Home » The Morning Dish » Currently Reading:

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, April 7, 2015

April 7, 2015 The Morning Dish No Comments

One of the greatest beauties of sports is that it really doesn’t matter how intricate or how detailed the analysis, evaluations and breakdowns are coming into a game. When the games are played, so much of that analysis goes out the window, and the outcome comes down to players making plays, which human beings seize the moment the most.

Coming into Monday night’s national championship game between Duke and Wisconsin, every dissection one could’ve wanted was available over the previous 46 hours. In fact, one didn’t even need to watch the analysis, for they could’ve broken down everything they could ever want from the multiple replays across several ESPN networks of this season’s earlier game between the two in December. (A prudent idea once or twice, but the repeated repeats… perhaps there is no greater example that we have too many cable channels than this one.)

With a previous meeting between those two teams as well as nearly a 40-game season sample to work with, in no analysis for Monday was Duke reserve guard Grayson Allen identified as a swing player in this game. Yet that’s exactly what happened, as Allen scored 16 points off the bench to help rescue the Blue Devils from a nine-point second half deficit. Along with incredible freshman guard Tyus Jones (23 points), it was a pair of first-year backcourt men who led Duke to a 68-63 win and a national championship.

Allen was absolutely fearless, almost by himself pulling the Blue Devils up when they looked ready to be buried. Three-pointers, three-point plays, nearly impossible finishes at the rim, steals, free throws-none was too big for the freshman from Florida who came in averaging less than nine minutes per game and didn’t even play in four games this year.

When Duke trailed 48-39 with over 13 minutes to play, it was Allen who hit a three-pointer. Then he came up with a steal. Then it was a three-point play, as he somehow scored over Sam Dekker. Then after a Nigel Hayes three-pointer it was two more free throws. Allen served as the bridge, keeping the Blue Devils in the game until Jones and eventually fellow star freshman Jahlil Okafor (at last) could take over at the end.

The title is the fifth for Duke under coach Mike Krzyzewski, and showed us again why Coach K is on the short list of the greatest coaches in the sport. This year’s Duke team was talented but also flawed. Depth in particular was a problem, and when star Okafor spent a good portion of Monday night in foul trouble, the Blue Devils were one-dimensional offensively. The Blue Devils came back and won this game with virtually no frontcourt to speak of in the second half until the final minutes.

With Okafor and Justise Winslow in foul trouble/unproductive, with senior Quinn Cook having a quiet game, with so little reliable depth all season and with Duke going against an experienced opponent that does not surrender leads, realistically there was little reason to expect a comeback when the Badgers had all the momentum nearing the middle of the second half. Instead, Krzyzewski’s team dug deep and found a way to make it all work despite all of its seeming flaws. Allen and Jones stepped up, the Blue Devils dug in on defense-perhaps too much so for Bo Ryan’s liking-and it helps to have nine McDonald’s All-Americans, but this was still an ultimate test of championship character, and once again Duke passed it.

For Wisconsin, this one will hurt for a long time, but this is a team that should not be forgotten any time soon. Ending Kentucky’s unbeaten run should ensure that, but the Badgers’ influence hopefully will go far further than that. Their style in getting this far also warmed a lot of hearts. Relaxed off the court, skilled and grounded in fundamentals on it, it’s a team all should appreciate even more as the years go on. With so many veterans, fans and followers of the sport got to know this Wisconsin team and players very well, and reminded us once again why the sport needs so many more teams like them.

Side Dishes:

  • Monday saw several players declare for the NBA Draft. UCLA freshman forward Kevon Looney is turning pro after one year where he averaged 11.6 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Looney is expected to be a first-round pick in the draft. Also in the Pac-12, Arizona junior forward Brandon Ashley announced he will depart for the pros after averaging 12.2 ppg and 5.2 rpg this year. Murray State sophomore Cameron Payne also is turning pro after two years. Payne’s pro stock has been rising of late, but the 6-2 guard will need to beef up considerably in the pros.
  • Originally thought to be done at St. John’s, Chris Obekpa now is planning to return for his senior year after meeting with new coach Chris Mullin. Obekpa is one of the best defensive centers in the country and will provide a cornerstone for Mullin to build around in his first year.
  • Finally, longtime coach Dave Bliss is returning to the sport at the NAIA level, where he will take over at Southwestern Christian University in Oklahoma. Bliss coached at Oklahoma, New Mexico, SMU and Baylor and had a successful career but is best known for presiding over a scandal at Baylor in which he made improper payments to players and then was involved in a cover-up after former player Patrick Dennehy was murdered.

Tonight’s Menu:

  • The 2014-15 men’s college basketball season has reached its conclusion, but the women’s college hoops season has one more game as Connecticut and Notre Dame meet again in the national title game Tuesday night. The two teams are meeting in the final for the second straight year, and the Huskies are going for their third consecutive championship.

Have a wonderful Tuesday.

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Coaching Changes

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 26, 2018

April 27, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we spend a lot of time looking at what the Commission on College Basketball came up with, as their report was just produced. We also look at the NBA Draft and transfers, which have many rosters potentially in flux for next season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 6, 2018

April 6, 2018 by

In our first podcast in the postseason, we look back one more time on the NCAA Tournament, which was just what we needed at this time. We also look at the NIT, CBI and CIT, as well as important transactions with players leaving early for the NBA Draft and coaching changes.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2018

April 3, 2018 by

The 2018 national championship is in the books, and with it another season of college basketball. We break down the national championship game and some of its implications to wrap up the season.

College Basketball Tonight – April 1, 2018

April 2, 2018 by

Welcome to our Final Four edition of College Basketball Tonight. In this edition, we look ahead to Monday’s national championship game, and bring on two guests – long-time Villanova radio play-by-play broadcaster Ryan Fannon and Radford head coach Mike Jones – to get their thoughts and insights on the game.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 1, 2018

April 1, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we break d own the national semifinals, where one game went back and forth while the other was never really a ballgame thanks to an impressive performance for the ages by the winning team.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.