Well it wasn’t a thing of beauty against Alabama but there were some good signs in the first half especially. Duke began the night much better than it ended against Vermont. Duke communicated well for most of the game on defense and even rebounded evenly with an athletic Crimson Tide. Duke won the game 74-64 on the strength of its second half free throw shooting. Duke got to the bonus early in the second half and ended the game shooting 24 of 29 from the line. It was a game of runs as basketball should be with Duke assuming control for the majority of the game but never out of reach of Alabama. Junior Forward Nick Jacobs, not usually known as a scorer, gave Duke fits in the middle. The 6’8 low post player was able to put points on Duke in the paint with relative ease scoring 18 points on 8-14 shooting.Duke would counter with Jabari Parker who went for a career high tying 27 points. Parker also pulled down 8 boards and was 9-10 from the free throw line. In true freshman fashion Parker would also have 5 turnovers.
Rodney Hood had a game to forget, fouling out in the second half and only scoring 8 points. Duke would get a huge boost from freshman Matt Jones. At the 11:13 mark in the first half and with Duke down 12-5 and Hood having gone to the bench the freshmen stepped up and hit a corner 3. On the very next defensive possession Jones would collect his first defensive rebound of the game. The very next offensive possession, and from the very same spot, Jones knocked down another triple to bring Duke within a point of Bama. That was the spark that sent on a fun and eventually the lead, which bounced back and forth for a while. Jones would finish the game with 13 points and a steal
The second half, much like the first was a game of runs but Duke would eventually pull away from the Tide.
There were pluses and minuses in the game for Duke. Positively for the Devils they seem to figure out the zone pretty easily which was a concern coming in for the Devils. Mentioned earlier Duke would even up the rebounding against a team that had length and size. Duke also shot well from three going 6-15, and well form the free throw line as well 24-29.
Negatives for Duke were pretty glaring, far too many turnovers for the Devils 19 in fact which is a season high. Duke had a deficit in points in the paint and also in fast break points. Duke was bailed out by the poor shooting from Bama from behind the arc. Duke had issues solving the full-court press of Alabama and that should be a major area of emphasis going forward for the Blue Devils.
Enjoy the win Blue Devils fans, enjoy a much improved defensive effort and a much more talkative team and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Alabama Crimson Tide
|Rodney Cooper, F||3-8||1-3||0-0||0||7||7||3||0||0||3||4||7|
|Retin Obasohan, F||1-7||0-2||6-10||0||1||1||2||3||2||2||4||8|
|Jimmie Taylor, C||1-1||0-0||0-0||1||3||4||0||0||0||1||2||2|
|Levi Randolph, G||3-9||1-3||0-1||2||3||5||3||1||0||2||3||7|
|Trevor Releford, G||2-7||0-3||7-7||1||1||2||2||2||0||4||4||11|
|Nick Jacobs, F||8-14||0-0||2-4||4||3||7||0||0||3||0||2||18|
|Shannon Hale, F||0-4||0-1||0-0||1||1||2||1||1||0||1||4||0|
|Carl Engstrom, C||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Algie Key, G||5-7||0-0||1-1||0||3||3||1||1||1||3||3||11|
Duke Blue Devils
|Rodney Hood, F||3-8||1-3||1-2||0||1||1||0||3||0||3||5||8|
|Jabari Parker, F||9-12||0-0||9-10||0||8||8||2||1||1||5||3||27|
|Josh Hairston, C||0-2||0-0||2-2||1||1||2||2||0||0||0||5||2|
|Tyler Thornton, G||1-3||0-1||4-4||1||3||4||4||5||0||2||2||6|
|Quinn Cook, G||6-14||3-4||2-2||0||4||4||2||0||0||4||1||17|
|Amile Jefferson, F||0-2||0-0||0-0||0||4||4||0||0||0||1||2||0|
|Andre Dawkins, G||0-3||0-2||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Rasheed Sulaimon, G||0-2||0-2||1-2||0||1||1||5||0||0||2||0||1|
|Matt Jones, G||3-5||2-3||5-7||1||2||3||0||1||0||1||1||13|