What to make of this very early rematch of an early season
classic? Even though Coach K said he didn't like it, we see it as a break for
Well, because a) it's likely to be another game with a
championship aura, and b) we're thinking Duke will be keenly focused on the
lessons learned in the last Temple game and the last Illinois game as well,
and c) Duke has more time to focus on the game. Win or lose, we think it'll be
their best game of the year (so far). And if it's another great game, you can pretty
much write it down: Duke and Temple will be in the same bracket come March.
Temple was impressive in a number of respects, not least of all
Lynn Greer, who was very good, and Kevin Lyde, who handled himself well under
the basket.Â They also took care of the ball brilliantly and controlled the
tempo to a surprising extent.Â Â
It's worth mentioning as well that some key Duke players didn't
exactly have sterling games last time.Â Mike Dunleavy, for instance, didn't
maneuver well inside vs. the matchup zone.Â Nat James was 1-7 from the
floor.Â Battier was 3-9 and Williams, who had a sterling floor game, was
Clearly the zone did what it is designed to do: slow the pace of
the game and frustrate shot selection.Â Bravo!
Here's something we've noticed about Duke over the Krzyzewski
years:Â whenever Duke gets spanked, the rematch is usually highly
interesting. Now obviously Duke didn't get spanked iin the first game, but they
did get challenged.Â Boy, did they.Â If you'll remember, Vitale said
at one point that the Temple players seemed to have all the energy and
momentum.Â And he was right.
So keeping in mind what we said about rematches, our guess is
that K is working overtime to get ready for Temple's unique brand of
basketball.Â There is a new strategy in place, and some subtle and
different attacks.Â We don't know what they are, but they're coming.
And of course they could backfire, Temple could run away with
it.Â Having just lost to this team a few days ago, they'll have a good idea
how to attack as well.Â Â Â And Duke couldn't do what they usually
do and force tons of steals for easy layups.
Our guess? Duke will either come out a bit tentative, or they'll
come out like the Marines storming Okinawa.Â There won't be a middle
Finally, we're guessing that Duke will be watching the tape of the Miami University game, since Miami just upset them. Temple may have been looking ahead. Well, so have we. Let's do it!