Friday, November 21, 2008

SIU Post Game Thoughts

Yet again, a tale of two halves. The first was marred by sloppy execution and turnovers. On many of the errant passes I got the sense they were trying to rely on feeling where people should be. That will come eventually. Zoubek gave his best performance to date with a solid first half (one of the few bright spots of the first twenty minutes). The second half (except for the first few possessions) was an entirely different ball game. Henderson's involvement from behind the arc spread out the defense enough to allow a few more open driving lanes. Not to mention some serious dunks from Henderson and Smith (wow is just not enough). I was seriously impressed with SIU's defense. If they can manage to keep that intensity and aggressiveness and limit the fouling, they will be a serious force in the MVC this year.

General Notes
  • Point Guard Play -- Greg & Nolan getting 5-8 minute stints. I didn't realize Greg was recovering from injuries. Aside from Nolan's spectacular dunk and free throws, he had a non-existant offensive night with his two assists offset by five turnovers. However, I thought they both ran the offense rather well and I know either can go off offensively on any given night. I'm currious how the minutes will play out with tonights trapping zone.
  • Defensive Intensity -- Aside from missing a few help side assignments (thank you Bob Knight, I think you hammered that home enough), I was very happy with Duke's defensive presence, especially in the low post.
  • Low Post Play -- Zo stepped up tonight! Didn't get to see enough of LT to get a good sense of where he is. The entire team knocked it down from the line tonight -- I really hope that trends.
With Michigan trumping UCLA in the night cap, I wonder how much 1-3-1 zone we'll actually see tonight. Traditionally, if Duke starts making teams pay for zone with a few open threes, opponents usually are quick to abandon the tactic. However, I have to imagine that Beilein won't come out of the zone unless he really has no other choice. Look for Duke to seriously contest the three point line and I fully expect a handful of very frustrating back door cuts.


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