Posted On: February 20, 2014 By: Cliff Comments: (0)
The first matchup in the heated rivalry between Duke and North Carolina went to the bad guys as they took a late lead and knocked down their free throws in the final minutes to beat Duke 74-66. As a Duke fan, I know these games are typically close and one stretch of game in the second half usually is the different. Thursday night was no different in the Dean Dome.
Duke went scoreless over a eight minute stretch in the middle of the second half. The scoring drought was primarily caused when UNC went to a zone that had the Blue Devils jacking up three pointers that were not dropping. For some reason, I have to question why Andre Dawkins was not in the game during this stretch when Carolina started playing the zone.
A few other factors in the 8 point loss was the lack of fire on the defensive end of the game for Duke. They didn’t seen to play with fire and really go after rebounds or box out. I can really only think of Marshall Plumlee who rebounded well and showed some aggression while playing down low. That kid really stepped up his game last night. For the other guys, not so much.
So round one goes to the Tar Hells with round two being played at Cameron. I expect a totally different team to show up to even up the series this year. Play with some fire and intensity for 40 minutes and never take your foot off the pedal. It’s time to learn how to finish off teams in the second half.
Posted On: February 3, 2014 By: Cliff Comments: (0)
It wasn’t the ending we were hoping for Saturday night when Duke traveled up to Syracuse to play in front of 35,000 people in the dome but there were a lot of good things to come from the loss. The team fought, fought and fought to the final horn and did so with out Jabari Parker and Amile Jefferson on the bench after fouling out.
There were a lot of iffy calls that Duke fans thought went against the Blue Devils. The main one was when Rodney Hood went to dunk it and was fouled across the arm but the whistle never blew. Hood would have had a shot to tie the game with one free throw or put the team ahead with two free throws. The no call was pretty much the end of the game.
Despite the call, the guys seemed to grow this last week with the road win at Pitt and the close game at Syracuse. Coach K is getting the lineup how it needs to be for the most part and rotations are shaping up. Losing a conference game like this is fine, just gotta learn and build from it so you are stronger come March when the games really matter.
P.S. Rasheed Sulaimon you are a beast!