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TD: Florida State (2) Game Post/Blog

Date: 2/23/2012

Two Dukies  
Posted By: Matt

Volume XV, Episode 13
February 23, 2012

#5 DUKE (23-4, 10-2) @ #15 FLORIDA STATE (19-7, 10-2)

Matt's comments in
Kerwin Ditchen's comments in white. 

THE HUMAN CORCH DEPARTMENT:  To the surprise of no one, the ACC did absolutely nothing to that little tyrant Hess, and allowed him effectively to step on NCSU's spirit and its character by throwing out two of its legends.  Beautiful response, ACC.  I don't blame Yow for not following up - - what could she do?  She knows that Swofford exists only to grease the skids for NCCH and to feed his fat face with dollar bills.  However, I have no doubt that he made an enemy of her, and I'm glad.  The more people who want this utter clown to retire as soon as possible, the better.  And meanwhile, to anyone who really thinks that Gugliotta and Corchiani were using profanity in front of their young daughters - - they weren't.  Donít you think, in this day and age, that some sort of report, from some yo-yo's Twitfeed, for example, would have surfaced indicating that they were?  Just disgraceful handling by the ACC, which, of course, is par for the course.  Nicely done. 

BORING OPINIONS DEPARTMENT:  It was very in vogue among Internet wags to say that Duke's game against Boston College on Sunday was "boring."  Actually, it's you who are boring, Internet wags.  And call me crazy, but when Duke goes to Boston College, I like my game boring, provided that you find a completely dominant performance by Duke to be yawn-inducing.  Some of us actually watched the game, were impressed by the defensive adjustments, noted how Duke made BeeCee's offense look much worse than it actually is (only MDCP and the Tools, both playing at home in the games in question, scored more points against the Beagles this season in ACC play), and noted how, after a shaky start, Duke just blew the doors off with a nice outside game.  We even weathered a crap game from Mason Plumlee.  So, yeah, I liked that one. 

GBINIJE A LONG TIME DEPARTMENT:  I love these Internet people who claim that Gbinije can't be that good, or he'd be seeing the court, like Krzyzewski has never been wrong about a player's talent level before.  Well, in six minutes against Boston College, Gbinije had an enormous off-balance rebound in traffic, a beautiful flush of a nifty feed from . . . Zafirovski??  Yes, the Macedonian Missile! (Huh?)  Mike also played suffocating defense on two different Boston College players and generally comported himself as though he could certainly be off assistance to this team.  My credentials for making this assessment are 27 years of watching college basketball, and never taking my eyes off of Gbinije once I realized he was on the court.  He can play.  So play him. 


Bernard James, 6-10 SR - - James, 52, has been a Jedi in the Old Republic, a three-star general in the USAF, a designated senior heckler at rallies for Bob Dole (no, no - - his first Senate campaign), and a guy that the Plumlees just!  Absolutely!  Cannot!  Handle!  James' game log is a revelation - - he usually plays about 27 minutes a game, but against us, he logged 32, and during a key second-half stretch, he just shoved the Plumlees all over the court and helped Florida State to come back from their deficit.  Just a crazy idea - - how about stopping this guy?  He's got a nice story, but I'm tired of seeing our big guys be weak. 

Xavier Gibson, 6-11 SR - - FSU has played seven games, all in the ACC, since they defeated Duke at Cameron.  In the contest in Durham, Gibson had 16 points and went to the line eight times.  Since then, he's scored in double figures just twice out of seven opportunities, and both of those were for exactly 10 points.  He also got eight attempts from the stripe against Duke, making seven.  In the seven ACC games since, he's gone 7-13 from the freebie line, so in seven more games, he's had five more attempts than he had against us, and has made the same number of free throws.  I say again: is there anyone in our frontcourt with the needed toughness to body these guys?? 

Deividas Dulkys, 6-5 SR - - Duke struggled with Florida State back in January because all three of its starting guards are 6-5.  However, since that time, Austin Rivers' defense has improved dramatically, and I have a feeling that Dulkys will be the one feeling the heat, at least at times.  Actually, I'd probably leave Kelly or Dawkins on this guy, who isn't very capricious or difficult to guard, unless you're NCCH, and have Rivers on Snaer. 

Luke Loucks, 6-5 SR - - Hasn't scored in double figs since December 30 against Princeton, and owns a lousy .393/.571/.306 shooting line.  So Curry/Thornton/Cook should play a step off of him.  His defense is also a weak point on a generally sterling defensive team, so Curry and Rivers (on switches) should drive right at him.  Building up Luke's fouls wouldn't hurt, either - - the Noids have no one else who can reliably handle the ball.  And finally, this team coughs it up a lot, so . . . howzabout that press?  Curry, Rivers, ThorntonCook, and even Gbinije )stop me if I sound crazy) can assist with this.  It's a great way to mess with teams that depend heavily on predetermined halfcourt sets, as does F$U. 

