Late OT - Duke vs. Clemson

Submitted by Mr. Yost on January 10th, 2013 at 8:29 AM

First off, I apologize - this is coming 2 days too late...and many no longer care (if they cared to begin with) due to Lewan Muppets. Work has been extremely busy and we had a basketball game last night.

With that said, I got to visit Cameron Indoor Stadium for the first time a couple days ago and wanted to share my thoughts on Duke after seeing them live. I was fortunate enough to see Michigan live in the Barclays Arena vs. West Virginia earlier this year.

Before I begin - yes, Cameron is everything you've heard...this isn't a brag post. It's a dump, it's awesome, there's history and lots of banners. The greatest high school experience ever.

Now to the game - it was awful...for those that watched. I'm sorry, it was painful. It was 2-0 Clemson at the first media timeout and Duke didn't score a point until 14:58 in the first half.

Nonetheless, with no rooting interest in the game I took to scouting Duke vs. what I've seen Michigan do this season.

Disclaimer - Ryan Kelly didn't return for the 2nd half of this game and he's not listed as "out indefinitely"...if he's out, this post his moot, Michigan is the better team.

Assuming Kelly would return before or during the NCAA Tournament, I'd say Michigan matches up quite well vs. the Blue Devils.

The biggest thing Duke has most teams don't is size at the forward positions. Those guys are long and can really defend. Inside at center Plumlee is a man, however he struggled vs. Booker who looked like a watered down version of Jordan Morgan.

At guard, they have Duke guards...nothing new. Guys who can knock down a timely 3, who play solid defense and are smart players.

However, from what I saw (and I'm giving them the benefits of the doubt that this was just a bad game...we'll have one too, hell, it may have been Nebraska, I haven't see that game yet) Duke is vulnerable. In a one game situation, they can beat anyone, but in a best of 7...I'd take Michigan in an easy 6.

Duke would be able to guard Michigan better than anyone, but we'd be able to guard Duke as well. We have the advantage at just about every position and Morgan would hold his own vs. Plumlee...not sure if anyone else on the team could.

The X factor in my mind is Mitch McGary. He matches Duke's effort - even surpasses it and that takes away a HUGE advantage they have. McGary would be a MAN vs. Duke, they literally have no one inside to rebound against him. It would be Hansborough-esqe (12 points, 14 rebs).

At point guard, Cook is nice...I think he'd be a good matchup for Burke, but again, Burke is just better - period.

In watching both teams, my only worry would be Stauskas defensively. He tends to help too far off his man and he'd probably get Stauskas'd a couple times because Duke finds that kick-out spot in the corner just as good as Nik does.

In the end, taking the bad game into the equation, Michigan is the #1 team in the nation right now. Duke's very good, they've been some great teams...but talent and execution wise, Michigan is #1. If/when we beat Ohio...I'd have no issue with voters agreeing and bumping Michigan up.


Mr Miggle

January 10th, 2013 at 8:40 AM ^

but a 12/14 line for McGary seems like something we might look forward to next season, ridiculously optimistic now. Morgan holding his own against Plumlee, while not ridiculous, would certainly exceed my expectations.

Mr. Yost

January 10th, 2013 at 9:38 AM ^

I would agree the 12/14 is ambitious...but I really meant more of that type of "affect on the game."

They seriously have NOBODY other than Plumlee that would be able to contain him on the boards.

As for Morgan v. Plumlee...I want to see Morgan v. Zeller, but I think Zeller is a better player. Plumlee LOVES this jump hook with his right hand, and that's his only move. He went to it EVERY time unless it was an easy (Morgan-Like) slip-the-screen and dunk.

He's certainly skilled, but he struggles vs. thick bodied guys who he can't push around. This is why I think Morgan is the only player on the team who could guard him. McGary would foul him and everyone else would get pushed around.

GRIII is the PERFECT matchup for Kelly. They have actually have a somewhat similar game.

All in all, Michigan and Duke are quite similar in what they do, both are very well rounded...Michigan is just better in my opinion. Especially after seeing both live.


January 10th, 2013 at 8:48 AM ^

If Michigan continues to play like they did last night, they won't beat Indiana or Minnesota.  I watched Minnesota vs Illinois last night and Minnesota is the real deal.


