7:00 PM Monday on ESPN. Cory Alexander and Rece Davis on the call.
My (very long-winded) thoughts:
I’m really worried about us matching up with Duke’s star this year, forward Paolo Banchero (17.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg). He’s too quick off the dribble for Jayden Gardner, too big for Armaan Franklin, and god forbid we end up with a Kody-Paolo matchup at some point. There are really no good options for guarding him — I’d personally go with Gardner, because he can prevent Paolo from getting free baskets in the post, but if Banchero gets his jumpshot going at all things could get really ugly.
Forward AJ Griffin (9.9 ppg, 50.0 3PT%) has been awesome for Duke as well – he plays strangely few minutes for a projected high-lottery pick, but is crazy efficient while he’s on the floor, shooting 57% on twos and 50% on threes thus far. He’s coming off his best game of the season against UNC, where he scored 27 points on 8-11 shooting. Once UNC moved Leaky Black onto Paolo, it was free buckets all game for Griffin.
Big man Mark Williams (9.9 ppg, 69.9 FG%) could also give us some trouble. He’s also a bona fide NBA prospect, who’s been moving his way up draft boards because of how neatly he fits the modern NBA role-player-center archetype. Williams has been the DPOY in the ACC so far this year, as the defensive anchor on the conference’s best defensive team. He also leads the ACC in blocks per game and DBPM. Williams is a great rim protector who operates well on offense as a screener & roller. He has good chemistry with Banchero and Wendell Moore, from what I’ve seen. He isn’t quite as dominant physically as Armando Bacot was, so don’t expect another 20/20 performance, but Williams will give our bigs some trouble and make things hard on Reece and Jayden attacking the rim.
I’m sure everyone here is already familiar with guard Trevor Keels (11.4 ppg, 1.8 stl/g), haha. He started the year off strong, but has been limited by a calf injury and struggled as of late. He played just 20 minutes against UNC, a season low. His jump shot has been spottier than expected — after starting the year strong at 38.1%, Keels has shot just 28.9% from beyond the arc in his last 15 games. Hard-nosed guard, Marcus-Smart-esque, plays hard. Will absolutely come up with at least one steal in the backcourt.
Guard Jeremy Roach (7.7 ppg, 3.8 apg) has taken Keels’s minutes while he’s dealt with that calf injury. Roach isn’t a great scorer from anywhere on the court, but he knows his role and is a good floor general and distributor — 2.92 AST/TO ratio this year. Coach K likes having him in the game. Very mature player.
Guard Wendell Moore (14.2 ppg, 53.2 FG%) has really come into his own this season. He’s played his way into potentally the back half of the first round of the NBA draft, as his increase in shooting volume offensively has coincided with massive improvements in his efficiency. In his third year at Duke, Moore is averaging 14.2 ppg (previous high: 9.7) while shooting 59% on twos (previous high: 48%) and 40% on threes (previous high: 30%). He isn’t as athletic as Banchero or Griffin, but Moore knows how to put the ball in the basket.
Frankly, this is a really bad matchup for UVA. Banchero is a matchup nightmare, and Duke has smothering athleticism all over the floor along with an elite rim protector, which will make offense challenging for a UVA team that has become reliant on getting to the basket to score their points. Duke is rolling right now, riding a five-game win streak with an average margin of victory of 13 points in those five games. They’re 19-3 this year, with their three losses coming by a combined 8 points. There’s a reason UVA is a 12-point underdog.
All that being said, hey, maybe the Hoos can keep up some positive momentum from their best win of the season, a dominant performance against Miami. Their best shot is to slow the game down, hit some three-pointers, avoid live-ball TOs and keep Duke from getting out in transition, and try and keep things close. I wouldn’t bet on it, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
Duke usually defends the 3 well. it’s like the one defensive philosophy K has, tough 2s over open 3s. Teams are shooting under 30% against them, even worse in conference.
You combine that with a shot blocker like Williams in the middle, has the makings for a really good defense when they’re locked in.
