Monday, December 15, 2008

Duke loss: 'We relaxed our standards'

Duke’s frustration at losing to a team it defeated a couple weeks earlier was obvious in the slumped shoulders of the players in the locker room at Crisler Arena on Dec. 6.

On Monday, players spoke firmly about their eagerness to correct the mistakes that occurred during the 81-73 loss to Michigan.

“We relaxed all our standards,” center Brian Zoubek said, “and that can’t happen.”

The day after the game, Duke’s coaches called a two-hour meeting to emphasize that the players can’t take days off and need to live up to the team’s high standards. The Blue Devils shot 7-for-33 from 3-point range in the loss, and Duke guard Jon Scheyer said players have worked a lot on shooting during an 11-day break before Wednesday’s game with UNC Asheville.

But point guard Nolan Smith said shooting wasn’t the most important area where Duke failed against the Wolverines.

“(It was) defense and rebounding, our No. 1 standards,” Smith said. “They did whatever they wanted. They drove us. They played harder that day.”

As for the 3-point shooting, nobody on Duke’s team seems outwardly concerned. The Blue Devils have plummeted to 30.7 percent from 3-point range so far this season after shooting 37.7 percent last season.

Scheyer made it sound like a more relaxed approach might help the team make more threes.

“I feel like there’s a lot of pressure on each shot right now,” Scheyer said, “and at times when we have had some games when we haven’t shot the ball well, I feel like we carry that pressure over to the next shot, where we really shouldn’t do that.”

– Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

They "relaxed their standards" by playing at an opponent's home court.
LOL. Overrated.

Anonymous said...

What will it take for Duke to admit that there are other great teams out there?

Teams that can beat them.

Michael said...

Overrated? Please. They're a top 5-10 team. They didn't have a problem blowing out Purdue (another top 5 team) on THEIR home court. And while there ARE teams that can beat Duke, they shouldn't have had a problem with Michigan. They had already beat them by 15 in a game that wasn't that close.