Considering that we’ve seen so many naysayers and faire-weather fans who believe that Duke’s season is sunk, today, Rowan Shiell and Bermuda Bob address the topics everyone is talking about.
Here goes …
Topic #1: Amile’s Injury & Return
Everyone thinks Amile returning is going to turn this team around.
How can that possibly be ???
This all sounds great until you realise that Amile played against Utah and Kentucky. Then, couple that with the fact that Duke has yet to play 4 of the top ACC teams. That’s not to mention there is no telling what kind of condition Amile may be in. I say that is “Fool’s Gold.”
All the conditioning in the world to keep the rest of Amile as close to playing shape as possible are for naught because it can’t replace Court time. Timing and the “shooting eye” are just two aspects to consider. Yes, Amile’s on-the-Court leadership will return, but there are so many intangibles that I don’t expect an immediate impact.
One thing that no one seems to want to consider is that Coach K won’t be able to force Amile into 30+ minutes a game without exponentially risking re-injury. That presumes that Amile can overcome the natural instinct to protect against re-injuring himself.
Look, both of us have loved this guy going back to his protracted recruitment. He was a major role player in last year’s National Championship, especially considering his Defense against Wisconsin. I just don’t see him as the “knight in shining armour” to this programme that has many other problems.
Topic #2: The Failure of Chase Jeter
Everyone thinks Jeter deserves more chances when his play has been abysmal.
What about giving Obi & Antonio the same type of opportunity ???
Don’t they deserve the same consideration ???
Jeter’s issues go beyond figuring out his position in the Zone. As things stand right now, it looks like Jeter was minding his business last week and someone came up to him and said “Heh you are quite tall, you should play basketball …” … now here he is.
About 9-10 years ago, on a bit of a dare, I once played golf attired all in various shades of pink. I even played a pink golf ball. On the 1st Tee, the Ranger, was hard of hearing, so he never realized he was speaking much too loudly to the Starter. So, every one of the 8 of us heard him loud and clear. As I approached the Tee,we all heard him say: “I hope he has game enough for that get up.” Well, have to admit the pressure was on, and I (luckily) crushed my Drive to within Wedge range on the short Par 4, 1st Hole. I chipped it close for a tap-in Birdie. I then turned around to the Ranger, who was following us, and asked him: “… that enough game for you ???” He sheepishly tipped his hat to me and we never saw him again.
When I first saw Chase Jeter and his Bedlington Terrier style haircut, my reaction was the same as that Ranger. I hoped he had the “game” that allowed him to make himself look so foolish.
Well, since then, he has not done a single thing to dissuade me. He has played 131 minutes in 17 games, scoring only 28 Points and pulling down only 29 Rebounds. He’s also committed 14 TurnOvers in those 131 minutes, meaning he’ll turn the ball over every 9+ minutes.
One article, by Chris Bunn of 247Sports, claims that: “Jeter has played 28 minutes in conference play and he’s been whistled for 14 fouls.” My count sez he has committed a total of 32 Fouls in 131 minutes of play, meaning that he’ll commit a Foul ever 4 minutes he’s on the floor.
So, if you put him on he floor, you’re guaranteed that he’ll give up a TurnOver and committ 2 Fouls !!! Stats like that mean he ought to stay in the Locker Room …
I’m going to share a little secret. Ro and I watch each game live, while commenting to each other on Viber in real time. That’s why we’re rarely on Twitter during a game. Ro is in London, England and I am in Pennsylvania. I say this to note the sacrifice Ro makes to do this, as he is 5 hours ahead of us. That means a 7PM game starts at Midnight for him, and a 9PM game Tips Off at 2AM for him. We text so as not to wake up his wife and son.
During many of those games we have shared anguish over Jeter. “Dud” is maybe the most gentlemanly thing we would share here. Ro has asked who is personally responsible for ranking Jeter so high, and then, who recruited him to Duke ??? Those are frustrated queries for very good reason.
I think he ought to be banished to the Bench to cause no more harm. Many other players ahead of him were relegated there after far less play, and subsequently transferred. Remember Alex, “Silent G,” and Semi ???
Note to Coach K:
Can you PLEASE explain why you extended a transfer scholarship to Sean Obi and recruited Antonio Vrankovic, but refuse to extend the same opportunity to play, and contribute to this team as your have given Jeter ???
Even Dick Vitale has commented that he thought that any kid recruited ought to be able to contribute at least 10 minutes a game !!! Let’s face it, both Obi and Antonio could not be as much of a liability, individually or together, as Jeter has been !!! Actually, in those 21 minutes Obi has played, he has accomplished more statistically than Jeter !!! Who knows what Antonio is capable of as he’s only gotten microscopic minutes.
