Posts Tagged ‘Nolan Smith’

The Double Bonus: Sweet Sixteen/Elite Eight Recap!

It’s the Double Bonus Podcast! Today John S and Tim are recapping the Regional Semis and Finals: They’re discussing more Harrellson/Zoubek comparisons, the pantheon of Duke Sweet 16 losses, the unfair maligning of Jimmer Fredette, the genius of Brad Stevens and Shaka Smart, and, most importantly, the Elite Eight run by the Gonzaga women. Click here to listen to the sweet sounds of the Double Bonus!

The Double Bonus: Episode 3

John S and Tim are back with another college basketball podcast (No, they haven’t given up on writing posts… yet), and it’s the longest and most action-packed podcast to date! Today they’re discussing how many BYU honor code violations they’ve committed, the Brandon Davies story (including this story on Deadspin), Duke’s Senior Night, St. John’s and Steve Lavin’s “lack of class,” and the upcoming Duke-UNC battle. If you click here you’re in for the ride of your life….

The Double Bonus: Episode 2

It’s episode two of the Double Bonus podcast! Listen as Tim and John S break down the weekend’s slate of games, and hear John S apologize for being so wrong. Click here for the podcast of a lifetime….

 

NPI Comes Alive!: The Double Bonus Podcast

Welcome to NPI Comes Alive! It’s the podcast branch of the NPI network. Our first edition brings back The Double Bonus, with Tim and John S finally breaking down this college basketball season. Click here to listen.

The Double Bonus: Duke Wins!

Tim and John S collected themselves after last night’s brilliant National Championship to bring you this special National Championship Edition of The Double Bonus:

TIM: So John, are we allowed to breathe now?

JOHN S: I guess you can. I still haven’t. That game was the most nerve-wracking, heart-wrenching, emotionally draining game I’ve ever watched as a Duke fan. It unfolded almost like a nightmare. Butler was doing to Duke exactly what it had been doing to teams all Tournament long: Staying close and then holding them without a field goal in the final minutes. It looked like it was setting up perfectly for a Butler comeback, with Nolan Smith, our best player throughout the Tournament, and Kyle Singler, our best player in the Final Four, each clunking shots off the front of the rim, setting up not one but TWO attempts at the game-winner by Butler’s star.

And I, like so many others, thought they were both going in when they left Gordon Hayward’s hands…. Continue reading

Talkin’ Basketball: Duke v. Butler

TIM: John, here we are, 143 days after I wrote my introductory “It’s College Basketball Season!” post, and the only two times I spent entire bullet points on back on November 13 are the only two teams still playing on April 5. Did I diverge from my prognosticated path? Sure. But come on, where’s my dap?

JOHN S: Sorry, Tim, no dap. Here’s why: 1) It’s not like you said in that post that either team would make it to the Final Four; you just pointed out that both teams would have intriguing storylines all season, with Butler flirting with an undefeated or one-loss season, and Duke thriving thanks mostly to two white players. 2) You were wrong on both counts! Butler’s early season losses kept them out of the AP Top Ten all season, and even though the Bulldogs haven’t lost since before Christmas, they were under the radar heading into the Tournament. Meanwhile, the “dynamic duo” that you hyped for Duke ended up being two-thirds of the Big Three, with Nolan Smith’s contributions equally those of Scheyer and Singler.

So, sorry, but no dap for you. Not even you saw this coming. This David vs. Goliath, Good vs. Evil, Cinderella vs. the Wicked Step-Sisters matchup. Are you even going to be able to, in good conscience, root for Duke? I mean, even our guy Joe Posnanski is making Hoosiers references now

Continue reading

Talkin’ Final Four: Duke v. West Virginia

TIM: John, as you know, I am very happy that Duke is in the Final Four. But there has been a bit of an unintended consequence of the Blue Devils’ advancement this season; namely, did you know that people don’t like Duke? That they actively root against Duke? That they may even–and I can’t believe I’m saying this–hate Duke?

I always considered us rather popular.

JOHN S: You may not be wrong about the popular thing. Yes, people “hate” Duke, but they hate Duke the same way they hate the Yankees, the Lakers, Notre Dame, etc. That is, people hate Duke because they are the team of front-runners, passive followers of the game, and entitled fans. Of course, there are components of race and class in the hatred around Duke, but mainly it comes down to this: Success breeds resentment.

