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TD: Florida State (3) Game Post/Blog

Date: 3/10/2012

Two Dukies  
Posted By: Matt



TWO DUKIES PICK THE ACC
Volume XV, Episode 18
IMPROPER BENEFITS EDITION 
March 10, 2012

(3) #17 FLORIDA STATE (22-9, 12-4) v. (2) #6 DUKE (27-5, 13-3)

Matt's comments in
blue. 
Cave Dowens' comments in white. 
Stickjerker's comments in alabaster. 


No need for much cloak-and-dagger stuff today.  After a few comments, we'll get to exactly how Saturday is going to go, which all of you already know. 

VOTE IN THE POLL DEPARTMENT:  It's not like the team is much fun right now, so vote in the poll so I can close Phase I.  Don't worry - - even though, we have a runaway winner for the first spot on the first annual Dukies.com All-ACC Overrated Team, your votes still matter for determining who makes it to the next poll and fills the remaining spots.  So reach back and give me about 80-85 votes total, if you would.  And seriously - - not one single vote for Stoglin?  Thanks. 

BYE, THUGS DEPARTMENT:  Duke's win against VPI was nice for three reasons: (1) with a sub-.500 record, I don't think VPI is eligible for any of the postseason tournaments; (2) that may very well have been the final nail in the Bald Bastard's coffin - - I mean, don't the higher-ups at VPI (not known for their expertise in risk management) have to know at this point that Fester has taken them as far as as he can?  Almost every other non-top-tier ACC program has turned over its coach in the past few seasons, and I think they have to conclude that it's time to do the same.  I strongly want this scumbag to have to take a job at a much lower-profile program and finish his unimpressive career in obscurity; (3) I don't think there's any real way that the Selectostiffs can bump us down to the three line now.  If (when) we lose in the ACC-T now, it will be by definition to a ranked team also going to the NCAAs at the four line or above (the Woofies are not going to make it to Sunday), so our RPI and SOS will get a little boost.  Moreover, Krzyzewski and his Eastern Bloc-inspired propaganda team have quite effectively hidden the extent of Kelly's injury, which should make it hard for the Selection Spazzes to downgrade us on that basis.  If that wasn't enough already, it just (4) feels good to beat a filthy, slimy program. 

CANDY AND NUTS DEPARTMENT:  All of that aside, the game itself was pretty awful.  So TT was left open, so he shot and shot and shot and shot and shot.  Great.  Six FGAs as a career high before this one, 16 in this one.  3-13 from threeland.  The funny thing is that his defense was better on Green that Green's was on him; TT went 5-16, while Green went 3-16.  Bye, Erick.  In any case, here's what you didn't see on Friday: 

        - Feeding the post to our two 6-10 guys, because that's evidently illegal  
        - Any sort of shooting accuracy, other than (!!) at the line 
        - Rivers and Curry making good choices 
        - Anyone stepping up to take the place of Kelly
        - Andre Dawkins 
        - Michael Gbinije

The team did play well defensively (see below).  Stallball was its usual disaster drill and everyone, not just the players, needed showers following the conclusion of game action. 

LATER, MITIGATOR DEPARTMENT:  Now, in contrast to the general dull and non-rousing nature of the game - - surprisingly featuring no felonious conduct by VPI, who must have misread or ignored Gasbag's pregame instructional memo - - there were some bright spots. 

First, I wound back the DVR and watched just for Hairston's performance.  He was really pretty solid!  He picked up his second foul on a silly illegal screen call where his man mildly grabbed Hairston as Josh tried to run around him, and Clinton or Eades stupidly blew the whistle, and his third personal followed not too long after that, at which point Krzyzewski yanked him for essentially the entire remainder of the game.  I didn't get that, but let's focus on the fact that Josh played very calmly, didn't make too many silly mistakes, he was in generally better rebounding position than Kelly typically is, and he had some good passes as well as some nice looks at the basket.  He comported himself *very* well.  I was highly impressed, and this is what Duke needs going forward, especially if Kelly doesn't return as I assume.  It's also a nice boost for Josh for the future - - I see no reason why he can't become a quality ACC reserve forward, at minimum. 

