Monday, January 29, 2007

Duke 75, Boston College 61

Duke played total team basketball in one of their most impressive games of the season thus far. The Devils applied intense pressure to Rice (soft half court trap), Marshall (thank you Jon Scheyer), and Dudley (a Nelson, McClure, Thomas combo job), and kept the three from getting into any kind of cohesive rhythm. Duke also held the most efficient offense in the conference (both in terms of pure offensive rating and PPNTOP) to a .87 PPWS and a .379 EFG%. Boston College scored only 44 points from the floor in 40 minutes.

Duke won this game because it forced the Three Man Team (and most importantly Dudley) to give up the ball. Spears, Oates, Haynes, and Blair went 8 of 21 from the field, a number notable not only for its sub 40% shooting, but also because those four took 21 shots in the Clemson and FSU games combined. Dudley was doubled constantly, and while it often left Shamari Spears open, I think you, me, and definitely Coach K are all happy to have Shamari Spears trying to beat Duke rather than Jared Dudley. Again for BC, Dudley didn't get enough shots - Spears and Rice both took more, and Marshall took as many (making only 2). Coach Skinner - Jared Dudley is your best player, and one of the best 5 in the conference. He's also your best shooter and the best player on the team at getting to the line. Call me crazy, but maybe he should get more shots than Rice and Marshall (warning, warning, this is bound to be a common refrain about the Eagles on this site for the rest of the season).

Duke also executed extremely well on offense, particularly on the offensive glass. In the second half, Duke got 63.6% of its own misses - that's right, the Eagles got a whopping 4 defensive rebounds in 20 second half minutes. Duke also shot well from the field (especially when Tyrelle Blair didn't get in the way) and the line. The team was well spaced, moved the ball well, got out in transition when the opportunities presented themselves, and even took better care of the ball than the average game. McRoberts, as usual, looked very impressive. If he's been a much different player this year than last, he's also been a much different player in ACC play than pre-conference play. He's figured out that his role doesn't require him to be a dominant scorer (which in a roundabout way has actually helped his scoring increase - he forces it a little less and is taking "smarter" shots). He's also starting to feel out where his teammates will be on the court, and vice versa - it bears mentioning that none of his teammates are really that used to playing full games with a big man who can pass like Josh. McRoberts also defended the post very well, picking up some highlight reel blocks, and helping Duke hold BC to 38% 2pt shooting.

Here's the table for last night's game:

O Poss. Points OPPP D Poss. Points DPPP
McRoberts ON 56 67 1.196 57 56 0.982

OFF 9 8 0.889 7 5 0.714
Scheyer ON 56 63 1.125 54 50 0.926

OFF 9 12 1.333 10 11 1.100
Nelson ON 56 67 1.196 56 55 0.982

OFF 9 8 0.889 8 6 0.750
Paulus ON 54 63 1.167 53 51 0.962

OFF 11 12 1.091 11 10 0.909
Henderson ON 19 24 1.263 19 14 0.737

OFF 46 51 1.109 45 47 1.044
McClure ON 31 33 1.065 29 33 1.138

OFF 34 42 1.235 35 28 0.800
Thomas ON 38 42 1.105 36 32 0.889

OFF 27 33 1.222 28 29 1.036
Pocius ON 12 12 1.000 12 13 1.083

OFF 53 63 1.189 52 48 0.923
Zoubek ON 3 4 1.333 4 1 0.250

OFF 62 71 1.145 60 60 1.000

Duke Overall
65 75 1.154 64 61 0.953

Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out the 6 assist, 1 turnover performance from Greg Paulus. I found this particularly impressive because he didn't shoot well - it's one of the only games this season where his A/TO ratio hasn't been (at least generally) linked to his shooting (and/or vice versa).

And of course, my thoughts are with Dave McClure - from all I've heard (including an appreciated comment post from Doug) it's not horribly serious, and will only cost him a couple of games (bringing him back to a Cameron standing O against UNC - ok, I can hope).


Two crucial games for teams on the ACC bubble (is it too early to be talking bubble?). Maryland travels to Florida State in a game that both need to win. A win puts FSU at .500 (with two oh-so-close road losses), and a Terp loss would stick them 3 games under .500. The Gist/Thornton matchup will be worth the price of admission. In Winston, Georgia Tech is hitting the road to take on Wake. The Jackets will be 2-6 with a loss, and frankly would be sunk. After the trip to Wake, they host Clemson and NC State (two very winnable games), and could be sitting at 5-5. This game really is a turning point - if they can't beat Wake on the road, they really aren't a tournament team, but if they can get a road win, they have a chance to build some momentum heading toward the stretch run.

1 comment:

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Ed and Birkel of the Basketblog