Duke in warming up for the coming ACC season hosted Penn at Cameron Indoor and in stretches played some inspired basketball.Â While not against the cream of the crop Duke handled a Penn team who is battle tested playing games at UCLA, against Pitt, Villanova, Temple and at Davidson. With a premium on defense and rebounding Duke was able to control the boards against a smaller Penn team. Duke was also able to keep turnovers low and maximize their superiority from 3 while only allowing Penn 2 for 13 from distance.
Individually, after being called out during the game and in the media for a bad turnover in the second half of the game against Western Michigan, Ryan Kelly produced a double-double against Penn. Kelly scored18 points and pulled down 12 boards going 4-4 from 3pt range. Kelly also added 2 assists and did not turn the ball over. Most impressive to Coach K was his ability to mix it up and get hands on rebounds, not normally his strong suit being more of a perimeter oriented big.
Mason Plumlee also had a big day on the boards securing 14 and scoring 10 points. Not a stellar game offensively Mason more than made up for it on the defensive glass. Grabbing 9 of his 14 on that end. MP1 (Miles Plumlee) pulled down 7 rebounds but also added 10 point as well to the Devils total. Miles has seem to have a mini resurgence of late that everyone hopes will carry on through ACC play. Depth in the middle will be crucial for Duke going forward.
While not shooting as hot as he had been in the previous 2 games (2-5 for opts), Quinn Cook did dish out 9 assists and did not turn the ball over. Over his last 2 games Quinn has given out 17 assists and has not turned the ball over, a pretty sick stat for a freshman point guard. The gradual increase in the level of competition is working well for Cook, with the next opponent being Temple before ACC play it will be a good test as to whether Cooks performances are an aberration or the real deal. It’s easy to sees his confidence waxing with each game. Just as a point of reference albeit not really a good indicator, this Penn team took Temple to overtime before losing by 6. All of the normal caveats apply when looking at snapshots of teams as this loss happened in November.