Second, remember how numerous dorks, including some unfortunate members of our fan base, raved on about all of the bad shots that North Carolina "forced" last Saturday?  Yeah, the Tools actually did nothing of the kind, but never mind that - - HERE was a game in which the defense, Duke's defense, controlled the flow of the action and indeed forced VPI into very, very bad decisions and heavily contested shots.  TT and Curry really frustrated Green, who bricked as much as the third little pig, while Dorenzoid was nicely bottled up by a game-long team effort, mostly led by Rivers.  The only real defensive breakdown came in the late second half, when Robert Brown weirdly lit himself on fire and repeatedly torched Rivers, who, I'm sure, was getting tired by that juncture (he played the full 40, natch).  In fact, Brown's antics were the only reason the game was not a medium-wattage blowout.  I don't know why Rivers couldn't guard Brown after contributing so well to the effort against Hudson (whose containment was all the more impressive because he was playing in his last collegiate game), but maybe AR got tired out by the Hudson job and just didn't have any answer for Brown's fresh legs.      

Third, some miscellaneous notes - - I liked Dawkins enthusiastically applauding the latter two of TT's threes from the bench.  Good to see him getting into the game, if not actually affecting it in any quantifiable manner.  Also, anyone else feel sorry for Smellmore, whose oh-so-shockingly vocal coaching job of VPI just didn't bear fruit?  Nah, I didn't either.  Time to start looking over Maryland's "great recruiting class" for next season, Toothy!  Finally, this was really a seven-point win in a low-possession game, as Eddie's meaningless three at the end was just silly surplusage.     

GONIJE DEPARTMENT:  Now, did you think Gbinije would have an impact in this game?  Seriously?  Shame on you if you did.  The kid is gone.  GONE.  He's just the latest in a series of utterly bizarre personnel mismanagement jobs by Krzyzewski, which every message board wank has an answer for, but which have to land at the head guy's door at some point.  Just in the recent past, we've had: 

    - Jamaal Boykin.  ULTIMATE FATE:  Became a nearly all-Pac 10-caliber player for Berkeley.  
    - Marty Pocius.  Had the hilarious last laugh on Krzyzewski by stealing money and getting a Duke diploma for free in exchange for wearing warmups to games and never once having any stress associated with the danger of entering game action.  ULTIMATE FATE:  After completing his free Duke degree, headed back to Europe, where he is doubtless renowned as good enough to play for Duke.  Well done - - this was masterful.  
    - Eliot Williams.  Also got the drop on Krzyzewski, but in more sinister fashion.  ULTIMATE FATE:  Exploited the NCAA's hardship rule to land at a mercenary program for a one-year NBA audition, then jumped to the Association.  You hate the way he did this, but have to ruefully admit some sneaking admiration for it.  Could have given Duke two solid years of very athletic guard play and is a massive recruiting and management failure by Krzyzewski. 
    - Olek Czyz.  Surprisingly wasn't willing to sit on the bench for four years - - shocker!  ULTIMATE FATE:  Transferred to UNR, where he has scored 13.6 ppg and seized 6.3 rpg while shooting 54.1% from the floor.  He'd still be eligible at Duke.  And I know there's probably a talent gap between the ACC and the WAC, but it isn't THAT big.  In fact, given some of the horrendous, just abysmal bottom-feeders in the conference this season (WFU, BC, GIT, MDCP, and VPI), I'm not sure it actually exists.  In any case, wonder if we could have used a 6-7 guy like him at some point to establish post presence, grab rebounds, and play on the block.  Like [checks watch] right now.  Oh, well! 

So now Gbinije will join this esteemed list.  The Praetorian Guard will tell us that the kid just didn't get Duke's defense, or have the right attitude, or something, which leads to the question of why he was recruited in the first place.  What did we see that we didn't get?  Either way, we failed in the seeing or the getting, or both.  I feel sorry for the guy and wish him well at his next stop.              

