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Adam’s Duke-Michigan State Thoughts for Total Nerds

By November 19, 2014No Comments

I have not looked at anyone’s analysis/game recaps, and this is not a play by play. It’s just me re-watching the game and writing down my impressions on key plays and thoughts, when they happened, and why they might have happened. It’s doubtful many fans are like me and re-watch games and pay attention to the why and how rather than just the what , but if you do, I wrote down the (close of not exact) time of each play that I write. I especially concentrated on the Michigan State offensive rebounds and Duke’s problems communicating on defense. I’m genuinely interested in how many people are as crazy as me and appreciate something like this, so while I do it mostly for my own entertainment, let me know if you actually appreciate it/read the entire thing and/or re-watch the game and use it. Comment or tweet @AdamComarow.


Duke-Michigan State 11/18/14

Final Score Duke 81 Michigan State 71

Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale, Shane Battier


-DISCIPLINE!! (Playing team defense rather than freelancing)

-DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SWITCHING AND HEDGING (Guys are having communication problems and not recognizing when big men are switching on defense and when they are hedging out)

-Most of the offensive rebounds that I saw Michigan State get had a random element to them. 50/50 balls are many times about hustle, but still some of them in this game came down to randomness.

-Michigan State had some health issues, missing 2 (Javon Bess broken foot, Alvin Ellis at 2 guard with a sprained ankle-he’s especially good)


18:40-Okafor’s vision incredible. Finds cutting Tyus, who goes to Winslow.

17:00-Okafor’s touch on bank shots also incredible

16:00-1st Michigan State offensive rebound: ball going straight to Okafor, Winslow jumps into him and ball bounces to State. You can even hear Okafor yell “Same! Same!” to Winslow. State then kicks it back out for a 3 pointer.

15:18-Tyus sometimes gets his feed stuck in mud

15:02-Winslow terrible pass to a covered Jefferson for the turnover. Justise incredibly out of sync. Nerves.

14:51-Semi comes in after 1st timeout. I honestly had no idea he even played at all tonight.

13:24-Sheed with a tremendous pass to Matt Jones. Best passer on team this year.

13:05-Michigan State offensive rebound, Tyus & Okafor get switched. Okafor’s man shoots the 3, Tyus’s man (who is the center, originally Jah’s man) goes in for the rebound. Tyus stands and watches while Okafor stands with the man at the 3 pt line) Matt Jones and Winslow both hit the ball at the peak height, yet somehow bounces off their hands and goes to Sheed, who loses it. Ends up with the ball going out of bounds to Duke.

-Quick 3’s for Cook (14:20) and Tyus Jones (12:03) are dumb shots.

11:46-Duke really excels on the break with unselfishness.

10:42-I like Duke running an offensive play for Winslow to get into the paint when he’s been struggling. Trying to get him jumpstarted since he seems incredibly nervous.

10:00-Michigan State offensive rebound: long 3 point miss, Tyus goes in to help on rebound, but rebound bounces out long. Unlucky.

9:22-Duke running way more pick & rolls on offense this year.

-Both Amile & Okafor (9:12) (especially Amile) really hesitant to get out to shooters.

8:53-Quinn makes 2nd straight 3. Automatic.

7:36-Winslow HAS to attack more on offense. His will at the basket is incredible. Take advantage.

7:15-Now Plum3 not getting out to guys.

7:15, 6:45-Big men are hedging (which I HATE) and doubling too far outside of their areas, which lead to easy to find open men for guys who are getting doubled.

6:33-Michigan State offensive rebound. Ball goes straight to Amile & his man, and with 2 Duke players as the only others around, Amile, with his left hand, somehow tips it under the basket, right to the inside position of his own man. Gotta tip it to either of the 2 Duke players around him.

6:12-Then Amile travels the next play from the free throw line. I really, really hope he develops a faceup jumper for next year.

5:50-Deep, deep post position by Okafor in the 1st half. Making it easy for entries.

4:42-Okafor’s man hits a wide open shot a step in front of the 3 pt line. Is Okafor supposed to guard out that far?

4:12-Winslow walking down the court on defensive transition, leading to a wide open shot by Trice. Winslow can’t take plays off. Lazy.

