Duke in my opinion is still somewhat of an enigma in the ACC, not to say that they are hard to figure out but if you are preparing for them defensively they are a relatively hard team to scout, there are some constants, but there are many more variables in the mix. Who will step up to be the third option on offense? Which frontcourt will show up? Will the bench perform?
That third option against BC was Seth Curry, the sophomore guard has a unique skill set that he brings to the table. He’s not a superb ball handler, he doesn’t have size or speed. What Seth does have is a pesky nature on the defensive end that the coaching staff is hoping continues to blossom and he also has the ability to get hot and take over a game. He has shown signs of that at Duke, but against BC we say his ability to get on a roll and sustain it. Curry went off for 20 points on 6-9 shooting and 5 three pointers. I was surprised to see Curry start the game but thinking about it made sense, Andre Dawkins is in a bit of a slump, it’s nice to have that defensive spark off the bench in Tyler Thornton. This way Curry can get the feel of the game earlier in the contest, so it definitely paid off for Duke in this game.
Not to say Duke played extremely well in this game, there were spurts of efficiency on offense but there were also lulls, one such lull in the first half was 4 and a half minutes long. It was marked by impatience, quick shots, bad rebounding position and just not enough attention and focus on the details and nuances. Duke had its chances to put BC away in the first half but fumbled a bit, and allowed BC, a team clearly without the firepower of the devils, to claw back in and keep paces.Â This iteration of Dukes defense is not at stout as in years past. There were a number of blown assignments in the first half, mistakes that more often than not cost Duke 2 points and sometimes 3. Duke shored that up in the second half, more than standing their ground and putting an emphasis on D to spark the Offense. Duke shut down BC from the three and were much more active on D. They were quick to shooters and the help defense was well executed. That allowed Duke to run away from BC in the end.
This was an odd game in that the bench did not score, not one point. Duke did get solid minutes out of Miles Plumlee and Andre Dawkins although each only took one shot, Dawkins who’s shot was a 3, missed badly and was ill-timed in the flow of the offense, but he’s trying to get out of a slump, its understandable. Mason Plumlee is still not finding huge offensive opportunities but if he were a better free throw shooter his 8 points would have been 12. Mason did however post another double figure rebounding game, this has to have the coaches lighting up. Mason doesn’t have to score but it is gravy when he does. He did have a couple of highlight dunks, one off of an alley oop and one off of a great pass from Nolan Smith.
Nolan Smith had his usual monster game, scoring 28 points andÂ 8 assists and only 1 turnover, just a great effort by Nolan who shot 10 of 20 from the floor and made play after play off of the dribble and in transition. I think the broadcasters of this game put it perfectly, that when Kyrie Irving went down Nolan was only asked to do everything. He truly has, playing his way into POY talk all season long. Duke does not win without Nolans toughness on both ends of the floor, he has come a long way from the timid freshman who started his career at Duke.
Kyle Singler had another good effort in this game, although he is not lighting it up from the field he continues to play hard on both ends. He had 14 points but shot 2-7 from 3 and 5 for 14 overall. Although he is not scoring at a high clip so far this season, he is playing like a veteran and not letting that effect other aspects of his game. He will break out soon enough. Most likely as soon as Duke needs him to.
|Boston College Eagles|
|Joe Trapani, F||35||6-13||2-4||0-0||4||11||3||0||0||3||2||14|
|Corey Raji, F||31||7-12||2-4||2-4||0||3||1||1||0||3||1||18|
|Josh Southern, C||22||3-7||0-0||0-1||4||7||1||0||0||1||1||6|
|Biko Paris, G||33||4-12||3-7||0-0||1||7||3||1||0||2||4||11|
|Dallas Elmore, G||32||4-5||0-1||2-2||1||2||2||1||0||0||2||10|
|Cortney Dunn, F||1||1-1||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||1||2||2|
|Reggie Jackson, G||32||3-11||0-4||1-2||0||1||6||0||0||3||1||7|
|Gabriel Moton, G||11||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Danny Rubin, G||3||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Duke Blue Devils|
|Kyle Singler, F||39||5-14||2-7||2-2||1||6||3||1||0||1||1||14|
|Ryan Kelly, F||30||6-9||2-4||0-0||1||4||1||0||4||1||4||14|
|Nolan Smith, G||39||10-20||1-3||7-7||0||3||8||1||0||1||2||28|
|Seth Curry, G||33||6-9||5-7||3-4||2||2||3||3||0||2||1||20|
|Mason Plumlee, F||23||3-4||0-0||2-6||3||12||1||1||1||0||1||8|
|Miles Plumlee, F||14||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||1||0||4||0||1||3||0|
|Andre Dawkins, G||10||0-1||0-1||0-0||0||2||0||0||1||0||1||0|
|Tyler Thornton, G||9||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|Josh Hairston, F||3||0-2||0-0||0-0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|