HIM - - THAT GUY RIGHT THERE - - YEAH, HE'S INELIGIBLE DEPARTMENT:  Florida State pummeled Miami, where you just never know who's going to be ruled ineligible right before tipoff.  Anyone still wondering why Haith fled town?  Or why a sleazy program like Missouri was ready to snap him up?  Larranaga will eventually clean this up and refocus around quality kids like Shane Larkin, but for now, that place is a mess and does not deserve to represent the ACC in the NCAA-T.  As for the players that were able to take the court, FSU totally shut down both Johnson and Kadji and that was pretty much the end of the game right there, well, coupled with some atrocious decisions by MIFL and about 14 missed layups by DeQuan Jones.  By the way, I told you that NCAA gumshoes have a permanent presence on the Miami campus.  They can discover anything about the Haithian Epoch anytime they want to.   

LET'S GET REAL DEPARTMENT:  Now.  Look, there's just no way that we're going to beat Florida State.  They're hungry; we're really not.  They're healthy; we're not.  They aren't trying to reinvent themselves; we are.  They have all kinds of weaknesses and Duke has superior talent, but the absolutely mystifying coaching this season, and the failure of any player outside of Rivers and Miles Plumlee to improve over the course of the season, is the great equalizer.  We should beat them by 8-10, but without Kelly, we won't.  We'll be worn out by their frontcourt, the Plumlees will be stymied by the same defense that contained the Miami posts, and Rivers and Curry will have to shoot about 30 times between them, maybe 35, for Duke to have any chance whatsoever.

Not going to happen without Kelly.  Sorry, but the ACC-T ends here. 

THESE AREN'T THE DROIDS YOU'RE LOOKING FOR DEPARTMENT:  Don't take this from me, by the way - - Krzyzewski told the mediots after the game that we certainly wouldn't be a one seed.  Now, he was trying to play his usual twelfth-dimensional Jedi mind tricks on the crowd of drooling sycophants who would never, ever, ever think to ask him a real question lest the Duke Athletics Machine contact their employer and get them banned them from ACC events for life - - but regardless of what he actually believes, which isn't worth wondering about because we can't know for sure, he's right. 

PHONE POLE DANCING DEPARTMENT:  Because they're playing a fifth-rate Division I program that plays like an eighth-rate Division I program against them year after year after year after century, the Tools don't need Stick Figure on Saturday.  In fact, they probably don't need Zeller or Marshall either.  Just stick Barnes out there with James Robert Thomas Alan McAdoofus and Fatboy, complete with two walkons, and NCSU will fold in terror as the Black Falcon takes 42 shots, making 13 of them, to score 33 points and retroactively be named ACC Player of the Year.  Now, listen, some health tips for you for Saturday's early action: 

    -    Find something else to do; 
    -    If you must watch, count the bad calls by the three zebras; 
    -    Either expect to see Henson at 150% or not at all; and 
    -    Look for a 22-point result.         

Oh, and don't for a second listen to anything that Rrhoid says about Phone Pole "not being able to grip a basketball" or "not being able to perform with the level of douchery that we've come to expect from him" or any other palaver that Deputy Dawg secretes.  As soon as NCCH needs Gumby, he'll be back.  Don't worry about it or expend any thought on the subject for a second. 

AYUP DEPARTMENT:  Because Kansas and Syrexcuse lost, NCCH is just a Kentucky loss away from the easiest bracket.  As it is, they'll get the #2 overall seed for sure.  Just accept it.  Listen to the accolades roll in and nod your head.  They'll be challenged at some point in the NCAAs.   

I'M CALLING TO CHECK HIS PREFERENCES DEPARTMENT:  Thanks for asking.  There's no way that Duke can beat NCCH without Kelly and with Duke's current "let's get out of here" mindset on offense, at least.  So we might as well lose to Florida State, get an extra day of rest, take our two seed (maybe even in the East?) and not enable even more media fawning over the Tools by handing them their second easy win in eight days.  I'll take a nice, competitive, close loss against FSU instead, thanks.  And if the Blue Devils somehow find a way to win?  We'll cross that faraway bridge if we come to it.  Oof, what a strange season, huh?

