Blog Entry

Who's No. 1: Duke or Michigan State?

Posted on: April 20, 2010 9:19 am
Edited on: April 20, 2010 11:07 am

Kyle Singler's decision to return to Duke will likely make the Blue Devils the preseason favorite.

It's certainly a reasonable point of view.

The additions of Kyrie Irving and Seth Curry should offset the loss of Jon Scheyer in the backcourt, and though I liked Brian Zoubek down the stretch, it's possible Duke will be more talented in the frontcourt next season if Miles and Mason Plumlee progress as projected. So if you like Duke, I understand. I like Duke, too. But Michigan State still belongs in the conversation for preseason No. 1, I think. The Spartans lose only Raymar Morgan from last season and replace him with a recruiting class ranks fifth nationally. Kalin Lucas and Delvon Roe should both be healthy, Durrell Summers and Draymond Green will be a year advanced in their development as future pros, and I saw enough of incoming freshman Adreian Payne last summer to know he could be an elite level shot blocker and defensive presence.

So it's a close call between Duke and Michigan State.

That's my point.

Take a look at the possible lineups.

Then tell me what you think.

----- DUKE -----

Kyrie Irving
G: Nolan Smith
F: Kyle Singler
F: Mason Plumlee
F: Miles Plumlee

Reserves: Seth Curry, Andre Dawkins, Ryan Kelly, Josh Hairston, Tyler Thornton, Carrick Felix

----- MICHIGAN STATE -----

G: Kalin Lucas
G: Durrell Summers
F: Draymond Green
F: Delvon Roe
F: Adreian Payne

Reserves: Korie Lucious, Chris Allen, Keith Appling, Derrick Nix, Russell Byrd, Garrick Sherman, Alex Gauna


(Note: has posted odds for next year's champion. Duke and MSU are co-favorites at +800.)
Category: NCAAB

Since: Nov 1, 2009
Posted on: April 22, 2010 12:27 pm

Who's No. 1: Duke or Michigan State?

I agree Purdue should be preseason #1 if they pull everyone back, although Moore and Johnson seem headed for the draft. I think the question of wether or not Duke should be no.1 is a little bizzare. Remember, Duke may have won the national championship, but there road to get there was  through, Cal, the pac-10 champ that got slaughtered in numerous preconference bouts with other big-6 foes, and even inferior opponents. They beat Purdue, but that was without Hummel, and it wasn't a rout either. they beat a solid Baylor team, but West Virginia had an injured Truck Bryant, and the Desean Butler injury added insult to injury. Butler was Solid, and a good team, and I think they should be in the mix for thepreseason no. 1 ranking.
 However as a devoted Michigan State fan I'll give my opinion on them. Keep in mind I am biased, and don't take it poorly. I think that even though it will be a veteran squad, with a tough schedule, I think they'll finish the regular season ranked in the 7-10 range, and not even win the conference tournament. The trademarks of Izzo teams is that they use the regular season to do well in the NCAA tournament. I think what it boils down to is that where you are preseason means nothing. Ask Syracuse, Kansas State, Ohio State, and all of them. Maybe throw in North Carolina.

Since: Jan 25, 2007
Posted on: April 22, 2010 10:54 am

Who's No. 1: Duke or Michigan State?

i agree. im a sparty fan but duke should be number 1. they are the champs until they get beat. it really doesnt matter anyways. the only time it matters to be number 1, is at the end. i look for sparty to lose a few games(izzo uses regular season games like preseason), trying out new combinations and getting the new freshman playing time. then all the big 10 haters will come out and say how overated sparty is AGAIN. all it comes down to is the tourney and if you are ready for a 6 game winning streak to end the year. as for the maryland fan. nice joke. if lucas wouldnt had gotten hurt sparty would of won by 15. you lost! live with it! no greivous this year means no great year. as for your 6-7 and 6-8 players you have....what college team doesnt have that? now i pray we draw maryland in the ACC/big 10 tourney. but we will probably play duke or UNC again.

any way it goes im just happy sparty is being recognized as a top notch basketball program. as much as i hate coach k, he is the best coach as of now. his championships and final 4's do the talking. izzo is a poor mans coach k. im bias and would take nobody but izzo since he does more with less, but coach k is still number 1 and izzo is number 1A.


would be a great national championship........DUKE VS MSU

Since: Oct 10, 2006
Posted on: April 22, 2010 10:43 am

Who's No. 1: Duke or Michigan State?

