Some Duke game thoughts | Syracusefan.com

Some Duke game thoughts

billsin01

All American
Joined
Aug 29, 2011
Messages
5,030
Like
6,952
So interesting game and a pretty strong performance from an overmatched team. Really thought the two games in the tourney were two of the better games we played in the second half of the season. The first half against Pitt was not pretty nor were the first 15 mins vs. Duke but this team showed a ton of fight in both games, so hopefully that continues.

other thoughts:

What to make of Frank Howard?
I'm not someone who has hammered Frank through the years -- always kind of felt he was playing a bit out of position and being asked to do a bit more than maybe he was really capable of doing. But I understand the criticism and don't disagree with large parts of it. He's also had a really odd last month: Since the NC State game, he's shooting 39% from three and he's had games of 21, 18 and 28. That said, he's had games of 0 and then three stink bombs in a row to end the season (albeit two of the three were Duke and UNC).

I guess all of that is to say he remains a mystery. Good frank would be a really nice asset even with Battle back. Thought he really owned Tre Jones for much of that game and looked super confident. He's also significantly improved as a shooter to where he doesn't need to be wide open, standing still and perfectly set up to make a three. Hope he's engaged and ready to go have himself a tourney.

Really strong game from Oshae, who is shooting far fewer threes these days
Brissett has had a weird year and struggled with some of his bad habits. But he was really strong and aggressive in this game. consistently going off two feet and going strong to the rim when made that decision. Reminded me of the game against Louisville earlier in the year. I think we're looking at a kid working hard to refine his game from one that leaned heavy on athleticism, the occasional wide open three and a drawing fouls with kind of crazy drives to a game that is strong, but controlled and focuses more on maximizing his athleticism and size inside.

There is some apparent evidence of this in the numbers -- Oshae attempted 4.3 threes a game through the first 14 games of the season (the first Duke game). In the last 16 games, he's attempted basically 2 per game. The results have been uneven -- he had a pretty brutal four-game stretch from the second duke game through the UVA game, though to be fair to him three of those four teams are title contenders -- we've seen glimpses of the guy we thought we might be watching. Really nice game last night, a good game against Clemson to end the season. Hoping we see more of this in the tourney and that can be a springboard for a more consistent 19-20.

Duke gets a lot of calls but we aren't athletic enough to consistently battle them inside
Lots of talk of officiating here, but one thing no one can argue is that Zion is the aggressor and those guys tend to get calls. One theme of the past few years is that we're playing teams with really good bigs 5 or 6 times a season in ACC play. Carolina and Duke, in particular, have absolutely man-handled us at times with Bagley/The other big dude they had last year/Zion or The seemingly endless stream of bigs Carolina always runs at us.

Regardless, to beat those teams we either need to be good enough to outscore them -- as we've done with duke a few times -- or we need to get stronger inside to battle and limit those easy buckets and second chance opportunities. I think if we had played 20 more minutes last night Zion still would have had a chance to be perfect from the field. We just struggled to even challenge his shot. Not sure the bigs we have committed will help with this but it's something to watch.

We're not real instinctive offensively
We score when we make shots and I actually think we're a little bit better offensively than we sometimes give this team credit for. With Frank coming on the past couple games he's a decent weapon (shooting 39% on threes the past month) and it gives us five guys that can go for 15-20 on any given night (Frank, Tyus, Buddy, Brissett, Hughes) and we can get some contributions from Dolezaj as well. Not a vintage Cuse team but better than last year and not bad overall.

But we rarely seem to get easy buckets which leaves us prone to long stretches of missing jumpers. There are just so many situations in a game where we don't seem to connect on an opportunity -- we missed Brissett slipping a screen in the second half that would have been an easy bucket (unless he blows the layup, but I digress); Hughes has a 2-on-1 with Frank but they don't fill lanes and Hughes just makes a 1-on-1 move (he gets fouled and finishes, but it's not great basketball); we get the ball to Oshae in the post and he makes a nice move but he's a little out of control and draws 3 duke defenders and gets blocked while the other four SU players just watch; we almost never seem to hit someone cutting to the basket in the halfcourt ...

