Saturday, March 17, 2007
Tommy Amaker was fired today as head coach at Michigan. Make that two programs he couldn't get off the floor (Seton Hall, remember?).
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Duke just can't play defense right now. As John Feinstein notes in the Washington Post,
So it's obvious - Duke doesn't have any "motherfuckers" - as Feinstein once wrote about in A Season Inside. Players like David Henderson. Or Danny Meagher. Guys who the other team just do not want to deal with. And of course, there's none of the defensive intensity that marked most of their early-season games. Now, there's still a lot of people who hate Duke, don't get us wrong. The St. Pete Times wrote a customary article on the subject heading into the ACC tourney (including a quote from Michael Hemmerich, who we remember back from Prodigy's Duke message board, and from the Duke Basketball Report.
The change though isn't so much about numbers but about aura. In past years, Duke would have beaten State on Thursday night. Someone would have hit a big shot; someone would have taken a charge that would have left opposing fans screaming that the Duke kid flopped. An N.C. State shot would have rimmed out the way Greg Paulus's three-point attempt did in overtime for Duke. Fans
would have left the building grumbling about Duke getting all the
calls. Not anymore. These days Duke is symbolized by Josh McRoberts, who simply couldn't defend State's Brandon Costner (career-high 30 points) and spent much of the evening pulling the ball out of the net and screaming at teammates as if it were their fault that he couldn't -- as Bob Knight once eloquently put it -- guard the floor.
Don't look for Duke to go past the second round - assuming they even make it out of the first.