Seniors Lift Duke to Victory 85 – 57 Over Virginia Tech

Brian Horaceblog, General Information, Results/ThoughtsLeave a Comment

Congrats to Mason Plumlee, Seth Curry, Ryan Kelly and Todd Zafirovski for allowing us to come along with them on their journey. It’s been so fun to watch.

As for the game, well let’s get to it. This game had me worried a bit and for a lot of the game it was too close for comfort. The emotion was there, maybe the seniors came out a little bit tight but when the time was right the seniors made their presence felt. Duke would ultimately win 85-57 but the game was tighter than that, it was around the first 5 minutes of the second half where Duke would start to assert itself on both ends of the floor. A porous defense kept Virginia Tech within striking distance most of the first half but Duke shored it up in the second holding Virginia Tech to 22 points. Duke still has issues with allowing deep dribble penetration and gave up the lane much too easily to Virginia Tech just as it did Miami. If there is one glaring weakness on this team aside from rebounding it is defending the lane. Vtech was able to get whatever it wanted and a game that could have been a first round knock out lasted into the middle rounds. Duke is making games much harder than they have to be in a lot of cases, and as a fan it worries me.

Duke would rely on its seniors in this game. Seth Curry would lead all Duke scorers with 20, hitting 5 3 pointers in the process. The interesting thing about Curry’s game is that he seemed much more engaged on defense. Perhaps it was wanting to make a statement in his last home game but it was refreshing to see Seth dialed in on defense considering his injuries. Seth would hit more contested 3 point shots in this game than I’ve seen in a while. Curry was also able to grab 5 boards in his last game in front of the Cameron Crazies.

Mason Plumlee would struggle in the first half, scoring only 3 points  and going 1 for 4 from the floor. Mason would, however, score 11 of his 14 points on the second stanza and also hit on 6 of 8 from the free throw line.  Another huge stat for Mason was his 5 assist to 0 turnovers, Mason was able to create shots for his teammates when he could not get the shot he wanted in the lane. Mason would also grab 7 rebounds in the game.

Ryan Kelly did not score 36 points in this game but did connect on 6 of 12 shots for 18 points and 9 rebounds, Kelly like Mason had a 5 assist night for Duke. Kelly continues to let the game come to him, he seems to me playing on a different level than everyone else, only hampered by his lack of stamina which should improve going forward. Kelly showed no signs of fragility hitting the deck and wrestling for rebounds on several occasions.

Duke also got a double figure scoring effort from sophomore Quinn Cook who has seen his assist numbers go down (2 tonight) but his scoring has gone up. I don’t think in any way this hurts Duke as this team is capable of getting assists from every other position on the floor as evidence by Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee having 5 each. It’s much more important that Duke has that extra scoring option, teams will have to respect Quinn Cooks ability to hit the outside shot as well as driving the lane. The attention that teams will have to pay to Cook will get better shot attempts for the trio of seniors and Rasheed Sulaimon as well.

Some positives about this particular win was that Duke did win the rebounding battle, this is a stat that is of particular interest to Duke fans after allowing teams throughout the season way too many second shots. Duke was able to, for the most part, limit those, although there is still work to do, Duke, if this game is any indication is trending the right way at the right time.

Clearly this is a team in flux, one that had an identity, had that identity taken away and formed a new one. The adjustment to returning to that original form is what Duke is working on and how successful they are with that transformation and transition will be the main factor in how far Duke goes in the ACC and NCAA Tournaments.

So again congrats to the seniors and the rest of the team for a perfect home record of 16 an 0 this year. The seniors also went 63-3 overall for their careers in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

 

 


 
Coach K on what the team’s three seniors have meant to the program over the last four years:
“It is unique and it makes you remember the times where that was always the case. There’s no question that it’s not just becoming a better basketball player – they become men. They’re going to graduate from Duke. They’re great students, they’re older, they get it. As this goes on over the four years you’re in a program, you’re going to learn more your third and fourth year more because you can receive more. These guys are sponges and they wanted it. My daughter, wife and I always take our seniors out to eat – our senior managers and players – and we had a really nice time last night. You’re just sitting at the table and you’re saying, ‘How did you get this lucky to be with these people who are just the best?’ Believe me, I cherish the time.”
 

Official Basketball Box Score
Virginia Tech vs Duke
03-05-13 7:00 PM at Durham, N.C. (Cameron Indoor Stadium)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
VISITORS: Virginia Tech 13-17, 4-13
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
04 Cadarian Raines..... f  0-2    0-0    0-0    1  0  1   4   0  0  0  0  0  11
31 Jarell Eddie........ f  3-10   3-7    4-4    1  6  7   0  13  1  1  0  0  34
42 C.J. Barksdale...... f  3-8    0-0    0-0    2  2  4   3   6  0  0  1  1  27
01 Robert Brown........ g  1-5    1-2    0-2    1  1  2   0   3  0  2  0  0  21
11 Erick Green......... g 10-19   1-4    4-6    1  3  4   1  25  2  1  0  0  34
02 Joey van Zegeren....    2-3    0-0    0-1    2  1  3   4   4  0  2  1  0  15
05 Marcus Patrick......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  1  0  0   1
10 Marquis Rankin......    2-3    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   4   4  2  2  0  0  24
14 Greg Donlon.........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
22 Christian Beyer.....    1-1    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   1   2  0  0  0  0   4
24 Joey Racer..........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  1  0  0  0   2
25 Will Johnston.......    0-2    0-2    0-0    1  0  1   0   0  0  0  0  0   5
33 Marshall Wood.......    0-4    0-2    0-0    2  5  7   2   0  1  1  0  0  21
   TEAM................                         2     2
   Totals..............   22-57   5-17   8-13  13 18 31  19  57  7 10  2  1 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-32 43.8%   2nd Half:  8-25 32.0%   Game: 38.6%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  4-10 40.0%   2nd Half:  1-7  14.3%   Game: 29.4%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  3-4  75.0%   2nd Half:  5-9  55.6%   Game: 61.5%    1

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Duke 26-4, 13-4
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
05 Mason Plumlee....... f  4-10   0-0    6-8    2  5  7   2  14  5  0  1  0  34
34 Ryan Kelly.......... f  6-12   2-7    4-4    1  8  9   1  18  5  1  1  0  31
02 Quinn Cook.......... g  6-10   2-3    0-0    3  3  6   3  14  2  1  0  0  34
14 Rasheed Sulaimon.... g  2-4    1-1    0-0    0  1  1   1   5  1  0  0  1  17
30 Seth Curry.......... g  6-11   5-9    3-4    0  5  5   0  20  1  0  0  1  36
03 Tyler Thornton......    2-4    2-3    0-0    1  2  3   3   6  2  2  0  0  28
12 Alex Murphy.........    1-1    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   2  0  0  0  0   3
15 Josh Hairston.......    2-5    0-0    0-0    3  1  4   3   4  0  0  0  0  10
21 Amile Jefferson.....    1-1    0-0    0-0    1  0  1   0   2  0  0  0  0   4
40 Marshall Plumlee....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  1  0  0  1   2
52 Todd Zafirovski.....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
   TEAM................                            1  1
   Totals..............   30-58  12-23  13-16  11 26 37  13  85 17  4  2  3 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-30 43.3%   2nd Half: 17-28 60.7%   Game: 51.7%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  5-11 45.5%   2nd Half:  7-12 58.3%   Game: 52.2%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  7-8  87.5%   2nd Half:  6-8  75.0%   Game: 81.3%    2

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