January 10th, 2013 at 9:10 AM ^

It was one game, against a shitty team, with a huge matchup on the horizon.  It was a classic trap game, and although the score shows it was somewhat close, we all know the outcome was never in doubt.

Minnesota struggled mightily with Northwestern for about 25 minutes, with a tough road test at Illinois on deck.  It happens.


January 10th, 2013 at 9:13 AM ^

of course any time you have an off night, you can't beat the big dogs...but Michigan has been dominant all year... only 2 close games on my count, Bradley and Nebraska( my have forgot one), but they have blown out all other opponents, ultimately including Nebraska. They have been dominant


January 10th, 2013 at 9:21 AM ^

Michigan trailed for nearly all of the first half and part of the second before grabbing the lead and staying ahead by slim margins the rest of the way, winning by five.

But your original point is spot on.  Any team can have a bad night.  Michigan did and still won by 15 in a game that was never in doubt.


January 10th, 2013 at 9:45 AM ^

No you're idiotic!  You big fat jerk.


I said if...  And maybe I could have worded it more eloquently but I think it's a little premature to say we are the #1 team in the nation, just because Duke (current #1) lost one of their key players.  Now if we can beat Ohio this weekend and Indiana or Minnesota at their place, I'll jump right on that #1 bandwagon and buy tickets for  the 2nd and 3rd rounds at the Palace.  Until then let's just enjoy our undefeated record and Taylor Lewan coming back for his senior year.  


January 10th, 2013 at 9:44 AM ^

Most of us are assuming that Michigan won't beat Indiana or Minnesota on the road. If Michigan wins all their home games, wins the remaining two road games against the bottom four, and splits on the road against the rest, they'll win the conference outright at 15 - 3. And you better believe that the coaches and players will approach Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio State, and MIchigan State differently.


January 10th, 2013 at 11:02 AM ^

That Illinois is much like M last year which is why the B1G "rankings" by Brian and Ace put them at around 6th in the conference despite the national rankings. They live and die by the 3-pt shot so while they can beat a team like Ohio any given night, they can just as easily lose to Purdue and get blown out by Minnesota. They went 3-24 from 3 last night. If they hit just 7-10 more of those and you probably see a 10 point Illini win.

This edition of M-hoops showed last night the ability to find a way to win when the shots aren't falling. I still have difficulty believing that this team is truly a #1 or top 5 team but that is mainly due to lowered expectations over the last 15 years+.


January 10th, 2013 at 8:56 AM ^

The one thing Duke has struggled with in the last 5-8 years has been athletic teams. A good comparison is Stauskas. He's a good athlete, but he's not in the same class as GRIII. Having athletes like him, Hardaway Jr, Burke and even our post players is a big advantage IMO. Now, if we play Duke and have shooting game like last night, we will be screwed. But like you said, anything can happen in any given game. And head to head, I like our chances in one game versus almost anyone in the country right now. I will feel even better if Horford is back to full strength for the back half of the conference season.

Mr. Yost

January 10th, 2013 at 9:44 AM ^

I agree that they've struggled with athletes in the past...but look at who've they've beaten THIS year.

Louisville isn't a bunch of slow guys who can't jump. They've got better athletes than Michigan. Michigan is just a better TEAM.

I hate looking back on history to make assumptions about present teams. This Duke team is a different team like last year's was different than the year before that.

Duke's got size at forward to really matchup with Michigan. And they're disciplined so we can't expect Stauskas to be left open 6 times for knockdown 3's.

I've said it twice now, I just think we're BETTER. It's not that we're more athletic or have good size, or work harder, or any of that. I just think we have better basketball players than they do - period. I don't think they're bad at all. But when I go down the line, I don't see ONE bad matchup. MAYBE Stauskas on defense...I think that's a bigger weakness than Morgan on Plumlee. With that said Nik likely makes up for it on the offensive end and so I'd call it a wash.

Mr. Yost

January 10th, 2013 at 9:50 AM ^

The first 8 minutes was funny it was so bad.

2-0 at the first media timeout. Duke didn't score until 5:02 into the first half. Clemson had 10 points at halftime.

It was awful.

The halftime show and the Crazies were far better than anything else on the floor.

With that said, you see why it's a tough place to play. You feel the momentum there more than any gym I've ever been to.

