Point/CounterPoint Installment #11 – After Notre Dame & Florida State

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Today, Rowan Shiell and Bermuda Bob discuss the 30 Point satisfaction of the Duke win at Home against Notre Dame and the tough win at Florida State on the road … 

Query #1

After blowing out Notre Dame at home, people were expecting a bigger win over Florida State, do you think this was unreasonable ??? 

Rowan:

It is a shame that the more success Duke has, the higher the expectations. Florida State has to be given some credit here, they did something a few teams have achieved this season: Move Jahlil Okafor off the block.  Michael Ojo is 7′ tall and weighs almost 300 pounds.  When he was in the game he used his strength to push Jahlil off the block.

The Freshman scored most of his 13 points in transition, or when the Nigerian import was on the bench. Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow, and especially Quinn Cook picked up the slack, offensively.

Bermuda Bob:

The Notre Dame game was an excellent effort and a great shooting exhibition. It may have been a demonstration giving credence to the thoughts we have had about Rasheed being a distraction.

As for Florida State, any opponent playing in Tallahassee will find it unwelcoming with intense fan pressure, just like at Cameron. That said, one of the criticisms of Coach K’s non-conference scheduling has been his noticeable lack of true “Away” games. I think this played a part in Monday’s game. 

Query #2

How would you rate the performance of the bench ??? 

Rowan:

Marshall Plumlee did a great job of holding down the forte while Okafor sat for most of the first half with two early fouls. Grayson Allen has lost ‘his deer in the headlights’ tag as he looks a little more comfortable on the court.

Matt Jones didn’t make any of his 6 shots but had 3 big offensive rebounds.

Allen played more minutes than usual but the trust isn’t there yet as Cook and Tyus Jones played around 40 minutes a piece !!!

Bermuda Bob:

Duke went into the LockerRoom up 32-24 with “Oaks” on the Bench in foul trouble, which caused the team to pass and find the cutting player.

Matt couldn’t find the “Hole” but looked like Duke’s new Tyler Thornton.

“Plums” again contributed 10 major minutes, playing tough Defense and showing better hands on Offense.

Grayson got 11 minutes off the Bench and began to look more comfortable. Just before his time was finished, he made a monster block from nowhere, leaping even higher than he needs to Dunk. 

Query #3

Who would you give the game ball to ???

Rowan:

That would be Quinn Cook, who scored a season high 26 points. Tyus Jones is a close second registering a personal best of a dozen assists to go with 16 points and a team high 6 rebounds.  This performance sent their coach into an ‘I told you so’ mode after the game.

“Those two guards have been rock solid for me, [Jones] and Quinn,” Krzyzewski said.  “Remember when we started the year, I don’t know if you remember, but everyone’s saying, ‘How’s that going to work out ???’  Well, it’s worked out pretty darn well.

Offensively they are good.  Defensively they still need work judging by the way Florida State got back into the game, but who am I to rain on Coach K’s parade !!!

Bermuda Bob:

I agree on Quinn, but think he ought to share it with Tyus. After all, they often played off each other, as proven by the 12 Assists Tyus was responsible while none for Quinn.   

Query #4

There is a consensus that Duke is a different team since the start of the conference year, when they lost two in a row, can you see this ???

Rowan:

Their limitations are still very evident … no rim protection, or pick and roll … Defense on the perimeter is still a sieve, however they are doing a good job of covering these weaknesses.

There is also a little more bite in their bark. Against Miami and NC State, when they were taken out of the game, they just didn’t seem to have any fight in them.  Now, they go down 10 to an undefeated Virginia in the waning moments of the game, and still manage to win.  On the road, against Florida State, even though they gave up a good lead, they remained composed and held on for the victory.

I think the turnaround was at Notre Dame when they fought hard but still lost. After that game Tyus Jones and Quinn Cook have played with a lot more zest. Winslow seems to be overcoming his injury game by game.

Bermuda Bob:

Duke is a maturing work in progress. Early on, opponents had no clue how to contain “Oaks” but now every opponent seems to have a game plan for him. Now, if “Oaks” goes to the Bench, they are showing a different but very effective look thanks to good Guard play. “Plums” playing hardnosed has been a big plus. The return to form by Justise is a huge plus. Matt has seemed to have begun to be Amile’s substitute, making that Forward position hard to consistently defend.

All that said, they are not yet tournament ready, but they’re getting there.   Once again I have to wonder what the heck was going on with Rasheed that catapulted him from the team and the team into a more unified squad.   Something tells me we won’t know anytime soon !!!

Query #5

Coach K turns 68 on Friday but Jason Williams (now of ESPN) thinks he has a lot left in the tank, do you think this is possible ???

Rowan:

First of all let me wish a very Happy Birthday to our own Bermuda Bob who was born two days (albeit years later) before Coach K but has never brought this up in all the years that I have known him.

I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating your own milestone.

Larry Brown who currently coaches SMU is 74 and Jim Boeheim is 70, so yes I think Coach K has another 5 years left in him if he desires it.

Incidentally Coach K’s mentor, Bob Knight, resigned from Texas Tech at 68.

Bermuda Bob:

Thanks, Ro !!!  I’m a bit younger (by 8 years) and I can tell you that it all comes down to your mind and body together cooperating with what you want to accomplish. That said, it appears that Coach K has no visible reason why he could not continue as Jay Williams notes.  He does not seem to have lost any physicality, nor a bit of his wit and presence … just ask the Reporters on the Duke “beat.”    I think that he would never stay even one day past the time when he could no longer be everything he feels he needs to be to the team, each player, the fans, and the University.

I know it sounds hackneyed, but age is just a number. When you’re doing what you love, with those you love, supported by those you love, longevity comes naturally. He will know when it’s time …

 

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