Posts Tagged ‘Greg Paulus’

“Are you ready for a War?” Duke vs. Pitt

December 20, 2007

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“…I’m not finished… Before we let you leave, your commander must cross that field, present himself before this army, put his head between his legs, and kiss his own arse.”

I’m pretty sure the players don’t have the same lust and zeal for Pittsburgh Panther blood that I have and there certainly won’t be any William Wallace-type speeches going on in the huddle tonight. With that said, I’m readying myself for battle, per usual. I just pounded out the first obligatory shit talking email (you gotta put your smack on record) to a few Pitt Alums I’m cool with, I successfully cleared my afternoon schedule in order to assure my timely placement in front of my tv for that ridiculously early 7 pm start time and just now I’m halfway through cutting my fine Brooks Brother sweater vest into a make shift, “I wish a nilla would,” wife beater (gotta keep it gangsta couture).

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(Is this cat serious?)

With all that said, I must admit, I’m a little leery about tonight’s match-up with a solid Pitt team that seems to have everything a squad needs to send our squad into a tailspin. Here’s the UvT rundown:

BACKCOURT
Advantage: Duke
Let’s face it, you can only legitimately play two backcourt players at any one time. I know, I know, if Coach K had it his way, he’d run 6 guards out there. Indeed, but I’m looking at the backcourt as if we didn’t play run’n gun, small ball express at 4 positions all the time. Yes it kind of worked for the Illini back in the Kendall Gill era, but they didn’t cut them nets down now did they and cutting down nets is what it’s about in Durham.

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The Pitt backcourt is very competent with solid penetration, legitimate 3-point threats and good ball distribution from the starters and bench help. With that said, the Duke depth at backcourt is bound to give Levance Fields and Maxwell Jr. Jr. aka Ronald “U need a Razor” Ramon trouble.
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Ramon is crafty, smart and a good shooter, but he isn’t the biggest 2-guard around. I’m hoping the size of Scheyer and Hendo and the athleticism of Markie will give him trouble. The beauty of our team is that we can send different looks at him all game long. Fields is a bigger problem for the Syracuse brawler, Greg P to deal with. Luckily, we’ve got a hot defensive stopper waiting to get out there and contribute in Nolan Smith. If Greg P has issues, look for K to make a quick switch so we can get some ball pressure on Fields. If Duke isn’t successful at causing havoc for the Pitt guards, then you might as well call it a night. Still, we’re better and deeper at the guard and these fools haven’t really played anyone yet, so hopefully this will match up will carry the day for Duke.

FRONTCOURT
Advantage: Pitt
What can be said about Duke’s frontcourt that hasn’t already been said about Afghanistan and the Chicago Bears (they are who we thought they were). So when I’m talking about Duke’s post players, I need a term that works where our frontcourt lives, a place called What-Da-Fucka-Shoulda-Gotta-Patrick-Patterson-stan.
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Anyway, Pitt has hot post players of the fast twitch, quick second jumping variety. DeJuan Blair is a monster on the blocks. Incidentally, if your squad ever has to tangle with a black dude who clearly has a non-black, though still ethnic name (“Juan”), that’s trouble for you. And if it’s modified by a La, Le, Da or De, that’s even worse and worse still is if they add an accent mark or a tilde of some sort. Don’t ask why, but cats with those names will consistently give it to you in athletic endeavors. Not true you say? Mario Williams (Houston Texans), LeBron James, and Juan Dixon just come off my dome. But it’s really more applicable to lunch pale, hard-hittin’, never heard of him, go to battle every day in the paint type cats. They will murder you and at least 40% of their talent is due to whatever factors lead to their mother giving them that name. The name is simply a bi-product.

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Uhh, where was I? Oh yeah, but by half-time, be clear, plenty of us will be saying “DeJuan’s a mufucka” because that cat is going to eat our frontcourt players. Singler is tall and talented, but he’s not really a frontcourt guy and he certainly hasn’t been tested like this. Lance Thomas is hurt with that bum ankle, hell, I’m not sure Lance could bang with this cat if he was healthy and Zoub…awww hell, let’s just hope Zoub brought his 5 fouls, two put backs and a Snickers so that he can be really satisfied on the end of that bench. Homey will be ineffective tonight.
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(This right here, it’s all I need from Zoub….all I want)

Duke wants him to be big in spots like this, I don’t think he can be though. One thing is for sure, he’s auditioning for the “Who wants to contain Balco T aka Hansbrough” job tonight.
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(We know this cat doesn’t mind “containing” ole Balco T)
Let’s just sit back and see. Who knows, maybe the curly hair gangsta, Dave McClure will come in and give us a spark. He’s got heart and he’ll be back up to his old stomping grounds. Curl could be huge.

BENCH
Advantage Duke
Two words: No, it aint “Mos Def, K-West, hot shit”, those words are Jonathan Scheyer.

