Please tell me you all saw Duke-Clemson last night. Please. You didn't? Well in a nutshell, Duke got destroyed by Clemson 74-47, with several monster dunks by one Trevor Booker, including the best one, shown in this post's picture and also here for my video demanding readers:
This is all besides the point, though, because Duke COULD NOT HANDLE A FULL COURT PRESS.
The formerly #4 team in these United States of America could not deal with, handle, or break a full court press from the Clemson Tigers.
Completely panicked, unable to concentrate, rushing passes and dribbling in to traps, they looked like a high school team playing in their first real tournament. I have never seen a team so flustered against the press, and I am even more flabbergasted by the fact that Duke is normally always well prepared. This is something that is so basic, and something that these guys should have learned
back in High School or basketball camps. You break the press by good passing. I saw several plays on sportscenter where Clemson was able to apply wonderful pressure to the ball handler, and simply force stupid passes. I mean, I saw a play where Duke threw bad inbound passes. Unexcusable at this level. This is one step from the NBA! I was shocked that a Coach K team would be so bad, and his post-game press conference made me feel sorry for
what is going to happen to his guys at today's practice. Suicides and press break drills for all! According to the box score,Duke committed turnovers the first two times it saw the press and had three in the opening four minutes. All told, the Blue Devils finished with 16 turnovers to seven assists. Another huge reason Duke was destroyed was that Clemson did not allow them to drive and kick, as they have effectively done all season. In essence, Clemson's man to man defense was so good they were able to put one defender on the ball handler and not double to compensate for any penetration, effectively nullifying Duke's ability to kick the ball for wide open 3's. It also certainly didn't help that Duke shot around 30% from the field for the game.
This was the most lopsided loss suffered by Duke since the 1990 NCAA title game vs. UNLV. I guess we will just have to wait and see if Duke can learn from this and bounce back, or if this is a harbinger of things to come.