Posted On: November 13, 2013 By: Cliff Comments: (0)
It was an ugly night at the free throw line for Duke as they shot just 16-of-28 from the charity stripe in a 94-83 loss to the Kansas Jayhawks. The game was being played in Chicago at the United Center where Coach K and the guys typically play very good basketball but Tuesday night was a different story with the bad free throw shooting and bad defense vs the Jayhawks.
The game was being billed at Jabari Parker vs Andrew Wiggins as the two freshman who are expected to be top 3 picks in the next NBA draft were going against each other. Parker stole the show to start things off by knocking down three’s and throwing down a one handed alley opp from Quinn Cook but it was Wiggins who had the final say later in the second half when he took over the game. Wiggins scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half, outplaying Parker down the stretch. Parker did finish 27 points, nine rebounds and two steals but it wasn’t enough and he would foul out on a Wiggins dunk.
As a Duke fan, I expected more of a supporting cast behind Parker. I really expected Rodney Hood to step up and have a bigger game than he did but he finished with just 11 points. Amile Jefferson knocked down some big shots down low and chipped in with 17 points.
For this Duke team to be a top contender, Parker is going to need more help and the guys are going to have to knock down their free throws. Free throws are going to be a HUGE part of scoring this year as the refs are calling any hand checking and forearms in the back down on the block. To me, it’s slowing the game down, frustrating fans and taking any sort of rhythm from teams. The players are going to have to make changes, or games are going to turn into snooze fests.
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Posted On: November 10, 2013 By: Cliff Comments: (0)
It was the Rodney Hood and Jabari Parker show early on Friday night inside Cameron Indoor Stadium. Hood playing his first official game in a Duke uniform poured in 22 pts and grabbing 9 boards. Parker shot the ball all over the court and did pretty much anything he wanted to and finished with 22 points as well as he was playing his first college game.
The Blue Devils pretty much controlled the game and did what they wanted from the opening tip. Besides Hood and Parker, Quinn Cook chipped in with 21 points while Rasheed Sulaimon added in 20 points coming off of the bench.
The 111-77 victory over Davidson moved the Blue Devils to 1-0 on the season. Up next is a big showdown with Kansas on Tuesday night. The two teams will face off in the late game after Michigan State and Kentucky battle it out.
Posted On: March 22, 2013 By: Cliff Comments: (1)
It appeared that Duke would run away form Albany a couple of different times Friday night but the Great Danes battled back and got the lead under 10 in the second half before Duke was able to pull away for the 12 point victory. Many fans were thinking here we go again, Duke a #2 seed going to lose to a #15 seed just like they did Lehigh however perimeter shooting came through and the guys were able to get the win.
It was pretty much Seth Curry and Mason Plumlee on offense for the Blue Devils. Curry scored 26 points on 10-14 shooting, and Plumlee was 9-11, including six dunks for 23 points. I expected Plumlee to have a big game as Albany had no big guys that should have gave him any problems.
The defense is still what scares me with this team. I still haven’t realized that his team is not going to defend very well and they are going to lack rebounding. But for some reason, I still bring it up during the games as I tweet. Guys are playing to soft and not boxing out and getting rebounds. They need to man up and be more agressive on the defensive end plain and simple!
So up next the guys have a tough matchup with Creighton. If you have not seen Creighton play this season, keep your eye on Doug McDermott. McDermott is an all-american who can score from all over the court. He will get some nice shifty layups when in close, but can stroke the long range shot as well. He can easily go for 30 points if Duke does not man him up and be quick at doing it.
The Blue Jays will be trying to run and run all game long. They get a lot of points in fast break transition so Duke’s guards have to get back on defense quickly and pick up the man with the ball right away. The Jays can match Duke as far as three point shooting goes, so this is going to come down to who rebounds better and limits the second chance points.
Currently Duke is a 5 point favorite in the game which seems about right. It’s going to be close right down to the end in my opinion. Hopefully Coach K’s experience will push the team over the top and Duke will move on to the sweet 16.
Posted On: February 14, 2013 By: Cliff Comments: (1)
The rivalry continued on Wednesday night when the Tarheels visiting Cameron Indoor Stadium to take on Duke and in typical fashion between the two teams the game was back and forth up until the final buzzer. A strong second half push by Seth Curry and Tyler Thornton led the Blue Devils past the Tarheels 73-68 in the first match up of the season between the storied rivals.
In the first half Duke was slowed down by foul trouble. Mason Plumlee quickly picked up two fouls and then had to play soft on defense so that he would not pick up his third early on. That allowed Carolina to dominate the boards and get easy buckets in the paint as well as points of second attempts. The foul trouble early on really let Carolina run their game plan easily and Duke found themselves down 33-29 at the half.