Yeah Duke has oodles more athleticism than we do. They can switch a lot on defense and protect the rim. Also don’t know how we are going to rebound, let alone score, with Paolo AJ Theo and Mark all strong rebounding bigs and Moore and Keels big guards. Miami fortunately couldn’t exploit our rebounding issues but Duke certainly will.
I’d advocate going 5 out on offense and extending on defense. Miami beat them by forcing turnovers and taking care of the ball on the other end, even though they didn’t shoot well from 3 at all.
A zone would come in handy and invite Keels and Roach to shoot threes and hope they miss.
Since we don’t have one, play man with zone principles …. Sag off roach and keels on Banchero, Griffin and Moore and don’t double with Williams man … put Kihei on Roach and let him double down
Here’s hoping for a “hangover” game from them after getting hyped up for the UNC game and an actual hangover from them being bought shots all last night at the Duke bars.
But in all seriousness, Kihei on Roach, Gardner I guess is the best option on Banchero, Papi/Kadin on Williams. Right? Then who out of Armaan and Reece gets Wendell and who gets Griffin? And then when Keels comes in and Roach is on the bench, Keels v. Kihei would be fascinating. I think their whole line-up is 6’5” or taller when Keels is in with the starters.
A) papi needs to maul face early
C) fuck duke
Not saying pkay dirty am saying muck it up. CTB needs to find his inner John Cheney on this one
The only thing that makes me have hope about this game is that half the times in college basketball when everyone says “The match-ups are totally wrong at every spot and there’s no way Team A doesn’t crush Team B”, something weird and contradictory to reason happens and Team B pulls something out of nowhere.
Although I absolutely do not condone violence I wouldn’t mind seeing him choke that rat bastard. Metaphorically speaking.
Got to muck the game up. Play physical without fouling too much but with Cafforo giving an early hard foul to let the freshmen 5 stars know it won’t be easy. But given it’s in Cameron he would probably get a flagrant for that…
If anything, I’d love to see Reece ball fake to the Crazies, have the whole defense jump, and nail a three.
Matchup zone! Kihei patrolling the baseline like Mark Macon.
I have no idea what we will do on D, but I’d consider twin towers: Shed on Paolo and Papi on Williams. I can’t see Gardner paying off enough on O with an athletic defender and off ball rim protector.
But I suspect we will see our base D and base lineup and just pray.
Put Kihei on Mark Williams on defense. Duke will try to force that mismatch every time and might get a 2 every time but at least we avoid a 3pt barrage I guess which is better than the alternative.
Gonna need some mind games or Gardner getting two early fouls on Banchero.
Went to a Bullets game when I was younger. Manute Bol and Muggsy Bogues came out before the team warm ups and played 1 on 1. I’d imagine that’d look something similar. It was…entertaining anyway.
Concur although I think Gardner and Shedrick will have to share responsibilities as I’m guessing both will get into foul trouble guarding Banchero, especially at Cameron. And if it ends up being Kody guarding him, uh oh.
If they go Keels Moore AJ Paolo Mark, our best bet to match them is Reece Armaan Kody Cafarro Kadin i think
Kody - Moore
Armaan - AJ
Reece - Keels (could switch with Armaan)
Kadin’s length on Paolo
Caffaro to box out Mark Williams/Mark isn’t stretch the floor much.
Kadin Caffaro helps with rebounding. And if Mark guards Kadin and Paolo guards Papi, Papi has the opportunity to help Paolo rack up some fouls (or maul his face and take him out of the game completely).
Don’t think this is going to be a strong Jayden game, they have multiple players who can guard him Iso (AJ Paolo Theo Mark) who can bother him with their athleticism like Mutts did when we played the Hokies. And Duke is strong defensively this year so probably no zone defense where Jayden’s jumper might be handy.
I’m going to take this as they are past due for a down game
Honestly i agree on the twin towers. Need that size and history has shown Garner does not play well in these situations with athletic bigs.
Here’s my idea on how to defend Duke. Have Beekman matched up on either Keels or Roach when they are in and play free safety all over the floor - double teaming, playing passing lanes - digging down in the post and sag off those 2. Force them to make threes. Give Keels and Roach 12 open threes and live with the result.