Monday, November 12, 2007

Duke 86, New Mexico State 61

The Devils passed their first pseudo-test of the season, and even if it was with less than flying colors, it was a very solid performance. Early on (and yes, I realize it's still early) this team seems to be making its mark in two ways - rebounding and forcing turnovers. Including the exhibitions, none of Duke's 4 opponents have: a) pulled down 68% or more of defensive rebounds; b) gathered 30% or more of offensive rebounds; and c) held onto the ball for better than 70% of possessions. The rebounding tonight was particularly impressive, as Duke absolutely controlled the defensive glass against a very tall front line. And the turnovers helped fuel Duke's run in the first half and early second half that put the game out of reach, regardless of how frisky the Aggies got toward the end. Duke obviously won't be able to maintain numbers quite this good all season, but if it can win the rebounding and turnover battles in every game (or close to it), that will give the team a consistent advantage.

Here's the HD Box for tonight's game:

O. Poss D. Poss +/- Pts 2PM-A 3PM-A FTM-A FGA Ast TO STL BLK ORB DRB
Scheyer 54 55 +24 22/61 4-5 4-6 2-3 11/44 1/14 3/54 2/55 1/37 1/24 3/26
Henderson 56 55 +18 11/62 5-9 0-3 1-2 12/43 2/17 3/56 1/55 1/35 0/22 0/18
Nelson 56 56 +18 14/61 3-5 2-3 2-2 8/45 3/16 3/56 0/56 0/40 2/25 5/24
King 30 31 +16 7/34 0-2 2-6 1-2 8/29 0/11 0/30 0/31 0/24 0/18 4/17
Singler 53 50 +16 10/57 3-4 0-3 4-5 7/42 1/19 0/53 2/50 2/36 1/21 4/20
Paulus 52 50 +16 9/57 3-4 1-2 0-2 6/41 8/17 3/52 4/50 0/36 2/23 2/18
Smith 29 31 +9 2/29 1-4 0-2 0-0 6/26 3/8 3/29 0/31 0/19 0/14 0/15
Zoubek 20 21 +6 2/17 1-3 0-0 0-0 3/20 0/6 0/20 1/21 2/12 2/12 3/9
Pocius 13 14 +6 4/15 2-2 0-1 0-0 3/12 0/4 0/13 1/14 0/7 1/6 0/4
Thomas 42 42 -4 5/37 1-3 0-0 3-3 3/33 0/14 2/42 0/42 0/29 2/20 2/14
Duke 81 81 +25 86 23-41 9-26 13-19 67 18/32 16/81 10/81 6/55 12/37 27/33





0.561 0.346 0.684
56.25 19.75 12.35 10.91 32.43 81.82

Not surprisingly, Scheyer posted the best +/- of any Duke player last night (one surprising note, the negative +/- for Lance Thomas). Scheyer was excellent, finally finding his stroke and picking his spots extremely well on the way to a game-high 22. Paulus also had a very solid game, running the floor and running the offense. Tonight his role was more as a distributor, and distribute he did - nearly half of the hoops made while Paulus was on the floor were the result of his passing.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Some thoughts....

Lance Thomas will have to have some big games defensively for us this season. Without the size in the front court, our back court will always have to apply constant ball pressure to make the entry hard and LT and Zoubek will have to work really, really hard to establish position and beat people to spots.

The handful of possessions we went zone I was actually impressed with how well we executed it. There was much better rotation and movement when the ball quickly moved to the other side of the court. Definitely much improved over the few times we utilized last year.

I don't think our lineups are well suited to a slow-it-down-spread-it-out type of offense Coach usually uses to slow down the pace with a lead. Granted we were holding a big lead, but I think our wings could be crossing the baseline or something to keep movement in our offense.

I was also impressed with our ball screen work (and didn't see much off the ball screens employed). For a game so early in the season the timing was very good. I didn't get a sense of what kind of speed King has... most of his shots were set, rather than off the dribble or off a screen.

This team will need to be rebounding by committee all season, and we seem to be doing a pretty good job of it so far. Hopefully we can keep that up.