Thursday, December 3, 2009

Duke Box Score Observations (by turumon)

Opening Comments: In case you missed it, UW played Duke last night.

Another signature win and we are only starting December – Arizona, Maryland, and now Duke. A game like this further cements Bo’s reputation.

A word of caution: A team is not as good as their best win nor as bad as their worst loss.

I hope this was not our best win and that we have many more to come, but it is a long season and things happen.

Summarizing the game in a few words: UW had extra possessions from turnovers and invested them in threes. They made enough to win the game.

Pace: The game was played at a UW-approved 62 possessions. Duke typically plays at 69 and UW 64.

Efficiency: Was it offense or defense? This game was won on the offensive end, although our defense did fine considering we were playing one of the best offenses in the nation.

UW rolled to 1.18 PPP and held Duke to 1.11.

UW averages 1.06 on offense and Duke defends at .87. So, for UW to score 1.18 is remarkable indeed.

Duke scores at 1.19 and UW defends at .93. So, for UW to keep Duke at 1.11 is good defense (or bad offense for Duke – take your pick).

Shooting: The shooting was a mirror image of each other, except at the line where Duke ruled.

eFG%: This was a dead heat. Duke hit 50.9%, UW 50.8%.

3 pt shooting: Duke hit a slightly better percentage, but put up fewer 3’s. Duke was 6-14 for 43% while UW was 8-20 for 40%. UW scored a plus 6 from deep. Given that the 2’s were even-steven, where did the extra threes come from? Turnovers.

2pt shooting: I will present the numbers and you can do the analysis. Duke 18-39, 46%. UW 18-39, 46%.

1pt shooting: One team had quantity, the other quality. Duke hit a breathtaking 15-16 for 94% while UW labored with 13-19 for 60%. UW got three extra shots and scored two fewer points. Good for Duke, but not enough.

Rebounding: Rebounding was pretty close, with UW getting a small advantage.

UW Defensive end: On UW’s defensive end, there were 30 opportunities and UW held ground giving Duke only 8 boards, or 27%. That is very good, but typical for UW over the last few years. I was very concerned about rebounding going into this year, but it looks like things are staying where they were, which is a very good place indeed.

UW Offensive End: When UW was attacking, there were 36 rebounding opportunities and UW snared 12 for 33%. That is the national average, but better than average for UW. Like I say every week, UW will forgo offensive rebounds to play half court defense. So, anything above 30% is good. In contrast, MSU crashes the offensive boards and gets 40% regularly. Who knows how many points they give up using this strategy? That stat is not kept. But, it works for them.

Turnovers: TO’s were the story of the game.

Duke did a good job protecting the ball giving up only 11 turnovers, or 18% (national average is 21%). That is close to their average of 15.7%, which is one of the best in the nation. The most memorable TO happened with 4 seconds to go.

However, UW did an even better job. UW committed but 5 TO’s or 8%. UW took those extra possessions and scored enough to create the winning margin. I never would have guessed this result considering how Duke abused UW with pressure defense two short years ago.

Fouls: Duke fouled 18 times and UW 14 for a total of 32 fouls called the whole game. There are teams that foul that much in single games. in the Arizona game, 54 fouls were whistled.

As noted earlier, UW ended up with 3 extra free throw attempts but failed to take advantage and were outscored by 2 from the line.

Playing time: Bo went 7 deep. JBO and Hughes played nearly the whole game – both logged 38 minutes. Besides the starters, Taylor played 22 and Evans 21. Berggren got 3 minutes and Bruesewitz 2.

As an aside, one thing Bo has managed brilliantly is keeping a veteran team around. He does not go into a season, other than his first, needing to rely on freshmen. In this game, Berggren and Bruesewitz got a few quality minutes against top notch competition. They were not asked to do something they were not ready to do. That is a key element in Bo’s consistent winning, IMHO.

Notable Performances: What a great day for Hughes. He scored 26 on 16 shots, 4-4 from the line, 4-7 from deep, two boards and no turnovers. Trevon, long will the tales of your exploits be told around the campfires of my people. In fact, I might start a fire tonight in his honor.

Leuer score 17 but needed 14 FGA’s to do it. He was but 4-8 from the line. He had 7 boards and no turnovers.

JBO somehow scored 10 points despite going 0-6 from deep. He chipped in 4 boards as well. JBo did not block a shot. What’s wrong with him? Bo, coach him up.

Singler played like an All American – not much of surprise there. He knocked down 28 on 17 shots, 7-7 from the line, 1-4 from deep and chipped in 6 boards. The only blemish were his 3 TO’s, the last one sealing the game for UW. If my people decide to discuss opponents around the campfire, you will get a mention.

Dawkins coming in and knocking down 4-4 three pointers nearly pulled Dukes nuts out of the fire.

I found it curious that Bo put Hughes on Scheyer and Bohannon on Smith. That worked great. Scheyer was 2-7 from the floor and Smith 5-17. Although they scored 25 between them, they did not impact the game as expected from my perspective.

Grading Shetown’s expectations:

1. The Badgers grab 67% or more of the rebounding opportunities on defense. Duke has been rebounding 41% of their misses. However I think they have had this success due to smaller, less disciplined opponents. This stops against Wisconsin. Hit: UW got 73% defensive and 33% offensive.

2. Leuer and Nankivil combine for more than 25 points and 10 free throw attempts. Duke’s 3 main post players, Plumlee, Thomas, and Zoubek, all average more than 5.6 fouls per 40 minutes. Zoubek is at an astounding 9.5! For comparison’s sake, the foul happy freshman version of Jordan Taylor averaged 6.1. None of them have 3-point range, so they may feel more uncomfortable guarding Keaton and Jon on the perimeter, leading to a few more fouls than normal. Miss, sort of. You said “more than” 25 points and they scored 25 exactly. They had 9, not 10 FTA’s.

3. The Badgers hold Duke to less than 35% from three-point range. Wisconsin gives up 25.4% from 3 and Duke shoots 40.8%. Something’s gotta give, and I think Wisconsin wins the battle with great close-outs and hands in the face. Miss. They hit 43%.

4. The Badgers slow down Duke's transition game, holding them to less than 4 fast break points. This season Duke is averaging 8 points per game in fast break points and they rung up the Badgers for 17 the last time they faced each other in 2007. Hit: Duke scored 0 fast break points.

My Prediction: The Devils make the Badgers blue, 77-70 in a 68-possession game. Let's hope I'm wrong. Miss, thank goodness. UW wins 73-69 in 62 possessions.

Closing Thoughts: I thought I saw Brian Butch behind the bench. It is great to see our past heroes at games.

I really love the B10/ACC Challenge – even the years we lose. I found myself actively interested in all 10 other games. That would not normally happen this time of year. While other schools were playing Wofford or some geographically challenged Carolina school, our two conferences were testing each other straight up.

Another way to look at this from a fan’s perspective is, “How much is this ticket worth on the secondary market?” Any game against an ACC school is going to be worth more than any game against a Sun Belt conference school.

I know why schools schedule buy games – I get that. But, from a fan’s perspective, I would rather risk a bad loss than have a sure win.

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