For any new readers, this is where after big games I’ll write about the majority of plays & give my thoughts of them. I understand it’s longer and a lot more in-depth than your typical game analysis that you’re reading, but it helps for those that want to understand things better, as well as nerds like me who re-watch games and want to see how and why plays happened. That way if there’s something specific that made you do a double take live, hopefully I’ll have it covered in my post. I try to give the time of the game that each play started, so you can see it develop. So from now on remember not to delete your recording of the same. That way you can re-watch with my nerdy takes!
-Tyus’s national breakout game. Anyone who has listened to my podcast knows I have seen this in him since the beginning. He’ll do whatever Duke needs to win at times, but he has, as cliché as it is to say, the “it” factor. He lives for the bright lights, and nothing is too big for him.
-Sheed’s redemption game. He was ready for this game and this type of moment. He is the forgotten upperclassman, but is just as important as Quinn and Amile.
-Proved once again Duke doesn’t need to rely on one guy to succeed. Jah has been up and down. Same with Justise and even Tyus.
-Quinn and Amile played their roles very well, despite Quinn’s rough first half. Same with Matt Jones.
-As a team, they find a way, no matter the type of game or matchup. Playing in this type of environment and winning shows me so much.
-The past couple years, Coach K has always been ready with excuses for his teams, even when they’ve won. No excuses for this team. It says as much about what he doesn’t say as what he does say.
-The communication on switches was great to see. Even though Duke didn’t end up with many transition points, they caused enough havoc to confuse Wisconsin.
-Justise had moments, but still sometimes seemed overwhelmed in big games. His outside shooting is pretty damn bad, and it makes it more obvious when he settles. He let it get to him in the 2nd half and started playing soft. In the 3 big games against Michigan State, Stanford and Wisconsin, the best you can say is that at times he’s shown flashes. I believe he can be so much more, though. Hopefully playing in more consistent big games once the ACC season starts will help him adjust.
-Can K rely on Plumlee to play solid minutes when Jah is out of the game? Hasn’t looked good lately.
-Credit to Wisconsin for not doubling and cutting off passing lanes, but still would like to see less isolation. It worked tonight, though. Can’t argue with 65% shooting. I still get nightmares about all the isolation last year when Jabari & Rodney created for themselves while everyone stood around and watched.
-10-3 edge for Wisconsin in offensive rebounds. Didn’t seem like they outworked Duke, though. Just got some bounces and things went their way, and Jah had to come out for long periods of time.
-Though Duke had 18 free throws in the 2nd half, they had none in the first half. Relates to the isolation., when guys would sometimes chuck up 3’s. The fact that they went in doesn’t change the fact that as a team, you don’t want to live by the 3 and die by the 3. Again, I have nightmares about last year’s team chucking up nonstop 3’s against Mercer. Wisconsin having Kaminsky meant they didn’t need to double Jah like most teams will, so keep that in mind.
-I want to judge a great team by their floor, not their ceiling. This game was their ceiling. Enjoy, but can’t assume you’ll be seeing this every game.
-Jah’s position is still too far out at times. When he starts away, he ends up fading away on his shot as well. Also must avoid needless fouls.
Nerdy Game Analysis
First possession of the game, with Duke on defense.
-Winslow let’s his man Dekker run free along the baseline to the other side, where Amile takes him. Kaminky goes high (With Kaminsky gone, Jah switches to Nigel Hayes, who Amile was guarding) to set a screen for Traevon Jackson (Tyus’s man) to cut down. Winslow switches to Jackson and Tyus is left guarding Kaminsky at the top. Jackson keeps moving across from the left to the right, eventually ending up high at the 3 pt line, where Jah is responsible for him, as Winslow no moves onto Hayes on the left block. Kaminsky immediately takes Tyus to the left block, where he’s given the ball. Hayes wants to give Kaminsky room, so he moves up high at the left wing, where he’s guarded by Cook. Winslow lets Hayes free and stays down on the low block to double Kaminsky, who can’t see Gasser cutting to the rim until he’s already been stripped by Winslow. The ball is picked up by Okafor, and Duke starts their first possession.
-Sooooo…this basketball thing is pretty simple, right?
-Obviously I won’t go that deep for other possessions, but I’m trying to get across the message that I had to hit play, review, pause, rewind, slow motion rewind, slow motion play, etc. constantly before I recognized all the switches taking place. Imagine how Wisconsin felt. It must have been like moving into a hurricane. Every Duke player was read to guard every Wisconsin player, and by the time Wisconsin could recognize mismatches, everything would change. The communication by Duke was insane.
19:30 After a wonderful first defensive possession, Winslow moves around an Okafor screen, ignores the open lane (he had the angle on Kaminsky) in the middle and jacks up a 3. This is NOT the way for Justise to get into a good rhythm. He has to learn to attack first, which will open up his outside game.
