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Slow Watching The First Half Of Duke-Gonzaga

Lots to digest in this one

NCAA Basketball: Continental Tire Challenge-Duke at Gonzaga
Nov 26, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Duke Blue Devils center Mark Williams (15) celebrates with Duke Blue Devils forward Wendell Moore Jr. (0) after the Blue Devils defeated the Gonzaga Bulldogs 84-81 at T-Mobile Arena. 
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Here are some things we noticed with a slower look at the first half of Duke-Gonzaga. Without going too much into it right now, we can see a lot of things that could be improved in a rematch for both teams.

  • 19:42: Trevor Keels commits the classic mistake of passing in the air - over 7-2 Chet Holmgren - but gets away with it. The drive by Banchero on Holmgren is fascinating. He’s aggressive and Holmgren, so thin, is wary. Yet Banchero shoots high just in case and misses.
  • 19:00: This is a great set. Zags trap Moore in the backcourt and from there, the ball goes from Moore to freshman to sophomore to freshman and back to Moore who draws a foul on Timme. Seven seconds, three dribbles.
  • 18:27: Holmgren and Timme switch at the top of the key and Banchero’s eyes light up. Timme cannot defend Banchero. Three.
  • 18:15: Holmgren will one day be able to impose himself fully upon a game. Not yet though: he is timid about going up vs. Banchero and Williams just absolutely snuffs his shot - and keeps it in play - then beats everyone down court. Timme doesn’t even try to defend.
  • 17:56: Textbook passing by the Zags. Keels got burned on D here. Nemhard’s pass after that burn is simple but perfect.
  • 17:09: With Holmgren on him outside, Keels, having just hit a three, fakes it and hits Williams for the dunk. Again, Timme can only watch.
  • 17:00: You have to watch carefully but Nemhard does something weird here with his dribble hand and loses control of the ball. It was self-inflicted.
  • 16:43: Bolton shoots a three with Williams and Keels stalking. Look how close Williams is to getting this shot. He may have gotten a finger on it.
  • 16:36: Banchero again pays the price for his thin frame. Nice pass by Banchero here too.
  • 16:23: Williams now knows Timme can’t begin to guard him. Why not a three?
  • 16:18: He may not enjoy it, but Gonzaga is contributing mightily to the education of Keels. He’ll be better for it. His weak shot on the break is an attempt to make up for losing Bolton on the previous Gonzaga break.
  • 15:24: This is a pretty cool drive by Roach. Not your typical penetration. John just eliminates Holmgren from the play. Again, when he gains weight this won’t happen. Now? Fatal flaw in his game. Anyone can push him around.
  • 15:10: John pressures Holmgren on the three - twice. Holmgren misses. Moore goes right into Holmgren on the other end. He’s unable to contest the shot. Reminds us of Williams last year vs. UNC. Just couldn’t stop their bigs.
  • 14:55: Moore and Keels nearly pressure Nemhard into a backcourt violation.
  • 14:31: Bolton and Watson return the favor and nearly force a turnover from Keels as his education continues.
  • 14:18: You have to appreciate how hard John is working inside here and then on the rebound.
  • 13:31: The pressure is getting to the Zags. Then Banchero comes down and casually nails a three.
  • 13:04: Watson should have seen Moore coming. Needless to say, he didn’t. Nothing has prepared Gonzaga for this Duke defense.
  • 12:18: Moore, Keels and Williams are all really good at swiping from behind. Too bad Baker wasn’t ready for it.
  • 12:09: Theoretical pick and roll but John and Keels kill that in the crib.
  • 11:51: We thought for sure this was going to be a foul but they called held ball. Great play by Baker. Bolton is visibly frustrated at the TO.
  • 10:50: Remember how Williams got shoved around last year? Look at how easily he shoves Holmgren here. Someday soon Holmgren will be where Williams is now. No one is going to enjoy that.
  • 10:42: What exactly happened to Salis here? Very odd. Easy basket for Banchero though.
  • 10:34: Zags run an equally smart inbounds play to Holmgren for the dunk.
  • 10:25: Holmgren simply cannot muscle up with another big. He consistently yields. Banchero has nearly 60 lbs. on him. Holmgren sits with two.
  • 10:00: Terrible shot by Timme. Banchero hits Williams on the other end for another fast break dunk.
  • 9:36: Timme finds Nemhard open. Smart pass. But Nemhard misses.
  • 9:29: Banchero is feeling it - calling for the ball in the backcourt then nails the three when he gets it.
  • 9:13: Williams called for goaltending but look at the pressure he puts on the shooter.
  • 8:44: Mark “Hoover” Williams strikes again.
  • 8:27: If you look carefully here, Bolton just basically uses a stationary Timme as a screen and gets an open three out of it. Pretty freakin’ great.
  • 8:13: Holmgren can at least challenge Banchero. But no one else can. Boom!
  • 7:45: John couldn’t convert, but this is a breathtaking pass by Roach and it’s with his off-hand. Damn.
  • 7:37: Then Roach nearly picks Timme on the break.
  • 7:13: Timme gets sneaky and slips downcourt after a Banchero three attempt. But Banchero goes back and catches him and takes the ball back again, picking off a Bolton pass.
  • 6:50: Banchero is having a sensational half. One more three, this time from the corner.
  • 6:12: Timme thinks he’s going to double team Keels outside: think again. He also left Williams open and Keels got him the ball for an easy dunk.
  • 6:00: This is what we meant when we said Williams could play off of Timme a little to deny him room to work and still stop him. But we overrated the distance he could do so rather stupidly: inches, not feet. And again, he kept the ball in play. He’s doing it consistently and Duke is getting lots of chances because of it.
  • 5:29: Not that we’ve been looking, but we haven’t noticed any ‘stache stroking or flexing by the normally demonstrative Timme.
  • 5:09: Another great block by Williams who needs a nickname. The Human Eraser has been taken. So has the Landlord. The Undertaker is kind of cool but goes low instead of high. Taxman? Give it some thought. We’re letting a whole generation of Duke fans down.
  • 4:44: Banchero gets a turnover.
  • 4:05: Moore drives right at Timme.
  • 3:55: We’ve been saying it since Kentucky: 6-7, meet 7-0. Yet another soft Williams block recovered by Duke.
  • 3:46: Banchero’s ballhandling here is much like Muhammad Ali’s dancing, the swagger of a young king who knows he cannot be stopped.
  • 3:04: We’re not picking on Timme. We respect him. But much like Baylor, Duke is showing him the limits of his game. He has no chance, no ability to stop this shot.
  • 2:38: Clearly Strawther didn’t learn his lesson so Williams instructs again: not on my watch.
  • 1:29: Timme goes old-man-at-the-Y, or as we called it growing up, Dr. Gitelman teaching you to shoot with your forearm firmly clamped. The refs didn’t buy it. Timme out, Holmgren in for the last 1:29.