Good news about this game is that Duke won, bad news is they played non-inspired basketball. Defensively Duke showed that it has yet to put it all together, there were still missed assignments, still reaction times and still a lack of Duke playing aggressively.
We are used to Duke coming out, especially after a loss, playing its best ball. Today was not that way. You could clearly see coaches on the bench urging, exhorting the Duke players to be aggressive. Instead what we got was an inspired effort from Georgia Tech. Capitalizing on Dukes overall haziness and confusion the Yellow Jackets after falling behind by double digits ended the half on an 11-4 run. In the second half Tech was able to get the lead down to two, with Glenn Rice Jr. taking it to Duke freshman Austin Rivers hitting tough shot after tough shot. What ultimately sank Georgia Tech was missing 4 free throws with 2 chances to tie the game.
One has to wonder how this game would have went down as a true road game at Georgia Tech as the crowd was less than enthusiastic.
Some of the more immediate changes after the Temple loss were in the starting lineup. Quinn Cook and Miles Plumlee got the start for the Devils and some would argue that Cooks insertion was overdue. Quinn responded by scoring 10 points and dishing 5 assists to only one turnover. Cook was effective and aggressive on offense but still needs to get stronger and quicker on the defensive end.
Miles Plumlee started the game going 3 for 3 but only managed to play 17 minutes because of foul trouble but looked good in limited action.
Duke was paced by Ryan Kelly who scored 21 points, 14 of which came at the free throw line, 8 of that in the waning moments of the game. Seth Curry added 15 going only 5 of 12 from the floor. What Duke did do well was to hold on to the ball, Duke turned the ball over only 9 times in the game, but only turned the Yellow Jackets over 13 times.
Once again for the Devils rebounding was an issue, a shorter but harder working Tech team out-rebounded Duke 38 to 26. Also lacking for Duke was 3 point shooting, shooting only 27 percent for the game.
Next up for Duke is UVA at Cameron, this will been gimme as UVA is playing great ball, and has earned a top 25 ranking.
On another note here is a radio spot I squeezed in before the game, thank you so much to Jordan Lauterbach at 88.1 WCWP in New York.