John Calipari is the King of the Douchebags, The Sovereign Lord of Patent Insincerity, and the Unopposed Ruler of Smarmy Disingenuousness. (Oh wait, I already knew that.) Whether or not you think his halftime comment had any merit, it was a classless thing to say. And here's the other thing; if you're going to make obnoxious statements like that in front of God and Congress at least grow a pair and OWN the comment after the game, instead of pretending that you don't remember what you said or that you weren't actually being serious. Coach Cal has an inferiority complex when it comes to Coach K. He better get used to being lost in his shadow, because that's the only place a small man like him will ever be. Honestly, if we time-machined forward and UNC was playing UK tomorrow for a trip to the Final Four, I would pull for the Holes. I hope you all appreciate what I'm saying here.
What a Difference One Year/Player Makes. Look, I'm glad Austin Rivers came to Duke. I mean, everyone in Duke blue will revel in the glory of that shot against UNC until the day they join the choir invisible. His ability to not get called for travelling even impressed Tyler Hansborough. He was a major piece of Duke's success last year. And also a major piece of its failure. He was a one-trick pony and that trick wasn't playing defense. Enter Rasheed Sulaimon, who is more of the 4 or 5 trick pony variety. The kid can score, rebound, pass and , most importantly, defend. He is Duke's best on ball defender right now and it's not even close. Duke's team defense looks demonstrably better this year and Rasheed is the reason. ( And let's not overlook his ability and willingness to share the ball; also not Austin's special trick).
Duke still has no answer for the Poythress's of the World. There's this position in basketball I've heard about called the Power Forward. I assume (but don't really know) that this is because they are powerful guysand play with lots of, you know, power. To paraphrase Lionel : I wonder where they are. I wonder what they do. I wonder if the Duke players got tired of staring at the bottom of Poythress' shoes...
It would be great if R. Kelly could defend Kyle Wiltjer all the time. He would make First Team All-Defense !!! But seriously, a great job by Ryan, showing everyone some chops we didn't think he had.
Mason Needs to Stay out of Foul Trouble ( and recognize the double team). I will support this trenchant insight with following ; this goal can best be achieved by not committing addlepated hedging fouls 28 feet from the basket. This is either written in the Plumlee DNA, or is simply a torch handed down from Zoubek through Miles. Either way it leads me to my next point...
Josh Hairston. If that is the Hairston we are going to see more often than not, my expectations for this team are going to get a serious boost. 5 points and 5 rebounds may not sound like much, but 4 of those boards were offensive and his energy made a huge difference. We need him to be a contributor, because Marshall is unproven and Mason will be in foul trouble again.
Quinn Cook needs to improve on defense. Look, he's going to get a lot of minutes regardless, because he's got a good thing going with Mason and gets our offense ticking, but his off-ball defensive instincts are not good. Work is needed.
Seth Curry needs to stay healthy. Or stabilize at his current level of (non) health. Or whatever. Just keep playing and scoring, man, playing and scoring.
When UK has Ryan Harrow at the point and 20 games under their belt, look out. They still aren't very deep, but, as usual ( sigh) their athleticism is redonkulous.