Duke Takes it to the Tar Heel 93-81 on Senior Night in front of a raucous crowd and some high-profile signees, recruits and sports celebrities. Jabari Parker in what could be his final game in front of the Crazies had probably the game of his career. Parker scored a career high 30 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for the Devils wowing the crowd and burying the Heels in Dukes final regular season game. Parker got help from Rodney Hood who scored 24 points in what could also be his final game at Cameron. The first half Duke showed signs early that it could possibly blow out the Heels with Duke pushing an early lead to 13, but in what has been a trend for this Duke team Duke allowed the Heels to get back into the game. UNC would cut the Duke lead to 3 at the half.
The second half Duke seemed to step up the intensity on the defensive end and managed to get stops against the Carolina offense, aided by James Michael McAdoo’s foul trouble and the slow start (due to Duke defense) of Marcus Paige. Duke also shot the ball better in the second half. After going 2 of 13 from beyond the arc in the first half Duke would warm up, hitting 6 of 10 in the second. Duke also rebounded the basketball much better in this game winning the overall battle on the boards 34-20. Duke also drove the ball into the paint and forced the officials to blow the whistle. Duke trailed in made free throws 4 to 10 from UNC in the first half to 23 to 4 in Dukes favor in the second half. In the end Duke held on with rebounding and free throws and avenged the earlier loss and as one of my followers tweeted “Order is restored”.
There was a lot to like in this game for Duke.
It was good to see some flashed of the earlier season Quinn Cook. Cook would score 11 points, 6 assists to 3 turnovers and a steal. While not the best we’ve seen of Quinn, it’s a sigh of relief to see some swagger from the junior guard.
Getting good games from Jabari and Rodney at the same time, Coach K mentioned that it hadn’t really happened all season and the fellas delivered in a big way.
Defensively Duke was better in this game, not great but there were stretches where Duke was very good and stretches where they still seemed a bit slow-footed, but for the most part it was good for the Devils.
No giant stretch of offensive droughts. Near the end of the game Duke did have a few minutes of no baskets but continued to drive the ball and get to the free throw line.
Rebounding – Duke won it 34-20
Free throw shooting, 27-31 for Duke in this game. Good to see them pressing the issue and hitting at a good percentage like Duke teams of old.
Recruits got to see a great game, in the best place imaginable. Great for Duke, good for recruiting.
Duke had several possessions that ended in shot clock violations. There was too much dribbling, not enough north to south attacking and Duke began their stall ball tactic much too early.
13 turnovers are too many for this team, Duke has stellar guards but lately there seems to be a disconnect. Duke was able to even out with UNC on this front but the press and traps that UNC employed seemed to work well. These issues will need to he addressed, teams will see this tape.
Will do a more in-depth analysis later but right now time to enjoy this win – Go To Hell Carolina
Order has been restored
— grant hill (@realgranthill33) March 9, 2014
Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
“Well it’s a huge win for us, just like it was a huge win for them when they beat us there because it’s a huge game. I thought both teams played extremely hard again. There were great stats. Our offensive rebounding was terrific. We got extra shots after that. Our seniors really started us off well. We had an unbelievable start to the game. Josh (Hairston) hadn’t been playing and he played really well. I thought in the first half we had some really good looks. We were two-of-13 from three and we just haven’t been shooting well, but at halftime we said ‘just keep shooting, just keep shooting’ and went six-of-10 in the second half. When they were fouling us, every kid stepped up there and shot their free throws. Jabari (Parker) was sensational and so was Rodney (Hood). This is the first game when the two of them were sensational together. They’ve both been good together, but they were sensational together. Fifty-four points is a lot of points from two kids. We beat a heck of a basketball team and they’re really good. I’m thankful that we could finish the regular season undefeated at home and I want to thank our students. Spring Break started yesterday and they were here for our little get together last night and they provided this incredible atmosphere that’s so unique to Cameron and that helped us a lot.”
On the difference between halves:
“We hit shots. Jabari (Parker) got us off to a good start. We wanted to go in to him. He made plays tonight. He got the ball in different positions and I just thought he had his best spirit to score tonight. They’re really good. We hit some threes. When you hit those threes, you start looking a lot better. The game can go really quickly into double-digits which it did. They’re going to come back because they’re good and we had the free throws.”
