As Alex mentioned in his Duke forecast article, 1 v 16 games are rarely revealatory and Friday night was certainly no exception. APB fought hard , but there’s simply to much of a discrepancy in height and athleticism between the two teams to be able to draw many satisfactory conclusions. Here are a few observations about the contest.
- Singler and Scheyer both shot extremely well and looked very focused
- The Bigs dominated in exactly the way they should have given our size advantage
- The Defense looked on point and determined, holding the Lions to 20 first half points
- Nolan struggled big time for most of the game ( 0-7 in the first half), and then got his land legs midway through the second half and remembered his mid-range game.
- Turnovers. We had 14 for the game including 6 in 10 posessions in the second half, most of which were really careless
- Offense was still far from smooth, as we seemed really determined to involve the bigs ( which , of course, is not our offense). In the second half things got a little better, though it seems to me it would have been more productive to run what we normally run instead of instituting such a specific “game plan” for APB. It seems like running the offense a little differently could have led to a number of the turnovers.
Today Duke will get a sterner test with Cal, the Pac-10 regular season Champions. They are a relatively undersized team, with 6’8” Duke transfer Jamal Boykin playing in the middle. They have an extremely talented backcourt and start 4 seniors. The trio of Randle, Christopher, and Robertson average almost 50 points per game.
The two teams’ backcourts could very well neutralize each other in which case it will likely come down to our ability to exploit our size advantage on the boards. Zoubek and Lance will need to avoid silly fouls and the Plumlees will have to bring their ‘A’ decision-making games for Duke to be successful.