At one point, Duke hits a 3...and you start to go "uh oh." Clemson goes down and Plumlee blocks a Clemson shot like a volleyball spike and you go "awww shit." And in my head I'm thinking "just don't give them a dunk or a 3...just foul, FOUL them or you're going to get your doors blown off!"

Sure enough the shot clock is winding down and I'm thinking "its about to happen"...Cook drives, he can't find anything, drives again...kicks it to the corner with 2 seconds left. BANG!! A three pointer right in front of the Clemson bench.

Duke goes up like 13-6, but it may as well been 100-0. You knew it was over. It was time to just soak in Cameron and enjoy the atmosphere - the game was done.

That to me was the best part...just feeling the energy and the building take over the game.


January 10th, 2013 at 9:44 AM ^

Cameron is a terrible place to take your children.  Its a lot like the Shoe-only filled with foul mouthed Jersey Shore wannabes instead of 70,000 truckers.

Mr. Yost

January 10th, 2013 at 10:20 AM ^

It was actually filled with old people. And class was starting the next day (yesterday) so students were around.

It was pretty much what I expected from a crowd standpoint.

Clemson isn't North Carolina or Maryland...but I'd hope someone wouldn't make an assumption off our fans from a MSU/Ohio game when a Michigan vs. Illinois/Minnesota game is more typical.


January 10th, 2013 at 10:57 AM ^

I don't think we behave badly at MSU or OSU games.  Maybe I'm oblivious to it at Michigan, but I consider myself a neutral observer here in RTP (although my in-laws are all UNC alumni and that's who I went to Cameron with - I rubbed them the wrong way because I wasn't completely disgusted with everything around me as they were.)  Like the Shoe, its a basic civility issue.  I'm glad you had a better experience than I did.


January 10th, 2013 at 10:13 AM ^

It sounds like Kelly's going to be out for a while. The ACC's terrible, so I don't think it will hurt Duke too badly record-wise (though they'll probably lose @ NC State this Saturday), but if he's not back to full mobility by the tournament, it's hard to see them progressing much past the Sweet 16.

Minnesota might be the best team in the country right now. That was an absolute beat down they put on Illinois in Champaign last night. They've got two of the three best wins in the conference this year (@ Illinois and vs. MSU). Michigan's game with them next week will be tough, but it should be really entertaining after what's probably going to be a slog in Columbus. It's too bad they don't have to come to Crisler. At least they'll be coming off a tough game of their own @ Indiana.


January 10th, 2013 at 10:15 AM ^

Appreciate the report but it seems like you had a hard time taking your bias out of the equation. I don't think we can be that clearly number 1. I do think the way we've been playing we're the best in the country but Duke is allowed to have a bad game just like we did last night. I know you added that as a qualifier but you also take all your judgments from that game. And to say McGary should put up those stats against them is a stretch given that he score 2 points last night against a garbage team when our guards were throwing up bricks. He's not the phenom he was purported to be yet. We've got 3 months to continue improving though, which excites me as much as anything.

Mr. Yost

January 10th, 2013 at 10:27 AM ^

Well, it's hard when Duke plays its worst game of the year...I mean it was awful. It was like a middle school women's basketball game for awhile there.

But I wasn't looking at whether the ball was going in. And if you go to the in-game Michigan threads, I say the SAME thing about Michigan. I'm more worried about efficiency, did you get a good look? How are you executing your offense? Can you guard someone?

Duke can do all of those things, they just weren't making shots. But it's Duke, they could've won that game 100-45 if they were making shots. So to me, that's not important when you're clearly the better team and you're going to win regardless if it's your best or worst game of the year.

What I saw is Plumlee really struggle against a thicker/wider body down low. I also noticed that he also always turns over his left shoulder for a jump hook in the lane.

I saw Kelly having a REALLY good game, but to me, it was also the lack of discipline from Clemson. Robinson is a very smart player - he clearly understands the game. Robinson looked BAD on defense versus the stronger CJ Leslie, but Kelly doesn't play inside a ton. He plays like Robinson, on the perimeter, and gets sneaky baskets around the rim by reading the helpside defense.

They literally play the exact same way - smart players. Easy layups, open mid-range shots, wide open shots. Will drive if needed. Because of this, I think Robinson can stay with Kelly. McGray would have trouble on the perimeter and would probably give up 3's to Kelly.

