Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Devils-Heels, The Stack-Up

Before we begin, I just want to take a moment to recognize the transcendent awesomeness of Kyrie Irving. Dan Wiederer, who wrote the great 3-part article on Coach K for the Fayetteville Observer, is back with an update on Irving after the cast came off. There's nothing new medically, but he recaps Kyrie's role on the team post-injury.

If you haven't noticed the bond between Irving and senior guard Nolan Smith, you haven't been paying attention.

During games, it's not uncommon for Smith to look over to Irving almost as often as he looks toward Coach K. It's a situation as peculiar as any in college basketball, a senior All-American with 128 games of experience under his belt looking to the bench for advice and encouragement from an injured freshman who has logged all of 231 minutes in his college career.

There's a lot of great stuff like that. Mike Patrick and Len Elmore touched on his passion during the State game, and I completely agreed; he's an awesome teammate. How many mega-stars like Kyrie would do all their sulking in private and put on a supportive show for teammates from day one, knowing full well their season might be finished? He never missed a beat on the bench, and you never got the sense he was anything but a really valuable member of the team, even in street clothes. And it can't be an act; he goes nuts whenever someone makes a great play, especially if it's Nolan.

If he doesn't play another game this year, and gets drafted this summer, I'll still consider his Duke career worthwhile. He's just a good dude, and a big recruiting coup for the school. Coach K wouldn't know a good big man if he fell face first into Wilt Chamberlain's crotch, but the man can find guards.

Okay. Let's take a look at the positional match-ups between Duke and UNC. Please keep in mind that:

-Since its inception, the sport of basketball is played 5 on 5, not in a weird series of 1 on 1 games.
-Therefore, this kind of analysis is slightly useless.
-But it's still guaranteed to pick a winner.


Point Guards

Nolan Smith, the Grinning Cure.

  • Leads the ACC with 21.0 points per game and 5.6 assists
  • 1.83 assist-to-turnover ratio
  • Won a national title while Kendall Marshall was still teething
  • Makes his own soup from fresh organic ingredients
  • Wrote the screenplay for 'Smokey and the Bandit

  • Kendall Marshall, "El Gran Caballo"

  • Is a huge douche about not turning it over- 2.62 Assist-to-turnover ratio
  • Named after a 'Ken Doll' from the Barbie toys
  • Hangs out gossiping with older women at hair salons
  • Twice arrested for buying illegal photos of George Clooney

  • Edge: Nolan Smith

    Shooting Guards

    Seth Curry, the Slick Koala

  • 8.2 points per game, 42% from three
  • Great anticipation on defense
  • Taught his own grandmother a hard but valuable lesson about loyalty
  • Pored through the financials and discovered Bernie Madoff was cheating

  • Dexter Strickland, "Asshole"

  • Averaging a weak 8.6 per game
  • Does a really mean "naked Roy Williams" impression
  • Eats entire heads of lettuce to gross out Harrison Barnes
  • Likes to tell other players he'll 'dance on their fucking grave'

  • Edge: Seth Curry

    The Taller, Better Shooting Guards

    Kyle Singler, Boom Radley

  • 18 points per game, 45% from the field
  • Likes to dive headfirst for loose balls
  • Wrote several 'Goofus & Gallant' comic strips in the 70s
  • Has a scientifically purer heart than most Mormons

  • Harrison Barnes, "Bonnie Prince Harry"

  • Averaging 23 points per game in his last 3
  • Drinks Fresca with a straw so his teeth don't get cold
  • Hates the outdoors because it's "too buggy"
  • Refuses to even think about wearing denim; way too chafing

  • Edge: Singler

    The Bigs, #1

    Miles Plumlee, Uncle Doofus

  • Averaging 2.3 shots against the side of the backboard per game
  • Spends entire days writing fart jokes in his dorm room
  • Becomes sullen around pretty girls, remembering a 4th-grade break-up
  • Tells on his teammates if they discuss pornography

  • Tyler Zeller, "Ole Indiana"

  • Gets an erection from a crisp bounce pass
  • Has seen every episode of "Leave it to Beaver" 5 times
  • Thinks there should be a Jump Hook Hall-of-Fame
  • Thinks the jury is still out on whether integrating the sport was a good thing

  • Edge: Miles Plumlee

    The Bigger Bigs

    Mason Plumlee, King Cauliflower

  • Has a bed shaped like an old dune buggy
  • Yells "OH GOODNESS" every time he makes a sweet block
  • Really into manga, but only the artistic kind
  • Incorrigibly tries to shoot the moon when he plays hearts

  • John Henson, "Drew Henson" or "Jim Henson"

  • Going through a pretty extreme anarchy phase the past two years
  • Talks incessantly about 'the perfect murder' while staring at Zeller
  • Wears scuba gear in the team shower
  • Meows really obnoxiously whenever he sees a dog

  • Edge: Mason Plumlee

    The Coaches

    Coach K, The Insinuator

  • Capable of hypnotizing anyone with his weird, rhythmic speech
  • Scares the shit out of small children
  • Invented the dribble
  • Often found mumbling Mother Goose rhymes with a serene smile

  • Roy Williams, "HardyHardyHarHar"

  • Tells endless farming anecdotes
  • Chases after fire trucks
  • Best 'pig-rider' in the county
  • Square dances by himself

  • Edge: Coach K


    And there you have it: Duke has the edge at all 5 positions and coach. And that's not even counting our bench, with Young Threezy and The 'Munk (Thornton) and The White Raven. This game is going to be a blow-out. 312-5. See you tomorrow for an actual preview.


    1. "Coach K wouldn't know a good big man if he fell face first into Wilt Chamberlain's crotch" That would make a great cartoon/caption for a newspaper...you should submit it to the DTH (or reese) and become famous.

      Your analysis is sound, though I smell a slight bias!


    2. I think that's exactly what the DTH needs. I'll give the sports editor a ring later today.


    3. LOVE your objectivity Shane ;)

    4. From now on I'm calling Curry the Slick Koala. There is always a gem in you posts.

    5. This is a load of shit. Go to hell DOOK!!!!

    6. Seth Curry's spirit animal is definitely a Koala. It had been vexing me trying to figure it out and you nailed it.

    7. I will always picture Nolan when I'm listening to "Eastbound and Down" from now on.
      How about for a hot potato tomorrow you ask how much Duke is going to win by?

      Dr. K

    8. I was heartened to learned that the negative comment above was not from my brothers, for once, but from someone in Raleigh. I'M MOVING UP INT HE WORLD, BABY! PEOPLE OUTSIDE MY FAMILY HATE ME!

      Carrie, I have a way with animal spirits.

      Dr. K, that is one hell of an idea and I might take it. I also have a great Moody Blues story from my intramural game tonight. I got tooo-osssed.


    9. Slick Koala sounds like both an awesome nickname and something you'd find in the Kama Sutra. I'm a fan.

      Where did Sally, that bitch from Raleigh/Red Terror spy, go? Undelete her comment and unleash the Moody Blues, dammit. And more importantly, who did you headbutt tonight?

    10. Single-handedly shooting your team to a defeat followed by getting tossed the next game? Who you channeling these days, Shane?

    11. "Square dances by himself"

      The tagline Don Draper wrote for the Goldwater campaign.

    12. i agree with you, and thanks for information

    13. i like basketball, now i playing basketball at school, so thanks for information, make me more motivation