19:08 Traevon Jackson passes up an open 3, because he’s not his game. He made 3 three’s in 7 games coming into the Duke matchup. The fact that he made 3 three’s later in this game does not mean that Duke was playing bad defense. It just wasn’t in the scouting report.
18:35 Okafor gets the ball on the left baseline facing Winslow. He turns away from Kaminsky, and rather than spin to the center, where he ALWAYS fades away, he instead uses his leverage and strength to outmuscle Kaminsky, backing him down and putting in a layup right next to the basket. This is the Jah I hope to see more as the year moves along.
17:47 Okafor getting the ball at the top of the key means that he should be passing. Instead, tries to create off the dribble and is stripped by Jackson. Gotta stay within himself.
17:00 Jah was with Kaminsky at the 3 point line on the left, but Kaminsky set quickly and hit it anyway. Before the game, I quoted a statistic I had seen made by Rob Dauster that every 3 pointer Kaminsky had made was at the top of the key or from the right side. I said Jah could cheat off him from the left side. Oops.
16:45 Amile shoes aggressiveness taking Hayes off the dribble from the free throw line (though a before the ball eliminates a made shot that would count in the NBA). With the room Hayes was giving him at the start, that is terrible defense, but any player with a head of steam has an a possible advantage to create an angle.
16:31 Winslow knocks a possible defensive rebound out of bounds, and the camera shows a close-up of him after this. Look at his saucer eyes and his expression. Overwhelmed?
16:17 Great defense by Justise on Dekker. I had heard before the game that Dekker had an ankle injury. That combined with facing a defender like Winslow’s gotta be rough.
16:12 Early aggressiveness by Tyus
15:52 Okafor receives the ball at the right elbow (the spot immediately to the right of the free throw line) and tries to take Kaminsky off the dribble again. Gets off balance and fades away. Jah, you are not a point guard. Get deeper position.
15:38 Kaminsky sets a lazy screen for Koenig, which Tyus immediately fights through. Okafor follows Koenig anyway, leaving Kaminsky wide open for a 3 from the right. Splash. Kaminsky really does remind me of a more athletic Ryan Kelly.
-This was the last made 3 of the game for Kaminsky.
15:15 Cook curls around a screen and gets caught in the air. Very rare for him this season. That reminded me of the Cook of the last 3 years.
15:10 Winslow slashes deep to the center, needs to be doubled, and dishes off to Jah for the jam. Didn’t see this enough from Justise during the game.
14:20 Amile getting the ball at the top of the key allows Hayes to sink down on Jah. Would like to see him get off to one side or the other to create room for Okafor.
13:55 Winslow dribbles the length of the court, forces Wisconsin to converge on him, and dishes to Cook for the 3.
-So far even though Justise hasn’t scored, he’s had 2 very good drives where he’s dished it to others for assists, played great D on Dekker, and stripped Kaminsky another time on D. Contributing in other ways.
13:05 Duke has Amile guard Kaminsky on the left block. Jah stays down low and lets his man Dukan have a wide open 3 at the top. Like I said in my pregame thoughts, even if Amile guards Kaminsky at times, Jah will have to get out on another big guy who can shoot. Can’t just stay a foot from the basket all the time on D. Wisconsin is rare in that all their players can shoot from the outside.
12:40 Tyus scores on the runner after blatantly pushing off on the Wisconsin defender, yet I saw many Duke fans saying he “played through contact.” Laughable.
12:19 Okafor puts his hands on Kaminsky at the left side of the 3 point line. The foul call is debatable, but no need for it. Very Mason Plumlee-like.
11:55 Good recovery on defense by Matt Jones. Dulkan looked like he had the ball open on the post, but Jones got back in position.
11:50 I expected Dulkan, since he has the size on Jones, to back him down, but Winslow has a brain cramp and loses Koenig (who had just passed the ball inside to Dulkan 5 seconds ago!). Dulkan passes back out to Koenig, and splash.
11:31 Good screen by Plu3 on Dekker for a curling Sheed, but Hayes looked like he was in good enough position to challenge the 3 at the top. Not a great shot by Sheed, but splashed it and shows immediately that confidence that Sulaimon came into the game with.
-Bilas calls that an open shot. He is crazy.
11:15 Dulkan tries to dribble around Winslow at the top, and Winslow strips him, steals it, and draws the foul. Besides scoring, a mostly good first half so far for Winslow.
11:00 Cook turns the corner on Gosser and Kaminsky for some reason doesn’t help, instead choosing to stay with Marshall Plumlee. The might be the brain cramp of all brain cramps. Still a great drive and finish by Cook.
10:45 Dulkan tries to drive on Winslow again. Dulkan is stripped by Winslow again, leading to a transition dunk by Plumlee. Someone on Wisconsin needs to yell at Dulkan.
