Thursday, December 01, 2005


Thoughts on Wednesday's Games

1) Really enjoyed the Indiana-Duke game. Ton of energy in Bloomington and Marco Killingsworth is an absolute stud. Dicky V was in rare form (love that guy!), even giving major props to the Hoosiers while his Dukies were on the ropes. Took some clutch play by JJ Redick for the #1 team to come out with a victory. I think both of these teams could be in the top 10 at the end of the season. Indiana when DJ White comes back and Ratliff is fully healthy will be scary. I agree with Vitale that Indiana could make a run at the Big Ten title.

Duke could go undefeated. I really think they are that good. People that say they're overrated are just blind by emotion, IMO. While not the most athletic team, they are one of the best coached teams. They have a top 5 interior player nationally in Shelden Williams, and a top 5 perimeter player nationally in JJ Redick. Redick has really diversified his game and is just a load at this point in his career. People may hate Duke, but this is a really, really good team IMO. McRoberts barely played but threw down some monster dunks, Paulus looked like a veteran with some amazing passes, and Melchionni hit some shots. Remember that Duke was playing without a big time scorer in DeMarcus Nelson.

On a side note, I hope Chester Frazier can be the Illini's answer to Sean Dockery one day. That's Frazier's upside IMO, a defensive stalwart who will make the occasional offensive contribution.

2) Iowa got another win over a ranked team. Say what you want about NC State, but a win over a ranked team is a win over a ranked team. Iowa will be very much in the thick of the Big Ten race.

3) Is Michigan State planning to play defense this year? Against an inexperienced Georgia Tech team that got blown out by UIC, the Spartans ave up 86 points in East Lansing. Unless Izzo's squad starts to play better defense, I may have to readjust my expectations for this team.

4) Maryland predictably beat Minnesota handily and UVa beat up on Northwestern. Scoring 72 points against Bill Carmody's slowdown game is pretty good for the Cavaliers. Dave Leitao doesn't have much to work with this season, but the recruits will be coming, just give that guy time.

5) SIU dropped to 2-3 after a 14 point loss to SLU. Salukis looking like their rein as MVC leaders could come to an end? Former Illini recruit Lisch out of Belleville with 10 points for the Billikens.

6) Nebraska beat Marquette 84-74. I know nothing about Nebraska, other than they have a kid named Marcus Walker out of Kansas City (a one-time Illinois recruit) starting at point guard. He had 5 points and 6 assists last night. Still, Marquette needs to win games like that. Dominic James did have 22 points for the Warriors. Marquette's starting 3 freshmen guards in James, Jerel McNeal and Wes Matthews. James is going to be a very, very good player there.

"Remember that Duke was playing without a big time scorer in DeMarcus Nelson."

Nelson has only scored in double figures 7 times in his Duke career. He also shot only 40% from the field last year.
Anonymous, how many minutes has DeMarcus Nelson gotten in his Duke career? Who has he been playing behind?

What is Dee Brown's shooting percentage? Is he a good scorer.

DeMarcus Nelson is the all-time leading scorer in the state of California high school basketball.
Well, He played 19 minutes a game as a freshman. He had played 21 minutes a game so far this year. His 3 point percentage last year was .320 %, and to his credit he has improved up to .420 % this year.

Last year Dee's shooting percentage was .499%, and shot .434% from the three point arc(99-228). Freshman year was a respectable .443 and So. was very low at .411%. This year it has not been good. I would consider Dee a good scorer when he is playing the shooting guard position, but I haven't seen him shoot very well while playing mainly the point guard role.

I think Nelson is going to end up being a very good player at Duke, and I knew he was the all-time leading scorer in California because Vitale mentions it everytime Duke plays. I don't however think Nelson has established himself as a "big time scorer" yet though. If you feel otherwise, feel free to show me why. I think Nelson brings more value to Duke as a defender (2.3 steals per game this year before his injury) and an athlete. He is the only player on Duke that can compare athleticly to a guy like Mo Ager. Does Nelson being hurt Duke? Absolutely. I just don't think it hurts them as much offensively as it does defensively.
Anonymous, hard to disagree with much of what you written. My only issue with what you've said on his scoring ability is that I don't think he's been asked to score much on veteran teams at Duke. I think he's capable of scoring at a high level if Duke needed him to, and he may be able to show that next year.

Duke will be so deep at wing next season it's ridiculous, assuming no transfer. Nelson, Melchionni, Pocius, Henderson and Scheyer. I think there's a very real argument that could be made for Scheyer redshirting (I know that won't happen).

Anonymous, why don't you just register your user name so your posts could get a little more credence? Sometimes when I see "Anonymous" I question if the person knows what they're talking about (which your post obviously shows that you do)...
Wow! Undefeated....I don't think so. They are very good...they are very well coached...and they play hard. But, whether you admit it or not, they aren't very athletic and that will hurt them at some point. They are also WAY too reliant on Redick....Indiana did a TERRIBLE job defending him. You have got to make the other guys score when you play Duke....and Indiana made no effort to do so.

If you watched the Duke/Memphis game, they showed you how to beat Duke. Put big, quick guy on redick and make him shoot over or pass....and make the other guys score. If Memphis would have made some shots in the last 3-4 minutes, they had them beat. I know this...Coach K doesn't want to see Memphis in March. But, they are good...and will be there in the end...but I don't think they win it all.

As for Indiana, they are strong down low, but there perimeter guys can't defend at all....or at least they couldn't last night. Paulus and redick...neither of whom are very quick...beat them off the dribble consistently. If they can fix that, they will be tough.

The Iowa/NC St. game replaced the Kansas/Arizona game as the worst played game of the year. If kids think the Big 10 is boring...they ought to watch NC State....yikes!! Awful to watch.

I've seen most of the major teams play this year...and I see flaws with all of them. This is wide open as far as I'm concerned...Duke is probably the best team...but there are teams that will cause them major matchup problems in March.

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Well IHN, I messed up the registration when I first signed up for a name, so I figured I would just use anonymous because it was easier. Anyway, I have this site on my favorites and check it frequently, and find it to say the least entertaining. You might recognize the name from Illiniboard.
IHN- good analysis...

--Killingsworth was a beast, add White, and even Davis can't mess that up.

-- I disagree on Duke being THAT good right now. They have looked very vulnerable during stretches of the Memphis and IU games. They NEED Nelson back, without him they lack athleticism and someone who can get his own shot besides Redick. They are thin, Melchionni isn't very good. However, they are very good, and the ACC looks very 6-7 in Big 10 are way better. Only losses of top big 10 teams were IU (Duke) and Wisc (3pt loss @ Wake)

--Izzo said MSU would be "in the bottom of the Big 10" if they don't stop trying to outscore people, and start playing defense.

--I would be very happy with Frazier if he could be like Dockery, who imo is very valuable off the bench.
I know this thread is on Wednesday's games, but I just can't help but to point out Julian "Stat Sheet Stuffer" Wright's line from tonight.

0/2 from the floor - 0 points and a foul leading to a three point play in 3 minutes of action.
I think it's highly possible the Duke has two losses by January 2nd.

I highly doubt they win at Texas, and think Bucknell could get them on 1/2. I wouldn't even rule out a loss to St. Johns....maybe Aaron Spears could D-up Sheldon
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