February 06, 2008 - Doyle On Duke

Something may appear seriously awry in Chapel Hill tonight. As out-of-place as the smooth orangutan-like outer labia that rests awkwardly above Tom Selleck’s shaved upper lip, the UNC Tar Heels just ain’t gonna look right when they take the floor against the #2 Duke Blue Devils on this most hallowed of basketball evenings. And these razor-burned Heels don’t have a prayer. Not if Ty Lawson sits placidly on the sideline in his bright blue “Dennis the Menace” jammies.

I’ve got three pet peeves: the first being ladies like my cousin Jenni, leaving shoes in the middle of the gawddamn floor!!! Second is an otherwise-talented, well coached basketball team not locking up or rotating out on great wide-open three point shooters. (Not normal, not good, not a freakin’ afterthought-to-their offensive-philosophy shooters, but great, and potent 3 point marksmen). Third, and mostly, I cannot abide said team not playing solid, consistent, brick-wall team defense! Not when it is my frickin’ team! These Heels don’t stop “no drive, twelve feet in!!!” Sorry Roy.

Do not doubt for a minute that Coach K has tweaked his entire program to compete with the juggernaut that Roy Williams has awakened just down the block from his ESPN-sponsored ‘corner’ of the college basketball precinct.
The spank-down that Roy has put on him over the past few years, usually without the same level of experience, or overall talent, or his kids’ acumen for his ‘system,’ has changed the way K recruits and coaches. Tonight, it will be enough. Down the line, who is to say? Well, me: UNC and Williams will own Duke for the foreseeable future.

Overall UNC has the advantage in individual talent, except for Gerald Henderson, obviously. As a team, however, they are woefully behind the Devils. They do not play team defense. They do not stop the dribble. They do not help out in the paint. They do not see man-you-ball. They do not aggressively close-out on shooters. Most of all, they don’t run a half-court set. Ever. That is a recipe for shit stew against the Blue Devils.

Sadly, inevitably, the Devils win by 12, 88-76.