Florida State 65, Duke 62.


Last Edition
Matt 1-0

This Season

Matt 11-6 
Guests 2-0

Last Edition's Score Prediction Margin Variance
2

 

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Posted by: Al White Date: 3/10/2012 11:03:30 PM  
I think I was trying to say that the draw-it-out-of-a-hat method this year would stack up well against the real brackets if tested with a billion Monte Carlo simulations. But not compared to the wisdom of Joey Brackets in his aunt's basement, which is nowhere near Monte Carlo.


Posted by: Al White Date: 3/10/2012 10:19:28 PM  
The result of the game is tolerable. How we got there is not. The turnover-infested droughts loomed rather large in this defeat. While I don't like losing twice to anyone in a year, I would much rather do it to the Demi-Noles than the Tools. Of course, we would have been able to beat UNC tomorrow, but there is nothing in the way this team is playing right now that would give any confidence that we would actually pull it off.

We will get a 2 seed no matter what. The Selectostiffs should require legit medical reports where needed, but that is not how they do business. With Kelly, we deserve a 2 seed. Without him, a 5 seed would be generous. I don't think the seeding is going to matter this year. It will be all about the matchups.

A cool format for this tournament would be to pull all the names out of a hat to fill the brackets. I'll bet a billion Monte Carlo simulations would stand up just as well as whatever the donut-stuffed bureaucrats' brackets tomorrow.

Question -- If the Plums have an aggregate basketball IQ of 100, how would you divide it? I'll go 55 Miles and 45 Mason now.

Nice potted plant game by Dawkins.



Posted by: Matt Date: 3/10/2012 9:32:10 PM  
Good comments, folks. Thanks.

Real shocker today for anyone who follows the ACC: the zebras gift-wrap the game for NCCH, then Duke looks like a team of five year-olds against Florida State.

I love how Krzyzewski builds his entire team philosophy (almost to the exclusion of all else on offense) around making the three-pointer, but if a team shows up and DARES to deny the outside shot, we have no idea whatsoever how to create perimeter looks and other opportunities with screens, dribble drives, or anything else.

NCCH by 7 tomorrow, of course. Over/under on FSU DQs is two. Probably take the over. Duke will get a 2 seed (don't rule out a hose job by the Selection Spazzes to the three line, especially if they've doped out Kelly's probable actual status) and be slated to play Connecticut in the second round, by which I mean the actual second round, which the NCAA calls the third round. In any case, we should all be delighted if Duke is a Sweet Sixteen team this season (which we probably won't be). Kelly will be announced as out for the season on Monday, or no, actually, "day to day." Won't see him again until November.

Goodnight.



Posted by: tom Date: 3/10/2012 5:46:24 PM  
Seth was feeling it alright. Looks like he shot Duke into a loss. But I'm fine with that. Mason.... just stop. Again, only show up for one half. Cook I thought played pretty good. Before he never saw the court again. Hairston was alright. Miles played fine. Austin..meh. And "meh" is how I view the team this year. Anyway, lets watch FSU crap the bed tomorrow. But I'll still root for them.


Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/10/2012 5:44:50 PM  
I really do not agree with the down 1-45 seconds left, defend straight-up. If they miss, any funny bounces take another second or two, at least, leaving about 7-8 seconds tops to run a play. And that's with a miss...


Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 3/10/2012 5:44:40 PM  
Wow. If that'd went...


Posted by: Dave Date: 3/10/2012 5:27:14 PM  
FSU has moved past moving screens and to straight takedowns on that last 3 by Snaer.


Posted by: Dave Date: 3/10/2012 5:16:56 PM  
Was going to complain about Seth not hitting Miles in the post, but nevermind.


Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 3/10/2012 5:13:34 PM  
It seems the Plumlees were told to not block shots until just these last minutes. Smart play by coaches.