3:15-Winslow might have started out wide-eyed and nervous, but good to know it didn’t affect his confidence.

2:48-Michigan State offensive rebound. Another long rebound after a missed 3. Ball comes to Cook, but instead of grabbing it, he bumps it off Matt Jones, and it caroms to Michigan State.

0:56-On defense, Jah switches to Winslow’s man, then Winslow somehow decides to keep with his man, allowing Jah’s man to cut open to the basket. No recognition. That’s system defense.

0:44-Then Winslow gets a foul trying to free up Okafor. Looked like play was designed for Okafor.

0:05-Next, Amile switches on to Sheed’s man, yet Sheed keeps going and allows Amile’s man to cut to basket for a layup.

OFFENSIVE POSSESSIONS INSIDE 5:00-Matt Jones with a bad shot (4:15), Sheed with a quick 3 (3:46), Winslow with a made 3 (3:15), Winslow with a drive drawing the foul (2:14), Winslow with a chuck up miss at the rim in transition (1:40), Sheed with a turnover (1:18), Winslow with a foul (0:44), and Sulaimon with a 3 (0:17). Okafor not getting the touches he should, but he also can’t allow Duke to forget about him. Duke needs to slow down and set their offense up as well, though.


2nd Half

18:50-Transition defense, Amile was at the top of the key on a missed Duke shot and saw there was a Michigan State man leaking, but let him run out ahead in transition. Recognize!

18:15-Michigan State offensive rebound. Amile and his man go for it, his man tips it into the front of the basket, ball falls to the ground, State picks it up and scores.

17:10-Duke lazy in transition defense again.

16:52-Okafor’s sideline spin move is shockingly quick.

16:23-Michigan State offensive rebound. Okafor switches to Tyus’s man, who shoots jumper. Tyus stands in the middle of nowhere, and Okafor’s original man gets the offensive rebound and scores.

15:43-Okafor is incredibly mature. Never argues the call, just asks for an explanation.

15:32-Amile tips a rebound out of bounds. Just grab it, stop tipping it!

15:22-Winslow coast to coast reminded me of Jabari’s coast to coast in the champion’s classic a year ago against Kansas.

14:30-Now Amile tips a potential offensive rebound (off blown Winslow layup) out of bounds.

14:20-Amile comes up to hedge Quinn’s man. Looks like Quinn thinks he’s switching, so starts to roll with Amile’s man. Amile comes back onto his own man, though, so Quinn out of position, lets his man by who gets an assist.

13:03 Sheed forced shot, but he’s the guy who runs hardest back to slow down Michigan State man under the rim. Respect the hustle.

12:53-Grayson finally comes in. I would have like to see him play with Sheed.

12:25-Grayson forces a shot the first time he touches the ball. Could have seen that coming a mile away.

At 51-48 Duke under 12 timeout, things look very shaky. Momentum with State. Cliché to say, but Duke players need to make plays

11:22-Winslow takes it himself for the athletic hook/layup.

10:53-Okafor block underneath the hoop.

10:13-Matt Jones draws the offensive foul on his man.

Yep, Duke players making plays at what they do well.

9:30-Cook gets away with a travel, but good finish at the basket.

9:10-Cook wipes out his good offensive play by freelancing well away from his man and allowing an open 3. Splash.

8:45-Tyus with the tip on defense leading to transition and finishing himself with the layup.

7:58:-With shot clock running down, Tyus with great awareness hits a 3 and-1

6:08-Tyus with the crossover getting to the rim for an and-1. Love this kid.

5:37-Quinn Cook with a great drive straight to the hoop. No one on Michigan State comes close to him. Terrible defense.

4:57-Though it won’t say a turnover in the stats, Cook throws up a terrible shot that might as well have been a turnover which led to a transition 3 by State.

4:15-Tyus with an incredible jumper. In crunch time, he doesn’t miss.

3:22-Michigan State offensive rebound: Dawson jumps 50 feet in the air to grab the board. Not even worth commenting about that kind of weird superhero athleticism. Nothing that Duke did wrong.

2:28-Commentators are correct. Plays that would be unbelievable seem like nothing when Okafor makes them. So incredibly talented. Very Duncan-like.

-Winslow so much more under control in the 2nd half.

-Turns out Sheed was sick. That explains a lot.