Archive for Coach K

Welcome to Durham Mr. Curry…

Posted in College Basketball with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2009 by sportsguru09

Today is a great day. Finally, Duke has found a true guard that will replace Jon Scheyer after he graduates next year. A shooting guard of the future… Did they find a big man? No, but hopefully that’s next. Instead, Seth Curry of Liberty University has officially transferred to become a Duke University Blue Devil starting in 2010-2011. For now, he will sit out the ’09-10 season in order to keep 3 years of eligibility once the year is complete. I know Durham is churning right now and can’t hardly wait to get next year underway, done, and start the 2010 season. As for me, how pumped am I? Well speechless is an understatement…is ecstatic more like it? Another dynamic scorer and somebody else for Duke’s opponents to think about when Kyle Singler is the last of Duke’s 3 headed monster left in two years. Some even think that he may be better than his older brother, Stephen Curry, who is a potential NBA lottery pick out of Davidson.

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For Coach K and the Blue Devil faithful’s sake, we all hope so. Everyone has already watched Stephen Curry do his thing on the hardwood on College Basketball’s biggest stage. Now, it’s his brother’s turn. Where better to do this than right up the street at a prime Division 1 University with rich basketball tradition? His dad Dell (who was great in the NBA by the way) will be so proud (and not have to drive as far to come see his boy play).

What does this mean for Duke? Well, I know Kyle Singler’s happy right now. Once Jon Scheyer and Gerald Henderson graduate next year, Kyle will be the go-to man in Cameron Indoor. Now, the more opponents worry about Curry when they both step on the court together, the more Singler will be able to score at will and knock down treys. If anything, at the point guard position, this gives Elliot Williams and Nolan Smith some much needed security handling the ball. Worst case, if one struggles, Coach K can move Curry to point and let one of the other two get a different look from the shooting guard position in 2010. Smith will be a senior and Williams will be a junior at the time.

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Probably the most coveted transfer in the College game today, Curry will fit right in with Duke’s offensive scheme and provide a nice defensive boost on the other end when he finally is eligible to get out on the hardwood. The Blue Devils and their Hall of Fame coach have finally taken the next step towards cementing a championship-caliber team for the future. Now, they will officially be just one “big man” away from dominating the ACC and the entire country on the hardwood in the ’10-11 season. Look for the Dukies to surpass the 30 win mark next year, but count on it even more in 2010. Mark your calendars…can’t wait for the opening night in Cameron Indoor two years from now…think the Cameron Crazies are getting ready?…I think so…

O, and in case you forgot, guess what Seth? You’ll get to stick it to those very Hokies from Blacksburgh and their “leader” Seth Greenberg probably twice a year. Good decision huh? You betcha. See you in Cameron son…

Dying by the Three….

Posted in College Basketball with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2009 by sportsguru09

16/60……5/27……What are these? Lotto numbers? No, unfortunately for my beloved Blue Devils these were their shooting percentages from last night’s whoppin’ by Villanova (I’m sad to say). Duke shot 18% from 3-point in one of the most horrific scoring performances in recent memory, also the worst in Coach K’s 93 game coaching career in the NCAA tournament.

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The NCAA might as well have put a cover on the basket….or so it seemed. Rim outs, airballs, bricks: all words that best sum up Duke’s ability from behind the arc last night. Even as a fan, it was humiliating. The worse part is that they did have good looks, especially when the game was actually close and they were still competitive with the ‘Cats (wasn’t too long however). Unlike them however, they failed to knock them down when they needed it the most. After a quick 5-0 burst to start the game, Jay Wright’s ‘Cats never looked back.

This brings to life the offensive strategy of absolutely living or dying by the three-point shot. Last night was a very explicit case of the latter. Duke, as much as I love them, refuses to recruit any aggressive, manly inside presence to help out their jump-shooting philosophy. As a result, in most recent years, they have been forced to live behind the arc. Coach K, they need help! You’re a great coach but goodness, don’t you remember when you had the man-child Utah knows now as Carlos Boozer? You dominated teams on the boards and other teams were actually scared of your guy playing the Center position. Brian Zoubek, your tall gangly so-called “big man,” is the least of anyone’s defensive worries. Boozer let the other Blue Devil assassins go to work on the perimeter and made their lives much easier.

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But, Duke has chosen a different approach and recruited pretty much the best shooters in the country, so let’s just focus on that. Because their entire offensive scheme revolves around a motion set with screens and picks to open up 3-point looks, the offensive is handicapped if the shots don’t drop (i.e. last night, all night long). All year long, they have lit opponents up from behind the arc and made them pay for playing zone. Unfortunately, at the worst possible time, the Blue Devils chose to shoot less than 20% from 3-point land and look what happened? They got blown out by 20.

