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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Quick Hitters on Duke vs Kentucky

I'm wearing down after a full day of hoops, so Im just going to bullet a few things while the game is fresh in my mind.

1) Poythress had his coming out party. He was quiet in the Maryland game and hadn't stood out in Kentucky scrimmages from what I heard. Tonight he got 20 points on 9-13 shooting, most off dunks. They didn't run many plays for him, and the ones they did were cuts to the hoop, but Poythress made himself a presence by attacking the offensive glass - he had 5 boards. He was way too much of a bully for Rasheed Sulaimon to handle in the second half. Poythress took advantage of that matchup the way he should.

Poythress still has a long ways to go as he is more of a power forward at this point. He hasn't shown any playmaking ability and his jumper is still a question mark. He is best when he is starting his offense in the mid-range area, where he showed nice touch on a jumper. He's in a similar position that Adonis Thomas was in last year, but with the talent around him he should generate more hype and get comparisons to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. They both have great energy, but their games are different. MKG is a better ball handler and pass while Poythress has a better looking shot and much more strength.

2) Rasheed Sulaimon started off 0-5 from the field, but he was a big help in their win. He looks like he could convert to a Jrue Holiday-esque point guard in the NBA. Even as a shooting guard, Sulaimon has a nice future at the next level. He is able to get into the lane and kick it out off the dribble all while being under control. He is a good passer and smart decision maker - 4 assists and zero turnovers tonight. He looked to make plays whenever the ball was in his hand and got hot late from 3-pt range.

3) Archie Goodwin on the other hand, plays out of control most of the time. Unfortunately, of the two, Goodwin was the one asked to play point guard for his team since Harrow was out. He did have 4 assists but also turned it over 4 times. Coach Cal has compared him to Tyreke. That can be both a good and bad things. And I think thats the way it should be taken.

4) It seems like Cauley-Stein and Goodwin are the two guys Cal yells at the most. Cauley-Stein actually played WR in high school and is so fluid for a seven footer. Its actually scary watching him move around the court so easily at that size. He looks like a future first round. There is still plenty for him to learn.

5) In the matchup of stretch PFs, Id give the edge to Kelly. Wiltjer struggled. I do think Kelly is the better player and more ready for the next level at this point, but Wiltjer has more time to develop. Kelly wasn't at Wiltjer's level as a sophomore.

6) Nerlens Noel has been OK for me. Some may be disappointed if they came in with too high of expectations, but he has met mine so far. He was able to get good post position and make some easy buckets for a guy with his athleticism. He created a few steals and swatted a few shots. He got on the floor, played hard, and didn't try to do too much. He has had to face two good centers in Len and Plumlee and they both had good games against him. But hey, Plumlee has 3 years of experience on him. He should dominate him.

7) Speaking of Plumlee, he was active yet again. He also turned it over 5 times and dealt with foul trouble before fouling out. He manages to utilize his athleticism and shaky skill set enough to score. He still has no reliable moves that translate to the NBA, but his energy, rebounding, and athleticism around the hoop are good enough to make him a first round pick. Im not buying the rest of the hype on him.

8) Also I have to mention Seth Curry, who was Duke's best player tonight. He was able to score 23 points against a team full of NBA athletes - Curry's draft stock is certainly not dead.

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