Without their leading scorer UVA really never had a chance in this game. It’s unfortunate because watching Sylven Landesberg play is a treat. He is a star in the ACC and would have put some good pressure on Dukes defense both off the dribble and from distance.
So really this game was never really a contest although Tony Bennett must like what he sees in the players that did step up. Jerome Meyinsse in particular gave Duke a hard time on the interior scoring 21 of Virginias 49 points. He also pulled down 7 rebounds and really did his part in this game. We also got to see a little of the highly touted freshmen Tristan Spurlock who only played 5 minutes near the end but showed glimpses of what we will see from him next year. He is going to be a flat out star for the Hoos.
For Duke it was the usual suspects: Scheyer with 20 points on 8-14 shooting, good to see his percentages go up. He also had 3 assists, 1 turnover and 5 steals. My favorite stat is that he played 33 minutes instead of 40… I love to see that late in the season.
Kyle Singler who has been truly forcing the issue as of late put on another good offensive performance scoring 21 points on 6 for 10 shooting. Kyle was offensively aggressive, looking to take the ball to hole when it was appropriate and taking the 3 when it was there for him.
Nolan Smith didn’t have the best offensive game but had 2 assists, a steal and a couple of rebounds. Some other positive signs for this team in this game was the turnover numbers. Duke only had 8. If they can keep that number low they will be in good position in most games, that prevents run-outs and easy transition buckets for the opposition. In actuality even when Duke was forced into transition defense they did well, they hustled back on D, it was good to see this late in the year, and several times it prevented easy scores for UVA on what looked like sure layups.
The other sign we like was the performance of the bench. They didnt light ip up or anything but to have Andre Dawkins see a 3 go down and also to have a nice drive to the basket against ACC competition could be big for him and team going forward. Dawkins actually played 19 minutes in this game, pretty sure that’s his highest total in a while. He scored 5 and had a couple of assists as well. This could be huge. Also coming up big off of the bench was Mason Plumlee, putting in 6 points but more importantly not committing silly fouls and dishing out 2 assists. He also got extended time in this one 18 minutes.
Next up for Duke is MD, this game is probably the biggest of the year and really could cement Duke as a number 1 seed in the NCAA tourney. MD is now rannked and is playing its best ball of the year. This team is always dangerous and especially at home, they are going to be ready to take it to Duke.
Duke overwhelms Virginia
Singler, Scheyer shoot Duke past Virginia, 67-49
AP Photos: Duke 67, Virginia 49
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