On the wing, we have Hardaway and Stauskas...they don't. I've repeated my defensive worries about Stauskas twice...but that would be my only concern on the win.

Point guard: Trey Burke over everyone.


January 10th, 2013 at 11:01 AM ^

Officiating is notoriously favorable to Duke at Cameron and in the tourney.   If the fates bring Michigan and Duke together in the tournament, we'll have to play the officials and the other team.


January 10th, 2013 at 10:18 AM ^

I too was able to take in Cameron for the first time this season, having moved to Raleigh in August.  It was dumpier than I expected, but I still really enjoyed the experience.  I still wonder how the bleachers that the Crazies stand on don't bust apart during actual games(I was there to see Duke play Elon).  

That being said, I was not all that impressed with Duke either.  I realize they have beaten some pretty good teams and tend to play down to opponents(especially on the second night of a back to back against Cornell and Elon), but overall after watching Michigan play, I think the matchup would be a lot closer than a lot of the pundits think.

Overall the night was pretty cool.  They have an awesome hall of fame next to Cameron Indoor and Elon was leading Duke with 11 minutes left in the first half, which I saw many an Elon fan take a picture of.

It's going to be grueling stretch the rest of this big ten slate, but I'm excited to watch.

His Dudeness

January 10th, 2013 at 10:38 AM ^

Never underestimate veteran players in the tourney. It makes a huge difference having some players who have been there before. I love this MIchigan team and am having a wonderful time watching, but I don't "expect" them to win it all. There are going to be struggles and as has been said you really do need a good bit of luck to win the dance.

I hope we do, but we will have to not only get hot, but also get lucky and be able to struggle through one of those games where we can't hit a thing and they have some random who is on fire. Happens every year. Just don't burn down the fort if we happen to stumble and be sure to enjoy yourselves watching this amazing year.


January 10th, 2013 at 11:10 AM ^

My wife graduated from Duke Law and I worked in admissions for a year, so I am pretty familiar with Duke. I would refute the claim that Cameron is a dump. It is a fieldhouse, so if you're expecting to get all the bells and whistles of a newly remodled arena, than might as well not ever attend a game here. I am curious as to why you call it a "dump"? Because it is small? That makes it a dump? I have watched probably a dozen or so games at Cameron, never once has "dump" came to my mind as a word to describe it. Small, sure. Intemidating with students wrapping around 3/4 of the lower bowl in your face, yeah. The place is clean, not ran down, and has an awesome hall of champions; far better than Michigans imo.

Interesting that you would call it a dump.


I would also add, that if you expect Duke to look like Michigan in terms of style of play, than no wonder you're disappointed. Even when Duke has great athletes, they play the same way they do every year. They sit down in a stance, put lots of pressure on the ball, play great helpside (midline) defense, and when the shot goes up they put a body on a man. Offensively they aren't going to wow you. They do a lot of pick and roll, two man game. They try and isolate you, get you to cheat over once they beat you, and either dump it into Mason or kick out to a shooter.  I think you might be selling Sulaimon a little short. Of all the people you have mentioned, you've failed to mention him once. He is silky smooth as a wing, and can slash to the rim. I think he would create some mismatches with Tim or GRIII.

The bench is a place I think Duke beats UM. Take out McGary, and the bench is not very good for UM. Having Horford back would help, but factor in Thorton, Hairston, and Curry and you've got real quality depth.


I think UM is loaded, but I will wait another 8 days to pass judgement on how good they really are.

Mr. Yost

January 10th, 2013 at 12:03 PM ^

Cameron is known for being "a dump." But it's more saying that it's not John Paul Jones Arena or the AmWay Center.

And to be honest, it's not THAT clean or prestine. Paint is peeling, theirs dirt on the floors, the gum on the seats. It's an old basketball arena. You expect that.

That's why my next line was "it's awesome." I loved the "old school feel." History was seaping through the walls. You couldn't help but think..."I wonder who walked here?" or "I wonder how many experiences have taken place in THIS exact seat."

But your post to me shows clear bias. Especially over my OP. And you were clearly offended by the "dump" comment - everything after just fueled that bias even more.