It's just interesting with Duke playing that pressure defense that we never make them pay for that aggressiveness. It's just one-on-one and try to finish. As we head into 19-20 (after we go win a title), it's something we need to get better at. I think Jalen helps a little with that but we desperately need to improve off-ball next season if we want to see legit offensive improvement.

This could still be a team that sees the second weekend
I don't know how likely we are to see the sweet 16, but I think we're legitimately better (not by a huge margin) than last year's team and I don't think we're any worse than the final four team with malachi/lydon/G/Cooney. A lot will depend on draw and matchups, but if we are where we are making some shots, we could still potentially be a tough out.
 

bballbeadle

Woman of a certain age
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
16,406
Like
40,000
Bill, I always enjoy your write ups. Thank you for taking the time and thought to do them. Two bracketologists have us in the south playing Kentucky in the Round of 32. Is it crazy that I think we can beat them? However, that same bracket has Duke as #2 and I don’t like that one bit. But all of this is conjecture until Sunday night.

I like our team’s attitude going into the Tourney.
 

orange44

2nd String
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
520
Like
493
Bill, I always enjoy your write ups. Thank you for taking the time and thought to do them. Two bracketologists have us in the south playing Kentucky in the Round of 32. Is it crazy that I think we can beat them? However, that same bracket has Duke as #2 and I don’t like that one bit. But all of this is conjecture until Sunday night.

I like our team’s attitude going into the Tourney.
No it is not crazy...we can beat them!!
 

SoBristol

All Conference
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
3,172
Like
3,035
Biggest problem there is with this group.
Biggest problem is that we are weak at the center position. Chukwu can be ok defensively, but he needs to avoid fouling and stay in games. With more strength at center, we would get our share of easy baskets inside. We simply do not.
 

MadNY3

All American
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
4,207
Like
10,560
In lieu of having a true playmaking PG, I’d love to see the offense run more through Marek. Would love him to be doing 10pt 5 assist games routinely.

And I’d like Oschae to make layups. I have never ever seen a forward so good and not finishing around the rim.
 

OrangeDW

Living Legend
Joined
Aug 8, 2012
Messages
59,129
Like
175,641
In lieu of having a true playmaking PG, I’d love to see the offense run more through Marek. Would love him to be doing 10pt 5 assist games routinely.

And I’d like Oschae to make layups. I have never ever seen a forward so good and not finishing around the rim.

Marek is much more effective as a playmaker against zones than man to man’s from my observations.

Oshea had a great finish with his left hand where he got bodied (no call if I remember right) yesterday...every now and then he’ll do something like that, that gives me hope he can develop into a strong finisher.
 

SouthernCuse

Starter
Joined
Aug 21, 2011
Messages
1,280
Like
1,736
Good writeup. Duke seemed to collapse 3 often on the attempted drive, JC (once that caused a turnover) and Oshae several times. This tactic worked for them as the drives got nowhere. The classic response to this is the bounce pass to the opposite side of the paint, where we have an open man. This would cause defensive hesitation and more opportunities for the driver to get to the rim. But we just don't seem to be able to execute this play on O.

Next best I suppose is to throw it out to the open shooter, but OB gets really committed to his drives.
 

RobVTX

Walk On
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Messages
112
Like
123
In lieu of having a true playmaking PG, I’d love to see the offense run more through Marek. Would love him to be doing 10pt 5 assist games routinely.

And I’d like Oschae to make layups. I have never ever seen a forward so good and not finishing around the rim.
IMHO the game just doesn't seem to have slowed down for him. I thought the same thing about Terrence Roberts (ithinkway back when
In lieu of having a true playmaking PG, I’d love to see the offense run more through Marek. Would love him to be doing 10pt 5 assist games routinely.

And I’d like Oschae to make layups. I have never ever seen a forward so good and not finishing around the rim.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
161,664
Messages
4,411,463
Members
5,670
Latest member
cusenj

Online statistics

Members online
315
Guests online
983
Total visitors
1,298




Top Bottom