Overall, as much as Duke has it, I do not support this “guard only, 3-point slinging” philosophy. Without an inside presence, a team with quick defenders is able to hawk the ball (like ‘Nova last night) and take away any good lucks from three. What does that mean? You have to go inside. What does Duke have? No inside game. To be a true national championship contender and a well-balanced team, you MUST have some sort of inside presence to open up your jump-shooting scheme. A motion offense with no inside presence is way too vulnerable as we saw last night. Duke absolutely killed themselves and died by their own philosophy in front of our very eyes. I thought they would have trouble with ‘Nova’s defense, but no one honestly would have ever thought they would’ve lost by 20+ points. As a die hard and dedicated fan of Durham’s pride and joy, the night just got worse and worse as the game went on…..

What next for the Devils? Coach K, I am begging you. Go find DeJuan Blair or Hasheen Thabeet’s twin and recruit them….PLEASE?!?! Maybe then your “let if fly” philosophy will win you another national championship…..I’m getting restless….what’s Christian Laettner up to these days? O yea, watch here….

Courtesy of YouTube

March Madness Weekend Recap…

Posted in College Basketball with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2009 by sportsguru09

Wow, what a weekend. We saw true Madness and fell in love once again with the ambiance and intrigue of the annual NCAA Tournament. Buzzer beaters and close games led the way to Sunday night. Though most of the top seeds also advanced, they had to struggle in order to do so. What does this mean? Well, the Sweet 16 is going to be absolutely entertaining folks. Tune back into CBS Thursday night for a show…this ride is getting better by the game…

Now, let’s highlight the past two days of College Basketball. Like always, we’ll start with my Dukies taking care of business against A.J. Abrams and the Texas Longhorns. Obviously, the game was more nerve-wracking than I would have liked, but all in all, it was great basketball highlighting a few of Duke’s mega-stars and proving that Duke is one of the nation’s elite and belongs in this stage of the tourney. Kyle Singler and Gerald Henderson (who at multiple points dunked all over Texas’ big men) led the way in scoring and torched the Longhorns from 3-point land.dukeee As the game came down to the wire, Jon Scheyer may have saved Duke’s season and won the game all at one-time with one of the most athletic and SMARTEST plays I’ve ever seen, Duke fan or not. As the ball was rolling out of bounds with less than 20 seconds left in the game and Duke with a 2-point lead, Scheyer flipped the ball behind his back down the court to Elliot Williams without falling out of bounds. This led to free throws down the stretch to cement Duke’s first appearance in next week’s Sweet 16 since 2006. LET’S GO DUKE…Courtesy of YouTube

As one third of the remaining ACC trio, Maryland disappointed us in getting blown out by Memphis. Memphis lit up the arena from downtown and their length and speed are proving to be a tough task for anyone to match up with. Can anyone rightfully match up with them on paper? I’m afraid not. They might prove me wrong…for now. Before we close the door on MD, let’s give Gary Williams, who may have coached his last game for the Terps, a proper send-off. Though controversial and extreme at times, he’s proved once again that he belongs in the College Basketball Hall of Fame. More than just once in recent memory (with the likes of Juan Dixon and Steve Blake), he continues to show us how to turn an average team into a ferocious overachiever late in the year and in the NCAA Tourney. Congratulations Mr. Williams on a wonderful career…

As for the #1 seeds, UConn was the only one in a cake-walk, destroying Texas A&M, watching Thabeet take control early and continue to dominate even when he got into foul trouble late in the 1st half. Jim Calhoun, back from a spell of dehydration rolled to yet another NCAA Tournament victory. 2583They’ll match up with a surprising Purdue team who took Washington down the wire and hit clutch free throws to win the game in its waining moments. I must say, they’re one of the biggest teams under the radar so far. Who would’ve thought another Big Ten team not named Michigan State would have made it this far. Congrats Boilermakers? Yikes, that just doesn’t sound right…

UNC, wretched UNC, pulled out a tough battle against the LSU Tigers early Saturday evening as I watched from a bar and hoped and prayed on every last shot that LSU took down the stretch. Unfortunately, my prayers went unanswered and Ty Lawson, who impressively came back from a toe injury, took control of the entire game in the second half and went on a rampage to lead the Heels back into the Sweet 16. They’ll face Gonzaga who won a buzzer beater against….Western Kentucky?!?! Yep, you heard me right. I ALMOST called the two round WKU upset special but fell one basket and 0.9 seconds short. After the Toppers made a late game charge and tied the game with 7 seconds left, Gonzaga proceeded to break their hearts, sprint untouched down the court, and bank in a shot with hardly no time left. Courtesy of YouTube

What a game…what a Saturday night. March Madness once again has shown its light over the sports world and we just got a few more games to add to the highlight reel.

