Let the Ride Continue..

Submitted by Hail Beilein on March 20th, 2011 at 7:11 AM
First of all, I would like to introduce myself. I discovered the board a few months and have been following ever since. In light of the importance of the game that lies ahead, I figured now would be the perfect time to register an account and let my voice be heard!

As for the game... Duke!... Oh yes, Duke!!
I can't sleep because I can't stop thinking about this game. I can't believe the season has come to this.. What a ride! Please let it continue for another week (maybe even two)!! Here's what I think needs to happen for a Michigan victory..

- Can one of the many giants we've played this season finally NOT play like a giant the day we happen to be playing them? Can Duke please have a Michigan-at-Illinois-esque performance from the field?! Or if that's too much to ask, can Duke at least not play like basketball Gods... just for tomorrow?..

- Big Things. Jordan Morgan needs to stay out of foul trouble and needs to play with that spark. Smotrycz needs to be on if he's going to be shooting as much as he did vs. UT.. He also needs to come with the same intensity that he did defensively vs. UT. Novak needs to keep being Novak. Bring their bigs outside on O and fight with ferocity and 'grit' on D under the board.

- Little Things. This is Timmy's game to shine.. His coming out party. Shoot when open or drive if the defense closes. Darius needs to keep finding the open man, pushing the ball on the break, pulling back if nothing is there, and maybe don't dribble around quite as much. I want to see Stu rain down from spots JJ Redick dreams of...and if he wants to mix in another fast break dunk, that's fine by me. And if Vogrich needs to keep rebounding the way he has been the past few games. He also needs to shoot when open and continue to play aggressively.

- Duck Fuke!!



March 20th, 2011 at 8:35 AM ^

One #1 seed down........one to go.  As Butler proved yet again last night in a one game playoff ANYTHING can happen. 

FWIW....I bet I know five ex-Michigan players who will be cheering extra hard for the team today.  Go Karma!!!!!!

Braylon 5 Hour…

March 20th, 2011 at 8:54 AM ^

why do I even need to speak when we have Bacari to do it for us?


 Bacari Alexander 

Is it ironic that you have to fight a Blue DEVIL on a Sunday? What an interesting storyline. I packed my bible! HALOL!!!!!!!


March 20th, 2011 at 9:17 AM ^

I'm really excited about the game too -duh!- except that for the first time in a long time, I truly feel we have something, that the team is not only going in a very good direction, it's been in that direction for a couple months now. I see this as a coming out party possibility for us, a chance for the whole basketball world to jump on the bandwagon.

In the Big Ten Tournament, against OSU, I felt OSU took us out of our game, that we were holding on for dear life and it was going to take a minor miracle for us to beat them. We have a multifaceted team however, two of those facets being intelligence and moxie, and it seems  by the game this team learns from it's experiences and improves. Duke will give us an OSU-ish kind of game, a talented team deserving of it's perch in the rankings and seeding, that enforces it's will on other teams. Hopefully we can muster our 'A' game and force them out of their comfort zone. 

We got six guys -at least- that fit the system and can be productive in it as starters: Novak, Douglass, Morris, THJR, Smotrycz, and Morgan. Vogrich, McLimans, and Christian have also been productive and give us a deep team: The never nervous nine. Next year these guys are going to be awesome and give us yet another ride into the NCAA tournament, but are they worthy enough to do it this year?

Coming out party? Stay tuned, Go Blue!

Will Vereene

March 20th, 2011 at 9:47 AM ^

One of the ridiculous commentaries that Charles Barkley made before the game is the level of youth and inexperience on the squad. He'll probably recite that again verbatim before today's game, but since the team had that Europe tour last summer, the bond that they created is like they have been playing for two seasons. There's trust, communication and the belief of each other's potential. The youth is great, but that experience gives them the belief that they can beat Duke. While others may be intimidated by Duke, this team has moved beyond that and l think that we should see this in that game.

Go Blue!


March 20th, 2011 at 9:53 AM ^

duke play a lot this year, and they live and die by the 3 just as much as we do... look at their loss to st. johns. i agree that morgan has to stay out of foul trouble, but i think if we play all of our bigs it won't matter that much. the plumblee brothers have a habit of playing out of control and picking up stupid fouls, so darius and timmy have to drive to the basket a lot. ryan kelly is the x factor for duke, he doesn't do all that much on regular basis but he can step out and shoot the 3 and hit it. we also have to get out and run and run often, the last thing duke wants to do is get into a track meet (loss at UNC). since  zack is going to be guarding either kelly or which ever plumblee brother that starts he has to hit a couple of early 3's so he can setup the pump and go. the last thing that coack k wants is one of his big men chasing a smaller player around and picking up bad fouls so it willl force him to adjust his line up.


March 20th, 2011 at 10:28 AM ^

After looking at Coach K's bio, I realized a VERY interesting fact.

Since the 1992 championship over the Fab 5, Duke has not been to back to back Final Fours, let alone back to back national championships.

Actually, since that game, Duke hasn't made it past the Sweet Sixteen the year after making it to Final Four.  This includes a year when they returned Boozer (Maybe the best player to ever come out of Duke), Jayson Williams, and Mike Dunleavy from their 2001 National Championship.

This may not be the best empirical data, but combined with the win over Tennessee and the Butler victory last night, let's just say I have a very good feeling about today.



March 20th, 2011 at 10:37 AM ^

played for the nets and "accidentally" killed his limo driver... jason williams played at duke and then changed it to jay williams when he made it to the nba... also to say that boozer might be the best player to ever come out duke might be a strech. he was a good player for for what he did as an under sized center but there are a few players that are gong to be ahead of him as the best player to ever come out of duke...


March 20th, 2011 at 11:06 AM ^

Duke is really 2 different teams in one, first they are a Nolan Smith based team where Smith and Singler dominate the ball and the offense is stagnant and predictable.  Then there is the Kyrie Irving Duke, Irving will be the key today, if he returns to early season form we could really be in trouble.  Irving gets into the lane, distributes the ball, and wrecks havoc when healthy.  That said he looked shaky in the opening round, getting most of his stats once the game was well in hand.  

I think if we can control Irving we have a much better chance moving forward to next weekend.


March 20th, 2011 at 11:11 AM ^

will be cautious to run everything through Irving...when a player hasn't played in approx. 4 months, they don't just come right back playing at their highest level. Plus, Duke has built a chemistry with Smith running the team. I think Coach K will not try to completely alter the team's identity, so I'd think Irving may be used sparingly again...


March 20th, 2011 at 11:35 AM ^

IMO, the rust, especially the flow with teammates, will be even more evident today than against the tomato can Hampton that Duke easily dispatched 87-45.

Like Denard Robinson, the best athlete in space can look ridiculously good.  But against Top 25-calibre competition, that athlete will need to be playing in a team framework, because it's no longer as easy as "just go beat your guy".  Factor that in when evaluating his performance against Hampton.

Unfortunately, Coach K is smart enough to know that.  He might dip his toes in the water with Kyrie and continue on with him if it goes well, but I don't see Coach K putting a lot of his eggs in a basket that hasn't played a real opponent in four months.


March 20th, 2011 at 11:08 AM ^

+1 for mentioning Hayes Grooms.  Hurley and Hill had a lot of fun this week mentioning their record against Duke.  Let's hope Douglass and Novak (and the rest of the team for that matter0 can have some fun this coming week mentioning their record against Duke.  go Blue.