Different Shades of Blue

The Duke/UNC game really shaped up to be a good one last night.  Even in the loss, I thought Carolina showed great effort, considering they were up 16 at Duke’s arena.  Cameron Indoor is a very difficult place to play, especially for a UNC team that wasn’t really on anyone’s radar until the last few weeks.   Duke showed tremendous mental toughness coming down the stretch, toughness they’re going to need in February and March.  You could see coach K really getting into his players during timeouts, and his Blue Devils responded.   Nolan Smith gave the Tar Heels fits as dude went off for a career high 34.  I love when a newcomer hops on the scene and is explosive and dominant, such as Duke’s young injured guard Kyrie Irving, but there’s also something about a Senior who has progressed through the years.  We’ve watched Smith for four years now, but it feels like longer.  You watch a players minutes, points and confidence go up over the years, and as a viewer (at least to me) it feels like you’ve been a part of his journey.  You’ve seen a guy like Nolan be shown the way by the likes of Jon Scheyer and Gerald Henderson, and now it’s his turn to be that senior leader.  He’s filling the shoes nicely.  The 6-2 stud has scored 20 or more in 13 of his last 17 games and has taken over Duke’s top spot that I thought Kyle Singler would hold.  And while Singler is having a good year and is certainly a key to Duke’s success, Smith has busted out leading the ACC in scoring and assists.  But like I said, UNC impressed me overall.  Especially some of their execution on offense.  You can see coach Roy Williams shining through some of those sets, especially out of timeouts.  Tyler Zeller has slowly turned into the player we thought he might become.  Zeller has solid footwork and is a decent athlete for a 7-footer and averages nearly 15 and 7.  I’m warming up to the 6-10 twig John Henson who I’d never really been a fan of.  Although he forced his offense several times last night, he did some good things.  As my roommate pointed out, John Henson is a bit similar to former UNC forward Ed Davis, who left school early for the draft and now plays for the Raptors.  Both players’ arms and legs resemble bean stalks (A good example of those features seen on the left, very similar to that of Kevin Durant when he was at Texas).  And while Henson needs to be tougher, get better footwork and become more team oriented, he has physical gifts that no coach can teach.  Much like the New York Knicks in the NBA, or the Cowboys or Giants in football, college basketball is a better place when UNC is winning.  Even though the Heels may be bounced out of the top 25 after Wednesday’s loss, they’ll be back, and will surely be in the tournament. 

(This is a great behind the scenes video for any Duke fan or college BBall fan in general)


6 Responses to Different Shades of Blue

  1. Brian Lindsay says:

    The acc is clearly down this year but Duke is legit and UNC is prooving slowly but surely there are legit too. I always thought it was Drew running the offense that was holding back unc and now we see how much better they are with marshall out there. I don’t think any of them including barnes should go to the nba this yr and if this happens they are going to come back an experienced team and a top 5 team in the nation. I hate to say it b/c I hate unc but I think it’s very possible if everyone comes back. As for duke with rivers comming in next yr with some guys they will have back they will be legit but there window of a national championship is closing when smith and singler graduate. They need to get it done this year but it’ll be tough for them to repeat. I dunno if there low post players are ready to go up against people like Jared Sullinger. Only time will tell

  2. James Walker says:

    Duke is a bunch of scrubs who will get exposed during the Tourny. The ACC is a joke no wonder these guys are piling up wins. Let them bang it out in the Big East they’d be getting their lunch money taken too. Duke/UNC is yesterdays news!!!

  3. Jack says:

    theres plenty of small guards in the league that have success, dont rule him out just because hes smaller

    • Michael S says:

      fact nolan is a bum he is not gonna make it in the pros. he’s streaky and doesnt have the strength or speed to make in the L. the small guards are there because they are so lightning fast (but how does Boykins have a job LOL). i actually agree with you james walker both these teams are overrated and will be saying “bye bye” before the elite eight. i freaking hate hte acc and i hate even more when I have to hear dick vitale say “dukies” i just want him to keel over from a heart attack the next time he says it.

      • Jack says:

        Wow, your out of line..streaky? go check out his performances over the last month, hes a POY candidate

  4. Johnny F. says:

    smith played awsome last night, but I dont think he will be a good NBA player, to small. I dont think hes gonna b able to get away with way he scores half the time against bigger guards on the next level

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