UNC takes out the Blue Devils and Duke helps the Heels do it 74-66. Duke had the game somewhat well in-hand when the bottom dropped out. Duke’s perimeter defense crumbled against UNC and Duke on offense could barely scratch the rim. The only player that seemed to show up on both sides of the floor was junior guard Quinn Cook who would score 17 points and add 2 steals and 2 assists. The most frustrating part to the loss is the disappearance of the most important offensive cogs for Duke in crunch time. Duke got very little from Rodney Hood, Jabari Parker or Rasheed Sulaimon when they were needed.
Duke did very little in the second half once Carolina began to hit shots, Duke aided them with a lack of rebounding effort. It wasn’t hard to notice a lack of hustle once shots went up. UNC players routinely crashed the boards while Duke players were caught watching the ball.
UNC was led by Leslie McDonald who broke out of a recent slump to score 21 points and led all scores. Duke was led by Jabari Parker and Quinn Cook who both scored 17, Rodney Hood would score 16 for Duke in the loss.
A lot of things went wrong for Duke and all were self-inflicted wounds.
1. Rodney Hood is a great offensive player, but his stat line was flat, 16 points but he isn’t giving Duke rebounds or assists he has to use his size to his advantage on both ends. He is a fantastic player but habitually bad when it comes to boxing out.
2. Free throw shooting for Duke was atrocious. 58% is unacceptable for a Duke team, tired or not, those points (5) could have [...]
Randy Dunson (@RandyDunson) & Brian Horace Preview Duke (21-5, 10-3) – University of North Carolina (UNC) (18-7, 8-4) REDUX
Duke (21-5, 10-3) – University of North Carolina (UNC) (18-7, 8-4) Preview
Randy Dunson & Brian Horace
February 20, 2014
Note: Much of this preview has not changed since its original issue with the exception of statistics and a few updated pointers, observations, etc.
Duke hits the road again for the fourth time in the past five games this Wednesday when it takes the short bus ride over to the ‘Dean Dome’ in Chapel Hill, NC to play its arch rival UNC. The Blue Devils are 7-5 away from Cameron Indoor Stadium this season, including 4-3 in true road games. Duke is 19-2 against unranked opponents this season with their only losses coming on the road against ACC foes Notre Dame (77-79) and Clemson (59-72). They are ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press Poll and No. 6 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll. Duke has won four of its past five road games. The only loss during that stretch came at No. 2 Syracuse, 91-89, in overtime. Duke has played on the road in five of its past seven games. Duke is 3-1 this season when having one or fewer days between games. The Blue Devils are on hectic run of four games in eight days. The Blue Devils will play at North Carolina on Thursday before facing No. 1 Syracuse on Saturday. The North Carolina game was postponed on February 12 because of a winter storm (subject of another post). The stretch began with a win at Maryland on Saturday.
The UNC Tar Heels were picked to finish third in the ACC by the media. They are now living up to those expectations after a very slow and often chaotic start. They had been an up [...]
If Only…Random Musings on the Postponement Debacle of the Duke – University of North Carolina Basketball Game by Randy Dunson (@RandyDunson)
If Only…Random Musings on the Postponement Debacle of the Duke – University of North Carolina Basketball Game
By Randy Dunson
As preface, this short article (Op-Ed if you will) is based on my own thoughts and opinions and is not to be construed as representing the thoughts of any other institution, persons, etc.
The date was Wednesday, February 12, 2014. The stage was being assembled for one of the nation’s fiercest sports rivalries, Duke versus UNC in Round 1 of the so-called “Battle of the Blues”. There was just one problem, well many really, but front and center was ‘Mother Nature’, and she had other things in mind. In the two days prior to this event, all of the local weather forecasters, including the National Weather Service (NWS), had forewarned everyone who cared to listen that a severe winter storm was on track to hit the Triangle area on that fateful Wednesday. Apparently, few, including those interested in the game, heeded the warning.
I will not go into a fully detailed timeline as it has been fully documented in the mainstream media and by the NWS. Suffice it to say, the timing of the postponement was far too late for all concerned. The ‘blame game’ lit up social media like a firecracker! Frankly, I feel that blame is an appropriate term in this situation. It should be shared equally, but unfortunately, that was not the case based on the facts already reported in other media sources. A good case-in-point was that UNC Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham actually created much of the ‘hoopla’ when in an interview he clearly indicated that the sole cause of the postponement was the failure of the Duke team bus to reach Duke’s campus [...]