Posted by: Dave Date: 3/10/2012 5:08:59 PM  
I hate to say it, but Vitale is totally right about Rivers screwing up that fast break. Had two trailers to choose from.


Posted by: Dave Date: 3/10/2012 5:04:56 PM  
Miles should have been called for that foul on Dulkys. Got away with one.


Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 3/10/2012 5:01:34 PM  
The foul on Hairston before the commercial break is a total bogus move by the underneath ref. no way.


Posted by: Dave Date: 3/10/2012 4:58:48 PM  
Could somebody box out? Anybody?


Posted by: Dave Date: 3/10/2012 4:57:57 PM  
Cook to the rescue? That was a pretty fast break he and Hairston ran.


Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 3/10/2012 4:56:52 PM  
The Plumlee brothers are a step slow both mentally and physically, IMO. We are a much easier team to defend in RKs absence.

The threat, real or perceived, of his 3 point shooting makes Curry, Rivers, and TT's job much more difficult. A lot of people can shoot if unguarded.



Posted by: Dave Date: 3/10/2012 4:49:12 PM  
Just embarrassing effort right now.


Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/10/2012 4:45:50 PM  
Frustrated at the hip-checks/moving screens thrown and uncalled by FSU in these opening minutes.


Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/10/2012 4:45:04 PM  
Looks like no chance of stallball today!


Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 3/10/2012 4:34:22 PM  
Lazer, if we are fortunate enough to be in a position to execute stallball, please follow the scoring as you did last night, yeah?



Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 3/10/2012 4:31:36 PM  
I have nothing left to give concerning M Pocious.

I'll simply remind everyone what happened in the NCAA loss to VCU years ago: Pocious steals the ball at half court, dives the ball, gets fouled before finishing with a dunk.

After makin the free throw, horn sounds with his substitute and he's never seen again.



Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/10/2012 4:30:10 PM  
It really should be a double-digit deficit for Duke.


Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/10/2012 4:25:57 PM  
WHEW.


Posted by: Dave Date: 3/10/2012 4:24:08 PM  
Though to be fair, that Curry step back was pretty.


Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/10/2012 4:24:06 PM  
Oy.


Posted by: Dave Date: 3/10/2012 4:22:49 PM  
See, a team like FSU can get players open off curls, but how impressive is that? Not as impressive as making your PG create 35 feet from the basket while everyone else stands around.


Posted by: Dave Date: 3/10/2012 4:14:44 PM  
Off ball movement is for lesser teams, Fats.


Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/10/2012 4:13:04 PM  
When Rivers dribbles at the top of the key, everyone else just stands around.


Posted by: Dave Date: 3/10/2012 4:10:55 PM  
Is this some sort of Georgia thing? The greased basketball?


Posted by: Dave Date: 3/10/2012 4:03:31 PM  
Miles was evidently left with no hands.


Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/10/2012 4:02:47 PM  
Wait, Miles has his own hands. Huh.


Posted by: Dave Date: 3/10/2012 4:01:36 PM  
Maybe they should borrow parts from Kelly; he's not using them.


Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/10/2012 4:00:47 PM  
He may have grabbed Austin's brain, as he's driven the lane 3x now, I think.


Posted by: Dave Date: 3/10/2012 4:00:27 PM  
Mason: stop dribbling.


Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/10/2012 3:59:43 PM  
Not a good sign. 4 flat-footed Devils on a rebound that luckily bounced to them.


Posted by: Dave Date: 3/10/2012 3:54:35 PM  
If Austin had Miles' hands today, does that mean Mason has Austin's?


Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/10/2012 3:52:07 PM  
I appears Austin picked up Miles's hands after warmups today.


Posted by: Dave Date: 3/10/2012 3:51:41 PM  
Glad to see we're going to get the same zebra help that NCCH did, right? Um, right?


Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/10/2012 3:42:27 PM  
Apparently, Thorn should shoot 3s at the beginning and ends of games, not in between.


Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/10/2012 3:34:31 PM  
Man, I miss saying "Czyz".


