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Duke Outmuscles Clemson 70 – 59

By March 3, 2011No Comments

Senior night at Cameron against the Clemson Tigers turned out to be a dog fight, and while Duke pulled away from the Tigers for a 70-59 win, that score is not indicative of the closeness throughout. For a Duke fan, while you enjoyed the effort that both teams gave, there was no level of comfort for you watching just as Clemson allowed Duke no comfort on the court. It was a game of spurts and Clemson was pretty much able to match every run that Duke threw at them. These types of 5,6 or 7 point runs generally are how Duke puts away teams in Cameron. The Tigers would have none of that. Their press kept Duke off balance and caused, along with some sloppy ballhandling, Duke to commit a season-high 20 turnovers. Brad Brownell clearly had his team ready to fight and this team did just that.

For Duke Nolan Smith did get near his average with 21 points, but efficiency was not his strong suit on this game going only 7 of 20. And while he had 7 assist, he also committed 8 turnovers. Kyle Singler added 18 points on he and Smiths senior night and while they didn’t play exceptionally well, they played tough and got the win against a team on a mission and a team like Virginia Tech with a hint of desperation. Duke is going to have to play better against UNC and going forward because it’s crunch time and teams are looking to hang their hats with a win against  top 5 team. Teams are getting geared up and targeting this team. Just ask Virginia Tech who came out and took it to Duke only to turn around and, according to one blogger, lay an absolute turd against Boston College. Duke is going to have to match intensity for intensity going forward if the expect any kind of run in March. And although this is not the same team who made that incredible run last year, the jersey is still the same, and that is all teams are seeing.

The positives for Duke besides a win on senior night against great competition in a NCAA tournament intensity type of game is that Seth Curry looks to be living up to the number 30 jersey and cementing himself as that third option on the offensive end. His unorthodox game sometimes is just what the Devils need, Curry has an old school flavor in his game and his 18 points were crucial in this win. His confidence grows with each game, and he doesn’t let a bad game throw him off the next game.

Duke for the second season in a row goes undefeated at home, obviously this does little going forward as Duke will not see Cameron again this year but it is a nice thing to put on your list of accomplishments for the year. Next up is UNC who is surging, beating them in Chapel Hill is not going to be an easy task. There are many that believe they are the best team in the ACC, at least in the past month or so you would have to argue for that fact. Despite a season ending injury to Reggie Bullock they beat Florida State at home and are in the drivers seat for the regular season ACC crown at this point.

What we can say about Dukes senior class is that they have not only been through 4 years of wars with many more triumphs than tragedies, but they can say after all is said and done that they wore Duke Blue and represented  as well as anyone ever has. Congrats to Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler and Casey Peters it’s been an honor to watch and report on your progress and growth.

Clemson Tigers
Jerai Grant, F-C283-110-02-2611131248
Tanner Smith, G202-40-20-012210044
Demontez Stitt, G364-150-36-6374203314
Andre Young, G353-102-71-311110129
Devin Booker, F-C183-112-40-002010238
Zavier Anderson, G30-00-00-000010220
Bryan Narcisse, F202-30-00-023121114
Catalin Baciu, C10-00-00-000000000
Milton Jennings, F293-100-24-44110111310
Cory Stanton, G81-50-10-000020122
Jonah Baize, F10-00-00-000000000
DeAndre Hopkins, G10-00-00-000000000
Duke Blue Devils
Kyle Singler, F375-121-37-95112114318
Ryan Kelly, F232-21-10-026002115
Nolan Smith, G407-202-65-8247108421
Seth Curry, G356-133-63-3012101018
Mason Plumlee, F342-30-04-517205238
Miles Plumlee, F60-10-00-012000010
Andre Dawkins, G60-00-00-001000100
Casey Peters, G10-00-00-000000000
Tyler Thornton, G180-10-10-003110330
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