Despite a concerted effort to take Jon Scheyer off his game, Duke found ways to make it happen. Scheyer had one of his worst statistical outings of the year shooting only 3-11, and turning the ball over 4 times. That would normally spell disaster for the Devils but not today. Duke got superman efforts from the Plumlee brothers:
Miles Plumlee had a career high against Wake Forest scoring 19 points and pulling down 14 rebounds, evenly distributing his rebounds on each end of he floor. Miles carried the Devils in the first half when their perimeter could not hit the side of a barn. Definitely Miles’ best game in a Duke uniform.
Mason Plumlee just like Miles cleaned up misses and has become much more aggressive on both ends of the floor. Mason dunked his way to 11 points and 7 rebounds in only 15 minutes of action. Most of the Plumlee put backs and shots were in dramatic fashion, sometimes seeming to surprise Plumlee himself. As he eases his way into the offense there will be less and less pressure on the backcourt to carry the load, that bodes well for Duke going forward as they move deeper into the ACC.
Nolan Smith seems to be the unsung hero for Duke as of late, while not having a great shooting game (6-17), his 20 points were needed when Duke needed someone to be able to create shots off of the dribble.
Kyle Singler finally had a game befitting his preseason billing putting in 21 points and 15 rebounds for Duke, Kyle took a beating in this game physically as the Demon Deacons seemed hell bent on getting the most out of every foul, not sure if they were trying to send a message or what but there was some genuine concern for Singler and Mason Plumlee on a couple of plays, on the heels of an article discussing how physical the ACCÂ has become.
What we can discern from this game is Duke is tough, no matter what you may think about them, they can take the hits and keep coming, something that may not have been the case in the past. Also they are a team in transition, trying to get its frontline up to speed and that effort will continue to pay dividends for Duke. We all get guilty of looking ahead but wow can you imagine both Plumlees getting the rock from a PG like Kyrie Irving. WOW! The future looks bright, but the present isn’t too bad either.