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The Chron Looks At Duke’s Statistical Profile

The defensive end that is.

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Pittsburgh v Duke Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Whatever this site brings to the discussion, we’re more than happy to leave math to other people, so we were excited to see what the Duke Chronicle gleaned from Duke’s defensive statistical profile to date.

It does inadvertently point out a flaw in relying too much on statistics although as we all know, analytics has revolutionized sports.

Pair this: Despite the record disparity, many of the Blue Devils' numbers with Krzyzewski and Capel are nearly identical...”

With this: “Given that interior defense has been Duke's consistent weakness this season, the numbers make it seem difficult to fault the team's associate head coach too much, though the Blue Devils clearly did collapse down the stretch against N.C. State in blowing a late nine-point lead.”

This reminds us of something we noticed in 1995 when Pete Gaudet stoically soldiered on as Duke collapsed while Coach K was on medical leave.

Timeouts were handled really differently.

Back in the day, people used to laugh that Dean Smith still had timeouts he had saved in the 1960s.

K’s approach is different. When he senses trouble he often calls a pre-emptive timeout, nips it in the bud and sends them back out.

Gaudet preferred to wait. His approach was much more like Smith’s.

And Capel?

Somewhere in between.

The point is that a lot of what Krzyzewski does could never be captured by analytics. He generally seems to sense trouble to, as he often says, coach by feel.

Analytics is still an indispensable tool but having a sense of the main battlefield, which is emotional and which ranges across a minimum of 10 people but also extends in ways to the officials and the psychology of the crowd, that’s a powerful weapon.

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