Topic #3: Only 6 Guys Playing …
How can only 6 guys be expected to handle the load of a season in one of America’s toughest conferences, especially when none of them played that many minutes last year ???
Some of the best college teams depend on a very short rotation. Oklahoma, Iowa State, Wichita State and maybe Virginia, but they do a very good job of finding a breather for their Starters who play big minutes. There is, however, one important factor these teams have that differs from Duke immensely. These guys are Seniors. Considering that the returning players on Duke were support players last season, and most of the other players were in high school last season, playing only 6 guys is not a great idea.
One of my favourite things to see in the past was when Coach K took up Coach Roy Williams’ practice of platooning his players. Now, for some unbeknownst reason, Coach K did not recruit the type of players that would allow him to do this, presently … well, unless he played his “Walk-On” players.
So, when Coach K sees his players dragging their respective posteriours, how on earth does he expect them to shoot and play effective Defense with tired legs ??? As Ro points out, not one of these kids were Starters in the ACC last year, so how can we expect them to perform up to Duke standards when they collectively could envoke Scottie’s famous lament to Captain Kirk:
“Aye Captain … I don’t think the engines can handle the load !!!”
Topic #4: That Same Old Look !!!
There was no discernible difference between the look of Duke in the last 5 games. If it has only worked in one game, doesn’t it stand to reason that a different offensive approach is on order ???
Other than jacking up too many 3 Pointers against Syracuse, Duke has a fine offense. Their issues stem from the other end of the Court where guys are pacing themselves and playing to avoid Fouls.
Man-oh-man, have you said a mouthful !!! How many times have we lamented that Duke was just jacking up shots without much circumspection ??? Up goes the shot, and no one even attempts an Offensive Rebound. That was the original meaning of the “one-and-done.”
If I was able to show you the last 5 games, and blindfold you at selected spots in each game, then remove the blindfold, aside from the opposition uniforms, I bet you’d be unable to tell the difference. The only commonality is that they’d all be losses !!!
Sure, Coach K has employed a variety of Zone defenses, I simply do not see a congruous set of Offensive plays being run.
Not once …
… have I seen anyone even attempt a fall away shot like Seth perfected …
… have I seen Ingram posted at the Free Throw Line providing a double offensive threat of a give-and-go, or a pivot to the basket, or even a turn around shot from 15 feet …
… have I seen “Plums” and Obi (is he still on the team ???) present a “twin towers” look causing the defense to wonder who to double-team …
Come to think of it, I’ve only seen Obi in the blink of an eye (21 minutes), and Antonio even less. How could both of these guys be more of a liability than Jeter ???
Topic #5: Another Foot Problem in Those Nike Shoes …
This may not be an answer this year, but doesn’t the prolonged perpetuance of foot problems over recent years, and the fact that Duke genuflects at the foot of Nike (contractually), seem to have a strange coincidental ring to it ???
Nike are said to be the best in the business, but Ryan Kelly now Amile, small sample, maybe Duke should look into this more carefully. Better be safe than sorry.
Well, Ro, I’m going to dispute that Nike is the best in the business. They might be the best at marketing themselves, or buying themselves into major programmes, or creating so many different uniforms for cuckold college players, but I question of they are the best shoe. I can tell you that I know, first hand, that most intense athletes I have come across look elsewhere for their competitive footwear. Sure, Nike makes collectible shoes, but are they equally designed to perform ??? I can’t wear Nike, and my marathoner daughter can’t either, nor can many of her contemporaries in her running club, so how good could Nike really be ???
Let’s look at this in recent times. Start with Zoubs, then consider Kyrie, then move to “Plums” and then to Seth, on to Ryan, a problem for “Oaks” … and now to Amile. That may be just 7 guys, but in the real world, that’s considered a trend !!!
I’ll admit it … I have a particular distain for Nike because they believe that they can dictate what teams will wear simply because of the $$$ they pay schools for the right to outfit their sports teams. What I don’t understand is why those schools allow Nike to deviate from their school colours just to provide a 3rd uniform in an attempt to sell more fan memorabilia. The idea emanated in European Futbol, and has now been employed in college basketball and other sports.
So, simple logic means that since they are more concerned with selling product to fans, they may very well be less concerned about the actual needs of the feet/legs of the players !!! My empirical proof is the seemingly yearly resurgence of a foot injury to a Duke player.
Thank for the Read !!!
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