Well, for all of us who worried about Kansas State being too tough for this Duke team, guess that’s why you play the games. Duke completely disassembled a top 5 team on what was basically their home turf with relative ease. Duke was never, at any point, in trouble in this game. The game plan was executed to near perfection with Nolan Smith and Kyrie Irving keeping Jacob Pullen completely off balance and struggling. Pullen shot 1-12 and was completely outgunned and outclassed by Kyrie Irving. Coach K had Irving push the ball and put pressure on Pullen to play defense which against Irving is a tall order for anyone, Kyrie made the All-American look completely ordinary by continually driving right by him to the basket. If not for the inside play of Curtis Kelly this definitely could have gotten completely ugly. Kelly had 19 points against the Duke front court with NBA style offensive moves to the basket.
On the subject of Kyrie Irving, once again his floor game was impeccable and what impressed me the most about his game tonight was when the shots weren’t falling for Dukes shooters, Kyrie drove to the basket and was able to get his shot whenever he wanted. This is what Duke has lacked in seasons past. There should be no 3, 4 or 5 minute scoring droughts for Duke. Kyrie and the Devils also showed that despite wanting to be a running team they have a pretty good handle on running half court offense.Â Duke showed that they could get whatever they wanted against K-State.Â Kyrie finished the game with 17 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds.
Nolan was the second half of the defensive lockdown on Jacob Pullen, they continually kept him off his game, Nolan and Kyrie both showed the defensive tenacity to handle any guard they come across.Â Nolan was also able to, despite having to exert a lot of energy on defense, throw down 17 points and 4 assists. It’s a luxury that cannot be overstated, having a senior guard who can play both positions. Kyle despite not putting up numbers, made some great defensive plays and was a steadying influence on the team when things were back and forth, hitting some open mid-range jumpers and some drives to the basket.
The other story line in this game is the emergence of Andre Dawkins who is embracing his role as the Dagger, it’s good to see him growing into that J.J Redick type player that wants to drive the nail in the coffin of the opponents.Â His form is impeccable, and he just may play himself into a starting position, its going to be hard to keep someone on the bench who hits shots and has improved his defense as much as Dawkins has, remember he could very easily be a freshman this year.
Duke’s bigs showed up in this game, not any one single performance was great but collectively they did a good job on hustle plays. Mason Plumlee came back to earth after his 25 point performance against Marquette but was still able to put in 10 points and 5 rebounds and one really nice alley oop dunk. Miles added 5 points and had one really nice play where he wrestled the ball from a K-State player and passed it to Nolan for a lay-up and 3 point play under the basket. Ryan Kelly hit 2 of 2 from the floor and continued being hard nosed on defense while letting the offense come to him.
One thing as fans we need to is temper the excitement over this win as K-State has its weaknesses and Duke truly exposed them, Jacob Pullen is not a point guard, he obviously is better at the 2, and this team, like some Duke teams of the past can easily fall in love with the 3. They could have easily kept feeding the ball into the post, Duke was hard pressed to stop Curtis Kelly who gave Kansas State 19 points on 8 of 11 shooting.
The scary thing for a lot of teams out there is that Duke is still feeling their way, this team could get a lot better, on both ends of the floor.
Congrats to Coach K on his 800th win at Duke, what a way to get it!!
|Duke Blue Devils|
|Kyle Singler, F||34||4-9||1-1||2-2||1||3||0||1||1||2||3||11|
|Ryan Kelly, F||10||2-2||1-1||0-0||1||3||0||1||0||1||3||5|
|Nolan Smith, G||35||6-16||0-3||5-7||0||5||4||0||0||2||1||17|
|Mason Plumlee, F||33||3-7||0-0||4-8||2||5||0||1||1||2||3||10|
|Kyrie Irving, G||31||5-12||0-2||7-7||0||5||6||2||0||3||4||17|
|Miles Plumlee, F||12||0-0||0-0||5-6||2||3||1||1||0||0||4||5|
|Seth Curry, G||20||2-4||1-2||1-1||0||1||2||5||1||1||0||6|
|Andre Dawkins, G||19||4-4||3-3||0-0||0||1||0||0||0||1||4||11|
|Tyler Thornton, G||2||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||2||1||0|
|Josh Hairston, F||3||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|Casey Peters, G||1||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Kansas State Wildcats|
|Freddy Asprilla, F||20||2-4||0-0||1-3||2||5||1||1||1||5||4||5|
|Wally Judge, F||5||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Jacob Pullen, G||30||1-12||1-8||1-2||0||3||1||1||0||4||2||4|
|Rodney McGruder, G||36||3-10||0-5||1-2||3||7||3||0||0||2||2||7|
|Nick Russell, G||12||3-3||1-1||0-0||1||3||1||0||0||1||5||7|
|Curtis Kelly, F||25||8-11||0-0||3-7||3||6||1||0||0||6||2||19|
|Jamar Samuels, F||29||4-9||0-2||4-7||1||6||1||1||1||1||4||12|
|Victor Ojeleye, F||5||0-0||0-0||0-0||1||1||0||0||1||0||0||0|
|Martavious Irving, G||22||5-8||1-1||0-1||0||0||1||0||0||0||2||11|
|Shane Southwell, G||2||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Will Spradling, G||13||1-1||0-0||1-1||0||2||1||0||0||2||4||3|
|Jordan Henriquez-Roberts, C||1||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
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