered with more conventional stats (like ppg, rpg, A/TO, FG%, which he doesn't list), they can be quite useful. I wasn't thrilled about the need to purchase his stuff, mostly because I never make a dime from this some, so I'm jealous, but yeah. I needed it to keep the stats stuff heavy here for those who like it, and he deserves it. ESPN Insider is presumably garbage; I have never been forcefully tempted to buy it. Maybe I'm wrong.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/16/2012 7:50:48 PM  
Always a sucker for the cliche twist (UCLA of the...). I'm laughing and I've barely touched the tequila yet.

So, you shelled out 19.99$ for Pomeroy's inside stuff? (He certainly deserves it--say, more than ESPinSider or whatever it is--but I'm a freaking cheapskate.)

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/16/2012 6:27:43 PM  
I do know "lackadaise" isn't a word. But I liked it.

Thanks as always for reading and please, add your comments, before, during and after!

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