The way Duke has limped into the last few games, I had to wonder how they would respond to NC State. A team with a lot of young talent, but a team who’s best player is coming off of an injury and still isn’t completely back to game shape. Tracy Smith assured the media that he was at 85% and that is still better than most post players in the ACC so I won’t really count that as a factor in this one. Duke seems to be building a bit of momentum after the Florida State debacle although they came out flat against Virginia, they finished strongly. And it seems they were ready for NC State, a team that boasts a meaty frontline and one of the more raucous environments to play in. So yes to all of the critics a true road game.
Duke came out strongly and had NC State down, it looked like it could get pretty ugly but State answered Dukes run and kept the game within reach for most of the game.
The most surprising part of this game was that the peripheral players seemed to carry Duke in this game, we only say peripheral because this year with Kyrie being out, it seems that it’s all fallen on the shoulders of the two seniors. Tonight neither shot particularly well but both had stellar efforts on the defensive end. That’s not to say there were no contributions, Nolan Smith was all over the place and was as crafty a veteran as you can find in college basketball today, he scored in every way one again. Nolan knifed through the defense at times, hit some mid-range jumpers, baited the NC State D into fouls and got to the line, just player of the year stuff out of Nolan. He, in addition to scoring 22 points also had 6 assists to 3 turnovers. You like to seed that combo with Nolan, he seems to be birding that gap between scoring guard and distributor and when he does that he it most dangerous. Kyle Singler did not put up great numbers in the first half, in fact he was absolutely cold but kept being a factor on defense and once the second half started became more aggressive and got to the hoop and drew fouls, that seemed to get his shot going. So good on Kyle for recognizing that this was a game to bring your hard hat to. Duke was cold for the most part from beyond the arc with Singler, Dawkins and Smith going 3-18. The rest of the team went 4-5. Duke didn’t need too much from 3 because Dukes frontline came to play. Mason and Miles Plumlee along with Ryan Kelly put their stamp on this game. If you had to give a game ball you would have to split it 3 ways. Mason ended the game with 6 blocked shots and 9 rebounds and had a couple of nice put backs as well and a sweet assist to Andre Dawkins for a dunk.
Miles Plumlee had his best outing this year with 13 points and 9 rebounds, Miles and Mason seemed to not only anchor the defense but were all over the boards in this game, and did it without fouling. The other big who also had a monster game was Mr. Dependable Ryan Kelly, who went 2 out of 2 from 3 point land and 8 rebounds to go with this 11 points. If Duke can get this kind of production from it’s bigs and bench they can definitely climb that ladder to elite status. The goal now is to establish consistency, then as it becomes habit we can start to see the true potential of this team realized. Great win and great 28 points of bench production.
|Duke Blue Devils|
|Kyle Singler, F||35||6-18||2-8||4-4||3||9||2||0||0||2||3||18|
|Ryan Kelly, F||24||4-4||2-2||1-2||2||8||0||1||2||2||1||11|
|Nolan Smith, G||39||9-19||1-6||3-4||0||2||6||2||0||3||1||22|
|Andre Dawkins, G||23||4-8||0-4||0-0||0||1||0||0||0||2||3||8|
|Mason Plumlee, F||26||3-6||0-0||1-2||5||10||2||0||6||0||1||7|
|Miles Plumlee, F||21||4-6||0-0||3-3||4||8||0||0||0||0||2||11|
|Seth Curry, G||16||2-4||1-2||3-3||0||0||0||0||0||1||5||8|
|Tyler Thornton, G||11||1-1||1-1||2-2||0||2||1||1||0||0||5||5|
|Josh Hairston, F||5||1-1||0-0||0-2||2||2||0||0||0||1||0||2|
|North Carolina State Wolfpack|
|Tracy Smith, F||34||7-15||0-0||5-7||3||9||2||0||0||3||4||19|
|Scott Wood, F||31||4-7||4-7||3-3||1||3||1||0||1||0||3||15|
|Javier Gonzalez, G||6||1-2||0-0||2-2||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||4|
|Lorenzo Brown, G||20||0-6||0-1||0-0||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||0|
|C.J. Leslie, F||30||4-11||0-0||5-10||6||8||2||4||2||1||3||13|
|C.J. Williams, G||16||1-3||0-2||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||2|
|Richard Howell, F||24||4-11||0-0||2-2||5||7||0||3||1||2||3||10|
|DeShawn Painter, C||3||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Jordan Vandenberg, C||2||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Ryan Harrow, G||34||4-13||1-1||6-6||1||2||5||0||0||1||4||15|