Duke Cages the Eastern Michigan Eagles 82 – 59
After a tighter than expected first half against the Eastern Michigan Eagles that saw Duke go in at the break with a 10 point lead, Duke would turn on the jets, click, and run away with the game in the second half taking down the Eagles 82-59.
Jabari Parker would score 14 of his game high 23 points in the first half. Coach K and Duke would use Parker as a zone buster, letting him float behind the zone scoring off of lobs or inching out toward the three-point line for baseline jumpers. Parker would hit on 9 of 10 shots and also pull down 8 rebounds for the Devils. The only knock on this game for Parker would be his free throw shooting, he was 4 of 8, also he is still not as staunch a defender as one would like to see but these things will hopefully come in time for the freshman.
Another huge piece to Duke’s success today was the shooting of Andre Dawkins and the rebounding of Amile Jefferson. Dawkins did most of his damage in the second half and really lit things up for Duke going 6-10 from beyond the arc and scoring 20 points. Dawkins was instrumental in busting the zone in the second half with Jabari Parker saddled with some foul trouble.
Amile Jefferson (its pretty fitting that autocorrect continues to make me type Smile instead of Amile) played a very important game for Duke, his 14 rebounds were much-needed and will continue to be needed come ACC season. Jefferson also provide 7 points off of the bench for Duke, when the offense went stagnant Duke used Jefferson and Dawkins to keep things going.
Quinn Cook had a quiet night scoring but did run the offense well for the Dukies. Cook had 7 assists and 5 steals for Duke in a bad shooting night (1-9).
Rasheed Sulaimon coming off of his comeback game against UCLA would be a big contributor in todays win against EMU, Sheed would score 13 points for the Devils and also add 2 steals, 2 rebounds and 3 assists. The bench as a whole would be a huge factor for Duke, 34 of Dukes 82 points would come from the bench, an unusually high number but a welcomed site for Coach K.
Defensively Duke was sharp for most of the game, communicating and moving their feet on D. Duke would hold the Eagles to 59 points and not allow them to shoot over 40%, holding them to 37.5%. Duke did put the Eagles on the line quite a but but luckily for Duke they shot only 56.5% hitting 13 of their 23 attempts.
What Duke did well for the most part was not allow the zone to dictate tempo, Duke attacked the zone, especially in the second half. Duke also took care of the basketball, turning it over 14 times but limiting its effects in transition. Duke also out rebounded the Eagles 47-32, a stat we were looking at Duke to dominate in order to win this game.
Great team effort by Duke to shake up the rust and pick apart the zone that mirrors the Syracuse zone in a lot of ways.