Michael Snaer, 6-5 JR - - Rivers should probably guard him very tightly.  He's not THAT great of a shooter from the floor - - his clutch heroics x2 (while undeniably impressive) have made his rep a little stronger than it should be.  He's at 42.2% overall and 37.8% from threeland.  Defense is overrated except for the steals (which are significant), and he doesn't drive very often.  By the way, Dulkys never drives and Loucks let his license lapse as well.  So the overplay - - as often seems to be the case, no? - - isn't really the answer here. 

BENCH?  Yeah.  Four other guys get significant minutes. 

Ian Miller, 6-3 SO - - the Charlotte product has vaulted his way into the second-leading scorer spot for the Nulls, and has hit double figures in scoring in the Partianoles' last four games, including 17 against ridiculous NSCU.  He's sort of a driver, and is certainly no distance shaman.  He'll come in to replace one of the big guys and give a four-guard look, and to give the starting guards a rest, because Listless Len believes in that very strongly.  He can be played off a step and should not be permitted to carry out his designed role - - giving the crowd and the team a lift off the bench.  Just don't let it happen. 

Okaro White, 6-7 SO - - a very inconsistent player who reminds me of a higher-scoring version of DeQuan Jones from Miami Florida.  His job is to come in for James and sometimes Gibson, and deal out hard fouls while mostly driving the rim on offense - - he's only made eight three all season (so mark him down for at least one in this game, right?).  Presents the usual matchup problem for Duke and should be countered with Kelly.  Hey, maybe Kelly will have a good all-around game in this one, for the first time since forever, eh?

Jon Kreft, 7-0 SR - - this is where you wish the Plumlees would force Len's hand by being hyperagressive against James and Gibson, getting the latter in foul trouble, and forcing FSU to counter with this stiff.  He's taken more than four FGAs just once all season and isn't really that much of a boarding threat either because of sloth-toed footwork and resulting poor position. 

Jeff Peterson, 6-0 SR - - now on his third Division I program after stops at Iowa and Arkansas, he's basically a relief point guard, and he does usually hit a couple of midrange jumpers here and there, but he's not a big threat and will struggle against any Duke defender.  Well, he shouldn't be a big threat and he should struggle against any Duke defender. 


There's an interesting psychological twist to this game - - typically, FSU is the disrespected aggressor and the underdog against the traditional ACC elite, but this time, if they win, they go a looooooooooong way toward locking up the #1 seed in the ACC-T and the regular season championship.  So I think the pressure's on them - - they beat us and dumped the Tools like a month-old load of laundry, so they have to play up to expectations.  Meanwhile, Duke sort of comes into this one a bit more casually than normal, I think - - the perception is that the Blue Devils are down, and most people expect them to drop this one.  Since this is the reverse of the usual situation, I think Duke can turn this to its advantage - - a rare opportunity. 

Another point is that for all of the Quasinoids' vaunted defensive prowess, we scored against them just fine in Cameron.  We just couldn't stop a team of nonagenarians, let alone ACC-caliber players who, other than James, are all within reasonable hailing distance of their twenties.  Only Clemson, in FSU's first game of the season, scored more against them (79 points) than we did (76 points), and at times in that game, we were cruising.  The Nulls' last four games before playing Everbody's Favorite Doormat a/k/a North Carolina State are instructive, too.  They scored 58 at home against Virginia and won by three.  They LOST to Boston College in Chestnut Hill, 64-60.  They beat Miami by five at home, 64-59.  And they defeated VPI at home by the ridiculous score of 48-47 only because Jarrell Eddie got hurt and couldn't shoot his free throws, Hamilton wisely mandated his replacement at the line with some stiff (*great* rule, BTW - - one of college basketball's best), and Snaer Drum hit another one at the horn.

So letís not pretend these guys aren't beatable.  I am calling a loss for official purposes but see no reason why Duke can't win.  GO DUKE!!!!!

Florida State 71, Duke 70.       

Last Edition
Matt 1-0

Al White 1-0

This Season

Matt 8-4 
Guests 2-0

Last Edition's Score Prediction Margin Variance
12 (no complaints)

Last Season:
Matt 52-18
Guests 3-3 



View more articles from this category


Posted by: Serious G Date: 2/24/2012 5:46:02 AM  
One more thing: another good attribute of this team is that there are guys that will be silent the whole game, but make big buckets or other contributions at key moments. Examples: thornton vs Kansas, Miles vs UM. Tonight's example would be Curry, who finished strong.

