Everyone knows that Gary Williams knows how to prepare his team against Duke, I’m not sure anyone expected MD to be able to hang in so closely the entire game, but one had to consider that Duke made this game harder than it had to be. Sure MD hit some big shots in the second half but Dukes porous defense allowed MD to stay close and gain confidence as the game progressed. Duke had a golden opportunity to put MD away when Jordan Williams left the game with foul trouble. MD could have folded up and if Duke had sufficiently attacked the basket perhaps we are talking a 15 to 20 point blowout victory. You have to credit MDs guards with really putting the defensive pressure on Duke they seemed to keep Dukes guards off balance and Jordan Williams, despite being in foul trouble, had a mans game. In 31 minutes Williams scored 23 points, and 13 rebounds. None of the Duke big men could keep up and keep Williams off the offensive glass and couldn’t stop guard penetration. The secondary and help defense as slow, out of position and ineffective and you could see the frustration in the coaching staff during timeouts.
Its not all doom and gloom Duke had sparks off the bench in Tyler Thornton and Seth Curry, Seth provided 12 points off of the bench and was able to use his shot fakes to get the MD defenders up in the air. Tyler Thornton provided the defensive spark off of the bench with 4 steals and some heady defensive plays. You have to love a guy who comes in and makes the most of his minutes. Thornton coming in allowed Nolan to move to the two and contributed to the offensive running better and Duke being able to pull away late in this game.
Nolan by no means had a horrible game, but he did have a horrible first half. There were some unforced errors and the ball didn’t bounce his way but the measure on this young man is that he did not let that determine his level of effort, he never let up and hit clutch shots down the stretch and was able to put in 18 points and 8 assists and 7 rebounds.
The steadying influence in this game was Kyle Singler, we thought that he would be a matchup problem for MD. Singler burned the Terps to the tune of 25 points on 10-19 shoring, Kyle also had 10 rebounds. Without Singler picking up during Nolans struggles Duke loses this game.
As good as Kyle played in this game, an area of concern for the Devils is the lack of production form the post. I expected Mason, Miles and Ryan Kelly to have some difficulties defending the post against Jordan Williams but this was a game that Mason was invisible in. While he did pull down 6 rebounds, Mason had 0 points and 5 fouls. Duke is going to play some better teams and post production is going to be a must, on nights where the shooting touch isn’t in the building, Duke is having issues manufacturing points. If Duke is going to depend on shooting jump shots there will be a lot more too close for comfort games, and while we all know they can win them, will they always be able to?
|A.Â Bowie, G||32||0-4||1-2||4||5||1||1|
|J.Â Williams, F||31||10-17||3-6||13||0||3||23|
|D.Â Gregory, F||30||3-7||2-4||4||0||2||8|
|S.Â Mosley, G||25||3-8||2-2||6||2||3||8|
|T.Â Stoglin, G||24||1-10||1-2||3||5||4||3|
|C.Â Tucker, G-F||29||6-13||0-1||7||2||4||14|
|H.Â Palsson, F||14||0-3||0-0||3||0||3||0|
|P.Â Howard, G||10||2-2||0-0||0||3||3||5|
|J.Â Padgett, F||4||1-2||0-0||0||0||0||2|
|B.Â Weijs, C||1||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0|
|E.Â Levent, F||Did Not Play|
|A.Â Pankey, F||Did Not Play|
|M.Â Parker, F||Did Not Play|
|Duke Blue Devils|
|K.Â Singler, F||40||10-19||2-4||10||0||1||25|
|N.Â Smith, G||40||5-18||8-8||7||8||3||18|
|A.Â Dawkins, G||30||3-6||0-0||2||1||2||8|
|M.Â Plumlee, F||25||2-7||0-2||8||1||3||4|
|R.Â Kelly, F||17||1-5||0-0||3||0||1||2|
|S.Â Curry, G||18||3-4||5-7||1||0||3||12|
|M.Â Plumlee, F||18||0-2||0-0||6||0||5||0|
|T.Â Thornton, G||12||1-1||0-2||0||0||2||2|
|C.Â Peters, G||Did Not Play|
|J.Â Hairston, F||Did Not Play|
|K.Â Irving, G||Did Not Play|
|T.Â Zafirovski, F||Did Not Play|
|D.Â Mayer, G||Did Not Play|