Posted by: Dave Date: 3/10/2012 3:27:29 PM  
Fats, when I'm ranting, by definition, I don't care about little things like facts.


Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/10/2012 3:18:20 PM  
@Mark: 'And the typical dukoid excuse--"he can't play D"--certainly doesn't apply in his case.'

John Gasaway, one of the numbers guys, made the argument that Williams (or at least the team that was on the floor with him) had a major drop-off in defense, as measured by Points Per Possession. Don't ask me why I remembered this, since I can barely remember what I had for lunch two days ago.

http://basketballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=585



Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/10/2012 3:13:52 PM  
Watts stepping out, you mean, CDG? Wuffpackers getting clubbed in the face, no call? The ghost of Herb Sendak was watching this one and smiling. "I taught them how to choke away games in fine fashion. That's my work!"


Posted by: CDG Date: 3/10/2012 3:12:24 PM  
How was he not fouled????

Man, something has to be done about these crap-ass calls/no calls. Total garbage. The Pack deserved that game.



Posted by: CDG Date: 3/10/2012 3:07:06 PM  
Of course the refs are giving this thing to the Holes. Missed charge and then catching the ball on the line. BULLSHIT (sorry!)


Posted by: Dave Date: 3/10/2012 2:54:28 PM  
Matt, that list is depressingly inexplicable.

Pocious, for example, rode the pine during that awful four year stretch where we had, at most, one player who could create on offense. I never understood, watching those teams struggle for shots, why he didn't play more. He's with Real Madrid now, btw; evidently, he's good enough to play pro ball with Singler, but wasn't good enough to steal minutes from David McClure.

Williams, of course, only got to play because injuries and the general suckiness of that team forced K's hand. He's good enough to play in the NBA, but wasn't good enough to steal minutes from the ghost of Greg Paulus. And the typical dukoid excuse--"he can't play D"--certainly doesn't apply in his case.

Czyz? Yep, would have been nice to have.



Posted by: T. Randall Taylor Date: 3/10/2012 11:39:46 AM  
It won't make ESPN's Top Ten but that pass by TT to Hairston as he was getting crackback blocked to the ground was a true thing of beauty.


Posted by: Matt Date: 3/10/2012 10:28:27 AM  
Fats -- strong call. When I wound back to watch for Hairston, I also found myself noticing that at least five, maybe even seven of TT's three-point misses were expiry shots, including several in the accursed Stallball period. So thanks. I should have gone back and edited myself to make clear that I wasn't slamming TT and his shooting wasn't really all his fault, but I didn't need to because I have unbelievable readers.

Also, add in the two follows that TT had off missed layups by others and you figure out how he had 16 shots really quickly. It was just a really weird game.



Posted by: CDG Date: 3/10/2012 10:27:29 AM  
Classic preview Matt. "Risk management" -- well executed black humor. And your team assessment is, as usual, spot on.

I only wish the Woofies would somehow find their balls and hand the Holes a great, big "L". Won't happen, but a girl can dream...



Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/10/2012 10:21:20 AM  
Re: Thornton's shots. Obviously, that was part of VT's defensive strategery. I really only thought Thorn jacked up a couple he shouldn't have. Two--if I remember correctly--of his shots showed his awareness (and his teammates' unawareness) of a dwindling shot clock; i.e. forces that weren't really his fault. Two of his (made) shots were of the I'm-gonna-hustle-behind-in-case-this-lay-up's-missed variety.

That said, I really wish there was more drive and dish to Mason (who seemed to have mistakenly put on Miles's hands for the event, so that tactic may have been suboptimal yesterday).



Posted by: Matt Date: 3/10/2012 9:38:48 AM  
I would love to see that too. It's not out of the realm of all possibility.


Posted by: tom Date: 3/10/2012 9:23:30 AM  
I'm in 100% agreement with Matt. So, is it true the coaching staff Kelly should be back by the tournament? Really? The guy had a boot and crutches. I have to paint one more room in my house so I'll be doing that today while the games are on. Of course, I would love for these guys to play great and win so I guess we'll just see what happens.



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