Thad Matta had his team prepared with his fake high post, back screen, double low post offense. Think Princeton offense with the addition of talented low post players. Duke’s forwards had to move across the lane at least twice to guard the Ohio St players and, in doing so, allowed lay-ups. If Ohio St were to play UNC running the same offensive sets, they would score at least 90 points. However, Kendall Marshall would have a field day in transition and in UNC’s half court sets. UNC would beat Ohio State if they hit 72% of their free throws.
I loved Doc Rivers as a player, but his son is not a point guard yet. Duke was a little slow in their half court defense , and never looked comfortable. Basically, Thad Matta prepared his team well. They dribble penetrated and kicked to an open cutter or dished to a 3 point shooter all night. Obviously, Duke rarely allows their opponents to shoot 60% from the field and 57% from the 3 point stripe. When you add the fact that all 5 Ohio St starters had at least 5 rebounds (and that the Buckeyes out-rebounded Duke by 9), this was an unusual loss for Duke. However, I think Coach K tried to teach his team humility after the 10 minute mark in the second half by not pressing or truly attempting to get back in the game. He will use this loss as an example of what Duke basketball ain't for the rest of this year. Based on what I saw last night, I would not be surprised if Duke played a goodly amount of zone (say, 40%) for the rest of the season.
Duke and UNC will figure out how to minimize their weaknesses on defense by mid-January. That’s why they’re Duke and Carolina.
You heard it here first. If I were a betting man I would expect Notre Dame could cover a 10 point spread at Gonzaga. If nothing else, Gonzaga is a Jesuit institution with a "humanistic" spin to it. Having been educated by Jesuits, I know that the concepts of Humanism and the Jesuit philosophy were at bloody odds for a good portion of European history. Also, Gonzaga seeks their "free intellectual inquery" by focusing "on Western Culture." This is silly.
At least Notre Dame is vague about its mission. Notre Dame as an institution pursues "truth for its own sake." Moreover, it provides a forum where "the various lines of Catholic thought may intersect" and where a "particular creedal affiliation (i.e., Jesuit or Franciscan, and obviously, the Augustinians)" is ridiculous.
Notre Dame covers. Oh yeah, NC State will outright against Indiana.