A lot was made about Clemson being a trap game for Duke after an emotional and hard fought victory against North Carolina. Coach K was not going to let that happen. In a concerted effort to keep the team emotional and focused Coach K stressed how big a game this was, throughout the game K was fired up, exhorting the team and the crowd. No let down occurred.
Duke won this game going away 78-56 and it wasn’t even that close. Clemson wanted to keep the 60s against Duke but never got to the 60 point threshold themselves and aside from a 10 point performance from Jaron Blossomgame no Clemson player scored in double figures and scoring was an issue the entire game. Duke had a gameplan to speed up the Tigers and the Devils forced the pace the entire game. Running after misses, running after made shots and making an already anemic offense scattered and frenetic. Duke seemed to feed off of the speed and the offense at times clicked but at others Duke would go stretches where the offense seemed to stammer and stutter but Clemson was never able to capitalize on those instances.
Duke, without big man Jahlil Okafor, who was nursing a sprained ankle suffered in the UNC game, didn’t really miss a beat getting prodigious scoring efforts from senior Quinn Cook and freshman Justise Winslow. Quinn Cook lead all scores with 27 points on 11 for 18 shooting, the senior guard also added 4 assists and a steal. Justise Winslow plays best when he is playing aggressively and against the Clemson Tigers he was ultra aggressive taking the ball to the rim sometimes going the length of the court. Winslow ended the night with 20 points and 13 rebounds. When the Duke offense stalled it was the duo of Cook and Winslow who would extend the Duke lead. Tyus Jones dished 9 assists in the win and scored 11 points for Duke and kept the Devils under control even with the hurried pace.
At the half Duke amassed a 15 point lead and sans a small push from Clemson at the beginning of the half Duke controlled the entire game. Duke had an edge in points in the paint 42 to 30 even without their star big man, and points off of turnovers were squarely in the Blue Devils favor 16 to 9.
A great sign for Duke fans was a 10 point outburst by freshman Grayson Allen, who went 3 of 5 from the field and hit a 3 pointer for the Devils. Allen has steadily looked more comfortable with is increasing role and was on the floor for Duke 18 minutes.