Patrick Kendall (rivalblues.com)
I want to go on record up front that the omission of Danny Green was the only error I intend to apologize for from last week's blog. I'm a little surprised at myself that he was left out of the comparison so as a result I will amend my Forward analysis and call Green/Stephenson/Thompson a Push against Singler/McClure/Thomas (two names that weren't mentioned either in the last blog.) As for Marcus Ginyard, he plays solid defense but offers very little in terms of offensive potency so he does not sway any argument except to strengthen my assessment that UNC has more depth in the front court. If you put him in as a guard he is outclassed by Duke's players.
Also, I notice that only omissions from UNC's side were pointed out which I take to mean that the Duke fans got the point of my analysis while Heel fans just felt the need to complain about the unfairness of the comparison to their team - the one currently ranked #1 in at least one poll and the one I picked to win the title in '08. Boo hoo!
So, on to the clarification.
First of all, I'm VERY disappointed at the lack of comprehension by the Heel folk who took my blog as a head-to-head analysis of players and not positions. So, this time I'll write slower.
Backcourt - Duke has better depth at each position. Starting talent at the Point Guard spot goes to UNC because Lawson is so dangerous but Nolan Smith is better than anybody that UNC can bring in for Lawson's relief. At Shooting Guard I'll call the starters a push assuming you compare Ellington vs. Nelson. They each have different strengths but at this point in the season Ellington is only shooting slightly higher from beyond the arc than Nelson and Nelson finishes better at the rim. Also, Taylor King and Jon Scheyer come in off the bench at this spot and Bobby Frasor is not either of them in terms of pure talent
Frontcourt - Carolina has better depth at these positions overall, but the starting forward talent is a push. Henderson vs Green is a push and Singler vs. whomever favors Duke because of his outside shooting. Ginyard, Stephenson are strong in relief here because of their defensive abilities but UNC has no backup whatsoever for Mansbrough. When he is out there is no advantage for UNC because all of Duke's players (Zoubek withstanding) can score from long range. Also, keep in mind that Coach K can use Taylor King as a shooting forward because of his size.
Overall, I give Carolina the win here because of Mansbrough
So, it was pointed out to me that UNC has chemistry and Duke has talent, and that my blog may have been misnamed. In reviewing my facts I concur. Duke has MORE talent overall than Carolina and is playing BETTER overall basketball right now.
Say what you want about schedules and home games, Duke is beating the teams that they are playing. If you want to go and look at same opponent facts, then you only have Davidson - a team that gave UNC much more of a scare than it gave Duke. Duke led the whole game while UNC had to come back and steal the win. Good guards impact games more than good forwards in college. That's a cold hard fact.
Even if you argue Greg Oden I'll point to Kevin Durant. Oden played down low and only touched the ball when it came to him; Durant brought the ball up many times and could impact the game from more positions as a result. He was a guard in a forward's body. Duke has couple of those players this year - not at the same caliber but in greater numbers.
I'll stick with my final assessment - Duke wins the ACC; UNC wins the title.
Now, Heel fans - quit whining and enjoy the season.