Blog Entry

Duke isn't in the Sweet 16 (again)

Posted on: March 22, 2008 4:53 pm

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Last year you could call it a fluke.

That's what I called it, at least.

But Duke's loss to West Virginia on Saturday means the Blue Devils will now miss the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive season, this after they had made the Sweet 16 in nine consecutive seasons before losing to VCU in the first round of last year's NCAA tournament. So yeah, the mighty have fallen on hard times relative to their usual type of times, and the only obvious explanation is that Mike Krzyzewski has made multiple bad recruiting decisions that have left him with a roster full of nice guys, only some of whom are physical and/or athletic enough to lead an elite program.

And don't tell me about all the McDonald's All-Americans.

That's a splendid thing to put in a media guide. But it is accepted fact that many players are named McDonald's Al-Americans because they are being recruited by Duke, meaning Duke doesn't sign McDonald's All-Americans as much as it manufactures them.

To this point, I'll ask this question: How many future NBA players were on this Duke roster?

Answer: A couple, probably.

Kyle Singler will play many years in the NBA, and I'm assuming Gerald Henderson will, too. But there weren't any serious prospects beyond those two, which is fine for most programs but less-than-fine for a program that has long been considered the best of the best. I mean, scrappy play and hustle and slapping the floor is great and all. But it takes pros to hang banners, and Duke is now mostly devoid of pros relative to the North Carolinas and UCLAs of the world.

And it's not getting fixed by next season.

The Blue Devils are losing DeMarcus Nelson and replacing him with Elliot Williams, a McDonald's All-American shooting guard from Memphis. But when Duke missed on prep standout Greg Monroe it ensured the Blue Devils will play another season without a notable post presence, and so it's hard to imagine Krzyzewski won't again have the same issues with his team.

Which is not to say Duke will be bad.

Let me be clear about that.

The Blue Devils should return four starters from a 28-win team, and that'll put them in the preseason Top 10. But the guess here is that they'll still be a piece away from having the personnel to hang another banner. And though that's OK for most programs it's just not what we've traditionally expected from Duke, which will now watch the second weekend of the NCAA tournament on television. Again.
Category: NCAAB

Since: Mar 25, 2008
Posted on: March 25, 2008 6:49 am

Duke isn't in the Sweet 16 (again) but AA???

I can't believe that some people are surprised by this, I wasn't I can only think that the more die hard fans of Duke are surprised why because they have had an awesome program the last 30 years and don't know what is going on.   I mean it is not a suprise to see why the Duke fans are pissed off they have multiple reasons to be.  As for the all american thing going on how many aren't all americans still going to the NBA???  That should be the main question name the players that aren't all american that are going to the NBA in the next year or two that are on Duke and off the Duke team that is the question we should be looking at right now at the moment.   Go Cats!~

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: March 24, 2008 8:36 pm

Duke isn't in the Sweet 16 (again)

I completely agree with Parrish on this subject. Duke won't be bad next year, but the inability to land a big man for the last few years has set the program back a little bit. They'll always be a ranked team with Krzyzewski at the helm, but advancing deep in the tournament, no matter how much guard play highlights popular upsets, depends on having big men inside. Nearly all former champions had a legitimate post game. I think Monroe will work out at Georgetown much the same way that Jeff Green did, but it would have been fun to watch him play in Duke's system. He's the kind of big man that would have made that system, alongside Singler in the frontcourt, work really, really well. Oh well, Duke's had their glory and will have it again. Like Parrish said, it's not like they'll be a bad team, they're just not going to win a national title.

Since: Mar 4, 2008
Posted on: March 24, 2008 7:52 pm

Duke isn't in the Sweet 16 (again)

the acc has been down the past couple years. it obviously doesnt have the elite teams anymore.

dook and clemson are second tier teams, NOT top 10 caliber. still good, but not contenders like the media would have you think.

but to say dook doesnt have talent? untrue, surely more than west virginia has. they just dont have that good of a TEAM.



