Posted On: March 26, 2014 By: Cliff Comments: (0)
It has been almost a week since we watched Duke fall to Mercer in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament. Duke fans sure wasn’t expecting it but it came happened and for the second time in three years a Duke team didn’t make it out of the 2nd/3rd round set of games. To just put it out there, the 78-71 loss was pretty damn embarrassing in my opinion.
The 14th-seeded Mercer Bears with a starting lineup of five seniors played Duke strong through out the first half and then pulled ahead in the last five minutes of the game when their leadership took over. Duke on the other hand and no one step up and take over the game. Rodney Hood? Nope, Jabari Parker? Nope. Both players never got it going in a very disappointing loss.
The two guys that did play well were Quinn Cook – 23 point and Rasheed Sulaimon – 20 points.
In the end however it was the Mercer leadership that won. A team with five seniors coming up with the biggest win of their careers in their final season of play. That sounds like a Duke team where we used to have Seniors playing meaningful games and leading their teams to victory.
So will Coach K stop with the one and done type players? Not according to his press conference. He said we will still recruit the best high school players out there no matter if they plan on leaving after one year, or staying all four years and graduating. The incoming recruiting class has four highly rated players including Jahill Okafor who is expected to definitely be a one and done type player. The one plus for Okafor though, is that he is a big man that can play down low. Something Duke is missing when they are so guard orientated. When the three ball isn’t dropping, hopefully Okafor will be be scoring down in the paint.
In the end, it was another lousy season for a Duke fan. I’m sure the coaches and players feel the same way. Any time you are getting knocked out by Lehigh or Mercer, it is a lousy season…
Posted On: March 16, 2014 By: Cliff Comments: (0)
Duke had a long shot chance of possibly grabbing a number one seed on Sunday had they beat Virginia in the ACC Tournament championship but that didn’t go as planned as Virginia controlled the game with a tight defense, crisp passing and was able to get to the free throw line as they beat the Blue Devils 72-63.
So with the loss, the selection committee put the Blue Devils in the stacked Midwest region and gave them a number 3 seed. The first game will be played Friday March 21 at 12:15 p.m. at PNC Arena in Raleigh vs Mercer. Mercer is the 14 seed and comes into the tournament with a 26-8 record and a 14-4 record in the A-Sun conference. As a team, Mercer averages close to 80 points a game so Duke is going to have to play some tight defense to pull out the win.
Wichita State received the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region, followed by No. 2 Michigan, No. 3 Duke and No. 4 Louisville. A win over Mercer would propel Duke to the NCAA Third Round where they would face the winner of sixth-seeded UMass and the first-round match up of Iowa and Tennessee. That Iowa/Tenneesee game would be a fun to watch!
We will be tweeting during the entire tournament so follow @JustDukeCom on twitter and join in!
Posted On: March 11, 2014 By: Cliff Comments: (0)
It wasn’t surprising but Duke Freshman Jabari Parker was officially named the ACC conference Freshman of the year on Tuesday. The true freshman averaged 19.2 points and nine rebounds for Duke, which finished the regular season 24-7 and 13-5 in the ACC.
Parker did not earn the conference player of the year however that some thought he would. Instead the player of the year in the conference went to N.C. State sophomore T.J. Warren who led the league in scoring at 24.8 points per game. Warren received 28 votes while Jabari received 25. It was close but Warren played lights out and had one hell of a season.
Congrats to both T.J. and Jabari!
Category: Duke Basketball