If one had to write a headline summarizing Duke Basketball since the Kyrie Irving injury, you could call it “Nolan Rising”. The senior guard is playing at a level unmatched in the ACC and you would be hard pressed to find too many players dominating the hardwood like Smith has. It’s as if something has clicked and he has become the prototypical hybrid guard. Scoring at an amazing clip while still being a distributor and keeping the team involved. Suffice to say that Smith is playing the best basketball of his career at a time when Duke needs it. Last night UAB got a taste of Nolan rising in more ways than one. Nolan made every type of shot you could imagine going 11-22 from the field, and 9 of 10 from the charity stripe. Scoring 33 points would have one thinking that Nolan was stingy but in watching the game, nothing was forced, everything was in the flow of the offense AND Nolan dimed out 5 assists.
Duke also got contributions from Kyle Singler, who in this game eclipsed the 2000 point mark for his career. Although Kyle had a tough night from the field he chipped in 15 points and had 7 rebounds.
The other major offensive contributor in last nights victory would have to be Mason Plumlee who this season shows flashes of brilliance. In 28 minutesÂ Mason went 6-9 and had a couple of blocks and a steal. Duke’s only weakness so far this year has been post production but combined in this game from the power forward spot (Kelly, Mason, Miles) Duke managed 23 points. Andre Dawkins was his efficient self, playing great defense and hitting the open shots when presented to the tune of 8 points.
Duke was never threatened in this game unless you count the first shot of the game when UAB led 3-0, after that Duke never looked back and kept the foot on the gas until about the 6 minute mark in the second half. The closest UAB would get after the half was 9 points and Duke had a run to answer every run Mike Davis’ squad could muster.
Duke will have its hands full with a surging MD squad hungry for a win in the ACC after losing a close one to BC back in December. Dukes frontcourt will have to play much better to content with Jordan Williams who comes in averaging a double-double.
|Cameron Moore, F||40||3-15||2-5||3-4||3||15||1||0||1||2||0||11|
|Ovie Soko, F||20||2-5||0-0||2-3||0||2||0||0||0||4||1||6|
|Aaron Johnson, G||32||3-5||0-0||0-0||0||1||7||0||0||4||5||6|
|Jamarr Sanders, G||40||7-15||5-10||2-3||0||6||3||1||0||3||2||21|
|Robert Williams, G||9||0-1||0-0||0-0||1||2||0||0||0||0||3||0|
|Mike Jones, G||1||1-1||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2|
|Anthony Criswell, F||9||3-4||1-1||0-0||1||3||1||0||0||0||5||7|
|Dexter Fields, G||21||2-8||0-4||0-0||1||2||1||1||1||1||5||4|
|Preston Purifoy, G||11||1-3||0-0||2-2||3||3||0||1||0||0||0||4|
|Quincy Taylor, G||17||1-2||1-2||0-0||0||2||0||0||0||0||1||3|
|Duke Blue Devils|
|Kyle Singler, F||35||5-18||3-6||2-3||3||7||1||1||1||0||2||15|
|Ryan Kelly, F||23||2-6||0-2||1-1||2||8||2||2||1||1||3||5|
|Nolan Smith, G||36||11-22||2-5||9-10||4||7||5||2||0||4||1||33|
|Andre Dawkins, G||32||3-4||2-3||0-1||1||6||0||3||0||1||2||8|
|Mason Plumlee, F||28||6-9||0-0||2-3||1||8||1||1||2||0||2||14|
|Miles Plumlee, F||11||2-4||0-0||0-0||1||2||1||1||0||0||4||4|
|Tyler Thornton, G||6||0-0||0-0||1-2||0||0||3||1||0||0||1||1|
|Josh Hairston, F||5||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Seth Curry, G||24||2-3||1-1||0-0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||5|