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Duke Cages The Wolfpack 76 – 52

By February 6, 2011No Comments

Wow, this game was over pretty quickly and State did not know what hit them. The game at one point was 10-8, and after that Duke ran away from State in rather impressive fashion. Home cooking at Cameron is always a recipe for disaster for a young team playing Duke. Nolan Smith at the half had 18 points as he took it directly to the State defense, knifing past big men and getting to the rim with ease. Also having a big first have was Mason Plumlee, scoring 10 points and getting more and more aggressive each game. It’s easy to see coaches are zeroing in on getting Mason involved in the offense. Mason seems to be developing a go-to jump hook move which he tossed in with ease against State. Mason also seemed to move his feet a big quicker, the fire was there in his game and he seems to be taking more ownership defensively and offensively. Mason finished the game with 16 points and 12 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals. If Duke can get a solid performance out of Plumlee it adds not only another facet to the offense and forces the defenses attacking Duke to be honest, when Duke is shooting poorly an inside presence assures that offensive production will not suffer.

Its hard to pick out too many deficiencies in this game but the most glaring would be the foul shooting. Duke went 17 for 32 which is 58.8% and they had to get it up from the 47.7% they shot in the first half. Mason Plumlee and Seth Curry were the main offenders, Mason was 2-7 and Curry 2-6. Even Kyle Singler was 3-6. As J.J. Redick used to preach, you don’t want to leave points on the floor, and Duke left 15. It’s also hard to really judge Duke’s efficiency in a blow-out win, there was an obvious let down in the second half and Duke was outscored by 5 in the second.

The positives aside from the obvious scoring and defense was the play of Tyler Thornton and Josh Hairston. Thorton played 23 minutes and allowed Nolan Smith only play 31. And Josh Hairston who was alert and played with Battier like hustle, diving on the floor and getting a couple of looks at the basket. He’s all effort and as he learns the nuances of Duke basketball will be a major contributor when his time comes. Thornton too is not lighting up the stat sheet but providing solid minutes at the point, even if its just playing his brand of stout defense and getting the ball across the timeline and allowing the bigs a place to go with the pass when post up opportunities are stifled, Thornton is doing a good job of earning his minutes and filling a role.

Duke is also getting solid contributions from Seth Curry who is a fun player to watch with the ball, he can get his shots in and when he gets on a roll, can have 4-5 minutes straight of just amazing basketball. Currys defense is also something that is steadily improving he, like Tyler Thornton has quick hands and is pesky to opposing guards.

Defensively Duke did a great job of limiting open looks from three. Scott Wood who burned the Devil last time out was 0 for 5, and 0-4 from 3, apparently Duke watched film from the first meeting and decided to shut him down and mission accomplished. States go-to big man Tracy Smith was shut down by the Devils. Smith only managed 4 points on 2-9 shooting. While Duke did foul quite a bit, it didn’t hurt the squad in this game.  Next game out is the game, Duke welcomes a surging UNC team who also has only one loss in ACC play. With the recent loss of Larry Drew the deuce, UNC will be looking to show that they are every bit worthy of the rivalry this season. I look for this to be a much closer game than people may have expected earlier in the year. More on this later on today.

North Carolina State Wolfpack
Tracy Smith, F202-90-00-216200134
Richard Howell, F329-110-00-2251011418
Javier Gonzalez, G271-61-20-001520343
Scott Wood, F360-50-40-003110110
Lorenzo Brown, G346-130-23-6396002115
C.J. Williams, G131-20-10-001000252
DeShawn Painter, C192-40-06-8030022410
Jordan Vandenberg, C40-00-00-002000030
Ryan Harrow, G150-30-10-001100440
Duke Blue Devils
Kyle Singler, F285-131-23-6391111414
Ryan Kelly, F120-00-00-011101110
Nolan Smith, G316-152-26-6167211120
Mason Plumlee, F257-80-02-74120230316
Tyler Thornton, G221-50-30-011000322
Miles Plumlee, F181-40-01-246100133
Seth Curry, G244-83-52-6132100013
Andre Dawkins, G261-61-20-013110113
Casey Peters, G20-00-00-000000000
Todd Zafirovski, F20-00-00-000000010
Josh Hairston, F101-30-03-511000125


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