10:15 Gosser takes Cook off the dribble and draws a shooting fouls at the basket. Cook looks perplexed , like he was expecting help. Definitely the first miscommunication for Duke’s D. Plumlee was out high on Kaminsky, so not sure if it was his fault, and looked like Cook wasn’t too happy with him after the play. 2nd foul on Cook.
10:05 Matt Jones drives, spins to his left, and banks a shoton Dekker. This is what’s called an early Christmas miracle.
9:45 Jackson with a hesitation move that totally freezes. Tyus, and goes in for the layup. Too good.
8:55 Sheed takes Hayes off the dribble and banks off from the left. Tremendous isolation move and balance for Sheed, who sometimes has balance issues.
8:40 Jah runs over Nigel Hayes after losing Kaminsky at the 3 pt line. 2nd foul, and like Bilas says, both needless.
8:00 Sheed with a classic Sheed jump pass (must make K’s head explode) to Amile, who drives in and completes early Christmas miracle #2. Looks like he shoots the ball behind his head.
7:41 Sheed loses Jackson cutting to the rim for a deuce, but Amile should have been earlier to help.
7:25 Sheed heat check
7:10 Matt Jones loses Dekker, Amile late with help again. That time it was more on Jones.
7:00 Amile with a baseline faceup jumper. Early Christmas miracle #3.
6:35 With Sheed on Kaminsky, that time Amile came with perfectly timed help.
5:55 Plumlee scores when Sheed accidentally knees Kaminsky in the place that shall not be named.
5:03 Winslow with the aggressive drive, but correctly called for the travel. 3 steps after his last dribble.
4:50 Keonig and in the same possession, Gosser both have isolation opportunities on Plumlee, net neither even try to take advantage. Weird.
4:00 Plumlee loses track of the paint in transition, and Brown gets a wide open layup. Time to take Plum3 out. Just isn’t aware enough. K brings Jah back in, showing a lot of trust in his freshman when going against Kaminsky.
3:45 Cook with his second out of control play of the half. Left his feet without having a plan near the basket.
2:55 Tyus dribbles in transition with his head up the entire time, making him able to fire a pass to Cook for a 3.
2:45 Jackson gets an angle on Tyus and bullies in for a layup. Crafty play by Traevon Jackson. Reminds me of Andre Miller, who plays for my Wizards.
2:36 Jackson then sinks down on Jah, leaving Tyus with enough room to splash a 3. Tyus had been 2-12 from 3 his last 3 games, so understandable.
2:10 Kaminsky takes Jah from the 3 pt line in for the turnaround j. Jah has to be careful with his fouls.
1:55 Another 3 in Jackson’s eye. Tyus is coldblooded.
1:25 Gosser with the angle around Tyus tremendous finish around Matt Jones. Sometimes you just gotta say too good.
1:20 Quinn has seen Tyus make 2 straight 3’s, so decides to heatcheck himself. 3rd awful play of the half by Cook.
1:05 Winslow with a pass 10 feet over Okafor’s head. Sloppy.
0:40 Kaminsky has Tyus posted up for at least 5 seconds and he doesn’t get the ball. Winslow is around, but still no excuse.
:05: Winslow travel. Duke finishes off the half incredibly sloppy. Lucky to be ahead.
19:34 Duke starts off with Amile guarding Kamisnky. Kaminsky immediately gets the ball, makes a tremendous move and scores. Nothing Amile could do.
19:05 Amile helps out on Gosser, so Winslow switches down low onto Kaminsky. No one on Decker, though. Wide open 3.
18:45 Jah with deep post position and gives a dream shake for the lay in.
18:20 Winslow ends up in no man’s land and loses his man Gosser for a wide open 3 in the same spot Dekker hit from.
18:00 Jah gets the ball at the right elbow. Again, too far away. Dribbles in, spins and comes up short. Whenever he starts too far away, the end result is always the same: shooting while fading away and coming up short.
17:20 Tyus with his one out of control play of the game, chucking up a wild shot for no reason. Probably just trying to draw a foul.
17:13 K subs out Amile for Sheed. For everyone who says K won’t go small, and this is why it’s so important for Semi to improve, here is your example. It’s Jah and 4 guards.
16:58 Kaminsky tries to take Jah the same way he took Amile, but is stuffed back. Very nice job by Jah of staying straight up.
16:20 Awful, awful, awful call by refs. Gosser was moving into Tyus on the transition open court play.
16:05 Justise gets bumped on a screen, losing the angle on Dekker, who blows by him, yet somehow misses the layup. Lucky.
15:30 Winslow still trying to get himself into a rhythm with long jumpers. Not smart.
15:15 Now Winslow plays very stiff D against Nigel Hayes, and is totally schooled. Having a very tough time, and needs Sheyer to talk to him on the bench.