Posted by: tom Date: 2/24/2012 5:45:14 AM  
Teddy V, you give Hess a run for the money Kemo Sabe. Geez. I agree with Matt, the pressure was more on FSU than Duke. Miles showed up, Mason just looked like he wasn't there in this game. Thats a couple in a row for him. Those early two fouls (well, three) which all of them I thought were questionable, took him out of it. And of course, a missed dunk. The step on Rivers' foot not called, the charge not called, the foul on Thornton when the ball went out of bounds, and especially that out of bounds no call which I actually thought Austin broke his foot. I was irate to say the least, after that play. I just knew these no calls and even more aggressive play by FSU would get somebody hurt. And screw you FSU fans that booed when he got up. You freakin Maryland or something? Dawkins had a great game after a long drought but I knew he wasn't going to shoot like that again in the second half but other guys kept it going. And I was surprised after what the FSU bigs did in the Duke game at Cameron that they didn't try to take it inside more often. But the defense is better compared to when the played before. Dulkey's had only three points on 1 for 6 shots. Gibson was held to 6 and James had 13 but it seemed to be a quiet 13. I really believed that it was just a matter of time that they would inch back but everytime FSU got within a basket or two somebody would make a three. Kelly then Curry and then Miles with the under the basket layup which he totally butchered early in the game. I think I'm more relieved than anything and I'm proud how aggressive the team played despite the foul trouble and home court.
Also wanted to add that ESPN seemed to be trying hard to talk about how many number ones come in play at FSU by bringing up the football team. That is very lame. FSU cheerleaders looked great. Good night guys. Thanks.

Posted by: Serious G Date: 2/24/2012 5:36:35 AM  
Fats - that was Chest Rockwell on the FSU bench drawing up "plays"

Posted by: Serious G Date: 2/24/2012 5:35:34 AM  
Really good preview and I think tonight's result hammered home Matt's point that yes, we can score on these guys.

Great night for my man Andre Dawkins! Shooting aside, his overall game was pretty good.

That Rivers kid is pretty tough.

Miles, great game. Several big boards. Unexpected offense. R Kelly was key as well: key boards + big shots. We gave up a lot of baords and in-close buckets, but I felt our big men hung in there pretty well. At least 2 of the 1st half calls on Mason were just awful.

One more thing: our oft-maligned defence was ok tonight, but it is worth mentioning that the perimeter D was flat-out awesome relative to what we have seen earlier this year. Keep it up!

Great posts on here!

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 2/24/2012 5:20:42 AM  
It's a lot more difficult to win games when our preferred methods aren't at their peak.

Well done, indeed.

Posted by: CDG Date: 2/24/2012 5:16:44 AM  

Great win, boys. Not pretty, but well deserved, and there haven't been a huge number of those this year.

I was remiss - well done tonight Matt - excellent, excellent, excellent preview. :)

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/24/2012 5:14:54 AM  
Thanks for not wilting, guys. Nice work.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/24/2012 5:11:37 AM  
Check out the porn stache on the FSU bench!

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/24/2012 5:09:34 AM  
For a moment there, it seemed FSU's best offense was a Peterson missed FT.

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 2/24/2012 5:07:53 AM  
CDG, I'm hoping you are right.

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 2/24/2012 5:06:54 AM  
Ted Valentine choked on Plumlee's 5th. He was set and out of the circle regardless what Jay Bias would say.

Posted by: CDG Date: 2/24/2012 5:05:17 AM  
What a play!!!! Is it my imagination, or has this team finally seemed to gel????

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/24/2012 5:01:59 AM  
What the f***. Over and back clear as day.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/24/2012 4:55:54 AM  
Nearly every freaky bounce. Cept that last one.

Posted by: CDG Date: 2/24/2012 4:55:18 AM  
Hamilton pulls off another $100...

Posted by: CDG Date: 2/24/2012 4:47:43 AM  
Nice move by Curry on that play to silence the crowd.

Posted by: CDG Date: 2/24/2012 4:47:05 AM  
Ho was that not an offensive foul!

Posted by: CDG Date: 2/24/2012 4:46:32 AM  
Why? Why? Why? This is BAD...

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 2/24/2012 4:45:36 AM  
There are times when I just don't understand Seth Curry's actions...

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 2/24/2012 4:43:25 AM  
CDG, thanks. And my cat is sitting in my lap as well.

Posted by: CDG Date: 2/24/2012 4:40:30 AM  
And now the coach is saying "be aggressive". Someone is going to get seriously hurt.

Posted by: CDG Date: 2/24/2012 4:39:43 AM  
Excellent point Mark!

