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Gary Williams's thoughts on the Blue Devils

Coach Gary Williams began his session with reporters Friday by pointing to the disparity between Duke's performances at home and on the road this season before delving into his assessment of the Blue Devils, who are ranked No. 7 in the nation.

"They’re shooting 10 percentage points higher overall and from the three-point line at home," Williams said. "They’re one of the bigger teams in the league in a year when the league is very big, in terms of inside players. In the Carolina game they shot 31 percent and still won the game because they had 23 offensive rebounds and, you know, really hurt Carolina on the glass. It’s a very physical team inside and they have three great players on the perimeter in Smith, Scheyer and Singler. Until we see Thomas not show up, you know, we’re assuming he’s going to play."

Let's address those points individually, shall we? The shooting improvements at home, as opposed to on the road speak for themselves. Not much to add there.

As for the size advantage that Duke possesses, Williams certainly makes a good point there. The Blue Devils start a small forward (Kyle Singler) who is 6 feet 8. Their usual starting front court consists of 6-10 Miles Plumlee and 6-8 Lance Thomas, though Thomas is doubtful for Saturday's game with a right knee injury. In reserve, Duke can offer 7-1 Brian Zoubek, 6-10 Mason Plumlee and 6-10 Ryan Kelly. The Blue Devils are the ACC's top rebounding unit (plus-4.3 rebounding margin) in conference play. They also rank first in the conference in offensive rebounds (14.5 per game) in ACC play.

As for Duke's perimeter players, the Blue Devils rely heavily on Nolan Smith, Jon Scheyer and Singler to put points on the board. Scheyer (18.8 pionts per game), Singler (17.6) and Smith (17.1) rank fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively, in the ACC in scoring in conference play. All three of those players are averaging more than 37.5 minutes per game.

As for Thomas, tests on his right knee Thursday indicated a severe bone bruise but no ligament damage. He has not been ruled out of Saturday's game, though he remains doubtful to play.

"He's been kind of our emotional leader and our best defender inside," Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski said, according to the Charlotte News & Observer

Williams said one of the things Duke does well is kick the ball out to the perimeter after grabbing offensive rebounds.

"That’s when teams are effective shooting the three because you’re not in your defense," Williams said. "You know, your defense is messed up because everybody’s been in there rebounding."

Led by Singler, who is shooting 40.7 percent from the three-point line, Duke is making 34.9 percent of its shots from beyond the arc in conference play, which ranks third in the ACC. Scheyer is shooting 36.6 percent from three-point range.

Speaking of Scheyer, Williams said Duke's senior point guard is playing with more confidence this season.

"He’s playing with two guys he’s really comfortable with in terms of if you want to call Singler a guard or a forward or whatever he is," Williams said. "He’s really comfortable that, if he drives, they’ll get to a place where he can kick it if the defense does a good job on him. He’s not afraid to try to take over the game this year. In other words, if Duke is struggling offensively, he’ll take more shots, things like that, which all good players do when they feel there’s a need for it."

But Williams stopped short of describing Scheyer as a true point guard, pointing out that three Duke players share ballhandling responsibilities and that Scheyer is "their main ball-handler." Regardless, Scheyer is averaging 4.7 assists per game in league play and owns a 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranks third in the ACC.

By Steve Yanda  |  February 12, 2010; 1:21 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Gary Williams: Doubling up in the post 'a gamble'


Another classic

Posted by: Barno1 | February 12, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Gotta agree with the poster who said keeping Duke's 3-point shooting in check is key. The Devils always seems to be a team that lives and/or dies by the 3.

If we can keep their 3's in check (and as I always say limit turnovers and Duke's 2nd chances on the offensive glass) we should hopefully do okay. Also agree with the notion that we'll have to be disciplined in our 1/2-court offense.

Last night I was having some trouble falling asleep, tossing and turning, and watching The Simpsons dvds weren't helping.

So what'd I do? I put on some of JJ's spoken word poetry from youtube and I was out like a light.

Also, Hugh, I feel bad because when I posted my upcoming weather I was actually incorrect. Local forecasters have updated their models and are now forecasting highs in the 80's for this weekend.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 12, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I hate every ape I see
From chimpan-A to chimpanzee
No you'll never make a monkey out of me

Oh my God, I was wrong
It was earth all along
You've finally made a monkey..

Apes: Yes we finally made a monkey..

Yes you've finally made a monkey out of me..

I love you Dr. Zaius

Posted by: Barno1 | February 12, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse


Forgot about that one. One of my favorites.


Glad to hear how much you love the JJ link.

Posted by: larry31 | February 12, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Oh my lord.

Barno quoting Simpson's, and an excellent one at that. All I can says is that post only has now me thinking about this scene in Step Brothers:

Did we just become best friends?


Do you wanna do karate in the garage?


Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 12, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and I'll see your Dr. Zauis and raise you a:

You see, some men hunt for sport,
Others hunt for food.
The only thing I'm hunting for,
Is an outfit that looks good.

See my vest, see my vest,
Made from real gorilla chest.
Feel this sweater, there's no better,
Than authentic Irish Setter!

See this hat, 'twas my cat.
My evening wear, a vampire bat.
These white slippers are albino
African endangered rhino!

Grizzly bear underwear,
Turtles' necks, I've got my share.
Beret of poodle on my noodle it shall rest!

Try my red robin suit,
It comes one breast or two...
See my vest, see my vest, see my vest.

Like my loafers,
Former gophers,
It was that or skin my chauffeurs,
But a greyhound fur tuxedo would be best..

So let's prepare these dogs,
Kill two for matching clogs,
See my vest!
See my vest!
Oh please, won't you see my vest!

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 12, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Hutz: Now don't you worry, Mrs. Simpson, I - uh-oh. We've drawn Judge Snyder.

Marge: Is that bad?

Hutz: Well, he's kind of had it in for me, since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace 'accidentally' with 'repeatedly'...and replace 'dog' with 'son'.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 12, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

You could close down Moe's or the Kwik-e-Mart, and nobody would care
But the heart and sole of Springfield's in
Are Maisson Derriere

We're the sauce on your steak
We're the cheese in your cake
We put the spring in Springfield

We're the lace on your nightgown
The point after touchdown
Yes we put the spring in Springfield

We're that little extra spice that makes existence extra nice
A giddy little thrill at a reasonable price

Our only major quarrels are your total lack of morals

Our skimpy costumes ain't so bad
They seem to entertain your dad

The gin in your martini
The clams on your linguinie
Yes we keep the BOING in Springfield

We remember our first visit
The service was exsquisite

Why Joseph I had no idea
Come on now you were working here

Without it we'd of had no fun since March of 1961
To shut them down now would be twisted
We just heard this place existed

We're the highlights in your hairdo
The extra arms on Vishnu
So don't take a BOING

We won't take a (Slidewhistle noise)
Yes let's keep the BAM
In Springfield!

Posted by: Barno1 | February 12, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Wow. As if anyone needed more proof that "The Simpsons" brings the world together, well, there it is.

There it hella is.

Posted by: info_stuporhighway | February 12, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

But Mr.Hutz, your card says "Works on commission No money down"? What? that's a typo: "Works on commission? No, money down!"

Posted by: Realness1 | February 12, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

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