H-S | W-S
Daily Student | Indiana
Daily Student | Indiana
Duke and Indiana tip off Wednesday night, and whatever sense of fraternity
there once was between the two programs is long gone. This game is likely
to be very, very intense, and not particularly friendly.
Start with the presence of Josh McRoberts for Duke, a fact that is not going
to go over well in Alumni Hall. Indiana fans in general feel that the
state's best players should stay home. Sean May got the treatment last
year, and McRoberts will get it this year. We liked Sean May a lot - we
wish he had come to Duke, and he had some interest at some point - but he is at
times a bit sensitive. It's a good quality in a person, but not always
useful in a game.
McRoberts has shown a bit of an emotional edge at times, and on a couple of
occasions, he has taken himself out of a game. Passion is not a bad
quality either, but if people learn you have a temper, they'll goad you.
McRoberts expects the treatment - he has told his family to stay home
Next up on the hit list is J.J. Redick, a guy who has become a target
wherever he plays, and who doesn't much seem to care. This will
probably be the only game this year where he'll be target #2.
And then there's the last Duke-Indiana game, which left a bad taste in Duke's
mouth, with a controversial no-call at the end of the game.
And while we're sure it's not being talked about as part of the game
preparation, our guess (and it's just a guess) is that Krzyzewski is still not
that thrilled about Bob Knight's demise at Indiana. He's not about to make
that an issue in the game - how would that help get anything done? - but on a
personal level, having worked for Knight at Indiana during the glory days, winning there would be a special thing for him.
But the heart of the game will come down to the inside battle between
heavyweights Shelden Williams and Marco Killingsworth, and then the three point
Killingsworth has almost 20 pounds on Williams while giving up an inch.
He has feasted on IU's diet of cupcakes, averaging 20 ppg, almost 10 boards, and
1.3 blocks against
And Indiana has shot brilliantly so far this season, over 58% from the field,
and a lot of those were from behind the line. IU scored 48 points from
three point land in each of their last two games, and it's a sure bet that if
they get almost 50 from back there, Duke will lose.
Still, Western Illinois bothered IU for part of that game, and their
defensive pressure - which you'd expect from a team called Leathernecks - is
probably not as intense as Duke's.
And as long as Shelden Williams avoids foul trouble, Duke will be able to
play Killingsworth without having to double team him, which is what some of IU's
early opponents have done, and will not have to choose their poison from IU's
collection of shooters.
IU is not a huge team. Killingsworth is their inside force. 6-8
Senior Sean Kline has been injured and it's not clear if he'll play. 6-9
D.J. White has also been injured, as has A.J. Ratliff, but he's expected to
return for Duke.
Cem Dinc was thought to be a potentially great late steal, but the Euro
import has not done a lot lately, and is only getting 3.5 minutes against crappy
competition, so at least thus far he's not panning out as well as people thought
Killingsworth, 6-2 Marshall Strickland, 6-4 Roderick Wilmont, 6-5 Robert
Vaden, 5-8 Errek Suhr, Kline when healthy, 6-10 freshman Ben Allen, and 6-3 Earl
Calloway all have gotten double figure minutes, and Killingsworth, Strickland,
Wilmont, Vaden, and Suhr all are averaging double figures, and Ratliff figures
to as well.
Wilmont has proved to be a good rebounder, averaging 8.5 so far.
Davis has raved about his team's passing and says the reason they are
shooting so well is because they are passing so well. Fair enough.
Duke likes to get out in the lanes, though, and pressure the passes, and
usually does fairly well defending the line, and they can gamble a bit with
Williams and, increasingly, McRoberts, to cover any overplays.
We're not familiar enough with IU to know who will guard Redick, but they no
doubt watched the Memphis tape and saw the Tigers run a series of defenders at
him. Don't be shocked if they try the same strategy.
They'll certainly try to bait Williams into foul trouble, and we're sure
they'll try to psyche McRoberts out.
This would be a good game for Lee Melchionni to shake out of his early season
funk, needless to say.
To us, this game turns on a fairly basic point: has Indiana's early-season
success looked better than it really is because they have played such weak
teams? And if not, can Duke disrupt their passing and pressure their
shooting enough to win?
A secondary theme is going to be who scores. When Memphis shut Redick
down in the second half, Duke pounded the ball inside to Williams - many of them
either assists or passes after a pass from Greg Paulus.
And Davis has made it clear that he prefers to run. In a game like
that, Paulus has a chance to really shine.
Still, other people are going to have to score. Melchionni is a logical
choice, but Sean Dockery is capable as well, and McRoberts has been coming on
quite a bit. He has a bit of a mean streak, and it wouldn't shock us if he chose this game to put on a show (and in his case, it'll happen by choice, when he's ready, because he'd been deferring to his elders).
But the wild card, to us, is Martynas Pocius.
Everyone has seen him do something nifty by now, but his athleticism and his
creativity haven't registered completely for everyone. He has to get
stronger, and he has a lot to learn about defense, but this kid is unusually
promising, in our opinion.
Duke will be favored, of course, as the #1 team in the country usually is,
but there are a lot of factors in this game. We might bet a ham sandwich
on it, but we wouldn't bet the rent money.