It was good to see Duke rid itself of last years demons by completely destroying the Clemson Tigers in this game 74-53. Duke gave up only 12 points in the first half and minus a few minute spurt by Clemson after halftime Duke never had any real threat from Clemson. It was good to see Duke show toughness in this game, something they used to defeat UCONN earlier. On a Singler block of Trevor Booker, Booker and Singler stood face to face for a few seconds, Booker recognized that this was not the same Duke team as last year and acknowledged Singler with a smile. I’m sure coach K stressed to this in the week of practice.
The Clemson press bothered the Devils but not enough to be a factor, Duke had several press busting plays but did have a few instances of bad passes and sloppy play. Overall Duke did a good job, having as many competent ball handlers as they do, it was bound to work out in their favor.
Duke did it’s defensive damage defending the post against the Clemson bigs but will have to get even better against much bigger and more experienced teams. With Georgia Tech coming up soon, its going to be a tough road, Duke will have to get more from the Plumlees and Brian Zoubek on the boards and in the scoring column. Lance Thomas may be a bit limited against these bigger teams due to his slender frame but his energy is always an asset.
Clemson had no answer for Dukes guards in this game, they put up numbers against Clemson, big numbers. 22 for Nolan Smith, 22 for Jon Scheyer and Singler 16. Just to look at the numbers it’s hard to really find where Duke dominated in this game, rebounding margin was only 4, Duke made 3 more from beyond the arc. There was only a difference of 2 in the turnover dept., you have to dig deep into the percentages, Duke shot an even 50% while Clemson had to struggle to get theirs up to 32.7% for the game. It clearly was all about defense for the Devils, holding Trevor Booker to 10 points on 4 for 11 shooting was essential. Taking away the best that Clemson has to offer was obviously the game plan going in and it certainly worked, this could be a defining win and statement for the Devils.