Coach K’s Big Man Ploy Pays Off—-But Not Tonight—Butler 62 Duke 60—But Only With a Healthy Matt Howard

Duke’s current run to the final has nothing to do with the Big 3. Of the big 3 only Nolan Smith has proven to be a steady day in day out performer. The difference has been a mid season decision by Coach K, Collins, and Wojo to finally give Mr Zoubek a real chance. Buried in the abyss of clumsy , awkward big guy–Coach k might have cost the Devils a few serious runs over the past few years by not utilizing Zoubek. It’s funny but no one has called out the genius on this fact. Since the day he dominated the Terps at Durham as a starter(–What –Coach K didn’t start his 7 footer—) Duke has been a different team. Throw the Plumlees in there and this team is like the redwood forest. This where Duke has its real advantage over Butler. So it seems like a forgone conclusion Duke will win easy just like in almost every game in what seems to be a hand picked Duke run to the title. —-Arkansas Whatever, then Cal–the Purdue and Baylor and in what I thought would be a real test—WVU-an overrated team from an overrated conference . So now it’s Butler’s turn to be fodder for Dookies . Don’t celebrate yet Devil fans.

Gordon Hayward will be the best player on the court Monday night.  I was having lunch in Shapiro’s Deli in Indy with owner Brian Shapiro who laughed when I was harping that Manning was not and never would be equal to #19, when friends of his who were Butler fanatics came into the restaurant and joined us. They talked my ears off about how great Butler and Hayward were and in my snobbish ACC way, I just was courteous and nodded my head. They conviced me to take the 10 minute drive over to Hinkle Field House.  Watching Hayward play , I thought wow this guy is Larry Bird like with his quick release, expert shooting and great passing ability. But they were playing a stiff that day and I just dismissed his performance as a great game against a mediocre team.

So here’s the story—Hayward has a huge game Monday night. The game is not in Cameron –in fact it will be played in front of 65000 Indiana Basketball fanatics. The reputation of the the state is on the line. The zebra effect will be neutralized and probably a shade in Butler’s favor. Butler’s guards led by Shelvin Mack play a tremendous sticky half court defense which will frustrate the Duke shooters. But Butler must have a healthy Matt Howard to combat the X factor, Zoubek. Believe me without a strong game from Zoubek, Duke has no chance. This concussion situation concerns me.  Duke might beat this team 8 out of 10 times—But not tonight–not in Indiana– not down the road from Hinkle.

There is One Response to this Post
  1. freddy from boca

    can butler limit duke from 2nd chance shots. a lot of duke’s 3 pointers come off offensive rebounds. when duke does get off boards butler’s perimeter players need to stay with their men and not get caught underneath. this is the same comments i’ve made about duke all year. look i’m not a basketball coach and i didn’t sleep at a holiday inn last night but i did sleep in boca raton. enough said!

    Reply ·   11/12/2019

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