Which is actually why this team presents such a problem to Duke haters. There has certainly been a share of anti-Duke sentiment in the run-up to this Final Four–enough to turn scumbag Bob Huggins into a likable coach–but it really hasn’t been a dominant storyline. I’ve actually seen more articles—like this one and this one and this one–calling out Duke haters for basically being hackneyed and outdated.

Because this team hasn’t been talked about all year, doesn’t have any real national stars, was not a presumptive Final Four team, and doesn’t live and die by the three–in short it doesn’t exhibit the qualities of traditional hated Duke teams.

Part of this is also due to the simple fact that Duke hasn’t been to the Final Four since 2004; there are people in high school who can’t remember the last time Duke won a national championship. Duke hate just doesn’t resonate like it once did.

With that said, if Duke and Butler meet in the championship, I’m sure fans will view it as Good vs. Evil, David vs. Goliath.

Continue reading

Talkin’ Basketball: Duke vs. Baylor

The last Regional Final will be the most exciting/anxious/nerve-racking one for us here at NPI, as our alma mater takes on upstart and underrated third-seeded Baylor. Tim and John S broke down the game as objectively as they could, although their conclusions might leave you questioning that statement.

JOHN S: Well this is the Elite Eight game we (well, at least we at NPI) have been waiting for: Duke-Baylor. Duke is the last remaining #1 seed and therefore the last hope of this not becoming the first Final Four since 2006, and only the second overall, not to feature a single top seed. Even if the Blue Devils do make it, though, they are not exactly an intimidating 1-seed. Steve Lavin on ESPN yesterday referred to Duke as “the underdogs” (not that I would intentionally give credit to something Lavin says, but just the fact that he could realistically call the third team on the S-curve an “underdog” was a little telling). A lot of people are surely going to take Baylor after the team’s utter dismantling of Saint Mary’s in the Sweet 16.

Duke, on the other hand, is coming off an ugly win over Purdue, in which the Blue Devils turned the ball over a lot, neither team shot more than 40% from the field, and Duke only won by 13 because of a decisive rebound advantage over a team that had lost its best rebounder to injury. Suffice to say, the win did not inspire much confidence. But as UK’s loss illustrated, who’s hot is not necessarily the determining factor in the NCAA Tournament, so let’s take a wide-lens view.

Alright, Tim, what do you think is the most important aspect of this game? Is it how well Jon Scheyer and company can shoot over Baylor’s zone? Is whether or not Ekpe Udoh or Brian Zoubek wins the rebounding battle? Is it whether Duke’s defense can hold Baylor under 44% shooting for the first time in the Tournament? Or is it some other thing, like whether or not Coach K takes his jacket off? Continue reading

An Ode to Jon Scheyer

Saturday’s Duke-UNC game was the best Senior Night Cameron Indoor Stadium has seen in at least five years. And not just because the Blue Devils got their first home win against the Tar Heels since Tyler Hansbrough entered UNC, and not just because Duke got its most lopsided win in the last 45 years of the rivalry. Those were important, of course, but not as important as the last game in Cameron for Jon Scheyer, the best player to graduate Duke since J.J. Redick.

Scheyer’s career as a Dukie has been a turbulent one. His freshman year saw the embarrassing first-round loss to VCU, and his second year saw him lose his spot in the starting lineup. Midway through his junior year, he was asked to move to point guard, a position—as we were constantly reminded on every broadcast—that was not natural for him.

Most of all, though, Scheyer’s time at Duke, at this point, has become—fairly or not—recognized as Duke’s fall from the national stage. Scheyer saw the VCU loss, the near-upset to Belmont, the embarrassment to West Virginia, the blowout against Villanova, not to mention last year’s route at the hands of Clemson. And unlike Greg Paulus, a player also associated with (and probably more representative of) Duke’s “fall”, Scheyer was never part of a dominant Duke regular season team. In Scheyer’s four years, Duke has had the #1 ranking for a total of one week (and a winless one at that)—fewer than any four year player at Duke since before the days of Christian Laettner.

In many ways, Scheyer has become representative of Duke’s new perception: Unintimidating, but effective. Scheyer doesn’t wow fans with any one skill: He’s not the sharpshooter that Redick was; he doesn’t dunk like Gerald Henderson did; he doesn’t handle the ball as well as a lot of point guards, or blow by defenders off the dribble. But Scheyer has handled his role—whether it be shooting guard, sixth man, or starting point guard—with surprising aplomb. Continue reading

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