Duke 82 – Marquette

Brian HoraceGeneral Information, Results/ThoughtsLeave a Comment

As I tweeted last night, who the hell pissed in Mason Plumlees cheerios? The man played like he was possessed with the spirit of Carlos Boozer. He put on a show and when Duke needed it the most. It seemed instead of just being satisfied to run up and down the court, Mason took ownership of his play and truly made a difference in this game to the tune of 25 points, 12 boards and 4 assists. That, my friends, is a mans game. Everyone who has seen Mason or been around the program has always said “when”, not “if”. Mason clearly has the talent, and the body to be a force, but what seemed to be lacking was the fire at times. He had that fire last night.

Mason was deliberate, and purposeful and made plays. He was a force on both ends of the floor, also blocking 5 shots and changing a few others. This sort of brilliant flash shows what this coaching staff expects out of Mase game in and game out. If Duke can get that plus stepped up play from Miles and Ryan Kelly who had subpar games, then this team becomes a juggernaut..where is the weak point when the bigs are playing well.

Masons play aside this was an ugly game for the devils, wrought with turnovers and sloppy play. Not to say there weren’t moments where they looked amazing, there were. It was hard to tell if the fact that Marquette didn’t fold have an effect on the teams mental stamina. If so then this game was what they needed. If Duke makes the same kind of mistakes against Kansas State, Pullen and company will make them pay dearly. K-State are as tough a team as there is in Division I. Duke will have to play better, and I never thought I would say this but, especially the guards. We all have to realize this is a work on progress, or even a work in process but I’m sure Coach was not happy with the players not being strong with the ball, and letting a scrappy Marquette team back in the game.

If Duke does not get adequate production off of the bench then it’s going to be a long night for the Devils, aside from Andre Dawkins the bench was mostly non-existent in this game. K will need Miles Plumlee and Seth Curry to step it up and contribute in other ways if they aren’t scoring the ball. Rebounding against K-State will be probably the most important stat aside from turnovers. It should be a good match-up.

Other notable numbers from last nights game, Kyrie Irving had an uncharacteristic 5 turnover night, mostly flukes and one bad call on a double dribble, but still he had 11 points and 7 assists. Nolan Smith was able to cobble together 18 points but had 6 turnovers and looked a little shaky. Kyle Singler hasn’t shot the ball well for a couple of games but still managed 14 points and 6 rebounds, but had to play 38 minutes. I’m sure that Coach k would like to limit those types of games for Kyle.

It’s going to take a much more concerted effort to beat Kansas State, and I do think Duke is up to the challenge, hopefully they don’t sink into last nights bad habits with this quick turnaround.

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