Tyellington, They have more than West Virginia? Does that mean they have less heart?

Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: March 24, 2008 5:08 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: March 24, 2008 3:33 pm

Duke isn't in the Sweet 16 (again)

Duke gets hurt because Paulus is an exceptionally bad defender.  Watch the Belmont game and how many times Paulus is chasing a guy toward an open layup.  And this is Belmont.  Against WVU, they were just physically outmatched.  Singler picked up early fouls and couldn't get rebounds... Lance Thomas eventually fouled out.  He can diguise his deficiencies when he is shooting well, but when Duke can't put up 80+, they need to go with a stronger defender.  Maybe Coach K needs to start coaching these guys up instead of just rolling the balls out...

Since: Jun 28, 2007
Posted on: March 24, 2008 1:43 pm

Duke isn't in the Sweet 16 (again)

This Duke team did overachieve.  They had a great season against some really tough and mediocre teams.  They were bound to be eliminated early because they have been in a shooting slump the last month and a half.  They live and die by the three which isn't very reliable.  They have a chance next season to do the same things and end the season in the same way.  They need a big man with a mean streak.  Unless academics are going to take a backseat, Duke will never get the big man that they so desperately need.  Zoubek is not the answer.  As soon as Duke gets a big man to go with the shooters they have, they will able to hang with more physical teams.  They have to get more physical in order to achieve their goals in the tourney.  They need more than just one big body though.  It's going to take a while.

Since: Apr 27, 2007
Posted on: March 24, 2008 1:19 pm

Another Duke Topic, and they are out

I understand the reason we have to talk about duke all of the time.  Because duke is a topic that everyone has an opinion on, so from a media stand point, it brings a ton of response.  All of the points in this topic are the same points why we should be talking about other teams and not duke.  With that said, i'm on the bad wagon.

Duke probably should not have been a 2 seed based on talent coming into this tournament.  Maybe a 3 or even 4.  And there display in there two games suggest they fall even furthere in review to a 5 seed.  There 28 win season put them at that mark and when your coached by a master, your bound to overacheive.  But style and talent limmited them.  Live and Die by the three and percentages catch up in a big way.  We talk about duke because of history, but we talk about them at the expense of more deserving teams.  Its time to let duke rest until they are back, and give our attention to the dogs that bark and bite!

Since: Mar 21, 2008
Posted on: March 24, 2008 9:37 am

Duke isn't in the Sweet 16 (again)

Dukes apparent 'Downward spiral" mirrors somewhat what has happened of late to the Arizona Wildcats program. As fans of a team that year after year wins 20Plus games, goes habitually to the sweet 16, wins a Championship now and again, and spits out Pro players,  we get extremely spoiled and think that there is something wrong when we exit after an apparent 'upset" in early rounds of the tournement.

What happens is the coach gets old. He doesn't work from 4a.m. to midnight 24/7 anymore. He doesn't relate to kids as once he did. So we look for a million answers to explain why we only won 20 games. or 1 and done in the tournement. Maybe Coach K will right the ship and the Dookies will flourish once again. Maybe Lute will have another five years of 20 plus wins.

How many programs would be "THRILLED" to even win 20 games three or four years in a row.  we better just get used to having a few 'Normal' years as the coach eases into retirement 

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: March 24, 2008 8:25 am

Duke isn't in the Sweet 16 (again)


The last two seasons, Duke has had to play on NEUTRAL site and not at home.  It makes a big difference.  As you can see by Duke's schedule this year... they were not a good road team against quality competition.

Maybe they should schedule more games on the road against quality opponents.

Since: Dec 15, 2007
Posted on: March 23, 2008 8:03 pm

Duke isn't in the Sweet 16 (again)

yet again duke is overrated and given a gift with a number 2 seed just because they are duke and the selection commitee will do anything to kiss up to them

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