Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Duke vs. Ohio St. Player by Player breakdown


Buford may be too much for Curry and the Dukies 

Ahh, college basketball is in the air, and throughout the season STOB will keep you in the loop on the Gophers, Duke, and various other college basketball teams, games, predictions etc etc.The matchup tonight between Duke and Ohio St. proved to be post worthy in our opinion. I hope you enjoy.

Individual Matchups

Duke Ohio St.

Seth Curry > Aaron Craft
Kind of a tale of two different players. Craft is a defensive minded guy who is capable offensively while Curry is an offensive minded player that is capable defensively. That makes this matchup pretty interesting as Curry is the leading scorer for Duke at just over 15 ppg. If Craft can shut him down (if not matched up defensively on Austin Rivers) than Duke will need more out of the other backcourt players. Craft won't worry Duke much on the offensive end. Edge to Curry just because his impact on both sides of the court are usually felt much more than Craft's.

Austin Rivers >>> Lenzelle Smith JR.
Rivers has the ability to dominate this matchup; the question is if we get the Kansas game version of Austin Rivers or the Michigan game? If Duke gets the controlled madness of the Michigan game, Duke gets this matchup big time. If they get the Kansas game Rivers, than this matchup becomes more even but again still goes to Rivers. Rivers other big assignment will probably be guarding William Buford at times on defense, there he will need to stay out of foul trouble.

Andre Dawkins <<< William Buford
While I disagree somewhat with the 3< win for Buford on this matchup I haven't seen enough of Buford to make a great argument for why it should be less. If Dawkins is hot, he can not only go bucket for bucket with Buford but could easily outscore him. When hot, Dawkins is arguably the best shooter in the country...some would say he may not even be the best on his team...but still is in the conversation for best in country.

Ryan Kelly = Deshaun Thomas
This is even to me. Deshaun has shown great growth from his freshman year, but nobody on Duke's roster has shown more growth than Kelly. Kelly is the second leading scorer currently for Duke and is coming off winning the Maui Invite MVP after three straight 17 pt performances. Kelly is tough defensively and makes smart plays all over the court. The athletic Thomas will be a tough matchup though and is athletic enough to guard Kelly on the perimeter.

Mason Plumlee <<< Jared Sullinger
You know you will get a great performance out of Sullinger because that is all he has done in his career. Mason Plumlee is harder to predict, but more and more he is looking like he has turned the corner in his junior year. He is longer and taller than the bulkier Sullinger. His length could definitely give Sullinger issues as it did for Thomas Robinson of Kansas. This matchup could very well be the difference in the game. Sullinger gets the edge as he is the more consistent player.

Duke Bench  > Ohio State Bench
Don't look for much out of the Buckeye bench, this team gets pretty much everything out of its starting 5. With Sullinger, Buford, Thomas and Craft though they don't need a ton from them. Duke on the other hand has capable players with championship experience they can call on. Tyler Thornton is Duke's version of Aaron Craft, a defensive minded player who makes the right play at the right time as seen with is game winning shots against Kansas last week. Miles Plumlee is more unpredictable than his brother (which is really saying something), but what you do know you will get from him is height, length and athleticism that can bother the shorter Sullinger. If Miles can contain his mistakes and frustrate Sullinger, he has done his job. Quinn Cook and Josh Hairston may also see time tonight, look for Hairston to possibly come in and guard Buford, his 6'8 size and bulk may bother Buford.

Coach K >> Thad Matta

Matta is a great recruiter but 900+ wins say Coach K is a better in game coach and if it's a close game, look for K's halftime adjustments to possibly lead to a huge early season road victory.

Prediction:


In the end I think Duke has a great shot at winning, but I think the home court advantage plus the tough matchup for Duke of William Buford and unpredictable Plumlees will lead to a win for the Buckeyes. It will be a tough game that win or lose will help both teams greatly in preparation for their conference seasons and the post season.


OSU 69 - Duke 63

If you have your own predictions or just want to hate on Duke or throw more dirt on the Gopher's grave, email us at stobcrew@stobblog.com




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