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Homey has been on fire of late. I’m just hoping Jon is peaking and tweaking on his new role as 6th man. I like it for him. Team’s can’t key on him and he’s just chopping that wood man. Jon could be a key contributor off the bench for Pitt. Add a juice seeking Taylor “I should be Duke’s” King into the mix on the big stage that is MSG and you’ve got something cooking for Pitt.
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I can’t wait to see these two cats check in at the scorer’s table. Great change of pace personnel, great contributions off the pine, Duke’s bench is the key to this game for me. And Jon, bring hell with you off the bench homey.. give em hell.

COACHING
Advantage: Duke
This may seem a bit self-indulgent, but honestly, I’ve got to give Coach K credit this year. Yes, he’s always been a great coach, but finally dude is matching style of play with personnel in a major way. He’s not playing favorites (as much), he’s not letting garbage match ups undo our team just for the sake of keeping with “Duke defensive principles”.. I mean, homey is mixing in some zone. He’s yanking cats who don’t match up well or who don’t have the hot win. I mean, dude is really getting in there and putting the team in the best position to win over all else. Or at least that’s what I see and I’ve been watching Duke hoop closely under K for a clean 15 years now. This is the first year where I feel like he’s really making changes for the better. I’m quite certain he always has, but I love how deep we go. I love how he’s using his talent and I love how he’s gone with the hot hand depending on the game. Jamie Dixon is a nice coach, but he’s no legend and he’s no genius. With that said, his style of play, rough and tough, hard-nose rebounding and defense, is the kind that historically has given Duke a hard time, especially with a liberal whistle.

INTANGIBLES
MSG is Cameron Indoor North…nuff said.

Duke wins by 5 with a free throw nail biter at the end.

Go Duke.

– Lake

Duke puts that thang on Illinois

November 21, 2007

I was happy to see the boys in Blue handle their business last night against those Fightin’ Illini en route to a sound 79-66 decision.

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VISITORS: Duke 4-0
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
12 Kyle Singler         f  3-6    0-1    2-3    0  1  1   5   8  1  3  0  1  25
42 Lance Thomas         f  2-2    0-0    1-2    0  1  1   4   5  0  1  1  1  25
03 Greg Paulus          g  2-6    2-4    4-4    0  3  3   2  10  4  1  0  1  31
15 Gerald Henderson     g  8-15   2-4    5-8    1  4  5   1  23  1  0  2  0  26
21 DeMarcus Nelson      g  6-8    0-0    4-6    1  5  6   4  16  2  0  1  0  31
02 Nolan Smith             1-1    1-1    3-4    0  0  0   1   6  0  3  1  1  10
20 Taylor King             0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  0  0  1  0   2
30 Jon Scheyer             2-6    1-3    2-2    1  6  7   1   7  2  2  0  0  32
55 Brian Zoubek            2-2    0-0    0-0    1  2  3   4   4  1  0  1  1  18
   TEAM                                         1  3  4             2
   Totals                 26-46   6-13  21-29   5 26 31  22  79 11 12  7  5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 15-26 57.7%   2nd Half: 11-20 55.0%   Game: 56.5%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  3-6  50.0%   2nd Half:  3-7  42.9%   Game: 46.2%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 11-13 84.6%   2nd Half: 10-16 62.5%   Game: 72.4%    3

Duke started relatively slowly. It seemed like it took them a while to get into the flow of the game. I think that was due in part to Illinois’ decision to neutralize Kyle Singler by putting the more athletic, but still 6 foot 8 inch Randle on him. That worked and Singler shot a modest 3 for 6 from the field.
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But let me tell you, Duke realized that our athletic guys, DeMarcus and G. Hendo, could get into the lane basically whenever they wanted, the flood gates opened up. It all started with DeMarcus really manning up as he added a little finesse to his power game. It paid dividends. Markie was 6 for 8 from the field for 16 points. G, well G just went off.

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Dude poured in 23, but more importantly, he showed diversity in his game. He showed a solid mid range game, he sent the pill home with a few dunks, he even knocked down a couple threes.

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Add to it a few solid rebounds and some defensive plays and you just gotta love what you’re seeing from G Henderson. Dude is finally putting it all together and it’s just a beautiful sight to see. I love seeing DeMarcus, Singler and Hendo in the game together. It just gives us so many ways to score. Add in an aggressive Greg Paulus who looks for his shot and timely plays from Jon Scheyer coming off the bench and you really have something with this team.

You also have to notice and appreciate how Coach K is using Zoubek so much early. No question, use the dude and develop him while you can. But dammit, has that cat ever used the weight room?

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“Always bend at the knees”

I don’t need him to be as light on his feet as sugar ray (and I’m talking about the lead singer of that horrible band) but I do need him to be able to grab a rebound that hits him di-rec-it-tally in his hands. I do need him to jump off the ground more than 2 inches and I do need him to show some heart. It’s still early, but homey needs to put that Patty LaBelle, I’ve got a new attitude, followed by some 50, Onyx, hell, Metallica so we can jump start that man’s ticker.