On having a young team:
“We have really good kids. We’re young and so when we get tired or we’re not shooting well, sometimes we go inward instead of talking more which is something that veteran players and veteran teams don’t do. Hopefully we’re learning and can learn a little bit more this week in the ACC tournament so that for the NCAAs we’re there. The season is a process. With this team, we have more development. They listen and they work hard. Wednesday and Thursday were crazy days for our program and my staff really was good with this team over the last couple of days. I benefitted greatly from that.”
On Rodney Hood and Jabari Parker:
“With Jabari (Parker), he fought through things. It wasn’t just smooth; he had to make plays against big guys who were good players. I think Rodney (Hood) didn’t hold back. Sometimes when he misses he lets that get to him, he thinks it’s a mistake and it’s not. Tonight he didn’t play like that. He’s really good. Those two kids were very good tonight.”
On three tough Saturday home games:
“It’s a different season for our team than most teams because of that level of emotion in a game. It takes its toll on a team. Sometimes you’re not able to respond as well. It’s kind of like after we took the break after those five games and then with Wake (Forest). They played really well; I don’t want to take away from what they did. We didn’t have an edge. It’s almost like we needed to decompress and you can’t completely decompress in a season. Hopefully from this game we will be back. We’re on Spring Break right now, so we’ll have some time to practice during the day and that might help us a little bit going forward to the ACC tournament. No matter what we’re the three seed. We’re just happy with what’s going on.”
On recent health problems:
“It wasn’t lightheadedness, it was different. I got all checked out. They said – I wish they hadn’t said this – that I have the brain of a 20 year-old, I’d rather have the brain of a 30 year-old. After that they did all sorts of stress tests and said I have the heart of a 20 year-old. I said ‘Well, something’s wrong. I probably have an 80-year-old something going on.’ I feel good. It’s just been an emotional two months for me and I think that’s it. I have to manage that better.”
Duke Freshman Jabari Parker
“I think our seniors really pulled through. They were leaders for us and we listened to them. In the games that we’ve lost, we didn’t listen, but today we had to and they really pulled through for us.”
“I think our momentum on defense kind of lead to the success on offense. Once we got stops, we went out in transition, we got good looks, and we just built off that.”
On bouncing back after the loss at Wake Forest:
“It was something that we talked about right after we lost. Something had to change. Everything that was on our minds we had to spill out and just share with the team, because we can’t let ourselves get held back anymore and we need to be there for each other throughout our time here. This is our last time together [with the seniors], so we just have to pull through for each other.”
Duke Redshirt Sophomore Rodney Hood
“Just starting off the game, first of all I wanted to send the seniors out the right note. I got tired of walking around Durham and people screaming, ‘Carolina!’ at me when I walked through [stores] and stuff like that. But it was a big-time win and I’m just happy to keep the [winning] streak going at home.”
On what it’s like to play beside Jabari Parker when he’s as strong as he was tonight:
“It’s exciting. My job is to just have his back when he’s not hitting. He was just aggressive, and when he’s that aggressive, he can get any shot he wants to on the floor, and it’s just up to him whether he scores or not.”
When asked if Duke is a different team when he and Jabari Parker are both having great games:
“We’re a completely different team. Offensively, I think it’s so difficult to guard both of us at the same time. Then, when you’ve got guys like Andre [Dawkins], Rasheed [Sulaimon], and Quinn [Cook] that can chip in like that, offensively we can score in the 80s or 90s every single game. Defensively, we’ve still got to make improvements. I think that’s where we’re going to win in the postseason.”
Duke Sophomore Rasheed Sulaimon
“This was a great win. We let our seniors go out on a great note, winning their last game in Cameron against our biggest rivals. It’s definitely a momentum push, but the regular season is over now. We’re both 0-0 now, so we just have to utilize these next couple of days and get better offensively and defensively and just head into the postseason with a full head of steam. Everything is amped up right now, so we’re going to be ready and we’re going to be locked in.”