I think this so close, that you have to go with Duke for pre-season 1 because they are the national champs, I mean when something is this close and one of the teams in the reigning NC then they have earned it, you should go with them until they lose.

Since: Nov 17, 2007
Posted on: April 22, 2010 8:18 am

Who's No. 1: Duke or Michigan State?

Ranking them number one now because they survived a cinderella team is only justified because they were ahead at the end of the game.

Exactly. That is the definition of winning a game -- being ahead at the end of the game. This is not Fantasy League. Real people, real game. The team that wins is the team that is better in that 1 game. Duke was better than Butler in that 1 game by 2 points. Butler was better than MSU by... 2 points. This does not mean Duke is better than MSU by 4 points. It does not work that way, in real life.

Duke won the tournament and, regardless of which players went to the NBA, which are hurt, coaching changes, incoming recruits, next season's schedule, or anything else that could be considered, all of that aside, Duke should be No. 1 in the pre-season poll.

I think that is a tradition that should be sacred.

Since: Nov 28, 2008
Posted on: April 22, 2010 8:10 am

Who's No. 1: Duke or Michigan State?

Its a close race but, as much as I hate to say it, the Dookies should be No. 1.  The return of Kyle Singler is huge for them.  Kyrie Irving looks like Jason Williams all over again.  Along with Smith, Curry, and Dawkins there backcourt is set.  The Plumlees along with Singler showed that they can play well together.  While Lucas and Summers are as good any backcourt in the nation and Green and roe will be tough on the inside the Dookies probably will get the nod.

Since: Jan 28, 2009
Posted on: April 22, 2010 4:30 am

Who's No. 1: Duke or Michigan State?

hey, i'm an msu guy and i like purdue.  hard working, overachieving, good fundamentals... but they just lost too much to the nba and aren't restocking like msu or duke.  they might make some noise in the big ten, but come tournament time, they'll fade.

Since: Apr 6, 2010
Posted on: April 22, 2010 12:39 am

Who's No. 1: Duke or Michigan State?

I am guessing that you are an Anti- Duke fan. You are nuts if you think that Duke was outplayed. Butler wouldn't even have been in the game if they didn"t get all of the free throw attempts they recieved in the second half. Not to mention that it was a HOME game for Butler. Duke won fair and square. Additionally, Duke beat Baylor and absolutely crushed West Virgina, both are better than any of the teams that MSU played en route to the final.
Duke will absolutely be the preseason number 1 and they will progress and get even better as the season plays out. They will be absolutely rediculous in the tournament. Additionally, if KI and the Plumlees are together the following year and Austin Rivers selects Duke, they could win a 3rd title in a row.

Like it or not, Duke is the epitome of mens college basketball success.

Since: Oct 7, 2009
Posted on: April 21, 2010 7:53 pm

Who's No. 1: Duke or Michigan State?

Are you serious? Purdue is LOSING Johnson and Moore to the draft, Kramer is gone due to graduation, and Hummel is not going to be 100% until closer to the end of the season because of his knee injury. And if you are going to report on your post, check your facts. Michigan State WON the second game against Purdue, at Purdue. I love MSU being a current student there, and even I don't agree that MSU should be preseason #1, but it definitely should and will not be the hobbled Purdue basketball team.

Since: Apr 6, 2010
Posted on: April 21, 2010 7:28 pm

Who's No. 1: Duke or Michigan State?

