Duke Basketball

Singler is back and leads Duke over Temple

Senior forward Kyle Singler had struggled the previous five games but he sure came out of the slump Wednesday night against Temple. Singler took the ball to the basket early in the game and got to the free throw line to get things going. When the final buzzer sounded, Kyle finished with a team high 28 points and six rebounds and Duke beat Temple 78-61.

Nolan Smith didn’t score over 25 but added 15 points and six rebounds to go along with four assists. It wasn’t Nolan’s average game but Kyle was there to pick things up on offense. That’s exactly what the team needs when Nolan isn’t shooting the ball to well.

I’d still like to see the Plumlee brothers be able to score from down low on the block. Throwing up a wild hook shot or traveling every other play does nothing. Control those feet and let’s see some moves from the brothers.

Up next is a road game Saturday night against Virginia Tech. Expect this to be a tough game and a loud crowd up at Va Tech. Game time is set for 9 pm so it’s a late one for everyone on the East coast.

- Cliff @justdukecom

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Category: Duke Basketball, Duke Basketball Game Notes

Duke wins a sloppy game over Virginia

Once again the Duke Blue Devils started off an ACC game playing sloppy on the offensive end and once again it was the defense that pulled through to get the victory. I’m not sure what’s going on with the slow starts but something needs to change soon because one of these times the opposing team is going to shoot the ball well and we will be looking at another Blue Devil loss.

On Wednesday night, the guys struggled early on as they visited the Virginia Cavaliers. Without Senior guard Nolan Smith, this probably would have been a loss but Smith stepped up and had 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists to lead the fifth-ranked Blue Devils to a 56-41 victory. It was the lowest scoring game for Duke all season long and Kyle Singler struggled once again. Singler finished with just two points.

Virginia often used a f our guard setup as they don’t have very many big guys. Luckily for Duke, Virginia shot just 3 of 12 from behind the arc or this would have been a different game.

A win is a win and especially on the road but Coack K and the guys need to come out and play better. Hopefully in the next game they will come out running and knocking down some early shots to get some confidence. Especially Mr. Singler because he is going to have to step up if the guys plan on making a deep run in the tournament.

- Cliff @justdukecom

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Category: Duke Basketball, Duke Basketball Game Notes

Duke rallies to beat North Carolina 79-73

It was another classic Duke / North Carolina showdown Wednesday night in Durham as Duke rallied to beat Carolina 9-73 in front of a jam packed Cameron Indoor Stadium. Things went bad for the Blue Devils right from the opening tip off as the Tar Heels pretty much made every basket and grabbed every rebound as they jumped out to a double digit lead. UNC would dominate the first half and take a 43-29 lead in to the locker room but that is where things turned around for Duke.

I don’t know what was said at halftime but I’m sure it had something to do with getting a rebound and driving to the basket rather than jacking up quick three point shots. The Blue Devils came out on fire in the second half and quickly cut that Tar Hell lead in half behind great defense, rebounding and getting the ball inside with Kyle Singler.

It was around the eight minute mark when Duke finally took the lead behind Seth Curry who caught “NBA JAM ON FIRE MODE” and scored seven points in one minute. It was like Seth was out there shooting like his older brother for a while. Curry finished the game with a season high 22 points but he was not the player of the game for Duke.

Senior Nolan Smith who said this game was the biggest of his career dropped down a career high 34 points. Twenty two of his points came in the second half but it was the first half where he kept the Blue Devils in the game. Without Nolan knocking down shots in the first half, Duke would have been looking at a 20 point deficit going in to the locker room. Nolan knew he had to do something early when the team was struggling and that is when the Senior stepped up big time.

With the win, Duke extended its home win streak to 33 games, the longest active home win streak in the nation. The Blue Devils are 62-2 at home since the start of the 2007-08 season, with the only two losses coming to North Carolina.

- Cliff @justdukecom

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Category: Duke Basketball, Duke Basketball Game Notes

Duke takes care of Maryland on the road

Some people thought that Duke would have problems on the road against Maryland but for the most part, they pretty much dominated this game on the scoreboard. They might not have dominated down low, but they dominated where it matters which is on the scoreboard. The 80-62 final score showed just that.

I wasn’t able to watch the first half of the game, but watched the second half and Kyle Singler looked great. At one point, he scored eight or nine points in a row coming off screens and knocking down the open shot. Kyle is really showing his mid range game and coming up big. I laugh at people in the media that say he is having a down year. Please…

Nolan Smith once again showed why he is a potential player of the year as he scored 21 points and led the team at the point guard position.

The one problem that the Blue Devils had was stopping Jordan Williams who finished with 20 points and ten rebounds for the terps. He is a big load down load and seemed to either make the basket or get fouled every time he touched the ball.

Facing a guy like Williams in the tournament could cause problems for Duke if that team has other guys that score from beyond the arc and knock down open shots. It’s something to really pay attention to once the brackets come out after the ACC tournament.

That’s pretty much it. Short recap as I get ready to board a plane and get out of this -40 degree weather. Time to head to Las Vegas and warm up during Super Bowl weekend!

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Category: Duke Basketball, Duke Basketball Game Notes

   

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