And did I say it was small? I called it a high school experience, but that's what it is...the worlds best high school gym. If I went to Butler I'd expect the same thing. Hoosiers.


Now to the basketball comments. I love basketball and I love all styles of play. I've been around the game forever and I appreciate execution no matter how it comes. Duke didn't execute well - period. They're a much better team than what they showed vs. Clemson.

And for the record, the styles between Michigan and Duke really aren't that different. Both teams are smart, work the offense, and look for the good shot. They're efficient. Duke plays A LOT like Michigan and visa versa.

And I didn't Sulaimon short...I raved about their wings. I just feel Hardaway is better. That doesn't mean Sulaimon wouldn't give him problems. Cook would give Burke problems (I said that too), but Burke is better.

In the end, you seem hurt that I joked about your Dukies --- but there really wasn't anything I said that was offensive. It's a great place, I had a great time and they're a great team. I just think Michigan is better right now. Epecially if Duke losses Kelly.

That doesn't mean I don't think Duke is the 2nd best team in the country. I think their defense is the reason they'll beat any team that relies on one thing too much. Michigan's strength is balance - just like Duke. 



January 10th, 2013 at 1:02 PM ^

Having worked there and lived in Durham for four years, I don't think I have ever once heard that Duke has a reputation for being a dump. I'm not sure what circles you travel in, but if Cameron is a dump, so is Yost. Basically a fieldhouse just like Cameron, basically the same layout. I've been to Yost in the winter where the floors are literally covered in mud. I don't think dirt on the floors is exclusive to Duke.


A clear bias, probably so, having worked there. Thank you captain obvious. Having visited nearly every ACC arena, and a handful of Big Ten, outside of brandnew updates by schools like UM, what really sets others apart from Cameron? Size.

What exactly constitutes a good college experience? Not sure I understand your comment. basically every team in America tries to immitate the crazies. I would call what the Maize Rage tries to do a much more "high scool" version of a student section. They have like two organized cheers. If you call having a packed arena every game, compared to UM's being half empty outside of the big games, than I agree with you, just vice versa on the teams.

The offensive principals that K executes are much different than those of JB. K uses spacing (spread) and on ball screens far more than JB. K also incorporates a lot of UCLA cuts, 3-2 motion and two man game. JB uses a lot more flex cuts, hand offs, shuffle cuts, and 2-3 motion than K does. JB also uses a point system to determine a good shot v a better shot.

Defensively K uses midline princpals, something JB does not. If the ball is more than two passes away Duke is always midline and dropped with the level of the man and ball. You don't see Duke players ever turn their backs on defense to the ball, the same can't be said for Michigan. Duke picks you up as soon as you cross half court, Michigan does not.


I'm not hurt by any of your comments, I just wanted you to explain why you felt it was "a dump". I am partial to Duke because I worked there, my wife went there, and I have had a lot of experiences their. Nothing more. Michigan is still my team.


Again, I will wait to make any judgement on Michigan until they play someone. I don't think I can rank them above Duke based solely on the fact that Duke has beaten some very good teams. Meanwhile, Michigan has beaten one team in the top 25, and had the luxury of playing them at home.

Mr. Yost

January 10th, 2013 at 3:56 PM ^

...and Joe Louis for that matter.

But I don't take offense. That's the point of both Yost and Joe, history. We're going to beat you in this old building that is nothing like what you new guys have. Our tradition is shinier than any ribbon board or luxury box you may have.

Cameron falls right into that.

Again, you're far too offended to keep worrying about. Plus I wonder how you got that negative #. Tells me another long post probably isn't worth it.

MMB 82

January 10th, 2013 at 12:33 PM ^

From the title I thought you meant that Clemson had taken Duke to OT in a game late last night. The I got two sentences into your post and stopped reading....sorry.


January 10th, 2013 at 11:11 PM ^

I'm not offended, i just think your analysis is somewhat misguided, and your basic knowledge of basketball is very much lacking if you want to compare k and jb styles as similar. I have been to two k clinics and worked a jb camp while at wvu, they are not alike in the slightest.

I rarely ever post or posted, the one time I did was during the rich rod debacle, and this juvenile point system led to negative points because this board didn't want to hear that rich rod wasn't a good fit. Very much a mob mentality on this board at times if you have a differing opinion.