15:05 Tyus Jones knows when Duke needs him to take control. Drives in and draws the foul. At the free throw line, his face shows total calm.
14:15 Tie game, Sheed launches a 3 and gets the roll. Look at his reaction after. Unbelievable confidence for someone who has a role you could argue has limited his upside.
13:55 Tyus coast to coast, finishing over Nigel Hayes. Kid is unreal.
13:33 Staring now and lasting till the end of the possession, Tyus D’s up Kaminsky. Jah helps on Kaminsky’s missed shot, but still, Tyus is a tough little guy.
13:05 First bad play of the game by Sheed. Threw a pass to nowhere
12:35 Sheed with a running floater. Reaction is priceless.
12:03 Marshall Plumlee comes in, and 5 seconds later commits a foul on Kaminsky. Now THAT is efficient.
11:26 If Amile can ever make this shot, it would elevate Duke to an entirely different level on offense. It’s the type of shot Lance Thomas could consistently hit.
11:05 Kaminsky draws another foul on Plumlee. Marshall just doesn’t have the footwork to stay with him. Jah comes back in.
10:34 Plays like Traevon Jackson schooling Matt Jones with a stepback jumper were not in the scouting report, haha. Wow.
9:45 Jah gets the ball on the left block, dribbles in and looks like he’s about to spin into the middle like he typically does when coming up short. Instead, he goes back to his left and makes an impressive banker. Love that from Jah.
9:30 Hayes has position down low on Cook and tries to split him and Jah instead of shooting to the outside. Another weird play by Wisconsin when having a mismatch.
9:00 A play that Quinn Cook couldn’t make before this season. Takes so much patience when hesitating on the isolation drive.
8:35 Winslow tries for a steal around Hayes, but misses and is lucky that Hayes blows a wide open layup. Not the Wisconsin type of plays I’m used to seeing.
8:08 Quinn with his specialty drop off pass, set up with his hesitation from the last possession.
7:35 Okafor showing touch I haven’t seen since Michigan State
7:10 Terrible call on Jah. He didn’t do anything, at least from what I saw, to foul Kaminsky.
6:35 Bad call on Hayes. Winslow was still moving & leaning into Hayes.
6:05 Aggressive move by Jah. I want to see that on repeat. No hesitation at all from Okafor, and move was made going to the basket.
5:45 You could argue that Okafor should have been out farther on Traevon Jackson, but these 3’s are shots he never ever makes. I don’t know what to say.
5:25 Okafor is 7 feet tall. Winslow throws an entry pass 5 feet over his head. Yep.
5:10 Okafor’s arm came down on Jackson’s arm. I agree with this call on Jah. Gotta keep the arms up.
5:06 K playing without a center shows his willingness to go small, as well as his lack of trust in Plumlee.
4:55 Takes a lot of stones for Sheed to take and make that jumper. Good screen by Amile. Sheed 100% on balance. Broke Wisconsin’s momentum.
4:50 Sheed strips Kaminsky, great D. I complain all the time about Amile’s rebound tips, but he dives on the floor for an entirely different kind of tip and leads the ball perfectly to Sheed, who passes it to Tyus to take it himself for the fast break layup.
3:30 Kaminsky blows it against Amile. Bilas thinks it’s a tired shot. I honestly think Wisconsin is flustered.
2:55 Amile with the greatest turnaround I’ve ever seen from him. I wish it wasn’t goaltended so I could have seen it completed. Not to mention a great catch of a tough Tyus pass.
2:52 I’ve seen the internet explode over the team floorslap at 2:02 left in the game (they also show a slow motion replay of it before Cook shots 2 free throws with 11.3 left), but I also enjoyed the trio version starting at 2:52 that I haven’t heard anyone mention . When Wisconsin inbounds the ball to Jackson, Sheed slaps the floor, followed by Winslow slapping the floor, followed by Thus slapping the floor.
2:25 I actually don’t mind the stall ball, especially when it ends up in the hands of Tyus…SPLASH!
2:02 This is the team floor slap that most people have freaked out about.
1:55 Sheed slaps the floor again after the next timeout, but I think he overdid it and Jackson nailed a 3.
1:26 Throwing the ball in from out of bounds, Winslow looks right, causing Hayes to jump. Then Winslow throws left to Jah, who gives back to him. Wide open lane for Justise is basically transition, which he lives for. Jam city.
0:45 Like I mentioned on the podcast, I don’t think many college refs have seen a college player be able to do what Winslow just did. All ball.
-Winslow/James Harden is awful lazy comparison. Probably comes because both are left-handed. Harden is finesse oriented on offense, Winslow is a strong slasher. Winslow locks down on D, and Harden, though better this season, does not. Must be “all lefties look the same.” As a fellow southpaw, I AM OFFENDED!
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