Not to be the bearer of bad news, Mr. Maryland Fan, but you seem to be willfully ignoring one key element. Maryland earned conference co-champion honors in large part due to the outstanding play of your senior leader, Grievous Vasquez. It was his stellar ability to carry the team that kept the Terrapins even with Duke in the final conference season standings, and as such, his graduation cannot be lightly dismissed.

That being said, Maryland will be decent again next year because Vasquez took them to the tournament and helped earn valuable post-season experience for all the players you mentioned. Plus, Gary Williams is possibly one of the most underrated coaches in all of college basketball. He may be the least hyped of any active coach who has a national championship under his belt.

One other problem to mention is the fact that Roy Williams is unlikely to have two historically awful years in a row, considering the amount of talent North Carolina already has and is bringing in with Harrison Barnes, rated #1 by some scouting services. I expect him to be back in the saddle challenging for the ACC regular season championship, making Maryland's path that much more difficult from two standpoints.

First, they have another team who they will have to stay ahead of in the standings. Second, one (or two--I'm not entirely familiar with the matchup pattern in the Atlantic Coast Conference) of those games just got much harder to win than it was this year. Of course, most people thought those same things this year, and we all saw how that played out, so to a certain extent we will need to wait and see.

If I were a Maryland fan, a 3rd place finish in the conference would be a great season, and with the tournament likely to expand to 96 teams, that ensures a post-season berth. At that point, anything can happen.

Since: Jan 19, 2009
Posted on: April 21, 2010 6:51 pm

Who's No. 1: Duke or Michigan State?

Redmedicine -
I am a realist who's watched ACC basketball for 30+ years, and had the great fortune of being a freshman at Duke during Coach K's first run to the Final Four in '86, who completely recognizes this year's title was a gift from a team led by an overachieving group of seniors. Next year, the Devils will be dominated by underclassmen, and it is unrealistic to expect that with the loss of three starters who were the heart and soul of the team (not to mention the source of their incredible length inside and on the perimeter), that they are simply going to start out at the top, when MSU and Butler (assuming Heyward sticks) lose far less to graduation.  I totally loved that the Devils flew under the radar (no one thought they would get a 1 seed, and then when they did get a 1 seed, everyone thought they would be the first 1 seed to go), but no one is going to underestimate the 'Devils again.  If this year's tournament proved anything, it is the value of having a core group of players who have played more than one year together (just look at the rosters of all four FF teams). 
If you watched either Duke-Miami game this year, you'll realize that Miami is not at all that far behind the Devils, despite the fact that their core group were all freshmen and sophomores.  The  'Devils were extremely fortunate to beat them in Coral Gables (after being down big at halftime), and didn't put them away in the ACC tournament either. Carolina is Carolina, and there's a reason Coach K chased Harrison Barnes for three plus years, and why he took a JUCO transfer for the first time ever when he missed out on Barnes (because he's got no other wing player on the roster athletic enough to drape on Barnes who can rebound, shoot and handle the ball).
Anyway, I am totally enjoying the 'Devils title, but I've watched enough college basketball to know that you don't lose the kinds of pieces to graduation that the 'Devils lost this year without suffering a dropoff.  Maybe the 'Devils will surprise me, but I prefer being at the back of the pack when the season starts anyway, and then working my way up, and I don't like that so many expectations are being heaped on the incoming transfers and freshman class when no one's even seen them play a single game together.  I'm sure Irving, Hairston, Thornton, Curry and Felix will all be great, but that's a lot of new pieces to integrate, and Scheyer's 6-5 frame was a hidden advantage on the perimeter that we will miss (along with Zoubek's 7-1), and now we're talking about a three guard offense that goes 6-2, 6-1, 6-0. I'll predict Sweet 16 for this team (which is what the 'Devils did in '87 after making the 'Finals, didn't do in '93 after going back to back, and did in '02) and secretly hope for more.
I am looking forward, however, to watching Singler - he's the toughest player Duke has had since Shane Battier.

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