In Sunday’s action, Pitt had a tough time competing with the 3-point machine we now know as Oklahoma State. 3 after 3 dropped in the 1st half, yet Pitt stayed in the game and eventually took over the Battle of the Boards with Dejuan Blair and Sam Young proving to be Herculean. Has anyone checked their birth certificates? I mean, come on now. Sam Young? He might as well be 45 with grandchildren. Look at him! And DeJuan Blair should be playing linebacker in the NFL. Either way, both are studs and will likely continue to be “men” against Xavier next weekend in the Sweet 16. Unfortunately for Duke, if they beat ‘Nova Thursday night they’ll face Pitt on Saturday. Let’s go Musketeers!! (and Duke beat Xavier by 20 earlier in the year). Speaking of ‘Nova, Scottie Reynolds and Jay Wright are making a big name for themselves on a national stage. We’ll see what happens next week, but if they beat Duke, watch out Pittsburgh…

Other winners over the weekend included Oklahoma (Blake Griffin is going to be great in the NBA), Michigan State, Syracuse, Mizzou, and Louisville in a surprising nail-biter against an overachieving Siena bunch. Though they didn’t win, they sure tested Pitino’s Cardinals. Could there be a chink in the armor? Maybe so. The #12 seed ‘Zona will look to knock them out after winning two more games than anyone would have expected. Who said they shouldn’t be here? Time to shut your mouth. You no longer have any room to say anything.

As for your brackets, who knows where you’re at now unless you picked all “chalk” (higher seeds). Mine looks like a sea of red…o well, the tourney is turning out to be memorable more than I originally thought. Great job CBS…

Duke gets every call?!?! Gimme a break…

Posted in College Basketball with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2009 by sportsguru09

I first want to say that any of you who know me knew this blog post was coming. UNC just beat Duke for the 2nd time this season 79-71 in Chapel Hill. I want to make a few things clear here. I hate North Carolina, can’t stand Tyler Hansbrough, and for all of you who complain about Coach K and Duke getting calls, you must’ve been in a stupor and forgot all about North Carolina. For those same people, did any of you watch the game today? UNC GOT EVERY SINGLE CALL!!! Normally, I’m not one to make excuses or blame the referees, but today was just mind-blowing. EVERY…SINGLE….TIME “Psycho Baby” Tyler Hansbrough touched the ball, Kyle Singler or Gerald Henderson, of course both of Duke’s most dynamic scorers, got charged with a ticky-tack foul. tyler-bloody Ever since Mr. Overrated Tyler Hansbrough became a national phenomenon, he’s been catered to like he was the President. Whether he’s 20 feet or 2 feet away from the basket, any nudge, touch, or scrape is called a foul and he gets to shoot two. Of course he’s a great free throw shooter, he gets more opportunities than anyone!!! It’s so frustrating to have Duke claw back to within 2 or 3 points multiple times throughout the game, then a bogus, ghostly foul call sends Hansbrough to the line for free points. Everyone complains about Coach K getting calls, stop being ridiculous. Today was a perfect example of referees deciding the game. A 7 point margin of victory is the difference of 4 shooting fouls. Yes, I’m bitter about the defeat, but I’m also a realist. If Duke doesn’t play well, I admit it and chalk it up to the opponents’ defense. But today was not the case. Down the stretch, the story was simple: Carolina got the calls at the most critical times and duke was handicapped by poor officiating…enough said.

Hopefully third time’s a charm and Duke plays UNC next Sunday in the ACC championship, the Blue Devils walk away with the ACC crown, stick it to Hansbrough, and potentially earn a shot at a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. It’s tough enough playing one of the best teams in the country, but it sure doesn’t help when you have 2 or 3 extra players, and by players I mean zebras (officials), giving your opponent a break at every opportunity….

To really decide who’s the best between North Carolina and Duke, let’s televise a no-holds barred , 8 man tag-team match at mid-court in Madison Square Garden for all the world to see:

At one corner…for Duke: Coach K, Gerald Henderson, Kyle Singler, and Lance Thomas
At the other corner…for Carolina: Roy Williams, Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, and Tyler Zeller

Advantage Duke….lights out North Carolina

Cornell Duke Basketball