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Previewing Duke

2009 Scouting Report/Schedule
2009 Game Plan
2009 Stats
2009 Roster

Duke Offense 07-08Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%53.638Turnover Rate18.128Off Reb Rate33.8131FTA/FGA40.953Duke Offense 08-09Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%52.657Turnover Rate19.8116Off Reb Rate40.713

No one is quite sure when it happened, but we know that at some point earlier in the decade, Coach K put his master plan in motion. That plan: build a cracker-powered juggernaut of epically honky proportions. Though they are not yet satisfied, it would seem that the Blue Devils have reached their goal. Led shrewdly and with great petulance, this self-congratulatory bunch has hugged it out straight to the top of the Pomeroy Ratings. High five, dudes!

Excessive ass smack and chest-bump-heavy celebration, atta boys and let's goes, floor slaps and hand claps--these are the pillars of success in the time of K. I cannot imagine anything more loathsome.


Nolan Smith (6-2, 185) -- Surpassed Greg Paulus on the depth chart, and it's easy to see why: he's much better off the dribble and doesn't need to hand check constantly in order to stay in front of his man at the defensive end. He's become someone the Blue Devils rely on to score--he takes 22.6% of the shots when he's on the floor, which is the third-highest workload on the team.

Jon Scheyer (6-5, 185) -- Driving the lane with his mouth agape, Scheyer accidentally swallowed a disoriented hummingbird in Duke's November 23rd game against Montana, which earned him a strongly-worded reprimand from PETA.

Gerald Henderson (6-4, 215) -- Both his FT% and 3FG% are way up in 2009; his new-found three-point accuracy has been particularly important for a team that's struggled from outside to this point. Henderson is one of just two Blue Devils shooting above 33.3% beyond the arc.

Kyle Singler (6-8, 235) -- Building on a fine freshman campaign, Singler has improved in a number areas to become one of the more diverse contributors in the ACC. He's rebounding better at both ends, getting to the line more often, dishing more assists, while maintaining the scoring efficiency he displayed a year ago despite increasing his involvement in the offense.

Brian Zoubek (7-1, 280) -- He remains as foul prone as ever (7.1/40min) but otherwise appears to have taken a step forward. In a bigger role, Zoubek is shooting 62% and would be the ACC's leading offensive rebounder if he had enough minutes to qualify.


Greg Paulus (6-1, 185), Lance Thomas (6-8, 220), Elliot Williams (6-4, 180), and David McClure (6-6, 215) round out the guys averaging double-digit minutes.

A look at Greg Paulus's interesting career path:

 %Min %Shots Ast% TO% 3FGA/FGA 3FG%
2006 80.5 11.9 26.1 32.8 36.3 31.4
2007 80.0 20.3 23.5 27.1 53.0 45.0
2008 69.1 19.4 19.9 17.2 70.3 42.3
2009 43.4 16.5 13.0 19.5 80.3 33.3

He seems like more of a two-guard these days, and it isn't uncommon to see him playing alongside Nolan Smith, with Smith handling the point duties. As he's transformed from distributor to more of a three-point specialist, not surprisingly, both his assist and turnover rates have declined.

Lance Thomas does not contribute often, but he's scoring more efficiently than at any other point in his career, and he's managed to avoid killing a lot of possessions with turnovers. He is every rebound needs an adjective personified--very good at the offensive end, terrible at the defensive end.

Duke Defense 07-08Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%47.668Turnover Rate24.517Off Reb Rate33.8216FTA/FGA31.9
77Duke Defense 08-09Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%43.726Turnover Rate24.230Off Reb Rate30.376

Defensively, the Devils are doing what they always do: they stick to opponents like Karl Hess-approved glue, utterly depriving them of three-pointers, or anything else, really. And they don't foul (apparently). In terms of effective height, this is one of the taller Duke teams in recent memory, and their 2FG% defense is outstanding. They force plenty of turnovers--Singler, Scheyer, and Smith all rank in the top 300 in steal percentage.

In three conference games, this is what State's offense has done:

OffEff eFG% TO% OR% FTR
91.7 44.2 26.7 35.8 39.9

A struggling offense--perhaps the ACC's worst here in early conference play--going up against what might be the ACC's best defense is about as lopsided as it gets.

The Pomeroy Predictor likes Duke by 22.