Adam’s Duke-Wisconsin Pre-Game Thoughts

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**For anyone reading this who might not know about my Duke podcast that I’ve been doing about once a week, please listen and kindly do me the favor of commenting in iTunes. Comments are how iTunes promotes podcasts, and my biggest problem has been people not knowing it exists. If anyone has any other ideas about how to spread the word about my Comarow’s Corner Duke BBall podcast, please let me know, and thanks to everyone who’s listened so far. It’ll improve each time as I work out the kinks, and along with the 2 confirmed guests I mentioned in ep. 5, I just received an agreement from a well-known Duke guy to come on soon. I’ll be doing a podcast post-Wisconsin game, so please listen and tell all your Duke friends!**

Duke-Wisconsin:

-It’s very simple. Duke’s gotta make the game as hectic as possible. A half court game plays right into Wisconsin’s hands.

-I’ve seen some talk about Amile taking Kaminsky out high. Well, Nigel Hayes can shoot from the outside as well, so that won’t help. Okafor’s gonna have to guard someone who can shoot.

-Tyus & Quinn are gonna have to stay in front of their men & stop penetration, because Duke’s bigs won’t be able to help as much tonight while dealing with their own guys.

-The reason teams have shot a bad 3 pt percentage against Duke is because Duke has extended more on D, relying on the bigs to risk helping to to come out on guys. Now the bigs will have to stay home. So Wisconsin’s mid-range game will be enormous in determining the outcome tonight.

-Despite what many think, Okafor’s not much of a shot blocker, so no way Duke can rely on him to clean up any messes.

-I think Wisconsin might make stopping Winslow priority #1, daring Jah to beat them. Without his typical size advantage, Okafor might struggle.

-Not sure how much Wisconsin will double Jah if he keeps posting up so far away & can’t make a jumper. If he gets position down low, it’s another story, though.

-Tonight would be a great time to see Jah become a bully against Kaminsky & impose his will. Yet to see that from him this year.

-Wisconsin is a smart, experienced team and will start off daring Duke to beat them from 3. Will Duke fall into that trap?

-Quinn and Amile need to lead early, keeping Duke from getting flustered. Duke hasn’t faced adversity and been punched in the mouth this year. They will tonight.

-Winslow will do what Winslow does, but will be involved in his own tough matchup against Sam Dekker. Traevon Jackson is a wily Senior with experience, but Tyus is mature beyond his years. This could be one of those “Tyus shines under the bright lights” type of games.

-Winslow has been more team-oriented with his defense as of late. Can he stick to that and only occasionally improv, or will he get stuck in no man’s land too much?

-Amile has been great on the offensive boards, but many have come against matchups where his man is less athletic. Not overly athletic in his own right, Amile relies on his bball IQ to make plays. Nigel Hayes is a tough, physical matchup. Always has had the ability to go inside, and now has developed an outside shot as well.

-Could this be the game that Sheed is given a bigger role? He’s always ready, it’s just a matter of what the team needs.

-Don’t underestimate the Wisconsin crowd factor on the young guys. People can talk about it all they want and I’ve even heard some say “Duke’s Freshmen aren’t your typical Freshmen.” Guess what? You don’t know what it’s like to play an away game at Wisconsin, and I guarantee they don’t know either. It will be an absolute circus environment, it will be their first away game, and it will be the first game of this magnitude that they will play in. No way to predict how they’ll react.

-Please, in the name of all that is holy, Coach K. NO HEDGING!

*Biggest team factors:

-On offense, # of 3 pt shots for Duke. The more they shoot, the less likely they are to win, in my opinion.

-On defense, it’s the communication on Wisconsin’s screens. Wisconsin has a fully formed identity, and will try to confuse the young Duke team with as much movement and screening as possible. Amile needs to talk nonstop on D.

-Transition points. Needs to be high to have the gave in Duke’s favor.

-Overall, how will Duke respond to the crowd, the talent of Wisconsin, and adversity?

*Key Players (not the guys with the most stats, but the guys who will influence the outcome of this game the most):

-For Wisconsin, Nigel Hayes. Not sure if Duke has an answer for him.

-For Duke, Tyus & Sheed must come up big

-Most fun matchup for me to watch: Justise Winslow-Sam Dekker. Sorry if this offends anyone, but Dekker is the typical “he’s more athletic than he looks” guy. Basically, that means he’s an athletic white guy (like Grayson). Personally, I don’t care what color his skin is, the guy can ball. Winslow and Dekker going back and forth will be a blast.

*Prediction:

Duke will will learn a lot about themselves and who they are as a team from this game which will help them down the road, but experience/home court wins out tonight. Wisconsin 73, Duke 67