Posted by: CDG Date: 2/24/2012 4:39:16 AM  
Cuts, bruises, scrapes... no foul. O-kay...

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 2/24/2012 4:39:15 AM  
Rivers' legs were swept out from behind, that is an advantage gained, therefore, a foul.

Why is it upon loose balls, a basketball court becomes an ungoverned free for all?

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 2/24/2012 4:39:14 AM  
Rivers' legs were swept out from behind, that is an advantage gained, therefore, a foul.

Why is it upon loose balls, a basketball court becomes an ungoverned free for all?

Posted by: CDG Date: 2/24/2012 4:36:07 AM  

Posted by: CDG Date: 2/24/2012 4:35:39 AM  
Oh jesus... this could be bad.

Posted by: CDG Date: 2/24/2012 4:35:07 AM  

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/24/2012 4:31:19 AM  
Rivers stepped on. Very questionable call on Thornton foul. Ball obviously off FSU, given to them.

Posted by: CDG Date: 2/24/2012 4:29:19 AM  

The foul situation is infuriating. "Duke gets all the calls" - against it.

Great defense there though!

Posted by: CDG Date: 2/24/2012 4:18:57 AM  
Good god, Dickie. One breath, guys play differently when they are in foul trouble, the next, kids play without any knowledge of what is happening. Please retire!!!

Outstanding play by Rivers/Kelly!!!!!

Posted by: CDG Date: 2/24/2012 4:17:00 AM  
... followed by an improbably 3. GUYS. PLAY DEFENSE. And throw in some offense, too, will you????

Posted by: CDG Date: 2/24/2012 4:15:41 AM  
Good 'bounding there though!

Posted by: CDG Date: 2/24/2012 4:15:14 AM  
Wow! What a couple of three's for Rivers!!!

Defensive lapses on the other end though. Let's prevent the alleyoop, please???

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/24/2012 4:04:59 AM  
Very happy for Ryan Braun, BTW.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/24/2012 3:55:07 AM  
Suck-o 6-0 run by them to finish the half. Plenty of foul trouble but otherwise, we played well.

Posted by: CDG Date: 2/24/2012 3:54:52 AM  
i am typing with one finger while i hold my boyfriend's 18 year old cat in my other arm because he wants a cuddle. poor guy does not like me yelling at the tv!!!!

interesting game... we seem to be responding really well each time the f$u team tries to come back into it, or we get hosed by a ref, but it's far from consistent.

dawkins looks like a stud, even with that last miss. and i like our hustle on the boards. there's still a half to go but i am cautiously optimistic!

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/24/2012 3:54:45 AM  
How is that not a foul, jumping on Curry at the end?

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/24/2012 3:52:34 AM  
One thing I like about K, even though it hasn't worked out that well today, is putting players back in in the first half with 2 fouls.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/24/2012 3:47:59 AM  

And Miles proving that he's the better Plumlee.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/24/2012 3:44:21 AM  
Bad feeling about this. All the random bounces (muffed alley-oop, inbound steal, something else) except Rivers' in-out-in three are going in FSU's favor.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/24/2012 3:43:06 AM  
Apparently push-offs to grab offensive rebounds okay for FSU. Not okay if named Plumlee.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/24/2012 3:40:09 AM  
Ah, Mason. Just utterly clueless.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 2/24/2012 3:33:11 AM  
I see that WWF takedowns are not called against FSU. Make up for Curry's travel?

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/24/2012 3:29:18 AM  
Dawkins hits another three, this one from the left corner - - Listless Len calls timeout.

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 2/24/2012 2:15:42 AM  
DVR watching with son after his baseball practice - I guess no live-blogging till empty nester hood.

Funny thing about this team. The constant from year to year is the great coaching (in comparison to all others at least), but you still never know what you'll get. Curry/Rivers/Dawkins seem to be on same wavelength, and preseason I believed Rivers would never connect with anyone. The bigs are mostly trying to channel Zoobeard (ok by me) 'cept Mason, who'll come around. I cringe when Thornton and/or Hairston are on the floor - literally cringe.

This is a good team getting better. In late February (not historically their best time). Weird. Maybe it's because 7++ guys are spreading the minutes?

Good game tonight, played by gamers. Weird. I just don't know.

Posted by: Dave Date: 2/23/2012 11:50:05 PM  
Caught the game on delay...

Thought Rivers might have broken his leg, the way he was grabbing it, and after seeing how it got rolled on. Verrrrrry glad he didn't.

Just terrible officiating(by which I mean to say, just another day in the ACC). Mason picked up one foul for, apparently, putting his hip into a guy while posting up. Um, ok.

Glad we got the win but happier we didn't punk out, and that we kept our composure. Progress!

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