Anti-Duke Manifesto-The Complete Hate

20 of 30

Remember too that Duke regularly leads the conference in steals and blocked shots – other telltale signs of aggressive play – and still enjoys prodigious advantages in foul tallies. Going back to the title year, for example, Duke had 411 steals compared to its opponents’ 282; Duke blocked 196 shots, its opponents, 117. Inside players, meanwhile, feast off of a constant barrage of moving picks and not-so subtle pushes. Danny Ferry, for example, was allowed to shove his way to better collegiate rebound stats than any number of superior inside players who have subsequently, in pro ball, easily exposed his dearth of true skills.

The foul disparities become more baffling still, when one considers Duke’s prevailing offensive approach. In recent years, Duke has emphasized the three point shot. For roughly the past five seasons, the offensive philosophy reminds one of the 1980s Loyola-Maramount squads as Duke players repeatedly jack up one long-range shot after another. Usually, such a team approach produces low foul counts for the opposition, as outside shooters are rarely fouled. Nevertheless, Duke’s free throw advantage continues unabated, even as JJ Redick runs and guns in a fashion that would make Rick Pitino proud.