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Duke's Loss Was Chock Full of Good Stuff

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First off, 850 the Buzz has this nice video of the Hokies' Deron Washington jumping over Duke's Greg Paulus on his way up for a layup. The most amazing aspect of the play is not so much the fact that Washington hurdled Paulus but that Washington was not called for an offensive foul for being so close to a falling Duke player.

Secondly, Fayetteville Observer is reporting(hat tip: Truth About Duke) that Mike Krzyewski admonished VT's Zabian Dowdell for his celebration following the game:

Dowdell, who was first tackled in the lane by a mob of teammates then bounced up and extended the "Virginia Tech" on his jersey toward the Crazies, was stopped by Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski during the commotion.

"He told me I was too good of a player to be celebrating like that," Dowdell said. "But the way they beat us last year, they certainly celebrated. It’s hard to control your emotion at that point and it was impossible for me to hold my feelings inside."

Honestly, can K be more arrogant? Where does he get off telling a player from another team how he should celebrate a win on one of the toughest courts in the nation, especially as Dowdell points out after they lost last year at the buzzer? In fact I seem to recall Duke students rushing the floor after the win as though they had beaten UNC as the #1 team. It also should be noted that Duke players are infamous for their audacious screaming and jumping around after making plays. TAD also pointed out that J.J. Redick behaved in a similar manner following big shots. So, please put a lid on the hyprocrisy K, I am getting a little queasy over here.

And finally, the travails of Greg Paulus continue unbated. Not only was he "posterized" by Washington, but he continues to generally play a very bad point position. Paulus' line from Saturday looked like this:

0 points, 0-3 from three, 1 assist, 1 rebound, 6 turnovers in 18 minutes.

Now the one thing I keep hearing is how the time he took off in the preseason to allow his foot to heal is somehow to blame for his performance. This might be true if this were the first few games of the season but it's not. However, Duke is 16 15 games in at this point and looking back at his previous four games prior to this one, Paulus averaged 14 points a game against the slate of weaker teams which also included a 20 point outburst versus serviceable Gonzaga. I simply do not recall anyone at that point complaining about Paulus' conditioning or how his foot injury set him back. However when he has to go against quicker more athletic guards and puts up a horrible line in the box score, all of sudden his preseason injury is to blame.

How about this theory: Greg Paulus is not really that good of a point guard and his defeciencies last season were masked in large part by the fact he was playing with Redick and Williams. Now this season in an offense which can be stagnant at times and does not have much in the way of viable offensive threats, Paulus is being relied upon to try and create an offense which is leading to turnovers galore as well as very few assists since Duke is prone to score fewer field goals.

Yes, I am sure the early season was tough coming off the injury but unless he is still having trouble with the foot, I think 16 15 games is more than enough time to get up to speed with the rest of team. The constant spinning on his behalf by members of the media is reaching an embarassing point and getting very close to lacking any real credibility.