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In Which I Take the Shocking Position That Duke Is Imperfect

J.P. Giglio has a slighty schizophrenic post up arguing two points. First, that Duke is really good - 15 ACC wins is the number thrown around - because they beat a good Virginia team, and second, that Dave Leitao is the reason that Virginia... isn't any good. Needless to say, it's tough to hold both of those trains of thought in one coherent article.

It's also dangerous to jump to both of those conclusions after one ACC game. Duke's not going to win 15 in conference - no team that reliant on freshmen can achieve that level of near perfection in the ACC - but they are significantly improved over last year. The Blue Devils are playing with depth for the first time in over a decade. Nine players are averaging over ten minutes a game, something which used to be a common occurence during the Blue Devils' heyday. They're still the perimeter oriented team of the Redick years though, and as Giglio points out, that makes them susceptible to the UNC's and Clemsons of the conference.

Virginia, however, seems to be a team designed to be destroyed by Duke. They're near the bottom of the conference in turnover percentage and opposing effective field goal percentage, a fact that must have made the Duke players salivate. The Cavaliers' offense heavily relies on the three point shot, something Duke defends exceptionally well, and the one clear advantage UVa had, rebounding on both ends of the court, they failed to capitalize on, drawing even with the folks in Durham. Virginia was a longshot to win this game, and unsurprisingly they didn't come close.

Virginia will look like a better team in a few weeks, after games against Virginia Tech (a much more inferior team on offense, despite Maryland's attempts to prove otherwise) and Boston College (defensively challenged, to put it mildly). As for Duke? They travel to Tallahassee, where they've lost two years in a row, and then take on Clemson, built to push the Blue Devils around. Let's see where the Durham folks stand after that.