Mason was still able to put up Plumlee 18 points, 11 rebounds – while Quinn Cook scored 18 points and Rasheed Sulaimon finished with 13 for the Blue Devils. The guys really battled back in the second half and Carolina wasn’t able to knock down their shots late to get it to a one possession game. The Tar Heels were 13 of 23 from the free-throw line and missed 7 of 10 during a critical late stretch while falling to 1-4 this season against ranked opponents
It was a great win for the Blue Devils. Not only did they beat North Carolina but they did it on Coach K’s birthday.
There can’t be a let down now though. The team will travel up to Maryland for a game on Saturday. Games up there are always close and with Maryland leaving the conference I expect this game to come right down to the end as well.
Posted On: January 24, 2013 By: Cliff Comments: (1)
It was a ugly night on Wednesday for Duke has they got dominated in every facet of the game against Miami. The team fell behind early and seemed to lack emotion and the desire to play which you rarely see out of a Coach K team. The team sure didn’t play up to the #1 ranking as they lost to the Hurricanes 90-63.
Yeah, a Duke team gave up 90 points to a Miami team. The game was terrible to watch due to the style of play and lack of energy on the court. It almost seemed that the guys didn’t even want to play defense. They were slow getting back on defense and when you aren’t making wide open jump shots on the other end things are going to get out of hand just as they did. Duke’s ncaa basketball odds surely took a hit and they could possibly be looking at a two or three seed in the tournament as I expect them to drop at least one more conference game.
I understand that Ryan Kelly being out hurts the team on both ends of the court, but damnit someone needs to step up. The offense isn’t being ran correctly or in flow. Quinn has to do a better job of managing the half court offense and guys need to block out and grab an offensive rebound to get second chance points. None of that was happening last night.
Will the guys respond better on Saturday against Maryland? I sure hope so or things are going to be UGLY for at least a couple more week.
Posted On: January 8, 2013 By: Cliff Comments: (2)
For the third game in a row, Duke got off to a very slow start against Clemson. What I don’t like about these slow starts is that they are happening at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Are the guys not coming out motivated enough? Will they show up on the road and play down to the competition? These are questions that plenty of Duke fans are asking themselves tonight.
One other thing that I didn’t care for tonight as I watched the game was Mason Plumlee down on the block against Devin Booker. Mason seemed to rush his shots and even had a couple of his shots blocked by Booker on back to back shots. What happens if Duke plays a against a dominating big man that won’t back down? Hopefully the guards will be knocking down shots if that happens. I do have to give Mason credit, he did grab 13 rebounds.
The bright spot of the night was Quinn Cook who torched the Tigers for 27 points. Cook controlled the ball well on offense and knocked down his shots unlike the previous game where he went 0-11. Cook is growing up and playing very good ball.
Up next is a game against NC State on Saturday. The guys will need to come out and play good ball right from the opening tip if they want to remain unbeaten and run their record up to 16-0 and 3-0 in conference play. My guess is that it happens and Plumlee will have a big game!
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Posted On: November 14, 2012 By: Cliff Comments: (1)
What a fun game it was to watch on Tuesday night as Duke faced off against Kentucky for the first time since 2001. The game was played down in Atlanta at the Georgia Dome after Kansas and Michigan State played. It was a game of highly recruited Freshman playing for Kentucky going against a strong Senior laden team for the Duke.
Behind Seth Curry and his 23 points Duke was able to pull away late in the second half and defeat the #3 ranked and defending national champions by the score of 75-68. The came went back and forth until the end when the Blue Devils were able stop a Wildcat run and then knocked down some free throws to seal the victory.
Mason Plumlee also had a nice game despite being in foul trouble most of the game. Playing much more aggressive than we have seen in the past, Mason scored 18 points in 29 minutes. The key for Mason will be staying out of fall trouble but still play aggressive. He was going against a very aggressive Freshman in Nerlens Noel and he will just have to learn to control himself better on the defensive end and not pick up ticky tack fouls.
Looking back at the game, it was a great win for Duke. It will give the guys some confidence heading into the start of the season and it’s always great when you can beat Coach Calipari at anything. No matter if it is on the court or during press interviews. The players did it on the court, and Coach K did it in his interview after the game. Stay classy Calipari…
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Posted On: July 5, 2012 By: Cliff Comments: (0)
The rumors had been swirling around Durham and the rest of the country for the past week that Mississippi St. transfer Rodney Hood would be choosing to transfer to Duke. Things finally became official on Thursday and Hood will be joining the Duke mens basketball team. Hood, a 6-8 wing, will sit out the 2012-13 season due to NCAA transfer rules and will have three seasons of eligibility remaining.
Hood averaged 10.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game while playing as a Freshman at Mississippi St. Hood is one of those lengthy guys that likes to play on the outside. At 6’8 he is a miss match for most defenders on the wing. Expect Hood to get a lot of action at both forward positions depending on how the lineup will look in 2013-2014.
Even though Hood won’t be able to play in any games this up coming season, it will be great to have him around the program. He will fit in nicely for the 2013-2014 season. If i had to do any sports betting on the matter, I’d bet that Hood will be an impact player for the Blue Devils once he steps foot in Cameron Indoor Stadium.