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Duke Over Temple 78-61

By February 24, 2011No Comments

You have to appreciate the way that Temple plays basketball, they played Duke well for most of the game but in the end Duke had more firepower, and also the Devils had, in the second half Duke adjusted to the Temple offense and notched up the defensive pressure. It was clear that if Duke could get some separation from Temple that the game would essentially be over. Clearly Temple isn’t a team built for a comeback. What was also clear was that Kyle Singler came into this game focused on getting his offensive game back on track, and he forced the issue. Going strong to the hole and getting into the lane or to the free-throw line where he was 8 out of 8. Kyle scored 28 points on 10 of 19 shooting and was the primary focus on the  offensive side of the floor, exploiting matchups that were in Dukes favor.
While I don’t think Duke had to do much tweaking to get Singler more involved, sometimes it’s just about spacing, picking your shots, being aggressive and movement. Duke had good offensive movement and that created space for Singler to work into the middle of the floor. Also his shot selection was solid, there wasn’t as much chucking up of threes or forcing the shot when it clearly wasn’t there. I would say as aggressive as Kyle played, he played with equal intelligence.

Duke also got a solid floor game from Nolan Smith who is finding that balance between scorer and distributor as the season wears on. While he scored only 15, he dished out 4 assists. The first half of this game was certainly not a thing of beauty for Duke but if you have watched the Devils all season, you’ve seen this before. Not crisp on offense and not strong with the ball.

Defensively it took a while to figure out the Temple attack as they have excellent interior passing and exploited pretty easily Dukes help defense. Kyle and Nolan got a little help from their friends in this game, and while no one had a stellar offensive game, the secondary scorers kicked in their share. Ryan Kelly chipped in 8 points with half of that from free-throws. Seth Curry put in 9 points all on three pointers, Andre Dawkins came off the bench to hit two deep 3-pointers, and in a rare show of offensive prowess, Tyler Thornton scored 6 points. You can see the light bulb going on with him in this offense, its on a dimmer switch and it’s moving at its own pace but as he accumulates more minutes you can see the player he is heading towards. Coaches have to love that. Mason Plumlee also scores 6 points to go along with his whopping 13 rebounds in this game. Mase also had 2 assists and 2 steals. It seams as if he is settling into his own after a very up and down early season. He is making his mark in the rebounding column primarily but is getting some offensive touches and is making smart decisions on when to pass and when to move to the hoop. He is just a move or two away from being a go-to guy on offense, and if that happens this year watch out.

This is the type of game where a team like Duke can easily lose focus, and it speaks pretty well of this team and the coaches that they were able to handle a team like temple in pretty easy fashion this late in the season out of conference. Temple is no slouch, ranked 24th currently, they are, just as most teams are looking to put an exclamation point on their post season resume, and that is what Duke is going to get for the rest of this season.

Temple Owls
Lavoy Allen, F397-153-40-06133222217
Rahlir Jefferson, F405-100-01-3256123411
Ramone Moore, G303-70-02-211220428
Juan Fernandez, G312-102-62-203200038
Aaron Brown, G152-50-01-211100045
Dutch Gaitley, C10-00-00-000000000
T.J. DiLeo, G173-50-00-012110126
Khalif Wyatt, G272-90-22-435020206
Duke Blue Devils
Kyle Singler, F3910-190-18-8462212128
Ryan Kelly, F352-60-34-427201028
Nolan Smith, G375-173-62-3364003315
Seth Curry, G343-63-50-003300139
Mason Plumlee, F303-50-00-0413221416
Miles Plumlee, F40-10-00-000000120
Andre Dawkins, G72-22-20-000000006
Tyler Thornton, G112-20-02-200110046
Josh Hairston, F30-00-00-001000010
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