Posted On: January 13, 2014 By: Cliff Comments: (0)
It wasn’t pretty but finally Duke got back in the win column with a 69-65 win over visiting Virginia on Monday night.
Debuting their lowest ranking since the last time they fell out of the AP Top 25 in February 2007, they let an 11-point lead with 3 1/2 minutes completely slip away before finding a way to avoid a third loss in four games. They held on mostly due to Rasheed Sulaimon who got a nice to bounce on a three point attempt and a couple of big rebounds by Amile Jefferson. Sulaimon finished with a season-high 21 points
There had been a lot of talk heading in to the game as to why the team had been struggling as of late. Was Jabari Parker pressing as plays more games as a Freshman? What happened to the lock down defense that Duke has been known for? It wasn’t either of those as Coach K explained in his press conference after the game. He put all the blame on himself saying he hasn’t coached the best since his brother passed away in December. You can’t fault Coach for that, as a team the assistant coaches need to step up and the players definitely need to step up. Lets hope that the win over Virginia get the guys motivated and headed in the right direction as we get into the meat of conference place.
You may have noticed there hadn’t been any new posts for a while. I had been extremely busy with family matters and a little bit of traveling I wasn’t even able to watch the two games before the game vs Virginia. I should be back posting more and tweeting as well over at @JustDukeCom
Posted On: December 19, 2013 By: Cliff Comments: (0)
Duke got back to their winnings ways of dominating in the second half and cruised pass the UCLA Bruins 80-63 as the two teams faced off in New York City. The game was tied at the half 37-37 but a strong second half performance by Jabari Parker, Rasheed Sulaimon and Amile Jefferson had the Blue Devils pulling away late in the in the game for a convincing 17 point victory.
Jefferson ad Sulaimon played a great second half and came up with some big time buckets and defensive stops / rebounds. If the Blue Devils can get that kind of performance out of those two, look out as we head into conference play.
Parker once again shined with 23 points 10 rebounds and five assists. As we have seen all season, Jabari is basically a man out there playing against boys. As long as the Freshman can stay healthy, he could possibly be the player of the year in my opinion.
I can forget to mention Quinn Cook who dished out five assists, had seven steals and chipped in with 14 points of his own.
Great win on a neutral court against a pretty good team that is good enough to make a run in the tournament.
Duke moves to 9-2 on the season and will be in action December 28th against Eastern Michigan.
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.
Follow us over on Twitter at @JustDukeCom as we live tweet during games with the #DukeGang
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: (0)
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: (0)
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: (0)
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: (0)
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!
@JustDukeCom on twitter. Follow for in game tweeting and join the DukeGang!