Duke is overrated.
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Interestingly, the Duke Blue Devils have been exposed as mere pretenders following our original proclamation that the team was overrated at number one. On January 28, Duke lost 68-70 at Wake Forest to a Demon Deacon club that controlled the entire game; and has followed up that defeat with this February 4 47-74 shellacking at the hands of 10th ranked Clemson. The 27-point embarrassment represents Duke’s worst loss in the past thirteen years. The Blue Devils lack of athleticism, ball handling, and dearth of any interior presence will be the bane of this squad. The developments foreshadow yet another early round NCAA Tournament exit.
Clemson 74 – Duke 47: Clemson Tigers Execute the Perfect Blue Print to Destroy Duke
Clemson spanked Duke University.
This complete rout was sparked by pressing and trapping Duke into a frenetic style of play, closing out on Blue Devil outside shooters, and dominating this overmatched roster in the paint. This is the blueprint.
Duke University lacks a dynamic playmaker at point guard that is able to efficiently set the table offensively. Although Nolan Smith has stepped in to replace Greg Paulus as the starter – the sophomore guard is unable to create for others – averaging a meager 1.8 assists per game. The veteran Paulus is a defensive liability – repeatedly torched by the opposition.
Duke is caught between a rock and a hard place at guard.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski has shielded this weakness by installing a European style look to the offense that arrives courtesy of his U.S.A. Olympic Basketball experience. The sets rely upon spreading the floor, setting screens, and precise cuts to generate scores – rather than one-on-one isolation. The strategy plays up to the strengths of the Blue Devil perimeter-oriented roster – highlighted by Kyle Singler, a 6-8 3-point jump shooting forward that shirks from down and dirty interior thuggery.
Essentially, Duke University MUST knock down outside shots in order to execute. Athletic teams that are able to quickly close out on the perimeter and challenge shooters into contested shots will destroy the Blue Devils. Chasing Duke cutters is a matter of hustle because defensive over commitment away from the ball is a non-issue. The Blue Devils do not have the personnel to punish overzealous defense with interior scoring or dribble-drive penetration.
Certainly, Clemson recognized the obvious and exploited these weaknesses while romping to this 74-47 victory. Logically, the Tigers were led by the 6-7 Forward-Center Trevor Booker who gashed the Blue Devils inside for 21 points and 8 boards in only 29 minutes of duty. Sharpshooting sophomore guard Terrence Oglesby also scored 17 points – raining 5 treys from the outside.
Duke was out rebounded 28-38 and was ice cold from three-point range at 3-13. The Clemson pressure harassed the Blue Devils into 16 turnovers against only 7 assists.
Is Duke Basketball Garbage?
The Duke University roster is unable to maintain any semblance of pace and spacing alongside athletic clubs. Duke is weak at guard – which is the most critical position to NCAA Tournament advancement – bar none. Lastly, the 2009 Blue Devils lack effective post play and the interior presence that is essential to inside-outside scoring. This squad is a completely one-dimensional collection of jump shooters that are exposed and routed at times when the iron is indeed, unkind.
Of course, the actual success of a program is ultimately, relative.
Duke University is a staple of the NCAA Tournament and the Top 25 class of basketball programs. However, the elitist, obnoxious attitude of its fans, combined with the National media’s Blue Devil fawn fest promulgates the Win or Die mentality. Anything less than a Final Four run is a disappointment and any loss to a secondary program is a complete disaster. Although rival Carolina is held to a similar standard – Tar Heel Nation is much less caustic than this group and shall skirt the mockery arising from the inevitable let down.
Duke University will always have the ability to recruit elite talent. However, the Blue Devil tragic flaw revolves around its penchant for recruiting goodie good choirboys. Duke lacks the brash, tough guy enforcer that patrols the paint with his flailing elbows and the unconscious gunner that relishes the big moment to outshine his man off the dribble for the clutch score.
Clemson exposed the Duke Blue Devils as soft.
Top rankings and automatic NCAA Tournament appearances may be gold at other schools, but being dominated on national television en route to another early round NCAA Tournament exit is the mark of garbage in, garbage out effort. This is completely unacceptable at Durham and for Tobacco Road.
UNC versus Duke February 11 Showdown Looms
This game will be a slugfest, regardless of the records.
The Tar Heels must march into Cameron Indoor and leave with a victory in order to solidify our grip on the top seed in the NCAA Tournament. Duke’s well-documented collapse after securing the number one AP ranking, along with Wake’s shocking 27 point loss at unranked Miami has cleared the path for Carolina to establish itself as the premier club in the ACC – yet again.
The two remaining UNC-Duke games and the subsequent Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament are the last pieces of the puzzle for NCAA seeding in the ACC. UNC, Duke, Wake Forest, and Clemson are all top-five seeds and March Madness positioning will be determined in the second half of conference play.
DOOK is over’rayyyyyted.
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