On the play of Jabari Parker:
“Jabari is a different type of human being. As much praise and accolades that he’s had, he’s the most humble kid that you’ll ever meet. He’s so grounded and he’s not the guy that wants to be in the spotlight. He’s the guy that wants his team to be in the spotlight. We’ve been telling him as a player that he needs to go out there and dominate the game because nobody in the country can guard him. And that’s what he did. He was just being aggressive and taking his shots, and he had an outstanding game. He’s just worried about our team and what we’ve got to do to win, and that’s very exciting in such a great player. He’s still young. That’s what a lot of people forget. He’s still just a freshman. He’s still learning this game of basketball and he’s still learning this level. To do the things that he’s doing is absolutely amazing. We have a tremendous amount of confidence in him, and he has confidence in himself.”
North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams
“That was a tough night for us, and I think that some of Mike’s [Krzyzewski] comments after last game, that they didn’t have ‘it,’ well I agree with him. It’s hard to say what ‘it’ is, but whatever the hell it is, Jabari [Parker] found it. We got off to a bad start in the first half and bad start in the second half. First half we were able to fight back, second half we were not able to fight back from their big-time start. Even when we got some turnovers, we ended up taking bad shots and didn’t even capitalize when we got turnovers when we were pressing. Jabari – Rodney [Hood] also – but Jabari, that was about as impressive I’ve seen in a long, long time. Again, whatever ‘it’ was, he was possessed. I thought tonight was a fantastic exhibition. Between Jabari and Rodney, we really had trouble trying to figure out a way to stop them, and at the end of the night, we still didn’t figure it out. Rebounding battles I thought, going into the game, was going to be key, and I thought it would be an area where we could – could – have an advantage, and instead, they just destroyed us on the backboards. When you look at 20 second-chance points for them and 10 for us – one of them was even on a free-throw at the end of the game, they missed a free-throw, and we got inside position, and Jabari got the offensive rebound off that missed free-throw, and they scored on that possession, as well. I congratulate those seniors for Duke. That’s the way you’d like to go out, there’s no question about that. North Carolina needs to play a heck of a lot better. We’ve got to get back to that sense of urgency that we had for a few weeks there. Kennedy – we tried to play Kennedy, but there wasn’t much there. At the pregame meal today, he was throwing up at the pregame meal, and so we couldn’t get much out of him, but we had other guys out there that still should have helped us do a better job on the backboards. As I said, one of the misses they had, they got the offensive rebound and put it back in, but when you’re 27-for-31[from the free throw line] there’s not too many misses, and we needed them to help us by missing some free-throws. They missed a couple of free-throws, and if we capitalized and scored on a couple of more turnovers, and it could have been a lot more fun at the end.”
On James Michael McAdoo getting fourth foul early in second half:
“Well, it hurt us there’s no question about that, but he fouled him. If he had gotten a better box-out, the foul wouldn’t have been called, but you have to overcome those kinds of things. We operate on a thin line. We need Marcus [Paige] and James Michael both really, really playing well. It hurt us to have James Michael over there with us for such a long time period.”
On resiliency of players:
“I’m proud of our kids with their competitiveness, there’s no question about that. This was a great college environment. It was a lot greater on their side probably, than it was on ours, but I like those kinds of things. I think it’s a test of your will, also, to be able to focus and really play extremely well with your heart and your brain. I think we played really well with our heart and competed, but we didn’t do as good of a job with our brain as we did with our heart, but I think we have a competitive bunch of kids there, and I enjoy them.”
On regular season; improving from 1-4 to winning 12 games in a row:
“It’s been hard, there’s no question. My saving time for me is when I’ve been with those guys, the kids on the court. It’s been a hard time for me for several months, but boy those kids have been fun. When it was 0-3 and when it was 1-4, they still came to practice and tried to get better every day, and they bought in even more, and bought in even more, and they bought in even more. So you appreciate that. It’s hard to think about that right now – we just got our tails kicked, but they’ve saved Ol’ Roy, because it’s been a tough time period, and I’ve enjoyed every practice with them.”
On early turnovers:
“I thought we tried to go too fast. Did you say two [turnovers] out of six possessions? The first six possessions were two bad shots, two turnovers, and two baskets, on layups, but you can’t score two out of six against Duke. You’ve got to score better than that. I think we allowed their defensive pressure to dominate our offense several times, and I thought they did early first six possessions, I don’t think we had more than two passes – somebody was jacking it up – usually that’s not the kind of shots you want to get. Whether it was the environment or that they were fired up to play because it’s Duke/Carolina, I don’t know, but we weren’t very efficient early, and we weren’t very efficient early in the second half either.”