RANDOM GAME COMMENTS
I made a podcast immediately after the game, so my full thoughts can be found by listening on this site or on iTunes (subscribe to the Dukeblogger podcast), but there are a couple things I want to correct, to make clear, and to restate. If you want a more thorough written analysis of the game, check out Brian’s post from this morning. Excellent work by him.
-Duke on offense should play inside out this season. Quinn Cook and Matt Jones are exceptions, as they mostly spot up for 3’s. Every other player, unless taking a wide open three-pointer, should make option number one dumping it inside to Okafor and option number two slashing, driving, penetrating, creating, or whatever you want to call it. Taking the ball aggressively into the lane is as much a mindset as any style, and Duke is too good to settle. On his first three shots, Grayson settled for 3-pointers, and didn’t develop a rhythm. Then he started slashing, gained confidence, and it translated to being able to then take his game back outside and make jumpers. Winslow slashed early on, but after making a couple outside shots, started settling. It worked last night, but he shouldn’t rely on his jumper that often during the season. Penetration by Tyus is especially important, considering he is the guy responsible for dictating the flow and tempo of the offense. Once an aggressive mindeset is built during each game, the confidence will come and outside shots are more acceptable. If Okafor is double teamed, this will also lead to more quality outside shots if he finds the open man. I’m interested to see his passing ability.
-Much better defense this season. Matt Jones gets more minutes, so his defense will be more impactful, and Justise creates havoc (he’s a freak!). Okafor’s a legit big man down low, and Amile directs the defense on the court, so don’t let his impact go under your radar.
-By gambling more on defense, the team will create many more transition opportunities, but will also allow some easy buckets. Risk-Reward
-Tyus & Quinn are the point guards, but depending on matchups Sheed, Matt Jones, Grayson Allen, and even Justise Winslow can run the offense at the top of the key, or even bring the ball up the court. This is what I mean when I say that while last year there were situational players who played a specific role, this year situational players are much more versatile, and can’t be boxed in to limitations. Okafar and Plum3 are the only guys at a set position (Center).
-I don’t care how Tyus shoots during the majority of the game. He is a true point guard, and sets his teammates up in the best possible positions. He’s everyone’s best friend. But when the game is on the line, you’ll see a different Tyus Jones. He will be the player who takes the big shot or sets up a teammate for the shot in crunch time. He wants it, and while many guys say they want the pressure, I have a feeling with this kid that he lives for that kind of situation.
-Quinn and Semi look about the same as last year, which is not a positive.
-Plumlee’s footwork has improved tenfold.
-Don’t overreact to Sheed!!!!! I go into more detail on the podcast, so please listen, but it you can’t, I’ll say is that he is the one known commodity on the Duke roster in terms of who is mentally tough and will come up big when the chips are down. I wish he could have gotten some playing time with the first team, though.
-This Duke team is very unknown. They are so very, very young, with most of the key guys Freshmen and Sophomores. There will be many ups and downs. Try not to get too high after wins or too low after losses. With this kind of inexperience, it will be a roller coaster of a ride.
-I will usually talk about the other team and key plays during the game, but that is pointless. Livingstone was overmatched, and at no point in the game was there any sort of key play. This game was about evaluating individual players as much as the team.
RANDOM PODCAST COMMENTS
-I said on the podcast that I had no idea where Livingstone is located. I know now that it is in North Carolina, and I didn’t mean to somehow insinuate that as a fan of Duke, they were below my radar, because I can guarantee every player on that team is better at basketball then I could ever dream to be. Much respect to Livingstone.
-I keep saying Semi’s name on the podcast like how it’s spelled. Please yell at me if I don’t start pronouncing it correctly. It should be pronounced “Shemi.”
-I still really haven’t edited anything, so the podcast is pretty much a 30 minute stream of consciousness. I’ll try and develop some bullet points during the season, but I do best without a blueprint. Eventually I will learn to edit, and if necessary, have more of a plan for each episode.
-If time/life allows, I’d like to make 2 podcasts a week. One would be by myself, and the other would be with a guest, who I’d talk to about their Duke history, how Duke is doing, and any other random thoughts. With my lack/hatred of technology, it would just be the guest calling in and me putting my cell phone on speaker, so we’ll see how that works, haha. If anyone under 18 years old wants to be a guest, I’d have to figure out a way to have a parent filled in on the details, and if possible, listening to the conversation just to make sure everything is good to go. Such is life these days.
-I’ll have to figure out a way to make the audio on the music better, because it’s sounding like it’s coming from inside a cave. Sorry about that.