Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Maybe if Coach K wasn't heading to the 2012 Olympics...

JP Giglio covers the ACC for the Raleigh News & Observer, and also runs their ACC blog ACCNow. They are currently running a Summer Hoops preview over there, and while reading it over, I stumbled upon this little diddy: Giglio's pick to win the ACC this year is Duke.


His argument is basically this - Duke's experience will make up for a relative lack of talent, and the fact that the Blue Devils currently have just two guards (three when Andre Dawkins is officially accepted) on their roster is mitigated by the ACC's lack of perimeter star power.

Again, huh?

Can Duke win the ACC?
(photo credit: You got dunked on)

I don't want to come off like a Duke hater - because I'm not - but this is a bit crazy. Duke the ACC champs? I really don't see it happening. There are just too many question marks on this team.

Who is going to run the point?: Nolan Smith may be a junior, but he has yet to prove himself as anything close to an elite lead guard. Scheyer excelled when he ran the point last year, but that is not an option this season due to Duke's lack of perimeter depth.

Do they have a go-to scorer?: Last season, Gerald Henderson emerged as the guy that Duke turned to when they needed a bucket. Who will it be this year? Jon Scheyer struggled to score consistently when he was guarded by bigger, more athletic two-guards last season. Kyle Singler is by far their best player, but can he handle being "the man"? He seems to me to be more of a complimentary player (albeit a great one).

Is their size any good?: Duke's post rotation will consist of Brian Zoubek, Lance Thomas, the Plumlee brothers, and Ryan Kelly. What will happen when they go up against frontlines like UNC (Ed Davis, Deon Thompson, Tyler Zeller), Georgia Tech (Gani Lawal, Derrick Favors), Clemson (Trevor Booker), or Florida State (Solomon Alabi, Uche Echefu, Ryan Reid, Chris Singleton)? Isn't their advantage supposed to be on the inside?

Sorry Duke fans. I see this Blue Devil squad being very similar to your 2007 team, the one that went 22-11 (8-8 in the ACC) and lost to Eric Maynor and VCU in the 1st round of the dance.

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