Duke travels to Miami Wednesday for a rematch with the Hurricanes, and having just lost to Wake Forest, it's a good time remember what the Scarecrow asked long ago: and what have you learned, Dorothy?
There were some real lessons to be learned thanks to Wake Forest, and if Duke does well in March, they should all write Dino Gaudio thank-you notes.
The most important thing for this team to not lose sight of is this: they will not win if they get outworked. With a small lineup that depends heavily on three-point shooting, and that runs into mismatches on defense on a nightly basis, Duke can't overpower anyone. And if the three point shots aren't falling, well, they can win those games, but only if they outwork the other team.
That didn't happen at Wake Forest. Miami noticed, and they're waiting their turn to see if they can force their strengths on Duke.
Miami has a really big team, and in Durham, they tried to play much like Clemson of the Rick Barnes era, with a very physical style.
With 6-9 Anthony King, 6-8 Jimmy Graham, 6-8 Dwayne Collins, 6-7 Brian Asbury, and 6-7 Raymond Hicks, Miami has an obvious strength to turn to which Duke can't easily match.
And with Jack McClinton, James Dews, Lance Hurdle and the improving Eddie Rios, Miami has a pretty deep backcourt as well.
So taking it as a given that Miami will try to shove the ball down Duke's throat inside, what does Duke do?
Well, they may not try anything particularly novel: what they've done so far this season has worked pretty well.
On defense, obviously they'll try and lock McClinton up, since he's Miami's biggest threat.
Their only other double-figure scorer is James Dews, who is averaging 10.8 ppg
They'll likely try to force King a few feet away from the basket, since he doesn't present a big threat offensively, and pushing him a little further away further minimizes his damage.
The other starters have varied a bit lately, but Asbury, Collins, Hurdle, Hicks and Graham are getting most of the remaining minutes, and Rios and Thomas are getting double-digit minutes as well.
Since ACC play started, Miami's offense has grown less productive: since being forced to run against UNC, Miami has scored 72, 68, 73, 55, 71, and 63 points, going 2-4 in that stretch (the 73 was at Duke, where they lost by 15).
The two wins were the last two games, against Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech
In ACC games, Miami is averaging 71.2 ppg; Duke is putting up 84.8. The Hurricanes are near the bottom of the ACC in field goal percentage (11) at 41.3%.
They're ninth in three point shooting; tenth in defending the three.
The lines are pretty clear in this game: Miami has power and depth, but not necessarily explosiveness. Duke has a solid perimeter game, an emerging star in Kyle Singler, who has already become a much different player than he was the first time these two teams met.
It would be a really good thing if Gerald Henderson's wrist were feeling well enough for him to shoot more. His mid-range game brings something really key to Duke's offense.
Duke didn't have Brian Zoubek against Miami in Durham, and the big guy could be really useful in this game. Miami's big guys don't get far from the basket, and being 7-2 and between a big guy and the bucket is useful.
Everything else aside, though, the real key for this game is how Duke bounces back from the Wake game. If they learned what they needed to learn, whether they win or lose is secondary, and actually, in the long view, it's better to lose this game the right way than to win it the wrong way.