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Now I aint saying he’s like these nillas, but
he aint doing much out there killa

Tomorrow is a big test in Marquette. Hot guard play and real athletes in the post. They play an up tempo brand of ball and they’re aren’t afraid to mix it up.  Oh and yeah, they blew out Oklahoma State.

Speaking of not being afraid, I liked how Singler really gave that fool a stern look when he tried to buck up to him after that hard foul. What’s wrong with these studio gangster clowns who want to fight whenever someone messes with their styled weaves….by the way, when will the Iverson cornrows go out of style? I’ve always thought they looked a little soft, but at this point, they’re looking like the flattop did circa 1995….it just has to go. Anyway, Singler showed some heart, showed he’s not afraid, hell, showed he might whoop some ass.. I like it.  As for that “tough kid” from IL, dude, it’s basketball.  If you don’t want anyone to touch you, go back to your knitting class.  That’s how you’re eligible anyway, right?

Go Duke.

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– Lake

Greg Monroe chooses “Not Duke” to play his college hoops

October 16, 2007

Sun-uv-a-bitch!!!! Right now would be a good time to go ahead and hit this:

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Oh no, my bad, I meant, it’s time to hit this:

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What in the hell is going on in Durham?!!!!! Why can’t we land a quality big man? I mean, seriously. Wasn’t it last spring when everyone said it was no big deal that we lost out on Patrick Patterson because the guy we “really wanted” was Greg Monroe? Well, guess what, Greg Monroe wanted no parts of Duke U and I think it’s about time we really sit back and ask why.

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Patrick Patterson told us why he didn’t want to come to Duke when he said he couldn’t see himself getting along with the players and staff. Memo to Duke Basketball, stop recruiting the same cat every year. For every JJ Redick, who is a KING by the way, you’ve got 100’s of Marty Pociuses, Chris Collins and Steve Wojos. Don’t get me wrong, those guys are good complimentary players, but it seems like that’s all we get at Duke these days, ie., guys who would be hot IF they didn’t have to be the man every night.

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(Remember these days? Now this was a recruiting class!!!! Note, we had one guy playing the role of Mike Dunleavy, not 4 like we do now)

Scheyer would be a killer next to Jason Williams or, ahem, a player like Tywon Lawson. Greg Paulus would be hot if he had Elton Brand, Shane Battier and Will Avery and before you react like that’s a crazy group to have around one player, remember this, THEY WERE ALL A PART OF THE SAME RECRUITING CLASS.

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Remember these days? How does this fare against this?!

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(who said Duke babes aren’t fine. Believe me, they got some hot ones)

errrr I meant, THIS:

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(Hey, I like Greg P, just with the right tools around him, plus he should be a 2 guard with hot handles and a killer J, not a PG who has a hard time penetrating without using the hook and defending standard issue ACC ones)

See the difference? There is a MAJOR problem with Duke’s recruiting. 5 set shooters from the burbs don’t win National Championships. Two uninspiring assistant coaches who weren’t that hot as players and NEVER sniffed the NBA and a Coach K look-a-like don’t land top recruits from diverse backgrounds anymore. There’s a reason why we keep getting commitments from the same player, look at our staff! Simply put, our recruits are a reflection of our staff and that’s no longer a good thing. And what’s with only offering 4 schollys per class? Offering a measly 4 scholarships as if players should somehow just melt as soon as Duke comes a knockin’ and automatically tune out UNC, Kentucky and Georgetown, three schools that swiped away HUGE blue chip recruits from us, is arrogant, wrongheaded and worst of all, ineffective. Can’t these guys see that?

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Get it together gentlemen. I feel like Don Corleone when he told Sunny to stop “that comedy with that young girl”, I mean I’m beginning to think that this USA Basketball has you guys worrying about the wrong kind of Championship! Sure, Team USA is important but what happened to the credo:

Duke Basketball Team/Unit
Duke Basketball Program/Corp
Lake Arlington/Omniscient just like a god
Team USA/Country

Parity at the guard slot was apparent when ole boy from VCU shredded us for an entire game and then ripped our hearts out in the ahem FIRST ROUND of the NCAA Tournament. Quality bigs, however, will always be in relative short supply.

Please, bring in another assistant. Someone with proven recruiting acumen and something in common with our recruiting targets other than a love for basketball so that maybe we can right this ship. Believe me, the ship needs to be set straight. Shit is NOT ok at Duke right now. Let’s not kid ourselves here. Missing on this many hot blue chip big man prospects in consecutive years IS NOT ACCEPTABLE, I don’t care what anybody says.  Coach preaches accountability, let’s channel MJ and start with the man in the mirror…ask him to make a change.

Pissed…

-Lake