The first half for Duke couldn’t have gone too much better, Duke won the half 52-29 and ratcheted up the defensive pressure, which was lacking against Kansas. Rodney Hood came out on fire and scored 19 points in the first half and it was pretty clear what Coach K saw in the redshirt sophomore two years ago. Hood attacked the basket and was relentless breaking down and posting up defenders. Jabari Parker joined the party and got his to the tune of 9 points and 2 assist at the half. Duke was able to get into the passing lanes and force 5 turnovers that they converted into 8 points. The most surprising facets to the first half was 1: again Coach K utilized a deeper bench playing Semi Ojeleye and Marshall Plumlee for a few minutes and Andre Dawkins for 10 minutes. 2. Andre Dawkins had a very nice first half for Duke going 3 for 5 from long range.
The second half got a little more sloppy for the Devils who would double their turnovers from 3 in the first half to 6 in the second half. As with big leads lots of teams lose a bit of the focus and Duke was not immune to that. The game was never in question but there are still some things to work on for this iteration of The Duke Blue Devils.
Hood continued to attack the rim ending the game with a career high 28 points and 12-13 from the free throw line. Jabari Parker picked his shots and still managed to put up 21 points and grab ten boards and showed his versatility by dishing 3 assists.
The story of the night along with Rodney Hoods big game was the return to form of Andre Dawkins. Coach K also revealed that Andre had missed a week of practice dealing with a back injury. Dawkins showed no injury issues scoring 17 points in 19 minutes and going 5 for 8 from the 3 point line. The best thing to come out of this game was the look on Andres face after he hit his third 3-pointer of the game, it was pure joy, elation. It was hard not to get emotional after all that has been said and documented about his journey, congratulations Andre.
some things that Duke needed to accomplish:
- Get Rodney to be aggressive — check
Hood took the ball to hole and attacked the defense to the tune of 28 points
- Shore up defensive missed assignments — check
Duke would force 14 turnovers and played defense with much more intensity.
- Make free throws — check
Duke went 17 of 24 from the free throw line (70.8%)
- Get Andre Dawkins off — check
Dawkins found his groove and gave Duke instant offense off the bench and stretched the defense that gave Hood and Parker much more room to operate.
Duke will still need to work on maintaining that pressure defense (transition and in the half-court), rebounding and a bit more fluidity in the half-court offense. This game was a great start to getting Duke rolling into who they will ultimately be.[jwplayer player=”1″ mediaid=”4340″]